Korean Beauty Standards: What You Need To Know?

ChengSeptember 26, 202125min0

Korean Beauty Standards: What You Need To Know?

Taking the place of Western beauty standards over the past 5 years, Korean beauty has reached the highest levels of popularity worldwide. It is estimated by the Korean beauty industry that it will reach $14 billion in 2027. Products such as sheet masks, cleansers, moisturizers, and makeup fill the market with such demand. A variety of unique ingredients are used in K-beauty products–snail slime, bee venom, starfish extract, pig collagen, and morphing masks, among others. In fact, sellers of these products recognize that the overall idea of Korean beauty and the ways in which these products can help people achieve this look generates the growing demand. At the core of Korean beauty standards are the unique aspects of Korean society and culture that are so different from what we are used to in the west. It is my intention to describe the reasons why Korean beauty standards differ so much from those of other Asian countries, such as China and India, in this article.

Female Korean Beauty Standards

Aiming for an overall innocent look, Korean beauty standards push for the following The key to creating that youthful look is a small face, big eyes, and a slim body. with Western beauty standards, Koreans tend to be cuter and more feminine, at least when it comes to their Western Beauty Standards and Korean Beauty Standards Koreans prefer thin, young, and youthful faces with small The shape of Kim Kardashian and Rihanna is just too curvy for Korean beauty standards, unlike in the West. It is more important for Korean women to be pretty, thin, and even skinny than to be healthy and fit. A description of Korean beauty standards can be summarized as follows

small face

One of the most important aspects of beauty in South Korea is having a small face. This is due to the smaller eyes of Asians (particularly Koreans), which gives them the appearance of a larger face, says Joyce Kong, Korean beauty correspondent at Refinery29. In addition, a small face is considered pretty because it makes your face appear younger, and thus, you look like a child. As a result of the differences in facial bones of Asians, who present with a flatter bone structure than Westerners, surgical procedures related to facial contouring are quite popular in Asia. In Korea, V-line surgeries (jaw and chin reduction) and cheekbone reduction surgeries (zygoma reduction) are some of the more commonly used methods to change one’s facial features. If you have a v-shaped face, it is ideal if it has a forehead proportionate to the rest of the face,

Pale skin

A pale complexion is a must in Asian cultures, especially in Korean society, which is in stark contrast to the golden-tannish skin favored in the west. It is deeply ingrained in the cultures of many Asian countries for Koreans to have pale skin. In the past, people with darker skin color were associated with labor-intensive jobs and agriculture as a social class identification. Korean Farmer vs Korean royal In the past, people with darker skin color were associated with agriculture and other labor-intensive jobs as a cultural beauty standard. A people with paler skin, on the other hand, was considered part of the aristocracy and had higher-paying

Larger eyes

Being able to have large, innocent eyes is very important to the standards of beauty in South Korea, which are based on creating a youthful appearance. The look of a young person is best expressed with round or almond-shaped eyes. With small faces and big eyes, they give the overall appearance of youthfulness. Korean girls think monolids and small eyes are unattractive due to 50% having small eyes and monolids, according to Allure.

Slim figure

Over 60% of Korean women and 41% of Korean men are on a diet, even though South Korea is considered to have the lowest obesity rate globally. According to Korean culture, the choice is linked to the desire to have a slim body. The thin body is highly acclaimed and seen as a mark of beauty.

Male Korean Beauty Standards

The expectations for female beauty usually outweigh those of men, but the standards of male beauty in South Korea are infamous. The Korean male beauty standards are similar to those of women, as opposed to Western cultures, where makeup for men may be viewed as an act of rebellion against society rather than a form of beauty. Male beauty standards in Korea The current male beauty standard in Korea is A cute, pretty figure that leans towards an androgynous appearance. As the western media has increasingly influenced Korean men to emphasize fitness since the beginning of 2021, more Koreans have started to exercise. However, even with a buff-up body, Korean men still often wear moisturizing lotion, foundation, and makeup, even when working out A world leader in male beauty, South Korea is renowned for being a beauty capital.

Male KPOP Beauty Standards

Korean men are influenced more by their love for K-pop bands as compared with men in the US, where the ideal man is a version of Thor, or Europeans, who prefer a metrosexual version of James Bond to James Bond. The men’s ideal Korean beauty standard is a direct result of the idols of Korean Pop music (K-Pop).

Korean Beauty Market For Men

The Korean beauty market embraces male makeup, contrary to Western culture and the beauty industry that focuses (almost exclusively) on women. South Koreans view beauty products as a non-gender-specific purchase, and many brands and products are consumed by both men and women in South Korea. The South Korean male population has become the world’s largest consumer of skincare and beauty products in the past decade.

