Korean Photoshop Disaster #7: I hate you Lee Soo-kyeong…

(Sources: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th)

No, I don’t really. But, after eating Special K (스페셜K) for years thinking that it was low-fat, only to just discover that it actually has more fat than regular cornflakes, then it’s high time to call Kellogg’s out on the appalling photoshopping of her that’s been greeting me every morning.

See how she compares in real life to the Barbie dolls above:

( Source )

Don’t get me wrong though: while she could certainly do with a bit more sun, I still find her attractive (and just love her expression at the top-left!). Yet, lacking even a hint of an hourglass figure, why on Earth was she chosen to be the model for a product purporting to give you one? Because of Korean advertising’s over-reliance on star appeal perhaps?

Alas, more likely it’s because Korean consumers aren’t actually all that concerned with photoshopping. For not only do they regularly have it done on their own resume photos for instance, but there are even products on the market claiming to give women an “X-line” too, despite the inconvenient fact that it is physically impossible for a human to ever possess such a body shape:

(Sources: left, right)

Of course, photoshopping of print advertisements is hardly new, let alone confined to Korea. What is new however, is that whether through technical improvements and/or decreases in costs, photoshop-like manipulation is increasingly common in commercials too. And this is far more insidious.

Why? Well first, consider Amore Pacific’s commercial for its V=B Program for instance, in which it is difficult to tell if the model’s X-line at 0:23 is the result of digital manipulation, or simply clever lighting, camera angles, and/or the model’s pose. Even after repeated viewings too, which your average consumer isn’t likely to do:

Next, this lame example with Cha Tae-hyun (차태현) and Jessica Gomes for Georgia:

And, as I discussed in December, I would never have realized the degree of manipulation of her body in it without seeing these photos later:

(Sources – left, right)

In contrast, lacking real-life photos of the model in the first commercial to compare and contrast at one’s leisure, then it would be much easier to be deceived into thinking that – God forbid – an X-line was actually real, and hence something to aspire to.

Likewise, that Lee Soo-kyeong had an hourglass waist because of eating Special K:

Granted, that example from March is only borderline (see here for a closer look {source}). But if you also take this example from August though, shot at same time those photos of her on the beach above were, then like me you may find yourself both amazed and appalled that it’s actually the same person:

How did it make you feel? And have you ever come across any other examples like that yourself, either in Korea or overseas? If so, then please pass them on!

(For more posts in the Korean Photoshop Disasters series, see here)

47 thoughts on “Korean Photoshop Disaster #7: I hate you Lee Soo-kyeong…

  1. Had to read this post twice, because the first time around, all I noticed in this was the fact that they put some other woman’s legs on Lee Soo-kyeong in the third shot in the photo at the top…. O_o … a woman that’s more likely Caucasian than Asian… *facepalm*

    The model in the X-line ads is actress Yoon Eun-hye, and while she’s normally slim, that her waist is that tiny is unbelievable. Only Goo-Hara from Kara has a waist that tiny, and even that’s a stretch of imagination for me. To confirm though, I could see if I can find any photos of Yoon from the time when this ad was shot.

    And in the coffee ad, did anyone else notice that at 00:17 the girl’s waist looks like it belongs to a shapeshifting glob monster?

    *facepalm* is the appropriate reaction to any and all of these ads. And James, thanks for (unintentionally?) providing a comedic post to make my weekend interesting, lol

    P.S. If anyone want to lose weight via cereal, I would suggest an unsweetened cereal eaten with soy milk – regular milk has fat, soy milk does not.


    1. Soy milk does have fat, 4grams per cup versus 8 for whole milk. Flavored soy milk also has about 10 grams of added sugar.

      My poor mother was eating two bowls of Special K a day because she believed the advertising claims made about people losing weight eating two servings of Special K.

      I gave up cereal and mlik years ago and don’t regret it. Cereal is not particularly healthful. It’s basically baked flour pellets jacked up with a multivitamin. If you eat real food like I do – meat, eggs, seafood, and locally grown veggies, you’ll get sufficient nutrition just like our ancestors did for eons. Too much of certain nutrients like iron for example can actually be harmful.

