The Korea Herald

ssg
지나쌤

Labor Ministry in hot water for plastic surgery blog post

By 옥현주

Published : July 1, 2015 - 15:29

    • Link copied

The Ministry of Employment and Labor was embroiled in controversy this week after it published a blog post describing a “preferable appearance” in getting jobs, stoking criticism that it encouraged plastic surgery among job seekers.

The post, titled “Plastic surgery became one of the seven prerequisites to gaining employment,” was written by the ministry’s intern reporter and uploaded Tuesday to its official blog.

The Employment and Labor Ministry’s Twitter page shows a posting that reads, “Is cosmetic surgery among the seven qualities needed to get a job?” It goes on to say, “What is the appearance that companies are looking for?” (Twitter) The Employment and Labor Ministry’s Twitter page shows a posting that reads, “Is cosmetic surgery among the seven qualities needed to get a job?” It goes on to say, “What is the appearance that companies are looking for?” (Twitter)

It contained advice from those who went under the knife to improve their job prospects. Underscoring the importance of appearance to get a job, the report said that the cosmetic surgery was aimed at enhancing their outlook in employment, not at looking like a celebrity.

The blog post also featured photos of a man and a woman that the ministry considered ideal as job candidates, introducing specific facial features that they deemed conglomerates favored.

The post soon went viral, as netizens blasted the ministry for promoting plastic surgery for job seekers, further bolstering discrimination against job candidates by appearance.

In recent years, South Korea has seen increasing reports of young job candidates choosing plastic surgery to boost their chances of landing a job in the competitive market.

Korea’s unemployment rate for those aged 15-29 stood at 9.3 percent in May.

The ministry deleted the post an hour after it was uploaded on its blog and Twitter, saying it was a “misunderstanding.”

“The writer explained that the post was aimed at encouraging job seekers to make a good impression through good practices, not by going through cosmetic surgery,” the ministry said in a press release.

“Regardless of our initial intention, the blog post could be seen as promoting plastic surgery, so we deleted the post not to cause controversy,” it added, vowing to take more care of the content uploaded by intern reporters on the blog. 

It is not the first time that the ministry has created a stir. Last year, the ministry got in hot water after publishing a post on sexual discrimination in the hiring process.

In its job portal site “Worknet,” the ministry uploaded a post giving job seekers advice for job interviews. According to the post, female job candidates were advised to say to interviewers that they don’t have a boyfriend or marriage plans, noting that companies are reluctant to hire a woman who has plans to get married.

The ministry said at the time that it would ramp up its sexual discrimination education efforts for employees.

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)