Customising the Asian face: Does cosmetic surgery lead to medicalisation of racial features?

  • Yves Aquino (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


Previous studies theorize that there are two overlapping models of medicalisation in Asian cosmetic surgery. The first one uses the treatment model, viewing cosmetic surgery as a remedy "pathologized" Asian features in reference to Western or Caucasian ideal. The second is the enhancement model that considers the surgery as a way to improve typical Asian features in reference to a predominant beauty ideal.
This empirical research aims to confirm the process of either the remedial treatment model or the enhancement model of medicalisation by examining websites of surgery clinics, analysing the terms, language and images associated with the cosmetic procedures. The results of the study will be based on a content analysis of websites of cosmetic surgery hospitals and clinics in South Korea and Australia, as both countries are experiencing a growing number of aesthetic clinics for Asians, although with varying degrees of consumption. The expanded Web Content Analysis includes various types of data contained in new media documents, such as images, videos, and hyperlinks, among others. In addition to providing evidence on the processes of medicalisation, results are expected to offer contrasting accounts of two countries as sources of web content, comparing various behavioural and socio-cultural factors that play a role in medicalisation and influence Asian consumers to seek cosmetic surgery.
Period19 Aug 2015
Event typeConference
LocationGhent, BelgiumShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational