Apr 25, 2013  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean

“Samsung Robots” [Miss Korea 2013 Contestants All Look the Same]

Many of us are aware that South Korea has the highest highest rate of cosmetic surgery per capita (according to a 2012 report by the Economist).

But just how prevalent is plastic surgery in Korea?

And, perhaps more relevant to this discussion, just how homogenous is the standard of beauty in Korea?

These questions, along with the argument over the “westernization” of ideal beauty in Korea — and, as a result, the cosmetic surgery  procedures that seek these features — were hotly debated when Redditor ShenTheWise posted photos of the 2013 Miss Korea contestants for the world to scrutinize. The photos quickly went viral, and it’s easy to see why. Take a look for yourself:


The OP adds these comments along with the pictures:

1) You arent racist. Those women in fact do look unnervingly similar and yes, Koreans think so too. This is because they all get the exact same plastic surgeries and the surgeons follow the same formulas for noses and eyes and everything else theyve had done (fillers, cheek and forehead implants, eye surgery, nose surgery, jaw reduction, breast job, calf muscle job, fat grafting etc). Every single one of them has had nose and eye surgery. Those faces costed those girls thousands. Also dont underestimate makeup, theyve got it caked on in a similar style.

2). Those are called the Korean plastic face look. In certain areas of Seoul, you would think all the women are sisters because they look so similar due to same surgeries.
Koreans cant tell them apart ether. Theyre jokingly referred to as “Samsung Robots”

3). Most korean women dont look like those women. Not anywhere near actually. Most dont have the money to fund their body dysmorphia. Some actually have self esteem. Without the plastic surgery, korean women are very diverse looking and easily can be told apart. The surgery takes away their individuality and uniqueness and its sad. Most are beautiful without it but telling them that their korean ethnic features are infact lovely is as effective as screaming at a brick wall. They wont believe you because theyve been brainwashed to think westernization of their features is superior, i dont think they want to look white, but a mix of white and asian and definitely less Korean.

4). Its weird to see the real plastic ones with kids. The kids look adopted. I always wonder how they explain to their kids later on why they look so different, “Dont worry when youre old enough we will have a surgeon fix the ugly parts just like mommy did!”. And yes many korean men DO ask for old pics before getting serious about a woman.

I have stated in the past that I have nothing against plastic surgery. My bone of contention with this story is that the Korean society — a highly competitive environment that values conformity — puts pressure on its women to look the same.

And if you don’t conform to this standard? Well, tough luck. Or, just get surgery!

I’m reminded of the time my mother informed me I have the type of face that is considered beautiful by the older Korean generation, but not the younger current.

I know that the issue isn’t just isolated to Korea; who can forget the story of the Chinese man who sued his wife for hiding her surgeries from him — thereby giving birth to a baby he found to be “horrifically ugly” — AND WON!

Not the family in question, but a very popular photo among Asians.

Via Absolutely Fobulous.

ETA, ~12 hours after publishing original post:

I have just learned via KoreAm that the photos are NOT of Miss Korea 2013 contestants, but of the Miss Korea Daegu contest. (Daegu is a city in southern Korea, and coincidentally where I was born and lived for the first 7.5 years of my life.)

The article raised a good point, which I deserves mention on this blog:

While it’s startling to see how similar the contestants look and perhaps it’s easy to get get caught up in online rants about how Korea is too materialistic and shallow and are besmirching the good name of beauty pageants everywhere, it makes more sense that a handful of contestants in a regional contest will look similar due to going to the same doctor rather than Korean plastic surgeons across the country working with a universal manual on current beauty standards.

What do you think? Does this clarification make the story any more acceptable/tolerable?

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8 Responses to ““Samsung Robots” [Miss Korea 2013 Contestants All Look the Same]”

  1. Gosh that is creepy. I saw that photo and thought: Wow… it’s the same girl in different hairstyles and outfits!

    The meme is funny, but very..very.. true. Can’t hide it forever.

