The Danger of the Public Obsession of Physical Appearance in Korea

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The Danger of the Public Obsession of Physical Appearance in Korea In recent Korea, the most frequent used words are eoljjang(perfect face), V-line (perfect face-line), momjjang (perfect body) and S-line(perfect body-line), which express the public obsession of physical appearance. Particularly to young students, this social obsession of external features has resulted in undesirable outcomes: a waste of time and money, an acquisition of distorted values of beauty and human beings and a serious danger to health. The public obsession of external features forces students into spending too much time and money for their physical appearances. For example, more than 20% of my school students spend most of their spare time on part-time jobs to save money for their future cosmetic surgeries. They don’t want to study at all because they believe only a better appearance can guarantee a better future. Furthermore, one of the commonest hobbies of female students is taking a ‘self-picture’ or preening themselves in front of the mirror. In this way, they waste their precious periods in being absorbed in their outer appearances. In addition, they waste their pocket money in buying extravagant goods which they believe make their outward appearances more attractive. Therefore, most of them do not buy more necessary things like books that help their inner developments. Owing to the orientation to external appearances, the average reading rate of Korean students has been decreasing. As a result, the National Library of Korea pronounced that the average reading time of high school students has been reduced by 15 % during the past five years. The social tendency of overestimation about physical beauty gives distorted values of human beings and beauty to students. Nowadays, this saying that “Bad personality is forgiven but ugly looking is not forgiven.” has been widely quoted in Korean society. That means outer- beauty compensates all kinds of bad traits. In this social...
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