Because the job market looks bleak for the millions of new college graduates in China, some are trying to improve their chances through cosmetic surgery
Due to the economic crisis, the Chinese labor market is collapsing. This affects not only millions of migrant workers who can no longer find a job in the cities and return to the countryside, but also young graduates. In 2008, one million university graduates were already unable to find a job. This year, another 6 million – 9 percent more than in 2008 – will enter the labor market, with poor prospects for the time being.
The Chinese government is trying to steamroll the mounting resentment of the young academic elite, who are falling into unemployment rather than finding lucrative jobs at universities, with graduation programs and other demand and training measures. Eventually, frustration rises with growing rejection. Some of the graduates, however, as even state media – to cover up? – Some of the graduates, however, are resorting to a kind of self-help to improve their chances on the job market, as state media report.
Chinese women are already obsessed with cosmetic surgery, and young academics now seem to resort to cosmetic surgery to improve their chances not in the marriage market but in the job market. For example, the Xinhua news agency reports of a student who will graduate this year but already loves to operate on her eyelids to make her eyes look coarser. This should help her find a job, her parents, who work as farmers, have scraped together $300 for it. Another student recounts that after several job interviews she became insecure and found her face too broad. So she spent a lot of money, which again her parents invested in her appearance, to make the face narrower and the eyes coarser. At least this will give her more confidence, she says.
At the end of the article, Xinhua quotes a sociologist who admits that a person’s appearance can "the quality of a person" and makes the first impression on an employer: "But workche is not a beauty contest", he assures: "talent and ability remain the most important factors."
In hospitals corrections of eyes and noses or other small operations in the face are obviously more in demand. A particular increase is said to have occurred among female university graduates. Since November of last year, people have been coming to health clinics, says Liao Yuhua of the Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital. There, 40 percent more people were spared surgery compared to the previous year, and 50 percent of the procedures involved labor, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some of those who want to upgrade themselves physically are university graduates, others are white-collar workers who have become unemployed. Both groups want to improve their chances.
In fact, some job offers also specify required physical characteristics of applicants, such as their coarseness, facial appearance or slimness. A governmental authority in one canton even demands symmetrical breasts from female applicants. In this way, ideas of beauty about well-proportioned faces are hastily translated into flesh and bones.