lookism is about the double standards of beauty that have taken root in our minds. The Korean anime series centers on Park Hyeong-seok, a high school student, whose physical appearance makes him easy prey for bullies.
The series opens with a shot of three school students bullying a fat student into imitating a dog. The constant bullying makes him wish for death. But unknown to him, he is waiting for a new life, or should we say a new body.
One fine day, Hyeong-seok wakes up with a new body and decides to start a new life with it.
Lookism and its version of beauty standards
It’s no secret that beauty standards define a significant part of our waking life. Body image problems are one of the biggest problems that afflict children and adolescents of school age.
According to the research of Kearney Cooke A and Tieger D, around 50% of 13-year-old American girls reported being unhappy with their bodies.. This number grew to almost 80% by the time the girls reached 17 years of age.
Calzo JP, Masyn KE, Corliss HL, Scherer EA, Field AE, and Austin SB found that 25% of boys/teenage boys in the US were concerned about their thinness and muscularity.. They also expressed a greater desire for toned and defined muscles.
The Korean anime, while retaining the lessons of the webtoon, adds more detail and consistency to the characters. The narration is first class and takes you to the high-risk situations in which the protagonist finds himself. The original webtoon was created and illustrated by Park Tae-joon.
lookism shows us how premium beauty affects our lives, and how apparently beautiful people have it easy in life. Studies show that 65% of those under 18 and 45% of adults believe in an “ideal body.”
The animated adaptation shows the trials that the protagonist faces and contains some good action scenes.
The slice of life anime is off to a good start and it turns into something gritty. The first season sticks to the opening chapters of the webtoon on which it is based. If there are more follow-up seasons, we can look forward to the development of the survivors’ psychology and how bullying changed them.
the lookism compact The short episode package makes this eight-episode series a joyful watch. It’s pretty easy to catch up over the weekend.
More than anything, lookism hopes to start some awkward conversations about bullying and body image issues. The Korean series highlights the pressures that today’s youth face in their daily lives.
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health noted that among 15,624 surveyed American high school students, 30% of men reported a desire to gain weight for muscular purposes.
In another study, 80% of teenage girls in the UK admitted that their biggest fear was getting fat.
A 2004 study of bullying behaviors in 5749 boys and girls (11-16 years old) showed that overweight school-age children were more likely to be both victims and perpetrators of bullying behavior than their normal weight peers.
lookism shows us that this is true with the power of anime as all over the world anime grows in popularity. As of 2022, 90 to 100 million people around the world watch anime.
In the United States alone, 30% of adults have a favorable impression of anime.
The anime series tries to tackle a sensitive topic. showing the contrast in those who are not bullied for their appearance and how bullying affects the psyche of the victims.
One of the most touching parts of the anime series is Park Hyeong-seo’s kindness and his relationship with his mother. Armed with a positive attitude and a kind heart, the protagonist tries to figure out his life, amidst many dangerous challenges.
The original webtoon tackles some heavy themes and evolves into something darker in the later stages. But for now, lookism well worth a look, if you haven’t already made plans.