Ok let’s put this story into perspective.
I was attracted to the prospect of travelling the world upon graduating. However I like most graduates was broke and living at home with mum and dad.
My hopes and dreams of travelling were out of my financial grasp, until my friend suggested we travel to Korea and work as ESL teachers.
Two months and a 10 hour flight later we were both living and working in Korea.
During my time working in Korea I couldn’t help notice that beauty is everything!!
I needed to attach a photo to my job application. At interview I was complimented on my appearance rather than my skills as a teacher.
There are advertisements everywhere!!! They advertise elective surgeries with convincing before and after pictures.
I noticed that Korean men had partially bare, partially hairy legs. (It’s really popular in Korea for men to wax their legs but to purposefully leave some hair to maintain a groomed look while still maintaining their masculinity.)
Women openly check themselves out in reflective surfaces unafraid of being considered vain.
I felt there was a celebrity status bestowed upon me because of the way I look. I would get complimented all the time for my pale, pasty, porcelain white skin and big eyes. (Features I didn’t consider my strongest assets.)
When I questioned my adult students about this, they openly admitted to the trend towards perms, skin whitening, double eyelid surgery and cheek implants.
In a country were surgery is the norm I was unnerved by one of my students decision to gift her daughter with double eyelid surgery upon graduating highschool.
My co-workers were among those to proclaim Korean beauty industry to be taking the world by storm as they referred to leading cosmetic surgeries, face masks and BB cream.
I appreciate their quest for perfection but I remain firm in my belief that inner beauty shines brightest.