Body Image

Perfect Upper Bodies, But “Healthy” Legs: Update

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Do you think Arirang should have removed its  Twist in Figures video from YouTube?


Korean Sociological Image #57: Perfect Upper Bodies, But “Healthy” Legs

Normally I’d reserve something like this for the next “Korean Gender Reader” post, but then this is simply one of the most appalling things I’ve seen on Korean television in nearly 11 years here. Or, as a friend put it, it’s “totally fucking reprehensible”, and in the strange event that it’s not rapidly removed from YouTube because of the overwhelmingly negative response, then we’ll both be calling Arirang TV to complain about it.


Korean Sociological Image #56: Start ‘Em Young!

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Apologies for the continued slow posting folks, but I have several good excuses, one of which involves spending a lot of time in doctors’ waiting rooms. Unlike most normal people however, that’s actually something I look forward to, as I simply relish the opportunity to peruse the hundreds of advertisements in the thick women’s magazines there.


Korean Sociological Image #55: School Uniform Advertisements

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Has anyone been paying close attention to teenage girls’ legs recently?

If so, then please answer a question for me, as they’re the darnedest things to find once you actually have a legitimate reason to look. Until their recent break, had female school students still been required to wear skirts this winter, while their male classmates got to wear pants? Or did Korean schools show some flexibility because of the unusually cold weather?


Korean Sociological Image #53: “SK-II No. 1 Whitening Celebration Party”

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For a change, I think I’ll let this one speak for itself.

But if you would like some context though, then see here. And in fairness (no pun intended), apparently model Lee Soo-hyuk (이수혁) on the right always looks like that.

But still, is such a deathly pallor really something to be aspired to?


Korean Photoshop Disaster #8: The 100% Korean Lady Burger

A photoshop disaster, or a deliberate satire of the way models are typically presented on women’s magazine covers?

Alas, given how difficult it is to find this particular version, then unfortunately probably the former. But with that face held fast between the “A” and the “D”, as if prepped for cosmetic surgery? That X-line? And especially that emaciated look of her skin? Then for her at least, Lotteria’s Hanwoo Lady Burger is a “must eat” indeed.


Reading the Lolita Effect in Korea, Part 2: The role of K-pop and the Korean media in sexual socialization and the formation of body image

A simply surreal video making the rounds at the moment. As explained by Lisa at Sociological Images, it:

…beautifully illustrates the socialization of children into particular kinds of worship. With hand motions, body movements, and facial expressions, this child is doing a wonderful job learning the culturally-specific rules guiding the performance of devotion.


The effeminacy of male beauty in Korea


Lessons about Korean ads from a Hong Kong woman

How cool is it that someone so young makes a video starting like this:

Now, I’ve been here [in Hong Kong] for about…3 and a half years…and I think that if you look at common stereotypes, and you look at the way women are portrayed in the media, there are basically 3 main categories of role models for young girls to look up to. I call them: the sex-object, the virgin baby-machine, and the [bitchy] career woman. And the thing is, I can’t help but feel that it doesn’t matter which category a woman finds herself falling into…cause they all suck! And no matter what she chooses, she just can’t win!


Girl Groups, VNT, and THAT Maxim Korea Cover

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Ever heard of VNT (브이엔티) before?

No, me neither, and frankly I find most new girl groups virtually indistinguishable from each other these days. But it turns out that VNT may actually be quite different, its 3 members explicitly wanting to “focus more on their music rather than their visuals.” Like rapper of the group Lil’J (릴제이) said in a recent interview:


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