Korean Gender Reader, November 3-9 2012

(Source. See Korean Kontext for an interview of Steven Yeun back in April too)


Seoul’s Gay Men’s Chorus 2012 Concert, Saturday November 10 (The Kimchi Queen)

KUMFA is looking for 10 volunteers to watch kids during their monthly meeting this Sunday, November 11th (Tales of Wonderlost)

Body Image, Health

Fashion: Regulating the Inner/Outer in Choson Korea (The Korean Gender Cafe)

White lies: China’s intimate bleaching industry (Buy Buy China)

Censorship, Media

양키새끼들? Seriously? (I’m No Picasso)


No more “I was drunk” defense for rapes (The Marmot’s Hole)

What steps you should take if you are raped or sexually assaulted in Seoul (You are not alone)

Family of Man Killed by Spitting Student Struggle to Survive (Korea BANG)

Dating, Relationships, Marriage

N. Korean defectors find freedom in South, but limited marriage options (Yonhap)

Having a Crush on a White Girl (Journey into the Well)

Ask the Yangxifu: On Married Men in China Seeking Extramarital Affairs With Western Women (Speaking of China)

Education, Parenting, Demographics

Current Situations of Maternity Facilities for Unwed Mothers (KUMSN)

In S. Korea, the best education means a sacrifice for parents (The Washington Post)

After college exam, Korean students exhale (Asian Correspondent)

Interesting op-ed in the Chosun Ilbo about new MOE requirements for foreign teachers (Gusts of Popular Feeling)

Economics, Politics, Workplaces, Ladygate

Feminist Rebuts Claims Women are Over-Empowered in Korea (Korea BANG)

On 된장녀 (I’m No Picasso; update)

“Park Geun-hye and Women Leaders”: A Discussion We Need (ILDA)

Yonsei University professor to Park Geun-hye, “You may have female parts, but you’re no woman lady!” (Korea Law Today)

Is Park not a woman? (The Korea Herald)

Candidates’ women pitch sparks rancor: Femininity dispute swamps campaigns as Park touts female leadership (The Korea Herald)

Park plays the gender card to draw contrast (Korea Joongang Daily)

Presidential Candidate Park Geun-hye is ‘Married to the State’ (Korea BANG)

SKorea: Incheon University accused of kisaeng diplomacy (Asian Correspondent)

Gangnam Style

Psy’s Gangnam Style: This Isn’t Really Multiculturalism (Mabel Kwong)

Gangnam Style and Korea’s branding failures (The Marmot’s Hole)

Psy teaches Oxford students how to dance Gangnam Style (The Telegraph)

‘Gangnam Style’ singer Psy: ‘I tried an elephant, monkey and kangaroo before the horse dance’ (NME)

Top 10 Global ‘Gangnam Style’ Parodies (Global Voices)

GLEE Snags “Gangnam Style” for Upcoming Setlist (MTVK)

About how badly do you think “Glee” will destroy “Gangnam Style”? (Asian Junkie)

LGBT, Sexuality

Holy crap this is actually a Korean drama? What show is this?! (Angry K-Pop Fan)

Gay Korea comes out (The Korea Times)

Welcome to Room #305: Manhwa provides good insight into a heterosexual’s reaction to meeting a queer person (The Kimchi Queen)

UPR of Republic of Korea: concerns remain on death penalty, gender equality, and military service (ILGA Asia)

Do men and women experience orgasms differently? (io9)


Honda Fit She’s, the world’s only car aimed exclusively at (Japanese) women (Sociological Images)

Pop Culture

Stoffa: ‘Cloud Atlas’ is not really racist (Iowa State Daily)

60% of Korean Actresses ‘Accosted for Sex by Bigwigs’ (The Chosun Ilbo)

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, and Some Thoughts on Culture-Specific Modes of Reading (Gord Sellar)

How K-pop is Enhanced by not Knowing Korean (or English) (Seoulbeats)

In Search of a Common Language: In Another Country, Starring Isabelle Huppert (The New York Times)

Sexual Marketing: Teen Top vs. Nu’est (Seoulbeats)

