96

Thing vs. Thing: Image ruinations

javabeans: With She Was Pretty, Answer Me 1988, and the upcoming Oh My Venus in our collective consciousness at the moment, we’re reminded once again that dramaland loves its image ruinations. Or maybe it’s just that audiences love pretty people making themselves look uglier for the sake of drama. Not that they look actually ugly, of course!

girlfriday: No, god, if they were ugly…

javabeans: …nobody would love them?

girlfriday: That’s terrible! No, I was gonna say, where does that leave us mere mortals? Image ruinations are fun because it brings glamorous actresses down to human levels.

javabeans: It’s the opposite of an actor who refuses to look even the tiniest bit less pretty, even when the story calls for it. Because that suggests they care more about their looks than their skills or their job — that they don’t commit to the social contract where we suspend disbelief and accept them as the characters.

girlfriday: Yes, and conversely, when an actor is willing to let go of image for the sake of a character, I end up respecting them more and taking them more seriously as an actor, on top of being more invested in the fiction of it all.

javabeans: Because if the actor can’t be bothered to buy into their own artifice (in the role), how do they expect us to buy into it? (Side note: Image ruinations and vanitymongerers are totally gender-nonspecific, and we can name both women and men who fall into all categories. But for today’s purposes, we’ll limit the discussion to dramaland actresses, mostly because Hwang Jung-eum, Shin Mina, and Hyeri were our jumping-off points.)

girlfriday: Hyeri is a good example where solely by doing this — sacrificing your vanity — it can go a long way in gaining favor with an audience that was already skeptical of your acting skills at the start. Answer Me has done this before, with Go Ara, and we saw where that got her.

javabeans: I was blown away by Go Ara, honestly. I already liked her and thought she was better than her image — and her costars from 1994 said she’d been so undervalued because she was just so damn pretty — but even so, her commitment was amazing. I’ll never forget her cheering at the basketball game so hard she threw out her back.

girlfriday: Or the way she ate jajangmyun… with her whole face.

javabeans: Hwang Jung-eum has made her whole career out of ruining her image, and I swear she has a personal goal to one-up herself every time. (Remember the Full House: Take 2 pama of doom?)

girlfriday: Oh no, don’t remind me of that poodle hair! She HAS to one-up herself though, because she’s the gold standard of image ruinations. There’s no one else to compete with!

javabeans: And in She Was Pretty, it wasn’t just the looks, but her whole acting approach, manic energy level, and imperviousness to shame. She tends to overdo the manic energy, but I have to give her major props for going for it. Actually, I wonder if she gets a perverse thrill out of repulsing people’s expectations.

girlfriday: She must. Because in that stretch where she had her makeover, her character got boring. It felt like the less attractive traits actually fueled her character and made her more vibrant and interesting.

javabeans: It’s interesting that I read an interview where she said she doesn’t mind ruining her image badly because she grew up being called pretty. I know that sounds vain, but she meant she’s quite secure in herself and doesn’t need to be told she’s pretty now, which is a rare thing, I think. She’s lucky.

girlfriday: Well it certainly makes me like her more.

javabeans: Actually, Hwang Jung-eum may be new standard, but I do think Kim Sun-ah in My Name Is Kim Sam-soon set the old standard. It was pretty unheard of for a Korean actress to gain 15 pounds for a role.

girlfriday: Yes, Kim Sun-ah still wins, hands-down. I’m not saying every actress should be doing this, but it makes Shin Mina’s prosthetic makeup for Oh My Venus less impressive by comparison.

javabeans: Okay, but isn’t that better than Birth of a Beauty, where they didn’t even bother and just cast a different actress to play the fat girl?

girlfriday: Well that’s just farcical.

javabeans: It’s not always about weight, though — Honey Lee is a great example, because she’s the Miss Korea with the gorgeous face who predictably was cast in femme fatale or sophisticated roles (think Shark, Pasta, Partner, Tazza 2). She wasn’t particularly good at that, even, which just made her seem like a mediocre actress. Then she put on flowery ajumma pants and took on a saturi accent, and suddenly she was adorable and friendly.

girlfriday: And better at the acting, too. It’s crazy how making someone appear relatable suddenly opens up your emotion door — both for the actress and for us.

javabeans: Coffee Prince was a pretty great example, but I don’t think Yoon Eun-hye has managed to recapture that emotional center. I do think she tried with Mi-rae’s Choice, but one bad perm does not make a character. There wasn’t more to that look than the hair, whereas in Coffee Prince, she just dove in and became that tomboy. So much so that I feel like a whole generation of starlets tried to do that by cutting hair and taking cross-dressing roles, but not with as much commitment.

