Along the Lines of Beauty: A Plastic Surgery in Korea Documentary
This year has proved to be quite a unique time for cosmetic surgery culture, from a Brazilian man who undergoes surgery to look Asian, to the showing of a South Korean reality television show focusing on reversing the effects of plastic surgery – all these are stories involving plastic surgery in Asia with a twist.
That aside, while these are definitely peculiar and interesting stories, we cannot forget how it is considered normal in South Korea to get a double eyelid surgery, or the immense pressure put on its people to look picture perfect. In “Along the Lines of Beauty”, a plastic surgery in Korea documentary, many South Korean women are interviewed and asked about their opinions on cosmetic surgery, how they feel about the culture, as well as the prejudices and challenges they face while living in South Korean society.
A girl explains at the beginning of the video, “So many people look at you -- so many people here and you have to keep that image of yourself by wearing full set clothes and you’re kind of showing your face and your status in them – through what you wear.”
Another elaborates on the strict dress codes in Korean schools, a stark contrast to life after high school, “College is a time where you can show yourself the most, and it’s time to show yourself. Especially in Korean high school, you can’t really show yourself, you can’t really wear what you want, you can’t really have your own style. (…) College is the beginning, it’s when you start showing yourself – and I think freshman is kind of more pressured to wear pretty clothes because it’s like the initial point where you’re looking for your own identity.”
A girl compares the difference in her experiences while living outside and in Korea, “When I used to live overseas, I would hardly ever put makeup on (…) Now, I always do. I think it’s because in Korea, people care a lot about how they are perceived by other people – and like, also I think they’re very look-oriented. In other words, they don’t try to see what’s inside the people -- the inner beauty of people. That makes them concentrate more and more on the looks, especially the girls.”
There are a lot more stories shared in the documentary, if you enjoy first-hand anecdotes to get a better understanding of South Korean culture and its beauty standards, be sure to check out this Korean plastic surgery documentary on youtube!
You can also watch it embedded here: