A new Miss Korea has been crowned for 2018. Kim Soo Min is both beautiful and smart, so why was she forced to shut down her Instagram after her shining achievement?

“Thank you for the honorable prize. I will continue to work hard.” ~ Kim Soo Min, Miss Korea 2018

Soo Min Kim was crowned the 62nd Miss Korea in the 2018 Miss Korea Contest held at the Olympic Park Olympic Hall in Seoul on July 4. Her win includes US$45,000 in prize money and another US$45,000 in scholarship. The 23-year-old beauty pageant winner graduated from International Business at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, USA, and she aspires to be an international reporter.

Shockingly, soon after her win, Kim Soo Min's Instagram was besieged with many malicious comments, such as those saying she is not pretty enough or is undeserving of the title to represent South Korea.

She was forced to close the account by setting it as private.

It's now reopened with those comments deleted. Kim Soo Min also added “2018 MISS KOREA 眞” to her profile.

Why was there so much criticism? This news article sheds some light by mentioning the new Miss Korea is "shorter and heavier" than previous winners of the pageant. According to that report, Kim So Min is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 131 lbs, while Miss Korea 2017 was 5 feet 7 inches in height and 119 lbs in weight, and Miss Korea 2016 was 5 feet 8 inches and 117 lbs.

At least the Miss Korea Pageant no longer reveals the bust, wast and hip measurements.

Of course we don't know how many online trolls participated in the cyber-bullying incident. The vast majority of South Koreans must be impressed by the young woman's achievement and wish her well.

We sincerely hope that Kim Soo Min will stay strong and ignore the naysayers. Nevertheless, the incident reveals an eye-opening issue that prevails in our society where one's external look influences how she (or he) is judged as a person and that impression could even affect job prospects. Apparently, even someone as beautiful as the new Miss Korea does not escape criticism for her looks. The focus on external beauty, especially one defined by other people, must be a tremendous pressure.

South Korea is considered the Global Plastic Surgery Capital because the country has reportedly the most plastic surgeries per capita in the world. Many foreign visitors even go there for tourism along with some beauty enhancement treatments. Korean dramas, therefore, do not shy away from including that issue in drama-land. One of my favorite dramas is Birth of a Beauty, about a woman who underwent extreme surgeries to hide from and to exact revenge upon her cheating, murderous husband.

I also look forward to watching My ID is Gangnam Beauty, which will shine even more light on the pressure for external beauty when one is considered ugly. After the leading character, long bullied for her looks, underwent plastic surgery to improve her looks, she is then nicknamed "Miss Gangnam," a demeaning term. Will she ever find self confidence?


My ID is Gangnam Beauty

Starring Cha Eun Woo and Im Soo Hyang

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In the meantime, we wish the best for the new Miss Korea.

Congratulations, Kim Soo Min!

~ Find me at NancyZdramaland for more updates!

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