girlfriday: Nowadays, crossdressers in dramas hardly look any different from their girly appearances — they just put on different costumes, with little else to help us suspend our disbelief.

javabeans: I died laughing when the girl in Nail Shop Paris is supposed to be crossdressing, but while in her guy guise, she wore wedge sneaker heels. It was absurd. Those wedges aren’t actually invisible, you know!

girlfriday: I feel like crossdressing in a drama is a case where I really need the visual help in order to believe that everyone else thinks she’s a dude.

javabeans: Right? Because then, you just feel like all the guys are dumb for not noticing.

girlfriday: Exactly. And then I don’t believe in the sexual confusion when they’re all bein’ hetero. I mean, what’s so special about that?

javabeans: I vastly prefer the image ruinations that don’t get a makeover, because don’t you think that narratively, making them conventionally pretty later just negates what you accomplished at the start? Sometimes the transformation is necessary when that’s the point of the story — Birth of a Beauty, Oh My Venus — but in other cases it just feels like you reneged your point. We didn’t really need makeovers in Personal Taste or She Was Pretty for the stories to work.

girlfriday: I thought it actually was a disservice to Park Seo-joon’s character in She Was Pretty, because the timing made it seem like he liked her when she got pretty, and that was offensive.

javabeans: I know the show didn’t mean that, but it really did seem like he started warming up to her the prettier she got. He was soooo disgusted with her at the start, and even said she wasn’t worthy of her name, because he couldn’t stomach that such an ugly adult could have the same name as a beautiful girl. So I didn’t really understand why he started being nicer, even though I was glad he became nicer of course.

girlfriday: This is why My Name Is Kim Sam-soon is still the gold standard drama-wise, because you walk away from that story with the heroine looking exactly the same as she did at the start.

javabeans: I really wish Go Eun-chan didn’t come back from her Italian barista school looking so much girlier. Would it have been so terrible if she came back with a bowl cut and baggy jeans?

girlfriday: I KNOW! Why did they take such a good thing and undermine it at the very end?

javabeans: You were sooooo close, drama. All you had to do was nothing.

girlfriday: Don’t ruin the ruination!

RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

96

Required fields are marked *

I agree with Hyeri being really "all in" into her role. As we are in this topic, my mind is all set to say KIM SUNA tops them all. That is pure dedication in an establishment where bones-and-skin thrives, where actresses are expected to perfect themselves with cream after cream, diet after diet, workout after workout. Kim Suna is not only courageous, but was willing to put the "K-actress stereotype" aside and shun away that kind of mentality of (false) Korean beauty. I applaud her since then until now.

No matter how many ugly transformations there have been, I'd be interested to see another bold move. Maybe there are visual aesthetics, make-ups and abnormal hair that can help the actresses to look uglierrrrr. But I'm darn well sure Kim Suna looked the same on or off-set during Kim Sam-soon days.

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

i think go ara still looks very pretty in answer me 1994

hyeri, i think she really looks like that without make up, and im not yet impressed by her acting

shin mina looks so cute :)

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

"hyeri, i think she really looks like that without make up"

plus 10...

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Go Ara's eyes are spellbindingly beautiful.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Totally agree. Mesmerisingly so.

Another pair that I can lose myself into is Kim Hee Sun's crystal clear eyes. Just beautiful. :-D

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lol, u gals are the best! :)

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

With Shin MinAh, it's understandable that they put prosthetics on her instead of her actually gaining weight since the script calls for weight-loss on drama-time (and we all know drama-time can be finicky: one day in real life can mean one episode and 5 years in real life can mean 1 second). Plus, I'd be too worried for her health to get into the story. I don't really wanna see another Kim MyungMin ala Closer to Heaven on screen you know. Whereas Kim SunAh's Kim SamSoon stayed the same weight the whole way - of course that doesn't discount the amazingness of her actually doing so.

I think, in the end, people just want someone they can relate to - and perfect people don't happen a lot (if at all) in real life.

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

+1 when you put it that way, i understand the prosthetics.
Your last comment reminded me of my high-school friend, she is very pretty, great figure and eats like a horse, seriously the whole school talked about how much she ate but would never gain any weight, it was so annoying, Lol.i complained to her all the time how the world is so unfair, i hardly eat and just passing by a restaurant makes me fat.She was also the first to have a kid straight out of college and you wouldn't believe she snapped rigt back to her hourglass figure the only change is that she got bigger boobs, oh and she never excersices so you can't say she worked hard for her body, i wish she knew how lucky she is. She's not perfect well bookwise or the best personality but she's a good friend and i like that even if she's gorgeous she isn't the type to put it in your face, its just something you notice about her.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

She had a natural birth didn't she? It's not that difficult to get back one's shape after a natural birth. A C-section changes everything though, because of scar-tissue. Plus, if she had a kid straight out of college, she's young and the body is wonderful when young.

