Each year, thousands of people - particularly women in Asia - undergo plastic surgery to westernise their look. Procedures range from double eyelid surgery, to nose and chin augmentation.
But in a complete reversal, a 25-year-old Brazilian student has gone under the knife to make himself to look Asian.
Brazilian man undergoes surgery for Asian-look
Brazilian student Xiahn Nishi had plastic surgery to make his eyes smaller and look more Asian after falling in love with the culture while studying in South Korea.
Xiahn Nishi, who was previously named Max, underwent 10 procedures to give himself single eyelids, typical of those of Asian ethnicity, and make his eyes appear smaller. He has also experimented with hair colour, turning his dyed blond hair to bubblegum pink and now to its current dark shade of brown.
After being told by a number of surgeons that the eyelid surgery could not be done, he finally found a surgeon who agreed to perform a permanent procedure to close up the inner corner of his eye.
The skin around Nishi’s eyes was then injected with hyaluronic acid to increase the volume of his eyes. The chemical is often used in cosmetic procedures to smooth wrinkles.
“It was the first time this procedure was done,” Nishi said from his home in New Hamberg, south of Brazil.
“I think I look handsomer like this. Maybe some people think it’s not but I think it is.”
Nishi said his new look is temporary as the hyaluronic acid injection will last for two years before his eyes return to their original shape.
He said he has not decided if he will repeat the injections to maintain his new look.
While strangers wanting to befriend him on Facebook now ask whether he is Chinese or Korean, Nishi said he has not been treated any differently in his home town, which has a multicultural population.
“I don’t see myself as an Asian. I see myself as something in between,” he said.
“I just wanted my eyes to look that way. I don’t feel like I’ve become an Asian or a Korean person”.
The software programming student said he fell in love with Asian culture while on a university exchange in South Korea. He said he was surrounded by people who had undergone double-eyelid surgery to change the shape of their eyes to a western-look.
Like many before him, Nishi has copped criticism for wanting to alter his natural face and said he has received hundreds of emails from people telling him that his transformation is wrong and that “it’s better to look the way you were born”.
Last month, photos of a Japanese model who unveiled a new “elf-like” appearance after radical plastic surgery was criticised heavily on social media, while South Korean model Hong Yuh Reum revealed last week that she went under the knife to look like Australian model Miranda Kerr.
“Many people change their original look with make-up and look completely different so I think it’s the same with surgery,” Nishi said.
“I’ve always been shy but now I’m more happy, more confident with myself."
Nishi said that more than a thousand people had contacted him wanting to emulate his new Asian-look.
While he is currently jobless and has not modelled since he was 15-years-old, Nishi said he has been approached by a South American company selling Asian-styled clothing to reconsider a catwalk return.