Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Video about Fashion and also Beauty in Korea

After watching this video:

It made me think about these aspects of Korean culture that I have found interesting, creative but at the same time at odds about. The video at the beginning goes into underground fashion and sort of what "real" fashion is like here in Korea. Then it veers off into plastic surgery and how it's "extreme". 

I for one am not a fashionable person. I mean I like fashion and appreciate it, but don't really go out of my way to embrace it. 

However, I can say the "plastic surgery" issue has come up a lot in my time here in Korea. For one I can't help but stare at the surgery ads on the subway with the "before" and "after" pictures. Then I look at Korean women and wonder what they had done. 

For the most part I understand that one's looks in this country are very important. Changing those looks can indeed give you more confidence and help you get through the competing race of love and career here. But I've often wondered if Korean women feel like it is too much, and whether they worry about their future. It sometimes feels like they are changing their "Korean-ness" to be this plastic ideal. Eventually most women in Korea will look like this ideal...

But it's their country and they do as they will. Americans get plastic surgery too and care about their looks just as much. 

Either way this was a fun and vibrant video to watch and one that gives you a nice little look into contemporary Korean culture. Putting the plastic surgery stuff aside I liked how one person in the video talked about his concern that most of the world will just know Korea through K-Pop, when there is other music and fashion that could better serve Korea's image. Perhaps this person needs to know that K-pop will be like the first door someone opens to understanding Korean culture. From there they can explore the rest of it.

When I head back home and tell people I was living in Korea for five year's, I'll be curious to see what they say. I think, if the opportunity comes, I'll ask them what they think about when I say "South Korea." Having lived over here for five year's I know my understanding will be different to "regular" folks back home. Something I'm going to be proud to carry over with, as I wouldn't mind spreading Korean culture to people back home.


  1. Sorry, but the video doesn't work for me -- it's just a blank, black rectangle. Also, possibly related, when I visit this post I somehow get a pop-up from http://open.korea.net asking for my username and password!

  2. Sorry again -- as soon as I wrote that, it started working! :)

    (That open korea thing is still there though)


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