K-culture has taken the world by storm in just half a decade. From makeup and skincare to music and movies, South Korea's pop culture has become both inspirational and aspirational on global territories. And along with this phenomenon comes the reality that South Korea has adopted a strict beauty standard now considered as the norm.
As onlookers, and even patrons of K-beauty, we may have our own opinions about their restrictive practices when it comes to outward appearance in general. But as it seemed like these societal tenets are more of a cultural phenomenon than an issue, we decided to accept it as it is. It was even considered liberating that South Korea's cosmetic surgery industry continues to thrive and that a third of their population has openly gone under the knife, with both considered as facts without prejudice — that is until South Korean women began speaking up about the harsh reality surrounding their culture's perception of beauty in a movement. Known as "escaping the corset", this movement is named as such to correlate how society is driving women towards surgical alterations, similar to how corsets are used to shape women to fit a homogeneous ideal.