Friday, October 30, 2009
Korea is the cosmetic capital of Asia: the home of skilled practitioners of the art of beauty making.The Chosun Ilbo in a three part series on this very lucrative and popular new area of competition covered the area rather completely. The competition is not only between the practitioners of the art but those who want to enhance their 'lookism' compared to others
The article mentions in recent years there is no longer any embarrassment in having a beauty job done on one's face. You will find women shopping and going to cafes with their faces still swollen from the surgery. Today it has become common even among the men, it is no longer seen as a flaw , but an act of kindness to others to improve your looks.
The paper mentioned that they had 6 medical specialists go out on the streets of some busy areas in Seoul to make a survey of how many have had these surgeries. They did this on two different occasions and have come up with the figure that 836 of 1800 have had surgery. They also asked those who went to an Internet homepage dealing with marriages and surveyed those who visited. Between the ages of 20 and 30, 4 out of 5 women have thought of having the procedure done. In short, it is part of the culture.
There is little need to go further, the desire to look good is part of our psyche and in Korea they have a very thriving entertainment business : the faces you see are beautiful. Seeing facial beauty daily, does make you reflect on your own face, saddened on what you have to see in the mirror every day.
'Lookism' is part of the society we live in. The way you are seen is going to determine the jobs you get, the money you make and even the person you marry. This is the 'lookism' society that we have made. Those of us with a Christian world view, feel a sadness but the facts are such that many feel little esteem for themselves, they have not been accepted for what they have interiorly made of themselves and are judged on their appearances. They have recourse to those who can help this exterior and it is difficult to say they shouldn't be doing what the culture is requiring. This deep seated 'lookism' is not only located here in Korea but an accepted part of the life we live.
The mass media, the lack of depth in our thinking and spirituality are partially the problem but the facts are the facts and no matter how we try to see things differently ㅡlife is not fair: this we should try to face and teach. There are many other things that are more important than our looks but for success in this world we can't ignore the obvious but only hope for efforts made to see life in its totality. The last years when appearance is not that important should always be part of the picture.