Botched Butts and Illegal Eye Surgeries

The unfortunate reality of some of the more dramatic beauty trends is that not everyone can afford them. In developing countries where most people cannot afford some procedures, regulations may not always be as strongly enforced as they ought to be.


In the Philippines, while there is the FDA to regulate and approve ‘safe’ items, there is also a fair amount of products available that are extremely unsafe and causing controversy. A great example of this is skin whitening products, there are a lot of skin whitening products that have high levels of mercury in them. According to Dr. Bessie Antonio, president of the Philippine Society of Clinical and Occupational Toxicology (PSCOT), “Skin contact with mercury-added cosmetics can cause serious dermal problems, including discoloration, inflammation, itchiness and tiny bumps … can eventually damage the brain and the kidneys.’’



While many products have been recalled or made illegal it still remains that those products will be available and appeal to both extremists and some poorer persons, thus there are serious cases of skin disfigurement.


Many countries have had issues with with counterfeit botox and illegal surgeries, for example in Thailand there is an abundance of illegal practitioners that have little to no training and are cheap and therefore targeted towards the lower classes. In 2012 Thai actress Athitiya Eiamyai, 33, died due to a botched filler injection in the buttocks by an unlicensed practitioner.


Hang Mioku


While a lot of the more extreme beauty trends may be treated as normal and trivial procedures in some cultures it is pretty shocking to see what desperate persons will do to be beautiful. A South Korean lady named Hang Mioku became obsessed with silicone injections. After using regular silicone she started using black market silicone injections, and then eventually switched to cooking oil which ultimately left her face dramatically enlarged and permanently disfigured.


The ugly side of cultures with high levels of cosmetic alteration is unfortunately disfigurement and sometimes death.




  1. So I’ve been commenting on your posts because i find it fascinating. Cosmetic procedures and beauty are definitely are cross-culture thing but can also be specific to a particular culture. I find skin whitening to be quite confronting as it seems like an extreme thing to do. I wonder what the motivations are of the people using these products and again if it’s to fit into a culture ideology of what beauty is and if so, which culture and who’s idea of beauty?


  2. It is indeed saddening. Take it from a “white” American: Philippines women are already full of natural beauty as they are. There is no need to lighten their skin. They already possess beauty and they need to understand that …


  3. A couple of semesters ago I was having lunch at uni with these girls from class and they were discussing how one of their friends had gone to Thailand to get breast implants. I was shocked and asked why, they told me it was because they are cheaper to get over there than they are in Australia.
    I have since heard of a lot of Westerners going to Eastern countries to get cosmetic surgery done. I have heard both negative and positive experiences from this. There are even forums all over the internet discussing good places to go overseas for breast implants. I find the whole concept insane but maybe that’s just me.


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