Idols That Fit Korean Beauty Standards

In Korea, there is a saying It is said that you can tell if a face is pretty by looking at Korean idols. These rigid beauty standards mean that if you do not look like a Korean idol, your face is not considered attractive. In no particular order, here are a few of the most beloved female celebrities in Korea today

Korean Beauty Standards Height

Korean beauty standards can be broken down into three core categories based on average height

Described as “short but cute”, this is the average height of the average person in Korea. It would be impossible to have a discussion or discussion about Taeyeon without discussing IU.

There are some in this height group that are not so short nor too tall. Gain Han (actor) could be someone who is about one foot taller. The Korean idols Hara Koo (Kara), Yeseul Han (Leslie Kim, actor), and Chewon Moon (actor) are other great examples of people who fall into this height category.

Clearly, it is what it says on the tin. It is considered ideal for an idol to stand around 168cm tall according to Korean beauty standards. Hyo Ju Han (actor), Yeonhee Lee (actor), or Nayoung Lee (actor) are some Korean celebrities who fit into this category.

Korean vs. Chinese Beauty Standards

There is a lot of similarity between Korean and Chinese beauty trends. The idea of beauty has been shaped by both cultures’ perception of slim figures, small faces, bright eyes and pale skin. The ideal face size in China is small, with eyelashes that appear like goose eggs upside down, as opposed to Koreans’ v-shaped faces. Like in Korean beauty standards, Chinese beauty standards consider big and cute eyes to be appealing. Large eyes with full lids rather than mono eyelids are considered supremely attractive. The Korean and Chinese beauty standards are different, as well as Chinese women’s use of darker makeup, such as black or dark brown eyeliners, to enhance While Korean women typically use lighter shades of eyeliner in their eye makeup, Western girls tend to use darker There is also an association of the Chinese culture with the concept of puppy eyes, often referred to as the Wo Can or evil silkworm. This is because it refers to a 4 to 7-millimeter puff placed under the eyelashes to make girls look cuter and sweeter when they smile. According to the Chinese tradition of face reading, people born with the Wo Chan gene have good relationships and success in business. Chinese people consider skin color to be important – one must have not just pale skin, but “as white as possible” in order to be

The importance of having a slim figure is one of the most important aspects of beauty for both Koreans and Chinese. In Korean culture, body shapes are regarded as beautiful, but in Chinese culture, they are not. It is Chinese style to have tall bodies with long legs, tiny feet, and a bottom similar to Pippa Middleton’s. The body beauty standards of Koreans and Chinese are also different, including the woman’s weight and shape, as well as the men’s body. The Koreans are careful not to get too skinny, as the presence of anything too thin is regarded as a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle and looks Chinese beauty standards, however, suggest that women should be as thin as possible, up to the point that their bones can be seen. The Chinese get inspiration from their idols in terms of ideal beauty looks, too, just as Koreans do. Zheng Shuang is represented by either Chinese culture or her body weight as she is known for her fragility. Although Zheng stands 168 centimetres tall, he is only The A4 waist challenge was a notable trend in Chinese beauty. China’s women posted selfies holding up sheets of paper as part of an anti-waist challenge, also known as the “anti-waist challenge.” A woman’s waist had to be completely obscured by the paper – the standard paper size was only 21 centimeters (8.3 in) across – in order to be considered beautiful.

Indian Beauty Standards vs Korean Beauty Standards

Every Indian aspires to have fair skin, to be thin, and to have no body hair. In some way positioned (culturally) between the Middle East and the Far East, Indian culture has adapted the expectations of middle easterners for a hairless body and the standards of Koreans In comparison with Korean beauty standards, which do not impose waxed arms, Indian women go to great lengths to thread their eyebrows, arms, and legs to a perfect arch. A beautiful face, skin, and eyes are particularly important to Indian ideals of beauty. Asians consider lighter skin to be beautiful, while Indians view dark skin as demeaning. There is a maximum level of brown one can be before they are considered ugly among Indians, and they discriminate against each other based on their skin tone. As there is no need to work in the sun for someone with light skin, they are viewed as someone of wealth and power in the social sphere. The beauty industry represents this preconception with constant ads for fairness creams. Korea is a country of diverse cultures and does not adhere to the same beauty standards as India. India is a country where children with dark skin tones are often bullied at school and face difficulties finding employment. This is a situation that, once again, emphasizes the importance of more educational efforts to end stereotypes that affect how we view the world. In the Indian beauty market, we see the same standards for eye sizes and shapes as in the Korean beauty

Body shape

Similar to what we’ve observed in Korea, slim bodies are regarded as beautiful according to Indian beauty standards. But unlike Korean men, Indian men are rewarded and demanded for their hourglass figures and curvy body shapes, which are equally valued as beauty standards. However, guys with an inverted triangle figure are considered unattractive and unwanted in most Asian cultures.

Why Are Beauty Standards So Strict In Korea?

