updated 26 Aug 2012, 01:43
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Tue, Feb 28, 2012
The New Paper
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Is her new look worth $136,000?
by Joyce Lim

CALL me "Plastic Baby".

Just don't call me fake, says Miss Jacqueline Koh.

"I would consider myself plastic and not fake. Being fake is when you deny that you had any surgery done and insist that everything is natural," she says in an interview with RazorTV.

In a blog post titled Plastic Baby, the 29-year-old fashion designer writes: "I don't have natural good looks like some of you girls have. Rather, I bought my looks with money. And yes, I will definitely have haters for this.

"But I didn't do it out of insecurity; I did it because I was seeking improvement and, hopefully, perfection."

Yet even after spending $136,000 on 10 cosmetic operations over four years to enhance her features, Miss Koh does not feel any closer to looking perfect.

She rates herself 3.5 out of 5 points, she tells The New Paper on Sunday. She paid for her operation using part of the sale proceeds of a condominium unit that she had co-owned with her former boyfriend.

"Some people have told me that I could have donated the money to charity. But this is a personal choice and I am happy with it," she says.

Miss Koh declines to give a breakdown on the costs of her different operations.

She would only say that she had three operations on her eyes, including double eyelid surgery. Though she has double eyelids, she wanted them to be more visible, just like Caucasians.

She also had cosmetic surgery on her nose, chin, cheeks and ears.

What use is a pretty face without a perfect body?

So Miss Koh, who was having problems with her weight, went for ultrasonic liposuction on her thighs and arms.

She didn't like her broad shoulders and a plastic surgeon suggested breast implants to "balance" her look.

And if you are having breast implants, why not upsize?

So Miss Koh, who used to be a size 32A,now has 34C breasts.

Despite looking like a Japanese anime character after her cosmetic surgery, Miss Koh denies she did it to achieve the "anime girl" look.

Some netizens have criticised that look, but others have applauded her for being truthful and talking about her experiences on plastic surgery.

One netizen wrote: "Yucks, looks like an anime. Who on earth wanna do that? Looks damn ugly.

"All my friends say not only ugly, but brainless too, that you have to go under the knife to look like a cartoon."

Asked how she feels being in the spotlight of public scrutiny, Miss Koh replies: "When I go out, people don't recognise me. All these online comments do not bother me or affect my life.

"My family is supportive of me and proud of me for being honest with my surgery.

"I am not seeking fame, but I was merely sharing my experience in having gone through cosmetic surgery with people who might be interested to do the same."

She adds: "Many people misunderstood that I went for cosmetic surgery because I felt insecure. I never felt that way. In fact, I felt really awesome and pretty before my surgeries. I just wanted to look prettier."

So is spending $136,000 on cosmetic surgery overdoing it?

"Yes," says Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of The Sloane Clinic.

"Most of our patients don't spend so much. They are people from normal walks of life who may seek to enhance their appearances with double eyelid surgery or perhaps seek to have fillers to plump up their nasolabial (smile) lines... our patients are still more conservative in this sense."

Dr Georgia Lee of TLC Lifestyle Practice feels the amount is a lot if spent over a short period, but she declined to say more without knowing the exact details of Miss Koh's surgery.

Plastic surgeon Dr Chua Jun Jin says: "It is important to spend only on good results. If the results are good, it is worth every cent.

"I always ask patients for their concerns and desires. I will then tell them my analysis and what I would suggest. Older patients will benefit from bigger significant rejuvenation.

Younger patients should opt for subtle but pleasant rejuvenation.

"The smallest treatment with the best results is generally the best option. Less is more," adds Dr Chua, who is better known as Dr JJ Chua of JJ Chua Rejuvenative Cosmetic and Laser Surgery.

He says no data has been collected on the size of the aesthetic and beauty treatment markets here, but estimates it to be about $300 million annually.

Dr Lee says that figures from the West show that skin tightening procedures will expand from US$1 billion (S$1.26b) in 2007 to US$3 billion globally this year.

Body-shaping procedures will also expand from US$2 billion to US$6 billion.

"If our experience were to mirror the Western projections, it could mean a possible three-fold increase over the last five years," says Dr Lee.

The Sloane Clinic has seen a 20 per cent increase in demand for aesthetic services over the past year.

Dr Low attributes the increase to the introduction of new and innovative technology.

Media exposure of celebrities in places like Korea and Taiwan has also fuelled the rise in aesthetic procedures, she adds.

Nowadays, more people are also more willing to spend on these treatments and luxury skincare products.

Dr Lee says: "With growing affluence, $700 products may not seem as shocking as in the past. But on the flip side, there is a plethora of new products in the market and pricing can be very competitive for the younger consumers."

She has noticed that younger people are seeking non-invasive treatment.

"This does not include those seeking treatments for medical skin conditions like acne. There is also a perception that the trigger for cosmetic surgery has become lower," says Dr Lee.

"Some people will even take a weekend trip to neighbouring countries just to have these operations done."

As the market grows, Dr Chua says, the number of plastic surgeons and dermatologists are slowly increasing, though training positions are controlled by the Ministry of Health and Specialists Accreditation Board.

He adds: "General practitioners who do aesthetic medicine are increasing rapidly. And they do not need training."

There is no quota for them, which means anyone can go into the business and start treating patients, so beware of becoming a guinea pig, warns Dr Chua.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

readers' comments

he must be very good friend with you. this, he also tell u. :p
Posted by dimpleguy on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 14:46 PM

No. Mr Bao told me.:D
Posted by goondoon on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 14:44 PM

fantastic four? hahaha.
luckily yours is not the one that will catch fire. hahaha
Posted by dimpleguy on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 14:16 PM
she is ok lah, some parts are not real, but definitely not ugly in my books. but then again, who is real in this world now? some people hide their characters in front of others, this is also fake right?
Posted by A_Commoner on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 13:34 PM
Wow ... her parents funded $136K for her reconstruction .... so probably rich family dotter ... :p

The new look good leh .... artificial or natural oso no issue to man .... men who finds her attractive and can maintain his erection with her, she can be a perfect lover, sp or wife to him .... :D

Beauty is skin deep ... with that piece of skin .... who bothers to spend their time to even think of digging in to explore the "inner beauty" .... sad truth of life indeed.... :p
Posted by Small Fly on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 13:27 PM
She's still ugly. Just wonder how she looks b4 surgery???
Posted by Zuijiadeai on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 13:27 PM
Uhm. That's a lot of money and I don't see much of a difference. I'm much happier doing online shopping and changing my look via new clothes, new styles, new makeup... It can make quite a lot of difference what you wear and how your makeup highlights your best features. Not everything you see on a model will look good on you, so it's important to understand your body.

That's the key -- understanding what you are blessed with and work with that. I'd rather present my best self that way rather than have plastic in me just to look a bit prettier. Feels like I can't really accept that compliment? Besides, shopping is way more fun :) Like when I look for Singapore women's fashion online these days too, it's pretty awesome cos u can pick by categories. I like that store because it's big .....
Posted by allyyip90 on Wed, 6 Jun 2012 at 11:52 AM

mine is elastic lah :p:D
Posted by baoxingtian on Fri, 2 Mar 2012 at 21:00 PM
She is already pretty naturally. I do not understand or envy her at all. In a few years time when she gets older, her face will start to sag. At that time, her face will become even more terrible.
Posted by geewheez on Fri, 2 Mar 2012 at 15:06 PM

This, you also know? U went and have it done as well? :D
Posted by dimpleguy on Fri, 2 Mar 2012 at 14:08 PM

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