In modern society where we live, there is a ubiquity of Lookism. As you watch TV program they introduce people who have changed their lives by plastic surgery. There are programs that focus on plastic surgery, and also some contest shows on who looks the youngest and most beautiful. It is true that appearance has an effect not only on our daily life but also on our career success, marriage, and employment as well. According to one of the surveys targeted at students who are preparing to get a job, 98% of the participants replied that appearance affects employment. On the other hand, a survey aimed at people who are in charge of hiring, found 94% of the participants replied that their company considered appearance important. As you can see in the survey, it has become hard to succeed in your career if your appearance isn’t good enough, even if you have enough potential. Lookism has changed the focus of our society from ability to appearance. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
Related, let me introduce a court drama which is about Lookism. You may think it will be boring as it involves the law and the courts, but it’s not the case with this drama. You can easily approach the show if you have a basic knowledge of the law, and each episode has its own storyline that you can enjoy without turning the TV off.
The title of the show is ‘Drop Dead Diva,’ and there are 6 main characters: overweight lawyer Jane, Jane’s secretary Terry, Jane’s guardian angel Fred, sexy model Dab, Dab’s boyfriend Grayson, and Dab’s best friend Stacey. Dab is a sexy blond model who died because of a car accident, and Jane is an overweight lawyer who died of a bullet wound. Something ridiculous happened in their afterlife world, and their souls are switched into each other’s body. That is when the show begins, and many episodes are Lookism-related. In modern society, there are some who benefit from their appearance, and there are others who have disadvantages because of their looks. Let’s look at Jane, the main character, who goes through the problems of Lookism and how she overcomes it.
Jane, as a lawyer, takes the case of Lucy who was fired from “Sun Bar” because she was overweight. The lawyer of the bar claims that obesity can be the reason for getting fired, defending the accused by claiming that every employer prefers employees who would get more profit and thin female employees earn 20 % more profit compared with overweight ones. Jane opposes the statement by saying that she couldn’t find any overweight female employees in the bar, which means the bar deprives average American women of the job opportunity. She lastly pleads that if the employers wish to increase their profits through their employees they have to use fair standards for everyone. She wins the hearts of the jurors and also wins the case.
Jane was living her life and gets another case. Her client Hannah wants to sue the Jillian Ford diet program as it lacks a warning message for its customers. Hannah tries the program for a couple of weeks, and is diagnosed with arrhythmia. When Jane takes the case and checks in with Hannah to see how she is doing, she finds out that Hannah cannot give up the diet program despite the diagnosis of arrhythmia. Hannah cannot stop the diet as she makes more friends and has her life changed due to her weight loss. Meanwhile Jane struggles with the case as there is no clear evidence that Hannah got the disease because of the diet program, but she finds an important clue from her doctor through her regular checkup. Jillian, the CEO of the ‘Jillian Ford’ diet program, turns out to have undergone gastro-junction surgery in the past, and that is the secret of her dramatic weight loss. Though she promotes her own diet program, Jillian cannot even eat her own diet food due to the side effects of the surgery. Jane defends her client based on these facts, blaming Jillian’s promotion as a definite fraud as she lies to her young customers without revealing her surgery at all. Jane wins the case again.
Those episodes clearly criticize Lookism, which is pervasive not only in the U.S but also in Korea, and we can see how seriously Lookism spreads throughout the society. One thing to be considered: nowadays appearance has become one of the discriminating factors such as religion, gender, and race. For example, bullying among teenagers is one of the most serious social problems caused by judging and discriminating someone based on their appearance. There is a proverb ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. You should not carelessly judge people by their appearance.
‘Drop Dead Diva’ is composed of many interesting episodes with various funny stories. You may assume that it is a difficult kind of court drama, but you can actually enjoy easy and witty expressions---that is what I recommend about the show. A drama based on Lookism of modern society and the unfamiliar background of the courts. Why don’t you kill two birds with one stone by watching ‘Drop Dead Diva’?