What kind of reward would you expect from your parents if you returned an excellent score from the National College Entrance Examinations (NCEE)? A trip, brand clothes or a bag, or a new Apple laptop or Ipod?
All these seem too old-fashioned for some students nowadays. There are a growing number of students who would prefer to reward themselves with a prettier face or a more shapely body.
Shelly Wang, who refused to give her real name, achieved a high score in the NCEE and will set off to her dream university in Beijing in September. Because of her outstanding performance in the exams, her parents gave her two presents as rewards. One was a trip to Japan with her friends, and the other, far beyond her expectation, was her parents agreeing to pay for her eyelid surgery that would make her eyes look bigger.
"I was so surprised that they allowed me to do the operation and thanked them so much for that," Wang told the Shenzhen Daily on Friday.
Wang had always admired girls with big shining eyes. Sometimes, she expressed her feelings to her mother as a joke, but she did not expect her parents to offer her a coupon for the eyelid surgery after the NCEE.
"Actually her father and I had several serious talks about the subject. After all it's an operation, not something to be joked about. But we know that image is very important in today's society .
"if a child is not satisfied with a certain part of her body and a small operation can help improve it, why not try?" said Wang's mother, Wu.
Wang is not the only person to undergo cosmetic surgery after the NCEE. According to many cosmetic surgical hospitals and beauty salons, the number of high school students undergoing surgery had been increased by nearly 30 percent over the summer vacation.
"We have had more than 60 surgical procedures every day over the summer vacation and nearly half were for students," Liang Xiaojian, chief doctor of the Shenzhen Fuhua Plastic & Aesthetic Hospital, said on Saturday.
"More and more students who have just graduated from high school came here for consultations or reservations for cosmetic surgery. I remember clearly that the second day after the NCEE, we had more than 30 calls from students," said Liang.
The increase in the number of students undergoing cosmetic surgery may be due to the influence of South Korean and Japanese fashion trends, said Liu Dongsheng, a doctor from the Shenzhen Sun Hospital.
"With the improvement of technology, small procedures such as eyelid surgery and the excision of scar tissue are becoming more and more common," said Liu.
Not only were girls pursuing a better look, more and more boys were also coming for liposuction (the removal of excess fat) for a better body shape, said Liu.
The most popular procedure for students was eyelid surgery as it was with little risk, said Liang. Keloplasty (the removal of scar tissue) and nose jobs were also popular.
"In my experience, most students wanted operations so they could apply for acting courses or imitate celebrities," said Liang.
"But sometimes, we have students who bring a picture of a celebrity and insist on being like her. I turned down requests like these from at least five girls this summer because it is totally against the purpose of plastic surgery," said Liang.
Plastic surgery is not painting whatever you want, he said. "Every little change should be done according to your own situation. Blindly imitating a celebrity can only harm yourself," said Liang.
However, although everyone had the right to pursue beauty, students should think it through before undergoing any surgery on the body, said Li Kaixin, a psychological consultant from Tianle Psychological Consultants Co. Ltd., in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.
There are several procedures which are not good for students, said Liang. For example, breast implants is better done by women who have already given birth because the surgery could cause a negative influence to the development of breasts and breast feeding in the future .
"A teenager's pursuit of a better appearance is understandable as they are at the age of caring too much about other people's comments. But too much emphasis on appearance is not a good thing as it's a sign of a lack of confidence," said Li.