Coco Lee and Asian Facial Surgery

Coco Lee

Since before my previous post on breast surgery, many people here have noted my comments on the facial surgery many of the models featured here have had, and wanted me to do a post on this phenomonon. Well finally here it is!

My post has been held up by my desire to find some good before and after pics to demonstrate this phenomonon. Well I’ve finally managed to find such pics of perhaps the most internationally successful oriental singer ever: Coco Lee. Amazingly, Coco claims to never have had any surgery! (This is a good example of how you can’t believe Asian models/performers when they say their natural.) I will discuss Coco herself a little more below, but first lets analyze the before and after pics above.The bottom two pics are Coco as she is today, whereas the top two were taken before she had any surgery. Perhaps the most obvious – and for me most tragic – difference is her slilicone chin implant. As can be seen, she always had a fairly prominent chin by Asian standards, but in her desire to look more western, she has made it even more so. So much so in fact that to me it now looks kind of ‘stuck on’. (Still, at least it doesn’t look as ridiculous as Reese Witherspoon’s chin implant – for me her chin looks like it belongs on a witch!). Sadly, this form of surgery is now very common for Asian models and performers, although because most other Asian girls don’t have a chin as naturally prominent as Coco’s, the result isn’t usually this exagerated.

The other obvious thing that can be seen is how different her eyes look. She has reshaped her eyebrows by removing her natural eyebrow hairs and replacing them with tattoos. Less obviously, she has also had some of the fat removed from her eyelids, which once again makes her eyes look a little less classically Asian and perhaps a little bigger. Once again, these procedures are very common for Asian models and performers these days, although in this case the results are actually a lot more subtle than many others and IMHO are quite successful.

Coco Lee

What can’t be readily seen from these photos is her nose job. Unlike many other Asian models/performers thse days, she doesn’t seem to have done anything to enlarge her nostrils, so from the front her nose looks pretty much the same as it always has. However, if you could see before and after profile shots (which unfortunately I couldn’t find), you would see that she has had a silicone implant inserted in the bridge of her nose, to make it higher (and once again more western). I find it ironic that so many western women have surgery to make their noses smaller, whereas Asian women have surgery to make them bigger! What a strange world…

Whether you like Coco’s facial surgery or not, it certainly hasn’t hurt her careeer! As stated above, she is probably the most internationally successful oriental singer ever. Indeed, she’s the only oriental singer I can think of who has really broken into the western market (unless you include half Chinese singer Bic Runga, who is very successful in Australia and New Zealand) – somebody please correct me if I’m forgeting someone! She got her big breakthrough in the US by performing “A Love Before Time”, the theme song from the huge hit Chinese film Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. She performed this song at the oscars that year, which makes her the first and so far only oriental singer to have performed at the Oscars, as far as I’m aware.

Although her music isn’t exactly my taste (the usual modern dance pop, although she’s released some pretty nice stuff in her home market), she is actually a very capable singer (she has quite a lovely voice), and is a pretty talented dancer and performer. She also has a nice, trim body, which she really knows how to show off – although I can’t stand her chin job, I still find her quite sexy!

She was born in Hong Kong, but she moved to the US with her family when she was only 10. It was there that she won the Miss Chinese America pageant in 1991 – this was before she had all the surgery! Two years later she returned to HK to take second prize in the New Talent Singing Contest there, which resulted in her recording contract. She also came 47th in Maxim magazine’s “Top 100 Sexiest Women in Asia” in 2000. Anyway, here’s some more pics so you can make up your own mind about her:

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0 thoughts on “Coco Lee and Asian Facial Surgery”

  1. so that pointy chin is asian idea of a “western” one?

    i will seach my HD for an old picture, titled “korean evolution”. basically, a collage of pictures showing a gradual progress of OK looking high-schoolers, to pretty college girls, to super hot korean singers & entertainers. i hope i still have it.

  2. Lee i love reading your posts. I’m discussing this post with my friend on msn this very minute.

    your posts always make great conversational topics

  3. Thanks Roley! I do try to focus on the sort of subjects and models that people can discuss, rather than simply posting about another pretty model.

  4. Thanks badboy! As I said, the Koreans really are the masters of this stuff (I really wish the American surgeons would learn a few things frim them).

  5. This discussion is continued from a thread that startedhere:

    Hi Lee, Either they have had facial surgery or not. And without absolute proof, that still makes your chance of being right 50/50. Of course you will rate your own (flawed) analysis at 90% because you are not objective. That is just human nature.

    I say flawed because you are making assumptions from what you see in photographs and not from actual proof. That is why you should always say something to the effect of: “Of course, I can’t be 100% sure.” or “I could be wrong”. Otherwise, you would be making a definitive statement without actual proof. You need to be more scientific about it.

  6. Statistically, the correct basis on which to start is that which reflects the actual ratios of what we are dealing with. And at present, the majority of Asian models (particularly in the US and Korea) have nose jobs, so we are already starting with a greater than 50/50 chance. Then the probability should be weighted in terms of the available evidence pro and con. When there are physical characteristics present that are far more likely to be the result of surgery than mother nature, then that will shift the probabilities away from 50/50 even further.

