Over the last two weeks, the photos of the Miss Korea 2013 contestants had gone viral around the web, causing a stir with debates over plastic surgery and standards of beauty (“One Dream, One Face”), among some issues. However, more photos emerged on the web – and this time, the revealed photos of the contestants sans makeup. Of course, disappointment ensued from Korean netizens, with commentary ranging from polite to downright insulting. Upon closer glance, when you compare the before and after photos side-by-side, it seems like the after photos are result of photoshop and not a result of plastic surgery (although it could all be arguable).
Plastic surgery or not, I feel that the Miss Korea 2013 campaign still promotes a problematic standard of beauty: that there is only one standard for us to follow. Check the photos below the cut. What do you think, Audrey readers?
ISSUE SPRING 2013
Recent shocking headlines make Associate editor Kanara Ty realize we are NOT living in a post-sexist society.
Some time ago, I was talking to one of my good guy friends about the challenges women have in dating. I said, “Women have it worse than men — we have a lot more to lose when it comes to dating.”
He was taken aback by my statement and said, “You know, you sound incredibly sexist right now.” An argument ensued, and inevitably, I was upset.
As much as people like to believe that we live in a post- racial society, they also like to believe we live in a post-sexist world, where women have equal standing and equal opportuni- ties as men. In actuality, we don’t. The shocking case of the New Delhi gang rape of a physiotherapy intern last December was a brutal reminder. And it wasn’t just the rape. When female protesters emerged demanding the safety and respect for women, they were met with cries of misogynistic Indian males who went so far as to say that the protesters should be raped for even daring to speak out.
Why would these men take to the streets to speak out against these women? I believe it was because they do not believe rape is a crime. And they don’t believe sexual violence (and on a larger scale, violence in general) against women is a crime if she was deserving of it. And it’s not just men in poorer parts of the world; it happens here too, like in the Steubenville rape case, where a gang of football players raped a high school student and then posted the photos on various social media. They didn’t think the rape was a crime because she deserved it.
It’s the same sort of sexist mindset that affects how women are often treated in the Asian entertainment industry. One of the more recent cases was Minami Minegishi, a member of the Japanese girl group AKB48, who was caught by a Japanese tabloid magazine spending the night at her boyfriend’s house. In addition to posting a tearful apology and being demoted to a research student within AKB48, the 20-year-old also shaved off her hair (supposedly of her own accord). Minegishi was punished because of AKB48’s chastity clause — no member is allowed to have a relationship — and there are grounds for punishment (including dismissal) if the rule is broken. It’s baffling that a multi-million-dollar pop group is aggressively marketed as sex symbols, and yet the members themselves are not allowed to have sex.
Cases like this make it clear: We still have a long way to go in the fight for women’s rights — and more specifically, the rights of women of color. Even while we find more women taking on increasingly powerful positions, the fact of the matter is that men are still in control of the message that are being projected on women, especially in the entertainment industry.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month. It’s a crime that affects more than 6.6 million adults each year, yet stalking is little understood in the media and gravely under-reported by victims. Contributor Janice Jann breaks the silence and shares why it’s important to take this threat seriously.
ISSUE: Winter 2012-13
STORY: Janice Jann
The term “stalker” gets tossed around far too lightly these days.
“Ew, are you stalking me?” you joke when bumping into someone at the same frozen yogurt shop.
“I’m going to Facebook stalk him,” when you find out a friend has a new boyfriend.
But when you find yourself the victim of actual stalking, it’s no laughing matter.