I remember the shock I felt when my mother told me that especially for girls, looks can matter when getting a job. It seemed completely irrelevant and moreover unfair that external appearance should be a factor in the job market. Yet I’ve become more or less accustomed to such premises. Yes, looks do matter.
Since becoming a student in Gwanak, I have not been able to give up my high heels, for I felt not only physically small but also less assured and confident without them (despite the geographical traits of our campus which makes stilettos more or less a symbol of torture). You may consider me obsessed, but obviously I am not a peculiar case, for I see almost as many girls on heels than in sneakers on campus. There are more than only a few of us who are willing to sacrifice our comfort for better looks.
And it is not just about the heels. Although society’s image of SNU students is that we are neither sensitive nor sufficiently skilled at fashion, the view from the inside reveals a school community as sensitive to external beauty as any other community. When the Quill surveyed approximately 170 students, 75 of them answered that they have had the experience of being self-conscious because they thought others were laughing at their appearance, and over 160 of them thought that appearance is either “very important” or “important” when applying for employment in the private sector.
I have wondered whether it would have been more appropriate to talk of more “serious” matters such as political or economical issues for our cover story, but seeing the survey results, I came to realize that seemingly superficial matters of appearance were just as deeply rooted and influential to our identities and interests. The old proverb claims that “Beauty is only skin deep,” but it seems as if skin deep has become the depth of our society.
Of course, there are many other stories to tell. The Arts team interviewed Ralf Sander, the professor who is preparing for the upcoming exhibition at MoA; the Campus team dug up some interesting facts about the history of SNU and ranted about how it is so difficult to get to school each morning, and the Feature team did an online survey on Men’s Beauty. Above all, the Quill has recruited 8 new members in step with the new semester and this was their first edition on board! I would like to tell them how thrilled and happy I am to meet them, and I hope they enjoyed working on this issue as much as I did. I hope they will find as many treasures as I found from the Quill.
Envying the new Quillers? Then join us next semester. Maybe you’ll not be greeted with a surprisingly warm spring breeze then, but I bet the autumn sky will be just as admirable when you are a newly recruited Quiller. Meanwhile, enjoy each new edition of the Quill, and admire the flowers while you still can.
written by: Choi Naeun (Editor-in-Chief)