One of the most important things about being beautiful is self-acceptance.
I’ve recently had many conversations with my Korean friends about the various things Korean adults will say to them.
As a Korean American, I find that Korean adults are very good at giving negative commentary to the younger generation.
What is it about the Korean culture that makes adults so blunt? Is it a generational thing? Is it a gender thing? I don’t know… but I’m here to give my two cents about Korean adults’ negative opinions.
I find that my Korean elders are always giving me a running commentary on the way I look.
* The status of my weight is the most popular one: “Oh, you’ve lost weight. You look good” is always a rare but nice statement.
More often than not, I get, “Oh, you’ve gained a lot of weight. You could lose a few pounds”.
* I also have Korean women that I’ve just met tell me, “You should remove that beauty mark under your nose. You’re so pretty, but you’d look so much better without it.”
* The color of my hair is always a popular topic of conversation among the Korean adults: “What is that? Your hair is orange. It looks ugly. Stop dying your hair. Your hair looks frizzy”
* Another good one is, “You don’t look good. You look really tired. You have really big bags under your eyes. Have you been sleeping?”
And I could go on and on and on.
Here’s what I do when I get these comments:
I say “Thank You” or “I Know” and I smile (well… not all the time… but I try).
The comments used to really bother me, but now.. I just don’t care what they say.
I’m happy with the way I am and that’s all that really matters in my book.
I thought maybe it was just me and I just had some really blunt Korean people in my life.
But I realize that I’m not the only one.
My Korean friends are always telling me about how their family members will tell them how fat or sloppy they are, and/or how they could be prettier, etc.
Here’s what I say to them, and my advice to you.
WHO CARES what they say?
Korean Adults seem to think that they can say whatever they want . I realize that most of the time, it comes with good intentions… but the effects are more negative than positive.
Their constant remarks about the way you look is something you should take with a grain of salt.
I think that sometimes Korean adults don’t realize the power of their words. A passing comment they make can have a lasting effect on the recipient.
So here is my advice to all those that have had their feelings hurt, their self-esteem lessened, and those that are just sick of Korean Ajummas (Older Women) giving their unwanted “Advice”.
* Be secure with who you are. Everyone has insecurities. There’s always going to be haters. When you put those two together, it can be a recipe for low self-esteem. But be proud of who you are.
- If you want to change something about yourself, make sure you’re changing because YOU want to be different… and not just because other people make you feel bad about yourself.
- If you are happy with the way you are… Embrace it! It really doesn’t matter what others think of you as long as you are happy with yourself. – If you’re not happy with who you are, find a way to learn to love yourself. Whether it be by changing things about yourself, or truly accepting yourself (flaws and all)… finding that self-acceptance will make you more beautiful than any eyeshadow or lipstick can.
How does this topic relate to Beauty?
Because Beauty is not just about the newest eyeshadow, the trendiest lipstick, or the new fountain of youth in a bottle.
- Beauty is about Self-Acceptance. There’s only one you, and that’s a great thing.
- Nobody’s perfect. Get over your flaws and think about all the positive things about yourself.
- Don’t let anyone tell you how you should be or what you should look like.
For all of you reading this, let’s not perpetuate this Korean “custom” of saying whatever the heck you want.
* An important lesson from when I was a Pre-School Teacher:
If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
- Is what you want to say really going to have a positive impact on the person hearing it?
- If you have a younger female in your life, don’t criticize her. Be the one to make her feel good about herself, not the one to bring her down.
And the next time some old Korean lady tells you something you don’t want to hear, just smile and say “Nae” (Yes)…. because as a Korean American, you should always respect your elders.
And that’s a beautiful thing~* ;)