    The only question is exactly how far from 50/50 those probabilities should shift. And as far as that goes, the reader is free to make up their own mind. I express my opinion and the basis on which I draw my conclusion, and you are free to decide whether I am right or not. Scientifically, nothing is ever truly 100% certain, so to state this repeatedly is superfluous.

  7. I think the fundamental problem here is that many people (like NorthMan) seem to have the attitude that we should assume a model hasn’t had surgery unless we can absolutely prove otherwise. But absolute proof is almost impossible to come by, and this approach is neither scientific nor statistically valid. There is no logical reason to favour one conclusion over the other, especially when that conclusion is statistically less likely than the opposite one.

  8. No Lee, you can’t say “nothing is ever truly 100% certain”. If you witnessed an actual plastic surgery yourself, wouldn’t you then be 100% certain that the patient had surgery?

    And just because proof is hard to come by, it doesn’t mean one should not strive to get proof.

    But if what you you say is true, that “nothing is ever truly 100% certain”, then that includes your opinions too.

    You’re making this discussion too complicated. My only point is this: You should always leave open the possibility you *might* be wrong when saying you believe a model has had facial surgery….if you are basing it on viewing photographs. Of course, you might be right too. Whatever the percentage 50/50 or 90/10 or 70/30, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t say its 100/0 or 0/100.

    The reason I started this discussion is that, not always but on occasion, you make definitive claims as if it’s a fact. I’ll let you know the next time you do it. 🙂

  9. Scientifically, nothing is ever 100% certain. Human senses are fallible. Whatever you think you see may be an illusion or a deception. So even apparently seeing surgery take place is still not absolute 100% certainty in scientific terms (and don’t forget, you’re the one who accused me of not being scientific!).

    So for practical reasons, when we judge something to be reasonably certain, we don’t bother to state any uncertainty. The fact that I am alive makes me reasonably certain that my parents had sex at least once, even though I obviously wasn’t there to see it happen. And giving an opinion – by it’s very nature – always contains an element of uncertainty. Once again, this goes without saying, so why bother to repeatedly state the obviuos? I will state any uncertainty when asked (as in the case of Morishita) or when I really am quite uncertain (as in the case of Sunisa).

  10. Oh yeah – as for the issue of proof, it is once again illogical, ascientific and statistically invalid to state that one side of an argument has to prove their case absolutely, while the other does not. There is just as much burden of proof on the opposing side – indeed, even more so, given that the stats are against it.

  11. “And giving an opinion – by it’s very nature – always contains an element of uncertainty.”

    Glad to hear you say this and I agree.

    The only thing I’ll say is that sometimes you don’t phrase it like an opinion. For example in this piece (above) about Coco Lee, these sound like you are stating facts not opinions:

    “The bottom two pics are Coco as she is today, whereas the top two were taken before she had any surgery. Perhaps the most obvious – and for me most tragic – difference is her slilicone chin implant.”


    “What can’t be readily seen from these photos is her nose job.”


    “Whether you like Coco’s facial surgery or not…..”

    See what I mean? YOU decided she had facial surgery (which may or may not be true) and then wrote the whole piece as if it was fact.

    The point is not if you are right or wrong. The point is that you sometimes present your opinions as facts and I’m just saying you should be more conscious of that.

  12. Well, in this case the Chinese media are unanimous that she has had facial surgery, and the before and after photos do clearly demonstrate this – I believe I can be reasonably certain in this case. And the whole point of this article was to present a well-documented case of facial surgey, at the request of several of our readers at the time.

  13. OK, that’s cool. I won’t harp too much on what you’ve written in the past because you didn’t have the benefit of my input then. We’ll see how you do in your future writings though. 🙂

  14. Well NorthMan, I think you’ll find doing so akin to beating your head against a wall – I can argue science, semantics and statistics ’til the cows come home. 🙂

    I will openly admit when I am wrong (as I did in bold letters in the Sunisa post!); indeed, being proven wrong is a great opportunity to learn something new. But unfortunately, that is rare. 😉

  15. Lee…..It was good that we had the above exchange because it has helped me to focus in on just the one main point I’m trying to get across:

    Sometimes when you state your opinion, you phrase it as if it’s a fact. A new example. In the Tia Tanaka story, you stated:

    “I do think she is more natural looking than most of the new generation of import models – refreshingly she doesn’t have any odd facial surgery (yet).”

    The first part was good because you started it with “I do think”. But in the second part you are making what sounds like a statement of fact.

    “…refreshingly she doesn’t have any odd facial surgery (yet).”

    My suggestion is that you should start such comments with something like:

    “It looks to me….” or “In my eyes….” or “In my opinion…”

    That’s it. I have no interest in discussing what brought you to your conclusion. That is not my point. My suggestion is simply that you should phrase your opinions in such a way that they come across as opinions and not as what appears to be statements of fact.

    That is reasonable right?

  16. Well NorthMan, in this case it is pretty much a statement of fact. Tia’s face doesn’t look odd, it looks natural – hence, she does not have any odd facial surgey. She may have had some facial surgey that I can’t detect, but if she does it looks quite natural (I think she may have had the usual nose job, but I’m definitely not sure one way or the other in this case). Hence – even if she has had facial surgery – it is not, by definition, odd.

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