  2. T says:


    Seems like a lot of makup, not necessarily plastic surgery, see the registration photo and glamour photos at the bottom of the link

  3. no1special says:


    Ive actually come across this story on a few different news sites and blogs…tbh most of it has been nothing but a slag on asian women.Ive read some truly hateful and judgemental comments smh.Since the girls are obviously very cute and attractive most seem to think viola:they ALL had plastic surgery as if asian chicks cannot possess any kind of natural beauty whatsoever or something.Even if some of the girls have had surgery or use alot of makeup-who cares? 3/4 errrrrrrrrrrrr wait make that MOST of the Miss America contestants you’ll see have fried themselves in tanning salons,wear alot of makeup and/or have had plastic touch-up surgeries as well…so wtf?

    Anyway fwiw i just thought id rant a little on that as ive noticed that alot of the bloggers ive seen and the comments sections that usually follow said blogs or articles have been pretty irresponsible to say the least.Take care.

  4. Miranda says:

    It’s all hair and makeup. This a picture of all of them together before they’re dressed up: http://i.imgur.com/7qHPkjT.jpg

    As you can see, there’s very little chance of mistaking one for the other. I think the same thing happens when you take a bunch of blonde Caucasian women and put them in pageant costume. They ALL look the same as well.

  5. Dave says:

    My ex-girlfriend wanted to get plastic surgery because her parents pressured her to look more western and she was agreeing with them. Mostly because I already have a western look (I’m Chinese) and she wanted to be like me. Anyway, long story short, a whole lot of crazy insued and that’s why she’s an ex. These images both from Asia and America really mess up women’s self-esteem sometimes and I would like to downvote them.

  6. Jordyn says:

    I’m probably getting plastic surgery for my nose over the summer. I have a jew nose :/ I never thought of plastic surgery as a negative thing. Women and men can do whatever they want to their body. Their body, their responsibility. The Miss Korea contestants are all beautiful, but not in their own unique way.

  7. 김진재 says:

    WOW! I’m truly offended that you said “theyve been brainwashed to think westernization of their features is superior, i dont think they want to look white, but a mix of white and asian and definitely less Korean.” Firstly, The this is just flat out wrong. Please fact check before you post any more inaccurate statements. Also, this shows your belief in white supremacy because this idea that we are not proud to be and look Asian obviously doesn’t come from the source. I know this because I am the source. As a female Asian and a consumer of much Korean media, I have frequently witnessed celebrities who got plastic surgery and I naturally began wanting to be more like and look more like them. They were my role models. I also wanted to be more pretty and considered plastic surgery, which I’m not ashamed to say, although you seem to want us to be which also shows that you are an unknowing sexist. Believe it or not, we don’t worship Hollywood celebrities as your culture seems to do. We have our own celebrities and standards that you don’t understand. Like many uneducated people seem to show, you took what you don’t understand and made it fit into your theory which was that Asian women are unconfident and want to look more white. The truth is, our fair skin is simply genetic. Koreans have fairer skin than the Chinese Americans that you are probably used to encountering. I don’t deny that fair skin is also preferred in our society, but that isn’t because we want to be a different ethnicity. This is because of the ancient idea that wealthy people have jobs that don’t require you to work out in the sun unlike the laborers who get tan as a result of their work. Also, we don’t want skin cancer, which is another reason why you don’t see too many tan Asians in Asian. Other than the skin pigmentation, I can’t see any other features that have been augmented to look more western. The breast sizes aren’t the pair of DD and the hair color isn’t blond. The eyes are bigger, but that is a standard in any culture so please educate yourself on these topics before you try to educate others. In other words, you’re a sexist, racist, and a fucking idiot who should never be allowed on the internet.

  8. TJ_ says:

    Those Korean gals in that pic are beautiful…..there is definitely something special about a lot of the Asian women out there you chicks give alot of us American white guys some serious throbbers…no wonder a lot of non-Asian women hate on them…most Asian females are attractive,stay thin and are very desireable.Well done girls youre doing something right!


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