This Chosun Ilbo article brags about Kim Yun-Jin's ranking as the 88th Sexiest Woman, one spot above Lindsey Lohan, in Stuff magazine.
Now I'm not supporting these ranking (or the judging and quantifying of women or men on account of their physical appearance), however, I think it's another interesting venue through which to view manifestations of Korean nationalism. A Korean woman emerging as a celebrity, especially a beautiful celebrity, in the US is heralded as a victory for Korea -- another example of Korea's fixation with any example of Korean prominence in the international arena.
This also poses an interesting commentary on the evolution of gender expectations in Korea. Despite rapid changes in Korean society, the traditional cultural emphasis on chastity remains present, yet in this case (and many others) Kim Yun-Jin is given national praise for her sex appeal, complicating the expectations placed on Korean women.
Visiting Korea (or any Asian country) one easily notices the abundance of Caucasian models in advertisements, which to me, demonstrates the pervasiveness of the white standard of beauty. It is also evident that this standard is internalized by Korean women through skin whitening and eyelid crease-enhancing products. Given the prevalence of this standard, it's understandable that America's designation of Kim's appearance (albeit in an obscure magazine) as being beautiful is a victory for Korea, especially since ethnicity is such a part of Korean identity.
Still, even if it's a problematic designation in an obscure American magazine, I hope Kim Yun-Jin's international recognition as being beautiful will somehow chip away at the monolithic notion that white is somehow synonymous with beauty.