Plastic surgery is prevalent in both the Western music industry and the K-pop industry, everyone knows people have had it and yet it continues to be a touchy subject for many. Whilst the Western industry is very open about their surgeries, in K-pop – where it is desirable to be natural – it’s almost like a public secret. Idols and actors/actresses alike have plastic surgery for a variety of reasons, be it to ‘further their career’ or generally to just fix things they don’t like.

What gets me about the whole plastic surgery situation in K-pop, is the fans. Fans have mixed reactions over the possibility of their favourite idols having ‘fixed’ their faces, but quite frequently I see people who are genuinely upset at the mere thought of it. It’s odd to think that people get so worked up over someone else changing themselves. Recently I received anonymous messages on tumblr, and the anon was extremely upset that Block B’s Park Kyung may have had surgery – or as they put it, he did.

On that point; I don’t think Park Kyung had surgery, of course there’s a possibility he did, but we wont know that unless he ever decides to say that he did. As a fan myself, who has on multiple occasions both drawn and cosplayed as Kyung, I can see his bone structure is the same. He has lost a lot of weight recently, which I think may be the cause for the change in his face. Fans often seem to think that if an idol looks different then it must be surgery. It’s an odd paradox, where the same fans who don’t want their idols to have surgery are the ones accusing them of doing it, as if it were something bad.

Personally, I don’t see plastic surgery as a bad thing, if someone wants to better their appearance then they can do so. It’s like how people dye their hair different colours because they don’t like their natural colour, except of course more dangerous and permanent. If someone goes ahead and has plastic surgery, they must have been seriously unhappy with the way they look, so to get dissed for doing so is a little low. It doesn’t seem fair how the person who already had low self-confidence in their looks, would still be critised. For example, let’s say there is an idol called John. John is considered the ‘ugly’ member and gets a lot of stick for it, but then when he has surgery to become better looking, he is then critised for being ‘plastic’. Doesn’t seem fair right?

Especially since idols know they will be critised if they have plastic surgery, they’ve already considered that before going under the knife. They’ve also considered the dangers and potential complications involved too – like how ZE:A’s Kwanghee said his face collapsed. So fans need to consider these things too, can you really critise someone for wanting to look better? None of you can honestly tell me that you have never done something to improve your appearance, be it by wearing nice clothes or by wearing make up, we’ve all done it. Some people just take it to the next level.

Although, I don’t entirely condone plastic surgery, it all depends on the situation. For example, someone with a bump in their nose might want to get it fixed, and sure they can go and do that. But then there are the people who take it entirely too far – like this. All things – plastic surgery included – should be done in moderation, especially with such risks involved.

Another thing would be when people who have had plastic surgery have children. If an idol can’t be honest to their fans about their surgery, I hope they can be honest to the potential parent of their child or their partner will be extremely surprised when the child is born! Overall though, I would say that everyone is fine as they are, but if you really want to change then do it, as long as it makes you happy.

If fans cared less about the stigma of having plastic surgery, and cared more about the happiness of the person involved then I believe idols would be more honest about what work they’ve had done. Idols are only secretive over fear of backlash from fans, and they certainly don’t want to give antis more ammo.

So what are your thoughts on plastic surgery in K-pop? Are you one of the fans that don’t care, or are you one of the fans that perhaps care a little too much?


About Author

Freya is the founder of UnitedKpop, steering the ship since 2011. She is a full time graphic designer with lots of love for her two cats. You can see Freya's portfolio at