And having a great body but still being able to eat a lot must be the work of a great metabolism. That one kinda drops with age... I should know.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes she did.sad about the scar tissue never really thought about it, i had considered c-section as the my go to method if i ever decide to have a baby, i just wanted to be drugged while they take the baby out.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly, I don't think it's fair to put down Shin Mina's use of prosthetics, considering her character will have to lose the weight over the course of the drama.

The only way she'd be able to lose that much weight over the course of 8 weeks (OMV's air time of 16 episodes) is if she went on a crash diet - and do we really want an actress to risk her life and health to satisfy our expectations of authenticity?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. Since Shin Min Ah is supposed to be around 77kg/170lbs for the drama, it'd be really unhealthy for her to gain like 60 pounds and then lose it during the drama. It definitely is unfair to knock her for prosthetics when it's the most reasonable solution. I'll take the fakeness if it means the actors and actresses won't sacrifice their health.

This discussion kind of reminds me of a movie with Jared Leto (I think it was Dallas Buyer's Club?). He had to lose a lot of weight for it, and while it was authentic for the role, it just seemed so unethical to make someone so underweight for a movie lmao. I guess I just don't value art over health like some really devoted people do.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

So true.
Go eun chan is gold. Can we have another character like that dramagod???

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I remember another actress who did the same: Lee Si Young in Wild Romance.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Love this-- "don't ruin the ruination". We of course now have the reason behind the image problem in the form of the mother getting at it, attacking her own daughter Yi Seul in Bubblegum. Somehow there is this prevailing dramaland view: main lead- beauty+good character; second lead - beauty+notsogood+chaebol (often) character. now in ruination dramas you have: notsopretty+good character as main lead. Now Bubblegum is interesting because its second lead is notsopretty+chaebol. Now it is her character that will determine whether I will like her or not. So somehow, 'do nothing' is only a safe option for likeable leads.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Whenever I see FH2 hair mentioned anywhere I can't help but cringe so badly. That was the worst styling in a drama EVER. It took away from the story because of the matching couple perms.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

The styling is why I have never been able to bring myself to watch it. I just... can't do it.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Go Eun-chan will still be my number one. I just pretend the ending never happened.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

MNIKKS and Coffee Prince stay as my most lovable dramas of all time. Kim sun ah and Yoon eun hye gained my eternal love with these dramas. Kim sun ah did it again in Scent of a woman, she looks scarily thin in that. Hats of for these leading ladies' devotion.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I have to disagree. PSJ's character already warmed up to her before she got that makeover — which was not really a makeover...she just put on some makeup and got her hair straight...she even looked the same when she was at home..

And although I appreciate looking very normal and real for your roles, I don't like when drama makers equate it to being a girl who has no sense of cleanliness and decency at all

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

I second this. You see how Seong-joon struggles for the feeling he gets for the ugly intern Kim Hyejin and the fake-KHJ his childhood friend which always ends up with him hurting the intern. The jealous he shows when Shin-hyuk is around KHJ kills me.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yup! He was nice to her at the trip, they went before her makeover and fell for her in her old look ..he was even jealous,. He didn't even react for her change in looks....And the show retained its quality by not changing her completely till the end .... She only put make up when it required ,that's real we all do that ,dress up for special occasions ...

Coffee price was the only show that convinced me with cross dressing ....your beautiful tried but being next to pretty jang geun suk any girl could look boyish but next to others park shin hye was totally girly ..

I don't know why everyone's obsessed for being skinny I like chubby people they are cute, Being chubby is not ugly... My name is kim sam soon proved this(best show ever) ....

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

yeah, I thought it was extremely clear that he'd not only warmed up to her, he'd fallen for Hye-jin even before the makeover when she still had the curls and red cheeks and dressed like a scruffy student. He was just trying to resist it because he thought Ha-ri was Hye-jin and he shouldn't be having any weird feelings for anyone else.

