Though the Encyclopedia of body image and human appearance, confirms the association between Western beauty and wealth and power, the encyclopedia explains another meaning behind plastic surgery.
Collectivism, the practice of giving one’s family or community priority over oneself, is an important value in most Asian cultures including Korea (Cash, 2012). This means that South Koreans pay close attention to people around them and try to adapt conform and blend in with others in hopes of not standing out in a negative way. They constantly make social comparisons to make sure they are conforming to a group’s ideals because if they do not, it could lead to disappointment of for their family or community. This is due to the fact that because in Asia, people represent their families through their actions, thoughts and looks, which . This means that if everyone is getting cosmetic surgery, you should too because or else, you would disappoint your family or friends. Therefore, getting surgery does not have the goal of standing out and beautifying oneself. Rather, the purpose is it is not to stick out like a sore thumb.
One’s family plays an important role in whether one should get plastic surgery by encouraging the procedure (Cash, 2012). In addition, Asian culture is very family-oriented, meaning that the society places an importance in marriage. Marriage represents success and is extremely emphasized on females. The appearance of a woman is a significant an important factor to determine whether a female can success social success or not. This seems to confirm my idea of how Asian standards are still a bit traditional regarding the role of women in society. It’s effects can be pressurizing because these standards may contradict one’s true feelings.
Plastic surgery is a manner of attaining and meeting the unreasonably high expectations of one’s family and environment. It is completely normal for parents to gift their children plastic surgery as a reward. Steve from AsianBoss asked Korean citizens on their thoughts about plastic surgery and most admit to the pressures surrounding appearance because Koreans are can be very direct with their criticism. In addition, there is an internal pressure around surrounding the idea of lookism and how it can affect one’s ability to get a job. In South Korea, it is mandatory to attach a picture of oneself along with their resume because the way someone looks is a vital part during the consideration of one’s suitability for a job.
A citizen explained how people can get better and nicer treatment just because they look nice. This is why most students in university undergo plastic surgery —: to secure better job opportunities. The fact that looks can determine one’s future, both in the job market and in society, puts a lot of stress on its importance. This creates puts a lot of pressure on South Koreans because they feel the need to conform to a very narrow set of ideals, while and plastic surgery is the only way they can attain these impossible standards.