I remember encountering Birth of a Beauty several years ago. I chanced an afternoon episode during my vacation leave. But I guess, I was occupied with another K drama. Hence, I totally forgot about it.

When the year started, I encountered Birth of a Beauty again. Thanks to my freelance works that forced me to remain awake until dawn. I discovered a local channel that aired late night reruns. Admittedly, I never expected anything from this K drama. In my mind, it might be another shallow and feel good series. But I ate my words. As days and my freelance works progressed, I look forward to every episode. Before I knew it, Han Tae Hee (Joo Sang-wook) and Sara (Han Ye-seul) already awakened my long buried cheesy romantic hormones. :p

Birth of a Beauty relates the story of Sa Geum-ran, a kind hearted and dutiful wife, betrayed by her husband and in laws. Sa Geum-ran was the perfect wife, but was despised because of her weight and physical appearance. Some tragic events happened, Sa Geum-ran eventually landed on the custody of Han Tae Hee. The initial plan was to transform Sa Geum-ran, through plastic surgery, and plot revenge against Lee Kang-joon (Sa Geum-ran’s husband) and Gyo Chae-yeon (love interest of Han Tae Hee). But as they say, life will always have other plans. I should say, better plans. :) Sa Geum-ran's beautiful transformation to Sara also meant Han Tae Hee's developing love interest.

At first, I was entertained by the Cinderella-like story of Sa Geum-ran to Sara. When she started to gain confidence and was ready to bounce back, I was already hooked with the series. The drama's main surprise happened between Han Tae Hee and Sara. Although it was already predictable because there were clues, especially when Han Tae Hee's glances to Sara started to convey a special meaning. Despite obvious hints, what attached me to this K drama was how Han Tae Hee cared for Sara. Gaaaaahd! I kept on saying that Han Tae Hee is not necessarily the handsomest Korean actor. However, his character won my heart all the time. It appeared to me that Han Tae Hee was intentionally created to entertain and give false hopes to every hopeless romantic soul. :p 

Other than Han Tae Hee, things I love about the drama include the always perfect setting in South Korea, how the actors including the villains developed and emphasis on the thought that character still wins over a pretty face. As much as I don't want to mention it, I have been both a witness and victim of people who used their physical attributes to earn a selfish advantage. Sara has been on both ends. The plot created a realistic depiction of why sometimes, great looks can't have it all. 

As for the weak side, I found minor flaws on some of the plot's elements. One was how Han Tae Hee's grandmother easily hated Sara. When Grandma was imprisoned, Sara exhausted all means to make her feel better.  I can't fathom why Grandma easily believed Gyo Chae-yeon's desperate stories without consulting Han Tae Hee. The Grandma's false accusations and baseless hatred to Sara actually shaped the concluding episodes. I also hated that Han Tae Hee did not discover the poison stories created by Gyo Chae-yeon against Sara.

In the end, I'm giving this K drama 5 out of 5 stars. Yes, it has minor flaws but Han Tae Hee's character and the plot's transition saved for everything. 

I have to mention, the OST of this K drama was one of the best. I particularly love Lee Haena's Dazzling and Gemini's Only I didn't know.