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Korean culture within the webtoon, True Beauty

By Farah Lim

Image credit: screen capture taken from Naver Webtoons,

True Beauty by Yaongyi is a webtoon focusing on the life of Jugyeong Lim, ranging from her love life, her anxiety surrounding her personal appearance, and her future career goals. The webtoon was also adapted into the successful Korean drama of the same name.

Image credit: screen capture taken from Naver Webtoons,

The webtoon True Beauty touches on the issues of lookism in South Korea through the main character Jugyeong. The features of lookism are portrayed through the bullying Jugyeong receives in school and how this traumatises her in life and eventually leads to her career as a makeup artist.

Bullying in Korea is in fact very common and can be seen in a variety of dramas with genres raging from high school life to army life. I think it's important to raise the issue of bullying in Korea, to not only influence students to overcome it but also to help portray the different kinds of harassment as bad and in turn avoid people bullying others in everyday life.

Alongside the commonality of bullying, Korea also has a buzzing Korean beauty market. This webtoon portrays the different methods of applying makeup as well as providing confidence to its viewership.

I feel we all have insecurities in life, and this webtoon not only shows that we all, in fact, share common insecurities but also that most of the time our insecurities are only seen by us. In other words, others focus more on our personalities rather than our looks, and our looks are seen as a plus alongside our vibrant personalities. This is shown through Jugyeong's friends, who are always supporting her and telling her that looks are not important.

Have you read this webtoon and do you have a different take on the story? Please, get in touch and let us know what you got from the overall storyline!

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