My ID is Gangnam Beauty develops a super cute pairing between the female lead character, Kang Mi Rae, and the male lead character, Do Kyung Seok. The lovable timidness and cuteness that Im Soo Hyang puts into her portrayal of Kang Mi Rae and Cha Eun Woo (of k-pop group, ASTRO) imparting his charm into the cool character of Do Kyung Seok had us hooked from Episode 1 and made the hour in each of the 16 episodes of the drama fly by for us. This super cute pairing is developed in an interesting drama focusing on appearance with a spotlight on plastic surgery in a university setting.
My ID is Gangnam Beauty’s female lead character, Kang Mi Rae, is seen as a beautiful person by her fellow university students. However, Kang Mi Rae wasn’t born beautiful. Before entering university, Kang Mi Rae’s original appearance got her ridiculed and she was an outcast.
When Kang Mi Rae was a child, her large size and love of food had kids poke fun at her. She was called a pig and they had fun making her act like a pig. This was throwing food at her and watching her retrieve it from where it landed. Kang Mi Rae did stand up to the kids who made fun of her, but standing up to them didn’t do anything to stop the bullies coming at her with worse and worse acts of bullying. This brought Kang Mi Rae to slim herself down with skipping meals and running a lot. The intensity of the acts of bullying decreased, but she was still someone who got rejected because her unattractive face remained. Kang Mi Rae came to learn about the unflattering nickname people gave her when she confessed to the guy she liked. This experience of confessing to the guy she liked made Kang Mi Rae realise she couldn’t love or be loved when this guy she confessed to didn’t want her confession. He demanded that she kept the fact of her liking him a secret.
During this period in Kang Mi Rae’s life, Kang Mi Rae had the want of being normal and be able to experience normal things. Not being able to be normal or experience normal things because of her unattractive face, she went as far as committing suicide. Fortunately, a stranger stopped Kang Mi Rae from doing this. This person who stopped Kang Mi Rae from committing suicide was Do Kyung Seok’s mother.
This experience of being bullied and rejected by people brings Kang Mi Rae to head into a plastic surgery clinic with her mum. Her mum wanted Kang Mi Rae to have a better time than the one she has been having since childhood. She wanted Kang Mi Rae to experience a new world with a pretty face. Plastic surgery was the way Kang Mi Rae’s mum saw as being able to achieve that want for Kang Mi Rae. So, Kang Mi Rae begins university with a new and beautiful face that makes guys turn their heads and stare at her beauty.
The cold and aloof type, the male lead character, Do Kyung Seok, is the most handsome guy in the ’18 year group Kang Mi Rae is in (maybe even the entire campus). He was the most handsome guy in the middle school Kang Mi Rae attended as well. Do Kyung Seok attended Kang Mi Rae’s school for 13 months before transferring. In this time, Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok didn’t have many interactions with each other during middle school. There were two occasions. One was during when they cleaned the school grounds. Do Kyung Seok had been annoyed at the perfume Kang Mi Rae was wearing. Kang Mi Rae saw the annoyance Do Kyung Seok expressed to be annoyance at her wearing the perfume. The other occasion was during when they both waited at the bus stop. Do Kyung Seok had laughed when he saw Kang Mi Rae dancing whilst sitting. These two moments had built up in Kang Mi Rae’s mind that Do Kyung Seok was one of them: he was someone who made fun of her. She comes to see she had gotten the wrong idea about Do Kyung Seok all this time when Do Kyung Seok reveals to her the thoughts behind those two times she thought he was being mean and making fun of her.
With just these brief and insignificant encounters during middle school, Do Kyung Seok was able to recognise Kang Mi Rae who had an entirely new face. At the ’18 Chemistry Department orientation, he saw the Kang Mi Rae who brought everyone up on the stage to dance along with her with her impressive dance skills to be the Kang Mi Rae from the middle school he went to. “It seemed like you,” was what Do Kyung Seok said after asking Kang Mi Rae if she was the Kang Mi Rae from the middle school he went to.
Kang Mi Rae’s beautiful face attracts unwanted attention. It comes from a senior student by the name of Kim Chan Woo (Oh Hee Joon). He is an annoying and terribly unlikable character with an eye for beautiful girls. He’s a sleazy older student from the ’13 year group who has a full of himself type personality. Kim Chan Woo takes interest in Kang Mi Rae after her demonstration of her impressive dance skills at orientation got everyone chanting her name. He then comes to be a bully to Kang Mi Rae. Kim Chan Woo abuses his title as a senior student of Kang Mi Rae’s year group to teach Kang Mi Rae a lesson. Kim Chan Woo going from being an admirer to a bully of Kang Mi Rae’s comes after Hyun Soo Ah (Jo Woo Ri) leads Kim Chan Woo on with making him believe he has a chance with her if Kang Mi Rae cleared up the issue preventing her from accepting him.
Hyun Soo Ah is a natural beauty. She hides the hate she has towards Kang Mi Rae. The hate is from Kang Mi Rae having a beautiful face that she got with plastic surgery. Hyun Soo Ah masks this hate with the pleasant and nice person front she presents to Kang Mi Rae and everyone else around her.
This nice and pleasant person front Hyun Soo Ah presents to everyone is something she learnt to do when she was younger. Hyun Soo Ah was someone who experienced what Kang Mi Rae experienced in her childhood years. She was someone who experienced being ridiculed and was an outcast during parts of her childhood years. She was ridiculed for having an appearance of being a beggar. Abandoned by her mother, she went to school looking dirty. Hyun Soo Ah’s schoolmates had expressed how gross Hyun Soo Ah was with playing games where Hyun Soo Ah was the gross dare the loser had to accept for losing. The dare for the loser to a rock, paper, scissors game was to kiss her. When Hyun Soo Ah cleaned up, though, she came to hear flattering things. They said she was pretty. She was cute. She heard someone say their friend liked her and she was the most prettiest in three grades. This brought Hyun Soo Ah to learn that to be loved, she had to be pretty and cute. She also had to be well-mannered, not be too smart, and always smile and laugh along in a kind and gentle way.
Hyun Soo Ah’s hate towards girls who’s beauty comes from having plastic surgery comes from the experience of having a close friend who was with average looks, but then became pretty after getting double eyelid surgery. This close friend of Hyun Soo Ah’s dated the guy she liked even when this close friend of hers knew she liked him. This brought Hyun Soo Ah to see girls who gets plastic surgery to have the purpose of becoming pretty to do something with that beauty.
These two things makes us understand why Hyun Soo Ah lies about living in an upper part of the city when she lives in a rather poor part of the city and why she presents herself with a pleasant and nice person front when she isn’t a very nice person underneath. This backstory to Hyun Soo Ah is told at a point in the drama when things start falling apart for Hyun Soo Ah. It makes Hyun Soo Ah less of a hatable character during this point in the drama where she’s shown to be someone who also experienced being ridiculed and being casted out by others. Until this point, though, Hyun Soo Ah is a character we loved to hate.
Hyun Soo Ah plays mean games with Kang Mi Rae and does it in a way that allows her to not lose the nice and pleasant person she’s got people believing she is. If her words and schemes don’t bring humiliation to Kang Mi Rae where instead the outcome has Kang Mi Rae look wronged, Hyun Soo Ah feigns her words that came out mean were unintentional and she apologises for inviting someone that made her so uncomfortable. Hyun Soo Ah doesn’t look mean to anyone and no one suspects her to have schemed to humiliate Kang Mi Rae because she’s a pleasant and nice person—no one except Do Kyung Seok, that is. Do Kyung Seok always spots the mean game Hyun Soo Ah plays with Kang Mi Rae. There’s also Kang Mi Rae’s best friend, Oh Hyun Jung (Do Min Hee), who can see Hyun Soo Ah’s mean nature. She finds Hyun Soo Ah’s actions to be not as innocent as they appear to be when Kang Mi Rae tells her about the things that happened to her.
There was one occasion where Hyun Soo Ah’s mean ways helped Kang Mi Rae out, though. This was when Hyun Soo Ah made Kim Chan Woo think he had a chance to be with her. We couldn’t see the reason why Hyun Soo Ah would approach a sleazy guy like Kim Chan Woo and make him think he had a chance with her (then reject him very soon after) until she goes to lead on another guy. She leads on the President of the Student Council, Goo Tae Young (Ryu Ki San). She obtains his interest and brings him to break up with Kim Tae Hee (Lee Ye Rim), the Secretary of the Student Council, of whom he secretly dated. From this, Hyun Soo Ah seems to play a game of stealing hearts. She gathers the guy’s interest then rejects them or feigning having done no such thing to lead them on. It’s to be seen as the most desirable girl amongst them all.
Do Kyung Seok is a guy Hyun Soo Ah is interested in. However, Do Kyung Seok has no interest in Hyun Soo Ah. He’s able to see that Hyun Soo Ah is not the pleasant and nice person she presents herself to be and he is able to see what she is doing with Kang Mi Rae no matter how subtle or crafty. He also sees what she’s doing with him as well.
The interest Hyun Soo Ah has towards Do Kyung Seok isn’t the typical interest. Hyun Soo Ah’s interest in Do Kyung Seok is image-related. Hyun Soo Ah sees Do Kyung Seok to be someone who gives whoever girl that becomes his girlfriend the title of the most beautiful and desirable girl. Kang Mi Rae is someone who Hyun Soo Ah sees as threatening her from losing that title. And we can see why. Do Kyung Seok always appears when Kang Mi Rae is harassed, he takes her drink for her in a drinking game, he reacts when she hurts herself, wants Kang Mi Rae to sit next to him in class and he’s often around Kang Mi Rae.
With the relationship that develops between Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok, it’s not hard to guess who, out of Do Kyung Seok and Kang Mi Rae, comes to like first when Do Kyung Seok is always looking out for Kang Mi Rae. It’s Do Kyung Seok! Do Kyung Seok has the obstacle of Kang Mi Rae only wanting to be with an average guy who’s okay with plastic surgery, is not rich and is not as tall or popular, though. All these qualities are none of what Do Kyung Seok has. Kang Mi Rae’s want to be with an average guy comes from not wanting to take on the pressure that comes with being with someone she isn’t visually compatible with. Kang Mi Rae feels convinced there will be negative attention and talk if she goes with someone who has above average and exceptional qualities like Do Kyung Seok. The people around Kang Mi Rae show her that this concern of hers might eventuate when they keep expressing how Do Kyung Seok and Hyun Soo Ah are a perfect match and they should be together because they look good together. ‘Look good together’ seems to mean that both Do Kyung Seok and Hyun Soo Ah have equalling beauty, natural beauty and—as Hyun Soo Ah leads people to believe—both have a wealthy family background as well. So, Do Kyung Seok has to overcome Kang Mi Rae’s concern over others seeing him and her not being visually compatible.
Do Kyung Seok also has to go up against Yeon Woo Young (Kwak Dong Yeon) who likes Kang Mi Rae as well. A graduate student and teacher’s assistant of Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok’s chemistry class, Yeon Woo Young is someone who initially became interested in Kang Mi Rae because of her beautiful face. However, he says he later came to like Kang Mi Rae’s person and character also. Yeon Woo Young has no issues with the fact that Kang Mi Rae’s beautiful face came about with plastic surgery, either. Yeon Woo Young is well-liked by everyone, is kind, cool and a free-flowing kind of guy. Though Yeon Woo Young is a love rival for Do Kyung Seok, the relationship between Yeon Woo Young and Do Kyung Seok grows to be a type of a brotherly relationship which gives us a sprinkling of bromance moments for the two.
Working in between the main plot around Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok is the plot surrounding Do Kyung Seok’s father which adds to the drama’s theme of appearance. Do Kyung Seok’s father is someone who doesn’t allow imperfections to emerge and tarnish the virtuous and perfect public image he’s created as a congressman looking to be elected. His children must be perfect as well. While Do Kyung Seok matches up to the perfect image he is happy to let everyone see, Do Kyung Hee (Kim Ji Min), Do Kyung Seok’s younger sister, has the flaw of being bad at studying and he has the want to hide it. He has a plan to send her abroad at a time that will not bring about rumours tarnishing his perfect image.
