Student thoughts: Beauty is not the same across the world

Stephanie Montes De Oca / Contributing Writer


There are beauty standards all over the world – they affect society every day. However, what is considered beautiful in western cultures is not necessarily so in Asian ones.

For example, while being tan is considered sexy here in America, in countries like Japan and South Korea, that is not the case. Having white skin like porcelain is considered to be beautiful in Asia.

In South Korea, skin is very important. They take care of their skin and have many skin care products from beauty stores like Etude House, Skin Food and The Face Shop. They use a very popular item called BB cream, popular among women and men in South Korea, which lightens skin tone by healing visible wrinkles and blemishes with excellent skin coverage and prevents the skin’s aging through effective whitening and anti-wrinkling properties. Women’s makeup is kept fresh, bright and pure looking while in America the ladies tend to look for darker and sexier tones.

In America, people spend a lot of money in order to have perfect, porcelain-white and straight teeth, but in South Korea they focus mainly on their face, specifically on the eyes, nose and chin. Even though South Koreans do care for their teeth, their main attention focus is on having a “V-line” chin, “double-eyelids” and a high nose bridge, hence the popularity on double-eyelid surgery and jawline surgery to reach those standards of beauty.

In South Korea, slim body types with an “S-line” are beautiful, while in America, a curvaceous, fit and thick woman is considered sexy. Also another fun fact, in America it’s okay for a girl to show cleavage and she will be considered sexy and confident but if she shows too much legs or wears something extremely short it is frowned upon. It is the opposite for Korea; you can show as much of your legs as you want as long as you don’t show cleavage.

In the west, the end-goal for most men is a defined musculature, but in Asia, “flower boys” are very popular, referring to a man who is youthful, bright and feminine.

Of course, these beauty standards don’t apply to everyone in both countries, but for the majority it does. Though I tend to prefer the beauty standards and care of South Korea, beauty, to me, is mainly based on the way a person carries themselves. Having a great personality and confidence can make anyone beautiful.

If you are interested in learning more about the differences in beauty standards between the east and west, you can check YouTubers like Eat Your Kimchi, who talk about Korean beauty, music and culture and CHONUNMIGOOKSARAM, who has a video specifically on Korean beauty and what makes you beautiful in Korea, as well as her everyday life in South Korea.

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