Korean Teens Ask ‘Please Rate My Face’ on Online Community

Teenager asks for a facial evaluation online

From NocutNews:

‘Please rate my face’ Teens upload pictures of themselves on the net

It’s worrying that ‘adults’ obsession with appearances reflects onto children’

‘I know I’m ugly, but I just want an evaluation of my face…Can I live with my head up?’

Jung (16), who is currently in his third grade of middle school, uploaded 5 pictures of himself that he’d taken on an Internet friendship cafe [online community].

This is because he wanted to receive an ‘objective’ assessment of his outward appearance from other members from the community who are mostly teens.

‘I didn’t upload face pics of myself ’cause I have confidence or something like that. It’s just that I really wanna know the standard of my appearance, and for peeps to ruthlessly evaluate if I’m mingin’, and if so, where.’

Kim, who’s in 6th grade of elementary school, also uploaded a picture of her face ‘to get an objective evaluation and advice.’

This so-called ‘face-rating’ culture of uploading pictures of one’s face and then asking for an evaluation is popular among teenagers.

The list of posts from teens who ask for ‘face-rating’ is so long that the cafe has now even created a new menu feature entitled ‘Physical appearance woes – face-rating.’

Through the evaluations given by their peers, these children get confidence, or advice on what needs improving.

They are given one of 3 main ratings, ‘Orcish [ugly],’ ‘average,’ or ‘heart-warming [good-looking],’ and then given advice on what they are lacking or what needs working on.

Park (16), in his 3rd grade of middle school, uploads new pictures of himself and asks for advice and an evaluation everytime he changes his look.

Park said that ‘It’s great if I receive positive feedback, but if it’s negative, that’s okay, too ’cause I can make up for those bad points and my friends also get advice online and change their looks, too.’

The majority of responses to ‘face-rating’ posts consist of advice like ‘why not try such and such’ rather than those critical ones that say ‘you’re ugly.’

One student said ‘I’m 177cm in height and in my 3rd grade of middle school, but I’ve never heard nice things about my face from my friends’ and got as advice from the online members ‘if you put some wax in your hair, you can create some style’ and ‘if you lose a bit of weight and get rid of those glasses, you’d look cooler.’

A middle school 1st grader said ‘I have no confidence with my appearance and think I’m ugly,’ to which someone who said they were in 3rd grade said that ‘your nose is pretty, and your eyes are big, so overall, you are not ugly at all’ and ‘on a scale of 1 to 6, you’d fall under a 4, so please don’t worry.’

This raises concerns that part of this face-rating culture of teens is a reflection of the lookism culture of adults.

Prof. Kwak Geum-joo of Seoul National University‘s Psychology Department analyzed that ‘Since children are a mini version of adults, this shows that our society’s lookism and favor toward cosmetic surgery is even influencing our children’ and ‘the adolescent tendency to get recognition and an evaluation of one’s appearance is interlinked with the Internet, creating a culture of so-called ‘face-rating.’’

Prof. Kwak advised that ‘Since the main concern of adolescents is their appearances, if they receive bad feedback from face-rating, they would feel hurt and this can also have a negative effect to their personality’ and ‘it’s important for friends and family to try to compliment inconfident teenagers and help them find their other positive points.’

Comments from Naver:


That f**king program called “Ulzzang Generation” is leading this lookism fad.


Sigh, I feel sorry for this country.


Talent is more important for men, kiddo ㅡㅡ Unless you wanna leech off women, study hard ke ke ke


The lookism in this country is excessive..; Personality is very important. I haven’t seen good-looking people with crappy personality stay in relationship for long.. And if you learn that your friends like you just for your appearance, it would feel crappy.


Even behind that pixelated picture, that bastard’s still ugly – you gotta find your own unique charm.


Those guys who upload their pictures are either really ugly or delusional in thinking they are good-looking. If you really look good, you get recognized in real life so there is no reason to ask for an evaluation like that at all. Those kids who have no life and look in the mirror too much think they are good-looking and upload their pictures online. It is those mediocre ones who suck up to each other ke ke ke


You know what ke ke ke When I was studying abroad, those foreign kids had fun with funny herp-derp pictures and didn’t care much about bad pictures. But in Korea, they don’t tolerate weird pictures. Why do you care so much about how you will be seen by others?


They ask for face evaluations, but I’ve never seen a kid take a frontal shot.


It all will become your black history later on.


