Since arriving in Seoul, I've spent more time and money on my appearance than I've ever spent back in the homeland. Alright, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but it's pretty true. People in Seoul, particularly young women, are extremely conscious of their appearance. Perhaps this is true of women in big cities around the world, but I haven't really experienced such a high degree of image consciousness before.
When living in Seoul, even if your a lazy schlub like myself, you can't help but start to concern yourself with appearance. (Especially when your students say stuff like, "You're pretty, but you have zits." Dang. That comment hurt even more than the big zit on my face.)
Case in point: My sister and uncle were only here for less than a week, but we still dedicated time to get our hair done, get facials, and get some moles removed.
It's so tempting to alter your appearance or undergo some cosmetic procedure while you're in Korea because a) It's generally less expensive. b) You can get excellent service for moderate prices. c) Everyone else does it. Beauty is an essential expenditure. It's neither frivolous nor vain to indulge yourself.
Of course, we had to take my sister & uncle to see Mr. Taek Kim at Lee Chul Hair Kerker in Apgu.
(We were trying to look dour as they do on all those makeover shows.)
(Everyone went short for a fresh new spring look. I am envying their cute cuts, but I've decided to keep my hair long because I'm trying to grow it out for a perm in the summer.)
We also took the family to our neighborhood Skin Clinic (dermatologist + facial spa). Cyndi, Kittyho, and Eemo-bu all had a mole or two removed. Mole removal is fairly inexpensive and quick. Depending on the size and roots of your mole, removal ranges from approx. $10-30 a mole. The mole is then extracted with a laser of some sort. The only catch is that you must walk around with a small bandage on your face for 3-4 days.
I have a few moles on my face, but I decided instead to focus on the zits that my students so kindly pointed out. I elected to go for the "scaling" which involves a light chemical peel and an invasive pimple extraction procedure. The doctor also injects the really gnarly pimples with some mysterious serum.
The procedure did not miraculously eliminate all my blemishes as I had hoped, but it did reduce the size and redness of the pimples.
Even Piggy got in on the makeover action: