I am pretty average for a woman in the US. I was never what people would call a beauty. Instead, I have naturally red hair, I don’t tan, and I developed before any of the other girls in my class growing up (which meant I was curvy when it was ideal to be a blond, tan twiglet). I hated being an hourglass with unique coloring. Now, I don’t mind so much. But I wouldn’t put up with any child telling me they think I’m ugly. I likely would bark back with, “I think your bullying is ugly.” But I get how difficult it can be to hear something like that and react tactfully. Sure. Mine is not the popular response, but one that would make the child think the next time before they say something unkind. At least I would hope so.
I do not understand a culture this superficially driven; where much of your worth is gauged on your facade vs your achievements. I mean, looks fade. Still, universally, it is all about appearances. My partner has kids who are half-Korean and they visit [Korea] often. They are very smart, abnormally tall for Korean standards, very thin, (one of them pale), and both are attractive. Often they are stopped, when they go, and people ask if they are “models.” They stand out both here in the states and abroad. But I try to focus on their attitudes, behaviors, intelligence, and accomplishments first before noting their physical appearance in any favorable way. In Korea, beauty is almost a currency. Plastic surgery, as I understand it, is extremely common (more so than it is here in the US), especially among younger individuals.