Avatar Culture in Korea

Korea is swept by avatar culture: a tendency to define one’s identity in terms of virtual representations. Avatar culture is one of the driving forces behind plastic surgery, by the way, since avatar representations of the human body put immense pressure on the individual to conform–often to an entirely unrealistic, or fantastic, model.

This photograph represents quite accurately the broad impact of avatar culture in daily life.

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Here are a few more avatar-like commercial images from downtown Seoul. Imagine the impact they have on young women who see them every day.

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