Do Kyung Seok’s father is also someone who has a very traditional view of how a family should be. He has a view of a women’s place being in the home and not in the workplace. Do Kyung Seok’s mother divorced him and left Do Kyung Seok and Do Kyung Hee with him after he struck her in the face that knocked her to the ground in a heated argument arguing about his want for her to be a housewife, while she wished to continue in building her career as a perfumer. The strike damaged Do Kyung Seok’s mother’s sense of smell. These events that occurred during Do Kyung Seok’s childhood years is hidden from the knowledge of Do Kyung Seok and Do Kyung Hee with a lie saying their mother had left them for another man.
With these episode summaries, we’ve recapped the main events around Kang Mi Rae, Do Kyung Seok and Hyun Soo Ah.
Episode 1 – “Beautiful Starting Today”
Kang Mi Rae begins her first day of university with a new and beautiful face. She catches the attention of Kim Chan Woo with a show of her impressive dance skills that brings everyone to dance along with her in a group dance. Kim Chan Woo leads Kang Mi Rae to a cozier place where he wants to have some one-on-one time with her. Do Kyung Seok spots this sight of Kim Chan Woo curiously leading Kang Mi Rae somewhere. In the moment where Kim Chan Woo stands in front of the door and begins to turn the door lock to stop Kang Mi Rae from leaving, Do Kyung Seok pushes the door into Kim Chan Woo from the other side and knocks him to the ground.
Kim Chan Woo leaves after he resigns to seeing Do Kyung Seok’s rudeness to be Do Kyung Seok in a drunken state. Do Kyung Seok asks Kang Mi Rae if she’s the Kang Mi Rae from the middle school he went to.
Episode 2 – “You Have to Be Pretty from the Start”
Hyun Soo Ah leads Kim Chan Woo on. She says she will cheer him on with his like towards Kang Mi Rae because he and her look good together. She mutters quietly, but loud enough for Kim Chan Woo to hear, “I’m a little sad, though.” Hearing this, Kim Chan Woo switches his interest from Kang Mi Rae to Hyun Soo Ah. At the moment Kang Mi Rae comes up with the words to reject him, Kim Chan Woo tells Kang Mi Rae they should just be friends.
Hyun Soo Ah makes Kim Chan Woo misunderstand Kang Mi Rae and brings her to hear Kim Chan Woo call her a plastic monster. When Kim Chan Woo goes to Hyun Soo Ah wanting to know if she wanted to date him, Hyun Soo Ah says they won’t work out because Kang Mi Rae is her friend and she can’t like someone her friend likes. Kim Chan Woo goes to Kang Mi Rae to sort the problem Hyun Soo Ah says is preventing him from dating her. Kang Mi Rae says she doesn’t want to date him and she never said those things Hyun Soo Ah said. These responses from Kang Mi Rae makes Kim Chan Woo feel Kang Mi Rae had been playing around with him. He orders Kang Mi Rae to tell Hyun Soo Ah she doesn’t care if she dated him. Kang Mi Rae sees no reason to do this and goes to leave, but Kim Chan Woo brings her back. He accuses Kang Mi Rae to be playing dumb and calls her a plastic monster who isn’t very uncommon in the Seoul district of Gangnam. Kim Chan Woo gets a knock to the head with Kang Mi Rae’s bag for the name calling. Kim Chan Woo on the ground, Kang Mi Rae fires him questions of what right he has to curse at her and what it was that she has done wrong.
Episode 3 – “You Don’t Even Know”
Kim Chan Woo wants payback for Kang Mi Rae’s disrespect. He calls the ’18 year group to gather on the field. The dozen or so people who show up (they include Kang Mi Rae and Hyun Soo Ah, but not Do Kyung Seok) is ordered to head to the toilets after Song Jung Ho (Choi Sung Won)—a second year male student—warns him of an undesirable outcome of photos being taken of him harassing the juniors and then uploaded if he continues what he’s doing out here.
Kim Chan Woo singles Kang Mi Rae out with an instruction for all girls to leave except Kang Mi Rae. This command comes after his eyes find Hyun Soo Ah in the group and the look he has shows him wishing to keep Hyun Soo Ah out of what he wants to do with Kang Mi Rae. Kim Chan Woo provides the reason of not messing with girls except girls who has had work done on their face to single Kang Mi Rae out of the group of girls he excuses. He says plastic girls who think they’re pretty deserves to be taught a lesson because you can discern a person’s character by their look.
The remaining students (the guys) still standing with Kang Mi Rae gets excused after Kang Mi Rae challenges Kim Chan Woo with asking what it was that they have done wrong and what it was that she has done wrong. Kang Mi Rae gets held by the collar. Kim Chan Woo says she should be getting on her knees and beg for forgiveness. Song Jung Ho and Yoo Eun (Park Yoo Na)—a first year female student who is a department representative—comes in to try persuading Kim Chan Woo to stop with his ways after Kim Chan Woo speaks words wondering if he should return Kang Mi Rae’s face back to her original one. Kim Chan Woo shows there is no one present in the bathroom who is able to stop him from acting out his hate on Kang Mi Rae when he scares both Yoo Eun and Song Jung Ho away with a bark at Yoo Eun to go away and a shove and a hit to the face to Song Jung Ho.
Kim Chan Woo continues to be able to release his fury on Kang Mi Rae for only a bit longer before Do Kyung Seok enters and gives Kim Chan Woo the treatment he directed at Kang Mi Rae (and more). Kim Chan Woo gets left unconscious in the toilet cubicle with a mop over his head. When Yeon Woo Young is informed of the situation, there isn’t any more harassment seen coming from Kim Chan Woo to Kang Mi Rae. Yeon Woo Young had told Kim Chan Woo he would ruin any future prospects of jobs by gathering information on his bad character if he harassed the juniors again.
Episode 4 – “Destined People Will Meet One Way or Another”
Kang Mi Rae meets Na Hye Sung, CEO of the fragrance brand Kang Mi Rae likes at the brand’s fragrance sampling event. Na Hye Sung is the person who introduced Kang Mi Rae to the love of perfume and was the person who saved her from committing suicide. Na Hye Sung is Do Kyung Seok’s mother who Do Kyung Seok has not been in contact with since she left the family when he was a young boy. Do Kyung Seok has a chance meeting with his mother when Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok’s mother go have some drinks after the fragrance event. Do Kyung Seok is not happy to see his mother.
