Korean Golfer Ignores Suggestion to Get Plastic Surgery, Wins 16 Golf Tournaments Instead

We’ve all heard stories of models and actresses who have to deal with the sometimes unattainable expectation to be beautiful all the time, but now it appears that this expectation of beauty is expanding to the sports world. Apparently, even some athletes are now facing the pressure to be beautiful. At least that’s what it seems to be in the case of 26-year-old Korean golfer, Ahn Sun-ju.

After winning 16 tournaments and accruing nearly $5 million in prize money since 2010, Ahn has climbed her way upward and has become the top female golfer in Japan. Clearly, this is an extraordinary achievement, but it left sports columnist Lee Young-mi with questions. Namely, why was she not striving to be the best golfer in Korea?

Unfortunately, her responses to his interview questions were disheartening to say the least. Simply put, her physical appearance held her back.

“Some (potential Korean) sponsors even demanded I get plastic surgery,” she said in the article. “Companies did not consider me as a golf athlete, only that I was a woman. It mattered most to them was whether my appearance was marketable [sic]. I was deeply hurt by that.”

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 5.28.18 PM

The Korea Times points out that she won six tournaments in Korea, but still struggled to find a corporate sponsor. Is it really because she wasn’t pretty enough? She thinks so. During the interview, Ahn acknowledged that she doesn’t fit the stereotypical definition of “sexy” (why does that even matter?) but would not let that hinder her from playing golf. Instead, she turned to Japan.

“Japanese companies, on the other hand, focused on my ability as a golfer,” Ahn explained. “They are more concerned about my performance and how I treat my fans. I am being sponsored by six Japanese companies, including a clothing brand.”

Can we say for certain that Ahn’s decision to move to JLPGA was due to Korea’s inability to accept her physical appearance? Absolutely not. She may have just dealt with a sour company’s opinion and we certainly shouldn’t assume that the KLPGA puts those expectations on their players.

What we do know is that Ahn endured a horrible experience of someone telling her she wasn’t pretty enough. What’s even worse is the realization that we, too — sometimes not even aware of it — are told the same thing.

Many of us, especially women, are pressured on a daily basis as hundreds of advertisements tell us there’s room for improvement. That of course confirms the message we’ve grown up with our entire lives: we’re never enough and our imperfections need to be fixed. The pressure to be beautiful certainly occurs worldwide, but some countries, such as Korea, have begun to build a reputation for beauty, a reputation maybe they feel they must keep. Many people have now correlated Korea’s high beauty standards to their equally high plastic surgery rates. After all, how else is one supposed to keep up with such extreme pressure and expectations?

We may never know the details behind Ahn Sun-ju’s unfortunate experience. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that we admire her. She quickly understood that her worth was measured in her talent, not in her external beauty. Besides, last we checked, beauty never won golf tournaments. Good for you, girl.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 5.29.47 PM

(Source)

Korean American Michelle Wie Wins The U.S. Open

Story by Julie Ha. 

She did it. Michelle Wie just scored the biggest win of her career.

The 24-year-old golfer won the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, with a two-shot victory over the No. 1-ranked Stacy Lewis.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening,” Wie said on NBC, reacting to the career milestone.

Anyone who’s followed Wie’s roller coaster career, which began which so much promise and anticipation, but didn’t always produce the big wins, will appreciate the significance of this victory for the Korean American, who began playing golf at age 4. In today’s play, the Stanford graduate displayed the maturity of a champion, after recovering from  a late double-bogey 6 on the 16th hole and nailing a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th.

One NBC golf commentator summed it up, remarking, “We’ve been talking about Michelle Wie forever—the ups and downs … This is a pretty cool moment.”

Wie seems to be on a roll, making her previous, four-year winless streak a thing of the past. In April, she won the LPGA LOTTE Championship in her home state of Hawaii, which was her first LPGA victory since 2010.

Photo via Getty Images.

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com.

Jason Day Loses Family Members to Typhoon Haiyan

Australian professional golfer Jason Day has recently revealed that he lost eight of his family members to devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan striking the Philippines.

Day’s mother moved from the Philippines to Australia nearly 30 years ago. However, many of her relatives stayed in the Philippines in the city of Tacloban. Day is reported to have lost his grandmother, his uncle and six cousins during the typhoon which has claimed thousands of lives and left over 600,000 people displaced from their homes.

 Yahoo sports has described Day as “one of the nicest guys in all of professional golf.” Their description seems fitting as Day urges fans to focus their attention towards relief efforts in the Philippines.

“I am deeply saddened to confirm that multiple members of my family lost their lives as the victims of Typhoon Haiyan,” Day said in a statement released by the PGA Tour Monday.

“My family and I are thankful for all who have reached out with their prayers and concern.

“We feel devastated for all who have been affected by this horrific tragedy. While I understand the media’s interest in this matter and hope that any coverage can spread awareness to assist with the relief efforts that continue in the Philippines, I hope that all will respect my family’s privacy during this difficult time. I will have no further public comments at this time. Please pray for all who have suffered loss. Thank you.”

 

Gold Coast Bulletin was able to speak to Jason Day’s mother, Dening Day, about the tragedy that affected her family. She claims that she has not yet spoken to her son about their loss.


“My daughter has been updating him but I don’t want to bother him because he has commitments,” she said. “There will be plenty of time to talk after [the World Cup]. He’s representing his country so I don’t want him worrying about anything apart from golf.”

 

Day will team with Adam Scott in the World Cup beginning at Royal Melbourne on Thursday.