Sigh… okay let’s talk about another Webtoon.
I won’t be the first person to express frustration with True Beauty. It seemed like it would be a story about what makes someone truly beautiful, not being make-up, or clothes, or hair, but what’s inside. For a Korean story, that’s quite a risk.
I didn’t know this ,but my internet savvy sister informed me how Korea is kind of obsessed with external beauty, that plastic surgery is not uncommon there, and people try really hard. Maybe that’s the reason behind the k-pop craze.
I’ve seen some pictures, and I think it all looks a little too plastic for my tastes, plus I don’t really like feminine looking men all that much, I like men that look like men. I mean, the idols are cute, but I couldn’t see myself dating one.
I also found out age is counted differently in Korea. I’d be 23 there.
With a culture like that, it’s not surprising that the huge influx of webtoons from Korea (most webtoons are from Korea) focus on the damages of being obsessed with appearance superficial stuff like singing, acting, etc.
I currently read “No Longer a Heroine” and “Your Smile is a Trap” two stories that focus a lot on those subjects. True Beauty does give some attention to it, but the fans began to get annoyed with how long the MC (I can’t spell the names) kept obsessing over it, and over which of two hot guys she should ed up with.
If you read it and care about my opinion, I’m team Suho,
but I don’t enjoy either ship very much, I just find Suho more likable overall (and his is the only name I can spell, let alone pronounce). I don’t dislike the other guy, on his own, but all his interactions with the MC annoy the crap out of me.
Anyway, so in short, the fans feel the story promised one thing and delivered another. This is not uncommon for anime, from what I’ve seen, but for Webtoons, it actually is. Most of the ones I’ve read deliver on their message fairly well, I was quite impressed. They handle story way better than most shows I’ve seen do. Perhaps part of it is the lack of studio interference, let’s hope it stays that way.
I can’t accurately theorize about why the author chose this route, I actually believe their goal is still to explore the theme of true beauty, but they are not sure of the best way to do that at this stage. I think they set out to do that, and got caught up in the romance, but maybe I’m wrong, maybe they are just basic. It doesn’t really matter, I try to judge a story by its potential.
The trick with that though is, judging by potential can miss the point. My favorite anime is MHA, and the biggest haters of that show tend to criticize it for not doing what they think it should. My old fave, RWBY, got heat for the same reason.
While MHA is still good, RWBY devolved due to studio interference and too much fan hate into something that no longer make any kind of sense or even resembles its original self. It’s no longer about potential so much as the loss of anything meaningful at all.
But MHA drew me in because the author constantly subverts tropes and uses them in a new way. The angry character is sensitive and level headed, the ditsy character is actually grounded, the hero can sometimes be too naive, the villain can be evil but still able to be a foil for the hero without making him/her sympathetic. So, in the end, what I expected and din’t get was a good thing. The potential of the show is unlimited as long as the writing style stays that way it is. It’s not perfect, but it is unique.
So, as I said, Potential is tricky many fans are presumptions and pretentious about it, and I don’t want to be there. I will say, I was never really a fan of this comic to being with, I was on the fence, so I don’t think I’m blinded by fan-passion.
The reason I think it’s fair to criticize this story based on potential, is because there’s actually nothing of substance in the story, except for the backstory of the two male leads, which was quite heartbreaking. The MC isn’t a bad person, but she does nothing noteworthy at all, she has nothing profound to add to the story, and she is annoying.
I’m actually not that invested in the message of true beauty being only inward, as I don’t really believe that. I believe beauty is outward, inward, and beyond. Music is beautiful, so is art, so is virtue. I find stories that say that outward beauty doesn’t matter to be just untrue. The Bible actually doesn’t support this idea despite what is popularly believed. It tells us not to obsess over outward adornment, but many stories in it support being a s beautiful as you can be. Ruth, Ester, Abigail, Sarah, and others were all renowned for their beauty, and tried to be beautiful, at least in 3 out of 4 of those examples.
I personally believe if you don’t try to be your best self, outward as well as inward, you don’t respect yourself. I try to look good even when I’m not wearing make up and am in my comfy clothes. I still coordinate and clean up and brush my hair. I never leave the house with the kind of sloppy, messy bun I see other women walk around with. It’s not that I think I’m better than them, it’s that I think my appearance tells people I respect myself and I respect others. I have almost never been hit on or disrespected in public. I think the facts speak for themselves.
