Incongruent Premodern and Modern Beauty Ideals: A Case Study of South Korea and India's Reconciliation of Current Beauty Trends With Foundational Religious Ideals

Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Asian Studies

Reader 1

Daniel Michon


This thesis is an in-depth analysis of beauty ideals in South Korea and India. These two countries have recently turned to skin lightening and cosmetic surgery in order to achieve their new beauty standards. Not only do these two countries share a propensity for those two trends, but they also have an overwhelming majority of the population that identifies with a specific religion; Hinduism in the case of India and Confucianism in the case of South Korea. However, it is not clear that the current beauty ideal in each country aligns with the beauty ideal set out in the respective foundational religion.

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