      Fat does not make you fat. Too many nutrient-sparse calories makes you fat. Cows are fattened on corn, oats, and barley. When you eat cornflakes, you’re eating the same main ingredient that gives commercial ground beef a fat content of up to 30%. Chew on that.

      The Weston Price Foundation and others in the low carb / paleosphere have some interesting things to say about soy. I consume only small amounts of fermented flavorings like tamari and soybean paste and the occasional hunk of tofu when eating at an Asian restaurant.


      1. lolz I actually don’t really eat cereal – I prefer oatmeal. I was just throwing that info out there. Apologies if I was too careless with my [limited] knowledge. After I posted, I actually thought “Is it soy milk really fat-free? Did I mean to write cholesterol?” *shrug* I drink a lot of soy milk because I’m lactose intolerant, and I eat irregularly (it’s a good save when I’m weak from hunger). Don’t think I could give it up, even if they told me it was bad for me. Also, I distrust people who don’t eat carbs >_>

        Fat doesn’t make you fat? That’s good. I was worried I’d have to give up avocados and bananas, which are a staple in my own real food diet.


      2. Oh, I eat carbs but mostly in the form of nonstarch vegetables, medium-starch sweet potatoes and squashes, and temperate climate fruits. I indulge in forbidden grain products like bread or cookies only on special occasions, and I usually regret it because my nose stuffs up afterward. Do you still trust me?

        Many of my older relatives have digestion issues. Maybe it is a consequence of a natural decline as part of aging or maybe it is a consequence of acculumated long-term damage to the villi in the small intestine from breaking down gluten over the years. With some nonceliacs like me avoiding gluten and other grains, it’ll be interesting to see if we avoid or delay the onset of digestive problems.

        I don’t think bananas have any measurable fat but they’re fairly high in sugar. Avocadoes are highly nutritious, but like any high-fat food, they’re caloric. I think one reason why some low carbers like Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb fame cannot attain a body weight within normal range is that they eat too much fat. Naturals fats (as opposed to commercially processed refined vegetable oils) are good for you, but because of the high calorie count, they should not be eaten in large portions.


      3. And if you’re a cholesterol-phobe, you might be interested in reading what people like Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple, Dr. Michael Eades of Protein Power, and Chris Masterjohn of Cholesterol for Health have to say about cholesterol, so vital to our cells that 70-80% of circulating cholesterol is made by our bodies, which adjust the amount of cholesterol made in response to the quantity in our diet. Very low cholesterol is associated with higher overall mortality rates for young and old alike.


        1. Lol okay, I trust you now :) Thanks for the info! I think we need to give James his blog back, but I hear you about the cholesterol – I’m not phobic, I just keep a look out for it because I’ve never really watched my cholesterol, and I have a weakness for certain fried foods, so I try to avoid it in other foods.

          To bring this thread back to the blog post though, I think our conversation shows how easy it is for advertisers to convince people to buy certain products using the “it will make you thin” line, especially when lay people like myself don’t have all the information about what we eat and how it affects our bodies. And the truth is, people who support certain diets or foods that are “healthier” than those products are selling their own products to us the same way! You’d have to be a nutritionist or a person who’s done extensive research on their body and diet (such as yourself) to be able to sort through all the information out there and decide what works for you. Since I’m neither of those, I just try to eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and not eat too much rice or bread.


          1. Oh I don’t mind: you two especially can talk about anything you like on it!^^

            Truth be told, I usually ate Special K more as a snack in the evening than as breakfast, as cereal and soymilk (I’m allergic to milk too) make for a very liquidy combination with all the coffee I drink too.

            These days, I’m mostly having baked hashbrowns for breakfast, mashing them and adding tomato, finely chopped garlic and spring onion once they’re out of my mini-oven, and finally sprinkling on lots of black pepper. Takes a while, but it’s definitely worth the wait, and I always have my 2 daughters scrambling all over me to have some as soon as I sit down to eat it (even though they’ve already had their own breakfasts).


