Tuesday, January 29, 2013

re: re: re: plastic surgery

Everything I learned about PS I learned from U Go Grr

There's this little website out there called Soompi, maybe you've heard of it? Anyway one of their authors wrote an article in response to another article based on a segment called This American Life which airs on NPR (at least where I am).

While I sort of agree with most of what authors says in regards to plastic surgery there were a few things in it I had a problem with. I understand the article is just the author's opinions so I guess this is just my reaction to her reaction about the original article that was based on the TAL piece... Phew.

Briefly, the original Jezebel article is about an American teacher in Korea and how she reacts to the prevalence of plastic surgery there and the possible reasons behind it.
The show was anchored by a brief interview with a woman who had moved to South Korea to teach English at an all-girls high school. When she got there, she was stunned to realize that people in other parts of the world don’t necessarily think the way Americans do:
OK, so right off the bad I sort of have an issue with this. I think I know what the author is trying to say but phrasing it like that make you sound biased. It's a well known stereotype that Americans are dumb as shit and don't know anything about the world other than moose up north, drugs to the south. Does the author really think all Americans  assume everyone in the world thinks the way they do? I'd hope not. I'd think if someone was willing to commit to living and teaching in Korea they would read up on the culture. This is just nit-picking, I know, but when you start off your article like that it puts me on alert.
For one thing, both were based on the assumption that America is somehow different from Korea, that it’s a place where physical appearance doesn’t matter. Anyone who truly believes that—as the interviewee obviously does—is both naive and uninformed.
I didn't get that at all. Just because someone writes an article saying, "Look at all the plastic surgery people are getting in Korea, isn't that strange? Let's examine why this is happening": That doesn't necessarily translate into Korea and America are completely different. The article is examining one facet of Korean culture, beauty. That you go on to say that the author is both "naive and uninformed" doesn't reflect well on you either and feeds into the notion that you went into this thing with a preconceived bias.

I would also argue that Korea and America are different.
While Korea may embrace plastic surgery in a way America doesn’t (yet), the two nations aren’t that different. I suspect you could easily find girls longing for plastic surgery in high schools from Maine to Alaska to California.
Yes they are. Of course there are people all over the world who want to change things about their bodies. But you're saying that there really is no difference between Korea and America with regards to beauty in response to an article entirely about how Korea has the most plastic surgery in the world. Clearly there are some major differences between the two cultures.
And while we give a lot of lip service to equal opportunity and social mobility here, discrimination based on looks is not illegal, as the presenter of This American Life helpfully reminded listeners. Our resumes and college applications don’t have spots for our photographs, unlike the ones prepared in Korea. But studies still show that in America taller people tend to be more professionally successful than shorter people; heavier people are less likely to be hired than their thinner counterparts; and men make more money than women. Discrimination based on race actually isillegal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
Those aren't American things that happen, those are human things that happen. Studies have shown that even babies can recognize beauty.
I suspect the author of the Jezebel article and I have similar reactions to plastic surgery being used for solely aesthetic purposes—a mixture of anger and sadness. What makes us believe that we’re not good enough as we are? Why must everyone on the planet look exactly the same? What is it that drives us to remake ourselves from the bone up, just so we look like someone—or something—else? 
Ultimately, though, I acknowledge that this is just a particularly tempting kind of hypocrisy...
 The Jezebel article is too busy gawking at the Tumblr devoted to Korean plastic surgery to make this connection. 
The article doesn't say that at all, either. It simply uses the Tumblr as a jumping off point  to discuss the drastic levels of plastic surgery some women get as well as to show what is considered the "ideal" look for women. In your zealousness to contradict the Jezebel article you seem to have missed the fact that the author does agree with what you're saying. The author never once says there is only one clear choice that people should make, even though she clearly disagrees with the "herd mentality" that says all women should look the same way. Personal beliefs aside comparing plastic surgery to abortion is a completely false analogy.
One of the arguments for plastic surgery that comes up in the Jezebel article is that it gives people confidence. Maybe that’s true for a while, but every cosmetic procedure ever invented won’t change the person you are on the inside. I have comparable experience on this front: when I was younger, I lost a ton of weight. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that on the outside I became another person. But on the inside? Nothing had really changed. I was still quiet and shy and preferred my own company, and it’s hard to imagine that the results of plastic surgery would be any different.
That's your opinion and is entirely anecdotal. I can show you a bunch of articles that report just the opposite, that plastic surgery increases self confidence. I would also argue that in the case of idols and actors, it's not about what's on the inside, as cold as that sounds. They are in the business of looking attractive, to sell products, and how they feel on the inside has little bearing on that.
The moral of that particular story, I think, is that we are who we are. It’s how the world views us that we need to change to find happiness, not ourselves.
I agree, and that's also the gist of what the Jezebel article says:
True beauty is on the inside!
 In the end you're both saying the same thing: Look like how you look, fuck da haters. I just wish you would've gone into your article with less of a bias.

tldr; i'm a big gay baby


  1. p.s. if this article isn't related to k-pop enough pls delete it and murder me in my sleep ;_;

    1. Don't worry, I liked it. If anything, you can just accuse the author of being a crazy KPop fangirl.

  2. im sure that having Jessica as your DPP has nothing to do with the article

  3. That's not really the issue I had with the Jezebel article. More the fact that they wouldn't dare write this about any other race, even though every race has similar issues with beauty and conformity.


    It's regressive bullshit on a supposedly progressive blog framed under the guise of giving a shit or cultural understanding, which is fucking hilarious. Gawker Media, in general, trumpets how liberal they are proudly but it's liberalism for white people, generally white males.

    That article on Korean plastic surgery just furthered that.

  4. I agree with 90% of what you said, but I don't understand the point of this article. Are you trying to defend the author of the Jezebel article? Are you trying to defend the U.S.? It feels like you're nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking.

    Nonetheless, that was interesting & thought-provoking. Looking forward to your next article!

    1. It probably is mostly nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. Just the tone she took talking about OMG DIFFERENT CULTURES was annoying and wrong imo. This is what happens when I wade outside of the usual 2 blogs I visit. If everyone posted an article every time someone said something stupid this blog would have a new article every 5 seconds lol.

      But yeah if it's not kosher I understand if someone wants to take it down.

  5. Jesus fuck I can't stand listening to little girls bitching. I'm tempted to write something actually coherent that addresses the real issues within and surrounding cosmetic surgery but it'd be wasted on you and the fallout bitching might make me want to send my head through the wall.

    1. Why should whether or not you feel it's wasted on me have any bearing on if you write something or not. If you feel that strongly about it, then do it. I'm not trying to or going to write a big Care article about societal issues regarding plastic surgery on AKF, merely point out the dumb arguments someone was making.

  6. For a second, I thought I was on the AJunkie site. Enjoyable read, nonetheless

  7. Plastic, plastic, plastic.

    Now that I think about it, people go all that crazy when a female idol has done it while guys are seemingly given a pass (or just overlooked). Double standards forever double standards. Though when I have kids, I'll be sure not to keep them anywhere near Park Bom or Sohee.

    It would traumatize them dearly.

  8. The truth is... at the end of the day we only care about our looks. No one cares about whats on the inside.

  9. How fugly must Koreans be naturally because it seems like all of them get PS.

  10. Jezebel is the shittiest-ass piece of shit property in the shit-ass fuckass crap-ass shit that is Gawker.

    And I'm a feminist!

  11. After visiting that tumblr, I'm now a firm believer in plastic surgery! Just.. Don't breed too much. Unless you have the money to sculpt your babies as well.