Episode 5 – “The Face Genius’ Counterattack”
Kang Mi Rae learns Do Kyung Seok was not one of those people in middle school who treated her badly. The laughing he did at the bus stop when she was dancing whilst sitting was finding her dancing feet funny. This was the one and only time he smiled in middle school. The perfume she wore that he pointed out when cleaning the school grounds was a dislike of the scent due to remembering watching his mother sitting in front of the mirror and spraying the perfume like a crazy person.
The university has their yearly festival and the Chemistry department has the tradition of getting pretty girls to be servers for their food and drinks stall. Kang Mi Rae is convinced to help out as one of the servers. The uniform they wear is a short skirt and tight shoulder-less top. Kang Mi Rae feels uncomfortable in the uniform. The female students look on Kang Mi Rae, Hyun Soo Ah and Lee Ji Hyo (Jung Hye Rin) in the figure-hugging and suggestive uniforms uncomfortably.
Episode 6 – “The Face Genius’ Counterattack Part 2”
Kang Mi Rae’s middle school schoolmate appears at the festival. Park Yong Cheol (Ha Kyung)—a guy Hyun Soo Ah schemed to make a connection with and invited to the festival—makes it difficult for Kang Mi Rae. He lets everyone know she confessed to him in middle school. He deliberately lets everyone know the unflattering nickname she had in middle school, clueing everyone to her previous unflattering appearance. Park Yong Cheol is seen as a jerk when Kang Mi Rae says for him to remember her unflattering nickname whenever he looked down and harassed people because of their appearance. Hyun Soo Ah dismisses Park Yong Cheol as a jerk and apologises to Kang Mi Rae. The apology comes with a criticism in disguise: some people are desperate; some appearances are painful to have.
Do Kyung Seok brings himself to be a participant in a speed dating game where Kang Mi Rae, Hyun Soo Ah and Lee Ji Hyo was pulled over to join two guys already sitting and waiting to play. Do Kyung Seok makes a request to the host to be allowed to pick the person he wanted to go with prior to the start of the game. The host asks who it is that he has taken interest in. Do Kyung Seok points to Kang Mi Rae. Kang Mi Rae stunned by Do Kyung Seok’s action, she fails to notice the cup of drink on the table slowly travelling towards her. The drink ultimately tips and soaks Kang Mi Rae’s top. Both Do Kyung Seok and Hyun Soo Ah offer to accompany Kang Mi Rae to get a change of clothes. Kang Mi Rae picks to go with Do Kyung Seok. They head to the student common room to find something for Kang Mi Rae to change into.
With a faulty door lock, Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok finds themselves locked inside the student common room. Though Do Kyung Seok gives her the privacy to change with looking out the window some distance from the corner she hides from his view, Kang Mi Rae finds it uncomfortable changing with Do Kyung Seok present in the room.
Episode 7 – “A Male Friend”
Do Kyung Seok asks Kang Mi Rae if they could’ve been good friends in middle school if she hadn’t gotten the wrong idea about him. This question confuses Kang Mi Rae. She can’t see why he would’ve wanted to be friends with her when there were many pretty girls who he could’ve been friends with. Do Kyung Seok gets himself in a hole when he responds with saying he didn’t care about beauty. Kang Mi Rae wonders if it therefore means he thought she had been ugly. Do Kyung Seok says she’s funny and he uses the dancing feet to explain himself when she asked if by funny he means she’s funny because she was ugly. This conversation which had deviated from the original topic, Do Kyung Seok brings it back with letting Kang Mi Rae know he thinks of her as a friend of his. With the description that Kang Mi Rae had earlier used to describe him when he was in middle school, he says to Kang Mi Rae he is no longer an outcast (a voluntary one, Kang Mi Rae had described him to be) because, “I have a friend now. I have you.”
Do Kyung Seok’s wealthy family background and family situation becomes gossip around the campus. With his phone having an article up detailing information about his father’s campaign with a bit on his family, and with Hyun Soo Ah being the one to return his phone which he had left at the speed dating stall to him, Do Kyung Seok points to Hyun Soo Ah as the one to have schemed to bring about the gossip. He later finds the gossip was started by another. Hyun Soo Ah gets an apology from Do Kyung Seok and she uses this opportunity to have Do Kyung Seok know she has something in common with him. She has the absence of a mother in her life in common with him.
Do Kyung Seok moves out of the house after he finds out his father had been feeding him a lie for the reason his mother left them all. He learns it wasn’t because of another man. It was because his father brought a blow to his mother’s career in making perfumes with a hit to her face that caused her to lose her sense of smell. The hit came about from escalating arguments his father and mother had over his father’s desire for his mother to be a housewife while his mother wished to continue building her career as a perfumer. Do Kyung Seok’s father gives this information to Do Kyung Seok after Do Kyung Seok’s visit to see his mother at the hospital. Kang Mi Rae had notified Do Kyung Seok of his mother being in the hospital for becoming sick from eating spoiled food she couldn’t smell.
Episode 8 – “Basic Instincts”
Do Kyung Seok and Kang Mi Rae head to the movies for an assignment Do Kyung Seok treats as a date. Having no money after moving out of his father’s house, Do Kyung Seok borrows money from his friend to cover the expenses for the evening at the movies, dinner at a pasta place and fares to get home.
The restaurant Do Kyung Seok picks to eat at has a menu of dishes with prices that make him worry he may be short of money if Kang Mi Rae didn’t choose cheaply. Kang Mi Rae does choose cheaply and Do Kyung Seok resumes having a nice dinner with Kang Mi Rae.
Do Kyung Seok wants to know a bit about Kang Mi Rae. He wants to see Kang Mi Rae’s handwriting to know what it looks like. He wants to know when her birthday is. Kang Mi Rae reveal neither. She doesn’t want to let Do Kyung Seok know when her birthday is because she doesn’t want to get her hopes up. Do Kyung Seok says she can’t let Yeon Woo Young know her birthday either then.
