Over the last five years, Korean beauty standards have reached the highest level of popularity worldwide, taking over the Western ones.
Soft and kind on the “outside” Koren beauty standards are some of the strictest in the world, at least when compared to the Western ones.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to a short history of Korean beauty and how the standards have evolved to the current times.
I’ll also detail what makes Korean beauty standards so different from Western and other Asian countries such as China and India.
Female Korean Beauty Standards
Overall, Korean beauty standards push for an overall innocent look: small face, big eyes, and slim body, to recreate that youthful look.
Compared to Western beauty standards, Koreans, in general, tend to pursue cuter and more feminine looks, at least when it comes to faces.
Koreans prefer slim, young, and youthful faces with small facial features and pale skin.
Unlike the West, curvy shapes like Kim Kardashian or Rihanna are just too much by Korean beauty standards.
In this context, being girly, cute, thin, and even skinny is a beauty goal for Korean women rather than fit and healthy.
Below are the 4 MAIN aspects Korean beauty standards are built on:
1. Small Face – Pointy Nose, Plump Lips, V-shaped Jaw, and Straight Eyebrows
In South Korea, having a small face is at the core of one’s beauty.
According to Joyce Kong – a Korean beauty correspondent at Refinery29 – that’s because Asians (in particular Koreans) have smaller eyes, giving them the appearance of a more prominent face.
Moreover, a small face is considered pretty because it makes you look like a child and, thus, younger.
Then, because of the differences in the facial bone structure of Asians, who have a flatter facial bone structure than their Western counterparts, facial bone contouring surgeries are pretty popular.
V-line surgery (jaw and chin reduction) and cheekbone reduction (zygoma) surgeries are popular tools to change Korean facial contour.
A v-shaped face must have the forehead proportioned to the face, ideally not too small or angular.
The v-shaped face look is achieved by creating delicate and unpronounced jawlines and a pointy chin, either via makeup or surgery.
The desire to portray a more petite face is so high that Koreans either hide part of their jaw when taking pictures or use filters on social media to achieve a v-shape look.
Back to Korean style makeup, contour plays a crucial role in portraying the illusion of a smaller face.
Contrary to Western societies, where the contour is aimed to accentuate cheekbones and the jawline, Korean makeup artists try to achieve the exact opposite.
For that, they shade the outer line of their faces to acquire a more slender and smaller face.
It is also interesting to note that, to reduce accentuated jawlines, South Koreans have invented all sorts of beauty utensils such as chin straps, jawline sheet masks, and massaging roles.
Another way of achieving the Korean beauty standard is through permanent interventions, such as plastic surgery.
Many Korean women and men seek to achieve the same V-shaped face appeal to cosmetic surgery through a procedure called “V-line”.
During the operation, the surgeon shaves the patient’s jawline to construct a slimmer and smaller face and a pointy nose with a high bridge.
Small, Pointy Nose
Another crucial facial feature, according to Korean beauty standards, is having a small but pointy nose.
People with small faces and pointy noses are seen as very elegant and sophisticated.
Interestingly enough, while having a small and pointy nose has become a critical beauty feature according to modern Korean beauty standards, big noses were a sign of beauty in the past centuries.
Small Mouth & Plump Lips
To complete the ideal of Korean standards of beauty of a small face with v-shaped jawlines and a small pointy nose, one must also have a small mouth.
However, while the mouth must be small, the lips must be plump.
Also, the bottom lip should always be plumper than the top lip.
On top of that, the strictness of Korean beauty standards insists that the lip line should face upwards, like when you’re smiling.
Most Koreans achieve that ‘small mouth’ look with makeup and then complete it with an extra “lip effect” through fillers.
2. Pale Skin – White and Flawless
Contrary to the much-desired golden tan skin color loved in the Western world, pale skin is a must in Asian cultures, especially in Korean society.
The desire for the pale skin color of Korean people is deeply rooted in the culture of many Asian countries.
It all began in the daily lives of the royal era as a social class identification and reached contemporary times as a cultural beauty standard.
In the past, people with darker skin color were associated with agriculture and other labor-intensive jobs.
On the other hand, people with paler skins were assumed to be part of the aristocracy and to have higher-paid jobs.
Korean Skin Beauty
To achieve a paler skin look, Koreans utilize many UV protection creams and makeup and wear garments that keep them safe from sun rays.
They also use dedicated Korean skincare products such as acne patches to hide any blemishes or spots and sheet masks or face masks designed to whiten skin.
3. Larger Eyes – Double Eyelids and Aegyo-sal
As South Korea’s ideal beauty standard is built around creating a youthful look, having larger and more innocent eyes is very important.
Big, rounded, or almond-shaped eyes are considered pretty, as bigger eyes – paired with a small face – confer an overall youthful look.
Unfortunately, according to Allure, 50% of Korean girls have small eyes and monolids, which they consider unattractive.
Monolids vs. Double Eyelids
Monolids are single eyelids with the eye sitting flush with the browbone, connected by a skin stretch.
There’s no visible fold or crease, which usually separates the eyelid into two parts.
Therefore, the most efficient way to increase the size of the eyes is via plastic surgery – and estimates show that every third of Koreans had double eyelids surgery.
The most popular procedure is called “double eyelid surgery”, or “East Asian blepharoplasty”, used to create a second eye crease and confer an oversized eye look.
The procedure is also commonly used in cases of asymmetric eyelid problems.
Another less intrusive – and quite popular – the procedure involves injecting fat or filler under the eyes.
The procedure is called aegyo-sal, a Korean term referring to the small fatty deposits underneath the eyes that give a person a youthful appearance.
The aim here is to emulate the natural pockets of fat that appear under the eyes when you smile and make you look younger.
And the least intrusive way to achieve bigger eyes is by using an invisible eyelid tape.
The tape is glued to the lid area, so it creates a double eyelid fold when the eye opens.
Makeup-wise, contemporary Korean beauty standards of eye makeup have shifted from the traditional sexy cat eye to a larger and more innocent puppy-style eye.
4. Slim Figure – Straight Shoulder Line, X and S-shaped, Long Legs
While South Korea has arguably the lowest obesity rate globally, over 60% of Korean women and 41% of men are on a diet.
The choice is attributed to the desire to have a slim body, which is highly praised and seen as a sign of beauty in Korean culture.
Korean Weight Loss Market
In the case of diets, South Korean resort to dedicated weight loss clinics or try popular diets promoted by celebrities online.
Dieting pills – available in almost all drug stores – are also commonly used by those seeking to achieve perfect beauty ideals.
Another way to a slim figure is achieved via plastic surgery.
In the case of plastic surgery, liposuction treatments are the most popular choice to reduce weight.
In particular, fat-burning injections, made famous by Korean pop stars, are the most requested procedures to reduce body volume.
However, while having a skinny look is trendy in Korea, it is essential not to look too thin, as it is seen as unattractive.
Korean Beauty Standards for Men
While expectations of female beauty usually outweigh male expectations, South Korea is notorious for its male beauty standards.
Compared to the Western culture, in which makeup for men could be interpreted as an act of rebellion against society rather than a beauty standard, Korean male beauty standards are similar to female standards.
The current Korean beauty standard for men: cute, pretty figure, feminine, towards an androgynous look.
However, since the beginning of 2022, under Western media influence, more Korean men have started to emphasize fitness.
Nevertheless, even with a buffed-up body, it is still quite common for Korean men to wear moisturizing lotion, foundation, and makeup, even at the gym.
In fact, South Korea is recognized as one of the world’s beauty capitals on male beauty.
Male KPOP Beauty Standards
Compared to the US, where the ideal man is a version of Thor, or in Europe, a metrosexual version of James Bond, the attractiveness and ‘handsomeness’ of Korean men are driven by members of K-pop bands.
Nowadays, men’s ideal Korean beauty standard is a clear reflection of K-Pop stars (Korean Pop music).
1. Slim Facial Feature
Surgery is Korean men’s weapon of choice to achieve smaller and slender facial features and a higher nose
2. Double Eyelids
Korean men recourse to cosmetic surgery to shift from monolids to double eyelids.
