South Korean Women and Plastic Surgery Essays

South Korea (referred as Korea in the rest of writing) is often recognized as the country, where especially women are insane about perception of beauty and this recognition is often elaborated with the prominent number of plastic surgery compared with other countries. According to subjectivism and symbolic violence, Korea women are insane for beauty and even take plastic surgery because they think beauty is what normal women should possess and ugly women is uncompetitive or failure in the society. Subjectivism is sense of self and way of seeing self and others. Symbolic violence means the violence which is exercised upon a social agent with his or her complicity. (Bourdieu 1992: 167). So to applicate this theory to Korea, Korean people are insane to get plastic surgery to become pretty or to be look similar to western since people perceive “beauty” as what everyone should possess. However, the music video of “Miss Korea” by Lee Hyori claims that the insanity to be pretty is not desirable and needless. This assertion is powerful since the singer, Lee Hyori, is a sexy symbol in Korea and often recognized to female Koreans as a person who they want to be alike.

plastic surgery procedures per 1,000 population, 2010

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The storyline of music video , “Miss Korea” is that without wearing expensive bags such as Prada or Chanel, and without having plastic surgery, one is still beautiful and pretty enough to be “Miss Korea”. The song contains lyrics such as ” Will a designer bag make me shine? /Will I be able to do anything I want if I become pretty? / I don’t want to hang on and cry over something so little”/Because I am Miss Korea. The Music video in this part shows lee hyo-ri wearing bag, which the sign of expensive b…

…are not the only or the most important reason that Koreans take plastic surgery. The real and the biggest reason behind the trend of plastic surgery in Korea is “self-satisfaction” or “satisfaction”. People take plastic surgery not only because to pursue the “ideal beauty” that everyone recognize as beauty but because to find one’s confidence and one’s beauty. but Therefore, it would much better if Lee Hyo-ri added that common notion toward Korea’s plastic surgery is wrong and there is much complicated reasoning behind why people take plastic surgery.

Works Cited

Bissell, K. L., & Chung, J. (2009). Americanized beauty? Predictors of perceived attractiveness from US and South Korean participants based on media exposure, ethnicity, and socio-cultural attitudes toward ideal beauty. Asian Journal Of Communication, 19(2), 227-247. doi:10.1080/01292980902827144


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