This is not what it seems to be. Yes, it is a beauty contest, but don't thank nature. This recent pageant had one rule: it was only open to women who've had plastic surgery.
CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen reports it's
Vivian Ngai is a happy part of this new boom. A fan of cosmetic surgery for herself, she also runs one of the many clinics that cater to men and women who like to look, among other things, less Chinese.
What do Chinese women want their eyes to look like? "Bigger eye," Ngai says, "and like Western eye."
One client is back for more. She's already had eye surgery and her chin smoothed; now it's time to tuck the skin under her chin.
She's 32 and wants to look 22. That's why the "Before and After" book is stuffed with happy customers who wouldn't settle for the looks nature gave them.
It's not just about vanity. In this society, people are judged for jobs and promotions often by how they look. There are reports about people not getting hired because they were deemed too short or too ugly.
That's why Darren wanted a bigger chin to make a better impression as a TV personality. After the surgery, he got a promotion and a surprising reaction.
"People say he's slimmer," says Ngai. "They won't notice chin augmentation but people say, 'What did you do? You slimmed down.'"
So more and more Chinese unhappy with their looks are grabbing their wallets: fixing the eyes, about $500; a new nose a mere $700.
It's said that money can't buy happiness, but it's sure helping many people here put on a happy face.