Korean Beauty Standards: Reasonable or Ridiculous?

Hey Brainiacs,

For those of my readers who are women, you are well aware how difficult it is to be who we are in our society.  As females, we are pressured to be beautiful, flawless, thin, sexy, and basically silent.  Airbrushed magazines and advertisements, runway and swimsuit models, television show mothers of teenagers who don't look a day over 30--these all serve to tell us that we're not good enough.

Although this problem has been around for a while and isn't going anywhere anytime soon, many powerful icons are coming out and making real women feel confident and secure for being who they are (see Ashley Graham, Adele, America Ferrera, Meghan Trainor) regardless of age, skin color, and least of all, pant size.  However, this got me thinking: yes, we have these strong, gorgeous, intelligent women coming out and making a name for themselves based on who they really are, but how many of these women are Asian?

Let's face it: yes, we're transitioning into an era where size truly doesn't matter, but most of the spokespeople for this movement are Latina, African American, or white.  These are women whose entire cultures are already built on the premise that they are "curvy" or have "big butts."  What about a role model for Asian women?  For a culture that is, for the most part, male dominant and incredibly critical, I feel it is necessary for an Asian spokesperson to represent Asian women who aren't 100% flawless.

After a little research, I found one, which although doesn't sound like much, is enough to have a significant impact.

Meet Vivian Geeyang Kim, Korea's FIRST ever plus-size model.  Kim discussed her upbringing with multimedia outlet OogeeWoogee, where she admitted that as a child, her grandmother would encourage her to practice "self-starvation."  Kim said that in Korea, if someone is over a US size 8, they are "fat."

Although this sounds harsh, is it really that much different from the standards for women here in the US?  I think it's wonderful that Kim is making a name for herself, helping young Korean girls feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin no matter what they look like or what society is telling them.  As a former young girl, that is the most valuable gift you can give to someone going through that stage in life: confidence in one's self.

What do you think about Kim?  Do you think this is a step in the right direction?  Comment with your thoughts.



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