The 'ideal beauty' defined by the mainstream media in the Western world doesn't stay within the U.S. or European borders; sociologists and market researchers are tracking the influence of Western culture on countries such as Thailand, India and Malaysia, indicating that many Western ideals are now a mainstay of foreign cultures and stereotypes.
So much so, that countries in the eastern Pacific Rim are picking up on the 'quest for perfection' by offering more plastic and cosmetic surgery 'fixes' for the masses, and even catering to foreign visitors with makeover holidays and the latest innovative treatments.
According to the International Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (IASPS), Japan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan are the top four out of 15 countries with the most aesthetic procedures performed. (Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times)
Researchers are finding more of the Far East's youth are turning to some form of cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks to achieve an 'ideal', and some countries such as Taiwan are experiencing rapid growth in demand for cosmetic procedures; nearly double the amount than five years ago.
Americans looking for affordable plastic surgery abroad can also turn to countries in Asia to get the treatment they need at a fraction of the cost of U.S.-based procedures.
Thailand and India continue to be prime locations for medical tourism, offering low-cost procedures as part of a complete vacation package. Consumers are advised to research and investigate these facilities to make sure the practice does not have a track record of malpractice or unsanitary conditions. Still, there are several places that offer safe treatments, especially if the surgeon has studied and obtained certification from a Western country.
Cultural pressures related to body image abroad may be similar to those that are prevalent in the U.S. and Europe; youthful, wrinkle-free skin; a slim figure; plump lips; and sculpted cheekbones are just a few prominent features of the 'ideal beauty' that lives not only in the Western world, but also in the Far East.