3. Fair Skin
Korean men invest in cosmetics and makeup that confer and maintain clear, smooth, and fair skin.
4. Dyed Hair
Darker hair is a sign of youth, and thus, over 95% of Korean men with white hair dye their hair regularly.
5. Androgynous body
Korean men try to achieve an androgynous body shape, staying away from looking too skinny, too fat, or too muscular.
6. Fashionable Outfits
Korean men wear androgynous clothing, Femboy outfits, or streetwear fashion brands that keep them stylish and trendy.
Korean Beauty Market for Men
Contrary to Western culture and the beauty industry with a focus (almost exclusive) on women, the Korean beauty market embraces men’s makeup.
Beauty products are not seen as gendered products and South Korean men purchase and wear several brands and products.
Over the past decade, South Korean men have become the world’s most prominent male spenders on skincare and beauty products.
Koreans are also early adopters of anything new in beauty, such as skincare fridges, skin transplants, and blood transfusions.
Korean Male Beauty Stats
Between 2011 and 2017, the Korean beauty market for men only has grown by 44%, part of a cosmetics industry (including the private label cosmetics market) that makes $10 billion every year.
Similarly, over 58% of South Korean men state they take advantage of beauty and grooming treatments at least once per week.
Idols That Fit (Create) Korean Beauty Standards
There’s a saying in Korea: “If you want to know what kind of face is beautiful, look at Korean idols.”
These rigid beauty standards mean that if you don’t look like a Korean idol, you are not considered pretty.
Without further ado, these are some of the most cherished female celebrities in Korea right now:
Korean Beauty – Height Standards
The average height, according to Korean beauty ideals, can be divided into three core categories:
The average height of the average person in Korea, this height is described as “short but cute”.
Taeyeon and IU are great examples of this category.
This height is the “not so short, not too tall” group.
Imagine someone slightly taller than Gain Han (actor).
Some other great representatives of this height category are Korean idols Hara Koo (Kara), Yeseul Han (Leslie Kim, actor), and Chewon Moon (actor).
The name says it all. Idols around 168cm have, according to Korean beauty standards, the ideal height.
Some representative Korean celebrities in this category are Hyo Ju Han (actor), Yeonhee Lee (actor), and Nayoung Lee (actor).
Korean vs. Chinese Beauty Standards
Korean and Chinese beauty trends are reasonably similar.
Both cultures think that a slim figure, a small face, big eyes, and pale skin are critical attributes to the idea of beauty.
Face, Skin, and Eyes
Compared to Korean’s v-shaped faces, the ideal face looks in China must be small and “shaped like an upside-down goose egg.”
But, similar to Korean beauty standards, big and cute eyes are famous in modern Chinese beauty standards.
Big eyes with eyelids, rather than mono eyelids, are considered super beautiful.
Moreover, Chinese women use darker eyeliner makeup, such as black or dark brown, to further augment the size of their eyes.
On the other hand, Korean girls tend to pursue more natural eye makeup by using lighter color eyeliners.
Chinese beauty trends also recourse to the idea of puppy eyes, known in Chinese culture as the Wo Can, which translates into “lying silkworm.”
That’s because it refers to a 4 to 7-millimeter puff placed under the eyelashes – looking like a silkworm – meant to make girls look cuter and sweeter when they smile.
According to the Chinese traditional face reading, people born with Wo Chan have good and fortunate lives in relationships and businesses.
Skin-wise, in China, one’s skin must be “not just pale, but “as white as possible” to be considered attractive.
Having a slim figure is one of the most critical aspects of both Korean and Chinese beauty standards.
However, the Chinese beauty standard on body shapes differs from the Korean one.
Chinese prefer tall bodies and long legs with tiny feet and a Pippa Middleton kind of bottom.
Another difference is seen in the body weight/shape of women compared to men.
In Korea, both women and men are careful not to get too skinny, as that’s a sign of health complications and is perceived as ugly.
But, according to Chinese beauty standards, women should be as skinny as possible, almost to the point of seeing their bones.
And, just like Koreans, the Chinese get inspired by their idols regarding ideal beauty looks.
One representative of the Chinese culture and body weight is Zheng Shuang, known for her fragile body.
