Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cosmetic surgery in Cambodia

When we first moved to Cambodia, one of our Khmer friends working with a local NGO told us of the importance of having "White face, sharp nose", especially when it comes to securing funding. Westerners trust a fellow Westerner over a Khmer (or any other Asian apparently), he said.

I was reminded of this "White face, sharp nose" comment when I read this AFP story"Cambodia cosmetic surgery booms amid dubious quality":

"I'm very afraid, but ready for it," said Phorn Lisa, a 25-year-old at a prominent cosmetic surgery clinic in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh. "I want to have a beautiful sharp nose because I'm not satisfied with my Cambodian big nose."

Meanwhile, Veasna, 40, profoundly regrets the face lift she had at a cheap clinic. Her face is swollen and red, especially around the eyes. "I've been in terrible pain," she said, visibly upset and awaiting corrective surgery. "But I want to look young and beautiful. Otherwise, my husband will run away with other girls."

Incredibly, the owner of a clinic in Phnom Penh claims Cambodia is a place for medical tourism, serving clients from the US, France and Australia. "They mostly come for nose jobs, silicon implants, breast enlargements and scar revisions," the owner of one clinic, Davy Ariya said. The cost is between 280 to 600 USD for a nose job and 1500 to 1700 for a boob job. I say incredible because the prices may be lower than elsewhere but so are medical regulatory standards. There's hardly any recourse if the beautician does a botched job. What medical tourist would risk that?

It seems Cambodian women aim for "what they perceive as the more delicate looks of popular Korean and Chinese film stars."


Ron said...

Wow! Whatever happened to the traditional Khmer girl? Hard to find these days.

And it's amazing how you mentioned that the clinic caters to western clients. That's truly something. I bet it's probably a quarter of the price compared to the U.S.

Hmmmm, I've always wanted a larger toe..... :)

Have a great weekend Diana!

Mrs happy meal! said...

Very disappointing and yes, whatever happened to the traditional Khmer girl with natural beauty.


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