Given that I have this attitude, what drives me crazy about True Beauty is the MC’s toxic attitude toward herself. Her family doesn’t help her much, but still, she’s so grating. She acts like her face is the worst thing ever. According to the other characters in the story, she’s actually cute, even without make up, but she uses make-up to change how she looks.
I guess I shoudl address this since it cause a lto of conroversy in the world of make up.
I did my time watching tutorials on YouTube, I could even link my favorite channel below. I got into make up tutorials because they were artistic, I wanted to learn how to imitate characters I liked, and do themed looks, like Seasonal, Disney, Princess, Fairy, etc. So, I learned about changing how your face looks for costume sake. And I actually applied it while I was doing Shakespeare plays, I did a really amazing amateur job to make my sister look old and decrepit when she played Shylock. Since I didn’t have professional make up to work with, it didn’t show up much on stage, but up close it was quite impressive. I’ve done other looks since, with moderate success.
My own make up, I don’t use to change how my face looks, I lean into my natural beauties. I enhance my eye shape, rather than change it, and I bring out my lip color and skin tone by picking colors similar to my own.
I am blessed with very good base features to begin with, I can go out without make up on and feel perfectly confident of my appearance. Make up is a fun thing for me because I don’t take it so seriously, and I’ve seen other girls who have confidence say the same.
That being said, you can see why someone treating make up as a life saver would be unrelatable for me. and someone hating on their natural face is also weird, as I just don’t do that.
Yes, the thought crosses my mind, but I don’t humor it. I think every woman has temptations to judge her face too harshly, I think men do also, but for me it is a temptation, not a compulsion.
You may say (though I doubt you all would really judge me on this one) that it is easy for me because I am naturally pretty, and I don’t have a toxic family telling me how ugly I am all the time.
Well, to that I would say: You haven’t read this blog long enough, go back and check out my abuse category.
I grew up believe I was ugly. I didn’t like my nose, or my face. I thought my eyes were scary. I have very sculpted eyebrows naturally, and dark eyes, and I used to think I looked angry all the time, other people sometimes thought I did. But some people began saying they were pretty, and my mind changed.
But once I hit puberty and began doing make up and outfits on my won more, I wanted to be pretty. I still wan’t sure I was. I asked my family, my mom would tell me I was digging for a compliment (and she sounded so disdainful about it, I was shocked) and not answer usually, sometimes she would say I had nice eyes or a nice smile, but when I would still be insecure and need to hear it again, she’s say I was digging for it.
My dad was decidedly worse, I would ask how I looked (and not even direct the question to him) and he’d answer “Hideous” every single time. I think he complimented me one time in 6-8 years about how I looked. Once he asked if I was going to use make-up, I said I didn’t need it (tried to be confident, you know) he said “It wouldn’t hurt you to use a little make up and style your hair.”
My hair has been praise more than any other of my features. It’s a unique color, wavy almost curly, and long and soft. I usually leave it alone because it’s naturally styled for me by being wavy and curling it doesn’t really work, it’s too thick. And everyone else loves it, but my dad…I think he was being spiteful, quite honestly.
These memories don’t hurt as much as they once did, but they do serve as a reminder to me that my confidence is not because of my parents, but in spite of them.
So yeah, I did not have a family who lifted my up. I did make some friends who did, and it was through that, and reading some good books, and prayer, that I began to feel confident. I now can look at myself and think I look really good. I owe that to God and better friends and sisters who thankfully did not inherit my parents dysfunctional traits (or are working to overcome them as I am).
One thing that also change it for me was learning to give compliments and look for beauty in other people, even if I found them unattractive at first, if I looked long enough or know them enough I could see something pretty or handsome about them. Doing that to others taught me to give myself a bit more credit too, I realized if I could see it in them, they could probably see it in me.
Sometimes when I feel bad about my face, I think to myself “Well, I may not see it, but other people think I look good, so why feel down about it?” And that snaps me out of it pretty quickly. Really, almost everyone can be thought attractive by others, people have very diverse tastes. Some people like chubbiness, some like stock, some like beard, some like unsaved legs for crying out loud (actually, most culture don’t care about shaved legs, that’s very American, I think Asian too).
Given that I has this background I do, and I still became confident, I have zero sympathy for the MC of True Beauty. It’s not necessarily he choice to have issues to being with, but I actively sought out a way to overcome those issues, I put better ideas into my head, and she doesn’t. She goes to online forums that only encourage a shallow way of thinking, surrounds herself with friends who also care too much, though not as much as she does. And she doesn’t take care of her skin or body, to be the best natural self she could be. Then she whines about being ugly. I’m like “Girl, you chose this, it’s not like you couldn’t be pretty if you took care of yourself.”
