American vs. Korean Beauty Standards

All around the world, there are certain beauty standards for society. Different looks and styles are popular in many different countries. What might be considered “beautiful” in one country, may be considered the opposite in another. There is a big difference between American beauty standards and Korean beauty standards. There are also many similarities between the two as well. Beauty is subjective, but in certain areas around the world, there can be very harsh standards set to be considered beautiful.

American vs. Korean Beauty Standards

The differences between American beauty standards and Korean beauty standards are very large. In America, you are considered attractive if you have tanned skin. In South Korea, being pale is believed to be beautiful. Over the years, there has been discrimination towards tanned skin in South Korea. They find pale skin to be associated with luxury, modesty, and beauty. Another main difference is makeup. In America, wearing heavy and bold makeup is popular. In Korea, light makeup is a trend. They have a style of makeup called “aegyo sal” which represents being youthful. Hourglass figures in America are very popular and sought after. In Korea, being petite and slim is popular. They aim to be cute and modest rather than be seen as “sexy,” like Americans typically do. Another big difference are eyebrow styles. Americans like to have high arched brows while in South Korea, straight eyebrows are wanted. Something that is seen as controversial in Korea are tattoos. Tattoos and piercings in Korea are often looked at as an inappropriate. Some Koreans think that people with tattoos and piercings are social rejects, gangsters, and thugs. In America, piercings and tattoos are often seen as something cool and trendy. It is often controversial in America too, but it is not as looked down upon as it is in South Korea. Fashion in the two countries is very different. While they love to both be fashionable, their sense of style is very different. It is popular in America to wear flashy, revealing clothes. In Korea, it is seen as inappropriate to wear extremely showy clothes. Some Korean individuals see showing skin as a way to attract too much unwanted attention and seeming unladylike. They tend to lean towards loose, light colored, flowy styles of clothes. Their style is considered “cute” and in America, wearing bold colors with skin showing is admired. There are extreme beauty standards in the Korea and America, but these differences show how each place see things as beautiful while others may not.

While there are more differences than similarities within the norms of beauty between these two countries, there are some things that are alike. One of the major things that are alike are eyes. In both America and South Korea, large, round eyes are considered beautiful. In South Korea, it is very popular for people to get double eyelid surgery. This surgery allows for the fat on the eyelid to be removed so they no longer have a monolid, and instead have a double eyelid. This surgery can often be pressured on Korean teenagers because they see big, circular eyes to be attractive. Another facial feature similarity between these two countries is nose size. Having a thin nose bridge is the beauty standard. It is also very common in South Korea for people to get surgery on their nose bridge to make it higher and more prominent on their face. High cheekbones in America and Korea are very popular. Getting Botox in your cheekbones to make them higher and sharper is very common in both Korea and America. High cheekbones are perceived as a symbol of sexual maturity and adulthood. Another major similarity is skincare. Both Americans and Koreans love their skincare. The majority of popular skin care comes from South Korea. Skin care is very popular in both countries. They find that having healthy skin is essential to being beautiful and appearing healthy. The last similarity between the two countries is fashion. While the style they have and clothing is different, being fashionable is very popular. Both American and Korean people love to be seen in the trendy, attractive clothes they find is admirable.

While there are many things that are alike and different in the beauty standard aspect, these are just generalized things that have been popular and well known throughout the years. Not everyone from South Korea and America conform to these norms and there are people who go against these standards. Seeing the many differences in these countries shows that places in the world have their own ways of seeing what is considered to be attractive and what is seen as unattractive. There are more similarities and differences than some may realize, but it very interesting to see how people form their opinions on people based on their appearance.

izzah ahmed

This is Izzah, a content writer and editor who creates SEO-friendly content and has experience in academic writing. Backed by 10 years of experience in writing and editing, she is equipped with the skill to create content that is backed by thorough research and has impeccable structure.

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