Women refused boarding for flight home after plastic surgery made them look unrecognizable
If you haven't had your passport photo taken recently, a trip to the airport can seem like a fairly daunting experience. Having to explain why your appearance has changed so drastically is a pretty arduous task, it may be that you've changed your hair colour, gone bald, or lost some weight: whatever it is, it's annoying trying to have to explain it to security.
However, if you've literally just had plastic surgery, the chances are that you will look absolutely nothing like your passport photo, and it will therefore be pretty hard to get through security.
That's exactly what happened to three women who were trying to fly from South Korea after having multiple procedures performed on their faces. The women were stopped at the airport and were refused access to the flight due to their heavily altered appearances. The image below was posted onto a Chinese social media networking site, and it is being reported that the three women flew to South Korea during what is known as Gold Week, the annual seven-day holiday which is given to all Chinese workers.
Despite having a week to get over their surgery, it can take weeks for a patient to fully recover, as swelling and bleeding can carry on past the normal 14 day period.
It's not the first time that members of the public have been stopped from entering China due to having drastic plastic surgery. In 2009, more women were stopped by Chinese border officials after also heading to South Korea for surgery. Speaking to the Metro about the incident, a Chinese border official said:
"After they took off their huge hats and big sunglasses following our request, we saw them looking differently, with bandages and stitches here and there. We had to compare their uncorrected parts with their photos very carefully with our eyes and machines."
The issue is now becoming so commonplace in China that hospitals are now having to issue patients with certificates to certify their identity, despite the fact they look nothing like they used to. The certificate includes the person's passport number, as well as the name and address of the hospital the length of stay, and the hospital's seal of approval.
The reason for the amount of people heading to South Korea for various procedures is down to the fact that they feel like doctors in their own country can't be trusted. Park Byong-choon, a surgeon, told The Korean Times:
"It comes from the mistrust of the system entrenched in their psyche. Chinese parents come to Korea even for childbirth. The death of a young singer under a Chinese cosmetic surgeon's knife a few years ago makes people think twice about doing it at home.
"Then there are the bloodless surgeons bent on maximizing profit. With so many ruined faces around, patients think it's better to do it right in Korea by paying more. Even the Chinese Communist Party cannot control that."
It seems as if until Chinese plastic surgery patients are able to recover from their surgeries for more than seven days, there will continue to be a problem of mis-identity at airports. Still, next time I pass through security I'll feel a little less worried knowing that if these women can eventually get through, so can I.