At 168 centimeters tall, Zheng only weighs around 37 kilograms.
A notable Chinese beauty trend was the A4 waist challenge.
Also named the “anti-waist challenge,” Chinese women shared selfies on social media holding up sheets of paper.
The paper had to obscure the woman’s waist entirely – the standard paper size was only 21 centimeters (8.3 in) across – to be considered a beautiful body.
Indian Beauty Standards vs. Korean Beauty
In India, everyone aspires to be fair-skinned, thin, and body hair-free.
Somehow positioned (culturally) between the Far East and the Middle East, Indian culture has imported the Middle Eastern’s expectations of a hairless body and Korea’s norm for pale skin.
Compared to Korean beauty standards, which do not impose waxed arms, Indian women go the extra length seeking perfectly threaded arch eyebrows, arms, and legs.
Face, Skin, and Eyes
Just like Koreans, having fair or paler skin is a critical element in the Indian ideals of beauty.
Indians are discriminatory towards each other based on skin tone, with a maximum acceptable level of brown one can be before it is considered ugly.
A person with light skin is seen, in the social context, as someone of wealth and power, as there’s no need to work in the sun.
This preconception is speculated and accentuated by the beauty industry’s constant bombardment of fairness cream ads.
Unfortunately, in India, children with dark skin tones are often bullied in schools and face difficulties finding a job.
It is a situation that, once again, shows how much more educational work is needed to end stereotypes that impact the world we live in.
When it comes to eye shapes and sizes, the same Korean beauty standards are seen in the Indian beauty market.
In general, slim bodies are regarded as beautiful according to Indian beauty standards, similar to what we’ve found in Korea.
However, unlike Koreans, an hourglass figure or even a curvy body shape is rewarded and demanded by Indian men and seen as an equally important beauty standard.
Nevertheless, similar to most Asian countries, boys & girls with an inverted triangle figure are considered unaesthetic and undesired.
Why Are Beauty Standards So Strict in Korea?
A study from 2009 found that Korean women are very critical of their overall looks and, thus, prone to lower self-esteem and self-satisfaction compared to women from the United States.
A 2015 survey conducted by Gallup Korea determined that approximately one-third of South Korean women between 19 and 29 had plastic surgery.
A more recent study from 2020 determined that 20% of young Korean girls have undergone cosmetic surgery, a percentage significantly higher than the average of most countries.
The pressure to uphold a Korean standard of beauty is so high that it’s felt within all social strata, including the job market.
Compared to the West, South Korean employers require a photo, height, and even the family background of the applicants, as a part of the hiring process.
Competitive Socio-Economic Ladder
Beauty is often seen as a means for socio-economic success in the rapidly modernized post-war economy of South Korea, which is going through a slow job growth rate after its economic boom.
As such, Korea’s highly skilled and educated workforce is competing, in short supply of job opportunities market – for chances to climb the social ladder.
South Korea has seen more than a twenty-fold increase in income per capita, with the country ranked in the top twenty economies in the world right now.
Women’s rights have also gained additional visibility within the country, “visibility accompanied by a rise in body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.”
Some Koreans view investments in beauty, such as cosmetic products and even surgeries, as investments.
Plastic surgery, dermatology, and cosmetic dentistry are means of cultural capital to get an edge over peers for social and economic advancement.
The ideal Korean beauty standard is often constructed and influenced by actors, TV personalities, and K-pop stars.
Korean idols try all kinds of diets and share their journeys on social media, which influences many young Koreans to try and replicate them.
For example, the physical appearance of the famous Korean singer IU – well known for her diet of one apple for breakfast, one sweet potato for lunch, and a cup of protein for dinner – inspires the look of younger generations in Korea.
While already slim and tiny (162 centimeters tall and weighing around 45 kilograms), IU’s lifestyle choices – while questionable from a health perspective – are followed by most Koreans who want to look like her.
For example, the celebrity drinks 3 liters of water for five days straight to make her face and body look slimmer and thinner at the end of the week.
“On the seventh day, you’ll look like a skeleton,” she jokes, adding: “this way, you can go from thin to skeleton-skinny.”
