Miss Korea 2012 Has Had a Boatload of Plastic Surgery


It turns out women who enter beauty pageants aren’t always natural beauties. (Insert shock and disbelief here.) Take Miss Korea 2012, Kim Yumi, for example. The pageant winner is unarguably beautiful, but decidedly un-Korean looking, and for good reason, since the 22-year-old has undergone quite a bit of plastic surgery in her quest for the Miss Korea title. Take one look at her yearbook photo and you’ll be hard-pressed to find many similarities between the plaid-clad school girl and the plastic beauty queen. And even though Yumi never mentioned her cosmetic surgery procedures prior to the pageant, she was apparently “shocked” that her time spent under the knife has become such a scandal. In response to the harsh criticism she has received since her win, Yumi said: “I never said that I was born beautiful.” Oh, excuse us for expecting a little respect for natural beauty.

Kim Yumi Miss Korea 2012 before and after plastic surgery:
Miss Korea Kim Yumi before and after plastic surgery

Aside from the fact that rewarding an unrealistic and unnatural beauty standard only perpetuates the practice of women undergoing plastic surgery to attain that “perfect beauty,” it just seems plain old unfair to name a plastic surgery frequent flier the most beautiful woman in Korea, in America, or in the Universe, for that matter. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm these days, especially in Korea, where hordes of clinics cater to the seemingly endless plastic surgery needs of Koreans with too-small breasts, excess eyelid skin, too-large faces and unsatisfactory cheek bones. In April, South Korea was revealed as the most cosmetically-enhanced country in the world, and its residents seem to relish in that “honor.” Just to give you an idea of exactly how plastic South Koreans are, statistics have shown that 16 out of every 1,000 Koreans have undergone some form of cosmetic procedure, including rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery and Botox.

In response to Yumi’s plastic surgery confession, many have encouraged her to give up the crown based on what they call “an infringement of the rules.” Probably not going to happen. And now that she has the physical beauty thing locked down, Yumi says she hopes to make a name for herself based on her “inner beauty,” rather than based on her looks. To which we will scoff: If you are so interested in being noticed for your inner beauty Miss Yumi, paying someone to alter your appearance and then joining a competition based primarily on outer beauty was probably not the best place to start. But good luck with that.

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  • avatar Jody says:

    At least she doesn’t have a “trout pout” For all the men out there that marry beautiful (via plastic surgery) women, just remember that it only changes the outside & not the genes. Your child can still inherit that large nose or no chin, or thin lips. haha

  • avatar Ely says:

    You really do have a stereotypical Asian in mind, don’t you?

    As a matter of fact, there are plenty of people in the Far East that have those features Miss Korea have. It’s not just very frequent. That’s why it’s considered beautiful. High cheekbones, smaall face, tear-esque eyes; these are all considered beautiful all around the world. It’s easy to tell she didn’t westernise herself because she didn’t make herself a straight nose and chin implants to acquire that perfect Gree profile us westerners are complaining about.

    In fact, her face wasn’t shaved to be oval-shaped (you can shave off from the jaw line), which is coveted in the West, but to make it *rpund* which is coveted over there because it looks cute and youthful.

    Just saying.

    • avatar Heather says:

      Her face is oval-shaped. Not round. It WAS round, before the surgery. Are we looking at the same picture? And no one in the West wants a BIGGER chin. What?

  • avatar Anja says:

    To be honest I find her looking more masculine in the after pic. I know that some people think it’s beautiful and fully understand why she did it in case that’s what she finds pretty.

    Still can’t understand why people who get boat loads of plastic surgery enter beauty competitions. Small things yes but changing your looks completely is another thing. Why don’t we just arrange a competition “Best Plastic Surgeon” and all plastic surgeons who wanted could enter “one piece of their art” to it?

  • avatar Korean Plastic Surgeon says:

    She had double eyelid surgery, a silica nose implant to heighten her nose bridge, and her jaw reduced. Standard procedures in Korea. Nearly every celebrity gets 1 to 3 of the surgeries aforementioned. No, she does no look “un-Korean”. There are natural, beautiful Koreans who are born this way–large eyes, small, high nose, small jaw, and heart shaped face. What everyone else seeks is to look like them. Also, this article is pretty racist and lacks any real cultural understanding of East Asia.

  • avatar Fanny says:

    she looks GREAT!

  • avatar Err.. you are totally missing the point says:

    No, really this is just very sad. That sweet little teenager has a charming rounded chin and beautiful epicanthic folds on her eyes. She is an Asian and has very pretty Asian features. She is quite adorable.

