‘Elf ears’ are a new surgery trend in China, say reports

·2 min read
Female ear and part of a cheek viewed from the side (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Female ear and part of a cheek viewed from the side (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A new surgery that changes people’s ears to appear more “elf-like” is reportedly gaining traction in China.

The aim of the cosmetic procedure is to make the ears more pointed and protrude upwards and outwards from the head, with the belief that this gives the overall face a slimmer appearance.

One doctor at Gaoshang Medical Cosmetic Center in the city of Guangzhou, Yu Wenlin, told the South China Morning Post he performs up to six of the surgeries every day.

Wenlin said the cosmetic procedure achieves an ear somewhere between a “Stahl’s ear” and a protruding ear.

A Stahl’s ear is when an extra crease or fold is present in the cartilage of the ear, giving a pointed appearance. As per the Post, a protruding ear is also considered a symbol of good luck in China.

One 20-year-old woman, Song Yao, who has undergone the procedure told Vice that “the results are very obvious. You can see my ears from the front, and overall I look more energetic”.

Elf ears are not the first bizarre beauty trend. In 2017, a cosmetic procedure that removes the appearance of “hip dips” gained popularity after celebrities such as Kendall and Kylie Jenner and Nicki Minaj posted pictures of their wider hips.

Hip dips are the inward depression along the side of the body where the hip bone connects to the thighs. They are a naturally occurring feature of the body.

In a bid to “fill in” this depression, Sculptra, a derma filler, is injected into the area to produce collagen around the hips.

While a movement towards body positivity has helped curb the trend – supermodel Bella Hadid regularly posts pictures of her hip dips – there has also been a rise in workout videos promising to help women achieve these “hourglass” figures.

Dr Sheila Nazarian, a Beverly Hills-based surgeon told Vice that hip dips cannot be eradicated through exercise.

“It’s annoying because I’ll go on Instagram and there will be these workout girls and they’ll have two million, three million followers, and it’s so clear to me as a surgeon that [their hip area] is not natural.

“Anyone who doesn’t have a hip dip has got something done,” she said.

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