Korean Gender Reader

This being the week of romance, allow me to repost this 2005 Mis en scène commercial featuring Ha Ji-won (하지원) and Jo In-sung (조인성), still the sexiest Korean commercial ever.

Apologies for the poor quality, but unfortunately this copy of mine appears to be the only one available. I have found (via A Koala’s Playground) a good copy of the 15-second version though, but, alas, you really need more of a build-up to fully appreciate Ha Ji-won’s smouldering stares!^^

V-Men Auditions in Busan, Sunday the 19th (Busan Haps)

Marriage and tears in Joseon Korea (The Marmot’s Hole)

All Camp in Korea (Bathhouse Ballads)

While Brazil Telenovelas Shrink Families, Jdramas Seek to Expand Them? (YAM)

Does Confucianism have a place in modern Korea? (The Korea Herald; hat tip to Colette Balmain)

The Korean Look Travels Well in China (The Three Wise Monkeys)

Brian’s “Let This Die” MV: Romanticizing Violence In Korean Media (Musical Dialect)

Cesarean Nation: The cautionary tale of how China came to have the world’s highest C-section rate (Slate)

Brokered marriages hurt husbands, too (Korea Joongang Daily)

The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance (Geek in Heels)

Itaewon in 1984: A paradise for foreign gypsies that lead Korean women astray (Gusts of Popular Feeling)

Putting the fun into feminism (The Sydney Morning Herald; via: Blog in a Tea Cup)

DONA-International Workshops for Birth and Postpartum Doulas (10Magazine)

K-Pop and Consumer Nationalism (Seoulbeats)

Middle school students to spend more time on physical education (The Hankyoreh)

How young is too young to model? (Work That Matters)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

Mise En Scène: The Sexiest Korean Commercial Ever?

It’s much easier to say than do, but it’s true: sexiness is an attitude. To whomever is responsible for the spate of “sexy dances” in the Korean media in 2009, the vast majority of which have been anything but, let me counter with this 2005 Mis en scène commercial featuring Ha Ji-won (하지원), whose smoldering gaze at Jo In-sung (조인성) has burned in my memory ever since:

Granted, perhaps you had to be there: something really is lost in the transition to your smaller computer screen. And apologies for the poor quality, but this is now the only copy of the 30-second version available that I am aware of. Still, it’s worth preserving, even if only for myself.

I didn’t realize just how much however, until I saw this alternate 16-second version. While this particular copy – again, the only one -  has better video quality, and is worth watching just for that reason, it ultimately falls flat because it lacks the build-up of the music:

By the way, it’s actually her gaze at 0:21 (or 0:09) that really did it for me in 2005, but I’m certainly warming to her long lingering one at the beginning. Meanwhile, like it or loathe it, can anyone suggest any more genuinely sexy Korean commercials, subtle or otherwise? Perhaps I should start a new series…

Update: This was part of a series of several with the couple, most of which you can find here or on Youtube. Considering how easy those were to find though, I was surprised and disappointed at how this one slipped through the net so to speak (no pun intended).

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