When it comes to plastic surgery, many people find inspiration from photos of other people on how they would like their bodies to look. Normally, these photos are just used as references, but in some cases, people want to base their looks entirely on another person. This is exactly what a 28-year-old South Korean woman did when she got surgery to look like her idol, Kim Kardashian.
Born Lee Han Byeol, Cherri Lee says that she grew up watching Kim Kardashian and has always longed to be like her. From a young age, Lee stated that she did not like how she looked and her unhappiness with her appearance only increased as she became a teenager.
She reached a breaking point when she was 20 years old and her boyfriend at the time broke up with her. It was then that she had her first cosmetic surgery, a procedure to give her double eyelids. While her ex-boyfriend didn’t want her back after that, Lee quickly fell in love with the result of her surgery and wanted more.
Since then she says she has had a total of 15 surgeries within eight years including three Brazillian Butt Lifts (also known as BBLs), two breast augmentations, a nose job, cheekbone surgery, a double chin reduction, and two rounds of buccal fat removal. BBLs are known to be one of the most dangerous plastic surgeries but have seen an increase in the number of procedures performed around the world over the last few years that have been attributed to the Kardashians.
I always wanted the glamourous big boobs and big bum Kardashion look. Kim has always been an inpiration to me and she’s the most beautiful woman in the world in my eyes.
— Cherry Lee on why she wanted to look like Kim Kardashian.
Lee got her BBLs one after another from 2019 to 2021. One can only imagine how painful recovering from these surgeries must have been but for Lee, the pain was just one part of the process.
I would get a buzz when I would wake up in excruciating pain and then see myself afterwards and it would be my reward.
— Cherri Lee
This contributed to her self-admitted addiction to surgery. She spent over 60 thousand USD on procedures and had to have her parent’s assistance to pay for them as her job as a part-time English teacher would not have covered them.
Though she was addicted, Lee says that she “knows when to stop” and that she has no more surgeries planned for the time being. She is apparently completely satisfied with how she looks now and only regrets the fact that she didn’t start having surgeries sooner.
Lee admits that she “looks Western” now, and even confessed that some of her Korean family members don’t recognize her anymore. Many people in her hometown even assume that she is a tourist and whisper behind her back thinking they’ve spotted the Kardashian family member. She has also had some negative reactions including a middle-aged woman asking her how much she charged per hour, assuming because of her looks she was a sex worker. While there is no problem with such work, Lee does not like assumptions being made about her.
In the end, Cherri Lee says there are more positives than negatives. For example, after her breast augmentation her ex-boyfriend reached out wanting to reconnect and she got to reject him. She says that she now has “a higher caliber of men approaching” her and says her self-confidence has never been better.