South Korean Woman Who Underwent Multiple Plastic Surgeries Says 'I Have Sinned'

( [email protected] ) Jun 25, 2014 04:11 PM EDT
South Korean Plastic Surgery Jessica Choi
Ms. Choi documents her recovery. (ABC Nightline)

After experiencing a grueling five plastic surgery procedures on her face, Jessica Choi expressed regret, telling ABC News that she had sinned.

"I feel like I've sinned," Choi, 33, said in a "Nightline" broadcast last week. "I just kept hearing God's voice saying, 'Sweetheart, why would you do this? I made you perfect.'"

According to ABC News' "Nightline's" program, one in five women in South Korea undergo extensive plastic surgery to change the way they look. Choi, a property manager for a real estate company in Los Angeles, was among the women documented in the feature.

She told ABC that she had her first procedure of getting double eyelids done in high school, and later got her nose done. But still not satisfied, she went to South Korea to achieve the perfect look.

Just before her surgery in Korea, Choi told the surgeon and assistants in the operating room, "We're starting? Okay. Jesus loves everybody."

She had her nose redone, her jaw contoured, her eyes enlarged and fat from her abdomen was grafted to her forehead to get the "doll-like" features thought to be the standard of beauty.

"You see one girl walking down the street, and then you see another girl that looks just like her-but it's not the same girl," says 19 year old Christina Lim, who underwent surgery on her jaw and nose.

"Everyone looks exactly the same. Everyone wants to be beautiful."

"... what's really unnerving is the push towards uniformity," Dodai Stewart wrote for in an article titled, "I Can't Stop Looking at These South Korean Women Who've had Plastic Surgery."

 "Instead of celebrating quirks or camouflaging flaws, these photos show a burning desire to fit inside a very narrow scope of what's seen as beautiful. It's not about what's inside, it's not about character, it's about an artificial ideal."

Following her surgery, Choi was in extreme pain.

"If I knew what I had to go through ahead of time, there's no way I would be able to go through it again. Going through this is so hard. I feel like I've sinned," she said through tears.

But several months after Choi's recovery, she was singing a different tune.

"I love it," she said of the results. "I feel softer. I feel more feminine. I have to say this: Koreans are perfectionists. They perfected a nose that an American doctor just messed up. Lord have mercy, it's beautiful," she said.

However, Choi acknowledges that beauty comes from the inside.

"I have a wonderful personality. I want the outside to reflect that," she said.

After enduring an abusive relationship where her face was disfigured, Choi says she feels her surgeries represent a shedding of her old self.

"It's not as shallow as it may seem at first glance," she added.