Sexy Made Cute in Korean Popular Culture

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Last Sunday, my new daily must-read Sociological Images blog discussed the Tokyo City Government’s appointment of three young women as “cute ambassadors” for the city, the better to promote Japanese kawaii (cute) culture and project Japan’s “soft power” abroad. Which just officiates what has occurred for decades really, although by all means Japan needs to exploit what it has a comparative advantage in given the dire state of its economy.

But choosing a 19 year-old that dresses like a schoolgirl, another as a Victorian doll in voluminous frilly skirts, and a third in a polka dot shirt with a bunny print, has certainly raised more than just eyebrows, and strongly tempts us purveyors of the Western gaze to pigeonhole them into the Western pornography genre of “lolitas.” Yet as numerous commentators there (and here and here) pointed out, Japanese lolita fashion, and much of Japanese cosplay in general, is intended as anything but sexual, and many of their adherents would be surprised at Westerners’ associations.

Given the huge size of the Japanese child and adolescent pornography industry for one though, then personally I find that view incredibly naive at best, but on the other hand it’s true that concepts of “cute” and “sexy” differ widely between individuals, let alone between cultures. Which is not to say that I don’t think that there are universal standards that can and should be applied for determining which is which regardless, but it does point to what can be fine lines between them sometimes.

Still, my primary interest is Korea, and while it is by no means as extreme a case as Japan, and thus gets correspondingly less attention by the Western media and academia, arguably it’s much the more interesting. For like in Japan infantile, immature, and “cute” behavior on the part of adult women (or those in their twenties at least) is also very much encouraged by the media, but unlike Japan it occurs in an environment which discourages explicit expressions of sexuality, premarital sex being widespread but always kept secret (particularly by women). Which means that what expressions that do exist in popular culture are often in this faux cute guise instead, giving a dynamic to Korean celebrity culture that is ultimately very different to its Western counterparts.

lee-hyori-we-love-dog-ec9db4ed9aa8eba6ac( Source )

(Probably related are the harsh restrictions on pornography also {no genitalia or pubic hair allowed}, and hence the fact that the domestic industry is easily dwarfed by its relatively laissez-faire Japanese counterpart, but I don’t want to make too much of that: Korean men don’t like teenage girl groups {and thereby further encourage their sexual clothes and dance moves} simply because they lack the ready access to, say, schoolgirl manga that their Japanese counterparts have, although it would be naive to dismiss that element altogether)

Korean celebrities do provide role models for teenagers of course, and so while I’d be the last person to say that adolescents’ sexuality is suddenly dormant until being turned on like a light at the age of consent (which is 18 in Korea, not 13 as is often erroneously reported), nor that sexy dance moves and clothes by under-18s should be strictly verboten, it is true a public reluctance to acknowledge them as anything but cute is seriously inhibiting the development of sex education in schools and a healthy sexual culture in general, let alone acknowledging and dealing with the huge size of the teenage prostitution industry here.

As my friend Gord Sellar has written an outstanding (and lengthy) piece on all the questions raised by those issues here, and which has played no small part in my own evolving views on the subject, then I’ll wisely defer discussing them for now. But I can, however, give a very good recent example of the sort of thing I mean. Consider this commercial for the Korean yogurt drink O’yu (오’유):

I’ll wager that had you not seen it in this post, that you’d have found it perfectly innocent at first (given my recent track record, then me too). But consider what Extra! Korea wrote on it here, through which I first found it:

I don’t think it’s cute, and here’s why.

From their uniforms and the hallway leading to classrooms, these are schoolgirls. But look at how short their skirts are. That’s not regulation length, trust me. If these were 18-year-old high school seniors, then it could be overlooked, but when the camera shows a close-up of their faces, it’s clear that they’re much younger than that. And do I have a uniquely dirty mind, or does the final scene, in which one girl opens her mouth and tilts her head back in order to receive a drink from a giant phallus-like beverage container that gets closer and closer to her lips, remind you of a blowjob?

Now that you mention it…

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But on the other hand (no pun intended), was that simply a fun perspective shot like this?

