Monday, 7 April 2008

Oprah's plastic surgery comment sparks uproar in Korean-American community

Queen of daytime talk show Oprah Winfrey (pic) remarked that Korean women have "an obsession with plastic surgery" in a 2004 episode of her popular The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Her comment sparked an uproar in the Korean-American community at that time, and some Korean expat groups demanded a public apology from the talk show host.

The particular program dealt with women's rising positions and female culture in various countries.

Mexico's bold and stylish fashion was highlighted, along with the struggles of women in Ghana, Cuba's passionate club scene as well as the relaxed and confident style of American women.

In the segment dedicated to Korea, Korean women were portrayed to have an inferiority complex with many turning to plastic surgery for more Western features. It also described Korea as a plastic surgery superpower.

A Korean student studying in the US said: "The Oprah Winfrey Show is a program with a lot of viewers worldwide, and for it to deal with Korea negatively like this is a big problem. Because of this, I worry if the nation's image takes a big hit."

Source: DigitalChosunilbo

73 Comments:

nor fatihah said...

y shud oprah apologise???
it's not a lie!!!
many female koreans had surgery(s)...

it's like saying that malaysia have many 'mat rempit'[stupid fcukin motorcyclist racing dangerously] and malaysians demand an apology....
it's the truth!

meiruo_chan said...

it's so true...

Anonymous said...

Oprah shouldn't apologize.

Innocent Bystander said...

Why turn so sensitive and ridiculously asking an apology from Oprah? That's the fact,face it. Or maybe they got angry because they WERE ugly.

Madame Vengier said...

But she's RIGHT, so what's the big deal? She shouldn't apologize. That would seriously lower her credibility. South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world and Koreans and Korea-Americans know it. They shouldn't place this game.

Madame Vengier said...

Sorry, it should have meen "play this game".

PrincelyLuna said...

i agree that there is truth in what Oprah said, but i believe that a lot of those Hollywood people had also gone under the knife to 'stay young'?

Orchid said...

Actually before i became "k-popped!" i didn't know that plastic surgery was popular in South Korea. But when i started taking interest in Korean celebrities, my friend told me...hey almost all the celebs had "work done" (plastic surgery). I was so incredulous. "You mean they don't look good naturally." ah gee...I asked "How do you know this?" He answered..."Common, every one knows this!"

Then when learning up on Korean celebrities, i found this to be true! So i don't see why Oprah should apologize either.

NOT ALL have gone under the knife. But a good number have...and i guess this is the stigma Korean women have to live with.

starwish said...

Oprah's comment was the truth. Why should she apologize?

kpop_rub said...

Oprah should NOT apologize. The truth hurts. I don't see why Koreans themselves are not more critical of their own plastic surgery/unrealistic standards of beauty within their society. I find it sickening how many women have to be surgically 'altered' just be considered 'pretty'. And its not even like here in the US where someone has a big nose, weird shaped chin, or some other weird feature 'corrected'. Koreans change things that are typical Korean features... like smalls eyes, low nose bridge, round face... I don't get it but I'm not Korean so I guess I wouldn't.

Anonymous said...

Why are black people always so racist. They either hate whites or some other culture. Look at Oprah, you dont see her building 40 million dollar schools HERE but down in AFRICA, even though we need it too. God.

~A

Anonymous said...

You should check the date, K-popped. That article was published in 2004, I believe. Many of the "most popular" articles are old.

kpop_rub said...

A, maybe cuz Africa is the most impoverished continent on earth? Africa has the lowest life expectancy, highest infant mortality rates, lowest literacy and education rates in the world... While the US, despite obvious pockets of poverty, has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
I don't think the report had ANYTHING to do with her being either black or racist.

Harmon said...

LOL are you serious? It's true! Many Koreans said so themselves.

Clammy said...

Although it's true, and a bit sad (making both Korean Men and Women a bit superficial when it comes to looks sometimes), she should still apologize. I haven't seen this episode (nor do I ever intend to watch Oprah, as Lewis Black puts it "Oprah is the root of all evil!"), it seems that it was dedicated to pointing out all the good in these other countries, however, she chose to focus on the bad for Korea and Korea alone. She didn't bother to point out anything good about Korean women (who, btw are awesome and EXTREMELY strong and more independent than she thinks). Whether it be that they excel in the education systems more so than the other countries she pointed out, or that they can make something out of nothing by working very hard. Or that even single Korean mothers can work ridiculous hours to support their children and still raise them right without complaint or asking for handouts.

