“200 Pounds Beauty” is a remarkable successful Korean movie with over 40 millions revenue. Even though, the ideal behind this movie is somewhat negative. Based on it, 200 pounds beauty does not exist no matter how talented that girl can be.
Kang Hanna is an overweight girl who has an amazing voice but she is considered “ugly” because she does not have that ideal body with curves in right parts of her body. She works as a phone sex employee and “ghost” singer for a famous singer- Amy who is very pretty but can not handle a note herself. Hanna is secretly in love with Amy’s manager – Sang Jun but she overheard he says she is fat and ugly. Heartbroken Hanna has a massive plastic surgeon from head to toe. She changes her name to Jenny– a “perfect” girl with a “perfect” body. She becomes a singer and Sang Jun finally laid his eyes on her. Life is perfect until she starts to lose herself, lose “Hanna”, she begins to wonder who she is inside all the silicon bags, fake face and body.
The movie is a comedy but behind all the laughter it leaves me wondering if being beautiful is all about how you look in the outside regardless your characteristic. Kang Hanna – a sweet, nice 200 pounds girl works as a phone sex employee and back stage singer for another singer who has no real talent. Jenny – a girl with nothing real on her body but Hanna’s voice becomes a pop star. The only thing that different between Hanna and Jenny is Hanna has a big nose, small eyes, thin lips and weight 200 pounds while Jenny has a oval shape face, a sharp and pointed nose, full lips, pale skin tone and wear size 0. Through Hanna we can see if your appearance does not fit into the ideal Korean standard of beauty regardless how great you are at singing you are far from being a Korean pop star.
The ideal of getting massive plastic surgery to be seen, loved, feel beautiful has really negative effects in Korean teenagers. Especially when it is commons for high school girls to ask for “double eyelids” surgery as graduation gift. A simple procedure would make their eyes bigger and considered prettier in Korea. It is not something wrong with their noses, eyes, lips that they need to get surgery. They need that painful, expensive surgery to be call beautiful regardless what they have to suffer through recovery. When skinny flawless looking singers and actresses are all over media, they feel the need to be like that. Just like Hanna, she does not feel alive until she becomes Jenny.
South Korea is known for its plastic surgery industry but it is scary how much Korean girls willing to pay to be “pretty”.Movies like “200 Pounds Beauty” promotes the wrong idea to Korean young women make them feel the need to go through painful procedure just to fit into the ideal beauty standards.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Yoo, Julia. “Culture Shock! – Essay: “Beauty: The Korean Way”” Web log post. Culture Shock! – Essay: “Beauty: The Korean Way” N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2013.