Consequences of Harsh Korean Beauty Standards
Unfortunately, the strictness of Korean beauty standards has some expected negative results.
Below, I’ll enumerate the main 4 ones:
1. Excessive Beauty Products Usage
Compared to around $1.91 billion in 2014, South Koreans purchased and exported over $2.64 billion of cosmetic goods in 2015.
Some of the most popular products used in Korean beauty are blemish balm (BB) creams, color correction (CC) creams, serums, essences, ampoules, seaweed face masks, and scrubs.
Korean beauty products contain ingredients not commonly found in Western products, such as snail extract.
However, the high demand for Korean-style cosmetics and beauty products has attracted a lot of criticism worldwide for two reasons:
On the one hand, lots of environmental hazards, waste, and pollution.
On the other hand, a parallel market of fake Korean beauty products with serious health consequences.
2. High Plastic Surgery Rates
A global survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons found that in 2015, South Korea had the second-highest rate of cosmetic surgeries in East Asia.
Plastic surgery in South Korea is not just socially accepted but even encouraged by media and celebrities.
However, there’s a less-discussed part of the beauty surgeries, such as the rise in the number of men who take their wives to court because the children do not look like their wives.
3. Negative (Unhealthy) Body Image
Korean beauty advertising feels like bullying compared to Western beauty standards, pushing for acceptance and inclusivity.
The idea that “fat” is ugly is promoted in media to become successful and popular, even by female celebrities and hosts.
However, what the media fails to show is the darker side of being under constant pressure to be fit: unhealthy eating habits, disorders, and some extreme cases of death.
4. Idealist Kpop Image
K-pop is a considerable market in Korea (search “South Korea Music Awards”, and a list will come up).
Yet, all K-pop idols must meet the public expectations of Korean beauty standards in what has become a vicious cycle of starving or being starved.
Having to starve and keep disciplined (no food) or undergo painful procedures to meet beauty standards is not the correct way to live according to the Western lifestyle.
Yet, by looking at the rate of obesity in the US and Europe and its strain on the welfare system, it becomes a highly debatable subject of whose approach is wrong or right.
Escape The Corset Movement
Following the #MeToo movement – women shared sexual assault and harassment stories on social media – Korean women launched the ‘Free The Corset’ campaign.
A feminist movement at the core, the protest was driven by the idea that societal oppression of women is like being bound in a corset.
The movement aimed to deconstruct the culturally created definition of beauty, Korean men’s ideal of beauty, the aesthetic standard, and other common practices endorsed by media and the Korean Government.
As such, many Korean women have taken to social media in a backlash against unrealistic beauty standards that requires them to spend hours applying makeup and performing extensive skincare regimes, which often involve ten steps or more.
Some Korean women have destroyed makeup, cut their hair, and rejected the pressures of getting surgery.
The purpose of the movement is to create space for Korean women to feel comfortable with themselves, away from social pressures that limit their identity.
The demand for K-beauty products (face masks, cleansers, moisturizers, makeup) is so high that the Korean beauty industry is now a top performer, forecasted to reach $14 billion by 2027.
The use of snail slime, bee venom, starfish extract, pig collagen, and morphing masks are unique ingredients used to produce K-beauty products.
The growing demand for these products is generated by the overall idea of a Korean beauty standard and how these products can help buyers achieve that look.
The uniqueness of Korean society and culture, so much different from what people are used to in the Western world, is at the core of Korean beauty standards.
There’s no doubt that Korean beauty standards are much more restricted than those of the Western world.
Korean beauty expectations are either “ridiculous” or “unattainable” through an American or European lens of beauty standard.”
However, let’s not forget that Western beauty standards are just as strict, if not even stricter:
Tanned skin, symmetrical face, small upturned nose, big feline eyes, full lips, high and defined cheekbones, sharp jawline, slim or curvy body…and the list goes on.
Beyond the universal, biological beauty standard, every culture has its beauty standard.
Such standards are deeply rooted in history and culture, so while alien to you, try not to judge but rather enjoy the Korean beauty standards.
Keep up with the latest in fashion, beauty and style!