HyunA Tries to Fetishize Her Dark Skin in “Ice Cream” and it Doesn’t Sit Quite Right (McRoth’s Residence)

When Idols and Fans Clash (Seoulbeats)

Social Problems

Pakistani activist wins asylum in Korea (Asian Correspondent)

True Meaning of Welfare For the Elderly Who Are Living in Poverty (South Korea Human Rights Monitor)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

New York Times Looking for People Currently Engaged or Married via the “Seon” (선) Arrangement


I’ve been asked to pass on the following:

The New York Times is looking to interview Koreans and Korean Americans who are currently engaged or married according to the “seon” arrangement. We’re working on a story about arranged marriage versus love marriages and how some arranged couples are finding more meaning in the pre-arranged set-up as opposed to free-range style dating and marrying.

Would love to know how much the parents were involved in the date selection, what the criteria or “specs” were, and whether you are happy that you chose to go more traditional in finding a spouse. I also heard from some Korean guys that these seon arrangements makes settling down easier since it takes some of the pressure off from dating. Do any of you agree? Couples, men, women are all encouraged to respond. Opinions from parents are especially wanted. Would love to get as many differing opinions as possible. Please be aware that if we choose to profile your experiences, we would need to use your first/last name and age.

Please send your feedback to lifestylereporter@gmail.com.

For more on specs and arranged marriages, please see here and here (especially the comments to the latter). And please do email The New York Times: I’m already looking forward to reading the final story, and the more interviews in it the better!

“Body Changing” Diet-Drink Generously Donated to High School Students

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes. (Source)

Young Korean women—not men—are the only demographic in the OECD that are getting more underweight than obese.

Call me making a mountain out of a molehill, but diet-drink companies being allowed to donate their product to teens, out of supposed concerns for their heath? And plastering their classrooms with ads of heavily photoshopped women in the process? Those may just have something to do with that:

청정원 홍초가 수험생 여러분을 응원합니다 / Chung Jung Won’s HongCho Cheers For Students Taking University Entrance Exams

by Kim Jong-hoon (김종훈), Asia Today, November 4 2012

대상은 자사의 브랜드인 ‘청정원’ 홍초가 수능시험을 앞둔 고3 수험생을 응원하기 위해 오는 7일까지 서울시내 20여개 학교를 찾아 다니며 홍초 2만여개를 무료로 나눠줄 계획이라고 4일 밝혔다.

On Sunday, Daesang’s brand Chung Jung Won [English website here] announced that to support 3rd year high school students about to take their university entrance exams, they would visit 20 high schools in Seoul before the 8th (the day of the exams) and donate 20,000 bottles of HongCho to students (source, right).

청정원측은 오랜 시험준비로 지친 수험생들이 좋은 컨디션으로 시험을 볼 수 있도록 응원하기 위한 마음으로 기획 된 행사라고 설명했다. 수능이 끝난 이후에도 홍초를 내세운 다양한 마케팅 활동으로 그간 고생이 많았던 수험생들을 지원할 계획이다.

Chung Jung Won explained that this is an event for tired students that have been preparing for the exams for such a long time, so that they can be in good condition on the exam day. Also, that even after the exams, the company plans to continue supporting those students that have suffered so much, through various HongCho marketing events.

한편, 홍초는 피로회복 등에 도움이 되는 기능성 원료인 콜라겐과 헛개나무 농축액, 그리고 식이섬유를 풍부하게 함유하고 있는 건강기능성 음용식초다.

HongCho is a healthy vinegar drink that includes collagen, liquids extracted from the Oriental Raisin Tree, and a lot of fiber, and is very helpful for recovering from tiredness. (end.)

For sure, HongCho does sound quite healthy. And, technically, do not match the definition of a diet-drink:

Diet drinks: Include calorie-free and low-calorie versions of sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, and carbonated water, consistent with definitions reported by the National Cancer Institute and U.S. Food and Drug Administration food labeling guidelines. Diet drinks do not include 100% fruit juice or unsweetened teas or coffees.

