Why You Probably Aren't 'Attractive' In South Korea

Why You Probably Aren't 'Attractive' In South Korea

Meet the unrealistic beauty standards of South Korea: are you considered to be attractive?

With the Hallyu Wave striking the world, it's understandable that there has been much interest in Korean culture - music, language, and the infamous Korean beauty industry. As a young Korean-American woman, I go back to Korea yearly during school vacations. Every year, I notice the barrage of make up and skincare stores at every street. Basically, the equivalent to the epidemic of Starbucks in America are these beauty stores.

Don't get me wrong - I love Korea. But, I breathe a sigh of relief when it's time to go back.

I am tired of my relatives telling me that I should consider plastic surgery to get larger ssang-kah-peul, double eyelids. My American friends are confused when they hear "double eyelids at first" and stare at their own eyes - this highly regarded Korean standard of beauty is not even noticed by most people in the states.

I am tired of seeing Korean schoolgirls stopping in front of the massive plastic surgery ads that are posted at every corner, every subway. They stare at the before-and-after pictures, saving photos of celebrity A's eyes to show a surgeon during consultation and aspiring to a photo of celebrity B's nose for their next surgery.

I am tired of these unrealistic beauty standards being shoved into the throats of young girls.

As an 18-year-old Korean-American woman, perhaps this is just a cultural difference. I simply can not comprehend why an entire society is so obsessed with an unrealistic appearance that goes to extremes.

Examples: to be attractive you need to...

1. Have a round forehead instead of a flat one.

2. Have double eyelids but not sunken eyelids - think puffier.

3. Aegyo-ssal! Essentially, a protruding eyebag.

4. A modest, medium-sized nose bridge.

5. "V-line" face (literally, a face that looks like the letter V)

6. Extremely pale, white skin.

In America, we have a general sense of beauty. A blonde girl with pale skin and green eyes, curly black haired brown eyed tan girl, red headed blue eyed girl - you get the picture. Celebrities and "beautiful" women are all beautiful in - as cliché as it sounds - different ways.

If you were going through some of these examples and checking yourself out in the mirror, it's totally normal. A lot of these specific beauty standards are considered to be very obscure and arbitrary things in the United States.

I am not saying that this is the mentality of all Koreans, nor do these standards represent the entirety of Koreans - but really, these are the mainstream beauty standards of South Korea.

So, do you think that you're considered attractive in South Korea?

Cover Image Credit: KDrama Stars

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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4 Curly Hair Tips That Will Up Your Hair Game

Curly hair is not a trend, it's a lifestyle

As a girl with curly hair, I understand the pain of it, but oh does it reap the benefits. Even with annoying aspects of curly hair (such as having weird pieces of trash floating around in your hair to not being able to untangle it when dry), it’s pretty nice being able to take a quick shower, scrunch my hair with a bit of mouse and walk out the door with effortless hair. From the past few years of having curly hair (yes, I used to have straight hair and no it was not a perm…) I’ve learned a few tips on how to tame it and make my hair look as healthy as possible!

There are so many different types of curly hair! For my hair, I would describe it to be around a 2B to a 3A type of curly hair. So although my tips might work for other curly hair types, it will work best for 2Bs-3As!

1. Detangle your hair in the shower

Probably one of the most important rules with curly hair: never comb your hair when dry (due to leading to extreme frizziness) and never comb it wet after the shower. Your best bet is to detangle with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb when you have conditioner in your hair. Not only will this make your life SO much easier, but it also isn’t damaging your hair!

2. Use a cotton t-shirt to dry your hair

Using a towel is a big no-no. Not only will it dry out your hair (since you want your curls to be extra moisturized!) but also lead to damage which no one wants. Wrapping your hair up in a “pineapple” (wrapping your hair loosely in a cotton t-shirt) is also nice for getting a bit more definition into your curls and keeping them “safe” during the night to wake up with less frizz in the morning

3. Use a water + condition mixture to rejuvenate your curls

A hair mask will also do the same trick (but honestly this is like a once every blue moon type of thing) but if you’re in a pinch for time, a simple water and conditioner mixture will do the trick! Simply take a spray bottle, fill it with a small about of conditioner (I usually go for a tablespoon in a 4-6 oz. bottle) and fill the rest with water. The key with curly hair is to keep it as moisturized as possible so wetting it every day with this mixture will do the trick.

Also, use this so that you don’t have to wash your hair every day! Curly hair is extremely dry and thick so don’t feel guilty about not washing your hair every day (but please wash your body, like please…). I usually go about two days without washing my hair, but you can even go more depending on the thickness/curly hair type of your hair (some even go up to a week!).

4. Don’t be shy with the curling product

I personally use mouse or a cream (depending on which I have on hand) and honestly go to town with it for my hair. Don’t worry about the eventual “crunchiness” feel of your hair later, it can easily go away if you scrunch your dry hair or use a hair oil (I do both).

Even if you don’t have curly hair, I seriously recommend anyone to use a hair oil, it makes a world of a difference! It leaves your hair smooth, nice smelling and shiny.

Cover Image Credit: Shaylee Navarro

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