Though standards of beauty may vary from location to location, they play an influential role in practically every society and culture. Celebrities, too, help to normalize certain societal beauty trends through advertisements and  media.

In South Korea, these influencers are Korean pop  idols, who are responsible for promoting the majority, if not the entirety, of South Korea’s beauty trends, standards, and expectations. While many of these trends have been influenced by South Korea’s own history of idealistic aesthetic standards, the influence of Western beauty ideals cannot be ignored, and they serve as a glaring reminder of the immense power the West has in other parts of the world.

The pull to Western beauty

Many South Koreans envy and idolize ‘Western’ facial features, whether they are conscious of it or not. Perhaps it is because of a Western-dominated media or the pedestal South Korean society places the United States upon.

Whatever the reason, contemporary South Korean society has deeply internalized its bias towards Western beauty, so that Koreans who do not possess ‘Western’ features often face prejudice in the workplace and in daily life.