The Picture of Ugly Woman Means Powerless in Korean Movie entitled ‘200 Pounds Beauty’ By: Mustika Nur Amalia
(Gender and Literature Studies)
This Essay is written in order to fulfill the final project of the subject ‘Gender and Literature Studies’. The main focus of this essay is to discuss the ugly women that depicted in the ‘200 pounds beauty’ since this movie highlights the pain of Hana as the main character who is considered ugly because she is fat. The terms of ‘fat’ here gives the message to women that women should not be ‘fat’ to be beauty. This issue is one of the practices of women as sex object that demands the women to be concern about their body. In 1913, Webster’s dictionary defined beauty as “properties pleasing the eye, the ear, the intellect, the aesthetic faculty or the moral sense.” But in 2004, the default definition of beauty has shriveled pitifully (Etcoff, 2004:4). However, nowadays the concept of beauty more concern about physical appearance. Wood states in his article entitled ‘Perceptions of Female Beauty in the 20th Century’ that definition of beauty in the 20th century, when referring to human physical beauty, are nearly always constructed in terms of outward appearance and sexual attractiveness. Etcoff (2004) also argues that beauty is visual; in fact, it is the same visual – the eye popping features and stunning proportions of a few hand-picked beauty icons. Orbach (2004) also mentioned that women of all ages and classes want to claim beauty for themselves, there has been an insidious narrowing of the beauty aesthetic to a limited physical type – thin, tall – which inevitably excludes millions and millions of women. Being beauty gives the women more power to reach all the qualities based on Orbach (2004) statement that women regard being beautiful as the result of qualities and circumstance: being loved, being engaged in activities that one wants to do, having a close relationship, being happy, being kind, having confidence, exuding dignity and humor. These are the things that women want to reach by being beauty. How if the women cannot fulfill the concept of beauty? In the movie ‘200 Pounds Beauty’ clearly portrays that ugly is powerless for women. There are three reasons why ugly is powerless for the women that will be explained in the next paragraphs.
The first reason is that being ugly means mediocre career, since despite the fact that Hana is talented; she could only become a dubber for untalented singer, Ammy. Ammy is beautiful, she is thin, tall, and has the criteria of beauty that has been mentioned in the first paragraphs, but her voice is so horrible that’s why she needs a dubber to cover her horrible voice with Hana’s voice. In Korean perspective, beauty means having big eyes, a pale complexion, a sharp and pointed nose, a taller height, and a small chin and mouth. Essentially, South Korean Beauty meant looking as “white” or Caucasian as possible (Julia Yoo, beauty: the Korean Way articles). Caucasian models in many Asian advertisements for beauty products raise the possibility that beauty ideals are or are becoming global (Li, Min, Belk, Kimura, Bahl, 2008:444). Moreover, the concept of Caucasian beauty influences Korean entertainment industry. We cannot deny that many cultural products which produce by Korean entertainment industry picture the concept of Korean beauty that more like ‘Caucasian’ through their actresses. For instance, in one of the websites soompi.com mentioned that the criteria beautiful actress is like Kim Tae Hae, Yoon Eun Hye and Suzy (Miss A). They are the representation of ideal Korean beauty women, having fair skin, pointed nose, thin body, and wide eyes. Another case, in Korean Drama entitled ‘Dream High’ also portrays that ugly women are powerless through Phil Suk character. She has gorgeous voice but she is fat so that she cannot become the main actress in the advertisement, just become the singer of advertisement jingle. From these two cases, in the...
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