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'Elf ears' are the creepy new plastic surgery trend in China
Published on: 2021-06-21
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For centuries, pointy elven ears were viewed by many as an undesirable beauty flaw — now young people are lining up to get them.
 

In China, many women are getting dangerous plastic surgery to attain “elf ears.” Most, though, are not striving to look like J. R. R. Tolkien’s Legolas or J.K. Rowling’s Dobby. These beauty seekers claim that by enlarging their ears, their faces look slimmer and thus more attractive.
 

“The results are very obvious,” Song Yao, a clothing store owner from Hangzhou who underwent the surgery, told Vice. “You can see my ears from the front, and overall I look more energetic.”
 

Song perked up her ears for about 10,000 yuan in part because many Chinese female celebrities were also hyping the trend.
 

“I only realized that actually many young people, mostly post-2000s, were looking for ways to make ‘elf ears’ after I helped one online celebrity do it at the beginning of last year,” Dr. Yu Wenlin, of the Gaoshang Medical Cosmetic Center in Guangzhou, told the South China Morning Post. “Then more and more people came to me after that.”
 

The procedure to get these elf ears typically involves injecting hyaluronic acid, which is often used in dermal fillers, into the ears so that they become plump. Others insert a piece of cartilage behind the ear to prop it forward so that they are visible from a frontal face view.
 

Protruding ears are traditionally considered a symbol of good luck in China, which has helped the elf-ear trend to take over local social media platforms like Weibo, where a Chinese hashtag translating to “elf ears plastic surgery” has attracted over 700 million views. Many videos of users with surgically altered ears have also gone viral on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok.
 

“It is magic! I haven’t changed anything on my face and yet all my friends said I look different the day I got it done. (My face looked smaller, and I looked smarter etc),” one happy patient said of the cosmetic procedure on the Chinese lifestyle sharing platform Xiaohongshu.
 

However, despite all the newfound popularity, the trend has received a lot of pushback both from social media users and medical professionals. Another viral hashtag on Weibo garnering over 200 million views asks: “What do you think of social appearance anxiety progressing to involve the ears?”
 

整成“精灵耳”能变美?别盲目跟风

为了让耳朵看上去像电影里的“精灵”,一次性注射数十支玻尿酸;为了让小腿瘦下来,不惜切断小腿神经……近日,“精灵耳”整容、小腿肌肉阻断术等被网友戏称“自残式”的整容项目经一些网红主播宣传,流行于网络,一度登上热搜。
 

“我和你们说,这个‘精灵耳’简直绝了,打完立马显脸小……”某社交平台上,一位拥有数百万粉丝的主播正通过直播分享。她侧脸向粉丝们展示自己一对支起的耳朵,声称曾向这里一次性注入20余支玻尿酸。在这个直播间,不断有粉丝在下方刷屏烘托气氛,惊叹“脸型好小,好显瘦”、“想去”、“被种草”、“已经下单”。
 

这位主播向粉丝力荐的“精灵耳”,医学上的原理其实并不复杂。打造所谓的“精灵耳”,有手术和玻尿酸填充两种方式,目的都是让整形者的耳朵支撑起来,从而形成像电影里精灵耳朵一样的效果。
 

与“精灵耳”同样被热炒的,还有被网友们调侃为“整形妖术”的小腿肌肉阻断术,其走红也是缘于某些知名博主的分享。其医学原理就是将受术者小腿里的神经切断,形成肌肉萎缩,从而呈现出小腿变瘦的视觉效果。
 

在小红书上,“精灵耳”整形、小腿肌肉阻断术等已经成为热门话题,阅读量已分别达到了7.1亿次和3.1亿次,参与人数均已突破千万。值得注意的是,两类话题下,热度排名最高的跟帖均是来自各大整形医院的广告内容。

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