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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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.

It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning.

You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret.

So here are 20 tattoos you can't go wrong with. Each tattoo has its own unique meaning, but don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.

2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."

3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.

4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."

5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."

6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."

8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)

9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.

10. The Greek word “Meraki" means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.

11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.

13. “Lux in tenebris" means “light in darkness."

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora" is translated literally as “Towards greater things." It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.

16. A glyphs means “explore." It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."

18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower's first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.

SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos

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I'm Only In College, I Don't Have To Have My Whole Life Figured Out Yet

I was the little girl who felt lost if I didn't have a life plan.


When I was really young, I had said for years that I wanted to be a princess. Or well, a princess for the rest of my life because I already thought that I was one. When I was seven I wanted limos, fans, and an extensive wardrobe. I wanted to be a pop singer, like Hannah Montana, but then I found out that I had a serious case of stage fright. After learning about my fear the hard way I came to the conclusion that concerts were only a thing reserved for my family.

During the ages of eight and nine, I went through a stage where I wanted to be a car salesman. I grew out of that when I found out that my odds of selling a BMW to Chris Brown were slim to none. At age ten I had thought that I wanted to be a veterinarian. That was out of the question when I realized that I faint at the sight of blood. When I was eleven I thought that I wanted to be a teacher. That changed when I realized that I hate school, I don't like kids, and they don't like me.

When I was twelve, I put my stage fright days behind me and was ready to do big things. After spending my childhood going through so many phases and trying my best to figure out the career choice that I felt was right for me, I decided that I wanted to be seen, and I wanted to be heard. So I wanted to be a news anchor for my local news channel. I was still set on that idea when I applied for and moved into college, but now that I am here I'm starting to rethink my life a little.

I'm in a new environment, experiencing new things, meeting new people, and it really has me thinking and reevaluating my life. I know that I still want to pursue a career in the journalism field. I want to be, and I will be a journalist one day. I'm just starting to look into different career options along that path.

Maybe I do want to be a news anchor for WBKO, but I could just as easily work for "Good Morning America." Maybe I want to be a sports commentator or even a columnist. What if I had the chance to host my own talk show? The opportunities are endless!

The point I'm trying to get across is that it is OK to not know what you want to do with your life yet.

The career that you choose should be something that you enjoy doing, and sometimes it takes time to make a decision on whether or not what you choose is something that you are going to be happy doing for the rest of your life.

We live in a world that revolves around money. I've heard too many times, "money makes the world go 'round," and while that may be true it shouldn't be a factor that you're basing your life on.

Don't waste the rest of your days doing something that you have no interest in doing. We are young, and we have time. Take that time to think on things, or maybe try something new, because I promise you that once you find the path that you want to be on you will know it and it will be worth it.

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