Is eyelid surgery the latest plastic surgery trend?

Is eyelid surgery the latest plastic surgery trend?
Is eyelid surgery the latest plastic surgery trend?

Ever since former news anchor and current "Big Brother" and "The Talk" host Julie Chen went on record saying she received eyelid surgery while working as a reporter at age 25, the plastic surgery procedure has been thrust into the spotlight. While the operation is among the top cosmetic procedures performed in Asian countries, recent reports suggest that eyelid surgery - or blepharoplasty - is increasing in popularity across the globe.

An eye-opening account
Chen first revealed the details of her plastic surgery in a discussion with her "Talk" hosts last September, stating that after several comments from her then-boss and a prospective television agent, she had her eyelids reshaped to make them more bright and open. Although CBS News reported that Chen's former employer has since apologized to the TV host, Chen admitted that she does not regret going under the knife.

In Asian countries, the rise of eyelid surgery coincides with the prevalence of Korean pop stars and culture, which highlights the more "western" look of large eyes. However, it's apparent the trend is spreading, as a 2010 report from the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that eyelid surgery is the most popular surgery worldwide, along with liposuction and breast implants.

But according to ABC News, the surgery is no longer just for those seeking a "westernized" look.

"No one comes in and says 'Oh, I want to look more American,' or 'I want to blend in better,'" one plastic surgeon told the news source. "They just want to accentuate what they already have."

The procedure costs around $4,000 on average and recovery takes only about a week, the news outlet reported. The procedure removes excess skin and fat from the upper eyelid while also firming the skin beneath the lower eyelid. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, eyelid surgery is typically performed on patients in their 20s and 30s. The outpatient surgery comes with a relatively low risk of complication or infection. 

Cultural pressure
While eyelid surgery might become more common in the U.S., that doesn't mean many women - including Asian-American women - don't have their doubts. One Asian-American woman told the news source that she felt uncomfortable with the procedure because of the questions it raises about one's self, culture and race.

However, there are also Asian-American women, like Chen, who went under the knife for career prospects and are satisfied with the results, including TV reporter Ko Im. Writing for The Huffington Post, Im stated that she doesn't know where she would be today without her eyelid surgery. While she had insecurities about her hooded eyes as a child and teenager, Im says that she does believe that she erased her culture through blepharoplasty. 

"This doesn't mean I hate my culture; it's more that I am a product of the societal pressures it placed on my generation," Im wrote. "Don't we dye our hair, wear heels or do other things to enhance our appearance everyday? ... Maybe I'm contradicting myself, but it's more important to celebrate the person that shines from underneath the surface."