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See here to see more like it (make sure to click on “더보기” under the two that will come up to see all of them). Now if that was the only scene in the commercial open to interpretation, then I’d probably err on the side of cute, but consider the first few seconds of it especially:

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Yes, they are indeed cute and innocent teenagers. They’re also lying on the ground, wearing extremely high skirts – which look hitched up a bit to boot – and repeatedly spread and close their legs. And later:

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I accept that there may be school uniforms with skirts as high as that (update: at least when they’re out of school that is), although I haven’t seen any personally, but regardless I’m not going to pretend that, once having seen them in the commercial, they didn’t get anything less than my complete and undivided attention, and that’s even without the jiggling of the girls’ hips at o:10 too. Nor that I feel a sense of outrage about the commercial as a whole either, but although I’m certainly convinced of the sexual elements to it, and am bold enough to think that you will be too now, I’d be very interested in hearing what mental contortions Korean friends or students of yours may go through to argue otherwise!

Update: Here is a good example of the two extremes, with adult women acting like babies, and babies acting like…well…it has to be seen to be believed!

Update 2: I wrote about this subject for the KoreaTimes a week later.

( All screencapture sources: Paranzui )

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28 thoughts on “Sexy Made Cute in Korean Popular Culture

    • I’m certainly thinking about it. Unfortunately the KT’s 800 word limit and the objective “newsy” style I have to adopt to avoid my articles being completely butchered wouldn’t really do the subject justice though.

      When I have a column later this year and can take advantages of such liberties as using the first person, then sure!

  1. Very interesting article, thank you for that. I agree that this commercial is sexual, without a doubt. And at the same time it manages to be cute. What we are seeing here is another example of saving face, this time in the context of advertising. Cute is the face of sexy in this case.

    Innocence while desired by many is a quality that is becoming more and more scarce so the result is that we seek it out in younger generations before they lose it.

  2. I think of watching korean tv as watching porn. As are well aware of, korean porn is very soft core with actors keeping their on underwear or a lamp placed strategically in the way of genetalia.

    On the other hand, or possibly because of this ‘limitation’every commercial has these super hot women, or young girls, in very subliminally sexual settings.

    It’s no coincidence. Like everything in Korea, it’s very staged.

    I don’t look at porn. I just watch Korean commercials on tv. Gets me off everytime.

    • Jamel–thanks, although I’m not sure what you mean by saving face in this case. That the embarrassment of acknowledging that the girls’ clothes and so on were sexual is avoided by making them cute also? Sure, and my point exactly.

  3. i’ll hold my hand up there and say i used to watch the idiot box a lot just because i adored the commericals because i really liked what i thought i was seeing, the sort of ‘korean aesthetic’ that was being marketed

    then i started reading k-blogs and seeing the weird and sexy undertones and i have to turn it off. shit just got real.

    • LOL. I maybe sound too harsh: I know exactly what you mean by a “Korean aesthetic,” and I like it too.

      Not sure if this is exactly what you mean…there’s much more to that aesthetic than cutesy behavior from female Korean celebrities (so long as it’s in moderation!) and both male and female Korean celebrities’ – how to put it – downtoearthiness(?), but they’re certainly core components of my own notion of that.

  4. Did anyone notice how the male teacher made an O with his mouth and then the girls hands suddenly fly up? Then the track runner makes the same face right before the girl next to him lifts her head up?

    • The blogger whom I quoted did. But the whole theme of the commercial was repeating the name of the product (O’yu) and having visual representations of that, with circles on the left of the screen to represent the “O,” so seeing something sexual in that probably is reading too much into it. Especially as it’s the guys making the “O” faces too.

  5. I just think that they’ve got themselves stuck with their attempts to seem conservative. Advertisers know sex sells, and they have been trying to take advantage of that. But no one wants to be anti conformist and push the norm too far. So to get people’s attention , they still use sex, but they just try to send the message across implicitly. This is okay, but I think problems begin when toddlers dress up as the Wonder Girls and dance and sing to “So Hot” and people just think “cute”. Everyone’s encouraged to be sexual under the guise of cuteness. I do not hate sexy, but that doesn’t mean I have to like all kinds of sexy all of the time.

  6. “sex sells” … Says who?