At least when girls try to get a job, being pretty comes over getting full marks on the TOEIC exam. Appearance is also a spec.


I hate receiving ratings… And I hate for my face appearing online… So why deliberately do it?


One day, a junior student who hated me uploaded my picture for face-rating and my friend found that out. Startled, I opened the website and read the comments on my picture. A few said I look pretty but many comments said I’m ugly or plain-looking. I was hurt and my parent reported the post. I taught a lesson to the junior student who apologized to me later but because of the trauma, when I walk on the street, I keep my head down and I can’t believe it even when someone compliments my looks.


Ugly ones tend to be more picky about others’ appearances ke


The society has become too tough. If you look good, that’s good but that really isn’t everything.


When you take a self-shot photo, please don’t stick a [virtual] mustache, it’s really not cute.


Teens these days seem love-starved… While their parents make them study to death for exams, they feel proud if they have many friends and they can’t stay away from KakaoTalk [instant messenger] for a moment. Now they even ask for face-rating… That’s pitiable.


Pretty doesn’t mean attractive. Even if you look average, you become a very attractive person if you look confident and smile a lot. Develop your own charm rather than physical appearance.


I’m a first grade middle schooler. I don’t do that shit ’cause I know I’m ugly.


8 or 9 out of 10 are bad comments.


Good-looking peeps don’t ask for evaluations and they are not outspoken about their looks. It’s always those oogly peeps who do that.

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  • Kate

    American teens do this too.


    Its just insecure kids being insecure. To an extent everyone is curious to how attractive they are to others. People post self pics on facebook all the time looking for “likes” or good comments, they certainly aren’t posting their bad pics ether. However posting ones pic on an anon forum is just setting oneself up for ridicule and abuse.

    • Thor

      Teen boys and girls are obsessed with looks. We’ve all been through.

  • holdingrabbits

    I’m really impressed and really confused by the netizens this time. Most of them said the right thing! Too bad it’s not reflected in the culture yet. Like that spoof on Korean SNL about how guys criticize those who get plastic surgery but whip it out any time they see a pair of fake tits. The question I guess is which statements are heart felt and which ones are being said because they know that it’s the “correct” answer? I think to a degree there’s some cognitive dissonance going on, like “Everyone can just be who they are and not worry about their looks…..unless you’re my girlfriend, because then you’d better be fucking hot.”

    I’m generally not for the plastic surgery stuff, but looks do matter in Korea and if a girl needs a nose job to get a better job then go for it. It’s not as if her strong principles and good character are going to get her a job. K-pop stars aren’t chosen because of their talent, and old dudes that do the hiring for companies aren’t choosing candidates for much better reasons. So if women or men want to change their looks to exploit the ignorance of others, I say go for it.

  • One for all

    A lot of netizen posts I agree with.

    It’s sad and unfortunate. It’s not just a Korean thing either, you see kids from all over the world doing the same/similar things. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s where there was no internet/SMS/IM messengers and for the most part you actually interacted with REAL LIFE people and did things outside, rather than online.

    Granted every generation of teenagers has its worries about physical appearances and what nots, but to think of today’s teens considering surgery because some people they’ve never met called them ugly is heart wrenching.

  • basicx

    Not really that weird or strange. Theres sites like hotornot.com. Also subreddits on reddit like reddit.com/r/amiugly/ and reddit.com/r/Rateme

    • Kate

      Thanks for linking, now I’m going to go waste 30 mins browsing! :)

    • lonetrey / Dan

      Hahaha, that was very popular when I was in highschool. The guys in my science class would not get off that website when they were suppose to be doing work.

      I never bothered so I have no idea how it actually works, but I’m going to assume it works the same way.

  • dk2020

    Not really too different than any other social network like facebook or friendster ..

  • manymanycutesy

    Didn’t murricans create that website called Hot or not?

    • dk2020

      it was called rateapix and findapic back in the early 00’s ..

    • “Created by James Hong and Jim Young”

      • manymanycutesy

        they’re still Americans lol
        they’re the typical whitewashed Asians

    • lonetrey / Dan

      Yes indeed, I remember many of my guy friends signing up for it back in highschool. Lol

    • lonetrey / Dan

      Hmm that was quite the rage in my highschool back then.

  • Digitalsoju

    Ulzzang = worst Romanization ever.

    • Yohan

      Yeah, it would be great if people could start using the official romanization that does exist like writing “oegukin” instead of “waygookeen” etc. In this case it should be romanized as “eoljjang”.