He still behaved like a real ass to her at the beginning, though. That was really off-putting.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Fully agree, thought it was very well established that he already fell for her pre-makeover and the makeover itself didn't in anyway affect his feelings towards her; his actions changed suitably according to other narrative factors i.e. the whole firing her sequence and realising how capable she is through her magazine pitch, Ha Ri backing off so he spent less time trying to actively fight his already established attraction to Hye-jin. Really don't think the makeover had anything to do with it and I liked that the drama used it merely to show her being even more determined to succeed at her work for her parents. To be honest it came off as quite forced that she wouldn't wear any makeup at all or do anything with her hair (despite having it straightened when she was younger), like I agree with Nee that it's annoying when to be 'relatable' in dramas means not dressing well in public etc. when in real life you would put some effort into being well presented (as she said later to dress well for work cost her only $20) particularly if you worked at a fashion magazine and were constantly told that you were unfashionable while being surrounded by knowledge of what was trendy. And like anyone would use anti-frizz or tie their hair up once in a while?? While obviously at home you'd be relaxed so the drama left her makeup free at home.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly what I thought when reading this post (thanks Javabeans and Girlfriday)!

Seong Joon had already developed feelings for Hye Jin before the "makeover" (done realistically, since the character removed the makeup when at home... like the majority of women do).

We can all recall Seong Joon's struggling feelings: gradually falling for Hye Jin while trying to grab onto the relationship with fake Kim Hye Jin (still love you Ha Ri!).

It was great to see how his heart, once again (and after being an arse to her in the beginning), was going to Hye Jin, even without knowing she was THE Kim Hye Jin.
So, so good.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My Name is Kim Samsoon and Coffee Prince...I have not recovered from how well those actresses did their roles.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I didn't mind the change at the end of Coffee Prince. I think living in another country for an extended amount of time will affect your style somehow, especially France (I think I have the right country...it's been awhile!).

0
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

Italy :)

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oops! Thanks for letting me know. :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Came here to say this. I thought about Martina from Eatyourkimchi, who said that she had become more comfortable with makeup and frilly clothing in South Korea although she was a tomboy in Canada (and remains a tomboy in her heart, I think!:)).

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was totally thinking about Martina!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree. It not, that she didn't want to look more feminine before she left for Italy. She just didn't know how and there was no opportunity for her. And when she came back she didn't look like a super model, but cute. I thought it fit her character very well.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

But what about all those pictures he drew of her before her makeover? (I love She Was Pretty, so I'm latching on to that here!). He obviously thought she was beautiful before her makeover. And he warmed up to her long before the makeover.

It never crossed my mind that he only liked her when she did her makeover because the show had already made it pretty clear that he liked her before. It's not the show's fault if viewers can't, or refuse to, make that connection.

0
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

"It’s not the show’s fault if viewers can’t, or refuse to, make that connection." haha! I love you!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

YUP , he couldnt care less when she did the makeover , he didnt give any reaction like it doesnt matter , he already loves her
the show was clear about that point

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeeees! You're absolutely right! I mean, when she came back to work after the makeover everyone was making a fuss about the change except for HIM! He didn't comment about it or anything, he just smiled at her when she looked at him and I LOVED THAT! The fact that he didn't show any reaction at all!

And I agree that the show already made it clear that he started falling for her way before the makeover! :D

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's true he started liking her before the makeover. They were both liking each other but not together yet.
Hence the timing implying that you need to be pretty to be in a relationship (as in, you need a 400$ (if I recall the money conversion properly) hairstyle and make up for people to take you seriously; because love doesn't conquer all after all...).
The main character as lover/boss never said "I liked you better before, you can stop with the changes if you don't like them, working with people about fashion doesn't have to make you be fashionable since you're not the model in the pictures" which would've lead us to think it was okay for her to stop butchering her hair for an insane sum of money (since straightening isn't that good for your hair on a daily basis).
Second male lead reacted to her makeover, but not that strongly.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I've seen all the gender-bender dramas (I love when the female lead is respected as a human first), and yes in terms of acting and appearance Go Eun Chan is the far best.

I have also liked the recent Taiwanese drama, Bromance. Go Eun Chan was looking like a cute boy, but in Bromance, the girl looks likes a real handsome man! The plot and the production have very different standards than the kdramas, but I am still watching it because of her!

1
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

I saw pictures of the leads in Bromance having an "almost-kiss" moment and seriously thought it was a gay themed drama. I was confused why I hadn't heard much about it!

0
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Only 4 episodes have been aired so far, people will talk about it more in time.

She is soo good at acting like a man that I needed to check for her other photos to see if she is a real-life tomboy, but turns out that she is a very elegant and beautiful woman.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I meant I was wondering why I hadn't heard people talking about the drama featuring 2 biological men in a romantic relationship.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh, sorry that I have misunderstood.