    I have to agree with the assessment of sexual undertones that pervade the entire 16 seconds, but being a fan of both marketing strategies and the extremely well written show Mad Men, I’m reminded of the following scene:

    By no means do I mean to defend this particular “CF” (which I just now learned actually stands for “commercial film” after all these years of just blindly accepting the strange acronym as it is), and I don’t even mean to defend the general idea of “cute as sexy”, but a lot of it can be chalked up to perception, and we as individuals can read a lot more into the works of others and discover messages that were never intended.

    But lying in the street opening and closing their legs clad in hiked-up short plaid miniskirts (which I’ve never seen as a school uniform in Korea, but then again I lived in the boonies) is hard to come to terms with as being innocent. And having been exposed myself to the idea of the Gatorade bottle as a phallus (http://basketbawful.blogspot.com/2006/03/gatorade-conspiracy.html), I was immediately struck by the final scene as well.

    By the way, I’ve never had a bottle of Gatorade since reading that post, because I’d just feel so dirty!

  7. -Highschool bad girls do roll their skirts up, at least at the vo-tech schools. But they don’t come that way. Some schools will even measure the girls skirts. THere really is a too short rule in force, and kids try to break it.

    • Brian–In the end, I did write something on this for the KT, although as I suspected, a lot had to fall by the wayside with only 800 words to work with. I’ll post it up here once it’s up at the KT on Saturday.

      Winged Monster–Indeed, and I ended up saying pretty much the same in that article.

      Alex–Thanks for passing that on, and on two side notes:

      -When did it become possible to post videos in the comments? First one I’ve seen!
      -That link doesn’t work sorry.

      About CF’s by the way, literally they are indeed commercials, but in my own personal experience Koreans use the term just as much for videos of making the commercials too. Which is a strange lack of distinction in itself, and which points towards the oddity of having “making of” videos readily available at all: if I was an advertiser, I’d rather consumers had the fantasy image of the product I wanted to project rather than see the dull reality. Or perhaps it’s because fan clubs of stars are so big here?

      Nick–Do they also attach velcro, like their Japanese counterparts? Or are they still a bit..er…behind?

      And where are you by the way? I’m curious as to if that trend is just confined to the major cities or not.

  8. additionally, this old 오뚜기 카레 commercial, i think, is worth watching, along with all the other retro korean commercials… kinda gets me all nostalgic for things i could have never been around for

  9. I had a disagreement with some Korean friends the other day about that new(ish) song “Lollipop”, by 21, the “female Big Bang.” I think it’s a little dirty; they think I just have a dirty American mind. (In case you don’t know it, the chorus is “Lolly lolly lolly, boy 너 나의 lollipop.”) What do you think?

  10. Show them some pictures like the following:

    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/134/369295342_2e7f992471.jpg?v=0

    When a child eats a lollipop, it’s pretty much a child eating a lollipop. When an 18+ girl sucks a lollipop, it’s anything but just a girl eating a lollipop. Why is it a lollipop that’s chosen and not some other form of candy? Because salt water taffy doesn’t have the same sexual undertones that come with (pardon the explicit expression) “sucking on a stick and enjoying it”.

    • Marilyn–Sure, the song is certainly sexual in tone, but I don’t think because of anything to do with a “lollipop” like many people think. Knowledge of its symbolism like Alex explains (and thanks for those!) certainly may have had a role to play in the production and wording of the song and so on, but explicit references to it seem entirely absent from the music video itself:

      So someone may have been aware of the symbolism, but no more than that. If anyone’s interested, for more on that misinterpretation and/or misuse of English in Korean pop culture, see here.

      (P.S. I could be wrong: I didn’t like the song, so only watched it once. If any sees or hears some lollipop references in it I didn’t, by all means prove me wrong)

  11. ^This lollipop music video is actually a song for an advertisement. Lollipop is a new product for Cyon. Cyon is a korean phone brand. And Lollipop is another new phone version. so this lollipop song is used to advertise the new product.
    And the word lollipop is not used in sexual terms of course. although for some, it could maybe give a first impression of the words and song in the wrong way. such as myself, sometimes when i listened to this song it had reminded me of Lil Wayne’s song called Lollipop also.
    i haven’t read the translated lyrics of this song but i’m aaaabbsolutely sure that there’s no bad meanings in it.