I mean, if she stopped doing make up for a few months, took care of her skin, and ate less sugar, she’d be fine. But she refuses to drop her beauty facade for even a week.
At the end of the day, the cycle she’s in is one she made for herself, and it’s not anyone else’s fault, she’s not ugly, and she doesn’t have to do what she does, but she does it because she prefers the shortcut way to beauty.
And that’s the thing, True Beauty takes work. Being beautiful outside and inside.
I take care of my skin. I use facial scrubs, I use lotio, I wash it usuallyy at lesa once a day before bed. I put on chapstick. It all take a few mintues tops. When I feel like it, I do more, but doing at least that much has given me pretty cldan skin. And this is not reaching for the stars. Every woman who can fofrd make up can afford skin care, if we prioritzed that instead.
I didn’t use to think skin care was that improtant, but I’ve learned it actually seems to reduce stress and helath issues when my skin is soft and clean. IT just geels better, getiing tocxis and dirt off. So, hey, d it for you r mood if not for your body.
Plus, thats workin with wha God gave you.
As for body type, a think that the MC also gripse about, there is such a thing s style.
My sisters and I have tihs issue. I have a body type that is perfect for store-boufth mainsteeam clothes. They are all desgien to look good on someone with my specofic body type. I’ve been told I could model. I don’t think I could handle the ahssle and pressure f it, but I have noticed that my figure is the right kind. I am tall also.
Most people don’t reali that mainstream clothes are desgined to look good on only one kind of person. That’s becuase it’s easier to seel in mass that way. And if you don’t buy off the rack, you’re stuck with it.
However, there are away around it. My sisters and I use belts, hats, scarves, and different match ups of clothes to create our own unique mesh of styles that accenuate our good points.
My poont is:t’s not that hard to be beautiful.
But even if you do have deformities, or health problems whtat affect your appearance, you don’t have to think you’re ugly.
Even if you are ugly, it does not have to matter in the long run.
The truth is, bueaty only matters in circles that focus on i. If you don’t have that natural beuaty that people cracve, don’t run aorund social media, the entertaiment indstry, and modeling and other beuaty themed careers. Beuaty of that sort is just a gift, like any other, to be enjoyed, and used if you like, but it’s not quintessential to a good life.
IF you respect yourself, others will respect you even ifyou are truly ugly, and fe people are. Most are not as ugly as they think they are, even if they are plain.
And plain people can still be beautiful. Inner light shines out, it doesn’t matter whether you have a good face or not.
In the end, certai cirlse of people will never call you beautiful if you don’t meet a sstandard. They will not call a fat person beautifl even if they are, because fat is a disqulaifier for them. IT’s not based onre ality.
I actually see no real issue with this. If I’m casting for a role that matches a certain despeciription, it doesn’t matter how hot someone is, if they don’t match that depcirptin, I can’t use them. For better or worse, the moern beauty industry has one standard, and that’s thwy they are looking for. May of the peole in it might admit it’s narrow, and beuaty is bigger than a singlual body type, but it’s impossible to amek it competaive that way.
And competiton isn ecessary to have beaty be a sourc eof income.
And if you think hat’as unfair, tough. Becuae I think penty of peoel who support their family with their face, and take good care of their body and larnt he art of make upa nd style deserve some reward for it. Ther’s nothing worng with any of that. tRaing you boy like a canvas can incease your respect for the body. Just as becoign apainter yoursle finceras yoru repsect for paint and canvas. I love paper and pens in a way other s don’t because I am a wirter, I love books ad their smell and feel becuase I am a reader, I love the detail of FRench and ASL becuaes I am a language buff. I don’t see why beuaty is any different.
the insiantiy is that people don’t see it as having enres. They think all beuaty is one way. Mainsteam beuaty could be seen as the genre of fanstasy. That’s the goal, to be better than reality, or at least markedly different. Not relaistic. No one want s realizm in fantasty.
But the genre of beuaty could also be in athethic beauty, or old fashioned beauty, or a materanl family kind. I see beuaty in allt hose areas, I don’t expect a stay at home mom to look like a model, but she can be beuatufil, just in the way that makes sens for what she does.
I hope my poinnti is not too compbulted, It hink I got on a roll.
