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Plastic Surgery and Body Image in South Korea

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by

D'Vaughn McCrae

on 4 June 2015

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Transcript of Plastic Surgery and Body Image in South Korea

Success in Korea
The Effects Overall
Career
: One of the many of the most common reasons that various South Korean women may feel the need or even responsibility to have plastic surgery is the idea of success. In South Korea, when turning in a resume, you also attach a picture, and this can influence whether or not a person gets a job.
Interpersonal Relationships
: It's also normal to openly comment on each others' appearances to criticize. It's more of a way of looking out for each other, but insecurities and feeling the need to live up to those standards can contribute to the desire to change one's looks.
First Off:
This project mainly focuses on the effects on women, though in South Korea, men have similarly specific beauty standards and roles as well, and plastic surgery is not uncommon for them either. But a subject as complicated as that would require its very own Prezi.
Media and advertisements are constantly changing and have varying effects on different people. This is not uncommon in any country where mainstream media is present and overt.
It's also important to remember that people get plastic surgery for personal reasons, whether it's a believed link to success, self satisfaction, or even something therapeutic.

The beauty standards are so specific, in fact, that a lot of people end up getting the same surgeries that give them almost identical looks. Citizens call people with these specific, generally unrealistic looks "
seongweah
" which roughly translates to "
plastic (surgery) monster.
"
South Korea is considered the plastic surgery capital of the world, and plastic surgery is considered quite common there. Roughly every 1-in-3 women in South Korea have gone under the knife for plastic surgery, in comparison to the USA's 1-in-20 women.
South Korea, as a collectivist (group emphasized) society, has very specific beauty standards that are generally agreed upon and considered the most desirable.
Plastic surgery in Korea is also a bit more acceptable since it is more common, and many people see it as a way of becoming one's best self. Nonethless, there is still a lot of controversy over just how much "reforming surgery" (as it's called in South Korea) is too much, and how doll-like of a face is
too
doll like.
Plastic Surgery in Korea
Some Examples of Some Beauty Standards in South Korea Include:
Plastic Surgery and Body Image in South Korea
V-Line Face
S-Line Body
Double Eyelid
& Large Eyes
In an article titled Gender Representation in a Confucian Society: South Korean Television Advertisements (SSCI), a study was conducted to examine the portrayal of men and women in South Korea in advertisements. The study found that of the relatively large sample they recorded, 62.7% of the advertisements featured South Korean celebrities. Along with that, 69.9% of the females starring in all of the advertisements were celebrities, whereas 53.3% of all the males starring in these advertisements were celebrities.
The study also found that “the vast majority of females were depicted in the 18-34 age group (82.4%), whereas only 17.1% of females were in the 35-49 age group and 0.5% in the 50+ age group. In contrast, most males shown were in the 35-49 age group (51.9%), followed by the 18-34 age group (38.5%) and the 50+ age group (9.6%),”
A study of South Korean and North American students between the ages of 12-15 conducted in 2009 that the highest levels of body dissatisfaction were found in this order:
1. Korean girls (most dissatisfied)
2. Korean boys
3. American girls
4. American boys (least dissatisfied)
200 Pounds Beauty
Conclusion
Plastic surgery isn’t only a means to satisfy ones vanity in South Korea. It’s a possible route to success, acceptance of self, and acceptance from others. Some people use these procedures to the point where it begins to appear unnatural, or point to an unhealthy mindset, but it’s not just about the people using these procedures, but the world around them, and what this says about what society is showing and telling people is beautiful.
Many South Korean beauty standards correspond with western beauty standards. Considering the large military and popular culture presence from America, this is no surprise. While South Korea has certainly grown in popularizing its own pop culture, many of the popular idols have also undergone reformative surgery, making them live up to the intense beauty standards, while also inspiring other citizens to look more like those K-Pop Idols.
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