Julia Lurie is an American teaching English at an all-girls high school in Gwangju, a city in South
Korea. When she first got there, some things struck her as strange: On every floor of the school there was a full-length mirror, as well as a scale. And the girls used them constantly. They seemed openly preoccupied by their looks and their weight. South Korea, she finds out, has the highest per capita rate of plastic surgery in the world — some of her students had already had plastic surgery, and more were planning to get it. Julia tells what happened when she decided to teach a lesson on "beauty" to her students.
The birth of a city: This napkin drawing shows a map of Honduras. The dot is where a brand new city would be built, free of the country's ills.