The Korean Pageant Contestants Who Look Insanely Similar Finally Competed

Without photoshop getting in the way, we can see just how similar these young women look without retouching. So, is plastic surgery or just a pervasive culture of conformity to blame?

1. These 20 women became a viral sensation recently when their promotional headshots for the Miss Korea 2013 beauty pageant revealed their strikingly similar appearances.

2. Your standard internet everycritic blamed their, well, overlapping appearances on plastic surgery.

In a 2009 survey, one in five women in Seoul between the ages of 19 and 49 said they had had some type of cosmetic surgery. From the photos alone, it’s difficult to tell how much photoshop might have assimilated the pageant contestants’ appearances. But now that the pageant has happened we can begin to answer that question. Photos from the event suggest both photoshop along with a very specific cultural ideal of beauty contributed to the contestants’ very similar physical appearances in these photos.

3. The pageant included a swimsuit contest, where the contestants performed light synchronized dancing while all wearing the same one-piece and heels.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

Already this is WAY more conservative than your standard U.S. beauty pageant.

4. They changed into dresses the color of seafoam and sang, choir-style.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

5. And threw on some matching suiting for some more coordinated posing and overall sassiness.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

6. Because the best part of any beauty pageant is a costume change, here’s another one.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

Cocktail attire. Do these girls really look as similar to you as in the headshots? Or could it have something to do with the matching hairstyles/clothes/shoes?

7. Sassy dance moves are also a must.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

8. Hopefully the ladies didn’t feel too uncoordinated in the face of…

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

9. Boy band SHINee!

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

10. Video footage of their work, for those who are unfamiliar:

Video available at:

11. Now, back to the ladies: Things got dressier as they went along, as contestants fancily pageant walked their way to that big, sparkly crown.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

12. Note the relatively matte nature of these dresses compared to our Miss USA pageant.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

Where everyone looks like they walked off the set of the Great Gatsby, rolled in glue and then dipped themselves in glitter.

13. Well actually, there were lots of crowns.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

14. But the night’s big winner was 21-year-old Yoo Ye-Bin.

Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

15. Here’s some video footage of the proceedings.

View this embed ›

16. So, does this look any different to you now?

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