Korean dramas development and the appearance of “new-generation” idols have a huge impact on beauty standards in Korean society. Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery, as a result, become a super trend not only in Korea, but in other countries where Hallyu wave has grown as well.
Rates of surgical procedures in Korea have increased over the past several decades, in Seoul, the capital, it is stated that 20% of ladies from 19 years old have undergone cosmetic surgery. Korean media is one of the main reasons why people care so much about their beauty. Among beauty procedures, Korean women have a tendency to opt for double eyelid lift, jaw reduction, eye widening, nose job, forehead or chin augmentation, hair transplant and teeth capping. Not only do they come for one or two surgeries, usually they decide to come for an all-in-one package surgery. Additionally, anti-aging treatments have become more popular, people are now self-conscious about how to maintain a youthful flawless look.
No Pain No Gain
It seems unbelievable but being beautiful can bring out so much pressure in South Korea. Numerous people, from the young and old, the rich and poor, male and female, are considering to go under the knife no matter what they have to sacrifice to be beautiful. Many girls go through painful surgical procedures to come out looking like the ideal standard of "beautiful": skinny figure with no curves, wide-eyed, lighter skin, v-line jawed face. Women are willing to get their chin shaved no matter how dangerous, painful this procedure is and the recovery time usually takes months.
The sad reality here is that they can’t just accept the way they are and have to look an ideal way to get accepted in this part of world. Most Korean girls were taught that beauty came from the pain and being beautiful was the only way of moving to higher social status. Plastic surgery in Korea keeps creating the same faces and you can’t stop wondering how a majority of Korean society looks like in the next few years or if it becomes a man-made-faces society.
Plastic Surgery and Self-hate
In a post shared on Instagram, a Korean girl confessed:
I hated my ugly face. I had low self esteem and wore make-up like a mask.
Plastic surgery is not bad, but when it comes to self-hate and loathing yourself, is it necessary? Your body, your choice, but in this case of Korean women, it’s more like a physical issue, it’s mental problem. If you’re not pretty, good-looking, skinny enough, you’re not worth anything. This is a totally terrible message and the consequence is that many Korean people feel they don’t measure up and they all get plastic surgery even though most of the time it’s really unnecessary. The aim of plastic surgery is to change the appearance, not the mental state. If you have problem with self-love and self-confidence to fit how people look at you, you will always find something that you feel unhappy with, no matter how many procedures you have undergone.
After all, life is too short to sit there worrying and not doing what makes you happy. Keep in mind that South Korea is not the only country that had a hyper-focus on beauty, America also has the high plastic surgery rate in the world. It’s nothing wrong with Korean’s desire to be much prettier. The point is how they make it and how they understand their body needs. Plastic surgery should be done to serve the need of confidence and happiness enhancement instead of fitting any society’s ideal standard of beauty.