However, a quick perusal of the Chung Jung Won website demonstrates that it is explicitly being marketed as a “body-changing” drink, with—especially after photoshopping—exceptionally tall and skinny Jun Ji-hyun (전지현) endorsing it most recently (that’s Kim Hee-sun/김희선 from 2010 above). Also, the following website screenshot (from 2011) and commercial show that the body-changing theme is no mere Konglish accident:


There also appears to be a sponsorship deal with the Diet War program:


Meanwhile, girl-group Kara (카라) are promoting the drink in Japan, with much the same theme. Which is ironic, considering that these are the same women who admitted that they can’t even drink water on the (frequent) days that they’re required to wear revealing clothing:

What do you think? Have any Korea-based readers had similar promotions at their own schools? How about overseas? Are concerns and issues different there? I know that in the US for instance, it is more sodas that are considered a problem, and that if students drank HongCho instead that would probably be considered a blessing. From TIME back in March (my emphasis):

If some public-health advocates have their way, sodas could become the cigarettes of food. Doctors already dislike the sugary drinks for their teeth-dissolving properties and for the role they may play in childhood obesity. There’s a constant struggle to get soda vending machines out of public schools, with administrators often forced to choose between losing sponsorship money from big soda companies and dealing with overcaffeinated, less healthy kids. Given the sheer size of the American soda industry—9.4 billion cases of soft drinks were sold in the U.S. in 2009—it’s not a war that will end anytime soon. Especially if a certain C word starts getting thrown around.

Update: From the picture, I got the impression that is was only girls’ schools that were targeted, but technically the advertorial (I can’t bring myself to call it a news report) only mentions 20 unnamed schools, and is repeated verbatim across newspapers.

Update 2: It’s not really related to the original post, but if you read that TIME magazine article above, you may also be interested in the recent findings that one of the main reasons for US children’s obesity is that they’re eating away from home so often, and (of course) that they’re mostly eating junk food when they do.

Related Posts:

If you reside in South Korea, you can donate via wire transfer: Turnbull James Edward (Kookmin Bank/국민은행, 563401-01-214324)

Radio Interview on Korean Cosmetic Surgery Tonight, 7pm


Tonight at 7pm I’ll be on Busan e-FM’s Let’s Talk Busan again, this time talking about Korean beauty standards and cosmetic surgery. You can listen on the radio at 90.5, or online here (please note that you’ll have to download Windows Media Player 10 first), and I’ll add a link to the archived version once it becomes available.

Sorry to those of you who tuned in 2 weeks ago, only to hear me speak for just a couple of minutes in total: 7 guests was far too many. But I’m happy to report that there’ll just be 3 of us this time!

Korean Gender Reader


A poster for Papa (파파; 2012), a rare Korean movie about a genuinely multicultural family. For a review, see YAM Magazine here.


Actresses! The Gwangju Vagina Monologues 2013! The Search Begins (KoreaMaria)

KUMFA is looking for three volunteers to babysit while moms are receiving barista training (Tales of Wonderlost)

Seoul’s LGBT Film Festival is Traveling [to other cities]! (The Kimchi Queen)

Women’s Self-defense Classes in Busan (Busan Haps)

2012 Manhwa Art Exhibition : The Colour of Change at Korean Cultural Centre UK (London Korea Links)

Body Image, Health

Destination: BK Plastic Surgery Museum (Travel Wire Asia)

KARA member Nicole’s serious diet regimen attracts attention (Allkpop)

Embracing My Monolids: How I Learned To Work With What I’ve Got (Mochi Magazine)

Seoul schools cracking down on students’ hair length (The Hankyoreh)

Is consumer nationalism relevant today? (The Korea Herald)

Why Barbie Stumbled in China and How She Could Re-invent Herself (Forbes)

Pic of the day: A quick vocabulary lesson in Chinese fashion buzzwords (Ministry of Tofu)

Censorship, Media

The ROK Government’s War on Porn (Idiots’ Collective)


‘5 million robbery, theft cases unreported in 2011’ (The Korea Times)

Police searching for suspect after English teacher sexually assaulted by taxi driver in Gwangju (The Marmot’s Hole)