    2. Don’t have time to reply properly to all the comments right now sorry, but just quickly, note that it’s actually two different women in the X-line ads. In the before and after ones (the second X-line image) it is Yoon Eun-hye like you say, and here’s the 2008 ncommercial for V=B program she did too, in which, very surprisingly, her body doesn’t appear to have been digitally altered (the X-line is suggested by all the glittery braids she’s wearing instead). But the first image from 2010 and the commercial under that has a different model, and no-one seems to know her name.


      1. interesting – both the non-altered Yoon Eun-hye ad and the mystery model. I hate to say this, but I’m worried that my new “get-in-shape” plan is influenced in part by the super skinny girls in K-pop and Korean dramas. Sad thing is, they’re probably being influenced by these very same ads to starve themselves to get that way!

        On a related note, Park Bom of 2NE1 has gotten a lot of media attention lately because of her eating habits, and it bothers me that they make such a big deal about it. I think that it’s played for laughs on their documentary 2NE1TV because she’s such a foodie and gets really excited about food (like me!) but at some point it’s like, “Is there something wrong with her liking food? Why are all the articles about her focused on what she eats?” If you search Park Bom on allkpop, 8 out of the top 10 results are related to her eating. Have you seen this happen with other Korean celebrities?


  2. As a woman who has dealt with weight and body image for the majority of her life, I would like to comment that this kind of media is damaging to women all over the world, as well as to men who begin to place their expectations of female beauty in the categories of ‘impossible’ and ‘unrealistic’, thus causing more emotional turmoil for women.

    But, media is an addiction. Honestly, though I’m very comfortable with who I am, I can’t help but look at Korean movie stars and models and then look at myself and think “Geez… I need to exercise” or “I should eat less.” That’s coming from a woman who knows very well that she’ll NEVER obtain that body shape. For the girls and women who still think there’s a possibility that they can actually alter themselves somehow to look that way… it can get dangerous, both physically and emotionally.

    I listen to the absurdity of my lovely female co-workers every day who look at themselves and say “Oh! I’m so fat! I need to go on a diet”, when in reality they’re slender, healthy, and seamless (no rolls, no pudges). Their misery is so unnecessary. and it just feeds everyone else to be just as miserable about their body.

    It’s like a drug, and everyone’s hooked. That gives companies that produce diet drinks, or diet pills, or diet ‘quick fixes’ an extra economic boost. And hey, that might be why every plastic surgeon on almost every single block is doing just fine and dandy these days. Misery and uncertainty about the way you look takes up so much emotional energy, and it causes distress in every aspect of life. It’s unfortunate that we’ve even had to do this, but over time women just learn ‘how to deal’. When really we should be basking in the glow of our health, our natural beauty, and the realization that nothing is worth that kind of turmoil in our lives.

    But, hey, it’s idealistic. Even as I type this I’m thinking about how often I’ve looked at myself and found something I wanted to change. I think about how even now I usually won’t go out of the house without some makeup on. I realize how much the media has changed my thinking natural minds eye throughout the years, and even though I’m appalled, I’m addicted.


  3. Wow, Jessica Gomez’s real life picture blew me away. I mean, I had an idea about the extremes of Korean photoshopping, but W-O-W.

    And Auggie, I think you just voiced out my entire life’s misery. I hate to say it, but the media is oh so very cunning when it comes to manipulating us female’s thoughts and mindset. On one side they say: “Embrace yourselves! Be who you are and be free!” and then on the flip side they say: “You can embrace yourselves and true beauty if you look like THIS.” Ugh, what a hypocritical society we live in.


  4. Honestly, those images should have looked weird BEFORE seeing the photos of her on the beach…yikes. But it’s true that seeing things over and over makes you normalize them (just like learning a language through extensive reading). That’s why this stuff matters.

    (Oatmeal for breakfast. :P Old-fashioned, not instant.)