Now it’s your turn…
Do you agree with Korean beauty standards? If not, why?
Do you use any Korean beauty products? If yes, which ones?
Do you know of any other country in the world with more stringent beauty standards than Koreans?
Please leave your comments below and views on Korean beauty standards.
Wendy Wang is a licensed cosmetologist, certified lash extension, and lash lift artist specializing in brow shaping, lamination, lash lifts and lash extensions. Operating from Manhattan, NYC, Wendy frequently shares over 19 years of multiple-country experience in the beauty industry with the audiences of several media outlets and publications.
I can’t believe this author said that it is debatable which culture of beauty is “right or wrong”- the US and Europe rate of obesity with S. Korea, India, and Chinese countries promoting anorexia and eating disorders!? What?! I would think if anyone had common sense and critical thinking skills would SEE that neither one is GOOD at all. Where is the balance? Where are the realistic standards, in fact why are there standards of beauty period!? Everyone is a unique individual, with a unique sense of beauty. This is ill! This is sabatoge. This is unhealthy, and it continuously perpetuates so many mental health issues among men and women.
At the end of the day, people need to STOP focusing on celebrities and what they do within a toxic industry that in the end destroys them. They are being paid to push this way of life and viewing one’s body unto the masses and unless I missed something, it doesn’t seem to be a positive thing.
I am a Westerner and do not appreciate our culture trying to set a “standard” of beauty either, it’s toxic, and ugly. Walking around looking like a Kim Kardashian blow up doll is not my idea of “beautiful.” I want to look like I was born to look. With a healthy eating regime, exercise, and minimal beauty care/make-up application. That to ME is beautiful. Living authentically takes courage! I prefer to be courageous. And if anyone doesn’t like it, they can leave me alone, I don’t care for small minded individuals in life.
If I were a woman living in any one of these countries I’d leave. Who wants to be pressed by family, friends, teachers, lovers, etc to look a certain way when your genes dictate that you more than likely won’t, without some serious pain (surgeries, etc.)
We need to STOP killing our children with these toxic mind sets! We are destroying cultures! We are destroying people. Stop!
Love yourself enough to not fall in line with someone else’s idea of what they think YOU should look like in order to be loved and accepted. You are loveable just as you ARE. Right now! IN this moment.
Thank you. I was disgusted as I went through this article, especially the part about India. As an Indian, I felt like the article had a more negative tone on women’s beauty standards, when it seems all the same for the rest of Asia (what is up with the obsession of light pale skin!?). Also, I’m sure my doctor would admit me to a hospital if I ever did weigh as much as kpop “idol.” It’s sad because I was really getting into their music, dramas, food and now I’m just sad.
Not sure I get it? You’re disgusted by a country’s cultural approach to beauty or to Indian beauty standards?
Precisely my thought…
The user I SAID IT has an issue with “killing children with toxic mindsets” whatever that means to her/him, while the user FOR REAL “felt” the article had a negative tone towards women with dark skin while biased towards skinny beauty standards? You people are looking for things to feel offended about….
If you take the time to read the article, you’ll notice it does not take any stance on what’s “right or wrong”, or which country’s beauty standards are better or worse. It is just reporting on current Korean standards and compares them with other beauty trends in Asia. If you don’t like the beauty trends of a particular culture, send a complaint to the ministry of health of that country, be that India, Korea, or whichever country you feel is impacting your idea of beauty.
Thank you! While I was reading this article it also makes me feel uncomfortable.Indeed, in China we prefer the aesthetics of slim body, but extreme body like Zheng Shuang is also very controversial in China, but most people do not like this extremely thin body because it is not good for health. Most people in China think her figure is a little sick. She is not a representative of Chinese aesthetics at all. Moreover, more and more women in China are willing to improve their bodies through fitness and reasonable diet, but not to please others. On the contrary, this is just to make yourself have a better body. There are many words and opinions in this article that make me feel very biased and uncomfortable. His views are too one-sided. In fact, no matter what kind of aesthetics, health and suitability are the best.