Abusive father sentenced to prison (The Hankyoreh)

Korea’s new recreational drug problem. The “milk shot.” (Korea Law Today)

Dating, Relationships, Marriage

Dating Korean guy – the clash of prejudices (Loving Korean)

For better luck in life and love, some Koreans change their names (The Korea Times)

Four Lame Reasons Why Western Women Won’t Date Chinese Men (Speaking of China)

‘Asian Playboy’: You Know You Want to Be One (Radical Ramblings)

Education, Parenting, Demographics

Korean mother trying to get her kid back after English teacher husband runs away to America with child (The Marmot’s Hole)

Chinese think tank urges end to one-child policy (Asian Correspondent)

Elderly Chinese coming down with the “urbanization blues” (Want China Times)

A declining Japan loses its once-hopeful champions (The Washington Post)

Asia’s Competition for Brides (Asia Sentinel)

For Asians, School Tests Are Vital Steppingstones (The New York Times)

The politics of ageing in South Korea (My Sinchew)

Singer of mixed ethnicity founds school for multicultural children (The Hankyoreh)

Should the Adoption Tax Cut be Renewed? (Tales of Wonderlost)

Divorcing couples with children to get mandatory education (Korea Joongang Daily)

30 percent of SNU postgrads can’t study because of excessive tasks demanded by supervisors (Human Rights Monitor)

Economics, Politics, Workplaces, Ladygate

Korean Male Union & Sexual Harassment 남성연대와 성희롱 (Korean Gender Cafe)

Opaque, top-down system leaves some expats bitter (The Korea Herald)

Koreans Don’t Want Male Nurses, Men Rejected from Nursing Schools (Human Rights Monitor)

Issue of Temporary Workers a Hot Potato Topic (Human Rights Monitor)

GM Korea commits to goal of 25% female workforce by 2015 (Korea Joongang Daily)

Samsung now hires more women, underprivileged (Korea Joongang Daily)

The Korean gender equality myth (Korea Joongang Daily)

Despite facing some inequality, women worldwide rate their well-being nearly the same as men (Deseret News)

Gangnam Style

Gangnam Style Is Now the Third Most Popular YouTube Video Ever. Here Are Numbers 1 and 2. (The Atlantic)

China, South Korea: Gangnam Style in Chinese Universities (Global Voices)

Gangnam jockeying for center of ‘hallyu’ tourism (The Korea Times)

‘Glee’ Goes ‘Gangnam Style’ (Korea Realtime)

Why PSY? (Big Hominid’s Hairy Chasms)

“Gangnam Style” creates tourism boom for Korea (Brand Republic)

Gangnam Style exposes Seoul’s folly (FT)

Riding the Korean Wave From ‘Gangnam Style’ To Global Recognition (Global Asia)

Psy’s follow up song to “Gangnam Style” postponed (Allkpop)

LGBT, Sexuality

Cops looking at Japanese websites on Korean prostitution (The Marmot’s Hole)

Imbalance of Power and Rape in the Korean Gay Community (Korean Gender Cafe)

[Special reportage- part III] Runaways’ prostitution (The Hankyoreh)

[Special reportage- part IV] Runaways live with the pain of rape (The Hankyoreh)

Gay Celebrity Tweets Halloween Party Photos, Netizens Argue (Korea BANG)

One woman’s controversial campaign to legalize prostitution in China (The Economist)

Coming out in the countryside (Seeing Red in China)

Taiwan Gay Pride Draws Thousands Pushing For Same-Sex Marriage (The Huntington Post)

The Most Influential LGBT Asian Icons (The Huntington Post)


Rise of the Tiger Nation (The Wall Street Journal)

UN body recommends alternative to military service (The Hankyoreh)

Beautiful Defectors: An Exploration of South Korea’s “Now on My Way to Meet You” (Sino-NK)

One in nine defector women work in tea houses, bars (The Marmot’s Hole)

Tackling the Myth of the ‘Super-Asian’ (Scene Asia)

Is Ladies’ Paradise (of consumerism) a Man’s Creation? (Korean Gender Cafe)

