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The Prevalence of Plastic Surgery Among South Korean Women and its Relation to Pop Culture - Essay Example

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The media in the world has inundated women with an ever-evolving standard of beauty which is getting more and more impossible to attain. This essay will explain about the stringent standards of feminine beauty, how plastic surgery plays into this and how Korean women are using plastic surgery to attain Westernized beauty, and why this is so insidious and wrong. …
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The Prevalence of Plastic Surgery Among South Korean Women and its Relation to Pop Culture
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Download file to see previous pages For instance, the male-dominated society has deemed that a woman may be considered feminine if her body type is a certain way, and the feminine ideal changes through time. At the time of Lorber's writing, the fashion was for women to be small-breasted, slim-hipped and bordering on emaciated. Because that was the ideal, many women starved themselves to fit this aesthetic. The aesthetic has also popularized magazines that promised to show women how to become thinner, with such titles as “Help Stamp Out Cellulite” and “Fat-Burning Exercise Guide.” Furthermore, there are informal edicts that women must follow in order to be considered feminine. For instance, Lorber talks about how women take up much less personal space then men. When women are on a train, they make themselves as small as possible – legs pressed together, arms at their sides. Meanwhile, men splay their arms and legs as far as possible. Women also need to have supple skin that shows no signs of age, and must be kept up with expensive cremes and electrolysis. Makeup is almost required. All of this is to make the woman more attractive to men, and women feel bad when they fail to conform to the prescribed beauty ideal (Lorber, 1993). Moreover, the feminine ideal has evolved over the years towards an image of ever-unattainable perfection. The past 50 or 60 years has been marked by a changing standard of ideal beauty in society. According to Calabrese et al., the ideal has changed towards a thinner female body type, one that is unattainable by most women. This is seen in Playboy Magazine centerfold models, Miss America pageant winners and fashion models. As stated above, these ideals are...
What it means to be feminine in society is often equated with an impossibly thin, tall woman with Western features. This is true even in some Asian countries, such as Taiwan and Singapore. South Korea also emphasizes the Western ideal, as it uses Western models to promote glamorous items such as lingerie, and Asian models are used to promote house-cleaning items. The message is that, to attain an ideal, you must look a certain way, and Korean women are increasingly falling into the trap. No longer content to have broad noses, full lips, broad faces and small eyes, Korean women are increasingly getting their noses and eyes Westernized. In the process, they are perpetuating oppression and patriarchy by giving into the feminine ideal set forth by the male-dominated society in which they live, for it is the men who demand the rigid standard of beauty. The Westernized Korean women are also giving up a part of themselves, their identity and the parts of themselves which makes them unique.
Korean women are spending an increasing amount of money trying to attain the Western ideal. This money is not well-spent, for it perpetuates the patriarchy and oppression and causes the woman to become inauthentic and other women to feel inferior. Everybody should celebrate themselves, however they were created, and not pay attention to the images in the media, for this kind of perfection is not attainable, nor should it be. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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