HomeStoriesIs Netflix's "Single's Inferno" Promoting Harmful Korean Beauty Standards?

Is Netflix’s “Single’s Inferno” Promoting Harmful Korean Beauty Standards?

“The obsession…is actually sick.”

Since its first season, Netflix‘s Korean dating show Singles Inferno has attracted attention from viewers all over the world. Not all of the attention, however, has been positive.

The “Single’s Inferno 3” cast

Each season follows a group of single Koreans who are looking for love on a deserted island. Yet, despite many viewers sharing their love for the show and its addictiveness, it quickly came under scrutiny after airing its first two episodes.

The “Single’s Inferno” Season 1 cast on set | Netflix

In the first episode, each contestant was introduced. They walked down some steps into a fire pit, and, as each person entered, fans got to see the other contestants’ reactions. However, during this part, some controversy amongst international viewers arose due to the Korean cast’s words that seemed to promote “politically incorrect beauty standards.”

Shin Ji Yeon immediately captured the male cast members’ attention…

…and was praised for her doll-like beauty.

| Netflix Korea/ YouTube 

Some viewers criticized the way Shin Ji Yeon was complimented by a male contestant:

| Netflix Korea/ YouTube 

In a later episode, another male contestant, Choi Hi Sun, also described how much he liked Shin Ji Yeon. He said, “I like people who have light skin.” Yet another cast member added, “I like Ji Yeon. Her skin is so light.

| Netflix

When the episodes aired, Western viewers quickly shared their shock and anger, explaining that the remarks emphasized traditional “Korean beauty stereotypes.”

These issues even caught the attention of media in other countries. Daily Mail Australia wrote an article about the show and the negative comments it had received after discussions on the topic of skin.

| Daily Mail Australia

Although it might seem like a general comment, the words have a deeper meaning for those who understand the expectations and “standards of beauty” seen in Korea. Many K-Pop idols have brought up the controversial topic of skin color in the past.

In Korea, many people think that the standard beauty ideals include pale skin. Many, including former Blady member Tina, even said that K-Pop companies had recommended white-tanning for idols to “lighten” her skin.

| AnthonyPadilla/ YouTube 

It is even something that has been promoted on social media platforms like TikTok. One netizen explained how different the Korean version of the app was, explaining that her appearance changed with an automatic filter, which included lightening her skin.

American TikTok (left) and Korean TikTok (right) | @glowwithava/TikTok

Although it is something that netizens have come to expect from shows, it was still surprising for international viewers. Netflix has not responded to the comments from international viewers.

You can read more about Korean beauty standards below.

Here Are The Extreme Ways K-Pop Agencies Ensure That Idols Fit The “Korean Standard” Of Beauty, According To A Former K-Pop Idol

Source: TheQoo and Daily Mail Australia



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