The other night, whilst reading through buzzfeed, THIS post caught my attention; “31 crazy before and after photos of Korean surgery.”
I’m no stranger to the fact that Korean’s love plastic surgery, this love has meant Korea now ranks 1st as the highest rate of plastic surgery in the world. Whilst living in Korea, my ex-boyfriend, told me that plastic surgery is so common place, that even his sister had gotten work done and she was only 18 years old! Riding the subway in Korea, you will see train carriages plastered with adverts for plastic surgery and of before and after photos of past, ‘successful’ procedures. Even walking down the street, I soon began to wonder which girls were plastic; something I became even more keen aware of when I saw girls in a fancy-smancy Seoul club, who had very similar facial structures and the more obvious boostings in the chest size department. Even turning on the t.v in Korea, you can find make-over programs that openly encourage plastic surgery, to help make you look ‘better.’
All this talk and imagery of Korean, plastic surgery lead me to have many thoughts. I was a teacher in Korea, and I began to feel sorry towards my female students because they have to face this measure of beauty everywhere they turn; with K-pop music, celebrities, obvious plastic surgery adverts and even from the general public who would openly praise beauty. One moment that hit home with me, was when a student asked me “How do you stay beautiful?” she probably expected me to give her beauty tips, or point her to the nearest plastic surgeon, I simply told her to try to always be Happy; afterall, what else should a 10 year old be worried about?
Now, I don’t want to pike controversy, but with plastic surgery being so common place in Korea, it leads me to wonder- just how truly beautiful are Korean people? Getting eyelid surgery at 16 years old (to get the coveted “double eyelid” look) is nothing unusual, and nose job/chin shaving at 18 doesn’t seem to blow things out of the water either. In fact, if you look at the link, the most common surgeries seems to be eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, and chin shaving; these all help create the much-loved big-eyes, v-line face shape and high-nose that Korean celebs have (something which I wrote a bit about in a previous post HERE.) My friend’s have said 2 noticeable things about the matter “Wow, Korean’s have big chins,” and notably “they are trying out the idea of a clone society, since this makes them alllllll look the same.”
I’m not saying that ALL Korean’s are plastic or have had work done; I did notice that Koreans do naturally tend to be a bit taller, slender and whiter than people from other Asian countries- these things which Asians do tend to covet. But I do want to make my readers, who have a love or interest of Korean celeb culture or beauty, who might try so hard to attain these ‘standards of beauty,’ more aware that things might not be all it seems. Korean culture has evolved to be so aware of ‘beauty,’ that it puts a pressure on Koreans to attain beauty through plastic surgery, this level of beauty is then presented to the world in a normalised way- that this is how ALL Koreans look. This evolution of ‘beauty,’ then grows to create more peer pressure on young people, who love Korean culture, to feel that they are imperfect because they don’t look like those Korean celebrities they idolise.
All in all, every country seems to have a flaw with their standardised terms of beauty, but having to resort to plastic surgery to attain such beauty and thus making plastic surgery become viewed as so ‘normal,’ seems very toxic to me.
If you’re interested in reading more about Korean’s idea of beauty they click HERE to read more posts from my “Korean ideas of beauty,” thread.