Why Koreans Get So Much Plastic Surgery

It’s aiin’t no secret that Korea is number 1 in the world for plastic surgery, but why? Now I’m not an anthropologist or some culture professor anything, but after having lived in Korea for a while and growing up with Korean family, made me come to this 4 part theory! It’s probably wrong, but I mean… dude can guess right?

1. Korea is crazy image centric. It’s crazy how many mirrors there are so that people can make sure they’re looking good (elevators, subway stations, etc.). Girls put on make up when they go to the supermarket, and even some Korean dudes put on make up. It’s crazy. And what better image can you get than through plastic surgery?

2. Korea is super competitive. That’s why there’s so many hagwons: for kids to be better than / keep up with the other kids. Everyone works really hard and tries to be on top of the game. I’m from NYC and the competition gets hot there, but it’s a pressure cooker over here. I’m an outsider and I still feel it!

3. The attitude in Korea towards plastic surgery isn’t so crazy. The America I grew up in kind of tends to make a big deal regarding plastic surgery. “Oh yo, did you hear she got a boob job?!” It’s kind of considered cheating back in America. But here it’s just kind of a thing. Even some parents promise their kids in high school plastic surgery as graduation presents.

4. Shamanism (aka Musim, Mugyo, 무교) – Ok, so I know this is really academic and stuff. But I think it’s one of the reasons! Korea’s old school religion is really deeply rooted in Korean culture and society. And since it was a very materialistic religion, I think it kind of explains why Korea is really focused on things of this world. And isn’t plastic surgery (just for beauty purposes) kind of a “worldly” value? (As opposed to spiritual or something else?) Iunno, just a guess.

See the video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bPhGAmfD-Q]

If you have your own theories, let me know in the comments!

Korean Girls Are Crazy Shy with Strangers, But I Got the Ultimate Wingman

I had an idea for a seoulistic.com video: “What Korean girls think of foreigner guys.” So this past Saturday I went out to Coex to try to interview Korean girls about their thoughts on this. Here’s my initial tweet before I left:

I was planning on getting around 10-15 interviews. But after I tried close to 10 people, I realized quickly this wasn’t going to work. Even if I got 10% of people I asked to actually do the interview, that meant that I was going to have to ask at least 100 people to get my target number. And I wasn’t going to ask 100 people. Here’s the ensuing tweet:

I knew that Korean girls are ultra shy, but even more so when it comes to cameras. So I was prepared to be turned down. Whatever, right? Not like I was asking for their number or anything. It was just an interview. But man, it sucked a lot more than I thought. A lot of the Korean girls didn’t even say “no.” They just looked at me like a creep and walked away. Ouch!

But I’m not giving up. I’ve already made plans to go out again this Friday to try again. How is this time going to be any different you ask?

The Ultimate Wingman! 

I got an ultra cute and super friendly Korean female friend of mine to ask for me! That’s right: the ultimate wingman (brilliant, I know!). Even girls can’t resist the charm of cute girls. Readers of this blog know that cute girls are the solution to any problem I got! And for this one, I’ve got to fight fire with fire. I’m pretty confident this will work, and if it doesn’t, then that’s pretty much all I got. Cute girls FTW!

Shooting with Pros and Friends

As this was my first foray into video, I had no idea what I was doing in terms of filming or even preparing for it. And although I spent weeks preparing for this, I was still unprepared. Fortunately the talent and my friends were very helpful and understanding.

My Production Expert Friend – Jin Min

I mentioned that I was shooting on a facebook post, and a friend I know through my sister said she would be down to help. And I had no idea how much she would! Without any knowledge of the script, or any idea of what I was doing, she instantly made it a more professional production while keeping us all very comfortable. The talent seemed to be relived when she saw someone that actually knew what she was doing!

Jin Min produces videos for a living and collaborates with MtvK on interviews and other such videos. She’s a pro that’ll help bring some cred to your shoots. Check out her site and hit her up with some work offer peoples!

The Talent: Min Songa (민송아)

From my experience, hot girls in Korea (and more specifically girls in the entertainment industry) have what’s called “princess disease” (공주병: a term that basically means they’re full of themselves). So I was actually preparing myself to have to deal with a lot of complaining and judgmental looks. But Songa was extremely cool and understanding of my situation. She was a professional to the fullest. She kept her script with her at all times to keep herself prepared for the next scenes, and she took initiative to change outfits on her own without my direction.

I highly recommend her for any work. She’s not just a pretty face. She’s a professional with acting ability and emcee experience. She also speaks English with a British accent (score!). And on top of that, she’s cool :). Find out more about her at her personal cyworld page.

