In South Korea, it’s not just ugly people that get plastic surgery. It’s almost everyone that gets plastic surgery. Whether it’s small improvements over the years or huge, dramatic changes all at once, plastic surgery is almost inevitable. So why would you audition to be a part of the K-Pop world if you didn’t want to have plastic surgery? This is the question I’d like to pose to Anthea Wang Thong Yi.
This 15 year old girl from Singapore auditioned for Star Hunt, a show where contestants compete for a contract with Cube Entertainment. However, she has publicly complained about how everything from her haircut to her clothes are chosen for her and about being pressured to get plastic surgery. Is this something that she was unaware of beforehand? Has she seen other K-Pop idols? Is she actually naïve enough to think that they were all born looking that way?
“But Victoria”, you’ll say, “she’s only 15!” To which I respond, it doesn’t matter how old she is. She should know what kind of business she’s going into. She should understand how much of a role beauty plays in the K-Pop industry. Perhaps in Singapore, it’s different. Perhaps in Singapore, an average looking person can make their way to stardom. But Anthea isn’t trying to be famous for doing S-Pop. She’s trying to get into the K-Pop business. Plastic surgery is the elephant on the stage in the land of K-Pop. Almost everyone’s had it, some people admit to it, and others cling to their denial as though it’s their last hope for fame.
While doing the show Anthea, as well as the other contestants, was offered free “fillers” to reshape her face temporarily. She refused to get them. She also made quite the fuss about having to have her hair cut. These are actual quotes from Anthea on some of the things they wanted to have her do:
“I was told that my jaw was square, my skin was ghostly and pale, and my nose was humped.”
“They come up with a style and an image for you, and they pick your hair, your make-up, your face, everything. You don’t get to decide anything for yourself.”
“I cried because I was very uncomfortable with what they were doing to my hair.”
She’s quite whiny about all of this. Never once did they try to pressure her into getting a tattoo on her face or anything else permanently done. Hair grows back and your body naturally absorbs the fillers over time. Of course the makeup washes off, and you can wear clothes that you like while at home. None of these things would really affect her in 1 to 2 years time. So why did she make such a big deal out of it?
Let’s take a look at a few pictures now. Picture time is always fun.
What each of these people have in common is that they are all K-Pop idols. As these are popular pictures, I’m sure most of you will recognize who these Idols are (if not, they’re ZE:A’s Kwanghee, and SNSD‘s Hyoyeon and Jessica). The only reason that you wouldn’t recognize them is that they have completely changed their faces between when these pictures were taken and now. For all of these people, the surgery did something great. They look wonderful. It cannot even be argued that the surgery had a negative effect on their faces. They’re so much more attractive. And isn’t that a huge part of being in K-Pop? Looking great? I mean, let’s be real, ugly people aren’t attractive. I mean that in the most basic sense. Ugly people won’t attract new fans, ugly people won’t attract paparazzi, they won’t pull in YouTube viewers (unless they’re all outrageously hideous, in which case they’d be getting views for ALL the wrong reasons.)
In the world of K-Pop, even average can be considered ugly. If Anthea really wants to make it, she’s going to have to toughen up and act like she wants it. Even if it means a few needles in her face.
Don’t agree with Victoria? Sound off below! And watch out for one of our writers’ counterpoint to this op-ed.