  5. Hey, I’m a new reader, somehow led here by a link posted by apparently a fellow reader on a facebook wall post by a youtube let’s player talking about summarizing a business article on south korea.

    Suffice to say, your blog is very interesting to me because I’m a Korean-American living in California, never been to Korea myself, and most of my Korean friends don’t really associate with Korean culture. Nonetheless, my parents’ peers and 1st to 2nd generation Koreans living here do, and I’ve already read through many of your posts (few hours worth), and I admit at the same time I’m proud of being Korean, I’m ashamed to say I acknowledge the various racist, sexist, and superficial views Koreans have.

    In fact, one of the most disturbing things I have personally experienced, is the world of entertainment and modeling in Korea. Amber, from fx, was scouted from my school, and one of my friends wishes to try out for SM. My sister was a model for a very short time, and this is a bit presumptuous of me to say, but I would qualify for a “minnam”, and my family seems very keen on keeping me away from that world. Up until my sister became a model, my family had no qualms about it, but one time my sister told me about my friend, “if she wants to make it in the world of show business, she’s going to have to sleep with many men”.

    Although this is probably true and many people have heard it, I personally believed it to be something that happens to a few, and more under-handed or desperate individuals. It was a shock to hear it from my own sister.

    In addition, it’s sickening to keep hearing, from your family and family friends, “just be 6 ft tall”, or “you’ll have to get your nose lifted when you’re 18”. My mother keeps reminding me to eat royal jelly or calcium pills and even gets upset over me staying up “late”. However, the social norm in the US is different from Korea, the “pretty boys” don’t get admired, and the cultural ideas lead to a sense of estrangement. To quote one of my friends, “I don’t know why you’re so focused over height, I’d rather be your height (5″7 1/2) than 6 ft tall.”


    1. Didn’t quite understand that convoluted route to my blog sorry(!), but thanks for the comment and passing on your personal experiences. And on the plus side, although I’m not so naive as to believe things are always improving here (criminalizing abortion, for instance, is a huge step backwards), at least the issue of the rights and conditions of young entertainers and models is finally being addressed (I’ll try to write more on that soon).


  6. Oh how bad photoshop on the top photos sheesh…
    This is all because in Korea, not too many people familiar with using Photoshop…if they know it better, those lame ads just won’t be able to sell anything.


    1. Do you have any basis for that claim that not many Koreans are familiar with using it? Not disagreeing necessarily, but I do know that I struggle to find examples to include in this series!^^


  7. Hi, I’ve been following your blog for quite a while, each time amazed by the depth and accuracy of your observation. As a Korean woman who has lived in New Zealand and Australia for 8 years, I can relate to the stories you write, which have been reassuring me why leaving Korea was one of the best choices I’d ever made. While in Korea, I was becoming tired of their obsession with appearance, money and consumerism.

    Now I’m back in Korea for family responsibilities and the nightmare is back, making me restless and wonder whether I should leave again. Dinner, sharing food, what should be a time for joy is always a stressful time here since all my girlfriends eat with guilt and worries about getting fat and talk about celebrities and cosmetics. I’m of the opinion that people who constantly worry about weight tend to have misinformation on nutritions. So consumed by unrealistic body images the media presents, Korean girls never seem happy except when eating rice and kimchi. I’m deeply concerned about lack of important nutritions like calcium and vitamin D and low immune system. Girls, go get some sun and eat some cheese, and enjoy your life. What makes people fat is neither bread nor milk. It’s stress. :)

    P.S. Thank you, James, for your hard work and good reads that open up the cultural and social awareness of Korean people. I pass this link to all my Korean friends and students, but I often feel that this site, written in English, doesn’t reach people who really need waking up by listening to what you have to say.


    1. Thanks very much for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear about – but completely understand – your feelings about being back. I haven’t really had the conversations about food specifically with Koreans that you have, but I have had all too many average or even extremely skinny female friends or acquaintances that tell me that they’re fat, and frankly I’m on the verge of simply not bothering wasting time trying to convince the next one otherwise.

