Facelifts Trump Famine

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Facelifts Trump Famine in North Korea

According to the Daily NK, 3.5 million North Koreans now suffer from chronic poverty and severe malnutrition, and a new famine is threatening to make all of this much worse in the Spring.


So what are the more fortunate women in North Korean society doing with their extra money?

Facelifts and eyelid surgery.

While facelifting is officially illegal, state surgeons will secretly perform the surgery in exchange for bribes.


Same with upper eyelid surgery, at a cost of US $14 to $21 (which is a lot when your country's children are starving to death).

"Upper eyelid surgeries and cosmetic tattoos on eyebrows, lips and the corners of eyes [eyelashes] are widespread in North Korea," reported a source in Pyongyang.

"Many women want plastic surgeries regardless of deprivation and food shortages."


Beauty over basic needs?

One has to wonder how much of this sentiment is possibly universal and how much is helped along by hallyu, or the Korean Wave, South Korea's own version of social propaganda emanating out of Seoul with enough force to at least trickle over its walled-off neighbor to the north.

Of course, there's always something more productive that can be done with "cosmetic dollars," whether you're talking about in the Third World or in the First.

It all boils down to a matter of priorities.

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Facelifts trump famine in North Korea