Blame Photoshop For Korea's Beauty Queen 'Clones'

This week, photos of Korean contestants surfaced online. The photos all seemed eerily similar. Plastic surgery was blamed for these "clone contestants". If only it were that simple.

It was a Japanese blog, which specialises in translating Korean news, that was one of the first to upload the images. However, when said images reached English cyberspace (via Reddit), these were simply listed as "Miss Korea 2013 contestants".

That isn't exactly true. They are actually the 2013 Miss Daegu contestants and not Miss Korea contestants. The winner of the Miss Daegu contest competes in the Miss Korea pageant. It's a bit like saying Miss Texas contestants are Miss America contestants. They're not.

What's more, the below photo was uploaded on Reddit as an example of how the contestants look prior to being processed. However, they're not actually the alleged "clone contestants". They're actually contestants for Miss Seoul (more here on Beauty Hankook). So, of course, they'd look different. They're totally different people.

Then, what do the Miss Daegu contestants, the ones who supposedly have the same plastic surgery, actually look like?


And this. As tipster Sang points out, there was recently a training session held at Dae Kyung University for all the women competing in the Miss Daegu contest. You can see the contestants. They don't all look eerily the same. They look different.

The original photos, which caused this controversy, look processed to hell and back, with maxed out blur effects.

But those are pictures. Here are videos of Miss Daegu contestants. Likewise, they all look different.

The assumption is now that the contestants wore their make-up in a similar style, and, more likely, the same person Photoshopped the contestants. That would explain why all their smiles and faces are incredibly similar.

But, you say, they're not in fancy outfits and fancy make-up? That's what made them look like clone contestants, you add. In the video below, you can see them wearing make-up and in dresses.

And they look different. Well, as different as beauty pageant contestants can look. As our colleagues at Gawker pointed out, American beauty queens can start to blur together too. And it certainly doesn't mean none of these women are plastic surgery free — which, honestly, seems like a personal and private choice. What it does mean is that the unintentional odd digital Miss Daegu images don't reflect their real counterparts.

Culture Smash is a regular dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.


    I get that kotaku covers a broader range of topics than gaming, but beauty pageant scandals seem pretty far outside the mission statement. Frankly, Ashcraft seems to have turned culture smash into "news about pretty asian girls" at some point.

      Ashcraft seems to have turned culture smash into "news about pretty asian girls" at some point. I'm OK with this.

      Be careful. There is no coverage of Thailand's "Miss Tiffany" beauty peageant - yet.

      That's the one for the ladyboys.

    In the end it all raises the issue of what counts for beautiful and what some in the end are willing to do to arrive closer to a universally held idea of beautiful. Whether it plastic surgery procedures, big hair or fake tans or even the way photos are photoshopped for us to digest so we are constantly reminded of what ought to be held as beautiful. It isn't so much the subject matter that is to be held for examination it is us a culture at large as how they attempt to regard beauty in the first certainly informs the participant.

    No. 18

      What, 18 is the most attractive? Not a chance. 16, and then probably 14.

      The contestant or Dragonball cyborg?

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