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Picture of 2013 Miss Korea Beauty Queen "Clones" Goes Viral

Update Date: Apr 26, 2013 09:18 AM EDT

The growing obsession with plastic surgery in South Korea is once again under media scrutiny after pictures of a group of Miss Korea 2013 contestants posted online prompted claims that the Asian country's craze for cosmetic procedures have left all the aspiring beauty queens looking like clones.

All the contestants in the pictures have perfectly styled dark hair, either swept over their shoulders or neatly tied up, pale skin, big eyes, thin noses and bright, white smiles.

The pictures posted on Reddit by user ShenTheWise with the caption, "Korea's plastic surgery mayhem is finally converging on the same face. Here are the miss korea 2013 contestants," sparked speculation that many of the beauty contestants had undergone cosmetic procedure and prompted criticism that South Korea's plastic surgery trend is indeed spinning out of control.

It's no secret that South Korea is the country with the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery in the world.  According to statistics from the Internation Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, one in five women in the country's capital city Seoul have undergone some kind of cosmetic procedure.

The popularity for cosmetic procedure, particularly among women aged 19 to 49, has been blamed by some on a desire to look more "western".

More than 3,000 people commented in response to the picture post.

"Those women in fact do look unnervingly similar and yes, Koreans think so too," Reddit user HotBrownie from Seoul wrote. "This is called the Korean plastic face look. In certain areas of Seoul, you would think all the women are sisters because they look so similar due to same surgeries. Without the plastic surgery, korean women are very diverse looking and easily can be told apart."

"The surgery takes away their individuality and uniqueness and its sad. Most are beautiful without it but telling them that their Korean ethnic features are in fact lovely is as effective as screaming at a brick wall," HotBrownie added.

Another Reddit user Forevertravelling wrote that older women in Korea complain that, nowadays, young girls in Korea don't look Korean because of all the plastic surgery.

"It's so common to the point if I meet a girl, I just assume she has had something done," Forevertravelling added. "Girls here consider eye surgery just like using make up."

While many of commentators on Reddit argued that the contestant pictures are proof that South Korea's plastic surgery craze has spun out of control.  Other commentators accused ShenTheWise of being racist.

Some Reddit users argued that pageant participants in all countries tend to fit a certain standard of beauty.  Others argue that all the pictures served to prove that there is a cultural divide between the east and west in terms of plastic surgery.

"Western women want to exaggerate their features with plastic surgeries (fuller lips, bigger boobs, bigger butts) while Asian women want to refine their features (smaller chins etc) so there is definitely a cultural divide when it comes to plastic surgery," HerpDerpDrone wrote.

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