She also added: "I knew my old photos would turn up, but I was shocked the newspapers made it sound like I had claimed to be a natural beauty," said Kim. "I never said I was born beautiful." Let me say, she sure is a beauty. A beautiful, sweet, kind-looking girl and I think it's this deceiving factor that annoys me. I first read about this online and thought well she doesn't deserve to win at the pageant then.
I have been raised by my mother to appreciate natural beauty, even make-up is rarely used, only for special occasions and events, never casually. But over the past year I have started to have an open mind and attempted to understand why people would go under the knife as well as why was I so against it. I've realised that those who have plastic surgery FEEL THE PAIN. It's not like they just hand the doctor the money and 'walah', magic, now you are perfect. They have to sacrifice something to gain something, so why hate? If they think it's worth it, the money + time + pain... then why not let them be?
So I've been having a mini battle, no, actually, a giant frenzy of conflicting thoughts, in my mind trying to take a side. And I still can't. Those who go through it deceive people with their looks, a man will marry a woman thinking that her beauty is natural only to realise that his wife gives birth to an ugly child. Then what? Will the mother make the child go through the same pain she did just to get the same looks (as it is in Korea nowadays)? When will this cycle of pain end? Make-up is deceiving too, but at least there's no pain involved. (Hence this 'pain' argument works FOR and AGAINST plastic surgery).
My mum, being the all natural promoting type of woman has recently been persuaded by some friends and my father, her husband, to undergo minor surgery to get rid of the dark bags under her eyes. Despite not having done anything yet, I had to admit I was slightly shocked. After all she stood for. And what has shocked me even more was that my father asked me if I wanted plastic surgery!!! How my world turned upside down. At least my mum told me not to do it because she explained that bone restructuring is completely different from cutting skin from underneath her eye, and I do agree that one is minor and the other is major.
But my father? How could you?! I'm not angry at him at all, not angry at all that what he asked directly suggested I kind of, just possible, definitely, needed it. I already know my nose isn't perfect, I know it's flat and round and unattractive. But I've seen worse noses and I have learned to deal with it in a natural way, wearing complimenting glasses and using makeup techniques for special events. Plus I'm too much of a chicken to go under the knife and wake-up having something that's not mine, in me.
So on the basis of ordinary people, plastic surgery is acceptable in my book of morals. But Kim Yu-mi is no ordinary girl. She was a contestant of Miss Korea and is now Miss Korea 2012, representing Korea in Miss Universe. I never realised until now that pageants didn't disqualify contestants who had undergone plastic surgery... and this is just a completely new level of disgust from me towards plastic surgery.
And this completely new level of disgust confused me. Why am I so disgusted? Are you disgusted? And if so, can you explain why you are as well? So here's how I've tried to figure out the reason for my feelings.
Beauty Pageants is about beauty, inner and outer beauty, and despite trying to promote that inner beauty is equal, or maybe even more important ... people know very well it's not. Outer beauty is the first impression judges receive of the contestants, inner beauty comes second (it's the same for daily life). To allow plastic surgery is a mockery of the contest, makes things so much more complicated. It's like a game with no rules anymore which angers me. It's now "Let's see who had the best plastic surgeon" and I don't think it's fair for those who believe in what's truly more important, inner beauty as well as natural outer beauty. (In this case with the Korean pageant, there really isn't much of this unfair issue going on because Koreans are famous for undergoing plastic surgery. Having the highest rate of plastic surgeries, it is almost certain that every single contestant has gone under the knife, and that's what's so wildly outrageous about it).
You could say, well that's their own personal choice, to give up the chance to win by sticking to your ALL NATURAL INNER BEAUTY IMAGE. And I guess it's true in a way. But really, this lack of rules means there are no boundaries to how crazy of an extent a contestant can go to to win. What truly matters seems to be suppressed.
So what are pageants for? Other than just for hot girls to flaunt their looks on the stage, I, myself would actually like to participate in one to actually learn and meet new people who are intelligent beings. It is an opportunity to do good things, the fact that so many people watch attractive girls on TV means that these pageants earn money which they can then use to fund good causes (But is it doing more harm than good to society is another question). As a pageant winner, they can have a larger impact when supporting worthy causes for the community because they have more power from their title, just like celebrities have more power to create change.
On a personal level, pageant winners, or simply contestants, are given many opportunities: to travel the world, to see new places, meet new people, create new bonds. It's an experience of a lifetime and also opens up many doors to their future. The ability to flaunt and make other girls jealous and make guys drool after them is not what I see as the dominant reason for why girls participate in pageants.
So could it be that in order to experience all those positive things, Kim Yu-mi decided to endure pain to look good and win? Maybe. But it's with no doubt selfish because it sends a really negative idea to everyone, she may not have said anything about her appearance being natural but it was highly deceiving. Korea can't be saved from this plastic apocalypse, it's spread too far, too wide. But other parts of the world still can.
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