Monday, July 11, 2011

[Part 2] When I became a college student...

A few days ago, I stumbled upon some images on Here they are with translations.

Here's an advertisement put up by Juliet Plastic Surgery

This image is from
Translation: OPEN - A Clinic for the management of your appearance qualifications intended for those starting their academic or professional careers in the year 2010

Here's one put up by Propose Plastic Surgery

This image is from
Translation: We will discover her hidden beauty.

They are ridiculous copies, but I know how serious they are. Because they remind me of the time when i was in college. I wrote a blog posting about the subject of competition last month, and now I want to share with you my story about my time in college that I wrote in my thesis.

When I became a college student, I quickly realized that the competition was not limited within the boundaries of academia. As my friends and I no longer had to wear uniforms or keep our hair a certain way, we started to converse more and more about the way we dressed and presented ourselves. Some of my friends even talked about their desire to look beautiful and perfect through surgery. Although they already looked beautiful to me, the plastic surgeons they had consulted called out imperfections that could be fixed.
Ten of my classmates eventually went on to receive the recommended surgery. After the surgery, they started to visit the dermatologist every week to ensure perfect skin. Their obsession with beauty was not just a consequence of vanity. The underlying belief was that in a competitive society, beauty affords greater opportunities such as getting a good job or finding a good husband. 
The excessive pursuit of beauty continued throughout my college years. My friends and I talked about celebrities, fashion, and beauty all the time. I had to be aware of brand names simply to establish a common topic of conversation with my friends. Consumerism was rampant. We longed to have trendy, expensive products. I became very observant. On the street, I noticed people’s appearances — what kinds of clothes, bags, accessories, and shoes they had, and how beautiful they looked. Their belongings symbolized their wealth. I assumed and judged them through their appearances, and as a consequence, I was becoming a superficial person devoted to an artificial notion of beauty.

by Yong Joo Kim

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