Updated, October 2013
My previous commentary on this “Today’s Tea” commercial was woefully out of date, so it’s since been mercifully deleted(!). But many of the themes expressed remain just as potent in the Korean media today, including the encouraging of teenage girls and children to be dissatisfied with their bodies; the constant invention of new, often impossible, body shapes and “lines” for females of all ages to strive for; the over-reliance on celebrity endorsements, to the extent that the one chosen here, Son Dam-bi, is portrayed as somehow having a superior body and face to an equally-attractive, almost identical woman; and finally, albeit admittedly minor here, the reinforcement of gendered dieting roles by portraying the (single) male humorously—confirming that dieting is something only women need should be serious about.
Think I’m exaggerating? Just see for yourself:
Those problems aside, note that the “34-쏙/ssok-34” is a clever wordplay on women’s “vital statistics” (bust/waist/hip measurements), with one use of the word “ssok” being to stress how concave something is. In fairness, it’s quite apt for a slimming product.
(For more posts in the “Korean Sociological Image” series, see here)