Plastic Surgery & Marriage Preferences in China

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Looking Good In China Is Not Looking Good


To hear Chinese plastic surgeons tell it, every other unmarried male should be considering cosmetic surgery these days both to help land a job but especially to land a mate. In a country where marriage competition has grown intense and single young men greatly outnumber available young women, male appearance suddenly matters big time. Right?

Maybe not. Today's Chinese woman seems to care less than ever about facial features and anatomical harmony in a prospective husband. Even personality and morality are just not as important as they once were.

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According to a survey of over thirty thousand citizens conducted by the Chinese Research Association of Marriage and Family and the All-China Women's Federation, half of women rate financial strength as the most desirable trait in a potential mate and over two-thirds say they would only consider marrying a man with the current means to purchase a residence. More than half of the men, on the other hand, still rank beauty at the top of the list.

But wait! Aren't the women supposed to be the romantics? Apparently that's no longer the case in a society plagued by gender imbalance and property inflation.

The modern Chinese woman values male appearance far less than net worth, while the men in large surplus can no longer afford to be overly choosy about a potential wife's appearance.

In other words, the all-around prospects for good looks are…well, not looking good.

As the cost of an apartment in the cities has skyrocketed much faster and higher than wages, the most desirable male attribute is already owning real property. But alas, many young urban male professionals have been priced out of both bubbled markets -- real estate and matrimony.

So what about all those worried Chinese parents who now scrimp, save, and borrow to finance their son's cosmetic surgery to improve on his social currency? It might be a better strategy to just hand him the hard currency.

But never mind any of this if you happen to be a Chinese plastic surgeon. The reality of the situation hasn't put a damper on marketing efforts to this generation of male dreamers and their families. After all, it's much cheaper to finance a new nose than a new apartment, and you just never know.

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Chinese gender imbalance and marriage preferences