Looking '30 years younger' for love
Weather-beaten farmer, 69, undergoes plastic surgery to look closer to the age of her husband, 37
Four days after a facelift, 69-year-old Liaoning farmer Ma Yuqin's new look was unveiled yesterday and she will go home early next week with her 37-year-old husband, Li Yucheng , to resume their unconventional love story.
Although Mr Li, who is also a farmer in Linghai , had repeatedly said he did not care about their 32-year age difference, the weather-beaten Ms Ma insisted on having plastic surgery to remove the wrinkles on her face so she could look closer to her husband's age.
On Sunday Ms Ma's dream since their marriage 11 years ago finally came true.
Doctors at Shenyang's Apricot Plastic and Aesthetic Hospital performed a two-hour operation during which they removed three strips of skin ranging in size from 15 sq cm to 28 sq cm from incisions near Ms Ma's hairline and ears.
'Ms Ma's case was an unprecedented challenge because of her age and the fact she had so many wrinkles, which made her look like an 80-year-old lady,' a hospital spokeswoman said. 'But it turned out to be a success and she will look 20 to 30 years younger.'
The spokeswoman said the normal charge for such a facelift would be 20,000 to 30,000 yuan, but considering the difficult financial situation faced by the couple, who make a living through farming and rubbish collection, the hospital waived the entire fee.
Mr Li said he supported his wife's decision, although he had never cared about her age, appearance or the gossip of outsiders. 'She is extremely happy about it,' Mr Li said. 'I am supportive of anything that makes her happy.'
He said they were brought together by er ren zhuan, or two-person show, a traditional form of double-act comedy combined with deft juggling popular in the northeast.
His wife was an excellent amateur performer while he was initially one of her students.
'She is so attractive on stage - hilarious, tiny and lovely,' Mr Li said. 'I was so deeply attracted to her that three years after we first met I proposed to her.'
Ms Ma was shocked initially and refused his proposal. Her first husband passed away in 1985, leaving two sons behind. The elder one is 10 years older than her husband.
However, Mr Li didn't give up and proposed to her again one month later. This time he won her heart. 'When we decided to get married, almost every member of the families on both sides strongly opposed it,' Mr Li said. 'But now, after 11 years, we've proved that we can have a happy life together, no matter what others think about us.'