In Korean workplace, looks count
Ask a Korean worker what he likes least about him- or herself, and the answer is personal appearance.
According to a recent survey of 598 workers by Job Korea, an online job portal, 43.3 percent said that they were least satisfied with their physical appearance. Other lesser areas of personal disappointment were educational background, English skills, personality, name and work addiction.
Females were unhappier with their appearance than males, with 51 percent of women saying they didn’t like the way they look compared with 36.1 percent of males.
Asked which part of their appearance was the least satisfactory, the leading answer was “height,” something people can’t change through surgical procedures. After that, and in order, respondents said they didn’t like their weight, skin condition, nose, eyes, face size, chin, hair and mouth.
While 49.8 percent of the respondents said they have been mistreated in the workplace for various inadequacies, 36.6 percent said that they have been mistreated for the way they look. The types of mistreatment included low raises, being left out of office socialization, low work evaluations, heavy work loads, being denied promotion and being made fun of.
Similar responses came from 389 fresh graduates looking for jobs surveyed by Incruit. In that sample, 8.9 percent said job interviewers insulted them by commenting on their faces or bodies. Others said that interviewers doubted skills listed on job applications and resumes and showed various signs of disrespect. A full 90.7 percent of the job searchers said that there were one or more companies that they came to dislike after being interviewed for a job.
Survey results like those help explain why more Koreans are having plastic surgery. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery ranked the top 25 countries in terms of the number of cosmetic procedures carried out in 2009. Korea ranked 7th in the world with 365,145 surgical procedures and 294,068 nonsurgical procedures. China ranked third and Japan sixth.
By Jung Seung-hyun [firstname.lastname@example.org]