The recent allegations against Michael Jackson are yet to be resolved, but one thing is clear: plastic surgery is a spooky business. Consider the case of Niuniu's cousin, Lingling, who felt that she wasn't attractive. The real problem was in her mind, not in her looks. But for 300,000 yuan Lingling was able to buy herself a cosmetic surgery package that included liposuction on her rear, double-eyelids and a 3cm lengthening of her legs. Thinking ahead, Lingling invited the Chinese media to record the surgical process. A short while after her recovery, she unveiled her new goods to rave reviews. Now she is registered with a top modelling agency in Beijing and has offers flooding in from film producers and book publishers. Lingling no longer has to sleep her way to the top like the rest of us. But, if she wants to, she's got the ideal package to do it with. 'Niuniu, you really have to try this,' Lingling says. 'It'll do wonders for you. Look at me, I'm not only a beauty, but a celebrity, too.' 'Oh, I don't think I could do something as drastic,' says Niuniu. It's Friday night at Niuniu's place. The usual crew - Lulu, Beibei, and Cici - has come over for a meal. 'Do you know what my friends said to me?' asks Cici. 'They said I have a fat ass! Do I have a fat ass?' 'No way,' says Niuniu. 'They're so rude.' 'Do you know that girls in China don't care much about being flat-chested?' asks Beibei. 'They are more paranoid about gaining weight. I bet if Jennifer Lopez walked down a Beijing street, she'd be laughed at for her butt.' 'The sense of beauty is different between the east and west,' says Lulu. 'Speaking of beauty,' says Niuniu. 'My cousin Lingling had plastic surgery. She's very happy with the results.' 'Look at Korea,' says Lulu. 'All those young models getting facelifts, boob jobs and cosmetic eye surgery. They're becoming a nation of plastic beauties.' 'That doesn't seem to bother our men,' says Niuniu. 'Those girls are very popular here.' 'But, it's too much!' says Cici. 'What if they start giving birth to plastic babies? And, what kind of milk comes out of fake boobs, anyway? Soy?' Selling the perfect body image is becoming big business in Asia. As young Chinese women find they have more disposable income, they are choosing to have elective surgical procedures in the hope of attracting a better mate. The old rule of the 'three bigs' still stands when pursuing men: a big house, a big physical stature and a big income. But it's not so simple any more. 'We need to have long legs, but small feet; big breasts, but a small bottom; wide eyes, but a small face,' says Niuniu. 'At the end of the day, we have two choices: genetic mutation or plastic surgery!' Niuniu has her own international dilemma. When she is abroad she is considered skinny, but when she is in China, she is considered fat. Without giving any thought to how her friends might react, Niuniu says: 'When I dated a white guy in the US, he said I had a nice little butt. But when I dated a black guy there, he said my butt was small.' Just in time to change the subject, cousin Lingling arrives. Niuniu introduces everyone at the table. There is a brief silence before Cici speaks up: 'Lingling, Niuniu tells us you have found a good surgeon. Do you have his business card?' The group bursts into a frenzy of questions and fawning. Now, is Lingling more successful because she is prettier or because she thinks she is prettier? Maybe her surgery has given her the confidence to strive for new opportunities, but the important thing is that Lingling expects a 500 per cent return on her investment by the end of the year. Chinese girls are clever about money nowadays.