Then and Now: The Rise and Fall of True Beauty

With over 29.5 million likes, True Beauty feels like a staple to Webtoon. This Webtoon is so loved that it’s made into a live-action series. You can find it on Netflix.

True Beauty talks about Jugyeong, a young woman who’s too insecure about her looks. She finds herself in a love triangle between Suho and Seojun, two handsome young men who like her for more than her looks.

True Beauty is full of tropes. You have the cool, calm, and collected potential love interest. The other is the rough-around-the-edges, smooth, “bad-boy” type. And, of course, the ditzy, not confident, female protagonist. This sounds like an old school shojo manga. Yet, I loved the series.

A year ago, I loved the series so much that I made an “edit” using iMovie. It was an edit of the probably most debated fictional love triangle ever: Suho x Jugyeong x Seojun.

Despite that, I love the first season of True Beauty. It was paced well, and the romance between Jugyeong and Suho naturally blossomed.

At the end of season one, Suho left for Japan, and Jugyeong and Suho confessed to each other.

One of the strongest points of True Beauty is its pacing in the first season. There were no dull moments, and the cliffhangers made you want to keep reading. Also, nothing felt out of place or forced. Suho and Jugyeong’s friendship and eventual romance were–to an extent–believable.

As season two progressed, I wondered why Suho never contacted Jugyeong for so long after season one. Did I miss this? Or was it really just never mentioned? I remember he reached Seojun to essentially “take care of her” because he will be in Japan for a while. But… did he once even talked to Jugyeong about… well… why?

Jugyeong never tried to reach out either? And even when they met again, Suho still has lingering feelings for her, but Jugyeong appears to have moved on. Did they even try in the first place?

When I really think about it, I’m not sure why Suho fell for Jugyeong in season one. They’re friends, sure, but I don’t see any of Jugyeong’s redeeming qualities. Except that she takes care of others than herself. She’s stupidly selfless.

She always encourages others but has so many doubts about herself. She encourages Seojun to pursue his dream as a singer. She isn’t sure of her abilities as an aspiring makeup artist, even though she wants to pursue this more than anything.

I liked Jugyeong’s character in season one because I think anyone can relate to her at some point in their lives. As for Suho and Seojun, they have enough depth to them to make them interesting. Plus, no one will complain that they’re good looking. It is their selling point, after all.

Now, I used to really like Suho. I was a Suho x Jugyeong shipper. However, I started getting tired of his character.

At some point, it feels like he’s just spinning in circles. He wants to move on from his past, but he doesn’t know how to move on. He still harbours feelings for Jugyeong, but he doesn’t or can’t act on them nor tries to get over them.

Could you imagine how tiring that must be? Also, what is he doing exactly? Now, he’s in Korea and taking part in photoshoots? But he’s still an undergrad at MIT. I could be missing something important here.

His character development is also nowhere to be found.

What makes this frustrating is that Jugyeong also has no character development. So, I really don’t understand why Suho’s still head-over-heels for her. Maybe it’s because he also doesn’t have any character development. She’s the same person when this Webtoon first started. The only things that changed were her love interest and potential “enemies.”

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I got tired of this Webtoon. It was a gradual buildup from season two when the plot started to drag, and the events became repetitive.

Now, I’ll end this “review” on a positive note. The author did try to highlight the dangers of the K-pop industry and its rippling effects.

Though I’m sure many are waiting for the character development, which will really make this story shine.

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