    Now, after the (extensive) surgery she is just a Caucasian-style wannabe lie so very many in Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore. I just cannot understand what drives a group of people to obliterate their culture from their faces – it seems endemic over here. Check out Peggy Heng’s massive surgery. The girls all end up as boring clones with no individuality and no real beauty.

    OK, everyone in Hollywood has a nose job, and lots of other ethnics chop up their noses to conform to ‘white’ standards of beauty but that doesn’t make it healthy or right. Of course you all deny that it is a caucasian beauty standard but you are only fooling yourselves.

    Asian features are very attractive, Asian noses are cute. Why can’t Koreans/Chinese/Japanese see that. 🙁

  • avatar Melaniebertsch says:

    Oh yes plastic surgery….I liked the before. I’m more drawn to the before as much more beautiful original and healthier. The after is pretty but its also photo shopped. I mean go through all that pain money and possibly bad health later for her look to be photoshopped?? It’s all over the world and going strong unfortunately. This bitch and no other bitch sets the tone for me. They don’t….

  • avatar Patti says:

    I would like to see an AFTER picture of Miss Korea without all that makeup.

  • avatar *sigh* says:

    Having lived in Asia for several years (and heading back there soon), the AFTER pic is so typical of what is considered beautiful there. She just looks like a clone of the modern Japanese/Korean beauty norm – ergo, nothing special. It’s one thing to get surgery to look different, but to look like so many others is just a waste of time and money. She looks like many other actresses/singers I’ve seen before. I would have been much more interested to see what she could have done with the BEFORE.

  • avatar yui says:

    She looks like literally every other single plastized Korean woman. I lived in Korea and I literally had a verrrrrrrrrrrrrry hard time telling the plastic women apart, they all look like they are related because they all get the exact same features done and Koreans are already a very homogeneous looking race and when you add the exact same plastic procedures being done, you get women who look like cloned samsung robots. Girls who look like Yumi are a dime a dozen in Korea. There is nothing special about them. They look identical, dress the same, same makeup, same opinions, same hair, same plastic surgeries. Frankly korean women like Yumi are extremely redundent and are boring. They lack diversity unique beauty. Sure they are very pretty but there is ZERO uniqueness about them, they are very replaceable and unmemorable. Koreans who don’t get PS are much more unique looking and look how they are ethnically suppose to and its nice to see that but becoming harder to find in Korea. Most 18-40 yr olds have had surgery in Korea, out all the 10 korean women I worked with, only 2 hadn’t had surgery. And these are just normal people. When I lived there, even though I don’t look perfect or like a model, I really came to appreciate looking like me, I felt disgusted at seeing so many women who looked so similar because of PS. I really learned to appreciate my own flaws and told my korean friend, who said the beauty mark on my face should be removed, that no way in Hades would I do that because it gives me uniqueness, something Korean women lack very mich.

  • avatar sometimes poster says:

    Not only is this article culturally ignorant and small-minded, but it clearly demonstrates the way of thinking that inspires young girls all over the world to change the way they look. Furthermore, it encourages feelings of shame for doing so.
    To quote Ashley Judd:
    ‘That women are joining in the ongoing disassembling of my appearance is salient. Patriarchy is not men. Patriarchy is a system in which both women and men participate. It privileges, inter alia, the interests of boys and men over the bodily integrity, autonomy, and dignity of girls and women. It is subtle, insidious, and never more dangerous than when women passionately deny that they themselves are engaging in it. This abnormal obsession with women’s faces and bodies has become so normal that we (I include myself at times—I absolutely fall for it still) have internalized patriarchy almost seamlessly. We are unable at times to identify ourselves as our own denigrating abusers, or as abusing other girls and women.”
    It is important not to perpetuate judgement, blame, and animosity.

  • avatar a.brown says:

    There may be Koreans who are born with more european features, but she was not. She has clearly tried to europeanize her features. Most Asians do. Don’t forget all those creams they use etc. They should appreciate their natural selves. Not very attractive.

    She should return the crown!

  • avatar Z says:

    Korean girls the hottest in Asia with or without plastic surgery. Ironically, I have seen much more beautiful Korean girls without plastic surgery. I am guessing that her winning this contest will make a lot of money for her plastic surgeon.

  • avatar Andy says:

    Having done large scale plastic surgery and entered a contest for natural beauty, is tantamount to fraud. She typifies the prevailing thinking in this country of “I can do this and that and be exonerated”. Simply, she should be dethroned!

