These Photos Capture China’s Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery

Since 2018, Chinese writer and photographer Lu Yufan has been documenting the increasing popularity of facial procedures among young women in China in her series ‘Make Me Beautiful.’

With 22 million Chinese people undergoing cosmetic surgeries in 2018, most being women under age 28, Lu felt a need to explore the underlying beauty anxiety behind the trend.

She visited different clinics, got diagnoses for herself, talked to women undergoing or who have undergone plastic surgeries, and collected handwritten notes and portraits from them.

Her photos capture a mix of emotions, conveying hope, determination, insecurity, loss, nostalgia, and secrecy.

In an interview with WePresent, Lu described the project as therapeutic. 

She likened the pictures to “post-mortem photos,” capturing moments of the past and what has been lost.

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