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SHANGHAI (Reuters Life!) - A Chinese woman is seeking extensive plastic surgery to look like U.S. actress Jessica Alba, mainly because she hopes to win back her boyfriend who she said always wished she looked more like the Hollywood star.
The 21-year-old, who would only give her name as Xiaoqing, said she was devastated after she broke up with her lover, an ardent fan of the actress who has starred in hit movies such as "Fantastic Four" and "Into the Blue."
Xiaoqing, who works at an Internet firm in Shanghai, said that during their 18-month-long relationship, her 28-year-old boyfriend had been obsessed with Alba, adorning their apartment with her photographs and talking about her constantly.
She said that while her boyfriend had not forced her to look like Alba, he always hinted that the wanted her to resemble his favorite star and even bought her a blonde wig to wear.
A month ago, Xiaoqing left her boyfriend, whom she did not name, because his Alba obsession became too much for her. But now she says she can't get over the break-up and wants him back.
"When I broke up with my boyfriend, I was very sad," she told Reuters at the Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital which has agreed to help her fulfill her wish.
"My friends... kept consoling me but it did not work, so they suggested I do plastic surgery to look like her (Jessica Alba)."
The hospital said Xiaoqing would need multiple surgeries to alter her eyes and nose so that they would resemble Alba's. They also agreed to do it for free to showcase their surgery skills.
Hospital director Jiang Shan said he had personally spoken to Xiaoqing and advised her to think seriously about the procedure.
"If she wants to look much better than she does now, for example if she wants her skin to look smoother and her overall facial facade to look more beautiful, I think we are able to help her fulfill her wishes," Jiang said.
"But if she wants to totally look like Jessica Alba, I would think she is still not confident of herself and that she needs to solve this problem psychologically."
Shortly after the break-up, Xiaoqing posted a comment on a local web forum asking for help to win her boyfriend back.
She said that despite the many bloggers who advised her against having cosmetic surgery, she was keen on it.
"As a member of the younger generation in this country, I have a choice to decide what I want in life," she said.
"I have never been able to let him go. If in the end he still does not accept me after I undergo the plastic surgeries, I will give up. I will then choose to let go, start afresh and live life by myself," she added.
Xiaoqing said she would speak to her mother, who lives in Hubei province, while visiting home during the annual lunar new year holiday before making a final decision.
The hospital said it was not unusual for young women such as Xiaoqing to undergo cosmetic surgery to look like celebrities.
The government estimates billions of yuan are spent each year by Chinese on plastic surgery, which is seen by many as a way to boost job or marriage prospects in a highly competitive society.
Editing by Miral Fahmy