      I agree that it’s a pity that I don’t (also) write in Korean, and in the long-term I’d definitely like to do so. With 2 kids and just (really) a single income in the meantime however, then unfortunately I don’t have time for most of the things I’d like to do with the site just in English, and can barely keep it going in its present form as it is.

      Seriously, after first going self-hosting, I’m very very sympathetic to the idea of a multi-author blog these days. Much like The Marmot’s Hole, but of course with usually very different subjects!

      Where did you live in NZ and Australia by the way? I spent 10 years in total in the former myself, and went to Auckland Uni, and 1 in the latter (mostly in Melbourne).


      1. I’d be careful about going the contributing blogger route. It’s worked okay for Joshua at One Free Korea because he has selected a few people whose views on North Korea align with his own. TMH bloggers have more diverse views, which isn’t necessarily bad since TMH is a general K-blog, but having so many contributing bloggers with varying writing styles dillutes the blog’s voice, IMO. If you find someone whose work would add value, then by all means sign them on, but if you’re mainly looking for someone to add volume because you can’t post frequently, then it’s best to have a blog with only occasional new posts.


        1. Yeah, if I ever did get co-authors, then that’s definitely how I’d go. But I doubt I ever will really, as no-one’s ever expressed interest when I’ve mentioned the idea, let alone approached me of their own accord (not that that’s a subtle hint to you or anything!^^).

          I’ve long considered writing just one quality post every week actually, which would both be most suited to my writing style and appropriate for the amount of time I really should devote to it (but always exceed at the expense of sleep, exercise, Korean study etc. in practice). But to be frank, compared to even just this time last year there’s a lot of other bloggers writing a lot of quality stuff about Korean gender issues now, and so I don’t really have the luxury of posting so infrequently (yet).


  8. My friend from China is very concerned about her weight and she’s not very big. She said “I look at the calories” I just laughed and said, those could just be empty calories and she needed to just eat like a norml human should + exercise.

    Anyway, I find it interesting how different the weight of the advertisement models are for special K ads in Britain. Before they used a 12-14 UK size model but the last one I saw, they’d changed to a smaller model than the already small model.

    Also, in the british ads on youtube, I love the hateful comments mocking the stupid commercials of dirty lies, they make me laugh!!


    1. I don’t know about the British ads sorry. Interestingly though, in Korea they used to have a much much skinnier, borderline anorexic woman on the back of the Special K boxes, only to suddenly replace her with a then much more normal Lee Soo-kyeong. And there was much rejoicing at my breakfast table, but in the 18 months or so since she’s lost so much weight to photoshopping that the first woman might be preferable now…


  9. I wonder how much apparent Korean apathy towards deceptive and unrealistic photoshopping is cultural and how much is generational. Those of us who came of age before media images went digital notice the distortions and find the images unappealing. How do younger people of other nationalities react?

    My biggest pet peeve about digital distortions isn’t unrealistic standards of beauty but misrepresentation of clothing fit. I have had to send clothes back at my own expense to online retailers because a shirt or sweater that looked trim on a model was boxy and straight with little or no tapering at the waist. If there’s a defect with the garment, then the seller pays for the postage, but if the customer is simply unsatisfied, then the customer pays the cost, including packaging and postage.


    1. Good point about the generational gap, and one hopes that young people remain aware of the degree of manipulation of images (even if, alas, they don’t care all that much).

      Fortunately, I already have never bought and never will buy clothes online because what looks good on a model doesn’t necessarily look good or – especially – fit on me; with shoes especially, on average I’m a 285 by the Korean measurement but possess pairs ranging from 280-300. Throw photoshopping into the mix too, and I’m not tempted by the ease of internet shopping for clothes even just for a moment!


    2. I prefer trying on and buying clothes from bricks and mortar stores, too, but at 5’2″ with a short torso, I don’t have many choices as few retailers sell shirts and sweaters in petite sizes. They seem to think that all short people are short because they have short legs, so petite clothes are usually limited to pants.


