China is feeling the current recession and one aspect of it is increased competition for jobs. Chinese government officials have estimated that about 6.1 million students will be graduating from colleges and vocational schools, which is nine percent more than last year. The prediction is that about a quarter of them will find no job this year.

Many young graduates are turning to plastic surgery to give themselves a potential advantage in job searches. Although Chinese law forbids hiring based on race, gender and religion, it does not forbid hiring based on height, weight and prettiness. Some job listings specify things like:

  • Must be taller than 5’ 2.5”
  • Must have acceptable facial features
  • Must have symmetrical breasts
  • Must enjoy smoking and drinking wine

The Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital, with a team of ten plastic surgeons, has been doing up to 100 procedures each day, which is 40 percent more than last year. A survey of their patients revealed that about half of them were having the surgeries to help them in their job search. Most were women.

Social Preference for Tallness

Apparently there is a preference in Chinese culture for a certain minimum height. Below that, the person looks unhealthy and weak, as if they would be unable to handle a heavy workload. So some have had a leg-lengthening procedure done, where the plastic surgeon breaks each leg and inserts a steel pin in each one. This can add three inches or so to the person’s height.

However, it is a risky surgery. Infection is always a potential risk of surgery and a bone infection can be very painful. It could also have severe consequences.

  • The bacteria causing the infection could damage the blood supply to the bone and thus prevent any antibiotics from reaching the infection site
  • The infection could weaken the bone’s structural integrity and it could later break at any time just from weight-bearing

Leg-lengthening surgery is not available in the U.S. At The Cosmetic Surgical Center we offer many other safer plastic surgeries, such as the ever-popular liposuction and breast augmentation surgeries. We cannot make you taller, but we can re-contour your body shape to some extent. For example, if you have a pear-shaped body, we can correct the fat distribution but not the bone structure.

To learn more about available cosmetic surgeries, please contact plastic surgeon Dr. Rai for a free personal consultation.