Beneath the skin

Beneath the skin

If a dumb guy dumps you because of your flabby figure then you shouldn't be wrecked by the break-up but it's fine to work yourself into a lather. This is what I learned from a post on Weibo (a Chinese social media site) from a fat and fearless girl from Zhengzhou, Henan, whose vengeance recently had her undergoing liposuction; she turned the removed body fat into a bar of soap.

Whether the soap produced suds or not did not matter as she was not using it for herself. It was a surprise for the heartbreaker's mother for the upcoming Chinese New Year, the Year of the Monkey. Hopefully, it won't make a monkey out of the poor mum.

According to the Chinese-to-Thai translation on the Kapook website, the unforgiving girl slammed her ex as a "bas***d", who judges women based on their appearance.

Reasonable revenge or disgusting retaliation? Her peculiar rancour spurred various responses on social media, some in favour of the girl, others supporting her boyfriend, with one post agreeing that she deserved to be dumped.

Ironically, if the young lady was true to herself, she could still be fat and beautiful without having to invest money in the surgical procedure and going as far as making the bizarre bar of soap. 

Whether for revenge or vanity, she now has a slimmer silhouette.

A woman may have a good reason for cosmetic enhancement that is not always about vanity. 

For instance, I'm a user of whitening products and have iontophoresis skin-brightening treatments, not because I want to bleach my honey-toned skin but to fade hyperpigmentation on my face caused by years of sun exposure.

Besides the face, the skin on my arms and hands is much darker than other areas of my body. This is why I religiously use whitening body products in order to lighten it as much as possible to the natural skin colour that I was born with.

However, there's a misperception that whitening products can do wonders in changing sun-kissed skin into snow white skin due to advertising claims. Only the harmful formulas can bleach the skin to such an extent whereas the whitening products I'm using are clinically tested, with the ones from Japan being approved and defined as a quasi-drug, a category for functional cosmetics containing active ingredients that prevent or improve hyperpigmentation.

Thus, I'm not against having cosmetic enhancements, of which in many cases are a necessity as depicted in the South Korean reality show, Let Me In.

South Korea is renowned for its penchant for plastic surgery, with locals starting young in modifying their looks to the point they differ very much from their parents. Launched in 2011, the reality show fittingly represents the popularity of having plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, making it a TV sensation.

However, it does have its critiques, who say that it promotes vanity and narcissism, as well as induces people to have unnecessary cosmetic enhancement. 

Fans of the reality show, however, agree with the astonishing and reasonable physical transformation offered to the contestants.

Whether through blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), mandibular osteotomy (lower jaw surgery) and/or abdominoplasty (a tummy tuck), not to mention the botox and filler, they give people with aesthetic problems a new lease of life, such as social acceptance and job opportunities, which accordingly relates to the name of the show.

Having seen the before and after of the extreme cases appearing on the South Korean TV programme, I see the need for the surgically-modified faces and bodies as the reality show narrates the suffering of the contestants, who were teased and discriminated against because of their ugly features that often severely affected their quality of life.

The show has even been applauded for its charitable offers since it costs a fortune to get such an extreme makeover.

Contestants, however, have to plead their case in front of a panel of judges, who pick those truly in need of physical transformation. The chosen contestants get the transformation free of charge in exchange for having their lives -- before and after receiving the surgical procedures carried out by the country's leading doctors -- filmed and aired on TV.

Let Me In concludes with the revamped contestant emerging amid the oohs and aahs in front of a bewildered audience. Following a similar format, the Thai edition will premiere on Saturday on Workpoint (Channel 23). Will I watch it? Certainly, I want to know more about getting a boob job and a tummy tuck.

Kanokporn Chanasongkram is a feature writer of the Life section of the Bangkok Post.

Kanokporn Chanasongkram

Feature writer

Kanokporn Chanasongkram is a feature writer for the Life section of the Bangkok Post.

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