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CBC The Passionate Eye (2018.10.26) Changing Face

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CBC-ThePassionateEye.20181026.ChangingFace.1280x720.mp4 44m50s 1280x720 AVC AAC


What drives the decision to have plastic surgery? Why do people undergo risky procedures to alter the way they look? Changing Face explores the issue in an emotional and revealing way as burn survivor Annie Price looks for answers.

As a baby, Annie Price was injured in a fire. She had life-saving operations on her face, but growing up her mother convinced her that the way she looked wouldn’t determine her life. Now, in her 30s and expecting a child, Annie is considering further surgery.

She travels to South Korea, the most cosmetically enhanced country in the world, with over 4,000 plastic surgery clinics in Seoul alone. Each year tens of thousands of people travel there specifically to get procedures done. Surgery in Seoul is big business, and Annie meets the top surgeons who call the city home.

Annie discovers that the popularity of plastic surgery in South Korea is driven not by the desire to stand out, but to blend in. 60% of women in their 20s have had at least one cosmetic procedure, with many opting for a painful and potentially dangerous facial surgery. A lack of regulations and countless uncertified surgeons have led to multiple injuries and deaths. She also finds that social pressure to have surgery is immense – the city is full of posters urging women to change their appearance, and many consider cosmetic surgery a rite of passage.

Annie meets a young woman who is having her eyes widened in the belief it will land her a better job, and another who is having her whole face reshaped to make herself look prettier. Having resisted pressure from doctors to operate on her face for most of her life, Annie wants to understand why these young women feel compelled to modify very normal parts of their faces.

Finally, she meets one of South Korea's top plastic surgeons to find out what they would suggest for her and tries to decide if she wants to have surgery to change her face.