Sunday, September 13, 2009

Korean Standards of Beauty

As one of the most homogenized nations in the planet South Korea has evolved a system of standards to determine beauty. Women are naturally thin and beautiful and over the years one exact image of a attractive women developed. Their is no curvy, no ethnic beauty, only a alphabet soup of standards.

The X-line is skinny waist.
The S-line is a big (Korean big mind you) butt, tiny waist and big breast.
The U-line is the lower back.
The W-line cleavage.
My favorite is the V-line having a long pointed chin and a thin face. I fail at this one perhaps I should by some face rollers and work on my V-line.

Koreans also have no qualms with making random body image comments. A women in the washroom told my friend she had a nice s-line yesterday. My students will always tell me that my skin looks dirty if I got sun over the weekend. Korean women also use skin lightening creams, parasols and sun masks to keep their pale complexions.

This exact definition of a pretty woman also explains the LBH (loser back home) phenomenon, when a stunning Korean women is dating a nothing special western man. I see LBH's every time I go downtown. I am usually harsh to them but perhaps their dates are LAH's (losers at home?) cause they don't fit they exact definition of pretty. Korea is a challenging dating environment for ex-pat women as we have to compete with a population of models who strut up mountains in high-heels and have no casual clothing. I have 7 male friends dating Korean women right now and 0 female friends dating Korean men. Not only that but I have never even SEEN a foreign woman with a Korean man. I know they must exist....right?

Back to beauty standards, another example is the double fold eye. It is a very popular surgery that men, women and even women will get to create the look of a Caucasian closed eye. This is such a common surgery that when a foreign friend and I where talking about a attractive man we saw the first thing my Korean co-worker asked was "did he have a double fold?".

Every time I live internationaly I love diversity more and more. I side with "The Korean" on this one, America is one of the least racist countries in the world. In Korea's defense however things are slowly getting better.

In a completely unrelated new story. I went to Costco today. Its just like home, only weirder!
The staggering price of Martinellis!

The only two English language books!

And finally the onion salad. When Costco received the onions, mustard and ketchup for the Hot Dogs they didn't know what to do with them. So they followed the instructions and set a condiment bar. Which Koreans decided must Costco's free side dish (all Korean restaurants have side dishes) hence the Onion salad was born. Onions plus ketchup plus mustard. Its very popular with a long lines and people taking heaps and heaps of "salad".

Life in Korea, everyday is a adventure!


  1. Here's my take on "beauty". I wish more women would be comfortable in their own skin, happy with their size and confident about their abilities. That to me is a beautiful woman.

  2. Oh, and onion "salad"? Why not? Figures they would only have weird cat & dog books in English.
    What a hoot!

  3. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, along with all combinations of ethnic backgrounds. If you want to see 'a foreign woman with a western man', just come to Hongik on a Saturday night; the other night there were plenty of combinations in the park :)

  4. WHOA! A blogger I read commented? Not only that but he's not related to me in any way? Thanks Chris! Also you have a point, it could be that I live in Daegu that the couples seem to be so one-sided.

  5. Great blog post. I love the links and consumed them vigorously, especially The Korean. The face rollers are almost as disorienting as the onion salad.

  6. Isn't your english friend dating a south african (foreign) woman? I like your LBH analogy though, heh. Miss you!

  7. AH Brett I wrote western man not Korean man! Thanks for catching that.

  8. Next time I go to Costco I'm getting an onion salad! Miss you!

  9. I really enjoyed reading your post!
    By the way i am one of the foreign women dating korean guys :D

  10. I know this is years old, but I stumbled on this in a web search. I have to say, that yes, foreign women dating Korean men does happen, we're just extremely rare. Even now in 2013. :)