Unethical plastic surgeons offering ethnic surgeries

24 June 2016

An Asian woman

By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer.

At Harley St Aesthetics, my belief is that plastic surgery can be used to improve a person's natural beauty if they so wish, or to provide clients with a confidence boost if something has been a source of depression and low self-esteem. However, there has been a trend that I have noticed appearing in several British clinics: ethnic plastic surgery. The main purpose of this form of cosmetic surgery is to target people of Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Afro-Caribbean descent and offer aesthetic surgery with the sole purpose of giving them a more Western look.

What is ethnic plastic surgery?

Ethnic plastic surgery is not a new thing, but recently it has been advertised as something that people of colour should undergo so they can achieve an ideal standard of beauty - in this case, a Western look. I’m sure you can see why this is a problem. People from different countries and cultures have different body types and facial features, and it should be acknowledged that diversity in looks is something to be proud of and celebrate. We live in a beautiful world, and it’s disappointing that some plastic surgeons want to create a worldwide standard for what is and is not attractive.

Ethnic plastic surgery involves any cosmetic surgery that endeavours to make people from non-Western countries look Western. One of the most common procedures in this category is the double eyelid surgery, which involves creating a crease in the eyelid to give Asian eyes a more Western appearance; this is often targeted at people of Chinese and Indonesian descent. While this is often referred to as a blepharoplasty, it shouldn’t be confused or compared with the procedure that involves removing the dropping appearance around the eyes.

What other ethnic plastic surgeries are there?

Other procedures targeted at people of Asian descent involve re-shaping of noses so that they become straighter, and the slimming of jawlines. Meanwhile, other clinics offer ‘ethnic rhinoplasty’ to decrease the nose size of people of African or afro-Caribbean descent.

One of the most unethical treatments offered is full body whitening for darker skin tones, and meso-infusion treatments which involves injections into the muscles in order to lighten skin.

When these procedures are advertised next to phrases like ‘perfectly pale’, it proves that clinics that offer these procedures care very little about their clientele; suggesting that a person’s natural body type and face shape, and even skin colour is wrong is a disgusting practice.

Unethical marketing

Thankfully, it seems that cosmetic clinics that offer these treatments are in the minority, with most plastic surgeons across the UK agreeing that this sort of targeted marketing is unethical. Hopefully, with the cosmetic surgery industry becoming more regulated we will see much less of this sort of practice.

However, this sort of behaviour shows that, as plastic surgeons, we owe it to the people that come to us requesting plastic surgery to be sensitive and engaged, and also be more thoughtful in how we market our procedures.

If you are interested in a cosmetic procedure, please contact Harley Street Aesthetics today, and arrange a consultation. To find out more about the plastic surgery procedures offered, please visit the procedures page.


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