Study results from 2009 suggest that Korean women are not only very critical of their overall appearance but are also prone to having lower self-esteem and self-satisfaction than American women. Gallup Korea conducted a survey in 2015 that revealed about a third of South Korean women between the ages of 19 and 29 had undergone The Korean beauty standard is very strict a recent study from 2020 determined that 20% of young Korean girls have undergone cosmetic surgery, a percentage much higher than the average of most other Across all rungs of the Korean social ladder, on the job market as well, there is a strong pressure to uphold a Korean standard of beauty. A South Korean employer will ask for a selfie, the height of the applicant, and even their family background, as part of the hiring process, as opposed to an employer from the West.

In the past 20 years, South Korea has seen more than a twenty-fold increase in income per capita, ranking in the top 20 economies of the world today. In addition to the increased visibility of women’s rights within the country, there is also a rise in the dissatisfaction with one’s body and eating disorders. Investing in beauty, like cosmetic products, and even surgery, may be seen as an investment by some Koreans. Dermatology, cosmetic surgery, and cosmetic dentistry are cultural capital methods of getting an edge over others in society and the economy.

Media Influences

Stars from the Korean media, sports, and music industry can influence how the ideal Korean beauty standard is constructed and influenced. Many young Koreans are influenced by Korean idols who share all kinds of diets and nutritional guidance on social media, which gives them the motivation to follow suit. Korea’s Beauty on social media For example, the physical appearance of popular singer IU – well known for her diet of one apple for breakfast, one sweet potato for lunch, and a cup of protein for dinner – inspires Korean youth to achieve a more slim and beautiful appearance. In spite of already being thin and tiny (162 centimeters tall and weighing about 45 kilograms), most Koreans who seek to look like IU follow her lifestyle choices, even when they are questionable from a health perspective. During the week, for example, the celebrity drinks three liters of water for five days straight to make her body and face appear slimmer and younger. “By the seventh day, you’ll look like a skeleton,” says the joker, It is possible to get from thin to skeleton slim this way.

Harsh Korean Beauty Standards Consequences

The South Koreans purchased and exported more than $2.64 billion of cosmetic goods in 2015, up from $1.91 billion in 2014. 

One hand, there is a lot of waste, pollution and environmental hazards. The parallel market for fake Korean beauty products, on the other hand, poses serious health risks.

As a result of a survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the rate of cosmetic surgeries in South Korea was the second-highest in East Asia in 2015. South Korea is not only a socially accepted society but popular media and celebrities often support plastic surgery as well. In addition, there’s a less-discussed side effect of cosmetic surgery, like the rise in the number of men taking their wives to court for having children who do not look like their mothers.

By contrast, Korean beauty advertising feels like bullying compared with Western cosmetics advertising, which advocates for acceptance and inclusion. Media often propagates the idea that fat is ugly to make them popular and successful. Even female celebrities and talk show hosts promote this ideology. the media fails to show the darker side of being under constant pressure to be fit – the pressure on one’s health Some extreme cases of death come from eating unhealthy foods, disorders, or eating disorders in general.

In Korea, K-pop is a significant market (search for “South Korea Music Awards,” and you’ll find a list of nominees). Yet now all K-pop idols are expected to meet the high beauty standards of Korean society, creating a vicious cycle of starvation or starvation. In the western culture, it is not proper for people to starve and keep discipline (no food) or undergo painful procedures to achieve a certain body appearance. However, when you examine the rate of obesity in the US and Europe, as well as its impact on welfare policies, it becomes a very hotly contested issue over what is right or wrong.

Escape The Corset Movement

The ‘Free The Corset’ campaign was started by Korean women in the wake of the #MeToo movement, where women received stories of sexual assault and harassment on social media. In essence, this protest was a feminist movement driven by the idea that societal oppression of women is like being confined As part of the movement called “Escape the Corset” the movement sought to to deconstruct culturally-created definitions of beauty, Korean men’s ideals of beauty, and other social roles perpetuated by media and government. a result, many Korean women have taken to social media to voice their opposition to unrealistic beauty standards that demand them to spend hours applying makeup and following extensive skincare regimens, which typically involve ten or more steps. In South Korea, some women have destroyed makeup, cut their hair, and refused no matter what pressures they face. Movements like this exist in order to provide Korean women with a space in which they can feel comfortable with themselves, free of social pressures.


Korean beauty standards can be said to be very limited as compared to those in Western countries. The standards of Korean beauty are either “ridiculous” or “unachievable” through the lens of American or European beauty.” In addition to this, let’s not forget that Western beauty standards are just as rigorous if not even more so Those with tanned skin, symmetrical faces, upturned noses, big cat eyes, large lips, high cheekbones, defined jawlines, and slim or curvy bodies are some of those with traits that make them seem more attractive. While cultural standards of beauty go beyond the biological, there is always the universal standard of beauty. This standard is deeply rooted in history, so try not to judge the Korean standard but rather embrace it to enjoy it.

Now it’s your turn…

Which beauty standards do you think are the most important in Korea? How would you describe Korea’s beauty to others? We would like your opinion on Korean standards of beauty.


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