SEOUL - It has raised questions over South Korea’s ultra-competitive, looks-obsessed society, where physical features enhance social standing and can help secure jobs
Rounder eyes, narrower faces, bigger breasts: a South Korean girl band is celebrating the country’s obsession with surgically enhanced beauty by going under the knife to praise the virtues of Becoming Pretty.
All four members of obscure K-pop outfit SixBomb went through extensive plastic surgery, from nose jobs to breast implants, before releasing their new single on Thursday.
A series of videos showed the four women visiting a clinic, strutting into an operating theatre and lying on the operating table. Another had them practising dance moves in sunglasses with their heads wrapped in bandages.
“Everyone follows me, they know I’m pretty,” they sing in Becoming Pretty – an electronic dance number with a hook reminiscent of South Korean singer Psy’s 2012 global phenomenon Gangnam Style.
The track could be the direct antithesis to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way lyrics: “I’m beautiful in my way/Cause God makes no mistakes/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born this way.”
It has raised questions over the South’s ultra-competitive, looks-obsessed society, where physical features enhance social standing and can help secure jobs, with many recruitment adverts requiring a “neat appearance” and a CV with photo.
Despite a population of only 50 million, it is the world’s third-biggest plastic surgery market, with thousands of clinics performing an estimated 1.2 million procedures a year.
Adverts showing dramatic before-and-after pictures are omnipresent on street billboards, subway trains, bus stops and toilet walls, urging women to “change” their lives or admonishing them: “Everyone but you has done it.”
SixBomb’s lead singer Dain had her breasts enlarged and her cheekbones shaved to make her face look smaller for the song.