When I first saw the candidates of Miss Korea 2013, I had no idea they were beauty pageant contestants and just remarked how even I, as an Asian female had trouble telling them apart. The beauty pageant held in Daegu City marketed with the slogan, “One Dream, One Face” had netizens worried judging would be too difficult due to their striking similarities. Clearly many of them had work done and since it IS the norm in Asia to have your face reworked like a Mrs. PotatoHead, so be it.
We all kind of know this already, so I’m unsure if looking at this from an outsiders point of view is just more expository noise on the internet in an attempt to make us feel that our values are better than theirs. I mean, I get it. I ascribe to the, “Love what your mama gave you” battle cry. And some feel having work done denotes a certain shallow, materialistic judgment on that person’s priorities and values.
But as one of our contributors Tina Tsai who alerted 8A to the article said:
“Guess we’ll just have to judge them based on personalities.”
A kind of refreshing thought actually. Imagine that physical appearance is truly out of judging criteria … in a beauty pageant … and a completely level playing field based on character is what sets everyone apart. Think of this in terms of a job interview, where in South Korea, a job application is submitted with a photo. That no one person visibly stands out from an aesthetic perspective and the only thing differentiating you from your competitor is your education, work experience and interpersonal relationships.
Suddenly this competition has become interesting to watch unfold – and at the same time sounding eerily like an episode of Battlestar Galactica. /nerd joke (Cylons, FTW!)
And it’s not like Korean society is completely unaware of its quirks. While guesting on SNL Korea (yes, that’s Saturday Night Live Korea), girl group Brown Eyed Girls (BEG) minus GaIn (featured in PSY’s “Gentleman” music video) parodied Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ brilliantly titled ‘Plastic Face’. (I died at the 2nd chorus.)