Human Parts
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Human Parts

Learning to Be Ugly in South Korea

In a culture where beauty standards are clearly defined, how do you make peace with falling short?

Photo: Jin Il Lee / EyeEm / Getty Images

“Teacher, you’re ugly.”

The phrase slipped out of my nine-year-old student’s mouth as easy as an exhale. I had spent enough time in Seoul at that point to learn that some words were said there with less caution than…

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Julladonna Park

Julladonna Park

Essayist & Academic// Oxford grad in Korean society & culture. Human stories about race, gender, and media.

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