0

oh God, yes, Pi Yanuo seriously is believable as a handsome man, I even cringe at the scene where she(he?) is way too near with the hero (>_<). Megan Lai is really good in potraying the character.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Your post was the first time I heard about Bromance. I've watched 2 episodes and I'm really liking it. Thank you!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was ok with the makeover at the end of Coffee Prince.
I have friends who went to Europe for only a semester in their early 20's and came back far more glamorous and fashionable than when they left. And it's quite common for women in their 20's to find their "look". Eun Chan was gone for 2 years (I think) and that would be enough time for most people to grow their hair out, and experiment with their appearance, so it seemed quite plausible to me. Was it necessary in order for her man to fall in love with her? No, that had happened long before. So I didn't see how it negated or detracted from the story line. It helped us visualize a time jump in the story. Also, Eun-chan was in part using her androgynous appearance to make more money than she would have otherwise. At the end of the story she no longer needed to do that, and was free to alter her appearance in any way she chose.

As for the other examples you mentioned, I am in agreement on those. I was actually so appalled at the story line and change of actresses in Birth of a Beauty that I didn't watch past episode 2.

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

200% agree!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, exactly what I was going to say about CP, it was a natural thing for her to do, the whole thing about going to Europe wasn't just to make coffee. :)

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Exactly, surely it isn't implausible that a young woman, finding herself in one of the most fashionable countries on earth, might start to play around with her look a little?

I know so many people who have gone like - a skirt here, a jacket there, a change of haircut here, a pair of shoes there, maybe a little jewellery that was cheap and caught their fancy, a few tshirts, and before they know it they have a new look.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Agreed!

And they didn't turn her into a hyper stylish woman, she was still clumsy and not glamourous. Go Eun Chan's woman style (although it might just be that it was what was fashionable in South Korea during the late 2000s, I don't know, but she wasn't as womanly as Han Yoo Joo is what I thought at the time). It was alright and part of her character that changed after doing things for herself.

And I had trouble with Birth of a beauty too but I lasted longer than ep.2 (don't remember when I stopped though).

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I thought Ho Jung in Ho Gu's Love was pretty great :) Even though she didn't actually play any gender bending roles, I thought the actress really embraced the character's conflicting emotions about love and appearances through switching between the non-makeup and make-up getups.

And I feel that Shin Mina's transformation, while minimal facial-wise, is quite justifiable, because the character's younger self was pretty to start with. The focal point is on the weight gain and eventual loss I guess. As for not actually gaining weight for the role...well, maybe she can't gain the weight. More importantly, it would be extremely nerve wracking and stressful to have to lose the weight as the drama is filming (since the character undergoes a weight transformation). In any case I think the prosthetic makeup is a pretty good stand-in (Y).

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love Ho Jung!!!
She represents most girls IRL :D

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ho Jung really shines in that drama, totally love her <3

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yeah Javabeans... that drama is finished, but I still can't forget till now how PSJ's character being so rude, no.... So over-ruuuuuuuuude with his disgusting words to Hye Jin. Just like what you wrote above, I still remember that . I remember he asking her whether She's retarded something...
pfffft

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

As far as gender benders go, I have to be fair and say Moon Geun Young's character Shin Yun Bok in Painter of the Wind is up there with Yoo Eun Hye's Go Eun Chan even though Coffee Prince is my all time favorite drama. The only difference between the two is that Go Eun Chan was a woman who just happens to get mistaken for a man while Shin Yun Bok was a woman who identified herself as being a man. She's basically the first transgender character I have seen in Kdramas.

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

High five!!

I'm with you! Go Eun Chan is a girl mistaken as a boy and work at a coffee shop pretends to be a boy. Shin Yun Bok is someone who lives as a man almost her whole life and she even got confused where her heart lies. Shin Yun Bok's love life is much more complicated than Eun Chan. Because even if she's actually a woman, she had lived through strict Joseon norms and behaved like a man.
That doesn't mean I don't like Eun Chan or Coffee Prince, but in terms of gender-bender I think Painter of The Wind does have an interesting point "what if, instead of man, a woman fall in love with that crossdresser woman?"

I've never seen other korean drama that portray transgender and lesbianism like in POTW.

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

That's SO true! And SPOILER ALERT: the fact that she does not end up with the male lead at the end is even more powerful in my opinion!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was going to mention this one if nobody else did. By the end of POTW, I kept switching between seeing her as a man and seeing her as a woman. She just totally became a man to the point where I had to look closely to see otherwise. What a great job of role immersion. I actually found the end disappointing, because she didn't have to end up with the man to stay with him.....

