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2014.06

By Haedam Kim


There is TV show "Let 美人" in Korea. The purpose of this program helps people by means of cosmetic surgery who have suffered from discrimination in social life because of their appearance. "Let 美人" has a do u ble m e a n in g . 美 人 ( mi - y in ) means "beauty" as Korean. Through this we can find out easily that the main target of this program is for women. Secondly, when we can understand the name itself as English, It means "Let me in." which implies desire to be belonged to certain group(in this case, beautiful women). So, the program gives an impression that if we are not beautiful like women who got cosmetic surgery in the program, we might be left as an outsider in this society, and also it tries to convince our-selves that we really need to fix everything

TV show “Let 美人(mi-yin)”

on our faces. To avoid being outsider in Korea society, Tens of thousands of women go under the knife every year. And now, Korea is regard ed as the Mecca of cosmetic surgery in the world. These artificial plastic beauties think of themselves as victims of a plastic surgery. But, ironically, they expect advantages in a tight job market, a better husband, and to be treated in a very special way by everyone with their fixed 1


faces. They believe that appearance is the one of most important abilities in success. Why are women forced to be beautiful, and why are they trapped in this kind of stereotypes a n d suff e red f ro m it ?

The magazine “MAXIM�

First of all, it is evident that capitalism and mass media have made women eagerly pursue the standardized beauty. Some people think that men and women are treated equal in globalized wo rld, this is apparently not true . Discrimination against wom en hasn't disappeared. Instead, standard on outward appearance of women was strengthened more than the past. It's showed by commercialization. Capitalism has co mmercialized women's bodies . For instance, through the mess media like magazines that objectify women, a image of women who tempt men with sexually appealing appea rance has been described as 2

Korean pop stars: Hyun A with Hyun Seung

if women were the one with the upper hand. But do they have the upper hand? Women haven't be en respected as individual human beings. The sexism based on a homogeneous appearance


of women has just been intensified. Secondly, it's a discrimination against women which is based on patriarchal thoughts. It is a fact that men always defined the standards of beauty for women during a long history. Korean society still force women to be the traditional ones who are passive and obey to men. It's extremely ideal women which is based on Confucian concept and male chauvinism. A stereotype "Beauty of women is judge d by their appearance. They are just sex objects. So it's natural for women to do that kind of work." is a good example to explain this outdated ideas. And It is showed in the Korean beauty contest. Women are used to putting themselves on an operating table to me et the standard of beauty set by male chauvinism. They are just like Barbie dolls on display. 3


Like this, we need to realize that women's obsession with plastic surgery was made under the strong influence in combination patriarcha l thoughts and negative side of capitalism. Of course there are more many reasons doing cosmetic surgery. But is it normal almost every women belittle themselves in Korea when they look at their face in the mirror and make up their mind to get surgery to be look exactly same? I don't want to think of myself as a lose because I'm not pretty as women who are regarded as beautiful in society. Because I'm s ure t hat I'm beautif ul just the way I am and outward appearance can't tell who I am. I'm beautiful because I'm different. "Having same beauty means having a competitive edge." As a woman I think this is just one ugly aspect of Korea society. When women get free from it, stereotypes about women will be disappeared. the Miss Korea 2013 beauty pageant 4


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