When inner beauty, encounters outer beauty

Review of Korean drama True Beauty

By Taqwa Ahmed


“Your outer beauty will capture the eyes, your inner beauty will capture the heart.” -Steven Atchison

Do we really know what this quote means? In Pakistan we merely can predict the true meaning of this word ‘True beauty’. We a bit perception, what inner beauty means, but we do not accept the fact that inner beauty is actually true beauty.

Due to the lockdown, I was so bored and was looking for some good drama series and movies. I came across a drama series ‘True Beauty’. Some people were suggesting this drama because it has a handsome main lead and the second lead is not less than the main lead, they both are equally charming.

Charming cast attracted everyone, so it also made me to watch the series just by looking at the cover of the drama. “True beauty” is a South Korean drama series based on comedy, high school romance and coming-of-age story genre, starring Moon Ga-young as Lim Ju-Gyeong (main lead) Cha Eun-woo as Lee Su-Ho (main lead) Hwang In-youp as Han Seo-Jun (second main lead). This 16 episode series was aired on tvN from Dec 2020 to Feb 2021.

The series starts with a girl named Lim Ju-gyeong who is considered an ugly girl by her friends and family. At her birth everybody wondered if she’s a boy or a girl? Because she doesn’t have the charms of a baby girl. People ask her mother that is she adopted? Or demur her like: she’s probably went on her paternal family in looks because she doesn’t resemble her mother who’s a pretty woman.

Lim grew up listening to their taunts. But her mother told her that people would forget it and would not humiliate you for this if you study hard and make a name in a good field. But the poor girl kept those comments in her heart because no matter how much you try to forget it, you can’t.

The storyline focuses on the growth of the main lead from childhood to adulthood. Lim Ju-Gyeong turns eighteen. She has thick eyebrows, acne-spotted red skin and wear thick spectacles. She doesn’t even put on makeup because she thinks that it can’t help her, as she tried once in her childhood to look pretty, but everyone laughed at her.

So her taste gradually differed from being girly to horrific, and it’s portrayed noticeably in the series that how her room is decorated, by the taste of music to her interest in comic books.

The scenario begins where the main lead, Lim Ju-Gyeong who studies in Yongpa High School, is being bullied by her classmates for the reason that she’s not pretty. Se-Mi who is the darling of her school, always mocks her and even calls her “Mandu” which means dumplings in Korean. She makes her life too horrible, so that Ju-Gyeong decided to take her own life. Here she meets a charming boy, Lee Su-Ho who saves her life.

Lee Su-Ho is featured as a charming, cold boy who does not like to talk or show his feelings to others. Might be, he had braved some tragedy that made him so cold. The series shows further the connection between these two main characters, how they met before and how their bond became so strong later.

Lim Ju-Gyeong realises after being saved by him that her life is so precious and cannot end it just by facing that embarrassment in school just because of her ugly face.

Eventually, the story turned, and her parents decided to shift to their previous home, so she would have to change her school. This moment is a hope for her to start her life again. She tries to learn to improve her self by watching make-up videos.

The very next scene shows how her face glows up by putting make-up and those choco-brown contact lenses.

The series shows the rising of the main character when she enters her new school, Saebom High School. Everyone’s reaction is worth watching, the way the students are admiring their new classmate. They even call her goddess just because she looks pretty now. She has never had that experience before. She was just an outcast in her previous school, but now her luck has changed.

There she meets the second main-lead who has returned to his former school. He was the best friend of Lee Su-Ho but some misunderstanding tore them apart. This guy is Han Seo-Jun. He’s called the hunk of the school, his bad boy kind of personality makes him more attractive. He’s a tough boy with a good heart. His role in this series can never be forgotten.

The series covered most of the parts in the school where the plot becomes more interesting after Lee Su-Ho sees her real face without make-up. The drama further reveals, will her new class fellows accept her rare face or do they criticise her for telling a lie about her true face? Will they understand the fact that true beauty is a beautiful soul and mind, or is it means to have a beautiful face?

Girls can understand how they struggle to make themselves pretty because it has become a standard of our society.

As we can see, in Pakistan true beauty is not appreciated, but we do prefer artificial beauty. Here are some set of beauty standards which we all Pakistani women follow: you must be fair, your skin shouldn’t have some pores or acne if you have it, then you’re untouchable, people will not greet you well, you must have good height, you shouldn’t be too thin or too fat etc.

So if you don’t meet these standards, you try to acquire them.

Most of the girls in Pakistan have complex that they are not fair-toned, so they put on much foundation and base to make them look fair, which is a tough job. We do not only criticise people for their looks but even make fun of them if they put on make-up.

As we can see in memes on Facebook that say that Pakistani girls face tone doesn’t match their colour of hands and feet. But I just want to ask, do we really deserve this hate? Despite of knowing that our country is a country of brown people.

Just for making you understand the fact that true beauty doesn’t mean to have a beautiful face but a beautiful soul, I want to suggest this series to you. This TV series is quite interesting and fun to watch, and I know that you’d definitely enjoy it because it has comedy along with portraying real flavours of life.

Blogger is student of Media & Communication Department, University of Sindh


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