Korean Beauty

Korean perception of beauty is different from America’s

The K-pop celebrities are willing to do anything, even drastic measures, in order to obtain slim figures. It’s an even harder pressure on the celebrities when some agencies set restrictions to their diet. In August last year, a girl group called SISTAR confessed in an interview that their agency, Starship Entertainment, were especially strict while they were trainees. Their manager kept track of everything that they ate, even every piece of kimchi, a Korean side dish. Not only is this very controlling, this does not provide enough energy for the girls to train. They would feel like they’re going to faint when they must train hard. You can read more on this article from allkpop. Just how did they diet? A couple years ago, all of a sudden, the K-pop celebrities were trying dangerous diets in order to lose lots of weight. They bragged on interviews that they did such and such diets, but in comment sections on a translated news site called allkpop.com, American and other international fans frown at the bad examples celebrities are setting for their fans. They know how this is dangerous for the body as it would lack in crucial nutrients necessary to function. This year, a member of SISTAR, Bora, confessed that she tried the one-meal a day diet. She only ate dinner every day. She didn’t even drink water in fear that she would gain weight (she’s not the only one who believed that; many Korean girls believed that, too).  She now acknowledges that it’s the wrong kind of diet. You can read more on this and what other girls tried for diets here on allkpop.


There are some girls who try to do exercise, too, but the what they eat during the day seem unhealthy. For example, solo artist IU ate apple for breakfast, potato for lunch, and protein shake for dinner. Her dieting method seems a little better than Bora’s but it’s still concerning. This is all that she eats when she does an hour of aerobic exercise (on top of whatever dancing practice that she would need to do).


However, I do think that these days Korean stars are beginning to realize that these diets are ineffective and can damage the body. On a Korean TV show called Star King, one of the contests informed everyone a healthy way to detox the body. After hearing this, girl group APINK realized how they have been dieting every day wrong. They’d usually eat takeout food and when it’s time for dieting, they’d only eat salad or sweet potatoes. The contestant gave them a list of nutrition facts and informed the girls that they were lacking protein in their diet. You can read more here on allkpop.



This month, girl group KARA came back with a new album, receiving praise again from the public for their bodies. On an article on allkpop, it says that Hara, one of the members, makes sure that she eats healthy food, especially vegetables. And then, of course, she would do lots of exercise. The other members also do pilates and horseback riding.



I’m glad that they are beginning to be aware of healthier dieting. But I hope that more people like the contestant on Star King informed more people about this. Agencies should hire nutritionists or something since they have the money to, right?

Almost everyone in Korea’s entertainment industry have had plastic surgery. Some either had double-eyelid surgery (creates an eyelid fold, making the eye look bigger), rhinoplasty (a nose job), jaw reduction (shaving off parts of the job to create a V-shape). For example, in the year 2013, girl group Brown Eyed Girls confessed that they had plastic surgery done. Every time they released an album, they came back with new looks. It came to the point where people couldn’t recognize them anymore. One of the members, Miryo, promised to not do anymore plastic surgery and said that she would love the way she looks. For the longest time, they said that makeup and exercise contributed to making them look different, but the truth came out.

Here’s their debut photo:


And here are current photos:





Because the plastic surgeons have done so well with the surgeries, they look very natural, so no one would have known they’ve done a lot done. For some celebrities, it’s pretty obvious like Park Bom from girl group, 2NE1.


Without even looking at her before photo, you can tell that she’s done plastic surgery.

Girls aren’t the only ones who’s done plastic surgery. The males have done, too. A notable one is Kwanghee from boy group ZE:A. He even admitted on a talk show that he’s done plastic surgery. In the following photo, he is holding a photo of him before he did plastic surgery.

Many fans from America, including me, do not understand why these celebrities go under the knife. They look fine before that. Some leave it to the celebrities to do whatever they want to do with their face since it’s their choice. But what bothers me is this crazy competition the celebrities have. They want to stand out amongst other stars and get it done.


Superstar CL from the earlier mentioned 2NE1 has done fine in her career without plastic surgery. She did mention that her music label, YG Entertainment, wanted her to get some done, but she refused. Props to her for being brave and refusing like that! She is actually quite popular in America! The growing numbers of plastic surgery done in Korea (not just amongst celebrities, but regular citizens as well) just give me the chills. The reason why it has grown so much even amongst regular citizens is rather complicated, but it angers me so much as well. I will probably make a post about it another time.

In America, it’s not that very common for stars to get plastic surgery, so why has it been growing so much in Korea? I just hope that someday, Korea would realize that beauty is not all about the outside. It sounds so cliche, but it’s something people need to be aware of.