What she discovered was a "pressure-cooker environment" surrounding high school students during their final competitive year leading up to college entrance examinations, the outcome of which "is seen as largey determining the future... and their lifelong economic and social status."
The 19 year old filmmaker discovered that just as common as studying sixteen hours a day were the students' "fascination with beauty," "pursuit of the perfect face," and the notion that "academic success and beauty are linked."
"It seems in Korea there's a more clearly defined 'ideal' successful person than in America," said Katzenmeyer, with a checklist that includes a top-tier education, a high-paying job, and a specific appearance.
Cosmetic procedures that tend to westernize (augmentation rhinoplasty, double eyelid surgery, and facial slimming plastic surgery) are viewed by many teens as an important part of this rigid formula for adult success.
"We're hoping that with this film we can reduce the stress that students feel to look a certain way -- to be what they believe is physically perfect."
APSG Comment: Good luck. You're up against the most intense and pervasive marketing program by any beauty industry in the world.