Do Kyung Seok worries about being short of money again after dinner when rain comes down. Kang Mi Rae saves Do Kyung Seok from worrying about fares for a taxi that he doesn’t have when she goes to a nearby convenience store and buys the one remaining umbrella there. They walk home together.
With the umbrella not big enough to comfortably shield them both, Do Kyung Seok gives Kang Mi Rae the option of either walking close to him so both of them will be sheltered from the rain or walk far apart from him and he will let himself be soaked by the rain whilst he fully sheltered her. Kang Mi Rae chooses to walk closely next to him.
Do Kyung Seok notices Kang Mi Rae isn’t wearing any perfume after he lets Kang Mi Rae know he has visited his mother at the hospital and it was a visit that went okay. Kang Mi Rae explains she doesn’t wear a lot of perfume these days. Do Kyung Seok wonders if this is because he dislikes it. Kang Mi Rae says it isn’t because he dislikes it. The purpose of Do Kyung Seok noticing Kang Mi Rae not wearing perfume seems to be to say that Do Kyung Seok is now okay with his mother after having learnt the truth about what made his mother leave the family. He tells Kang Mi Rae to wear ‘that’ perfume—’that’ perfume being the one he expressed annoyance towards Kang Mi Rae wearing back in middle school, the one that reminded him of his mother spraying perfume like a crazy person.
This walk home has Kang Mi Rae realise she can’t think of Do Kyung Seok as just a male friend. She says she will have a heart disease at this rate.
Episode 9 – “A 20-Year-Old’s Survival Story”
Having moved out of his father’s house after finding out about the truth about why his mother left them, and temporarily staying at a small room located in his friend’s bar, Do Kyung Seok finally has his living situation sorted. He moves into Yeon Woo Young’s place. However, he needs money to pay for the rent, feed the hunger he feels and be able to afford bus fares. Hyun Soo Ah directs Do Kyung Seok to the coffee shop she works at. Despite having no position available and Do Kyung Seok lacking experience in serving customers, Do Kyung Seok is hired upon Hyun Soo Ah’s special request. Do Kyung Seok, however, turns the job offer down immediately after overhearing a staff member feeling he will be fired because the boss hires based on appearance and he was the most inferior in terms of appearance out of the other staff members.
Do Kyung Seok finds out Kang Mi Rae’s alcohol limit is three glasses after joining Kang Mi Rae and his mother for some food and drinks at a restaurant before going back to Yeon Woo Young’s place for a second round of drinks. Kang Mi Rae is down and out at Yeon Woo Young’s place after the last glass. When Do Kyung Seok and Yeon Woo Young asks Do Kyung Seok’s mother to place Kang Mi Rae on their back so they can bring her back to her place, Do Kyung Seok’s mother asks Yeon Woo Young to help her put Kang Mi Rae on Do Kyung Seok’s back. Being the one to carry Kang Mi Rae back to her place, Do Kyung Seok shows a small expression of victory before he takes Kang Mi Rae back to her place. The next morning, Do Kyung Seok says to Kang Mi Rae to not drink more than three glasses of alcohol when he’s not around. The reason: he doesn’t want any other guy carrying her.
Episode 10 – “It’s Okay If I’m Your Boyfriend”
Do Kyung Seok says to Kang Mi Rae it’s not bad to say he’s her boyfriend around people who bother her. Do Kyung Seok shoos away a young male stranger on the bus asking Kang Mi Rae if they could follow each other on social media with saying he’s her boyfriend.
Do Kyung Seok follows Kang Mi Rae to a job interview and lands the job to be sales assistants at an interior furniture store. Do Kyung Seok goes out of his way to make himself known to Kang Mi Rae’s parents when they visit Kang Mi Rae at work. He introduces himself as Kang Mi Rae’s closest friend in her department. Kang Mi Rae’s parents are impressed Kang Mi Rae is able to make friends with such a handsome guy now. Kang Mi Rae’s parents hear two females call Kang Mi Rae a ‘Gangnam Beauty’ on their way out of the furniture store. Misunderstanding the term to be something great, they are over the moon to hear that their daughter is beautiful like the many beautiful women they see in Gangnam.
Hyun Soo Ah wants to work where Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok works at. Kang Mi Rae agrees to look into it for Hyun Soo Ah. Hyun Soo Ah also wants Kang Mi Rae’s help with Do Kyung Seok because she likes him. Hyun Soo Ah isn’t happy when Kang Mi Rae says she doesn’t need her help in this. Kang Mi Rae realises Hyun Soo Ah has hated her all along when Hyun Soo Ah expresses plastic surgery being something that makes beauty become less of a rare thing and plastic surgery being something that harms those born with the beauty.
Episode 11 – “Your ID is Gangnam Beauty”
Do Kyung Seok gets brought into the police station for throwing punches at a male coworker who Do Kyung Seok didn’t like the way he talked about Kang Mi Rae. It was a talk where the coworker wondered what else Kang Mi Rae had fixed and he spoke about Kang Mi Rae’s chest. The male coworker backs down from wanting an apology from Do Kyung Seok after the interior furniture store manager offers to be a witness for the harassment on Kang Mi Rae when another female worker informed him she had also been harassed by that male coworker as well.
Do Kyung Seok asks Kang Mi Rae if it’s okay for him to continue to care even if it isn’t with his fists. Kang Mi Rae responding to him with saying that things like what he had just said will make her misunderstand his meaning, Do Kyung Seok asks Kang Mi Rae if she has any like towards him.
Episode 12 – “Do You Like Me?”
Kang Mi Rae says to Do Kyung Seok she has no feelings towards him. He is a friend to her. Following the rejection, Do Kyung Seok turns up to class with his hair accented with a blue colour. Everyone’s feeling is that something has happened to cause Do Kyung Seok—a guy who is known to not care about appearances—to suddenly care about his appearance. When Kang Mi Rae coincidentally bumps into him after class and looks up at the change of hair colour in curiosity, Do Kyung Seok says the hair colour change was a way to earn more money.
A period of separation between Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok takes place. Both sign up to a program offered by Do Kyung Seok’s mother’s fragrance company to learn about making fragrances.