Hold on a second….You’re ranting at the author for helping you learn about another culture and how they perceive beauty?!!! I mean..you really are a confused individual. For example, you say two different things all the time:
“Where are the realistic standards, in fact why are there standards of beauty period!? Everyone is a unique individual, with a unique sense of beauty.”
So… to you everyone is a “unique individual, with a unique sense of beauty (whatever that might be) but you insist on some sort of “realistic standards”?!! Realistic according to which culture? Norwegian? Nigerian? Korean? American?….
Zora, what you on about, darling? How about the beauty standards according to people of Samoa?
Im amazed at reading this article, being a Western European national, having a tanned Latino body in the summer and pale skin in the winter.
I do not understand the logic of Korean obsessiveness with fake pretty skinny looking barby doll lookalikes.
Beauty is surely in the eye of the beholder and not in the fake wearing of makeup.
In the western world many fashion models were anorexic, many died for the so called perfect look, what is perfection?
Are Koreans so shallow and obsessed?
It’s sad to see how the many who aren’t born with that Adonis body or looks are ridiculed, bullied, and marginalised.
We know Koreans to be an amazing people although have found them to be insular and racist.
Time for Koreans to join the real world with real diverse people of many colours, and sizes.
I adore watching Korean serials, I admire the culture, as it’s much like the Italian way of life.
My thought as well and despite all of that I still love Japanese and Korean beauty and culture. It is subjective, according to each country so do not be so quick to judge, through your western lens!
The first top woman is shown to be an example of ideal Chinese beauty. I searched who it was, and it turns out to be a model born in Vietnam. If you are going to show an example of ideal Chinese beauty, at least use a Chinese person.
The first pic is a comparison pic between a representative asian lady vs a representative western lady. It’s about face features, not about country of birth.
I was not talking about that comparison pic, but it is cool. I did not think it was fair at the time, but that is the beauty standard for Chinese women even though that woman is actually Vietnamese.
If I just eat an apple for breakfast, a sweet potato for lunch and a cup of protein for dinner and five days with 3ls of water I won’t be skeleton-skinny but will be just a skeleton!
> 3 liters of water for five days straight
Wouldn’t that cause *massive* problems with the body’s electrolyte balance?
I’m actually Indian, but I was born elsewhere. I’m rather skinny for my age, but I was just totally and completely DISGUSTED about the criticism between the Indian and Western compared to the Korean standards to be pretty. Tell me, why the criticism between them? You can’t just bully people for what they look like and where they come from. THIS IS WHY RACISM IS ALIVE RIGHT NOW! Every country has it’s own beauty standards, and I say the lower the better. Every day, every minute, girls are looking at magazines of ‘beautiful’ people and wondering if they are good enough! We are all unique and you are just pushing people to get plastic surgery to feel better about themselves! DO NOT HURT AND CHANGE YOURSELF JUST TO MAKE OTHER’S HAPPY!! I can’t believe this criticism youre making!
I actually like the article a lot, and I am not sure what criticism you’re talking about. Maybe you meant comparison? If that’s the case, did you find the comparison racist? How?? Actually, just to make sure we’re talking about the same thing, did you read the article or just felt like venting off some frustration and didn’t know where?
Are you serious? :)))
I was reading through this and enjoyed this article quite a lot, but I didn’t find any racism there, so I’m wondering what you found racist??
Tzuyu isn’t Korean, she’s Chinese………
You’re wrong, she was born in Taiwan but grew up in South Korea so she’s one of the most representative celebs in Korean makeup and beauty styles. Here’s more about her: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzuyu
Hayoon, you are both wrong, dear. Tzuyu is Taiwanese from parents but grew up in South Korea and she still lives there.
I guess all the offencive ones here had had the same standards at least once. They don’t like themselves anymore, dreaming of who they used to be, so when the author ponted it out, it seems they get just too hostile and say insulting words. Hey ladies, not every person cares how or what you think, just be yourself and understand that cultures are different and people have different views. As a Korean male, I can tell this article 100% explains the truth. The author is talking about my culture, not YOUR DAM INDIVIDUAL OPINION. You don’t like what reality is, then live your own!
