One of the most interesting Kdramas of fall 2021 is Shadow Beauty. The 13 episode Kdrama is presently airing, and 8 episodes of aired so far. Shadow Beauty is adapted from the webcomic Geurimja Minyeo by A Heum. The Shadow Beauty shows the story of Goo Ae Jin, a high school student living a double life that no one knows about it.
In school, Goo Ae Jin is bullied by everyone for being not good looking. The bullies target her by treating her as ugly and sometimes taking her stuff away. The timid Goo Ae Jin never protests and lives her dual life as an internet icon Genie, who is beautiful and has many followers. Genie is popular as a social media influencer who does every kind of product advertisement and works secretly hiding her real identity.
Goo Ae Jin’s Dual Identity
Goo Ae Jin is one of the typical kids, have a secluded lifestyle, a typical outcast at school and at home. She doesn’t have a good relationship with her parents and often locks herself in her room while living her dual life as Genie.
While trying to live as Genie and holding a giveaway, she meets her one and only online friend Yang Ha Neul. Later Goo Ae Jin transfers to the same school as her friend, but she never recognises her.
A misunderstanding twists their relationship, and Ha Neul preys on Ae Jin as she continues bullying her. Yet Ae Jin never complains or retaliates against her.
Goo Ae Jin’s Loyal Friend Lee Jin Sung
As Genie, she is the most influential online persona who has many followers. In real life, she has only one friend in school. Lee Jin Suk, another outcast in the school, who’s soon to become a trainee idol, befriends Goo Ae Jin.
Goo Ae Jin and Lee Jin Suk became friends, and he’s the only person she didn’t want to lose. Yet temptation from Genie, even Lee Jin Suk betrayed her trust and that’s how their friendship ended. Later Lee Jin Suk transfers before their friendship abruptly end after he tries flirting with Genie.
Mysterious Person Blackmaliling Genie
It’s Goo Ae Jin’s bad luck. One thing’s for sure, you can’t hide a secret forever. Lies are hard to hard and one day they will get exposed. While on a friendly outing with her friend Lee Jin Suk, she tried to change and become Genie outside to post pictures and reviews to divert suspicion.
Who knew that a momentary decision will cost her dearly and her secret will be exposed. Someone saw Genie who was Goo Ae Jin and started blackmailing her into doing tricky things. Initially, due to coincidences, it looked like it was Lee Jin Suk, but surprise twist. It was the class president Kim Ho In who caught Go Ae Jin’s secret.
Kim Ho In & Yang Ha Neul
Another surprise awaits the Shadow Beauty. Yang Ha Neul was secretly dating Kim Ho In, who didn’t seem like was much interested in her. There’s something mysterious and creepy about Kim Ho In, who was resorting to blackmailing Genie/Goo Ae Jin.
Kim Ho In claims he’s the biggest fan of Genie, yet wants to manipulate her by monopolizing her. Great tactics indeed Kim Ho In. He tries to control her and makes her do his bidding, even at the expense of ignoring his not-so-girlfriend Yang Ha Neul. It’s kind of sad for both Yang Ha Neul and Goo Ae Jin, both controlled by Kim Ho In as his mere puppets.
What’s worse is that Yang Ha Neul is jealous of Goo Ae Jin as she gets close with Kim Ho In. it’s ironic as she follows Genie and shares everything with her, but in real life bullies her and humiliates her.
In a sense, it’s sad for Goo Ae Jin because she has to rely on photoshop skills and her virtual life to feel important or needed. However, it’s not Goo Ae Jin’s fault either, she does try to make efforts in her own way but maybe that’s not enough.
Now with Kim Ho In aware of her secrets, and literally at his back and call, Yang Ha Neul getting insecure and taking out on her. On top of that, a new face transfers to school having similar looks to Genie and is impersonating Genie.
Goo Ae Jin’s secret is safe for now but the future is unsure. Wonder how it will unfold in the remaining episodes left. Watch Shadow Beauty now streaming and enjoy. The Kdrama has less than 30 minutes duration for each episode, so it makes it even perfect for a binge session.