Research Findings |Expert Interviews

Original brainstorming related to this project: feminism, physical characteristics, body shaming, male gaze, female gaze, identity, individuality, the definition of beauty, power intersect, race and culture, media and social influences …..

Supported by previous secondary research, I continued emphasising on ( what caused such appearance anxiety for women) the following summarised aspects:

1. Plastic surgery; –potential interview with expert: Plastic surgeon, doctors, consultant at plastic surgeons?

2. Photoshop; Attire; – Blogger, influencers, fashion photographers, fashion magazines

3. Social media influence; – Bloggers, influencers…

4. Makeup and skincare; – Bloggers, influencers, weibo and redbook contents, marketing and branding teams…

5. Lifestyle and gymming habits.  – Bloggers, influencers? Who else?

I found myself stuck with understanding the term stakeholders and the role of experts played in this project. Speaking with fellow students on the course was helpful, we discussed our updates, tutor’s feedbacks and how we can push findings further then develop further into interventions.

I contacted Ming, a designer friend of mine for putting me in contact with plastic surgeons, plastic surgeon consultants, and fashion photographers in Beijing.

I explained my project and the experts I would like to interview, listed a few key points I would like to ask about.

Plastic surgeon:

Zhou Li, expert in eye plastic surgery and rhinoplasty at Shanghai Muyan Medical outpatient (上海慕颜医疗门诊部 李舟 眼鼻科首席医师)

Consultant: Una Xu at Shanghai Muyan Medical outpatient

  1. 来贵院咨询整容/医美手术的性别比例是怎样的?
    What is the sex ratio of consulting cosmetic/aesthetic surgery in your hospital? 

Female: 70%, male: 30% 

  1. 其中女性的年龄占比是怎样的?
    Among them, what is the age distribution of women? 

20%在18-25 岁,40%在25-30 岁,30%在30-40 岁,10%在40-50 岁
20% aged 18-25, 40% aged 25-30, 30% aged 30-40 and 10% aged 40-50 

  1. 男性年龄占比?
    What is the age distribution of men? 

10%在18-25 岁,60%在25-35 岁,30%在35-40 岁。
10% aged 18-25, 60% aged 25-35 and 30% aged 35-40. 

  1. 各个年龄段女性顾客咨询最多的项目是什么?
    What are the most consulted items for female customers of all ages? 

18-25 岁之间咨询的最多的是鼻子和眼睛。25-35 岁是面部脂肪填充和隆胸。35-50 岁私密部位保养和抗衰。
Women between the ages of 18 and 25 consult the nose and eyes the most. Women aged 25-35 consulted most about facial fat filling and breast augmentation. Women aged 35-50 consulted most about private parts maintenance and anti-aging.

  1. 从您的角度看,近年来的审美标准是否对求美者所咨询/做的项目产生影响,如果是可否举几个例子?(前几年鼻子什么样子的,近几年流行做的项目和前些年有什么区别)
    Do you think the aesthetic standards in recent years have affected the consultation/item of beauty seekers? If so, could you give some examples? (What was the nose like a few years ago? What is the difference between popular items in recent years and previous years?) 

A few years ago, the popular nose type was the high-flown Korean-style small nose. Since last year, many customers have had their noses remoulded. They want to change into natural small straight nose, commonly known as “Masheng nose”. This type of nose is more physiological, more eye-catching and advanced.

  1. 是否有多次整容或者进行多项整容手术的顾客?可否浅谈一下他们不断进行手术的驱动力是什么? (修复,改进等等)
    Are there any customers with multiple cosmetic surgery? Could you talk about their motivation for multiple surgeries? (restore, improvement, etc.) 

Yes, a lot. Their motives are: Aesthetic changes at different ages; The influence of their living environment; Capitals; Jobs; Unbearable failure of previous surgeries; The psychology of demanding perfection.

  1. 除去手术项目之外,咨询最多,做的最多的其他项目是什么呢?可否举几个例子(例如医美,护肤,打针等等)
    Apart from surgery, what are the other items with the most consultation and the most implementation? Could you give us some examples (such as medical beauty, skin care, injections, etc.) 


  1. 在您看来求美者来医院咨询想改善是出于什么样的出发点?可否延展聊一下?(例如,朋友推荐,明星效应,医院的广告宣传,自我不满意,功能性改善等等)
    What do you think is the original intention of beauty seekers to come to the hospital for consultation? Could you elaborate? (for example, friend’s recommendation, celebrity’s influence, hospital advertising, self-dissatisfaction, functional improvement, etc.) 

Most clients who come to the hospital are dissatisfied with their current situation and want to improve. Others are influenced by the external environment and recommended by friends. They see the changes of their friends after the medical beauty item, and they are more motivated to change. 

  1. 可否大概透露下几个热门项目的价位呢?医院的位置在哪里呢?(通过调研平均求美者在整形医美项目上花费个人收入的比例,从而扩展探讨现代社会审美标准对女性身材样貌造成焦虑的程度)
    Could you tell us the price of some popular items? Where is the address of the hospital? (Through the proportion of average beauty seekers’ spending on medical beauty programs and personal income, the degree of anxiety caused by modern social aesthetic standards on women’s figure and appearance is expanded) 

Nasal overall: 60,000-70,000; eye overall: 15,000-25,000. 