Kang Mi Rae catches sight of a hug Hyun Soo Ah gives to Do Kyung Seok. Hyun Soo Ah wants Do Kyung Seok to see if he feels something for her because the like she has for him is genuine and not a trick like he sees her like to be. “You need help,” Do Kyung Seok tells Hyun Soo Ah before he goes to catch up to Kang Mi Rae who walked away hastily after spotting him and Hyun Soo Ah in that private moment.
Do Kyung Seok makes his feelings clear to Kang Mi Rae. He straightforwardly says to her he likes her and wants them to start dating. Kang Mi Rae rejects Do Kyung Seok again. She fears life will become difficult for her from the talk that comes with someone like her being with someone like him. Kang Mi Rae goes to confirm the realisation Do Kyung Seok has after receiving this explanation Kang Mi Rae gives to him to reject him for the second time. From the beginning, he had no chance of being accepted by her.
Do Kyung Seok catches sight of Yeon Woo Young with Kang Mi Rae and he looks on with jealousy. The distance Do Kyung Seok is from Kang Mi Rae and Yeon Woo Young has him see it as a tender moment between the two. It’s, however, a moment where Yeon Woo Young tries to make Kang Mi Rae feel better after rejecting his confession.
Episode 13 – “This Is My First Love”
Hyun Soo Ah announces to everyone she likes Do Kyung Seok. Do Kyung Seok expresses to Hyun Soo Ah it’s not hard for him to hate someone, but she’s making him hate her. He sees her like towards him as safeguarding her title of being a goddess. He poses her the question of whether he should announce to everyone that he likes Kang Mi Rae just like how she announced liking him.
Kang Mi Rae confronts Hyun Soo Ah and lets her know she now sees the things she had done in the past with Kim Chan Woo and Park Yong Cheol to be with the purpose of showing her she was ugly and that she was inferior to her natural beauty. Kang Mi Rae tells Hyun Soo Ah that she can now see that all the things that she has been doing was to remain being the number one and most desirable girl amongst them all. Kang Mi Rae wants her to stop disturbing Do Kyung Seok’s life with preventing him from dating anyone for this need she has to keep this title of being the number one girl. Hyun Soo Ah loses her ability to maintain her pleasant and nice front she has been presenting to everyone when Kang Mi Rae points out she and her are similar. They are similar in that she once forced herself to throw up just like how she caught her doing so in the bathroom earlier.
Do Kyung Seok finds out Kang Mi Rae rejected Yeon Woo Young after Yeon Woo Young reveals it in a mumble of words in his drunk state. Do Kyung Seok calls Kang Mi Rae to meet to confirm. Kang Mi Rae confirms it and she tells Do Kyung Seok her true feelings. She likes him.
From this point onwards, Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok are dating. However, Kang Mi Rae wishes to keep this fact about them dating a secret.
Hyun Soo Ah wants truce with Do Kyung Seok. She lets Do Kyung Seok know she has told everyone he rejected her and wishes for them to be normal around each other with at least greeting each other. Do Kyung Seok neither agrees or disagrees to do so. Hyun Soo Ah asks if he’s dating Kang Mi Rae now. Do Kyung Seok doesn’t respond to the curiosity, keeping his promise to Kang Mi Rae to keep their relationship a secret. Kang Mi Rae tells Hyun Soo Ah they are dating.
Episode 14 – “A Secretive Beginning”
The secret dating Kang Mi Rae wants, Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok have a difficult time spending an evening out together at a pasta restaurant. Two of their fellow university students, Kim Tae Hee and Kwon Yoon Byul (Bae Da Bin), come into the restaurant after Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok have already ordered their meals and after Kang Mi Rae had gone to the bathroom. Their time at the restaurant ends up with Do Kyung Seok going over to Kim Tae Hee and Kwon Yoon Byul’s table and making conversation with them to allow Kang Mi Rae to slip out without being seen.
Kang Mi Rae’s parents turn up unexpectedly at the time Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok decide to spend an evening together at Kang Mi Rae’s place with her roomie, Oh Hyun Jung, elsewhere. Do Kyung Seok patiently waits at a park bench after a trip to the cake store to get some cake and non-alcoholic drinks for them. After a bit of a wait, Kang Mi Rae gives Do Kyung Seok the okay to come to her place.
Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok makes scented candles. During this time, Kang Mi Rae is given the answer to a question she asks Do Kyung Seok. She asks Do Kyung Seok when it was that he began to like her. It was at orientation at the time when he saw Kim Chan Woo harassing her, Do Kyung Seok tells Kang Mi Rae. Do Kyung Seok burns his fingers on the hot metal surface of the candle making container. As Kang Mi Rae helps Do Kyung Seok cool the burn down with water at the kitchen sink, he notices the perfume she sprayed around the place. He tells Kang Mi Rae he used to hate the perfume’s fragrance, but he now likes it.
Hyun Soo Ah suddenly finds herself being a victim of someone secretly taking unsavory pictures of her and circulating them around the Internet.
Episode 15 – “My Boyfriend Is Do Kyung Seok”
Hyun Soo Ah experiences some gossip surrounding her activity of eating and throwing up her food to keep slim.
The laboratory tutor provides Kang Mi Rae the opportunity to make her relationship with Do Kyung Seok known to everyone when she says to Kang Mi Rae she can make a couples fragrance—a comment she said as she spotted the stares and smiles going between Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok. Kang Mi Rae initially denies being involved with someone where she could make a couples fragrance, but she goes back on it and says to the tutor that what she had seen was correct. Do Kyung Seok follows it up with revealing to everyone that Kang Mi Rae is his girlfriend. The reaction to the news is positive: they look good together.
Do Kyung Seok and Kang Mi Rae go down memory lane. They dress in their school uniforms and eat together at a place popular with high schoolers. They visit their old middle school. Do Kyung Seok gives Kang Mi Rae the opportunity to experience cheering on her boyfriend playing basketball from the bleachers. Do Kyung Seok is a famous guy of the middle school he and Kang Mi Rae went to. A couple of schoolgirls who were present cheering on the other guys in the basketball game spoke of Do Kyung Seok as being ‘The Legendary Handsome Guy’ who used to go to their school. The outing ends with a movie which brings Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok to Kang Mi Rae’s family home after failing to catch the last bus to get back to their places.