As for the building of a 40 million dollar school in Africa, she did that because she felt that American inner city kids were selfish and would rather get a new ipod or pair of shoes rather than a new state of the art school. So instead of spending money to truly try to turn around the attitude in often Black inner cities that education isn't important, she builds a school that can praise her and her alone. This woman is a narcisist, much like trump, she names everything after herself. She no longer has any idea what normal people do, even though she came from nothing herself. She once had no idea that clothes were so cheap at walmart.

Koreans and African-Americans (And I specifically mean African-AMERICANS, as opposed to blacks from the Caribbeans or Africa itself) have a very shaky relationship in the U.S. I'd even go so far as to say that there's a lot of racism. A lot of it is recent from the L.A. riots back in the 90s where the same befriended customers of Korean shop owners came to loot those shops. Anyways, it's unfortunate that so many idiots watch Oprah and follow everything she does like Lemmings.

Anonymous said...

sorry korean chickies, eyelid surgery is PLASTIC SURGERY. sure, maybe no plastic is inserted into your eyelids, but its still taking a knife to your face unnecessarily.

what percentage of korean women HAVEN'T had eyelid surgery?

oprah doesn't need to apologize at all. cuz she's right on this one.

jicks said...

It's only negative if you look at it that way. People should just stop being so sensitive about it. Not that I am an endorser, but it's not completely different from sa, caking on make-up on everyday to create "the perfect" face.

It's almost a taboo topic w/ some people, but the fact is, everywhere you turn in Seoul, you will find a comestic surgery clinic. This is first-hand information from someone who came from South Korea!

PS- I <3 Oprah!

blackdiva said...

Oprah shouldn't apologize, because everybody knows it's true. I think the Korean-Americans are out-of-touch of the reality in Korea. And the evidence is not only seen in 90% of it's female celebrities but also with some of the men as well. And if you go to soompi, people (mostly koreans) will defend plastic surgery as something usual and common. which is WEIRD!!!

totskie said...

those people who reacted to Oprah's statement were in denial of this fact. we can't blame the show for its blatant approach to korean women because before broadcasting it on tv they researched the topic extensively.

Anonymous said...

Even if its a true fact, they didn't have to go point this fact out to people about Korea. This just gives people the wrong idea about Koreans. If she said positive things about other countries, she should have added something positive about Koreans. I'm not saying she was wrong, but she could have taken the Koreans' opinions when she said this.

Anonymous said...

In a way, there is some truth to what she is saying. I think it is a concern that the ideal standard of beauty around the world is unfortunately that of caucasian women (nothing wrong with their beauty, it's just that other types of beauty exist too). We spoke of such subjects in my Women's studies class and there is much written work to back this up. Curse globalization..it's both a good and bad thing.

E said...

to A ~ I wouldn't say anything about Oprah giving back to Africa...she's just supporting her own roots. I'd highly DOUBT that ANY successful Korean would donate their money to Africa. They'd donate to Korea...obvoiusly that's not being racist...that's just how it works. You feel towards your own people.

And please Oprah shouldn't have to apologize about anything. It's the truth, only in Korea can you go out and see random people with bandages over their eyes, their chest, their entire face. I've never seen a sight like that, except for in korea. I've also never seem actual posters in the subway promoting plastic surgery...also only in Korea (to my knowledge anyways). Everyone knows that Korea has the best and most famous plastic surgeons, if no one went and did surgery they wouldn't exist. It's sad that so many Koreans still like to deny the fact that plastic surgery is so prominent in their society...if you do it, admit it.

Clammy said...

Actually, Korea is only number 2 in Plastic Surgery behind I think Brazil, at least it was a few years back.

Anyways, you guys are missing the point. She should apologize not because she was wrong in statement about the amount of plastic surgery, but because of her portrayal and reason for it. She goes on positively about all these other countries and singles out Korea to bash on and not point anything good out.

miss-showers said...

I haven't seen the show but it should have highlighted the good and bad of each country.

I think that plastic surgery is thought of differently in Korea but I don't think they're the only ones who get it done or have an obsession with it...I think rich American white women also have an obsession with it...but i guess Oprah didn't mention that only that they had "...confident style of American women." Who wouldn't be confident with all that botox in your face?

Anonymous said...

