BEAUTY is definitely a thriving industry in South Korea judging by the presence of countless shops that sell different brands of the same products. And it is a common fact that this country has become a go-to for consumers of plastic surgery. Korean plastic surgeons are known for their expertise and advanced knowledge and techniques where perfecting beauty is concerned worldwide.
I have read that 93% of the female population of South Korea have undergone cosmetic enhancement and that such procedure start as early as 16 years old (and hey, it is prevalent in women but men likewise go for it —pretty much like Hollywood). It is said that it is not unusual for parents to give it as birthday present to their daughters.
Koreans are known for their obsession with perfected beauty. Women there regardless of their social status in life live up to that expectation. Whether they be in white-collar or blue-collar jobs, I have yet to see a Korean who does not look presentable. Seriously. Many look like dolls and the skin is just gorgeous – the best, I think, especially if we talk about the texture and evenness of tone.
Let me point out, however, that the main reason for such obsession has more to do with competition rather than vanity. Koreans believe that physical look is a key factor to one’s success. Therefore, if they are spending money in cosmetic surgery it is considered as investment for the future and not merely beautification project.
Also, isn’t such obsession for looking beautiful a worldwide trait? Perhaps, Koreans are labeled for that but everywhere it is a common trend. Why not? We live in a world of superficiality and wherein we are bombarded daily with advertisements that support the lie created by consumerism — the “YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH” lie that conditioned us to be dissatisfied with everything that we have — the lie that pushes us to seek for MORE because more is better than less.
Still, as Marilyn Monroe (one of the all-time most beautiful women that ever lived) said:
IMPERFECTION is BEAUTY, MADNESS is GENIUS; and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
I would rather have a beautiful mind than to have pretty looks. Beauty fades as we age. No matter how we try to prevent it, eventually, it will wither. We should learn to be comfortable with our own skin. It is not an easy thing to do, I submit, especially in this judgmental world. Just the same, no one and nothing can make us feel beautiful but ourselves. Self-acceptance goes a long way than trying to change the way we look just to fit in.
Nevertheless, if beauty perfection is your thing and it makes you happy and contented, then I will go by my mantra of “Live and Let Live”. To each his/her own. It is not my money so, yes, why should I give a damn? Lol.
Anyway, going back to the #365_Photo_Challenge, the following are my feature for Day-32. Shots of different beauty shops in Myeong-dong, Seoul, South Korea.
This whole street is all about beauty and nothing but beauty…
Beauty products are displayed like food — oh well, these are food, food for the skin lol…
333 photos more to go and 333 stories to tell…should you want to join the 365 Photo Challenge activity, click the link to read the guidelines here.