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm actually more disappointed she didn't end up with the woman she loves.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's like you guys read my mind and wrote about it. just this morning i was thinking about shin min ah vs kim sun ah and how impressive it was that she actually put on weight for her role.
After seeing shin min ah in the fat suit it was kind of off putting, im not so much into the drama not because she isn't pretty, she's still gorgeous, its just I'm not sure but it doesn't feel right somehow and it reminds me of that horrible Korean movie where the girl had to undergo loads of surgery and what not so the guy loves her.
This is totally unrelated but how unfair is it that shin min ah and kim woo bin are dating? They must have saved countries in their previous lives.im happy for them but at tha same time i shed one tear ? like the villan in MASK ?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think the movie you're thinking of is 200 Pounds Beauty. That's actually one of my least favorite movies BECAUSE the guy didn't like her until after she got the full body transformation. I would have much preferred if she ended up with a different guy or no guy at all. ><

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh i forgot, Joon yoon hee should be added to the list she was in MY HUSBAND GOT A FAMILY and i didn't know it was her the whole time, its only after i looked up the cast the second time i was watching it that i realised it's her.she pretty much sold me on the whole tom boy act that i couldn't believe it was the same person in LIE TO ME and the CON ARTISTS.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Since MNIKSS was my first kdrama, I had no idea that she gained weight for the drama.. I was so into the drama, the appearances didn't bother me much. I appreciate it more now.

Hwang Jung Eum has bad luck with drama stylists, she had awful hairstyles even in dramas that aren't appearance based like Can You Hear My Heart?

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't think so, Hwang Jung Eum tends to sport short cut hair, where's the length never over the shoulder.

Maybe CYHMH aired when long hair cut trend was mass, and her boyish cut is too edgy and standout. I loved it tho.

Her hair in Incarnation of Money, Secret, KMHM, even in She was Pretty in messy curly, all of them were really nice cut

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

An another actress that ruined her pretty looks this year was Choi Kang Hee in "Heart to Heart".
All flushed and messy hair!!

But it was so necessary to feel with her agarophobia. She even disguised herself in that old grandma. Great performance. The way she was walking, talking, scolding was spot on.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

WOW , how I forgot that amazing performance ? CKH was stand out in HTH

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually thought she looked really cute in H2H! Her acting was phenomenal there too...and her chemistry with CJM was amazing!

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

coffee prince is the one and only commitment and dedication I have ever seen , No one comes close , I still have no idea how YEH manage to pull that off soo incredibly that I really believed she was a boy , and they didnt change her at the end , slight girlier look doesnt hurt since she stayed the same the whole relationship and they were damn satisfied with each other

KSA was incredible and so real and relatable in MNKSS
HJE is great too , I really love actresses when they are natural and simple not all glamorous

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

There's this actress, she-who-shall-not-be-named, *coughdoctorstrangercough* that even though she was supposed to be *suffering*, her skin, nails, and hair were still so clean and shiny and that contributed to my shipping the other girl because I just couldn't get into her character which was crappy to begin with.

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

no wait, you forgot the one scene where her hair was a little bit messy while she was being filmed for that one see-your-lover-again video! Such hard work for the art, that.

Anyway, would an 'image ruining' really work on an actor who looks forever conscious of the camera while they're onscreen?

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I assumed you were talking about Lee Da-hae in Chuno at first, before I went back and read it more carefully lol. There was so much wank about her appearance in that drama. I was all ready to haul out the "idealized flashback through the male protagonist's eyes" defense before I realized haha.

Anyway, I haven't seen Doctor Stranger thankfully, but this certain someone was really unconvincing in Gaksital, too, when she had to cross-dress in a couple of scenes.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hwang Jung Eum is a champion when comes to this..
Bowl cut in Can You Hear My Heart and Incarnation of Money. Messy curly cut in Full House 2 and She Was Pretty
I think only in Secret and Kill Me Heal Me she has the most normal hair.. :D

MNIKSS and Coffee Prince set the bar high for other dramas. I love how Kim Sun Ah left her "pretty" image and manage Kim Sam Soon much more unforgettable as the unattractive 30yo woman. Props to Yoon Eun Hye too, she really looks like a boy in Coffee Prince, a handsome boy.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hwang Jung Eum is the most beautiful in Endless Love..She had a long hair then which is her most normal beautiful hair

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

"...dramaland loves its image ruinations. Or maybe it’s just that audiences love pretty people making themselves look uglier for the sake of drama."

