You don’t want to know how much time I take out of each day to analyze and construct musings about culture.
God, what does that even mean?
Ever think about the concrete reason why it’s rude to chew with your mouth open (in the US)? Ever wonder why men are expected to pay for the bill on a date? Or why people still continue to wear wedding rings instead of, I don’t know, wedding shoes for their whole lives?
I think about this kind of thing daily. Why? Always been fascinated to the point of (sometimes) obsession on why people do the things they do. It’s possibly because for the greater portion of my life, I always felt I was asked why I do the things I do, as let’s face it, I’m a bit of a nut, an eccentric, or whatever else people call themselves when they try to *sound* interesting, without outwardly calling themselves interesting. Because that would be breaking a social code, right? To think you are smart makes you a total asshole, but to deny it too much makes you pretentious. I’m seeking to do neither here.
What I am seeking to do is assert that I’m a bit of a nut (there it is again) when it comes to thinking about social norms and culture. You may call me a non-traditionalist, but I would never call myself that, as it’s utterly hypocritical. I do plenty of traditional things, which none, at any rate, are of note, and thus will not be mentioned.
Lately, I’ve noticed myself analyzing culture in a different way. I tend to find the good parts of Japan and assert them to say, why the F*** can’t America implement this? (Kudos to California’s bullet trains.)
However, it’s a lot more complicated than directly comparing two different nations. But in its most basic logic, one can assume that in order to better something, we look at outside examples of success. If you want to become a lawyer, you do not look to a police man, HOWEVER, what you can learn from the policeman may one day help you as a lawyer. See where I’m going with this?
Growth and questioning the things around us is key. Comparison is a thick, sick game, but, when talking not trying to necessarily find an ending “judgment,” it can yield interesting ascertainments which are up for discussion.
Plastic surgery in the USA vs. South Korea
I recently traveled to South Korea. (That’s a whole ‘nother story I can’t really even begin to speak on… let’s just say: you should go there.)
It is the plastic surgery capital of the world, considering the amount of procedures per capita, by some estimates. It really is the first thing you hear about South Korea: Everyone gets plastic surgery there like it’s a normal, every day thing. (The second thing you hear is eat as much kimchi as possible — agreed.)
And that got me thinking, it’s really easy to look at SK and think, “Wow, those people are vain.” Incredibly easy.
But let’s stop for a second.
The USA still has the most procedures done per year in total.
But who is having these procedures? Pretty much not us. It’s the rich folk and the celebrities we worship, and the rich folk we made into the celebrities we worship. And the girls who save up enough for that boob job they need to work at Hooter’s (more power to them! (those outfits are fucked(seriously who thought of those outfits)))
Plastic surgery in South Korea is affordable (more or less) and fairly unregulated. Now that’s horrible and probably why it’s so affordable, BUT, let’s think about this:
Which is worse? (Or, I guess, better?)
A country whose people regularly do plastic surgery OR a country whose people regularly obsess and glorify those (celebrities) who use (and abuse) plastic surgery. And they hope one day their chests, buddocks, lips, brows and legs, will be in likeness their false idols (freaky bible reference? you be the judge…)….. When in reality, this feat is, literally (as opposed to figuratively, I KNOW RIGHT) impossible, without… you guessed it! Plastic surgery.
I mean is there a better of two evils at this point? People are so deadset on changing their looks that they either go out and do it an unregulated market or they spend (some) their (entire) lives hoping, wishing, dreaming to look like someone else. To defy gravity, defy nature, defy aging.
(You know that our favorite thing, $$$$ money $$$$ has a lot to do with “selling” someone an unattainable look, but that’s another monster in and of itself.)
I think the most interesting as an American, after reading this eye-lifting (haha, get it?) personal account article in the New Yorker from 2014 was the source of how plastic surgery became so popular in South Korea. I’m not going to spoil the answer, because, you just got click baited into one of the most interesting articles you can find about plastic surgery culture. So, you’re freaking welcome.
Meanwhile, I’ll leave this except of an example of a questionnaire patients fill out at the plastic surgeon’s office in South Korea:
If you get the result you want from plastic surgery, what’s the thing you want most to do?
 Upload a selfie without using Photoshop
 Get a lover
 Find a job
 Enter a competition for face beauty
Oh, and if you think the last one is “so terrible,” watch this: