When her blind dates continue to lead nowhere, South Korean teacher Areum Parkkang seeks the advice of students and friends. Despairingly, she asks them why she has never had a boyfriend. They don’t beat around the bush when they tell her it’s because of her appearance. They explain that she should make herself attractive to men by dressing in a more feminine way, losing weight and wearing makeup. Areum decides to take on the challenge and drastically alters her appearance. She starts wearing earrings, nail polish and contact lenses, and dressing like a carefree hippie or a sexy seductress. Along the way she realizes that by trying to satisfy an idealized notion of beauty imposed on women, she has internalized the merciless and judgmental gaze of the outside world. From the very start of the experiment, she lets us in on all her insecurities by filming herself. At the same time, she is holding a mirror up to the viewer, because aren’t we judging her just as brutally as she, her students and her friends do?
Moonkyung Kim for Areum Film
Artist Group 3355