It seems young Chinese girls are constantly desiring to be something they are not. Rather than embracing their natural self, a fake version – just like in China’s clothing markets – is more desirable.

Not only is plastic surgery now more common in China and South Korea than any other nation, but digital photo manipulation is also trending here. Perhaps this is due to a lack of individualism.

Historically, women in China have striven to express themselves through their appearance. After all, it is the one thing they have complete power over that can never be controlled by a patriarchal government.

But this leaves us wondering why they want to look Western, the very power that once caused so much harm in the colonial era?

With Shanghai being the most populated city of present-day China, local women must now feel the competitive need to be noticed first by jobs and men, who consider being skinny and small as beautiful, while tall or plump or even slightly muscular is seen as undesirable.