So this week I’ve been watching a mainland drama (“Rent a Girlfriend Home for New Years”… I know, such a chauvinistic title) after such a long run with pure Korean dramas and I realized something… I am constantly looking for signs of whether the leads have had plastic surgery.
While this phenomenon is uber common in the Korean entertainment business and netizens are constantly finding pictures of stars’ past and pointing out that they’ve gotten their eyes widen, noses straightened, and chins reduced, I never realized how much it’s affected my viewing experience until I started watching something non-Korean-popular- culture-related. For some reason, I’ve gotten used to the plastics in Seo Woo and the numerous other kdrama stars, and have started to expect that the female leads will have huge eyes, a beautifully straight nose, and a near v-shaped chin. I anticipate that they’ll look like dolls, and they do. (And just to clarify, I really like Seo Woo because I really think that girl can act.)
But is that wrong?
Well, I’ve always been an advocate of the “If it’s your body and if it’ll make you happy, then go for it” philosophy. In particular, I feel like sometimes it’s almost necessary for some actresses to undergo the knife to reach stardom. Looks are what the business sell, and it’s unfortunate that this the reality. While society still values natural beauty over the cut and paste stuff, i.e. Korea’s love for Kim Tae Hee’s organic beauty, Korean dramas are now riddled with plastics.
And I thought that it was fine, until I started thinking about what type of messages it is sending to its audience. What is real beauty? What is desired beauty? And what are the things that we must do to achieve it all? Experts in all societies have been battling these questions for years, and I do not want to turn this blog entry into an “attack the women objectifying media that sends us mixed messages” article. Obviously the entertainment business is entertainment, and we have to learn to take things from the media with a grain of salt.
But I think now it’s starting to get overboard. Seo Woo is really pretty, but she looks so much like a plastic doll that I oftentimes cannot stop staring at her face even though she’s doing a wonderful job portraying whatever character she’s portraying. (I’m like, woah, her surgeon did a wonderful job closing in her nose job… I wonder if I’ll learn that in residency, or like wow, I thought double eyelid surgery only creates a bi-fold in your lid skin, hers look widened, did he cut the corners of her eyes too…. etc) And the current kdrama I’m following (e.g. just reading recaps) “49 days” stares two constrasting leads:
Lee Yo Won
In terms of features, Nam Guri is suppose to be prettier. Her eyes are bigger (like alien sized) and her fake boobs jiggle, but I think Lee Yo Won is just beautiful. She looks human, and I appreciate that.
So, ethics and morals aside, I think plastics are becoming a distraction. If it doesn’t show up, I start to look for it. If it does show up, I’m distracted by it. I can’t seem to win. And as I was watching “Rent a Gf home for New Years,” I kept wondering if the lead had gotten her eyes done:
Gah… driving me nutz.