  • avatar Aldís Amah Hamilton says:

    Doesn’t anybody here read the above comments? What is wrong with this article… I hope the person writing this didn’t get educated just to write such a back-handed and extremely lame piece… This is just awkward.

    And for all those talking about asians wanting to look more europian/westernized… get off your high horse. None of these girls look like western celebrities. What their culture defines as beautiful has NOTHING to do with what you think… for chrissakes. She’s pretty. How many miss America contestants have implants, fale teeth, fake hair and who knows what else? Puhlease… These contests were never made to define natural beauty, just what society deems beautiful at that time.

    Ignorance is all over this site, except the few people here that commented on the racism issue. Damn straight this is racism. In it’s most backhanded form…

  • avatar Netizen says:

    Look at it this way – is it fair if someone were born naturally as beautiful as she is currently? Answer: No. Therefore, if she has the money to pay for the surgeries to get there, kudos to her. It opens the playing field a little to those who have money but didn’t win the genetic lottery. I see plastic surgery as a way to level the playing field for a lot of people. I am not going to hate on anyone for that.

    • avatar SS says:

      I’m with you. I find it peculiar that we will reward someone for winning a genetic lottery that had nothing to do with their own efforts, but will criticise people who put a lot of time, effort and money into changing themselves. However, not for me, and I frankly believe we’d be much better off with awards/pageants for Best Architect / Scientist / Teacher / Builder / Plumber so we could focus on what is important. Sadly women have gone from being promoted as capable ‘doers’ during World War II (Rita the Riveter) to literally just smiling at a camera while doing NOTHING. And like some other commentators I too feel there is some arrogance in presuming Asian women want to have Western features and I think that view needs to be tempered.

      • avatar Please Read says:

        I agree with u, the notion that being naturally beautiful is somehow more respectable is so contradictory and harmful. If somebody has to work harder and spend money to look a certain way, so be it, she is respectable to me for her response.

  • avatar Cindy says:

    It’s heavily biased writers like you from which people quote. They will say “I read an article online.” Do you see all those shares beneath your article? White people like what they see here because you’re “confirming” their speculations, and Asians become annoyed because of your word choice, obvious bigotry, and preconceptions. We see the point you’re trying to make. But the way you make it is off-putting, and you go to into these areas where you just start making assumptions based on stereotypes. Way to be professional, Meghan.

  • avatar Renee Lee says:

    SUcks but everyone has PS… you gotta admit she does look good…

  • avatar Honey Badger says:

    She looks absolutely stunning in the after pic.
    Well done to her and her surgeon(s)!

  • avatar Please Read says:

    Unfortunately in a world where physical beauty is paramount to everything from social acceptance to career success women feel the need to look as perfect as possible at any cost. So is somebody who is naturally beautiful somehow “better” than a person who is not? I’m sure we’d all say no. People never earn their natural beauty, they are born with it, so the whole “respect for natural beauty” is idiotic. She got this done so she could succeed, who she is as a person did not change. This author and people like her are hypocrites for saying respect natural beauty but beauty shouldn’t matter

  • avatar Andrea says:

    She was cute before!

  • avatar Linzee says:

    Honestly, I only see where she’s have 2 obvious procedures done: her eyes and her jawline. The rest of the differences from the before and after pictures looks like it just boils down to styling (hair, makeup, clothing, Photoshop/lighting, etc) and weight loss. I don’t find her to be particularly “fake” looking in comparison to other beauty pageant contestants to be honest. Miss America usually has just as much enhancement done, if not more.

  • avatar leroy says:

    weight loss and eyelid surgery. I’ve seen her without makeup, same goes with honey lee (who is actually natural beauty) and honesty Yumi lee seems to only had her breast (like all american pagants), her teeth and eyes.

    Whats the big deal? I dont see ppl bashing european models or pagants, some brazilian one got her ass boobs, and nose done and no one seem to care

  • avatar Anne says:

    She was chunkier and younger in the before photo. Also, watch some videos of asians putting on eye makeup, it totally transforms their eyes. Many asians have the eyelid surgery, and they still look asian afterwards, it jst “opens” their eyes more. To say they all look like clones now is racist. They don’t all look alike. The only difference I see in the before and after photos is weight loss, maybe eyelid surgery, and great makeup application. Her nose and everything look the same. She looks beautiful. The ones who are stupid are these dumb celebrities in American who have totally ruined their faces, and careers because they look like hideous clowns now. This woman here looks very natural. Most of you are completely nuts to say different.

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