Korean Beauty vs. Traditional Beauty

The standard of beauty between now and in the past has drastically changed. There are beauty standards before that are already outdated in today’s times. On the other hand, there are beauty standards that are prevalent today that may have been considered as taboo or unacceptable ages ago.


The difference in the standards of beauty is even more evident with the Korean beauty. After all, among the Eastern countries, Korea has become the pioneer of some of the world’s best beauty secrets and skin care routines. It is easier to see how the modern day beauty standards have changed from the traditional beauty standards perceived in the ancient times.

Traditional Korean Beauty

Beauty, in the past, is depicted with a youthful visage with thin crescent-shaped brows. No double eyelids is also a standard of beauty in the past, especially during the Joseon dynasty. Women in that era strive to have a modest nose and narrow, cherry red lips. To add to their seductive appeal, they have lines of hair flowing behind their ears. They are even considered as natural adornments to give accent to their thin, long neckline. Narrow shoulders are preferred in the past too.

Outer beauty standards, in the traditional sense, are extremely explicit and meticulous. If these beauty standards peer at with today’s eyes, these standards will surely be considered as impossible to achieve. Some of the standards of beauty in the past include the following:

•    white teeth, hands, and skin
•    black eyelashes, brow, and pupils
•    pinkish fingernails, cheeks, and lips
•    long limbs, head, and neck
•    small feet, teeth, and ears
•    wide forehead and chest
•    narrow ankle, waist, and mouth
•    firm/thick/full breasts, hips, and thighs
•    thin nose, neck, and finger
•    small nose, head, and nipple

While there are still some traditional standards considered to be acceptable in today’s era, most of them are replaced with modern beauty standards now.

Modern Korean Beauty

One of the most common beauty standards for modern Koreans is having white skin. Most Asians want to achieve white skin as they perceive it to be ‘beautiful.’ There is a history behind that preconception, though. In the past, poor people are always working under the sun all day, so their skin is always tanned. On the other hand, rich people frequently stayed indoors, so they have pale skin. The preconception that white skin is beautiful is all thanks to that cultural trait. It won’t be easy to get rid of that cultural train. Even now, Asian woman still aims to have white skin.

Of course, there is a certain level of whiteness to the skin that Asian women aim to achieve. The kind of white skin that Europeans have is not the white that Asian women long for. The kind of whiteness that are ideal for them is just the lightest shade of their natural color. Having “white” skin makes women feel beautiful, and girls feel cute. To describe it simply, Asian women want to have “porcelain white” skin.

Plastic surgery is also becoming more and more common. In the past, Asian women feel ashamed when it becomes know that they have gone under the knife. Nowadays, though, getting plastic surgery is fairly acceptable, though there are still some who don’t take positively toward the said procedure.

The availability of beauty and skin care products is also one of the factors that affect the beauty standards of today’s women. In the past, simple skin care products and cosmetics don’t offer that much variety to how women would look after application. Now, anyone can transform with the use of the right combination of cosmetics and skin care products.