Wow, lots of Kpop style hostility here. NASTY comments. I will say this, intermittent fasting IS the way to heal autoimmune disorders, so is keto or low carb. I’d be much more on board with IU’s minimalist diet if it looked like she knew what she was doing. If she wants to IF, she needs to NOT have an apple or sweet potato. LOL. I have asthma, Crohn’s, my kid has type 1 (juvenile) diabetes and asthma, we have seen amazing results beauty wise and health wise (that’sthe big one for us) with IF and low carb. However, these kids exercise a lot, so I dunno how realistic it is. The other thing, for beauty, I found out by having COVID that most of us are SEVERELY vitamin D deficient. We started supplementing and old scars started healing, urticaria disappeared, I was floored. D3 is necessary for cellular regeneration and healing, so I guess it works on skin as well, which is the biggest organ in your body. Something to consider. What’s with all the nastiness here? This is a beauty site, guys, chill. Remember, other women are your potential friends, not competition.
I am Asian, well, Indian but we, Indians, prefer the term Asian as it sounds cooler, more cosmopolitan as it is indirectly associated with Korean or Japanese beauty, while the use of Indian beauty makes people associate Indian looks with Bangladeshi and Pakistani.
Anyway, back to the Asian beauty looks and trends, I feel that the overall Asian beauty (as a market of cosmetics) has been earning its place in the world, competing with the American beauty standard, at least in the movies, and so on.
One of the best articles in Korean fashion right now. Some say that snail creams are no longer a thing but they have no idea what they’re talking about. Others, don’t really understand why paleness is such a beauty virtue. Some also talk about freckles without understanding that this is an article about Korean fashion standards, and freckles have nothing to do with Koreans.
Personally, because I’m pale to the point of being pasty-looking, thanks to living in a northern climate, I prefer healthy tanned skin and I get outside to take in some air and vitamin D!
As advice to Korean beauty girls, instead of snail creams, use sunblock to prevent cancer!
I don’t even fit on this height standard list but then again, I am not Korean so my opinion doesn’t really matter.
It’s sad to read about people unhappy with their natural looks because of society’s standards. But the author is just reporting the facts and it’s not like Korean culture is the only one where that situation exists.
I was surprised that K-Pop stars usually reflect the beauty standards mentioned, since the two don’t seem a perfect match. For example, I’ve seen and read about male and female K-Pop stars who have displayed “happy trails” (abdominal hair) on stage or in other public settings. Abdominal hair is often associated with maturity or adulthood, and seems opposed to the youthful qualities idealized. It could just be a difference between what is beautiful and what is sexy, so there’s no contradiction in displaying both youthful looks and abdominal hair. I’ve also seen content of Korean women with unshaved armpits, and the impression was that it had sex appeal. Again, not exactly the youthful innocent image but more of a mature emphasis. Maybe these examples are exceptions to the rule, but the response to them seemed favorable anyway.
This was brought to my attention…No, I didn’t mean to suggest that Korean beauty standards should depend on what other cultures are doing. IMHO, even if clear-cut beauty standards were unique to Korean culture, Korean society alone should decide what standards and practices are best for itself.
Great article overall, I think I learnt a lot from it. For those bashing the author in the comments, take it easy. You don’t have to agree with her, but I think she did a good job of presenting the facts, regardless of whether they’re sound, ethical or distasteful.
Great article! Thank you! I am an American of Italian descent so pale skin I don’t have…lol… But I do use and love, love, love several Korean skin care products available at Marshals. Can’t say I’ve seen “Peeling Gel” available from US cosmetics companies. Am also quite fond of the collagen based skin care from Korea. ❤️
Right now I am certain that almost the whole world will try to fit in the Korean beauty standard. Those with darker skin try to beech their skin. Everyone now is on diet or workout routine to slim down. Slim and lighter is now the standard. I have seen people get surgeries to have Asian (Korean) eyes. South Korea is actually setting the standard for the whole world. Even if its a small country. Everyone seems to be interested, I believe in the next 5 years Everyone would want to visit korea, eat what koreans eat, use whatever product they are using, wear what they wear. I’m not saying it’s bad. But this will bring pressure on a lot of people, cultures etc.
Korean beauty is now world wide