North Korean Waitresses Need Eyelid Surgery

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North Korean Waitresses Must Have Eyelid Surgery

to Sunny Lee writing in Hong Kong's Asian Times Online, Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader, has demanded during the last ten years that all young female waitresses working outside of the country in China, Vietnam, Russia, and elsewhere undergo double eyelid surgery.

north korean workers

The article notes that, "Kim Jong-il places great importance on the appearance of workers in restaurants earning foreign currency [for the Pyongyang leadership]," even though cosmetic surgery is officially illegal in North Korea.

North Korean surgeons are increasingly offering cosmetic surgery in return for bribes at a time when severe food shortages and economic distress have required the United Nations to feed over three million malnourished citizens.

Most plastic surgery, however, is being delivered to the privileged or wealthy classes, such as "family members of the ruling cadre, and high-ranking government or military staff" along with those allowed to travel abroad such as diplomats, government-sponsored business representatives, college students, flight attendants, and workers/entertainers at state-sponsored foreign restaurants.

While also interested, other classes within North Korea cannot afford to undergo care from trained professionals and have instead begun seeking out more black-market services of often dubious quality.

North Korean perceptions of beauty are increasingly leaning toward Western standards, noted a female student who attributes this evolution to the influence of televised South Korean dramas featuring westernized performers.

APSG Comment: More than simply ignoring this change in popular attitude, the highest levels of North Korean government and society appear to be sanctioning, embracing, and personally availing themselves of such "decadent capitalist influence."

One has to wonder when the cash-strapped country's closed borders will selectively open to medical tourists eager to take advantage of the world's cheapest cosmetic surgery prices.

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North Korea demands workers have double eyelid surgery