Quest for beauty in Thailand

Quest for beauty in Thailand

The road to beauty is often twisted & dangerous, whether it be by surgery, repeated slaps, gold thread or giant eye contact lenses.



Pornchai Sereemongkonpol & Thanita Phuvanatnaranubala

Here are four cases of the extra lengths people have gone in order to become the fairest of them all. Even people with a high shock threshold may raise their eyebrows over these.

Face Off

What would a teenager do with his/her first wad of hard-earned money? Save it for university? Blow it on snacks and video games? Chiang Mai native Apirak Goti had a different idea. After earning enough from designing websites and fixing computers, he decided to fix his face when was only 15 with a nose job.

Two years and 16 cosmetic surgeries later, Apirak had spent over B250,000 in the process of changing his face, including fixing unsatisfactory past cosmetic surgeries, botox and glutathione injections.

If you ask us, we could have spent the same amount on a cool motorbike and ridden around school yelling "Suck it!" before going off into the sunset to find better friends. Or at least, he could have waited until his body was fully developed before going under the knife.

I'll Slap Ya

Beauty is pain and for some Thai women and men, they don't mind being slapped around for it. Khemmikka "Goong" Na Songkhla has taken the art of slapping to a whole nother level. She's the owner of Ban Tob Nom (The House of Breast Slapping - what a cool name, btw) shop in Ram Intra Soi 65

and claims she can enlarge breast size simply by repeated slapping and manipulating. She can also alter face shapes and other body parts through the same method. Goong has received coverage of both local and foreign media for her controversial mode of beautification.

An Eye for An Eye

Big eye contact lenses are used to make you appear to have bigger eyes, achieving that ab baew look so many girls aspire to have. However, sheer laziness, frequency, unsupervised use of these lenses and low quality lenses can cost wearers their actual eyes, according to various doctors.

Thapanawong Tanguraiwan, an eye doctor from Phra Nangklao Hospital told Manager in Feb 2011 that he had four patients who sought his help because of visible wounds on their corneas. They revealed to him that they have been

using big-eye contact lenses that aren't approved by Thai Food and Drug Administration. He said infection can destroy the eyes within one or two days, adding that those with serious infection must be admitted to the hospital. He also warned against wearing the lenses while sleeping.

Golden Face

The facelift procedure has been updated. These days, Thais are reportedly seeking a facelift procedure called "gold thread lift" that involves inserting gold threads into their faces to tighten them up and, thus, appear more youthful.

While using dissolvable threads to encourage collagen creation is nothing new, the use of golden threads instead is very controversial.

Doctors have said people with golden threads in their faces can't undergo MRI scans.

In a Kom Chad Leuk report earlier this year, a teacher warned that the procedure is irreversible and removing them results in dents.

Perhaps sewing and stitching should be saved for your clothes or big wounds, not faces that have nothing wrong with them in the first place.