Do Kyung Seok kisses Kang Mi Rae to show her he does still like her and likes her a lot after Kang Mi Rae shows anxiety towards him possibly changing his mind if he got the opportunity to be reminded of how unattractive her original face had been.
This comes after Do Kyung Seok had spotted a picture in the room of Kang Mi Rae with her original face. Kang Mi Rae had chased Do Kyung Seok around the room to stop him from catching a glimpse of her picture. She managed to get her picture back without Do Kyung Seok getting a glimpse of it and stored it safely out of sight in a drawer. However, after Do Kyung Seok had said “you are just you” when Kang Mi Rae asked him if he would’ve ever liked her if she kept her old face, Kang Mi Rae allowed Do Kyung Seok to see the picture after he added how he still would like to see her original face again. This brought Kang Mi Rae to get the picture out of the drawer and nervously allowed Do Kyung Seok to see it for three seconds.
Episode 16 – “You Never Know with Life”
Hyun Soo Ah is confronted by the person who took photos of her. He stands outside her place with a bottle of liquid that he intends to use to ruin her beautiful face. He is Chung Dong Woon (Ham Sung Min)—a male student in the same department as the group. He has been misunderstanding the few pleasant greetings from Hyun Soo Ah, a suggestion to take a picture of him too when a fellow student wanted to take her picture, accepting the bottle of drink he anonymously left for her and coincidentally naming a stray cat she feeds with his name to be Hyun Soo Ah suggesting she liked him as well.
Kang Mi Rae finds Hyun Soo Ah terrified to look into the phone she holds out to have her see her beautiful face is still there. The liquid Chung Dong Woon splashed at Hyun Soo Ah’s face was nothing but water. Kang Mi Rae eventually manages to get Hyun Soo Ah to see that her beautiful face is still beautiful. When Kang Mi Rae goes to help Hyun Soo Ah up, she is told to stop. Hyun Soo Ah is not pleased that Kang Mi Rae is the one to have come to her aid. She wants Kang Mi Rae to stop pretending to be better than her and being happier than her. Exhausted with Hyun Soo Ah’s hate towards her, Kang Mi Rae also tells Hyun Soo Ah how much she hates her as well. She annoys her because she can’t get through to her. She resigns to admitting that she wasn’t happy because she was ugly. She wasn’t pretty and got plastic surgery. However, Kang Mi Rae asks Hyun Soo Ah if she’s happy because she’s pretty. Kang Mi Rae gives examples of her losing weight and throwing up despite her being pretty. Kang Mi Rae tells Hyun Soo Ah that she won’t continue to go on in the way she has been. She will instead seriously think about what makes her happy.
Hyun Soo Ah makes peace with her hate towards Kang Mi Rae. She sees Kang Mi Rae at her side when she wakes up at the hospital. She hears from Yoo Eun (Yoo Eun has been giving Hyun Soo Ah support when Hyun Soo Ah started experiencing difficulties) that Kang Mi Rae had been very happy she had made a friend who was so beautiful because it made Kang Mi Rae feel as if she was pretty herself. We’re shown Hyun Soo Ah makes peace with Kang Mi Rae with anonymously leaving a gift of the perfume Kang Mi Rae loves on the table during a moment where Kang Mi Rae is seen napping in her seat in an empty lecture theatre.
Hyun Soo Ah and Do Kyung Seok part amicably. Hyun Soo Ah lets Do Kyung Seok know she will be taking a leave of absence from university and they won’t be seeing each other anymore. Hyun Soo Ah also lets Do Kyung Seok know—rather, confirm what he has known all along—that she doesn’t like him and she has never liked him for one second.
Kang Mi Rae gives Do Kyung Seok a surprise birthday party at a café. It’s a party with just the two of them. She sings the birthday song for him. Do Kyung Seok is a little embarrassed with the attention coming towards them. Kang Mi Rae gives him a birthday gift. She gives him a hoodie. The two head to the location where Kang Mi Rae had recuperated after having plastic surgery—the place where Kang Mi Rae slowly became beautiful. Here, Kang Mi Rae expresses to Do Kyung Seok that she no longer ranked people’s faces. She realises that people aren’t all that interested in her, either. Meanwhile, Do Kyung Seok says he wishes to propose to her at this place one day. He says this place is one that never changes or disappear unlike a café.
At the university campus, Kang Mi Rae and Do Kyung Seok walk together as a couple wearing matching hoodies. Kang Mi Rae wonders if she’s gone overboard with buying herself a hoodie matching the one she bought for Do Kyung Seok. She wonders this after someone expressed being jealous of the two and another wondering if the two were on their honeymoon. “Who cares? Do everything you want to do,” Do Kyung Seok responds.
We don’t know how many times we said, “So cuuuuute!” when watching My ID is Gangnam Beauty. The huge amount of cute scenes in this drama, how can we not?! All of them comes from Do Kyung Seok’s actions towards Kang Mi Rae. So, it’s Do Kyung Seok never failing to pay attention to the things going on around Kang Mi Rae. If he sees Kang Mi Rae, you bet he will pop around to see what’s happening over where Kang Mi Rae is because Kang Mi Rae is there. If she’s being harassed, he’s there to say something to tell the person off or do something if they lay a hand on her. If there’s a possibility she will go off with a male stranger, he will insert himself in and make sure the guy doesn’t have a chance. When she’s injured, he’s alarmed and wants to assess the injury. Do Kyung Seok is also the one who wants to be friends first, is the one who likes first (it was surprising he started liking Kang Mi Rae so early on!) and confesses first.
It’s also his character. Do Kyung Seok doesn’t smile much. He has a neutral expression pretty much all the time. So, when Do Kyung Seok lets a small smile cross his lips because he’s happy with either the response Kang Mi Rae gave him or he’s happy that Kang Mi Rae is happy or just happy for another reason like seeing his pay show in his bank account—it’s so cute! Cute, cute, cute! :oD :oD
Though we didn’t initially pick to watch My ID is Gangnam Beauty because we didn’t know how a drama that has the female lead character going from unattractive to beautiful with plastic surgery as the main focus of the story would go, we are glad we decided to watch the drama in the end. We would’ve missed such a great drama with such a cute pairing if we didn’t ever end up watching this drama!! There’s also a great theme that the drama focused on and there was a great ensemble of characters that helped bring that through. My ID is Gangnam Beauty has been an awesome watch for us.
Favourite, Memorable, Lovable Moments
There were sooo many great moments in the drama that we loved so much! These are the ones we remember a lot!
Do Kyung Seok catching Kang Mi Rae
There were two moments where Do Kyung Seok catches Kang Mi Rae and supports her from a possible fall. We found them interesting when we compare them. One was in Episode 2 and the other one was in Episode 9.
The one in Episode 2 was during an event where Do Kyung Seok trips Kim Chan Woo for being his asshole self. It was after Kang Mi Rae returned from the bathroom and went back to Kim Chan Woo to reject him, but Kim Chan Woo goes to reject Kang Mi Rae instead because Hyun Soo Ah had approached Kim Chan Woo and said things that made him think he had a chance with her.
Do Kyung Seok didn’t like how Kim Chan Woo was during this moment, we guess, and so we see Do Kyung Seok extending a leg out as Kim Chan Woo passed his table. Kim Chan Woo unflatteringly falls. The reaction Kim Chan Woo has towards Do Kyung Seok tripping him is uncontrollable anger (rolls eyes) with swinging punches (which Do Kyung Seok coolly evades) and bringing in furniture (a seat) to hit Do Kyung Seok when none of his punches land on Do Kyung Seok, not even a sneaky one. Kang Mi Rae gets in between to try persuade Kim Chan Woo to stop the dangerous behaviour, but she gets shoved away. This has her travelling unsteadily backwards. Do Kyung Seok supports Kang Mi Rae and stops her from being harmed. The way Do Kyung Seok did it was interesting: his hand was in a position that’s just good enough to support Kang Mi Rae. It faced out and not touching Kang Mi Rae’s waist.
Meanwhile, the one in Episode 9, Do Kyung Seok’s arm is around Kang Mi Rae’s waist and hand is touching. This catch came in the moment where Kang Mi Rae lost her balance (or maybe hurt her foot and so she became unbalanced) during when she showed Do Kyung Seok how she flattens cans before putting them into the recycling bin.
Comparing Do Kyung Seok’s actions towards Kang Mi Rae at the beginning when his like for Kang Mi Rae hasn’t formed yet with those actions of his after his like for Kang Mi Rae has formed is extremely fun. Seeing these little details showing the change in attitude Do Kyung Seok has towards Kang Mi Rae at the beginning and a little further down is fun to watch with it showing how far his feelings has come. Love it!
Drunk Kang Mi Rae guides herself with pointing ‘straight’
Episode 5: We can see why Do Kyung Seok recalls this moment. The method Kang Mi Rae uses to keep herself straight is very cute! This moment has a brief time-stopping moment for Kang Mi Rae. Though Kang Mi Rae does an okay job in keeping herself straight, she doesn’t really do well in watching out for traffic. Do Kyung Seok had to stop Kang Mi Rae from walking into traffic. Kang Mi Rae sobers right up after the pull Do Kyung Seok does towards him to stop her from walking into traffic. She comes to be pretty close to him. Yeah, you would sober up with that! It’s nerve-racking being so up close to such a cute and handsome guy. Hehe.
No way out, but towards Do Kyung Seok
Episode 5: Kang Mi Rae spots Do Kyung Seok by the vending machine. He’s handsomely drinking a can of drink and Kang Mi Rae gets lost in the sight. Do Kyung Seok turns and catches her gaze. It snaps Kang Mi Rae out of her daze and she turns around to try escaping. However, some guys towing some festival gear on trolleys force her to head backwards until she is within speaking range with Do Kyung Seok.
Haha. Kang Mi Rae HAS to be next to Do Kyung Seok!! No escaping.
Kang Mi Rae’s drinking straw chopsticks
Episode 8: Kang Mi Rae brings out her drinking straws to use as chopsticks to grab popcorn. This sight has Do Kyung Seok look at Kang Mi Rae with an expression that looks something like being confused, maybe also finding Kang Mi Rae strange and not really all that impressed with her quirky drinking straw chopsticks. The reason Kang Mi Rae used these chopsticks made out of drinking straws is to prevent the moment that she says happens commonly during a date at the movies. She wanted to prevent any chance of a moment where their hands touch when they reach in at the same time to grab popcorn.
We like how Kang Mi Rae shows how amused she is at herself for being super smart with coming up with her ingenious idea with the drinking straw chopsticks to stop skin contact between her and Do Kyung Seok. Kang Mi Rae is cute!
“Wait your turn. I’m still throwing my garbage out.”
Episode 9: Do Kyung Seok is constantly in Kang Mi Rae’s way as he throws out his garbage at the same time Kang Mi Rae is throwing hers out. She showed she didn’t know what to do with herself every time Do Kyung Seok chucked something into the bin which brought him to become very close to her. Kang Mi Rae withstood it for some moments before she couldn’t take Do Kyung Seok being really close to her. Wait your turn, she told him. After this, Do Kyung Seok simply moved away and continued recycling.
Haha. Do Kyung Seok really was doing it on purpose, wasn’t he? He was making use of the activity to give him an excuse to be near Kang Mi Rae! Cute!
“Do you not like hamburgers? Why are you eating like that?”
Episode 15: Kang Mi Rae isn’t able to eat her hamburger normally in front of Do Kyung Seok. The hamburger is too wide, so Kang Mi Rae just picks at it with her fingers. Do Kyung Seok says he will turn around so she can eat normally. Kang Mi Rae takes a big bite. Do Kyung Seok turns back around. Kang Mi Rae has her mouth full and she gets a drink to help her get the big bite of hamburger to go down easier. The sight makes Do Kyung Seok say, “You’re cute.”
Do Kyung Seok saying “you’re cute” to Kang Mi Rae was cute. Kang Mi Rae with her mouth full was cute. This scene was full of cuteness!