Always interested in how objectification is portrayed by the Korean media, here’s my translation of a brief article about the opening of Hollister’s first Korea branch last month, written just before the news emerged of how reprehensibly some of its models acted during their stay here.
While short, I found it strange that the article would raise the absurd possibility that the half-naked models were guilty of any offense, which could be interpreted as implied criticism of the event. But on the other hand, the author may well have mentioned that just for the sake of creating a story; after all, keeping the company’s name anonymous throughout the article, but including it in a photo caption from another news service, isn’t exactly stellar journalism.
Anybody that finds a better source on the objectification angle in the story, please let me know!
Update: Apparently, Hollister has used this shirtless stud gimmick in Asia several times. And, as Nathan McMurray of Korea Law Today puts it, it “always seems to drum up some controversy. That is likely their objective.”
해외 브랜드 개점 이벤트… 모델 끌어안고 촬영까지 “낯 뜨겁다” vs “신선하다”
Foreign Brand Opening Event…From Hugging Models to Being Photographed with Them: Just Embarrassing, or a Fresh Marketing Method?
31일 낮 12시쯤 서울 여의도 복합쇼핑센터 IFC몰의 해외 의류 브랜드 H사 매장 앞에서 직원 안내에 따라 20∼30대 여성 20여명이 긴 줄을 섰다. 그들 앞에는 근육질 외국 모델 2명이 웃통을 벗은 채 서 있었다. 한 20대 여성은 반바지만 입은 두 모델 사이에서 한 손으로 모델의 허리를 감고 다른 한 손으로는 ‘V’자를 그리며 사진을 찍었다. 구경꾼 30여명은 매장 앞에서 그들을 에워싼 채 연방 휴대전화 카메라 셔터를 눌렀다.
At about midday on the 31st of August, about twenty women in their twenties and thirties were standing in a line in front of foreign clothing brand “H” company’s new store at the multi-shopping center International Finance Center Mall in Yeouido in Seoul. Two half-naked, muscular foreign models were standing there. One twenty-something woman stood between the two men, who were only wearing shorts, and had her picture taken while making a V-sign with one hand and wrapping the other around the waist of one of the models. Thirty other women surrounded them and took more pictures of the scene with their cellphone cameras.
이 ‘조각 미남’ 모델들은 H사 본사에서 마케팅을 위해 기용한 이른바 ‘판촉사원’이다. 지난 30일 IFC몰 개장과 동시에 국내에 처음 들어온 H사 매장은 입점 기념 이벤트로 매장 앞을 지나는 이들에게 반라(半裸)의 모델과 함께 사진 찍는 기회를 제공하고 있다.
Described as “sales promoters” by the company, these ‘beautiful male sculptures’ were employed by the head office to market the opening of the store, the company’s first in Korea. On the 30th, the day of the IFC mall itself opened, they stood outside to attract the attention of passers-by and give them an opportunity to be photographed with them.
Caption: On the morning of the 30th, at the opening of the Seoul International Finance Center in Yeouido, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Hollister models dressed in lifeguard style stand outside the Hollister store to mark the opening of the company’s first branch in Korea
이날 같은 층의 다른 매장과 달리 H사 매장 앞은 손님들로 붐볐다. 모델과 함께 사진 촬영을 한 대학생 김수영(24)씨는 “모델이 멋있어서 친구까지 데리고 왔는데, 신선하고 재미있었다”고 했다. 회사원 박미정(35)씨도 “점심시간에 짬을 내 쇼핑도 하고 사진도 찍으니 기분 전환이 된다”며 좋아했다.
Unlike different stores on the same floor, on that day the outside of H comany’s store was crowded with onlookers. University student Kim Su-yong (24), who came to have her picture taken with the models, said “Because the models were so cool I even brought my friends. It was fresh and fun,” while company worker Park Mi-jong (35), also explained that “I made time in my lunch break to so some shopping and have my picture taken, I feel great now!”
하지만 “공개된 장소에서 뭐 하는 짓이냐”며 문제를 제기하는 목소리도 많았다. 회사원 조모(39)씨는 “(여성들이) 팔짱을 끼는 것은 예사고, 아예 대놓고 모델을 끌어안기도 한다”며 “아무리 마케팅이라지만, 남성의 성을 이렇게 상품화해도 되는 거냐”고 했다.
But voices of complaint were raised over its appropriateness in a public place. Company worker “Mo” (39) [James’s wife: “Probably a man”] said “[Women] wanting to hold arms with the models is just trashy, as is shamelessly hugging them,” and added “It may well be a marketing stunt, but isn’t using male sexuality like that simply objectification?”
일각에서는 이런 이벤트가 현행법 위반 아니냐는 지적도 나온다. 경범죄처벌법상 ‘몸을 지나치게 내보여 다른 사람에게 부끄러움이나 불쾌감을 준 경우’는 과다노출죄를 물어 10만원 이하의 벌금을 부과하거나 교도소 등에 최장 29일까지 수감할 수 있다. 또 형법에서는 ‘공공장소 등에서 음란한 행위를 해 다른 사람에게 수치감과 혐오감을 주는 경우’ 공연음란죄로 1년 이하 징역이나 500만원 이하 벌금 등에 처하도록 규정하고 있다. 서울남부지법 황승태 공보판사는 “이번 사례의 경우 두 법 모두 적용될 여지는 있는데, 정도를 따져볼 때 과다노출죄에 더 가깝다고 볼 수 있다”고 말했다.
From one perspective, this event breaks the law. According to the Misdemeanor Punishment Law, if someone “shows an excessive amount of their body to people, and causes them to feel embarrassed or upset as a result,” that person can be charged with excessive exposure and face a fine of up to 100,000 won and/or a jail term of up to twenty-nine days. Also, according to criminal law, if someone “commits a lewd act in a public place and causes feelings of shame or repulsion to others,” that person can be charged with public lewdness and face a fine of up to five million won and/or a jail term of up to one year. According to Seoul Southern District Court information officer Hwang Sung-tae, “In this case both laws apply, but based on the degree of the offense the Misdemeanor Punishment Law is the most applicable.”
모델을 매장 앞에 세우는 마케팅은 실제로 미국·일본 등 해외에서는 성행한다. H사 측은 2일까지만 이벤트를 계속한다는 계획이다.
This type of marketing which uses models in front of stores is common in the US, Japan, and other foreign countries. H company plans to continue this event until the 2nd of September. (End.)
*Apologies for the creative license, but the first image actually comes form the opening of Hollister’s Beijing store in May.