Pop Culture

“No sluts allowed in dramaland?” Yoochun’s fans demand firing of his co-star (Dramabeans)

Bad Girls Do It Well: Policing Korea’s Idols, Part I (Mixtapes and Liner Notes)

TV Hosts Too Sexy For Morning Show, Netizens Disagree (Korea BANG)

Cloud Atlas under fire for casting white actors in ‘yellowface’ makeup (The Guardian)

50 Shades of Racism: Cloud Atlas Yellowface (Asianaut)

Variety As a Source of Controversy: What Gives? (Seoulbeats)

How big is Iron Man 3’s “Fu Manchu” problem? (io9)

What’s Happened to DSP Media? (Seoulbeats)

NU’EST detained because of their fans (new levels of obsession unlocked!) (Enewsworld)

K-pop and Escaping Real Life (Seoulbeats)

With Suzy as JYP’s sole breadwinner, is JYP at risk of losing their ‘Big 3’ title? – Basically a Suz (Omona They Didnt!)

Why Do You Like K-Pop? (The Atlantic Wire)

The K-pop Formula: Cute or Sexy, Pick Your Poison (Seoulbeats)

K-Pop Film Shortlisted for Amsterdam Docu Awards (The Chosun Ilbo)

Solbi reveals how she proved it wasn’t her in alleged sex tape (Allkpop)

Twitter: where idols publicize private matters (Angry K-pop Fan)

On the T-Ara Scandal: Look out, kid, they keep it all hid (Frank Kogan)

Cultural Appropriation in J-pop (J-Popping)

Big in Japan: J-Pop, by Canadians (Scene Asia)

Social Problems

Half a million disabled suffer for 12 hours a day (The Hankyoreh)

Three Teenage Girls Jump to Their Death in Busan (Busan Haps)

Experts call for overhaul of system to assist the disabled (The Hankyoreh)

South Korea: Need to show more commitment to improve its human rights record (Human Rights Monitor)

Revised rules restrict migrant workers’ rights to choose jobs (The Hankyoreh)

Hospital banned from providing free medical care to the poor (The Hankyoreh)

(Links are not necessarily endorsements)

“The less you wear, the bigger the discount”

(Sources, edited: left, right)

“Want to talk third wave feminism, you could cite Ariel Levy and the idea that women have internalized male oppression. Going to spring break at Fort Lauderdale, getting drunk, and flashing your breasts isn’t an act of personal empowerment. It’s you, so fashioned and programmed by the construct of patriarchal society that you no longer know what’s best for yourself. A damsel too dumb to even know she’s in distress.”

Chuck Palahnuik, Snuff (2008)

Via Genderly Speaking, a typically provocative quote from Palahnuik to ponder. Not least, when you’ve just translated today’s article, about a clothes company offering discounts to customers for wearing mini-skirts and hot-pants.

Cancelled for being too lewd, I think the event should have gone ahead, and not just because I wasn’t all that impressed by Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs (2005) either. Rather, it’s mainly because I completely reject the notion of any woman— or man—as a mere unthinking pawn of the patriarchy. Also, heavily promoted by the media, there’s already a huge demand for such revealing clothes, so this event stood out only for being more explicit than most.

While there are legitimate issues of sexual objectification that can be raised in light of that, another problem is that the writer of the article (or the parties involved—it’s unclear) implies that it was the “sexual provocation” or “sexual suggestiveness” (선정성) that was the greatest concern. Whether she was talking about the clothes or the event as a whole though, is a little vague, but if the former then I imagine that many women would take offense at the implication that they should never wear revealing clothes? (Source, right)

Had the event gone ahead as planned though, I do realize that it would have been just as empowering and tasteful as, say, a wet t-shirt competition. (Seriously, I’m wincing at the thought of lecherous cheering and the flash of cameras as customers are revealed to have over 30cm of skin showing above their knees.) Also, even if this did all happen a month before the first Slutwalk in Toronto, and 4 months before Korea’s own, it was still disappointing that the company representative only offered platitudes in defense of the event.

Is it hypocritical of me to intellectually support such an event, but — were they old enough to attend — hope that my own daughters would avoid it like the plague? Or merely honest? Or both?

