What is lookism in Korean beauty?

Korean Fashion Trends - What is lookism in Korean beauty

What is lookism in Korean beauty? Hyper-competitiveness led to the emergence of a belief that is gaining more and more strength in the South Korean community; appearance and success go hand in hand, giving rise to lookism. What is lookism in Korean beauty? At the moment, we can only say that it is a trend related to cosmetic surgery in South Korea. It closely relates to Korean beauty standards and all the backgrounds that it has. You already know that in Korea looking good is for many a requirement, even to get a good job. If you want to know more about lookism in Korean beauty, stay on this blog and keep reading!


What is Korean lookism?


Since 2003, the dictionary of the National Korean Language Institute has found the word “외모 지상주의”. The closest translation to this term is the English word lookism. This term describes prejudice or discrimination based on appearance that does not meet social standards of beauty. With the rise of lookism, in South Korea, plastic surgery went from being a subculture to being part of popular culture that penetrated deeply into the mindset of South Korean society. According to Korean popular belief, the external appearance is a fundamental factor that provides success in every way. Although the concept that beauty and prestige always go hand in hand is not limited to South Korea, it led many Koreans to undergo cosmetic procedures. At a level that made this nation the epicenter of plastic surgery worldwide.


Is South Korea the capital of plastic surgery?


South Korea is a hyper-competitive society. Everyone faces pressure to look good all the time. It is sad but true. It is no coincidence that South Korea is considered the capital of cosmetic surgery. Why? Because it is a country where at least 20% of women have undergone some cosmetic procedure.


With over 600 cosmetic surgery clinics in Seoul alone, nearly 1 million cosmetic surgeries are performed annually in South Korea. So it is one of the countries with the highest rate of cosmetic surgeries per capita per year. South Korea has the fifth-highest number of plastic surgeons, with more than 2,500 in 2019.


Since when did this obsession with appearance start in Korea?


Korea began an accelerated process of economic and social reconstruction after the Korean War in 1953. Through strategic public policies, they would not only make the country grow. They also aimed to give it a better global projection. In this way, images of war and poverty disappeared by positive images of development and beauty to show a new rising nation. As part of these new postwar reforms, a reliable and sustainable medical system was born for the population. In this way, Korea made a gradual but constant change, to become an advanced country with the best specialists and techniques.


It did not take long for this efficient new medical system, coupled with the growth of the entertainment industry, to usher in a new era in plastic surgery in South Korea. According to beauty specialists, Korean women today find that a better physical appearance gives them a competitive advantage. Not only in finding a partner but also in the job market. It is when we can see that the lookism in Korean beauty gains more force.


Are plastic surgeries common in Korea?


Yes, they are. The culture of lookism is so widespread that plastic surgery is not just about being normal or acceptable but about moving forward and being above normal for Koreans. Today, cosmetic procedures are so common and accepted that it is common for parents to give their children some treatment after they have finished high school. The most popular surgery is double eyelid surgery. In this process, they insert a crease into the eyelid to enlarge the eye. The cost of this surgery ranges from $ 1,000 to $ 3,000.


Is Lookism popular in Korea?


If you wonder what is the lookism in Korean beauty? Remember that yes, it is very popular. It is increasingly common to see programs and dramas on South Korean television about this obsession with beauty and lookism. Girls these days grow up staring at K-Pop stars who look like living dolls, and plastic surgery ads target women as young as teenagers. Such is the case of K-Dramas like My ID is Gangnam Beauty. There, the protagonist undergoes surgery to feel better about herself and her traumatic past of bullying, for not meeting the beauty standard imposed by Korean society.


Although dramas like these start from criticism of appearance discrimination and reinforce the message that inner beauty is the most significant thing, statistics and public perception continue to reflect a stark reality. The pressure is so hard that not even in difficult times do people stop resorting to these procedures. To counter this obsession with appearance and decrease discrimination, companies and government agencies are implementing blind hiring systems. There, the applicant does not need to send photos to avoid pressure from applicants.


What is considered a beautiful woman in Korea?


South Korean beauty standards prioritize a small face, V-shaped jaw, pale skin, straight eyebrows, flawless skin, and larger eyes. However, it is not enough to have a beautiful face. You also have to take care of your body. In addition to surgeries, such as abdominoplasty and liposuction, there are also extreme diets. If you are interested in knowing more about these diets and knowing what is the ideal Korean weight, we invite you to visit the Korean Fashion Trends blog called “What is the perfect weight in Korea?” Click here!


As you can see, Korean beauty takes the term lookism to the highest levels. Although this Asian country is committed to skincare and light makeup, in which no eye-catching shadows or lip tones are used. On the contrary, they prefer something more natural. That stands in contrast to the number of cosmetic surgeries it offers.


What is lookism in Korean beauty? It is the thought that refers to being beautiful as the most important thing. Because of that, Korea is a nation in constant improvement. That led them to rank high in many industries worldwide, now including the world of plastic surgery. Has this become something to celebrate or something that should make us think? Maybe it should make us think more than anything else. What do you think about Korean lookism? Let us know in the comments! And see you on the next blog on your favorite website, Korean Fashion Trends.

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