I hate to admit it, and I'm no fan of Oprah...but her perception is the same as mine. As a Korean-American, yeah, I would like Koreans to be portrayed in a positive light, but I also have issues with all the plastic surgery going on in Korean...having plastic surgery is like breathing air in Korea and it's sickening. I also know that Korean-Korean girls have more problems with self-esteem and self-image than Korean Americans. In addition, I have a problem with all the Korean looking exactly the same...

Anonymous said...

this article was in 2004 and i don't recall reading anything about an apology or even a response from oprah so it goes to show how much she really cares about the issue! haha...who said she didn't say anything positive...didn't she say south korea is a plastic surgery power house? sounds like a compliment to me!

Anonymous said...

Oprah should apologize.
This isn't her first time.
Last year she had had said something that was against the Koreans.
Oprah and her wanna-be Tyra Banks is so full of themselves.
Why is it okay for 'Western' people to get boob jobs and tummy tucks and not okay for Koreans to get double eyelid surgeries. Just because they get it, it doesn't mean that they are trying to be 'westernized' they want to be beautiful.

Many Asian people go to South Korea to get plastic surgery because they are that 'skilled' it doesn't mean that all Koreans had something done.

Valerie said...

it is true though and i think oprah wasn't trying to put korean women in a negative light.

i think this episode was from a while back though unless they're taking a second look at women from around the world.

soohyun said...

ok so i see that everyone here is saying that oprah should not apoligize
well dont bash me but i believe that oprah should apoligize because she has no right to criticize koreans
koreans arnt the only ones getting surgery.
their are many japanese, chinese, and other asian women getting them!
and the fact that many american celebs got them as well.
ashely tisdale, ashley simpson, jess simpson, and much more
has oprah got one as well?? just asking.
not saying that she looks like she has but im just wonering
so what if koreans got surgery. its probably because many americans have criticized us koreans for having an ugly face with chinky eyes.
if they never criticized us, than this mightve never happened.
so in conclusion, oprah should apoligize because what she said have given korea a horrible image and hurted many feelings to those who recieved plastic surgery

**i never got plastic surgery. and i dont want one. im just speaking for all the koreans out there who have gotten a bad image because of this.

i can go on and on about this. but the oprah show has been known to be very hurtful yet very true.
but this statement is very hurtful.

please do not bash me because i am speaking in my own opinion. everyone has different opinions. if you disagree, than you may speak but dont bash me because again, this is my opinion

and thanxx k-pop for sharing this news. this just got me very upset about oprah because i use to like her for helping the poor and showing love but this is just wrong in many ways. thanx agian for sharing. :)

illdielaughing said...

This was four years ago...

Clammy said...

Yes, it was 4 years ago, so she SHOULD have apologized.

See previous comment about African Americans and Koreans in the United States.

She's so out of touch, even though she thinks she's not. She once gave, I think Ford Expeditions, away to her poor audience, and they couldn't afford the taxes on it! Yes Oprah, us little people have to pay taxes.

I'm a Korean American male, and we often joke about plastic surgery. In the Korean clubs, we've gotten pretty good at spotting the various nose jobs and etc. On the one hand, we still think they are "hot", on a personal cultural level, I find it sad that we are probably becoming the most superficial group of people on the planet (not just because of the surgery but other things as well). But many of my friends and I still say the same thing... just like in Minyeo-neun goerowo (200lbs Beauty), It's okay, just not on my girl. How much of that we actually mean, I dunno.

Anonymous said...

I'm a kor-am myself and I DON'T think Oprah shouldn't apologize.
I recently went back to the ROK for the first time after 12 years and A LOT has changed. It's really hard to find a 20-30 year old woman who actually resembles what a real korean woman would have looked like 10-20 years ago. At first I was really naive and thought that maybe perhaps they were genetically equipped/evolved that way..(ROFL :P)..but I learned and realized for myself that most/all of them have had at least 1 procedure done (most commonly the eyelid surgery) It's getting to be really disturbing.

I KNOW koreans are very very self conscious in that they want to appear as conformist (being different isn't what a avg korean strives to be) and constantly compete with their peers to have the better everything- kids, education, car, house, life. They pride on this. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's a huge power trip for them. Koreans can be very irrational and complex with how they handle certain situations. They can be gentle christians and dive into the WWJD type of mode and try to give everything they own to you...and other times, well, let's just say I've seen some crazy shit.

Bottom line is...I'm proud of my heritage and my family's story n all, but shit...Every Korean person really needs to reevaluate the message that they are trying to send out into the world. AS a community koreans need to change. And as stubborn as they are now...remember the OLD korea (pre-industrialization) back in the late 60's early 70's...as a people WE WERE DIRT POOR! we can still learn a thing from the elders NOW. go respect and appreciate this before you can think of having a boob job or a freakin nose job!