Learn from listening

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  • achieve: to succeed in doing something very good or difficult - บรรลุผลสำเร็จ
  • admit: to put someone into hospital for medical treatment - เปิดรับ
  • alter: to change - เปลี่ยนแปลง
  • an eye for an eye: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; meaning that the punishment that someone receives should be the same size as the damage and harm they have caused (for example, if as a result of their attack someone lost their eye or tooth, then the attacker should also lose their eye or tooth), from the Christian Bible -
  • appear: to seem - ดูเหมือนจะ, ดูเหมือนว่า
  • approved: given official agreement or permission - ได้รับการรับรองแล้ว
  • aspire: to want to achieve something or to be successful - ตั้งปณิธาน
  • beautification (noun): the process and activity of making something beautiful -
  • blow money (verb): spend a lot of money on something (usually something you don't need) -
  • breast: either of the two round soft parts at the front of a woman's body that produce milk when she has had a baby - หน้าอก
  • chic (adjective): the latest things that are beautiful, fashionable, stylish and up-to-date - ความสวยงามทันสมัย
  • collagen (noun): a type of protein often used in skin cream which some believe makes the skin look younger - คอลลาเจน
  • contact lense (noun): small round clear discs you put on the surface of your eye to see better, instead of wearing glasses - เลนส์สัมผัส
  • controversial: causing disagreement or disapproval - ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
  • cool: used to show that you really like something because it is fashionable, attractive and often different - ดีเลิศ (คำสแลง)
  • cosmetic surgery (noun): plastic surgery, surgery to change a person's appearance, usually for the face - ศัลยกรรมเสริมสวย
  • coverage: the reporting of news and sport in newspapers and on the radio, television or social media - การรายงานข่าว
  • creation: the act of making something new - การสร้าง, การประดิษฐ์
  • dent (noun): a place where something was hit and the surface now is uneven and goes inward a bit; a hole, hollow or cavity - แอ่ง, หลุม, รอยบุ๋ม, รอยจม, ส่วนเว้า
  • develop (verb): to gradually grow and improve something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger and successful - พัฒนา
  • dissolvable (adjective): can be "dissolved" and mixed into water -
  • dissolve: to be absorbed by a liquid, especially when mixed - ละลาย
  • earn a living: to earn enough money to support yourself/your family - หาเลี้ยงชีพ
  • encourage: to make someone more likely to do something, or to make something more likely to happen - ปลุกใจ
  • enlarge (verb): to make something bigger - ทำให้ใหญ่ขึ้น, ทำให้ขยาย
  • face off: to get ready to compete with someone - เตรียมแข่งขันกัน
  • facelift (noun): surgery to change to make face more beautiful - ศัลยกรรมตกแต่งใบหน้าให้ดูอ่อนกว่าวัย
  • fair (adjective): beautiful - สวย
  • fix (verb): to repair, make something broken work again - ซ่อม
  • frequency: the number of times something happens within a particular period - ความบ่อย
  • go to any lengths: to try very hard to achieve something - พยายามทุกวิธี
  • going under the knife (verb): having surgery -
  • hard-earned (adjective): meaning that someone worked very hard to get it, using much time and energy, making a great effort to succeed -
  • infection: a disease or medical condition that is caused by a bacteria or by a virus or a parasite - การติดเชื้อ
  • injection: putting a liquid, especially a drug, into a person's body using a needle and a syringe - การฉีดยา
  • insert: to put something inside something else, or to add something, especially words, to something else - แซม, แทรก, แทรกเข้า
  • involve (verb): to be an important or necessary part or result of something - เกี่ยวพัน, เกี่ยวข้อง, พัวพัน
  • irreversible: of something that cannot be changed - เปลี่ยนแปลงไม่ได้, ไม่สามารถเอาคืนกลับมาได้
  • manipulate (verb): to move something around with your hands -
  • media: newspapers, television, radio, etc. - สื่อ
  • method: a particular way of doing something - วิธีการ,วิธีดำเนินการ
  • mode: a particular way of doing something; a particular type of something - แบบ, วิธีการ
  • MRI scan (noun): Magnetic Resonance Imaging, a medical technology that like x-rays makes pictures to show what is happening inside the body - เอ็มอาร์ไอ (ภาพเอ็มอาร์), เอ็มอาร์ไอ (การสร้างภาพด้วยเรโซแนนซ์แม่เหล็ก; ระบบสร้างภาพจากการสั่นพ้องของคลื่นสนามแม่เหล็ก, ระบบสร้างภาพจากการสั่นพ้องของคลื่นสนามแม่เหล็ก ซึ่งโดยทั่วไปจะเป็นการสร้างภาพตัดขวางทางการแพทย์
  • native: someone who was born in a particular place - ชาวพื้นเมือง
  • nose job: an operation to make someone’s nose look more attractive -
  • pain: the feelings that you have in your body when you have been hurt or when you are ill/sick; mental or emotional suffering - ความเจ็บปวด
  • procedure: a way of doing something - ขั้นตอนการดำเนินการ
  • process: a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result - แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
  • raise eyebrows (idiom): to show that you are surprised by something or that you disapprove of or are surprised by something - แสดงความประหลาดใจ, แสดงความไม่เห็นด้วย, แสดงความไม่ชอบ
  • repeat: something that happens again, i.e., which is very similar to a previous happening - การกระทำซ้ำ
  • reportedly: as reported (often used for showing that you are not certain that something you are reporting is true) - ตามที่รายงาน
  • reveal: to let something become known - เปิดเผย
  • seek: to try to obtain or achieve something - พยายามได้มา
  • sew: to use a needle and thread to make stitches in cloth - เย็บ
  • shape: the form of the outer edges or surfaces of something - รูปร่าง, รูปทรง, โครงร่าง
  • sheer: used to emphasise the size, degree or amount of something - เต็มที่, ที่สุด, ทีเดียว
  • shock: a strong feeling of surprise as a result of something happening, especially something unpleasant; the event that causes this feeling - ช็อค, ความสะดุ้ง, อาการช็อค
  • slap: a quick hit with the flat part of the hand - ตบ
  • snack: a small meal or amount of food, usually eaten in a hurry - อาหารว่าง, อาหารเบาๆ
  • sought (past tense of seek): tried to get/do something; asked for something - พยายามได้, พยายามได้มา
  • stitch: to join things together, in this case, a series of photos - เย็บ,ปัก
  • sunset: the time of the evening when the sun is no longer seen - พระอาทิตย์ตกดิน
  • supervised: overseen; watched over to ensure that things are done correctly - อยู่ในการควบคุมดูแล
  • teenager: a person who is between the ages of 13-19 - บุคคลที่มีอายุระหว่าง 13-19 ปี, คนรุ่นหนุ่มรุ่นสาว, วัยรุ่น
  • thread (noun): a long string or fiber used to make fabric and clothes - ด้าย, เส้นด้าย, เส้นไหม, เส้นใย
  • threshold: the level or point at which you start to experience something, or at which something starts to happen - จุดเริ่มของประสบการณ์หรือเหตุการณ์ใหม่ๆ
  • tighten (verb): to make something tighter, more fixed and secure or stricter - ทำให้แน่น, ทำให้เข้มงวดยิ่งขึ้น, ทำให้แน่นหรือตึงขึ้น, ผูกให้แน่น,
  • undergo an operation: to have a medical treatment in which a doctor cuts open someone’s body - ผ่าตัด
  • university (noun): a school where students study for BA, MA, MS and PhD degrees and where research is done - มหาวิทยาลัย
  • unsatisfactory (adjective): something that does not make you happy or "satisfied", disappointing, inadequate, displeasing, undesirable - ซึ่งไม่พอใจ, ซึ่งไม่ผิดหวัง
  • updated (adjective): when something old is changed to make it newer, such as adding new features -
  • visible: able to be seen - ที่มองเห็นได้
  • wad: a thick pile or ball of money, papers, etc. - เงินหรือกระดาษกองโต
  • wound: an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged - บาดแผล
  • wound: to cause to be hurt, especially where the skin or flesh is damaged, usually seriously - ทำให้บาดเจ็บ
  • youthful (adjective): looking, appearing and behaving like a young person - ดรุณ, หนุ่ม, อ่อน, รุ่น, วัยกำดัด, วัยแรกรุ่น
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