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Buying BeautyCosmetic Surgery in China$
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Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9789888139811

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888139811.001.0001

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From the “Iron Rice Bowl” to the “Rice Bowl of Youth”

From the “Iron Rice Bowl” to the “Rice Bowl of Youth”

(p.99) 4 From the “Iron Rice Bowl” to the “Rice Bowl of Youth”
Buying Beauty

Wen Hua

Hong Kong University Press

People usually assume that cosmetic surgery is a privilege of the elite and the rich. However, women who opt for cosmetic surgery come from diverse groups in China. Using ethnographic cases, this chapter highlights the diverse motivations that lead to cosmetic surgery. It reveals that for some Chinese women, cosmetic surgery is less about vanity than practicality. The drastic and dramatic economic, socio-cultural and political changes in China have produced immense anxiety that is experienced by women both mentally and physically.

Keywords:   China, Cosmetic surgery, “iron rice bowl”, “rice bowl of youth”, layoff, middle class, migrant women, gendered employment, aesthetic taste, anxiety

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