Korean Vs Western Beauty Standards

Mono lids or double lids? Plump lips or thin lips? Wide hips or thin hips? This or that? Questioning one’s body is a common action among women. Wondering whether you are good enough or not. Worrying that you may not meet your culture’s beauty standards. One would think that ‘beauty’ would be a universal image. Alas no. Beauty standards differ throughout the world. In this post we will discuss Korean versus Western beauty standards.

Korean versus Western beauty standards has a wide difference. At first, you’d think all women would want to look the same no matter their geographical location. This is a false notion. Throughout different cultures and society’s, the ideal image of a woman is different. In some cultures a thin body is ideal whilst in others a large body. In some culture’s it is ideal to have fair skin, in others tan. Beauty is not something that is the same throughout cultures. There are vast differences in the way a woman wants to look throughout the world. This post will give an in depth look at the differences and similarities between beauty standards in Korea and Western countries.


Now that it is 2018 the western world is starting to be more body positive. By promoting plus size clothing brands and designs, the western world is embracing change. Although a few years ago, the sight of change was something to be avoided. While change is slowly making it’s way across the beauty board, let’s take a look at the strict image of what a woman strives to look like in Western society.

Beauty standards in the Western world has always been evolving. With the rise of an influential star, the standards of beauty changes. As the icons have changed throughout the years, beauty standards have also evolved. From Marilyn Monroe, to Audrey Hepburn to Jacqueline Kennedy, the standards of beauty have changed with each icon of the times. Today the fashion icons of the Western world are the Kardashians. Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t deny the amount of influence they have in the beauty industry.

A few years ago, the ideal way a woman should look was slim, athletic, and healthy. Now while the slim factor still exists, what once was muscle and healthy body weight has transformed into silicone and fat. A few years ago, it was ideal to have a butt which consisted of healthy weight and muscles, now it is preferred to have one with silicone implants or injections.

Once Kylie Jenner debuted her new body, females all over followed suit. As she is closer in age to most of the Western youth than her sisters, most of the young women follow in her footsteps. With a slim waist and large derriere, you will find the majority of Western women sporting the same look.

Along with a large butt, another ideal feature is large breasts. The same year Kylie debuted her new butt, she also made sure to show off her new breasts. While it is unclear if her breasts are natural or synthetic, the increase in cosmetic surgery that followed was drastic. Women both teens and adults went under the knife to get breasts like Jenner’s.

Another trend is plump lips. As soon as Kylie Jenner debuted her new lips, again women of all ages went to get lip injections or fillers. Women who can’t afford plastic surgery opt for excessive lip liner and lipstick to give off the illusion of plump lips.

As today’s icon of the Western world is Kylie Jenner, most young women will look like her. Rather than debuting their natural features and bodies, most women all look like each other. There is not a great sense of diversity anymore. Although the ideal image is to have features like Jenner’s, depending on where you are from, you either will or will not follow her. Depending on an individuals tastes, they either will conform with today’s ‘ideal’ image or rebel and be themselves.


In Korea the ideal body and face of a woman is based on a foundation that doesn’t change. Throughout the years, the face of Korea has changed though the base of each face and body is the same. Whether it be IU, SNSD’s Taeyeon, or Hyuna who represent the beauty standards for Korean women, their foundation is similar to each other.

The features of the face have a very strict base. Eyes that sparkle, translucent skin that glows, hair that shines, and v shaped chins are some of the specific features of the face. The majority of Korean women go under the knife for a double eyelid surgery. Quite common in Korea, this procedure is often gifted to children as a graduation present.

Another feature that is ideal for the face is a v shaped chin and fair skin. Following strict skincare regimens Koreans do their best to achieve healthy, blemish free skin. A V- shaped face is ideal. Women’s faces should be small, petite and fairy like.

In regards to the body, Korean women should have very slim bodies. With Korean idols taking the stage with their long legs, slim waist and tiny hips, Korean women are inspired by them and take charge doing whatever it takes to achieve that body shape. Following strict diets and Korean idol eating habits, they put in a lot of work to look like their icons.

The ideal image of the Korean woman has virtually always been the same. Double eyelids, v-shaped chin, flawless skin, and slim bodies. These characteristics make up the ideal image of the Korean woman. No matter who the face of Korea is, their features are similar to the last idol or icon of Korea. The beauty standards for Korea has always circled around the same features.


There are quite a few differences between the beauty standards of the two cultures. In regards to the face and body, both societies have a very different take on what the ideal woman should look like. A few of the differences include: body size, facial feature size, and skin complexion.

When discussing the body size, Western women want a slim waist with large breasts and butt. In Korea, it is ideal for a woman to have slim features. A slim waist, thin hips and petite body are ideal. In regards to facial features, Korean women want a small petite fairy like face with double eyelids, while in the Western world, women want a thin nose with plump lips and doe like eyes.

When it come to skin complexion, Koreans want fair skin almost translucent in appearance. Using skin whitening products, bleach and even white washing photographs, Korean woman strive to achieve this skin tone. In the Western world it is ideal to have tan or bronzed skin.

Though the differences are vast, the story is the same. Both cultures have different views on how a woman should look. Different icons and idols control the beauty standards for both cultures. In the Western world, the Kardashian’s control the standards while in Korea, K-pop idols control the beauty standards.

It’s important to note that beauty standards are not universal and can vary within countries and cultures. Moreover, perceptions of beauty are evolving over time, influenced by factors like media, fashion, and social change. Many people around the world are embracing diverse definitions of beauty that go beyond traditional standards, celebrating individuality and self-confidence.

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