    And also, mentioning about how sexy has been made cute, korea and japan aren’t the only countries that are involved with this. As a Filipino American, i’ve had some similar experiences from when i was younger. I’ve seen it in filipino pop culture too. it’s kinda just like Kpop culture, but a bit more sexier and a little less cute i think. idk, that’s what i remembered from a long while ago.

    & That commercial example is supposedly just a general & decent commercial. But i think if you “try to think of it in the wrong way” then you end up thinking about how wrong that commercial is. I don’t think that they were really trying to imply anything sexual. i would hope not. At times, a person could be able to clearly tell whether or not if someone was purposely implying sexual themes for something.

    • ~poproxtea*–Thanks, but I knew it was a song for a commercial…it’s actually quite difficult to avoid on Korean TV these days!

      I and some other commentators still see some sexual elements to the lyrics however, but we can agree to disagree on those.

  12. James,

    I’d just like to say: I discovered your blog about 4 days ago and my eyes have been glued to the computer ever since. Really- keep it up! I’ve never come across anything as fascinating (or fun!) to read online or in print, and I’m learning so much about Korean culture and myself along the way.

    (I’m going to apologize in advance for the length, but I needed to get it out of my system!)

    I originally wanted to comment on an entry in which you addressed the question, “Why do women wear makeup?” but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was categorized under, and I feel this is the next best thing! Teenage sexuality in Asian society ties into it a great deal.

    I agree that women wear makeup to create the illusion that they are always ovulating to men (that sounds a bit funny), a time when pheromones naturally run wild. And I think it’s so interesting that most Korean cosmetics, in my view at least, embrace sexlessness in women (once again with the unbelievably pale skin, gaunt frames, child-like eyes and coy personality). In short, they really aren’t very fuckable. Not in the least. Fantasies just dry up instantly when you try to mentally undress their toothpick limbs. I was also especially shocked by, but have now come to accept, femininity in young Korean and Japanese men –“herbivores” they’re called? I couldn’t get over how childish this new wave of Korean and Japanese youth seemed to be… It just clashes with the American emphasis on power, success, and sexually aggressive women in U.S. media (for instance the Pussy Cat Dolls, Fergie, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, Kelly Clarkson… and so on).

    When I was younger, I used to be embarrassed about Asian “cutsie” culture. I would go out of my way to show my friends in the U.S. videos of Jpop artists “trying to be sexy/gruff” and all the while I’d degrade and scoff at them openly, a superficial and judgmental behavior which afterward irked me. I thought- just because I associated heavily with the United States didn’t mean I had a RIGHT to be the judge of what was socially acceptable or not. Just because I wasn’t comfortable with women in their 20s and even 30s pouting or flirting with (in my opinion, unattractive) Asian businessmen in high-pitched, babyish voices didn’t make it wrong or devalued. That was just my opinion. And I began to reassess, this time from an Asian perspective, why it might actually be (God forbid!) alluring to fully-grown men.

    I still don’t quite understand the draw this aura has on men. In my mind I simply wrote it off as “virginal appeal” and made a bee-line for what I felt was a much deeper and more telling query- Why would women propagate that act? (And yes, I wholeheartedly view it as an act. I don’t believe any grown woman would consciously behave that way in a business environment, at home or around friends.)

    About sexlessness- I’ve asked myself a hundred times why I’m drawn to Korean beauty. I told you in my last comment that I’ve kind of had a love-hate relationship with femininity. But can I reveal to you another aspect about myself? I’m extremely interested in gender versus sexual identity. I’m not quite sure to what extent you are familiar with the two terms, so here are some quickie definitions:

    “Gender identity refers to how one thinks of one’s own gender: whether one thinks of oneself as a man (masculine) or as a woman (feminine.) Society prescribes arbitrary rules or gender roles (how one is supposed to and not supposed to dress, act, think, feel, relate to others, think of oneself, etc.) based on one’s sex (whether one has a vagina or a penis.) These gender roles are called feminine and masculine. Anyone who does not abide by these arbitrary rules may be targeted for mistreatment ranging from not being included in people’s circle of friends, through the cold shoulder, snide comments, verbal harassment, assault, rape, and murder based on one’s (perceived) gender identity.

