Saturday, 15 September 2012

KOREA : image-obsessed society

KOREA : image-obsessed society (8 photos)

In Korea, there are mirrors everywhere. They even have a mirror hanging in every classroom, on the teacher's (female) desk. Female students often have small compact mirrors on their desks. During class they'll be staring at themselves.

Young women in the subway do the same thing, in front of whoever, wherever, and sometimes if they don’t have a mirror, they’ll take pictures of themselves on their phones in order to touch up their makeup.

Most Korean women appear to have what is known as a “double eye-lid,” even though according to The New York Times article about plastic surgery in Korea only one in five women is actually born with one.

There’s no mystery to why this is–South Korea has the highest rate of cosmetic plastic surgery in the world. Plastic surgery has become so commonplace in this image-obsessed society that it’s talked about openly among co-workers, mothers buy their daughters surgeries as gifts, and young women grow up thinking they’ll never find love or career success if they don’t fix their faces.

We are used to hearing the stereotype that Americans are superficial and beauty-obsessed, and yet, Korean societies high-standards of beauty and the extremes to which they’ll go to achieve that beauty blow those stereotypes straight out of the water.

Most Korean girls believe that she needed a better look in order to be able to succeed in business and find a husband.

A Korean man who recently got a nose job explained that his nose was his “insecurity” and that he felt that he would feel more confident after his surgery.

In Korea, education is everything. Korean students study for hours each day, and most attend a private school after leaving their regular public school for the day. But this atmosphere makes for an extremely competitive process to enter universities and to find jobs, and this is where many Korean women think that having surgery and beautifying themselves will give them an advantage.

But in the end, who can blame them? They have their K-pop stars, friends, media and even their mothers telling them that this is the way they can set themselves apart from the pack.

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