From having a portrait taken at a professional photo studio to getting a makeover at the local salon, Guangzhou's urbanites are as vigilant as any cosmopolitan girl when it comes to the quest for beauty and glamour. But this summer, more than 30 teenagers took vanity a stage further, by going for cosmetic surgery at the No1 Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical College. According to a report in the New Express, the youngest was just 14. Hospital staff said about 80 per cent of the procedures performed were for 'westernised' double-folded eyelids, and surgery on the nose, so patients could look more like certain celebrities. The report said that many of the teenagers were changing their appearance to increase their chances of getting a better job in the future. And parents, it seems, are encouraging their children to have the surgery. 'It is strange that the parents did not want to stop their children. Some even wanted their children to have the surgery more than the children themselves,' said Dr Wang Susheng, director of the hospital's orthopaedics department. 'I remember that during the 1980s, it was often the parents who dragged their children out of the hospital when they planned to have this kind of surgery behind their back. Now, it's the other way round.' The procedures do not come cheap. According to the hospital's information hotline, cosmetic surgery on the nose can cost up to 6,000 yuan (HK$5,640), while an operation for double-folded eyelids costs between 1,000 and 1,500 yuan. In recent years, more and more teenagers have been spending their hard-earned money on photo shoots to record their youthful beauty. Packed studios like Bassar, on Huanshi Road, and Lemon Tree Studio, on Beijing Road, are testament to this, where customers wait to have their photos taken against different backdrops, looking their best. But this summer's move by some towards preserving, rather than recording their youth, could herald a disturbing new trend. For now, though, it is still a minority of teenagers who are opting for surgery. 'In our school there are several students who had cosmetic surgery this summer. Most of them just want to look a little different,' said Eva Zhong, a second-year student at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. 'But most of my classmates think it's a bit strange to have this kind of surgery if you don't really need it. Besides, after you have the surgery and you're not satisfied with the results, then what? You'll really regret it.'