The pressure of beauty standards


Short film “Mirror” tells a story about a Korean tailor named Yeona and her courageous fight against her scared face. One day, she decides to seek plastic surgery in New York but the moment the hospital forces her to completely remake her face she begins to struggle. It’s not only a fight against her scar but also a fight against today’s image of beauty and the insecurities of a young woman. Especially in Korea, the K-pop image is seen as a beauty ideal and  is highly valued.

Image from the short film Mirror

The director and writer of this socio-critical film is Christina Yoon and “Mirror” was part of her Columbia University’s graduate film program. Her intention and goal was to portray that women all over the world, whether it’s east or west, are constantly living under the pressure of certain beauty standards. Yoon also questions the damaging norms in today’s society. Producer Jungyoon Kim, who is also a graduate of Columbia’s MFA Creative Producing program, supported Christina from the very beginning with leading and guiding the production.

For the lead roles, the cast includes Spring Kim as “Yeona” and Taeho Kwak as “Joonsuk”. Both of them fit perfectly into their roles which fills the short film with loads of emotional moments. Yeona recognizes how surreal pictures of beautiful people can manipulate the vision of ourselves. Spring Kim embodies excellently this issue and gives believable performances so that the audience gains an insight into her emotional world and hard journey. She enables the audience to relate to her insecurities and her wish to look differently which leads to a specific connection between the film and the audience. This positive reception reflects within the fact that “Mirror” was already accepted by the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, New York Shorts International Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival, and more.

Definitely, a movie that is worth seeing as it focuses on an important social issue and teaches you how important self-acceptance is and how much it takes to make decisions about your body on your own.

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