|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Mom, I want a new face before school starts!
Focus 4/30-5/7 By Takeshi Ito
The scene is a typical clinic session.
A youngish mother is gazing anx-iously at her beloved daughter,a teen-ager in a high-school uniform and loose socks.
She is receiving an inspection from a white-robed man.
But there is one unusual element in this picture - a cork board on the wall filled with pairs of portraits,showing slightly different faces of the same people.
The place is Jujin Clinic,Tokyo's best-known cosmetic surgery clinic,and the sympathetic mother is there to discuss how to fix her 15-year-old daughter's hereditary disadvantage - single-edged eyelids.
In the latest report on the fast-changing Japanese perception of cosmetic surgery,Focus informs us that mother-and-daughter pairs like this one are likely to become major customers for Jujin and other clinics around Tokyo soon.
According to the magazine,15-year-old girls who just graduated from junior-high school took advantage of their extra-long spring break and headed to cosmetic surgery clinics around Tokyo.
Focus begins the report with some background information.
According to the magazine,the age at which frustrated Japanese women try to solve their beauty problems by surgical means is getting lower year after year.
Today,college and vocational school students in their late teens to early 20s comprise about half the number of women who seek cosmetic surgery.
But it wasn't until this spring that the age dropped so radically.
Ac-cording to Focus,a number of 15-year-old girls,who just completed junior-high school,visited metropolitan clinics with their mothers to shape up their face before they enter senior high school.
“In March,I noticed a conspicuous increase in the number of 15-year- old chugakusei(junior-high school students).
So,I checked the register.
I was surprised.
We operated on a total of 48 chugakusei in March alone,” Jujin Clinic's Director Fumihiko Umezawa reveals.
Focus reports that most graduating chugakusei visited clinics with understanding mothers and a burning desire to improve the look of their eyelids - a simple operation that lasts 20 minutes and costs 110,000 yen.
Other girls wanted something more technically demanding and expensive - flattening of the cheeks.
“I think the popularity of(small-faced singing star Namie) Amuro and purikura(print clubs) has a lot to do with such requests,”analyzes Ume-zawa.
“Purikura expose the exact size of girls' faces.”
The doctor says most junior-high school girls can't stand boys seeing their embarrassingly large face printed next to their friend's compact one.
Umezawa also notes today's 15-year-olds regard cosmetic surgery as nothing to be ashamed of.
And their mothers are understanding,too.
The clinic director remembers when mothers did anything to prevent their teen-age daughter from applying a knife to their face 10 years ago.
These days, many mothers understand how their daughters feel and support surgery.
“Well,I did feel psychological resistance,”the mother of a 15-year-old girl tells Focus.
“But she really wanted it and I couldn't tell her no.
After all,pretty women have a better time in this world,don't they?
I asked her father to stop smoking to cover the amount necessary for her operation.”
The woman's daughter insists cosmetic surgery is nothing special for her generation:
“It's like piercing your earlobes.
Everyone is doing it now.
I can't understand why some people make a big fuss out of it.”(TI)