“We should be happy with the way we look and who we are”

Around 8 p.m. I go out into the living room to hear the familiar sound of the television. Since the members of my family prefer knitting and chopping wood and baking potatoes, we basically have only one Korean channel. On the television screen are contestants for a show where the goal is to become a star. Why does it look like a single person has been copied and pasted onto the screen multiple times?

There have been stories that surfaced in the past about celebrities in Asia who had to undergo plastic surgery before making their first appearances as stars. The before-and-after pictures are absolutely horrible. One perfectly unique and normal person transformed into a horrid copy of all the other bug-eyed creatures.

There had also been an article a while back about a girl who had received eyelid surgery for her 14th birthday. Oh, what a great present worth a couple grand and a permanent loss of natural features! I received a muffin for my 14th birthday.

I am not accusing everyone of altering their appearances, but the truth is that many people feel the need to find ways to completely modify their looks. When I visited Korea two summers ago, I felt very uncomfortable while walking down the streets. Practically every single female had brassy bleached hair and crazy contacts that literally covered the whites of their eyes in unnatural colors, and according to Taylor Theunissen, MD, this wasn’t out of the ordinary in most developed Asian countries. None of them had any distinctive features that distinguished any individual from the others.

Why do people feel so pressured to change their appearances to fit the Western standards of beauty? Why has Western beauty become the goal? I know many people who have monolids and less defined noses, and they are gorgeous. Nobody needs blue eyes or green eyes and blond hair to be beautiful. There are many people with those features who are attractive, but having brown eyes is fine. Having no eye creases is fine. Having darker skin is fine. Having a wide jaw is fine. Having a flatter nose is fine. Each person is beautiful in his or her own way.

I personally would much rather see a natural face with real features than an artificial face. Airing only “beautiful” people to the public eye only places more pressure on those who feel the need to be pretty under these ridiculously harsh standards and only causes further insecurities. We should be happy with the way we look and who we are, and we should stop comparing ourselves to others.

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