China state media People's Daily openly criticises medical beauty ads

Chinese state media People’s Daily has issued a commentary article urging to regulate advertisements for cosmetic surgery, procedures and treatments as many of them have made excessive or false claims. 

In a Reuters report, the commentary wrote that medical beauty ads are overwhelmingly pervasive as they span across multiple touchpoints, including posters at bus stops and in subway, introductions on social websites and content platforms, ads planted in films and television variety shows, as well as promotions by livestreamers, adding that some ads even associate good looks with “high-quality”, “diligence” and “success”, fabricating stories about “plastic surgery changing one’s destiny” and distorting aesthetic perceptions.

In August, China’s market regulator drafted guidelines to regulate the medical aesthetics sector’s advertising practices, as it said that these ads were prompting societal anxiety over people’s appearance. According to the report, demand for plastic surgery or medical aesthetic treatment has boomed in China in recent years with some popular procedures including make one’s eyes wider or nose higher. However, these procedures have been criticised for failing to caution people about risks.

The report also cited figures from a report from Xinhua that quoted the figure from the Chinese Association of Plastics and Aesthetics, as the market for plastic surgery in China is expected to grow to ¥300 billion (US$46.54 billion) by 2022. 

The article could be a prelude to crackdowns on industries as the Chinese authority has been regulating a wide variety of industries over the past few months. Industries such as technology, education and property have been facing regulations from the government as the government hopes to strengthen their control over the economy and society after years of runaway growth.

Most recently, the Chinese authorities also put the entertainment industry in check. In a notice issued by the National Radio and Television Administration, the authority will crack down on several areas including effeminate male idols and flaunting wealth. 

The notice said it requires broadcasters to ban "deformed" tastes such as "sissy idols" who do not conform to macho or masculine male stereotypes prevalent in traditional Chinese culture. It also required a ban on flaunting wealth, vulgar influencers and gossips. 

In the same section "boycotting being overly entertaining", the notice said there should have been more emphasis on traditional Chinese culture, revolution culture, socialist culture that they will help establish a correct beauty standard.

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