    3. This is getting away from the OT a little, but I just thought of one reason why men can more easily buy properly fitting clothes than women. Your clothes are sized differently: pants are sold by waist and inseam, shirts by collar and sleeve length. We women are mostly consigned to a single size number without regard to inseam or sleeve length differences. US online retailer Land’s End is the only major retailer that sells most of its pants in regular, tall, and petite general sizes AND offers free hemming from 27″ to 36″ at quarter-inch increments. That means if you have a long torso and short legs, you can buy a regular and have them hemmed to 28″. If you’re the opposite, like me, you can buy the petite with a shorter rise and hem them to 30 1/2″. G-d bless Land’s End.

      I love that I can talk about this stuff with you, James. I’ll bet you have lots of female friends. You’re a girls’ guy.


      1. Oh again, I don’t mind!

        Yeah, I am a girl’s guy I guess. But I actually had equal numbers of male and female friends in NZ before I came here, and then in my first couple of years here too. But then…I don’t know, I seemed to meet far more interesting Korean women than I did men. And it’s the same for my Western male friends here too, whom are both much more “men’s men” than I am, so I don’t think it’s just me. More a combination of women usually being better language learners, Korean guys’ lives and our own diverging so much as they finished university and entered the workforce, especially in their attitudes to relationships and family life, and so on. Not at all to say that all there aren’t great Korean guys out there of course…but then my friends and I have been dying to meet them for a long time!

        So, I did have a few very close Korean female friends for many years, but unfortunately we all drifted apart as we all got married, had kids, and so on and stopped having much time for a life (them all moving to other cities was the main thing though). And with my last few jobs either involving teaching children and/or young uni students, and me being the only non-Korean there and the Korean staff usually giving me the cold shoulder (not bothering to even speak to me and so not realizing that, back then at least, I could actually speak passable Korean), then until my present job at a university with a large foreign (albeit overwhelmingly male) staff then I didn’t exactly have many opportunities to meet new people recently either. So, suffice to say that in fact I have no female friends in Busan anymore, and the few times I do go out drinking are with 2 old Australian and American male friends of mine and/or other male acquaintances and coworkers.

        Okay, that’s more than enough on that!^^ And yes, I really should try to get a life again sometime soon!

        p.s. Forgot to mention that I did have close Western female friends too of course, but ultimately they also both moved back to Canada dammit!


  10. No, not really. But after eating Special K (스페셜K) for years thinking that it was low-fat, only to just discover that it actually has more fat than regular cornflakes…

    I don’t think I’ve recovered from reading that. Special K has more fat that regular cornflakes? I’ve been lied to.


    1. Yeah. I’m amazed that Kellogg’s is allowed to market the product as low-fat, and will certainly never ever buy a product again on the simple assumption that if it wasn’t, then the company wouldn’t be allowed to say that they were.


      1. Even more surprising is that Special K in Korea is quite different in flavor and texture from its American counterpart. I rather liked Special K in the states, but the Korean version is thicker and decidedly more sugary than its American counterpart. I ended up not finishing the only box I bought here . . .

        As for the losing weight thing: Sure, you’ll lose weight if you follow the small print directions on the (American) box. You’re replacing two meals a day with a single serving of cereal with fat-free milk, and at less than 200 calories a serving, you’re cutting way, way back. Even if you’re enjoying a slightly more generous serving, you’re only up to 5 or 600 calories for two meals. At that rate, you’d better be eating pretty hearty for your one non-cereal meal.

        For what it’s worth, I practically lived off weetabix during grad school, and didn’t lose a bit of weight. Mmmmm, weetabix!


        1. I’ve only ever had the Korean version, but I too thought it was very very sugary. Considering its (undeserved) rep, then I was expecting something much more like All-Bran.

          Can’t remember what I ate for breakfast before coming to Korea, but I was very enamored of my first rice cooker the first couple of years here, usually throwing tuna and a little sesame oil in a small bowl of it. By now though, I’ve upgraded it to including olives, chopped garlic, and spring onions too…but as you can probably tell, I never have enough time to prepare all that for breakfast, and so it’s become a frequent dinner instead.


