New Straits Times - - World -

SEOUL: Rounder eyes, nar­rower faces, big­ger breasts: a girl band is cel­e­brat­ing the coun­try’s ob­ses­sion with sur­gi­cally-en­hanced beauty by go­ing un­der the knife to praise the virtues of “Be­com­ing Pretty”.

All four mem­bers of ob­scure K-pop out­fit SixBomb went through plas­tic surgery, from nose jobs to breast im­plants, be­fore re­leas­ing their new sin­gle on Thurs­day. A se­ries of videos showed the four women vis­it­ing a clinic, strut­ting into an op­er­at­ing theatre and ly­ing on the op­er­at­ing ta­ble. An­other had them prac­tis­ing dance moves in sun­glasses with their heads wrapped in ban­dages.

“Ev­ery­one fol­lows me, they know I’m pretty,” they sing in Be­com­ing Pretty — an elec­tronic dance number with a hook rem­i­nis­cent of singer Psy’s 2012 global phe­nom­e­non Gang­nam Style.

The track could be the di­rect an­tithe­sis to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, lyrics: “I’m beau­ti­ful in my way/Cause God makes no mis­takes/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born this way.”

It has raised ques­tions over the South’s ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive, look­sob­sessed so­ci­ety, where phys­i­cal fea­tures en­hance so­cial stand­ing and can help se­cure jobs.

SixBomb’s lead singer, Da-In, had her breasts en­larged and her cheek­bones shaved to make her face look smaller.

“We all wanted to get some surg­eries done to look prettier... and thought, ‘Why not per­form a song about it in­stead of try­ing to con­ceal it?’” she said.

“Peo­ple will no­tice it any­way... so we wanted to be open about this re­al­ity where many women want to look pretty.”

SixBomb was founded in 2012 and have re­leased five al­bums, but have yet to be­come ma­jor stars. And with their mem­bers now in their mid-20s, time could be run­ning out for them.

The project was funded by their man­age­ment, which spent 100 mil­lion won (RM396,000) for “al­most ev­ery kind of surgery that could be done on a face” and breast im­plants, said head man­ager Kim Il-woong.

“We haven’t com­mit­ted any crimes. Our only crime would be talk­ing about it in an open man­ner,” he said, adding that many celebri­ties go un­der the knife but do not “come out of the closet”.

A prom­i­nent clinic here con­firmed that SixBomb’s mem­bers had gone through ex­ten­sive op­er­a­tions “all above the waist”.

None of the four were forced to go for surgery, al­though rap­per So-Ah had to think “long and hard” be­fore hav­ing the “dou­ble eye­lid” pro­ce­dure.

The stunt has raised eye­brows. “I un­der­stand that you guys are des­per­ate for pub­lic­ity... but did you re­ally need to go this far?” asked one on­line com­men­ta­tor, while an­other de­scribed it “flatout bizarre”. AFP

She Per­sisted




Hong Hye-jin (So-Ah) Lee So-young (Seul-Bee) Kim Da-young (Da-In) Ga-Bin show­ing pic­tures of her­self be­fore un­der­go­ing plas­tic surgery. Jung Hye-yoon (Ga-Bin) Ken­dall Jen­ner Chelsea Clin­ton

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