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Haunting, Painful Images From Plastic Surgery Recovery Rooms in Korea

Illustration for article titled Haunting, Painful Images From Plastic Surgery Recovery Rooms in Korea

As previously discussed, South Korea has the highest per capita rates of plastic surgery in the world. We've seen plenty of smiley, radiant "after" photos, but artist Ji Yeo has taken "right after" pictures: Haunting photographs of women in recovery rooms, bruised, bandaged, wounded.


Ji Yeo says:

It is a culture where men are judged on their financial balance sheet and women by their beauty. The male-dominated media endlessly reinforces its model of the ideal woman.


Even though you know that these women are recovering from elective surgery — that they chose to be cut open — it's impossible not to feel sympathetic; they are healing, sure, but they are suffering. Their bodies have endured something brutal and painful. The body's ability to stitch itself back together is phenomenal, but the process is no easy task. Humans have found many ways to change the crappy cards nature deals — from eyeglasses to prosthetic limbs and fertility treatments — but there's no way around the simple (clichéd) truth: Time heals all wounds. Larger eyes, narrower chins and streamlined noses are in the pipeline, but first, these women just have to wait. The ultimate goal may be partly psychological (I want to be improved) but the process is deeply visceral, dealing with flesh, blood and pus, the very animal meat of human existence.

More images here.

[Animal NY, Ji Yeo]

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I can't wait for genetic engineering to get advanced enough that we can take a pill or get an injection and change gradually into our preferred forms without the need to chop us up.

Everyone should be able to look exactly the way they want to, but we shouldn't have to break and reshape cartilage to do it.