      • Digitalsoju

        Well the official romanization has it’s own problems too, especially for someone who isn’t familar with it at all and try to read them like regular English words. 넌 is neon for example, which would be like 니얀 in Korean.

        Also with “oegukin” the first syllable doesn’t sound anything like “wae.” There’s a ton of problems, but rather save this for another discussion as there’s too many examples to list for something a little off topic.

        • Yohan

          Well everyone non-Korean is not native English speakers (most are not actually) so there is no reason to adapt Korean romanization to them and whatever language you are reading or romanizing you need to be somewhat familiar with the basic pronunciation rules. The same goes for Korean. But I will leave this discussion for now as it is OT.

          • Digitalsoju

            Well romanization is mostly for people who can’t read Korean, so how are these people going ot know the pronunciation rules in the first place? The romanization is what is supposed to be helping them right?

          • Yohan

            Well, my point was that people from different countries will pronunce it differently no matter how you write it so it’s better to stick with a common way so that at least the writing of words are the same. Roman letters are not pronunced the same in every language that uses them and there is no reason why the Korean romanization system would be based on English pronunciation. I’m not a native English speaker and when I read the romanization “ulzzang” I would write it as “울쌍” in hangeul and when I read “waygookeen” I would pronunce it as “웨이고겐”. I often don’t understand these home made anglified romanizations.

        • Golbinnom

          romanization is not only aimed towards english speakers

          • Digitalsoju

            You’re right, but there’s a ton of English speakers in the world who probably assume it’s read the same way as English. Then it’s ooops.

            Moral of the story: Learn Hangeul

      • dk2020

        LMAO there’s actually official romanizations?? For who? LOL, Its just called Konglish how I grew up. Grammar nazis must be going nuts in SoKo ahaha ..

  • I can’t say if this is sad or not…. I know I’m ugly, but still (for the most part) use a picture of me for an avatar than hide behind someone else (only reason I don’t have one here is because I don’t want any pictures of me on my facebook) so I can show my ugliness to the world!!! In the end, we’re all ugly and beautiful to someone so…. And how many adults are just as insecure? They may not ask people to rate them on sites but they do other things because of their insecurities. So… meh.

    • Anonymous

      except you, youre ugly to everyone. your look and your personality. so cut your bullshit *shrugs*

      • Yes, yes I am ugly to all (at least I think so) so… one person can think they’re the baddest hottest person out there, but another can’t think they’re the most hideous out there? If one exist, the other does too if it’s physically possible (and this case, it is) What BS am I sprouting? That we’re all subjective to looks and everyone is at least ugly to one person and beautiful to another? But you know, your opinion is yours… you have every right to it *Kanye shrug*

  • meo fio

    More proof that north korea is superior to south korea

    • elizabeth

      Not exactly. Kim Jung Un has a pretty wife. A hint that looks still matter over substance.

    • kpopfanatic93

      They can’t even feed their people…and the children have to eat dirt sometimes so they don’t starve. How actually are you Superior if you can’t even take care of your own people? Stop making useless comments like this…

  • lonetrey / Dan

    This is a super outdated concept… I recall having my friends gush over HotOrNot.com results back in highschool, many years ago.

  • Pingback: Korean Gender Reader, December 15-21 | The Grand Narrative()

  • Fashion and modeling media everywhere needs to be NUKED. I have a little sister and I pray to Jesus her self-concept and esteem aren’t warped by her superficial narrow-minded peers.

  • Guest

    Oh FFS. Old concept, this one Indian guy in my science club back in highschool was obsessed with it. Would not stop checking it every day. This was 8 years ago -_-;

    edit: oh wait. I already commented 2 months ago. >_>;

  • PandaBread

    Wow what jerks

    • kpopfanatic93

      pandabread! ^_^

      • PandaBread


        • kpopfanatic93

          Hello ^_^ <3

          • PandaBread


  • Guy Forget

    Korea is f***ing themselves up with all this kpop/kdrama hallyu wave prostituting themselves to the world to make some money meanwhile destroying the lives of koreans via pressure to look a certain way that can only be attained by plastic surgery (ulzzang).. Ulzzang is UGLY as hell. I never thought those big round eyes were beautiful anyways. Natural korean is the most beautiful but the poor koreans are fooled and don’t know it anymore.

  • Peninsula

    Personality that matters most.

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