  11. Compare Korea Gravia with Japan’s Gravia, and you’ll see that the Korean pictures have huge amounts of photoshopping. Doesn’t look natural, at all.


    1. Thanks. And speaking of Gravia, I have a serious question about it related to a post I’m writing: in the Korean version, do you know if actual physical photobooks are produced and sold, like they are (or at least used to be) in the much older Japanese one? Or is it all just paid downloads from the http://www.starhwabo.com site?


      1. As far as I am aware, Korea Gravia is distributed via certain cellphone services. It’s not made available in high resolution nor is it sold in photobook form. The high resolution stuff does exist, but it’s hard to come by.


        1. Thanks. And your point about not being sold in photobook form at least does make sense with the Korean industry only developing in the last few years, unlike in Japan in the 1980s and early-1990s which necessarily provided those.

          Speaking of which, are gravia photobooks still available in Japan, or have they been discontinued (for the same reasons the Korean industry didn’t adopt them)?


  12. There was an interesting article a while back about France and the UK considering laws prohibiting ads showing photoshopped images of women’s bodies:

    But for a counterview, here’s a “defense” of photoshopping (essentially that the audience is not stupid and that ads are supposed to be art/fantasy, not reality):

    I think I wouldn’t mind the use of models with bodies like the ones pictured above because, to some extent such women do exist, and I find it condescending for more average-figured women to treat thin women like they’re all anorexic and unhealthy, when in fact exercise and other emulable life habits could be factors. Svelte women are “real women,” too. I find photoshopping misleading, though, unless it is really clear that the picture is a stylized, fantasy vision. Photoshopping makes it too easy to make certain body types more commonplace than they actually are — something that average people should aspire to, instead of something that not even celebrities (who may nonetheless be attractive for other reasons) have.


    1. “I find it condescending for more average-figured women to treat thin women like they’re all anorexic and unhealthy, when in fact exercise and other emulable life habits could be factors.”

      Sure, there are healthy women out there. They are fit and in shape, with 3% body fat and a resting heart rate of 40 (okay, maybe a little exaggerated. 50). That kind of life style however is like a career. My little brother is a fitness trainer, in extremely good shape, and he spends almost every free moment of his life making himself that way. What he eats, how he sleeps, how often he works out (every day or multiple hours), that’s how he gets the body that he has.

      It’s unrealistic to expect all men to be able to do that to obtain model-type bodies, just like it’s unrealistic to expect women reprocess themselves into the image of what media represents as ‘beautiful’, which are these (not average) women who are very in shape, very healthy, and who just might be VERY lucky to have the body that they do!

      No one is saying that these models aren’t “real women”, they just don’t represent the majority. Also, a thin frame and 6pk abbs doesn’t mean that the person is healthy, just like a tummy roll and a little bit more ‘junk in the trunk’ doesn’t mean that a person isn’t healthy and fit.

      The biggest issue is that there’s no variety in media that offers a fair picture of what ‘beauty’ is. An unrealistic standard (for both women and men) has been created. That’s the problem. And it’s even more than that with photoshop. The fit, in-shape women and men are being enhanced little by little to look even more impossibly in-shape, ‘svelt’ and so on. So we take a minority (extremely-ft) group and enhance them further and then put them out there and proclaim it to be the standard of beauty.

      Average people should aspire to being healthy, sure, but they shouldn’t be expected to aspire to a body-shape that takes so much of their life to achieve. Average women don’t have the time or the trainers to reach the fitness levels represented by models. It’s like all of the mothers who expect to have their pre-baby bodies back in 1 month like all of the celebrities. That’s just not common. Those people (celebrities and models) have access to an entire slew of resources that ‘average’ people don’t. Not to mention it’s their JOB to look that way.

      I’m absolutely a health advocate. People should aspire to be as healthy as they can be! This includes being aware of what you put in your body, and being sure to exercise. A lot of people don’t do that, agreed. But, imo, in no way does a model in this day and age (especially in Korea) represent healthy motivation, or goal standard, for that.


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