Saturday, 5 November 2011

{NaBloPoMo #5} Distorted Perfection

This post was inspired by this article: In South Korea, Plastic Surgery Comes Out of the Closet

Plastic surgery is not something I would condemn people for, nor would I judge them for having it done. I do believe that whatever you wish to do to your own body should be done under your own discretion, and not forcibly in any way, shape, or form. With that being said, I was appalled and disappointed while reading the article. The concept of beauty seems to have become so distorted in South Korea (pardon the generalization, but the article is focusing on South Korean women and plastic surgery, I apologize if I offend anyone).

“You must endure pain to be beautiful."

Funny how much seven words can actually mean. Ever since I could remember, I've always grown up around very open minded people, and the environment is generally very accepting. The concept of beauty has always come off as superficial, but as time went on, I grew to realize that everyone has their charm. I'm a great believer of the saying, "beautiful inside and out" because of how incredibly true it is. I've met people along the way that were the perfect example of what would be considered "pretty" but they had personalities that made me want to jump off a cliff. Then there were people that I've met that would be considered "average" or not quite up to par with the "standards of being pretty" that were able to make me laugh or somebody that was able to strike up a good conversation with me.

True, I do judge people on appearances (I would be lying if I said I didn't) but that does not in any way affect my opinion of them as a human being. I go through a sort of cycle when this happens, and my thought process looks something like this:
"Oh, look at his/her hair. It's so weird/cool/awesome." → *notice him/her coming towards me* → *have small talk* → "They're totally cool/weird/awesome."
What I'm trying to say here, is that my physical assessment of a person is never repeated and only happens once. A person shouldn't at all be judged based solely on their looks.

Then again, people shouldn't be judgemental at all, but that's going off topic.

In this article, reading the different statistics plugged in here and there were enough to make me tear up a little bit. I find it incredibly sad to see women feeling like they NEED to get plastic surgery, not because they WANT to. One may argue that they've made the decision in the end, but that's not entirely the case. Yes, they sign the forms, yes, they consult with the doctors, but what caused them to do all that in the first place?

The image of the "perfect woman" has become the same for all women in South Korea. They all aspire to be this "perfect woman" therefore going through great lengths to become the "perfect woman". But for what?

Doctors say their main patients are young women entering the marriage and job markets. “As it gets harder to find jobs, they’ve come to believe they must look good to survive,” said Choi Set-byol, a sociologist at Ewha Woman’s University.

Using looks to get a job? Using looks to get a husband? These all sound like your typical superficial thoughts when you're a young, carefree tween, if at all. If a man truly fell in love with you, then they wouldn't care about your face or body. The fact that women believe that their looks is the way to get a man to fall in love with them is really heartbreaking because it's all such a backwards way of thinking! If a man loves your face but doesn't give a rat's ass about anything else, then you know something is wrong in that relationship - if you can even call it that.

One consequence of the boom is that young women look increasingly alike, doctors say. “They come in with photos of starlets whose face they want to copy,” Dr. Park said.

Whatever happened to uniqueness? There's a reason we are all born different in this world. A world full of little clones running around won't only be boring, but it takes away from the diversity of the world. Not to mention, it'll be impossible to distinguish between your brother and your boyfriend, if the world were made up of clones that is to say.

I would just like to reiterate that I have no problem with people who simply want to get plastic surgery done because they want to. Not because they were pressured to or because they thought that that was the only way to get a job. Something seriously needs to be done to help these women realize that being pressure into getting something done by society is totally wrong. The submissive attitude of the women towards the concept of "perfection" is disheartening and it makes me angry or at least frustrated.

We're living in the 21st century and South Korea is one of the leading nations in technological advances. The problem is not in their economy or their technology, but their societal beliefs. I am not in any way putting down South Korean culture, but rather, I am simply speaking out against the South Korean society's concept of beauty. These women need to start believing that they can use their own talents alone to get somewhere in the world and not have to rely solely on looks to have a life.

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