“True Beauty” show review

Discover an ongoing Korean drama based on a WEBTOON comic

Sophia Considine, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After many days, hours and minutes of watching and studying makeup tutorials, Lim Ju Gyeong walks the halls of her new school, hoping that her experience shines in comparison to her prior school.

“True Beauty,” a Korean drama who’s first episode out of 16 released on Dec. 9, 2020, is based on the WEBTOON comic of the same name. It follows the story of horror-comic-book obsessed, high school student Lim Ju Gyeong, a girl bullied in middle school because of her “ugly” face. When her family moves back to their old house because of financial problems, she incorporates her newfound makeup skills into her daily routine, which makes her the instant “beauty” of the school. She makes friends easily and finds herself in a love triangle with “bad boy” Han Seo Jun and smartest-in-the-school Lee Su Ho.

Some of the best parts of this drama include everyone’s characterization, the acting and the plot with its variations.

Female lead Lim Ju Gyeong, played by Moon Ga Young, often feels like the disappointment of her family because she doesn’t have the looks or brains for her parents to brag about but she is also clumsy and cute. Male lead Lee Su Ho, played by Cha Eun Woo, goes through life mostly alone, he’s very quiet and the smartest kid in school; he’s gone through friendship break-ups and fails to easily express his feelings. Second male lead Han Seo Jun, played by Hwang In Yeop, always acts tough and unbreakable but is a momma’s boy; he’s never the first to back down, he really cares about his sister and he embodies the devil-may-care attitude. These character traits and backgrounds give them depth and room to grow.

The acting in “True Beauty” is commendable because the audience feels fully immersed in the story. When they cry, audiences cry. When they laugh, audiences laugh. When their heart breaks, audiences’ hearts break along with them.

Plot wise, this drama shares relatable content about wanting to be accepted, struggling to stand up to bullies and having a crush. However, it also touches on deeper subjects like suicide and the effects left on people involved in it.

On the surface, “True Beauty” only focuses on shallow principles of beauty that one must wear makeup to look beautiful and be loved. But in reality, many scenes combat the idea that certain faces aren’t beautiful—like when Han Seo Jun’s sister tells Lim Ju Gyeong that she won’t continue wearing makeup because it reveals to her bullies that she’s ashamed of her face and agrees she’s ugly. 

Overall, this drama touches many hearts with its fun romance and dynamic characterization, but it won’t touch the heart of an anti-romance audience member. 

“True Beauty” rates four and a half out of five mascaras.