South Korea's growing obsession
with plastic surgery became apparent when pictures of a group of aspiring beauty queens posted online prompted claims that cosmetic procedures have left all the contestants looking the same.
Pictures of the 20 Miss Korea 2013 finalists were posted on Reddit fuelling speculation that many of them had undergone surgery and prompting
users to criticise the Asian nation's growing trend to go under the knife.
South Koreans currently have more plastic surgery than in any other country according to recent figures, with the craze particularly popular among 19 to 49-year-olds.
The popularity of surgery, particularly among the young, has been blamed by some on a desire to look more 'western' fuelled
by an obsession with celebrity culture.
All of the women vying
for the crown of Miss Korea 2013 have dark, perfectly trussed hair, either tumbling over their shoulders or neatly tied up, pale skin, bright eyes and a perfect bright white smile.
And their apparent similarity prompted Reddit user ShenTheWise to post their pictures online, suggesting that many of those vying for the Miss Korea title this year have had similar surgery.
the image: 'Korea’s plastic surgery mayhem is finally converging on the same face.'
The post saw more than 3,000 people comment in response, debating the merits
of widespread plastic surgery.
Reddit user HotBrownie, who claims to hail from Seoul, said:‘Those women in fact do look unnervingly similar and yes, Koreans think so too.
‘This is called the Korean plastic face look. In certain areas of Seoul, you would think all the women are sisters because they look so similar due to same surgeries.’
‘Without the plastic surgery, korean women are very diverse looking and easily can be told apart.’
Another Reddit user, Forevertraveling, added:‘I live in Korea and older women complain how girls don't look Korean anymore because of all the plastic surgery.’
‘It's so common to the point if I meet a girl, I just assume she has had something done.’
While the popularity of cosmetic surgery in South Korea may come as a surprise to many, the industry there is in fact booming. Last year, 20 per cent of women aged 19 to 49 in the capital city of Seoul admitted to going under the knife.
One of the most popular surgical procedures is double eyelid surgery - which reduces excess skin in the upper eyelid to make the eyes appear bigger and make them look more 'Western'.
It is believed that the rise of the country's music industry is behind the boom
, and many patients visit clinics with photos of celebrities, asking surgeons to emulate
American noses or eyes.