    Sexual identity refers to how one thinks of oneself in terms of whom one is sexually and romantically attracted to, specifically whether one is attracted to members of the same gender as one’s own or the other gender than one’s own. Society prescribes arbitrary rules that one should be sexually and romantically attracted to members of the other gender than one’s own, and should not be attracted to members of the same gender as one’s own. Anyone who does not abide by these arbitrary rules may be targeted for mistreatment ranging from not being included in people’s circle of friends, through the cold shoulder, snide comments, verbal harassment, assault, rape, and murder based on one’s (perceived) sexual identity. (See homophobia and biphobia.) When one’s sex and one’s gender identity are different, one may base one’s sexual identity on either one. Alternatively, one may have two sexual identities, one as a man and one as a woman.” -http://feminism.eserver.org/sexual-gender-identity.txt

    I am sexually attracted to men; however, I identify gender-wise more with men. I don’t believe this is altogether strange either. We covered a section on Freudian psychology in my class this past year, and how Neo-Freudian Karen Horney argued that women didn’t really have literal “penis envy” as Freud so notoriously put it, but rather envied the freedoms men seemed to enjoy in society over women. I am of the same mind. I can’t help but feel limited by the fact that I can’t walk on the streets at night alone out of the very real possibility that a man (the visual sex) will see me as an object. I can’t have sexual encounters myself without undergoing physical changes that men seem to be immune to. Nor could I admit previous encounters to otherwise “experienced” boys my age. It’s just not… right. As a male friend out it, there’s nothing really wrong with boys being promiscuous, but with girls, “think about it. Guys LEAVE stuff inside of girls when they’re through. It’s like being tainted… It’s gross to be with a girl and think about another guy was in there, too- you know what I mean.”

    I am to this day still struggling with that idea. Half of me wanted to slap this kid and the other half completely agreed with him. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t WANT that either. But, since I was born a girl, I can’t help but feel –well– pissed off. A bit blown away by the fact that every other girl around me will turn bright red and refuse any kind of serious acknowledgment if I admit to masturbation (GASP!), that people would call me a “slut” if they heard I’ve had boyfriends (and maybe a little fun here and there) and yet heartily slap a guy on the back if he’s had vice-versa. It makes me sick to my stomach to see women dropping hundreds on expensive jewelry and perfumes, using makeup and kneeling at the alter of the dieting sensation because they don’t feel good enough as is. Because they’re trying to be more sexually attractive to men (In America, that is. In Asia, you see the opposite supposedly taking place.) I swear to God- the so-called “Sexual Revolution” did nothing to liberate women socially, although I give it credit for what improvements it did bring in terms of contraceptive usage. If anything, it broadened the playing field for men to view women now as attainable sexually active objects in a game of “scoring”, “bases” and “going all the way.” Even the concept of bras bother me as they represent the modern-day corset, something that tightens, plumps and shapes women’s bodies to fit an image we just… well… aren’t. Shaving, too. Everything is unnatural- and yet accepted AS natural. Why do we blindly follow these gender roles? I think the more women continue to pile on makeup, purchase memberships at tanning salons, scurry to gyms and raise the bar of unattainable standards, the more we’ll have to keep hiding, covering up and be ashamed of. Men MIGHT JUST accept us as we are if we didn’t give them any other possible models on which to compare ourselves. But once shaving one’s legs (as an example) becomes desirable or sexy, you can’t NOT abide by that practice. It’s an unspoken law. To not shave is to be barbaric, disgusting, and gross… even though it is perfectly natural! How wrong is that mindset?

    And why aren’t girls more outgoing in the classroom, by the way? Why do we lie to each other’s faces about our own sexual and social desires? WHY the hell do we care so much about what other people think?

    Oddly enough, I’ve also struggled with the connotation of a full-figured body. While I’ve developed so much cognitive dissonance over the dieting craze and internally scorn those women for working so hard for such a vain and self-deprecating goal, I’m resistant to the natural curves that women have as well. As I’ve said before- the image of domesticity, sedentary lifestyle, rich diet and fertility just seems to roar, “I’m weak and dependent! Take advantage of me!” I even have a problem sitting through the 1942 classic Casablanca when the impassioned Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) so helplessly (*COUGH* brainlessly) cries, “You have to think for the both of us. For all of us!”

