In 2012, South Korean pop star Psy released the summer smash hit, ‘Gangnam Style’. The track immediately went to number one around the world, shattering YouTube viewing figures in the process. The hit track even caught the attention of then-US President Barack Obama and former British Prime Minister David Cameron who attempted to perform the signature dance moves.

It was this K-pop breakthrough which introduced the genre to the world, who loved it. Not even Rolling Stone, a notoriously hard to please music magazine, could find a negative word to say about it. This success led to K-pop becoming recognized around the globe.

However, no other K-pop star has been able to replicate Psy’s success. Instead, they have become notorious for their extreme surgical enhancements which, to an outsider looking in, appears compulsory for anyone who wants to make it as a K-pop star. This obsession with surgery means that most of South Korea’s biggest stars are now completely unrecognizable…

1.Hyomin from T-ARA

Hyomin, from the girl band T-ARA, is arguably one of South Korea’s biggest stars, but to get there the 28-year-old rapper and singer had to make some changes to her appearance. “Our job requires us to give joy and entertain a lot of people, it’s impossible to do that if you’re not pretty,” she once rather openly told XO Quiz.

2. Shindong from Super Junior

Shindong has seen huge success as part of the band Super Junior, but would that have been the case if the 32-year-old hadn’t undergone surgery in his younger years? “One day, the president of our agency suggested I should have double eyelid surgery because I have an unpleasant look in my eyes, so I decided to follow his suggestion,” the radio personality once told MIJ.