Sigh. Like Peggy Orenstein explains in the first chapter of Cinderella Ate My Daughter (2011), sons sound so much easier to raise!

“벗는 만큼 세일” 의류업계 ‘막장’ / Just Typical For The Clothing Industry: “The less you wear, the bigger the discount”

코오롱인더스트리 이벤트 ‘성 상품화’ 논란…결국 행사 취소 / Kolon Industries event leads to sexual objectification controversy, is ultimately cancelled

Consumer Times, 9 March 2011, by Choi Min-hye (최미혜), choimh@consumertimes.net

코오롱인더스트리가 최근 치마길이에 따라 옷 값을 깎아주는 행사를 기획한 가운데 선정성 논란이 일자 다급히 취소하는 촌극을 벌여 소비자들의 눈살을 찌푸리게 하고 있다.

While planning an event in which customers would receive discounts depending on how high their mini-skirts were, Kolon Industries abruptly cancelled it in light of the controversy over its sexual provocation and the [anticipated] negative reaction from consumers.

참여자들의 과다 노출과 같은 부작용을 우려하는 목소리와 함께 ‘성상품화’라는 지적도 나와 행사를 예정대로 강행하기는 무리라는 업체 측의 판단이 작용했을 것이라는 분석이다.

As voices of worry were raised about the sexual objectification and such side effects as participants’ sexual objectification, the company judged that to go ahead with the event as planned would be unwise.


◆ 할인권 걸고 ‘여성 노출’ 부추겨? / Encouraging Women to Expose Their Bodies via Discount Coupons

코오롱인더스트리는 오는 13일 자사 패션 브랜드 매장인 ‘조이코오롱’에서 길이가 짧은 하의를 입은 고객들에게 제품 할인권을 증정하는 ‘하의실종 종결자를 찾아라’ 이벤트를 진행키로 했다 돌연 취소했다.

Kolon Industries abruptly cancelled an event titled “Who has the shortest?” that was to be held on the 13th at one of their stores, in which customers would have been offered discounts on clothes like hot-pants or mini-skirts if they arrived already wearing really short ones.

연예계를 중심으로 유행처럼 번지고 있는, 하의 길이가 매우 짧은 이른바 ‘하의 실종’ 패션을 제품 할인이벤트에 접목시켰다 여론의 뭇매를 맞은 탓이다.

While the entertainment world has spread this so-called “Disappearing Lower Body” trend of wearing very short clothes, Kolon Industries was roundly criticized by the public for grafting a sales event onto it.

당초 이 업체는 행사에 참여한 고객의 무릎부터 하의까지의 길이를 재 5cm까지는 50%, 10cm까지는 60%, 20cm는 70%, 30cm가 넘으면 90% 할인 쿠폰을 제공하겠다는 계획이었다. 다리 노출을 많이 할수록 옷 값을 더욱 깎아준다는 얘기다.

The intention of the company was to offer customers a 50% discount on clothes if they arrived exposing 5cm of their legs (from their knees), 60% for 10cm, 70% for 20cm, and 90% for 30cm. Or in other words, the more they exposed their legs, the greater the discount.

행사에 참여키로 예정돼 있던 이 회사 의류 브랜드는 ‘헤드’, ‘쿠아’, ‘쿠론’ 등이다. 헤드는 스포츠브랜드지만 쿠아와 쿠론은 각각 여성복, 핸드백 등 액세서리 전문 브랜드다. 행사의 주요 타깃이 여성이라는 분석이 가능하다.

Clothing brands that planned to participate in the event were Head, QuaCouronne, and so on. While Head is a sports brand, Qua and Couronne sell women’s clothes and handbags and accessories respectively. Women were clearly the target of the event.

일각에서는 국내 대표 의류업체가 할인권을 내세워 여성의 노출을 부추긴다는 곱지 않은 시선이 쏟아져 나왔다.


Some people are critical of the famous national company for planning an event that will encourage women to expose themselves.

코오롱인더스트리는 선정성 논란은 ‘기우’에 불과하다며 패션 트랜드를 반영한 행사라는 사실을 강조했다.

