“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, we couldn’t agree more with the quote as different people have different perceptions of attractiveness and beauty. While everyone sees the world differently, every part of the society has their own perceptions of beauty and the practice is often followed by the rest of the communities as well. An ideal beauty standard does not just occur in a community as the idea can be spread out among the peers and become the popularized beauty standard. One such example for the popularized beauty standard is probably the Koreans beauty standard due to the invasion of Hallyu across the globe.
The idea of beauty standard may occur all over the world and each and every one of them are different from each other. Most people will do anything to look better and to feel accepted and desired so that they can fit into the standard of beauty set by the society. However, there is something about the way people who are willing to sacrifice for the sake of beauty that is disturbing as they undergo intense and torturous pain and discomfort to fit into the ideal beauty.
In the world of K-pop, people shown an apparent obsession with K-pop idols’ beauty feature such as the honey thighs, ant-waist, v-shaped jaws, S-line body, and the list goes on. As these K-pop idols live up to the idolised and polished image that has been set for them, it is common for them to attain the beauty perfection through applying heavy makeup that seems natural or receiving cosmetic surgeries given from their entertainment agencies. Thus here lies the issues with the looks in K-pop as they have reinforced the beauty standards which turned into something highly regarded by K-pop fans. The fans of K-pop are deeply affected by the K-pop looks as most of them are uncomfortable with their original look and wanted to look as good as these K-pop idols.
(Goo Hara from KARA)
While larger women are considered the ideal by men in the African country of Mauritania, most countries considered the slender figure as a more appealing figure especially those well-toned bodies. Hence, most entertainment agencies in Korea hired the professional trainers and nutritionists to make sure the K-pop idols are in shape and present the best image to the crowd. K-pop idols usually practiced their dance moves and spent 6-8 hours training in the practice room almost every single day. In fact, they are expected to follow the strict diet that often required them to starve themselves or eat only the food prepared by the nutritionists. Lettuce diet, corn diet and protein diet are the popular diets among the celebrities.
This is why their weight is easier to keep off and the diet should be not as a guideline as it is an unhealthy lifestyle. But there are a few exceptions where the idol’s diet isn’t as extreme as the others but they were still able to maintain their natural healthy bodies. The popular girl group, KARA’s member Goo Hara was known for her ant-waist, which literally the waist is so small that it looks like an ant-waist. She mentioned that she stays slim even though she eats a lot due to her fast metabolism rate and the regular workout.
Other than the slim figure, one of the most popularized beauty standards is the fair skin. However, Korean isn’t the only country which strives for the fair white skin as most Asian countries also prefer the pale white skin over the tanned skins. This is because they perceived people with pale white skin are generally wealthier, good-looking and stands at a high social class. Most K-pop idols will be asked to “bleach” their skin before debuting as a singer in the entertainment industry. The increasing of whitening products to satisfy the female customer’s needs has shown that whitening takes on a huge part in most women’s lives. Pop singer IU and miss A’s Suzy are categorized into the standard beauty in Korea as they fit the standards of having pale white skin, large eyes and small lips.
(Kai from EXO K & Hyorin from SISTAR)
Not all idols fit into the beauty standard but there are idols that still look stunningly beautiful with the exotic features. Tanned skin is considered as the ideal beauty for most Americans but in Korea, dark skins are often perceived as something dirty until the appearance of ex Fin.K.L’s member, Lee Hyori who is known for being the “National Fairy” and South Korea #1 Sexy Queen. Since then, dark and tanned skins were seen as the label for sexy. Hyorin from popular girl group SISTAR is not only known for her strong vocal but also for her tanned skin. Although she mentioned she wanted to do plastic surgery to become prettier, but most fans like the way she looks and think that her tanned skin suits her sexy image. Besides that, the EXO member who is known for his incredible dance moves,EXO K’s Kai is one of the most popular members in the group because of his slender tall figure with sexy tanned skin.
(INFINITE’s Myungsoo & 2NE1’s Park Bom)
People need to know that their favourite stars are not the epitome of perfection. No one in this world is flawless and most idols look like the average people you met on street during their pre-debut era. The images they are now presenting to us are purely for visual appeal to attract the potential crowd. It has become a norm for young people all the world to find ways to change their appearance or ‘fix’ their looks just so they can look like the idols. The flawed perception of beauty among the Asians is that people often think that the ideal face should have the distinct features such as high nose bridge, large eyes with double eyelids, high cheekbones and V-shaped jaws. However, not every Asian person was blessed with these features but many young teenagers are brought up to believe that they must look like these ideal beauties in order to be accepted into the society especially those with popular culture. Soon, these teenagers are slowly becoming the prisoners of torturous beauty standard as they became trapped in the disturbing mind-set which affect their life in many ways. One thing that affects their life is that they are brought up to believe that ugliness is not acceptable thus plastic surgery is a must to improve their looks and confidence.
There are many beauty standards in the world but what we are mentioning here is the K-pop beauty standards that deemed to be impossible for average person to achieve. Only a few idols can get away from these beauty standards and still considered as beautiful by the Koreans. However, the concept of beauty standard needs to stop because everyone are supposed to be proud and celebrate their own uniqueness in their body. Health is still the most important thing for your body and there’s no other person that can look exactly like you. So, our advice to everyone: be proud of who you are and maintain your own personal traits instead of trying to be someone else because you are one-of-a-kind in this world!
Do you think beauty standards in K-pop is a bit too extreme or the beauty standards are just generally the same all over the world? Leave a comment below or join our forum and tell us what you think!