Sometimes, I wonder if I exaggerate Korea’s alphabetization craze. Then I come across advertisements like this one:
The advertisement on the left reads:
Tight chestline, Sleek braline; Slender waistline, No-cellulite bellyline; and Attractive y-line, Smooth legline. Fashion’s Complete Body! Summer Event. 10% Event Discount.
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Please see here and here if this is the first you’ve heard of “alphabetization” though, with the latter link focusing on Western historical parallels and the Y-line specifically. Alternatively, see here for more on the physically impossible X-line!
(For more posts in the Korean Sociological Image series, see here)
6 thoughts on “Korean Sociological Image #80: Fashion’s Complete Body!”
It’s interesting and hypocritical how Korean pop culture pushes women to try and attain these sexy, slim body types, and then turns around and blames them when they’re sexually assaulted. I have no problem with women getting plastic surgery, I just hate the two-facedness of modern Korean culture.
Surely every society does that? But I certainly agree that Korean society is much much blunter in its fat-shaming and pressurizing than most.
Yes, every society is guilty of this, but it seems more intensified due to the small size of the country and population. There are great and not so great things about Korean culture, but the way it still treats women bugs me a lot.
패션의 완성은 몸매! is more like “The body is the completion (pinnacle if we’re being generous with our translation?) of fashion.”
Aside form that, what are they claiming they do for the “Y line”? Pubic bone shaving (I’m not sure if I’m joking)? It would probably make more sense if it was a V line as well, but then we’ve already got a couple of those.
Agreed that that’s a better literal translation. I plumped for the one in the text because I thought it was less awkward in English (although admittedly it’s still pretty bad!).
Good question with the Y-line — as I explain in the link, some of the Y-lines suggested are very very vague. When Mundipharma used it to sell a vaginal cleanser for instance, they clearly meant the vagina or crotch, and the term Y-line has indeed been used as a euphemism in feminine-hygiene relate products in advertising for at least a couple of years now (like “V” has been in English-language markets for much longer; by coincidence, it was recently picked up in a Korean ad too). But for some reason they decided they couldn’t linger on a crotch in their ads (unlike the beauty clinic in this case) and so they had 최여진 standing in Y-shapes like a kid playing ABCs instead. It was all a bit farcical really.
Anyway, see the link for more examples (of Y-line as a back, buttocks, jaw, and so on). I think in this case ultimately it just means losing weight in and/or toning the legs to make them look nicer. This being Korea though, they couldn’t just say that and had to invoke the sacred power of a *line*!
I don’t understand why we have to ‘fit’ into the languages we use, rather than shaping the language to fit oursevles.