My ID is Gangnam Beauty is about a timid and unattractive girl (Lim Soo Hyang) who was bullied in high school. She eventually gets plastic surgery to look beautiful and begins attending college, but she still faces a lot of difficulties. A romance begins to blossom with another student (Cha Eun Woo) who doesn’t care about looks.
What a nice drama My ID is Gangnam Beauty turned out to be! I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but it ended up being a very thoughtful drama that explored some complicated issues.
Lim Soo Hyang plays our leading lady, Kang Mi Rae. Mi Rae is extremely timid and was on the receiving end of a lot of bullying because of her looks. When it becomes too much, she eventually turns to surgery in hopes of finding a normal life as she enters college. But her surgery was a little too good, and it is evident that she had it. This ultimately leads to a new set of issues and having to face some of her inner demons.
Cha Eun Woo is Do Kyung Suk. Kyung Suk is very handsome and popular, but he is mostly unconcerned with what others think and keeps to himself. He’s also very honest and direct in his interactions with people. This trait allows Mi Rae to know what he says to her is true which is something she needs.
I thought this was a nice outing for Cha Eun Woo with this being his first lead role. He was a bit stiff overall, but at least that mostly worked with his character’s personality which was sort of bland. He did bring forth the needed emotions when it was called for though. But I certainly wouldn’t have minded to have seen him smile just a bit more.
Jo Woo Ri is Hyun Soo Ah who is another student at the college. Now Soo Ah is really something else. She’s beautiful and appears to be so very sweet, but that’s not the full story. She has this hidden manipulative side where she is jealous, constantly trying to control others, and creates situations that favor her. And then she lies amazingly well to cover it all up. She definitely got under my skin!
Of course, she has plenty of her own issues going on, but it’s not until closer to the end of the drama that we really dig into them. So if you’re like me, you may hate her for the bulk of the drama and have a difficult time softening up to her later. She does a lot of really bad stuff!
Kwak Dong Yeon plays a teacher’s assistant named Yeon Woo Young. He’s a well liked man who has an appealing personality. Of course, he takes interest in Mi Rae. I always love Kwak Dong Yeon, and this was another good role for him. Still waiting on some lead roles though!
My ID is Gangnam Beauty is such a lovely drama. It’s a low key kind of drama that really makes you feel like you are a part of these college students lives. It’s fairly simple in terms of story, but it executed it wonderfully to keep me fully engaged and never bored.
The drama addresses a lot of issues around standards of beauty and how society treats people because of beauty. The issues are all interwoven quite nicely into the story by depicting common experiences students might have which cause them to be unfairly judged as well as how peer pressure causes some to accept this sort of treatment and for others to ignore it. It even tackles a little bit of sexual harassment in the work place.
It shows just how much people obsess over beauty, including those who you think wouldn’t. For instance, even though Mi Rae was judged by her looks, she also constantly judges others by theirs. By being hyper aware of her own looks, she also became hyper aware of everyone else’s. There really is a lot that this drama takes on, and I’m sure most people will be able to relate to at least some of the issues.
Mi Rae really has quite a journey to go on. It’s horrible the way she was treated because of her looks and what that did to her self confidence. Then surgery wasn’t the magic bullet she was looking for. With her self esteem still low and a lack of assertiveness, she still struggles to interact with everyone and do what she wants. But one man seeing her for who she is and not caring what she looks like opens her eyes in a new way.
MINOR SPOILER IN ITALICS: And it really is so sweet knowing that Kyung Suk liked her even when she wasn’t attractive. Now that’s a keeper!
Kyung Suk also deals with some complex family issues. His relationship with his parents is a difficult one. I really liked this subplot overall since it really allowed us to see into Kyung Suk and his feelings as well as really padding up the story. And it integrated very well with the overall plot.
Kyung Suk and Mi Rae are a sweet couple. She still has a hard time believing someone would like her plus she is pretty oblivious to Kyung Suk’s fairly obvious feelings. He may not loudly proclaim them, but his actions are very clear.
The relationship progresses subtly but with plenty of nice moments throughout the journey. It was one of those times where I felt it took a bit too long for them to admit their feelings to each other though. These two dance around it like pros. But at least there are legitimate reasons why it is difficult for Mi Rae to admit her feelings. And I just thoroughly enjoyed their relationship as a whole.
MINOR SPOILER IN ITALICS: Plus, once we finally get to those last couple episodes, they are so adorably awkward and cute! And we get to a fair amount of that sweet smile from Kyung Suk. It’s very obvious just how happy she makes him!
My ID is Gangnam Beauty was a nice surprise. The topics it addresses are very relevant and relatable, but it’s also a sweet romance. Despite these heavier topics, it never gets overly angsty and remains fun through out. It was such an enjoyable drama, and I’m happy I checked it out.
My Rating: 8/10
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