Clammy said...

I don't disagree with you on any of this, except the Oprah should have apologized part... OR come up with some good stuff to say.

I'm extraordinarily proud of our industrialization and going from 3rd world to the 11th largest economy in a single generation. After going back yearly in the 80s and early 90s, I didn't go back for something like 10 years, and I was completely culture shocked by my own home country.

Oprah did not choose to talk about how hard the Korean people, men and women, worked to achieve that kind of economic success. Nor did she choose to talk about how hard the first geners worked in the U.S. to have a relatively wealthy Korean community in the same emmigrated generation. Instead, she chose to focus on something bad in a segment where all other things were about the good in other countries.

Anonymous said...

Fact: Koreans do plastic surgery.

However, I strongly believe the light in which PS was portrayed in Korea is remarkable inflammatory and insensitive for a woman who prides herself on bringing issues to light fairly.

Fact: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_pla_sur_pro_percap-plastic-surgery-procedures-per-capita

Korea is #27 - far FAR below countries that hardly suffer the "stigma" of being a "plasticized" country. For chrissake, SWEDEN is #1 in ps/per capita and the Swedish are hardly associated with plastic surgery.

This about accurately portraying a country in global perspective and Oprah did NOT do that. THAT is what Oprah should’ve apologized for; not for necessarily saying Korea does plastic surgery but for implying Korea is the "obsessed" with it when facts show Korea is rather far from.

I would say it’s rather amusing to see people wax poetic about how Korea is the epicenter of PS because of the fact Koreans are more open about having undergone surgery. While there are far less Koreans that actually undergo PS, as compared to Taiwan, Japan, and Hong Kong, far more Koreans are willing to talk about it on game shows etc. I would assume this is because Korea’s society is, to gently put it, very tight knit and demands honesty and a certain open-ness from Korean celebrities that Westerners peculiar. In America, nobody openly and willingly “admits” they did Botox, a boob job, or a nose job unless questioned directly (and not even then sometimes). Furthermore, Korea has a reputation for skilled (but cheap) plastic surgeons, ones that actually have medical degrees and know what they are doing. Consequently, many foreigners go to Korea to have procedures done and indeed many of those little surgeries you see in the street of Seoul cater to foreigners who have flown in to get their face done under the pretence of taking a vacation.

As for the question of “Westernizing” themselves through plastic surgery, perhaps Koreans are doing just that. But what was Halle Berry doing when she “pudgy” nose straightened into a pointy one? Most minorities, African and Asian alike are “Westernizing” their features because the Western look is the dominating idea of beauty. To single out Korea as trying escape their cultural identity through plastic surgery is a remarkably skewed (and hypocritical) way to view it.

Wording is everything and it’s clear to me Oprah and the uninformed commenters on this post do not care whether she portrayed a small, far-off country unfairly. But I suppose that’s the way of the world – it’s easy to criticize in the name “truth” dressed as opinion and the freedom of speech when it’s not your culture, heritage, and society under fire.

Anonymous said...

i am korean and i do admit many stars and some ppl have gone under the knife. but most of them are STARS. they are pressured to do this stuff by some fans and their management which adds to their want or reluctancy of doing it anyway. but saying it to all korean women and the country? now THATS just insulting and very prejudice/stereotype. and although most of you ppl r saying that she shouldn't apologize, thats YOUR opinion. ur not the ppl that did want an apology so you dont' know what they're feeling or felt about this comment. i feel insulted and angry that she tries to make the other countries seem so good but then says only bad things about korea. i have never watched the oprah show because i've always thought some of its comments are just too specific and do not include everyone but now i know that i will never watch it. and somehow i think that if Oprah says things like that, i dont' think she should have her own show or be such a major influence. and i'm sorry to say this but to me its true and personally, i don't care what you have to say about my comment but ur also insulting korea when u support Oprah on this whether u know it or not. and for those that have said "many korean women" this message is not for you. i'm referring to those that have completely generalized and called out the whole nation. dont start trying to fight with me because all i'm saying is the truth of what many ppl, especially the ones that want an apology, believe.

jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jane said...

it would've been better if the topic of the show [in general] was on plastic surgery, rather than giving krns that kind of light, while others have fashion, the clubbing scene, & struggles for their topic.
i'm pretty sure if she talked about some other race like that, then the outcome 4rm that race would've been the same.

i find this kinda funny, since brazil & other countries have way more surgery done than krns. i guess you can say 4rm the asn culture, krns are known for it.
& don't be hatin'- you know you want to look like them! lol...
besides, there's a good amount of krn celebs that get it done, but there's an equal amount of them that are naturally beautiful.

Nicole said...

@ Anonymous 08:28

S.Korea's number of plastic surgeries
done must seem less than other countries,but if you calculate its ratio to S.Korea's population.... :/

Try checking other statistics online.

While others might argue that Hong Kong has a nice rate itself, but do remember that mainlanders make up a big part of their clientèle, probably due to popular belief that HK exceeds China in technological advancements.

--------------------------------

Oprah shouldn't apologize. She didn't intentionally promote or defame any country and having said that Korea is a plastic surgery powerhouse, I guess other people will be flying in to Korea for their procedures. :0

Kim Jung Soo said...

I think that she SHOULD apologize because on behalf of Korean-American women, I would like to say that what Oprah stated was a mere opinion regarding plastic surgery and Korean women. Not all of Korea's community resort to plastic surgery so she can't suggest that the Korean community as a WHOLE undergo plastic surgery but a proportion nonetheless. I'm not saying that she is completely wrong but because of the remark she made which in fact affected many koreans, this proclomation also had a toll on society's view of Korea's culture. Oprah is a well known figure respected throughout the world but the statement she made impacted many people's outlook of Korea's general people because she is very well respected therefore many viewers take in what she says. Oprah stated something that people disregard as a big issue but my opinion in this matter is that the korean community shouldn't be exposed as a whole but as individuals who MAY/MAY NOT undergo plastic surgery but saying that korea's society is the root of plastic surgery is a mere understatement and a stereotypical opinion.

Nicole said...

Oops I meant might, not must.

Kim Jung Soo1 said...

uh... wait. 4years ago..?

Liz said...

Yikes, 4 years ago.

Man, my apologies, I got fooled into thinking it was a recent article. Have tweaked the piece to show that it is not a recent article.

Anonymous said...

@nicole

This is per/capita, roughly estimating percentage per 100,000 – basic statistics. Actual size of the population is irrelevant in terms of this comparison because the pool has been equalized.

Nonetheless, compare S.Korea's population 49,044,790 (July 2007 est.)
with
Switzerland: 7,554,661 (July 2007 est.)
Cyprus: 788,457 (July 2007 Est.)
*
Asian countries (excluding HK since you wish it)
Taiwan: 22,858,872 (July 2007 est.)
Singapore: 4,553,009 (July 2007 est.)

These countries a SIGNIFICANTLY lower population yet countries such as Taiwan and Switzerland still top Korea in total #s of PS performed and per 100,000 people.

Thus the argument still stands - Korea DOES have people undergoing PS but is quite undeserving of the label of being a "plastic" country. If you can provide conflicting statistics from a reputable source, be my guest.

Anonymous said...

Oprah is so insightful. Four years ago and she said that? Look at what plastic surgery has become in South Korea. It's truly the plastic surgery superpower!

Anonymous said...

plastic surgery isn't necessarily such a TABOO you know...and if that's where ROK has advanced where other countries are still lacking... people in the US or other foreigners might consider going to Korea for surgery. think of it as like a trade! i know i wouldn't go to brazil for any procedure! i'd pick korea before brazil!

it's business. in this world it's all about the money. good or bad, Oprah just gave free advertising for the ROK plastic surgeons...you have to admit after seeing some of the hallyu stars...they're pretty good, no?

Anonymous said...

Have any of you ever watched that show or any of her shows?

If you're angry because you feel she criticized Koreans then I think it's more of a reflection on you and what you think of other Koreans.

Oprah has shined a spotlight on many different 'negatives' of other cultures that she feels is bad for them including women of the that society. Mutilation of female genitalia, how she built a school in Africa because inner-city kids in America were selfish, foot-binding in China and yes even the 'eye fold surgery' in Korea.

She did a lot for American women when she 'shamed' us for our views on fat women. Time to maybe take a look at ourselves...

Joe said...

Whether she should apoligize or not, I just wonder why Korean women are so obsesive on comsmetic surgeries. I'm Korean myself but I never understand it.

I've also read a news article that Korean women are the least satisfied ones on their faces in east Asian countries. I don't really think Korean women are uglier than others(I mean, before surgeries of course) so that I reckon what they need is learning how to be satisfied and proud of themselves, otherwise what they will need is surgeries after surgeries.

Anonymous said...

I think that the way Oprah presented the topic about Korean women being obsessed with plastic surgery was the one that's offensive, not the issue itself.

Anonymous said...

It's incredible to see how many people cannot see the different between addressing an issue fairly and spinning an issue in a biased fashion.

I respect Oprah and what she does. I believe most of the time she does a good job but Oprah was out of her league when she tried to address this question. She dressed opinion and fact (whether she meant to or not) on national TV no less - and if that isn't a reason to apologize what is? I'd like to see her reaction to someone who said African-Americans were trapped in the “rebellious slave” mentality as evidenced by the number of higher crimes committed by AA. It’s spinning fiction as fact through subtle wording. She “arguing” for her own opinion rather than stating facts and now Koreans are becoming the ones to bear the burden of having their personal choices (to have ps if the want it) criticized by hypocrites on a moral pedestal.

The question was never whether Koreans DID surgery – it was to what DEGREE. People who don’t recognize this difference are fools who can’t form opinions based on fact and follow strong personalities like sheep. There is a vast different between saying “Africans-Americans commit crimes” and “A-A have the most criminal tendencies.” Subtle wording, total different connotation. Oprah has placed the burden of having to face suspicion for simply being Korean and having a “pretty” face on entire nation of people. And this isn’t even a race question – it’s not as though she said ASIANS do – no this is a burden, only Korea will have to bear. The real “epidemic” here is how non-Koreans are forming the opinion that Koreans are changing their face b/c they are somehow unhappy with their cultural identity. The damage she and all the uninformed netizens have done is already clear in how every Korean face, pretty or not, is being criticized by third parties as MORAL deficiencies by fools who can only parrot what they’ve heard rather than cite statistics. Bear witness to the comments on any Asian forum discussing a non-Korean celebrity who is suspected to have “cut up her face.” Inevitable comment: “Well, Korean celebs do it more/at least she didn’t do as much K-stars/she’s almost as plastic as Korean stars.” And if this non-Korean is unattractive? “At least she hasn’t cut up her face like all the Korean stars.” She should’ve approached this issue with more of her renowned emotional sensitivity rather than exacerbating a stereotype that is becoming an epidemic among the uninformed masses.

In any case, she never apologized and after 4 yrs she clearly has no intention of doing so – that’s that.

Anonymous said...

oh but it is o~sooooo true, she does not need to apologize

never-fear,dear-is-here said...

I think plastic surgery in a country shows its progress... It isn't fair to say all women in Korea do stuff to their face because the eyelid surgery thing is the most common procedure in Asia. Americans do more boob jobs, tummy tucks and god-knows-what else all the time. I'm not Korean but I absolutely love that country! (Though the celebrities are starting to look alike these days...) But I'm sure Oprah could have used a little more tact when addressing this issue.

Plastic surgery in M'sia as far as I know is still taboo but I know a lot of older ladies that do botox....

Anonymous said...

smart anonymous guy,

you're not going to get through to anyone, opinions are exactly what they are opinions, whether it be foolish or not.

with the whole PS thing, no one cares about Switzerland or Taiwan's PS ratio to S. Korea simply because of size, the single digit million people from Switzerland or whatever won't be looked upon as much as the 49 million people in S. Korea.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it is true, but maybe the way she said sounded offensive, i mean, not only do Korean people have plastic surgery, lots of other people in many other countries, especially in Hollywood get plastic surgery.

Anonymous said...

Just because it didn’t cause a big storm 4 years ago, it’s a non issue? The problem with most people is that if it doesn’t offend them personally, they have a tendency to say,”get over it” after all it’s just a fringe minority that doesn’t have a voice in this country. All of you making comments, "IT'S TRUE!" without having watched the show are exacty the reason why media and government can manipulate the masses.You have no idea the content of the show nor in what context the comments were said. It's not a matter of weather or not the plastic surgery comment is true or not, that is beside the point and that is not why the apology is requested. If you watched the show, it is without a doubt a slam against the koreans. The reason why the show was so offensive (and i’m one of the few on this board, if not only person that has watched the show in question) is not so much because of Oprah’s comments at the end of the segment, which were offensive as well when she talks about how she can't imagine altering her looks because it would change her essence(HELLO! YOU STRAIGHTENED YOUR HAIR! WHY?), but more so BECAUSE THE WHOLE SHOW WAS ABOUT THE CELEBRATION OF WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD!!! Each country’s segment had a representative FROM that country, usually someone attractive, well off , and happy with their lives. Each country had someone that spoke english talking about how great their lives were. I forget how many countries there were, but Korea was one of the last segments and when it came to Korea, the tone of the show took a drastic turn as it became more of a documentary on plastic surgery. They had Lisa Ling, a Chinese-American, interviewing korean women in the back alleys of korea. With so much going on in the Korean entertainment industry, you couldn't find one Korean to represent KOREA?! I watched it four years ago and i wrote an e-mail to the Oprah show voicing my displeasure and of course i never got a response back. The reason why there was no furor over this is because Koreans in this country do not have a voice. No polical clout and much like other minorities that don’t have voice, we will always be drowned out by the whites who say,”Get over it!” Can you imagine if this was something offensive to blacks? or whites? the whole country would be in an uproar.

DBSK_FTW said...

I don't think of plastic surgery as a terrible thing. You know, girls(particularly) put on make-ups, do different hairstyles, do just about every single thing to make themselves look pretty. Why? Because most of us care about how they look in front of others. If we didn't, we would not wash our face, not try to eliminate pimples, not try to put skin whitening product and so on.

The only difference with plastic surgery is that you need huge money to be able to go through the procedure. Btw, if you did braces, put on some kind of skin products or some stuff to make yourself look pretty, yea you're basically no different from them. Everyone is superficial to some extent.

If you were to ask me, MOST people's looks are not natural because for it to be natural, you never had to have done anything to enhance your look EVER. I did braces, and I consider myself having done plastic surgery. What's really so bad about it?

If you're ugly, people are going to ridicule you for being ugly. If you're pretty but went through plastic surgery, people would still point out that you went through knife job. I would not do extreme plastic surgery myself because I don't intend to do it. But I don't see what's so bad about it, if you can afford it.

DBSK_FTW said...

Looks attract fans and viewers = FACT, this is undeniable. If I were a celebrity, I would consider doing it too to gain and satisfy fans.

People say "be yourself" "natural is the best" yea they all say that at first but in the end, people still fall for pretty girls. If they want to have beauty in order to have better chance for dating, and getting jobs, why not?

I don't agree with Oprah, I could care less if she thinks such surgery is a bad thing. I don't really think it's the worst thing in the world. I still think I would rather have as natural look as possible so don't recommend it but if you really want to, sure why not?

blahhhhhhh said...

people are only saying that oprah shouldnt apologize just b/c they'r obessed with her and doesnt want to admitt that shes never wrong. ugh
it is true that most koreans go under the knife but not ALL. damn..>.>

Anonymous said...

I bet Oprah will be the first one to stand against someone who says ANYTHING negative about African Americans. I love the double standard.

Anonymous said...

oprah was right in saying that koreans have a lot of plastic surgeries, but what country doesn't? on one hand, i really don't think oprah should apologize for something that IS true of the korean culture, but she also doesn't do justice do koreans by pointing fingers at other country's flaws, while ignoring what's more problematic at home -- that is, the u.s.a is the roaring engine of the plastic surgery industry--oprah needs to state that also.

Anonymous said...

I've known wonderful Black women and wonderful Korean women. And some not so wonderful. Oprah has had a lifelong problem with weight and I'm sure the comments have little to do with race but more with envy of a society of women who try hard and succeed in looking very good and thin.

Anonymous said...

this is 4 years ago!!
I'm Black, White, Korean, and Indian. I can careless about Oprah. Oprah just makes money off of what she says. But what she is doing is stating the facts, she could've said it in a better way, but still it's true. And I dont think she has to apologize of every little thing she says. This is her show, and she can say whatever she say. And if you don't like it then just don't watch it.. that's just my opinion about it.

Anonymous said...

The problem is focusing on just Koreans. Japanese and other Asians fly to Korea to get work done only because Korea offers the best surgeons just like people flock to Hollywood or los angeles here. Fact of the matter is most celebrities get work done everywhere so to single Korea out is ridiculous. People are just jealous of anyone who looks good and critical because they could never look half as good with or without going under the knife. Other Asian cultures are just not as popular in media to know the true stats. Korea pop culture is growing fast. Criticism always will accompany such fame. America is no different.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick of Oprah. I used to watch her show but stopped when I saw that incompetent Lisa Ling ridiculing a small group of Korean women for having plastic surgeries done. I could not believe my ears. Ling call it 'trying to be like white people.' What's worse? Oprah agreeing with Ling. What a narrow-minded comment that is. I suppose Oprah is also trying to be like white folks because I noticed her hair had gotten so much lighter. When that uneducated and incompetent college drop-out Ling talked about how Korean women were trying to be like white folks, she was actually talking about her own insecurities and about her own ugly nose and appalling eyes. So if anybody is reading this, please do not take that kind of garbage. Speak up loud and clear. Do not ignore their abuses. Come out strong and stand up with your head held up high and let's keep those idiots in line!!! Put them where they belong and keep them there!