Journal article:

  • The Demands of Beauty: Editors’ Introduction by Heather Widdows and Fiona MacCallum:

Online Articles:

  • 人类学者文华:整容不等同于虚荣,它是社会变迁一部分
  • 那些选择整容的中国女性,个人自由选择或消费主义压迫

The surgeons have a lot of young women coming in trying to look like models and celebrities on social media, we see all of these models on Instagram, all of these people who put up pictures where sometimes I have little rants about how this is not realistic, you don’t know if this is lighting, if this is a pose, or if it’s photoshop.

Dr Li thinks social media can have a negative effect, and that is what he deals with every day. He’s been trying to educate people that this is not normal. He tries to show what is real, what is normal, and what is not normal. Dr. Li reckons it allows for patients to see the procedure for what it is. Him and the consultant advertise their past successful cases on social media too. “If they haven’t seen my work yet, I tell them to look me up on social media so that they can get an understanding of what work I am able to do.” Said Dr. Li

I then asked “What does beauty look like, according to you as a plastic surgeon?” as my final question.

“The ideal of beauty was set by the Greek, and it’s all about proportions. Beauty today is distorted, in my opinion. There’s something called the Golden Ratio, and that is the mathematical equation of beauty—how things considered beautiful fit into certain patterns. That being said, today, it is so different. The trends we talked about earlier they do not fit into golden ratio. I wouldn’t call people who come to consult ‘patients’, I’d rather refer them as ‘beauty-chasers'(求美者). As long as you have a standard of your own and finding the right surgeon for the style you personally interested in, then as the result you’d eventually fitin to the standard or the goal of your own.” Dr. Li paused awhile then answered.

Fashion Photographer: Zoe Chen, Photographer and Project Manager at Layer Studio Shanghai (上海图层文化工作室)

Layer Studio’s leaflet

  1. 在您拍摄的人像摄影作品中男女比率大致是怎样的呢?
    What is the ratio of male to female in your portrait photography? 
  2. 对您来说创造出一个好的人像作品的的重要因素有哪些? (灯光,设备,pose,妆发,个人情感表达等等)
    In your opinion, what are the important factors in creating good portrait photography? (lighting, equipment, pose, make-up, personal emotional expression, etc.) 
  3. 在您拍摄过的人像作品中是否有些时尚方面的作品,可以和我们浅谈一下您的经历吗?对于时尚摄影的创作来说最重要的因素是什么呢?
    Are there any fashion items in your portrait photography? Could you share with us your experiences? What is the most important factor in the creation of fashion photography? 
  4. 对于您接触过的客户群体来说,关于修图方面的需求是否有性别方面的区别?可否扩展聊一下男女客户群体的修图标准相似点以及区别呢?
    Is there a gender difference in the need for photoshop among your customer group? Could you talk about the similarities and differences of photoshop standards between male and female customer groups? 
  5. 我的课题是探讨现代社会审美对于女性身材以及样貌焦虑的影响,从后期修图这一角度来说,您认为女性人像后期修图的主流审美是什么?这几年间这个所谓的主流审美是否有了一些变化?如果是,可否简单聊一下是产生了哪些细节的变化呢?
    My subject is to explore the influence of aesthetics in modern society on women’s body and appearance anxiety. In the later photoshop, what do you think is the mainstream aesthetic of the later photoshop of female portrait photography? Has the so-called mainstream aesthetics changed in recent years? If so, could you talk about what details have changed? 

1、我主要做商业类拍摄,服装类,产品Key Vision都会根据使用需求拍摄,所以男女比例差不多。男40% 女60%吧
1. I mainly focus on commercial shooting. Clothing category, product Key Vision will be shot according to use demand. Therefore, the ratio of male to female is similar. 40% for men and 60% for women 

2. Any factor of a good work is very important, and professionalism is also reflected in taking care of more details as much as possible. If several proportions are provided at present, the proportion of light will be larger, and soft light, hard light, warm and cold, and ambient light will express ideal emotions very intuitively. 

3. Although fashion itself is always changing, the change of good standards is not particularly significant, so it is beneficial to review many of Guy Bourdin’s fashion works after several decades. Around 2008, I started shooting many fashion magazines and celebrity artists, and now I focus on serving commercial products. I think the expression of emotion in fashion creations is very important, but emotion is not only the performance of models. Every shot has a theme, so they are the accumulation of various details. 

4. For girls, the standard of photoshop is thin face, smooth and delicate skin, big boobies, thin waist and good figure. Men mainly want to show texture, and their skin doesn’t need to be smooth. There will also be differences in lighting, one softer and the other harder. 

5. Everyone is more tolerant and can accept the characteristics of personality. Girls with non-mainstream aesthetics are also confident and have more suitable clothes, which is impressive.