-Well, there's no big mystery here I think. Kdramas, especially the romantic comedies and love stories, are primarily made for a female audience. For this reason, the heroine needs to be somewhat relatable, otherwise it becomes difficult to emphasize with her. In contrast, the hero must be an object of desire, someone the audience can phantasize about.

For this reason, almost all drama heroines are poor, struggling everyday-women with little fashion sense. Their hair is always cut short and usually curled. Their clothes unfashionable, and often veering on the tomboyish. Just like the viewer. The dreaded second female lead, who threaten to steal the hero, in contrast is almost always very pretty, girly, fashionable. Exactly what the viewer most hate.

The hero meanwhile is never a normal, average joe, with uncombed hair and questionable fashion sense. Can anyone imagine someone like Ahn Se-ha, the average looking actor who plays one of the editors in She Was Pretty, being a hero in a drama? Of course not. Kdrama heroes are handsome, sharply dressed, rich guys the viewer can dream of getting together with.

I am saying that there is anything wrong with this. Love stories on TV is made to appeal to our dreams and fantasies. They are wish fulfillment. But sometimes when I see the idea floated that an actress is better, more serious, more accomplished if she is ugly, or at least willing to "ruin" her looks, I have to say I find this stance more than a little disrespectful.

I also think it would be great if, from time to time, the heroine was rich princess, and the hero an unattractive salary man just to switch things up a little. Of course, he can get a make-up later - somewhere around episode 10!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Erm, in that pic of Hwang Jung-eum from Full House 2, doesn't she look a bit like Lee Sang Yoon? (This might just be a combination of my 20 Again hangover and all this talk of cross-dressing!) :P

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I think HK actress Myolie Wu deserves a good mention for putting on 50 pounds for her character in HK drama To Grow With Love! (:

0
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes I agree. I think I noticed her after that.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

It's a shame that To Grow With Love was (in my opinion) a terrible drama, only reason I stuck with it till the end was indeed because of Myolie's efforts. Though I think her best role is still her mentally disabled character from Golden Faith (is that considered image ruining? Not really I guess)

A lot of mentioned of how awesome Kim Sun Ah was in My Name is Kim Sam Soon, and I agree wholeheartedly. MNIKSS is my most favorite kdrama till this day. Though I'm surprised that there's little mention of her weightloss for her role as a cancer patient in Scent of a Woman. I remember reading an article where she mentioned her only gave herself abt 2hrs sleep a night so she can look more haggard (dark circles, sunken cheeks) to look more "sick". That's dedication to a role and needless to say anymore but Kim Sun Ah is incredible.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Lee si young in wild romance as well. She is sooo natural in being a tomboysh bodygurad..she never cared about how she looked and never wore a skirt, plus there was no make over scene either.. The girl just didnt care, she was like a guy, so much that even lee dong wooks character had a fist fight with her, they literally beat the crap out of each other..i couldnt believe it!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

What about Lee Hana in Savvy? Her character is so weird (her granny outfit and glasses, the way she walk and talk) that I find it embarassing sometimes. Yet she can be so adorable AND she doesnt undergo any transformation. Seo In Guk`s character just like her for her heart from the start.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I agree with you girls. I think jdrama nobuta wo produce was the kindda make over drama I like. Less physical and more being comfortable in your skin kindda thing.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I actually didn't mind Hye jins trasformation in she was pretty. Thought she changed to match the work place setting. Plus she wanted th change herself. She decided she was worth it to spend some money on herself which I love. She decided to was worth it. And she changed back to her original look in the end, which I thought was because she didn't work at Most anymore and didn't have to look so upkept. Plus she already gained so much confidence she didn't need the extra confidence boost. And yah, agree with people who say psj already liked her prior to the transformation!!

And mniksm is the best transformation ever. No one can ever beat ksa in their dedication!!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Im watching coffee prince for like the 40th time now episode 8- the beach scene , i don't think i have ever seen such an intense scene, I forget to breathe everytime i watch that scene.