Anonymous said...

Oprah & Lisa Ling owe Korean women overdue apologies. Boycott their shows. I think they are the ones having issues with their own looks because they were stooping that low to ridicule Korean women in particular. I think they were picking on those Korean women because they will have hell to pay if they picked on Chinese or Japanese. So teach them lessons by boycotting their shows, and make sure Korean companies do not sponsor their shows.

D said...

lol i can't believe how hyped up this issue became. but i think it IS true and that is the general impression that not just america has on koreans & plastic surgery but the whole world has on.. if it's like that then there might be some truth to it.

even if you wanna deny the issue - rather than go ranting off insulting a lot of people, why don't you guys provide evidence and facts to prove otherwise :)

Anonymous said...

Why should she appologize for something that is true?
Koreans are completely obsessed with their looks and cosmetic surgery. Just go to Korea and watch how many times they look at themselves in the mirror. It's sick.

Anonymous said...

Why should she appologize for something that is true?
Koreans are completely obsessed with their looks and cosmetic surgery. Just go to Korea and watch how many times they look at themselves in the mirror. It's sick.

Anonymous said...

I don't get why Oprah Winfrey's acting so high-and-mighty. She, herself, has gotten a nose job...

Anonymous said...

To: Anonymous 26 Nov 2008 AM 06:34

Oh please...so, what you're saying is that people, here, in America AREN'T superficial in their own right. You're genralizing...typical.

And just so you know, my non-korean friends stare into any reflective surface (including display windows of stores), checking out their own reflection. At the very least, koreans have the decency to do it into an actual mirror.

goonboy said...

I am Korean and what Oprah says is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Sadly, I am not surprised Koreans are in a stink about this because it does not take much to get Koreans riled up. Many cultures admire Korean women for their beauty, especially in Asia, but most of it is surgically enhanced. Frankly I am ashamed that Korean society puts such a huge emphasis on outward appearance. It's pathetic really, but in Korea EVERYTHING is a competition. Ask any Korean and most will tell you that at least 50% of women have had some form of plastic surgery done. For god's sake, mother's are giving it to their teenage daughters as a birthday gift. Fellow Koreans... let's take a good, hard look at the facts before we get up in arms about comments made about us. There is a job in Korea about plastic surgery... you know you've married a 'false beauty' when your kids are born really ugly.

goonboy said...

A Korean student studying in the US said: "The Oprah Winfrey Show is a program with a lot of viewers worldwide, and for it to deal with Korea negatively like this is a big problem. Because of this, I worry if the nation's image takes a big hit."


I can't stand how Koreans are so closed minded. They always think the world is putting them down. I'm sick and tired of it. Koreans need to chill out and quit being so uptight. Maybe we Koreans should start coming to grips with the deep, inherent problems within it's society (world leading divorce rates, celebrity suicides, adultery, moral bankruptcy, endless corruption, etc...) before we cry foul.

Sure it creates a negative image for Korea, but putting lipstick on a pig doesn't make it any prettier.

goonboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

According to Korean plastic surgeons in south korea, there chinese and japanese patients only accounts for 10% of their business. That mean korean government failed to lure foreigners to south korea for medical tourism. They see maninly koreans coming back to their homeland for plastic surgeries. This is not the fault of the korean plastic surgeons for not able to lure more foreigners there. KOrean docts revealed the truth that they have 10X the skills which me experience than the the highest nation for plastic surgeries. That mean korea plastic surgeries rate is the highest in the world. Koreans cannot have it both ways. Lie about their plastic surgeries rate and at the same time their surgeons is claiming that they have more experiment than any other doctors in the world. I agreed with goonboy. By the way, I am a white girl and seeing many koreans getting cometic surgeries to their nose and eyes. Some even do jawbone reduction, forehead and chin implant. one did eyebrow implant. To give the eyebrows some profile like non-asian have by birth.

 

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