Anne Lheem

Anne Lheem

Social Anthropology
Class of 2022
Anne Lheem

Hi everyone! My name is Anne, and I am a senior at the College studying social anthropology (concentration) and global health and health policy (secondary). I hail from a small town in North Carolina, where I grew up for most of my life before college, but usually (in non-COVID times) reside in the wonderful Eliot House on campus. As an anthropologist-in-training, I am interested in questions around bodily aesthetics, cultural constructions and histories of beauty norms, body modification practices (especially cosmetic surgery), and cultural psychiatry, specifically regarding the cultural dimensions of feeding and eating disorders. Beyond the fieldwork I conduct in South Korea on plastic surgery and South Korean beauty norms, I am more broadly passionate about all things related to global mental health, health and education equity, and decolonizing academia. Outside of my academic work, I am engaged in health activism, education non-profit work, mental health peer counseling, epidemiological research, running (outside only, I despise treadmills), and dancing (including choreographing) of all styles. Would love to meet you and chat about any/all of your interests, in anthropology and beyond!

Research Interests

Anthropology of the body, cultural constructions of beauty standards/norms, plastic surgery, gender politics (especially in the East Asian context), South Korean feminisms, global feminisms, global mental health, cultural psychiatry, eating disorders Projects (past & present).

Research Projects

Anne’s current research focuses on understanding the historical origins and present-day consequences of South Korean beauty standards on young South Korean women’s conceptions of womanhood, citizenship, belonging, and self-making, particularly through their engagement in body modification practices such as cosmetic surgery. Past projects include: infectious disease epidemiology research at the NIH, contributed to making text revisions to the DSM-V on the cultural dimensions of feeding and eating disorders, former member of a research group studying neuropsychiatric genetics research capacity building in LMICs (with a focus on East and South Africa).