Last month, a photo of Korean beauty pageant contestants caused a stir online for the physical similarities shared between the women. Their uniform look was believed to have been caused by plastic surgery. As it turns out, it was just makeup and photoshop that transformed the pageant princesses into identical clones, but the photo still raised questions about beauty standards in South Korea — the plastic surgery capital of the world.
K-pop queen bee, Lee Hyori, pokes fun at the problem in the music video for her first single in three years, “Miss Korea.” The 33-year-old dresses up as a pageant girl and struts around while being scored, and sings while surrounded by tweezers, scalpels, and power drills. The song itself is a pep talk on female empowerment, with Hyori questioning the importance of expensive accessories and preaching about self-confidence.
Musically, Hyori opts for a loungy, acoustic sound to appeal to those folks who aren’t so much into typical idol pop. It’s the same approach she took with “Swing” from her last album, H. Logic, which served as a warm-up for her main single, the hip-hop stomper, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” We already know that Hyori’s got a dance single with rapper, Beenzino, on the way, but “Miss Korea” is so damn good on its own that we really wouldn’t care if it was all she was coming back with.
Get into Hyori’s long-awaited comeback, below.