Personal Friends

Thanks to Howie and Arnold for doing all the little annoying things that only friends would do for free. 😉

Hot Girl Hired – Videos Coming Up

A few weeks ago, I was able to hire that hot girl I was talking about (maybe more cute than hot, but I’m down!). It was tough when I was just advertising on craigslist Korea on my own, but my (awesome) college student part-time employee was pretty clever and more resourceful than I. She went on some Naver and Daum cafe’s (essentially, Korean message boards) and went specifically to modeling/acting message boards to post an ad for them. And bam. In less than a week, 43 models and actresses flooded my inbox. Most had modeling/acting experience to some degree, and some were even on major network television shows. The surprising thing was I was only offering 18만원 for the entire day. Not bad at all!

This Sunday is our shoot. I have 1 day to finish all the scripts I wrote for learning Korean. That’s why Seoulistic.com only has 1 post for this week. (I also have a recorded phone call with my mom in the wings I want to post on this site). I’m taking so much time to prep for this shoot because I don’t know what I’m doing in terms of video. This is my first foray into this medium. But just like the Seoulistic.com launch, I’m just doing it and figuring it out from there. It’ll be fine 🙂 I will also be acting in the videos as well. So if this were a movie, the credits would say: “Written by Keith Kim. Directed by Keith Kim. Starring Keith Kim”

That’s a ROFL on so many different levels!

Trying to be Scrappy

So as readers of this blog may know, I’m working on a tip site for Korea (seoulistic.com). Check it out if you want, but currently it’s still in development, so there’s not much to look at yet 😛

As this is an endeavor that I am going about on my own, I have to be scrappy. I don’t have any seed money, just a few grand that I saved up. So funds are extremely limited, and I have to find ways to get some resources. Currently I’m looking for 2 people. As mentioned previously, I’m looking for an attractive girl for some youtube videos. I’m also looking for someone to help me with quality control. I’m not offering much money, so hiring some help is a challenge. Here’s my approach:

The Internet

Of course I tried the holy grail of human resources, craigslist. I am looking for a native-Korean speaker, and that’s probably why the response was very limited. Craigslist is great for foreigners, but Korean users are next to nil.

Obviously, I would like to post on alba.co.kr (the go-to source for part-time jobs in Korea). That would be the real “craigslist of Korea.” But I am not yet incorporated. And just like any other Korean site, in order to register you need a registration number, in this case a business registration number. But there’s probably a fee that I don’t want to pay anyway.

I’ve also downloaded a few dating apps to see if any internet peeps wanna get up on this, but I’ve gotten lukewarm responses so far. Most of the girls on these apps are looking for flirtatious chatting encounters, and I’m not much of a flirt (damn!). I can’t even run some game for a date. How am I going to run enough game to get up on the internet and ask a girl if she wants to record a “video” for some money? (Creepy!)


My network is extremely small and limited considering I am moving onto my fourth year in Korea. I’m a homebody, so I don’t get to meet too many people. The people that I do meet are mostly from work, so the people I know are pretty much a bunch of Korean-american guys (from my last job).

Networks are indispensable for any business endeavor, and I haven’t really built mine up yet. But I’ll have to see if anyone around them wants to become the next apple girl.

The Next Step

I’m not giving up though. Next on the to-do list is creating a flyer and posting around universities around Seoul. I believe the price is about 30,000원 for you to post for 1 month. That’s too rich for my blood. If you’re careful enough to escape those half-watching building ajeoshis (경비아저씨), you can just do the garage sale route and post on lampposts galore. That’s what I’m going with. It’s old school, but I’m optimistic it will work.

Hiring a Hot Girl Sucks

Alright, so I’ll be 100% honest. I got these videos lined up to teach Korean, and these videos have already been done. Just search “How to say hello in Korean” and you’ll find videos with tons of hits already. So I’ve already got some stiff competition. But I’m confident in the scripts. I think they’re funny, they’re entertaining and they’re educational. I’m good with that. I just want one more thing to put my videos over the top. A hot girl.

Sexist or not, hot girls = clicks on youtube, and that’s what I want. But some of the potential actresses that I’ve come across for this project have been some real sour apples. Case in point, I met an attractive girl last weekend and asked her if she was interested in acting. She gave me a very positive response. So the next day I text her to tell her the details, but turns out she’s backing out. She goes on about how she’s already in media and there’s a certain level of professionalism that she wants. She also busted out the words “make up artist.” Wow. For YouTube? Excuse me but who the hell are you?

Maybe I’m just looking for the wrong people. These high end trophy girls are a pain in the ass. It’s what I get for categorizing people into pretty and not-pretty enough. I get it. I deserve it. I do feel like a jerk just asking some girls and not others about it. I’m just not confident in knowing what white people (a big part of my target audience) will like.

All I’m looking for is an above-average attractive girl with minmal acting ability and ability to speak Korean that white people will like. Is that really too much to ask?