ACADEMIC certificates no longer guarantee graduates a good head-start in the workforce. Most Chinese youngsters believe that their future is very much determined by their appearance.

“Undergo cosmetic surgery before seeking a job”, “Earn a living with your face” and “Face value is justice” have become catchphrases among school-leavers in recent years.

“There is nothing wrong with achieving a different look. Nobody would not want to be beautiful,” Internet user Piao commented on a Baidu chat group.

“Studying hard and behaving well are no longer the only core duties of students. They must also learn to maintain a good look to prepare for the working world,” another responder wrote.

There is a trend in China where students rush to change their looks during the long summer and winter holidays.

Industry players are more than happy to cash in and have launched “attractive packages” specially catering for students during these seasons.

Among the popular treatments favoured by students are hyaluronic acid and botox injections. Only about 40% of them opt to go under the knife.

But what is disturbing is that those who seek cosmetic surgery for beautification purposes are getting younger each year.