Friday, June 29, 2012

What is Real Beauty? (Web Exclusive)

Cosmetic surgery Everyone wants to be a beautiful person, even me. Today, I think about “What is real beauty?” because people I know say, “Nowadays you look fat. You have to lose weight.” So, I wear clothes every day trying to look nice. This is stressful for me. My mom says, “You are always beautiful. Don't lose courage.” But, my older sister says, “You have to lose weight and have plastic surgery like me.” My sister said it as a joke. Suddenly, I had some questions: What is real beauty? Why must everyone be beautiful? Does real beauty mean using diets or having plastic surgery? Is inner beauty real beauty?

Today, I think there are some real social issues of concern around our perceptions of beauty. As a woman, it seems like it is more important for me to be beautiful than capable. In Korea, a person's appearance is all-important. For example, when I heard 2NE1’s song, “Ugly,” I felt very bitter. The song “Ugly” tries to describe contemporary people who prefer appearances to substance or quality of character. The lyrics “I think I’m ugly / and nobody wants to love me/ Just like her I want to be pretty / … / Don’t lie to my face telling me I’m pretty” are particularly problematic. They can cause real feelings of inadequacy that have lasting psychological effects on their audience, who are primarily teenage girls. The song has very exciting music, but the lyrics suggest we live in a world where people are judged solely by their appearances!

Many Koreans think that in order to succeed, we have to have plastic surgery or be constantly dieting. University students undergo plastic surgery and diet excessively hoping to get a better job. Society is putting so much focus on our appearance that many young people lose sight of things that are truly important, such as education and morality.

We live in the Republic of Plastic Surgery!

Many people are discriminated against in the Republic of Plastic Surgery, and the plastic surgeries themselves can cause serious physical and psychological damage. For example, everyone knows the tragic tale of Michael Jackson. The UK magazine, The Sun, says he was infected by a super bacteria during one of his many cosmetic surgeries and suffered horribly from the infection. I personally know someone who had plastic surgery on her eyes and nose. She sometimes experiences a prickly feeling and, at other times, feels no pain or sensation at all. It is good to want be beautiful, but at what cost? People should avoid unnecessary invasive surgeries their bodies do not need.

In conclusion, while thinking about beauty I felt many things. To be honest, I still do not know what real beauty is, but I do know our society is far too obsessed with achieving it. We should all think carefully about what real beauty means to us and try not to judge a person by their appearance. It is good to have outer beauty, but goodness, kindness, and intelligence can often be more attractive than double eyelids or high nose bones. We must always remember to take care of our inner beauty and look for it in others, as well.

Staff writer Cha Suji.


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