You see what I mean? Beuaty if different for differnt people, and honeslty, the people in the copetive egine often understand that just fine, it’s their job to conform to the standard os their profession, they wose ones will stay out of the other genres.
IT’s us who try to comibne them all into some disgusting mess that no one can keep up with.
YEs, the mainstream doe stkae it too far. ED should not be a common problem for models and actors.
But, it’s not all evil either.
I think Miss Congeniality made a good point about this, if you put no effort in, it’s not jsut that you think beauty doesn’t matter, it means that you think you can be subpar on purpose.
And any area of life you settle for less than your best in, you are still falling short.
IF the best osme people cna do is be 300lbs and happy, that’s all good. IF you can’t lose weight, don’t feel bad. IF you can’t gain weigh, (I can’t) don’t feel bad.
But if you choose to be 200lbs when you could be 180;bs with better helath decisions…well, I don’t want to listen to your girping. which is my issue with True Beauty.
If you choose to be unattractive, and have unattractive attitudes, I don’t think you deserve much pity. I hop you get help, but if you refuse it when it’s offered, why should I feel sorry for you? Or try to build up your ego when you will knock it down yourself?
There are people who have made bad choices and are now sorry. That’s not who I’m talking about. I think recovery is admirable and important, I ought to after all the recovery I’ve been doing.
I mean the ones who park there forever.
Depend upon it, how you treat your outwear self does effect you inward.
The MC becomes a liar and a hypocrite. I just got to episode 94 or so, where she chides her bf about not being honest with her, and then realizes she is not honest with him either. She evens talked to her her ex about this, and he encourages her to be honest, her sister encourages it also. But she stills flips out and runs form her bf the second he sees her without make up, and almost gets hit by a car. At that point, as her bf, I would have yelled at her and been really mad. That’s just stupidity. He’s very nice about it, instead, but that says more about his insecurities than hers.
I mean, if I found out my SO was hiding their face form me, for months, I would feel insulted. It implies they don’t trust me.
Now hear me on this, it’s true she’s insecure, and she’s got problems, so she believes he will be disappointed no matter what. All that is real, and I won’t make fun of it or diminish it, I have issues too.
But this is what I think: If you are going to be with someone, romantically, you need to be wiling to show them your ugly side, even if you believe they will hate it. It is only fair to them,and if you really love them, you will not lie. It may be hard for you, it may be all you hear is screaming in your head that you’ll be rejected, but it doesn’t matter. You must be vulnerable to be a in a real, loving relationship.
I have a crush, and I have not hesitated to tell him I had an abusive past, and now have no father. He has not stopped being my friend, or treated me differently over it, but if he had, I’d have wanted to know that sooner rather than later.
Does that mean my crush should be my bf? No, but it means, I didn’t hide anything, if it was to happen.
And it wasn’t always easy. I know some people see others as damaged goods. They have terrible reactions to hearing you were a victim. Or they are overwhelmed. That may happen to me, it actually did, with someone else… but, I refuse to act like I have anything to be ashamed of. I’ve found people to be much more sympathetic because of that.
And I don’t judge others as much now that I’ve come to see it in myself. If someone complains about their parents, I don’t assume that thy are just bad kids, I’ve learned it can be quite real.
One more thing:
I don’t like the attitude of True Beauty that you need your boyfriend to affirm he will not stop loving you if you don’t look the same without make up. If that is even a question, you are dating the wrong guy. Or girl, gents, if you have that problem too.
Hey, he may be surprised, but if you change your face, he has a right to be surprised, who wouldn’t be? It doesn’t mean you’re ugly, you idiot (I mean the MC.)
If I gave myself slanted eyes with make up and then took it off, I’d expect someone who didn’t know to be a little stunned.
If anything, the guy should dump her for lying to him for months, but he did the same so I guess he can’t talk. Great foundation for a relationship, I know. Ugh.
I detest dishonesty above almost all else in a relationship, and I don’t practice it myself. Sometimes I think I get lied to without knowing it because I expect others to be as honest with me as I am with them.
That’s a discussion for another time, however.
To wrap it all up, true Beauty is something hard to quantify. I think if you glory in looking good outside, that is part of your true beauty, and as long as you are not prideful about it, that’s fine. If you don’t care about make up and clothes, but you still respect yourself and take care of yourself, than true Beauty is in that. It’s also in your soul.
But if you treat yourself like you are ugly, you become ugly inside and out. That’s the end of it.
Until next time, stay honest–Natasha
Link to my favorite Make-up channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/charismastar