    To me thin represents freedom. From being honked at because someone decided they needed to show their masculinity to friends while driving by. From trash talk. I mean, do you know what it’s like to be a body? Seriously. If you haven’t already, I’d encourage a Youtube search for Ciara’s video “Love Sex Magic” featuring Justin Timberlake. Both singers are considerably sexy to both men and women. And yet contrast the clothing they’re wearing. It’s right out of my psychology textbook: Women should be young, sexually alluring and healthy (fertile). Men should be of status, build, and if not, brains, and must be able to provide for a potential familiy. Do you know what it’s like when you wake up in the morning innocently thinking, “I’m going to treat myself to breakfast today” and amidst walking there adult men old enough to be your father lean out of dirty cars to stare you down as they wait at a signal light? Is there no decency anymore? I know promiscuity is huge in American popular culture, but I mean, COMMON! There is no more childish freedom. No one leaves you alone where I live. I’m 17, God dammit. Sometimes I just want to yell at these men to get them to THINK about what they’re doing. My body is a piece of me, is sacred. You don’t just do what you will with it. (Alright, I can’t stop people from thinking things but feeling that it’s okay to show it? There’s a difference between “freedom” and “liberty” here! One’s to think whatever you want and the others to act upon it.) The phrase “mind, body and soul” strikes chords with humans for a reason. And when all else fails- Thin brings you back to all of that. The essence of just being. Like when we were all kids. It means having defined features, more contrast like men do, a leaner, agile body. Being beautiful the way you are, like men are. Without makeup, without complication, without hiding. (Which is another reason I think childishness among grown women is no coincidence.) As tuberculosis patients have been depicted and described as attaining a sort of saint- or martyr-like beauty in their illness (pale skin, defined eyes, sunken cheeks and striking, contrasted features), so I began to gain this mysterious and revered aura the more weight I lost and the paler/frailer I became. So beautiful. Like porcelain. Like a youth’s personal fable- never get old, never is innocence spoiled. Haunting and poignantly impressionistic.

    On the same rope, but a different thread: Virginity is a weapon. I’ve come to that conclusion at least for now after months of picking boys’ brains, not to mention my own. This past summer I had my first relationship (I’m not allowed to date at home), and as teenage boys go, he was very,well, excitable. But all the while as I oscillated between flattery and perceived disparagement, I knew the one thing that really kept this devoted teen tied to me was the possibility of sex in the near future. I don’t think that being a prude really makes you more desirable in the eyes of first-timers. But I do think you really have no choice but to seem that way. Some guys simply can’t mentally accept a girl who has “put out” with a stranger of another guy. You can’t be experienced. You have to be fresh, and by fresh I don’t mean “innocent” necessarily. I think suggestiveness, sex appeal and desire will always drive the opposite sex wild. But the message I get from every guy I’ve talked to so far is: Just don’t actually follow through with it (unless it’s with me!). My God…!

    Personally- I did things this past summer that morally bothered me on multiple levels. Besides being wracked by gender identity issues, I didn’t see myself as a “good” person at all coming pack into senior year. I have family problems like everyone else on Earth, college applications to fill out, and job interviews to sweat over… But here’s the meat of it all: I think the reason I was drawn to Korean advertisements and beauty ideals in the first place was that, well, it really WAS blameless. Again- unobtrusive. Free from nasty comments, from judgments and all those other degenerative human emotions. If you personify “Korean beauty” you’re super-human. Immune. A walking piece of art so blurred with reality you can’t tell the two appart, and people are mad for that kind of escapism. The only impression I had of Korean girls was those 2 I had met two years ago, and no impression on me was stronger. These were girls who actually weren’t extremely cute, but they were thin. They didn’t take up a lot of space. They ate little, laughed humbly, really enjoying each moment. They studied hard. It seemed as though they had no regrets* (that appeals to my guilt-ridden conscience the most). Basically, in my skewed view at the time, Korean meekness meant doing no wrong and working hard for what you do believe in (if you scrape the bubbly, superfluously girlish surface). I admired them BECAUSE I knew that men would look at them and feel ashamed for thinking dirty thoughts. You just didn’t do that to them. It wasn’t right, for dignity or purity’s sake. They were not objects or potential sex partners. You had to get to know them as people, individuals, before you even made any conclusions, not that you had to even exchange a word to realize how genuinely personable these two young ladies were. I admit I was impressed. The way that they balanced subtle femininity with a male-associated openness and drive to both learn and succeed satisfied an androgyny I needed in order to function normally. I can’t say how important that is to me. When I mentioned how boys at school would yes, flirt more when I had undergone the self-imposed Kpop experiment this past year, they were also very reserved about it. There were no double-entendres or suggestive movements. They kept their distance. Perfect.

    I agree with you, too. I don’t think it’s worth dating anyone unless you really see some kind of long-term or sexual relationship stemming from the current situation. Platonic love? Yeah… right. But I have realized that I hold more conservative views about sex- and I’m genuinely okay with that. I know what I’m comfortable with now, and that’s only getting intimate with someone I’m truly in love with, who accepts my faults and countless imperfections as I do theirs. I understand, for different reasons, why it’s important to “save yourself” for that special someone, and I have no religious affiliation or otherwise “moral” obligations barring from acting otherwise either.

    You see, I have the ability to be both “cute” and “sexy” like the girls in these O’yu advertisements, and to me it’s really the talent of knowing when to turn on or off that more suggestive side that keeps men wrapped around women’s fingers. What powerfully subliminal control!

    Love’s said to be a power struggle. Alright, so maybe true love isn’t, but at least when you’re hunting for mate, it is. There’s this ridiculous bumper sticker my friends and I always used to laugh at in history class which says, “Men control everything. (But women control men.)” And evolutionarily-speaking, since women aren’t physically superior to men, we rely on a much more subtle form of domination- language (both verbal and body) to manipulate men into getting our ends. That’s the female sex’s garnered skill. That’s what these seemingly innocent “teenage school girls” have, and that’s what the Korean entertainment industry so meticulously upholds. It’s all about holding yourself together under immense pressures to look and act like some desirable goddess while at the same time suppressing everything they’re not supposed to know about. You accept men for what they are, provide emotional support for children as well, but are drained in the process, having no one to act the mother to your needs or wife to your own aches and pains. (You should read Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body by Susan Bordo if you haven’t already. It explains in depth what I’m merely trying to touch upon.) At the end of the day, it’s women who turn to private baths and delicately wrapped chocolates to melt away from the demands of daily life. It’s women who are both extremely sensitive and tuned into the emotional needs of others, but women who do not (and to a certain extent cannot) expect that same attention and awareness from most men. Yeah, there is a lot of Asian conformity and “act your age” (in this case, young) ideology taking place paired with general censorship of sexual expression in public, but that’s only a fraction of what my mind gets going on when I really go back and examine just why I have such strong emotional reactions to these ambiguous ads.

    Defense.
    Women never stop thinking. Ahead or in the past.
    The individual woman always wants the upper leg in the face of foreign situations. Beauty, blamelessness, youth, concealment. It’s merely (unconsciously?) being prepared to face anything and to walk away from it feeling victorious rather than emotionally compromised. We’ve all got to derive personal strength from somewhere. Unfortunately increasingly among East Asian women, physical attractiveness equates to that vital sense of self.

  13. Yapping relentlessly upon a cell phone is not conducive to the mental discipline required of a full-fledged responsible adult.

    Natural selection has given females certain survival traits. Most female traits are not conducive to the mental prowess more often held by males.

    Not many female Einsteins or Edisons out and about. The feminists and PC mob will gladly point out the very few exceptions but that is what they are; exceptions.

    The Females as Property Movement seeks to place the vast majority of females into the roles they are suited for.

    Most females have proven they are unable to meet the responsibilities required of adults in our complex society we must constrain the female gender for the good of all.

    It will be a blessing for the females who will no longer be expected to act in a manner they are by inclination and biology unsuited for.

    The few female exceptions will, as in the past, be noted and allowed full entrance into adult society.

    • I seriously hope you are a troll because I’ve never such misogynous and sexist words in my entire life!

  14. Pingback: SeoulPodcast #53: Venceremos | SeoulPodcast

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