[But] Kolon Industries emphasized that to describe this event as sexual provocation is misguided, as it merely reflects current fashion trends.

이 회사 관계자는 “다른 업체에서 (하의실종 종결자 이벤트를) 하면 문제가 될 수 있겠지만 우리는 패션회사”라며 “패션업계에서 핫 이슈인 ‘하의 실종’ 패션을 깜짝 할인행사에 접목시킨 것”이라고 해명했다. 선정성 논란 등 행사의 부정적 효과는 이미 기획단계에서 내부적으로 논의됐다는 부연이다.

A company representative explained “If other [non-clothing] companies had hosted an event like this, it would have been a problem, but we are a fashion company.” Also, that “possible reactions like controversy about sexual provocation were anticipated and already taken into account before deciding to host the event.”

(Sources: left, right)

◆ “패션업계 ‘핫 이슈’ 행사에 접목 시킨 것”…결국 이벤트 취소 / In the end the event was cancelled

이어 이 관계자는 “평소 소비자들이 입고 다니는 반바지나 치마를 입어도 할인권을 받을 수 있다”며 “하의를 최대한 짧게 입고 오라는 취지는 아니다”라고 강조했다.

The representative added “Customers that wore normal-length shorts and skirts would also have been able to receive discounts, so the intention was not to encourage them to wear as short clothes as possible.”

“과열 경쟁 등으로 지나치게 노출이 심한 옷을 입은 참가자가 등장하면 문제가 되지 않겠냐”는 기자의 질문에는 “상황에 따라 대처하겠다”고 두루뭉술하게 답했다. 사진촬영도 막지 않겠다는 입장이어서 현장 단속이 사실상 전무한 것 아니냐는 추측이 나온다.

When asked by a reporter if people wearing too revealing clothing [in order to get a bigger discount] would be a problem, the representative replied “We don’t anticipate that, but will deal with any problems if and when they occur.” [However] it will be too difficult to police the event and prevent people from taking pictures.

이 관계자는 “기본적으로 신분증을 지참한 성인남녀만 참가할 수 있도록 했지만 행사 자체는 모두에게 공개된다”며 “(지나친 노출 등) 누가 봐도 문제가 될 상황이 발생하면 현장에서 해결할 것”이라고 말했다.

The representative also said that “the event will be open to the public, but only adults (we will check IDs) will be allowed to participate,” and again that “we will deal with any problems of excessive exposure if and when they occur.” (source, right)

업체 측의 해명에도 불구하고 ‘선정성 논란’은 수그러들지 않았다. 결국 이 업체는 문제의 행사를 열지 않기로 입장을 선회했다. 소비자들의 반응은 냉담했다.

Despite these explanations, the controversy about the sexual provocation didn’t die down. In the end, the company decided not to hold the event in question. But consumers’ feelings about it are still cool.

한 소비자는 “결국은 짧은 치마를 입고 와야 옷을 싸게 살 수 있다는 것 아니냐”며 “성 상품화에 대한 논란도 많은데 코오롱인더스트리가 꼭 이런 행사를 기획했어야 했는지 모르겠다”고 지적했다.

One consumer complained that “Why would we have to come to the store in high mini-skirts in order to receive the discount,” and wondered “why did Kolon Industries plan such event when sexual objectification is such a controversial issue?”

또 다른 소비자는 “의류업체에서 유행 아이템을 반영한 행사는 개최할 수 있다”면서도 “다만 행사 내용이 지나치게 선정적으로 비춰지면 소비자들이 거부감을 느끼지 않겠냐”고 말했다.

Another consumer said “A company can certainly hold an event that reflects current fashion trends,” but “if it is too sexually provocative, won’t people reject that?”

한편 코오롱그룹 모기업인 코오롱인더스트리는 ‘캠브리지멤버스’, ‘헤드’ 등의 브랜드로 유명한 패션 전문기업이다.

The Kolon Group, the parent company of Kolon Industries, is well known for fashion brands like Cambridge Members and Head (end).

Update — Via this blog, a video promoting the event:

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