Webtoon author Yaongyi
Webtoon author Yaongyi

The word "BEAUTY" actually defines the beauty in our character, in our nature, but not our external appearance. Now-a-days people think that external beauty is most important and without external beauty they are not beautiful. But what they don’t understand is that the beauty of a person depends on their thoughts, actions and character. Though external beauty has a value, our internal beauty dominates. Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It is about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart and most importantly a pretty soul.

On 9 December 2020, tvN released a new drama called “True Beauty” and with just eight episodes released it already seems to be a fan favourite. This drama is basically based on a Webtoon by the same name. The original digital comic is well known for its release of over a hundred or so episodes. And it has kept, until now, only comic readers hooked. But with its adaptation into this television series, it’s now able to muster an even greater international crowd. The freshly released TV show was expecting to be received well by its fans as the digital comic was really popular. But when its first episode was premiered, it exceeded all its expectations as the fans, critics, and non-web comic readers were all amazed alike.

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“True Beauty” is a K-drama mainly about a high school student Im Ju-kyung played by Moon Ga-Young, a shy and nerdy girl, who is addicted to comic books. She has a serious inferiority complex about her looks and is constantly belittled because of having bad skin and not wearing any makeup. All this takes a toll on her mental health and leaves her unsatisfied with her appearance and unconfident in herself. She slowly learns to use make-up to cover up her so-called “ugliness”. By the time she transfers to her new school, she has completely gotten the hang of transforming herself using make-up. At the new school, she becomes one of the popular kids and her peers start calling her a “goddess.” Despite the popularity and the appreciation that’s showered on her, Ju-kyung still considers herself ugly. She lives in constant fear that someone will see her real face and figure out her true identity. Nevertheless, she is positive and bright.

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Another main character is Lee Su-Ho played by Cha Eun-Woo, who is a very handsome and perfect high school student. He receives the attention of everyone but is interested in no one. Everyone thinks he’s really rude and cold and loves to isolate himself from everyone but no one knows why. His world became like this after his mother passed away after having cancer for a long time and his closest friend SeYeon had to kill himself for a scandal. Even though he is actually really kind-hearted. Cha Eun Woo stars as the perfect Lee Su Ho who possess everything from stunning visuals to top academic records and basketball skills.

Lastly, there is Han Seojun played by Hwang In Yeop in the main cast. Seojun has attractive good looks and a model-like physical with great humor. Because he trained for a long time to be an idol. Because of his rebellious vibes, there are rumors about him being related to gangsters. But this is actually wrong. He is a warm son and sweet older brother who takes care of his sick mother and little sister. Seojun appears to have a strong personality.

The three actors garnered great attention with the news of their casting due to their similarities with the original webtoon characters.

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“True beauty” was writer Yaongyi’s first webtoon and it turned out to be a huge hit, ranking No. 1 on the webtoon charts for a long time. For this reason, fans were looking very forward to seeing this webtoon come to life. A lot of thought and planning was put into the drama as it has a huge fanbase already, so you can imagine the expectation and anticipation for the premiere. Yaongyi said that True Beauty's popularity really surprised her and that she's thankful for the support that she's been receiving. The author explained that she needs to pull an average of four all-nighters a week. That's quite tough, especially since her drawings are really intricate. But look at her now—those sleepless nights paid off! True Beauty's K-drama adaptation is something that Yaongyi is very happy about.

Beautifully drawn and beautifully written, True Beauty is truly a work of art. The characters are well developed and like normal people, have their strengths and weaknesses. Another thing which stands out about this webtoon is the author’s ability to convey emotions through facial expressions, they are natural and life-like. And now, it’s actually happening natural and lively. All in all, True Beauty is an amazing webtoon which you won’t regret reading. But beware! Because you might get addicted to its engaging plot.

According to Nielsen Korea, the first episode of the drama recorded average nationwide ratings of 3.573 per cent, with a peak of 3.8 per cent. The drama also recorded average ratings of 4.056 per cent in the Seoul capital region, with a peak of 4.3 per cent. In tvN’s target demographic of 20-to-49-year-olds, the drama recorded average nationwide ratings of 3.1 percent and a peak of 3.3 per cent.

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True Beauty explores the idea that being beautiful gives you advantage in life. People put you over other more average looking people, treat you with kindness, and try to win your heart, even if it means giving you free stuff or paying for your stuff from their pockets. True Beauty also highlights a very important thing in life which a lot of people overlook, the fact that everything that you see on the internet is not necessarily the truth. But it also conveys that no matter what you look like, the people who are close to you love you for who you are. This webtoon covers a topic which most of the people rarely speak on, it exposes the dual standards of society and how people sometimes find loopholes to navigate around them.

True Beauty is the perfect drama to watch during these times when things are so uncertain and frustrating. It’s really an easy and very pleasant watch, and especially the humor in the script, characters, and acting really hit it home. There were several moments in the first episodes where you can’t help but chuckle. What really makes someone beautiful? That is a question for which everyone has a different answer. For some, it might be eyes, for some, the hair, and for some, it might be the personality. Someone might have a beautiful personality, a beautiful face, a beautiful heart, or maybe all of them. Regardless of all these answers, real beauty is something which cannot have a preset definition, it is always different for everyone.

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Our true beauty is born through our actions and aspirations and in the kindness we offer to others. And Just like Ju-Kyung said, if you hate your face just because they say it is ugly, then you would be agreeing that you are a loser. So, ignore them and live with the face you are given. Learn to love yourself first then others.

Rumaiysa M Rahman is a 10th grader at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Dhaka