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

am re watching it too for the millionth time :D
am in episode 4 still , going ever slowly :D

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Totally agree with everything!
My Name is Kim Sam Soon had a concept/message and stuck to it.
Whilst some other shows try to justify the sudden changes as being initiated by the character's own will and blah blah blah. It still makes it hard to believe that someone that couldn't be bothered doing anything about their image for a long period of time suddenly gets the urge to do it for themselves...after they have been essentially pushed into by the judgement of society/antagonist anyway. Like with Hye Jin I just couldn't believe - among other things - the financial side of things. She went from not being willing to spend money to buy even cheap shoes to replace her holey ones, to being willing to pay $400 or whatever just to get her hair straightened...might just be me, but having hole-free shoes would be nicer hahaha
Also, not believing Gyuri as a guy (not even taking her acting into account, cause that's a whole other kettle of fish haha) was probably the least of the problems with Nail Shop Paris. That drama fried my brain.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I don't know about Seong Joon starting to like Hye Jin after the make over. I think it was obvious that he was very much struggling with his feelings already before Hye Jin got her makeover (taking the pictures in the beach etc.)
Seong Joon was mean(avoiding the word that starts with a here) to pretty much everyone at the beginning.
Hye Jin's constant nervousness around Seong Joon resulting in serious mess up wasn't helping the cause at all.
But I do agree, Seong Joon's transition from not liking her to liking her should have been delivered with a bit more clarity, though to me it clearly happened before the makeover.

As for Go Eun Chan, I didn't think her coming back a bit girlier ruined anything and went well with the show.
People do change, specially when they are in a relationship. Go Eun Chan's tomboy look didn't result from a rebellious conviction/philosophy.
I thought it was the result of her situation in life more than anything. So to me it was only natural that there would be some sort of transformation once she was no more single.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Huh?

Park Seo-joon's character clearly fell for Hwang Jung-eum's character waaaay before the make-over. I'm literally scartching my head here, are we watching the same drama JB, GF? Also he became nicer way before she got prettier. I believe it was around episode 4 and 5(?) after he acknowledge (only to himself, sadly) his mistake on that which-airport-thing. He started paying attention to her after that which led to him started awkwardly, sometimes embarrassingly trying to be nicer.

I have to agree, the drama could do without the make-over. They could do with attitude-over though. For every single character in the drama, yes even seemingly everyone favorite character, Kim Shin-hyuk. Oh, Hye-jin parents got a pass.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

For 'image ruinations', no one, and I mean NO ONE, can top Gong Hyo-jin in Crush & Blush. Not Hwang Jung-eum, not Kim Sun-ah, no one.

She committed to playing a woman who was not only physically attractive, but had a deeply off-putting personality and goes through the entire movie without anyone assuring her that she really is pretty at the end - and for someone who admits to knowing that she didn't fit the beauty standards for an actress, that was incredibly courageous.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I want to see them do this with some guys in K-dramas. There's a couple Taiwanese dramas I know where they did this lightly, but I don't know of anything in K-dramaland. Even in She Was Pretty it was the reverse, the cute but chubby guy grows up rail-thin and handsome. (And at least he says something about how her looks didn't matter and he hopes if he was still chubby it wouldn't be a problem for her either).

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

my daughter has mentioned it several times that she's too fat for Korea ... and yet, she's a competitive figure skater with all her doubles, including her double axel ... so me thinks something is screwed up with the Korean standard of beauty. Especially when it would seem that for a majority of actresses, the only way to get "there" is through plastic surgery.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

love this write up. agree that they should let the "ugly" heroine stay the way she is - whether plump, freckly, frizzy haired etc. By making over the girl with the heart of gold, it seems to be promoting the misconception that having a good heart is not enough - girls need to also look flawless and feminine/sexy/cute (urgh). with more youngster watching K dramas by the truckloads, I really appreciate MNIKSS and SWP where the heroine looked exactly the same at the end as at the first ep!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Why the Reply main girls became the same over the top comical type after Eun Ji?

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

There was another lesser known actress who gained weight for a movie. I just don't remember what the movie was.

I agree with this because I felt a bit distant to SWP after the make-over. It's not just that but there are other factors to that lead me to stop watching.

Go Ara was a revelation! I've always lumped her with pretty actresses who can't act category but she was so awesome in 94!

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I'm more upset that Shin Mina's character is supposed to be approx. 170 lbs... for a woman who is roughly 5'8", the prosthetics they gave her would put her at a much heavier weight. It encourages the idea that you have to be a size 00 to be beautiful and anything over 100 lbs makes you a whale.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really really want to see a drama one day where they cast a fat girl to play a fat girl, and she stays fat, and she is loved and sought after JUST AS SHE IS. And 'as she is' is awesome for so many reasons, nothing to do with how she looks.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you, ladies, and now I want to re-watch MNIKSS for the 8th time.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

watching kdramas and reading poeple's ideas has made me realise people like ugly people in dramaland only when the characters' are played with beautiful actresses faking ugliness. When a not so beautiful actress plays the same role, people are all disgusted and this shows that people have either become or always been a bunch of shallow creatures.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *