Homogeneity in Seoul Made Me Appreciate the Diversity We Do Have Here
As in other Asian countries with Confucian traditions, South Korea puts the collective before the individual. You can see this in the case of families, where the well-being of the whole family is placed above individual desires. When I'm there, I often get extremely frustrated by the expectation that I must follow what everyone else—namely, anyone older than me—wants to do before I even consider my own plans for the day. In such a culture of following tradition, it is no surprise that many will adhere to a single ideal of beauty.
There is still a long way to go in terms of making our movies, TV shows, and magazines fully reflective of the entire American population, but it was good for me to recognize that, to a certain extent, American culture values individualism among its pretty faces.
Photo courtesy of Plasa 21.
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