Korean Sociological Image #85: Just One 10 Minutes…to Improve Your Spouse’s Specs

Korea Gender Roles Marriage Specs(Source: Jinvas, left, right; edited)

Two notebook covers, found by reader Stephanie Rosier at her local Kyobo bookstore. As she explains on the blog’s Facebook page, the left reads, “If I study for ten more minutes, my [future] wife’s face will change,” and the right, “If I study for ten more minutes, my [future] husband’s job will change.”

Of course they’re just notebooks, and just for fun (although I do hope it’s adults they’re aimed at!). But they’re also a reflection of how deeply “specs” (스펙) like certain jobs and physical standards dominate matchmaking discussions among Koreans these days. Whereas back in the 1980s, it was older family members or family friends that would size up children’s potential spouses for arranged 선 (seon) matches like this, nowadays hard economic times mean that young people can be just as pragmatic and calculating as their grandparents were.

Meanwhile, what’s “Just One 10 Minutes?” you ask? :D

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(For more posts in the Korean Sociological Image Series, see here)

3 thoughts on “Korean Sociological Image #85: Just One 10 Minutes…to Improve Your Spouse’s Specs

  1. Some Koreans in Korea (that I’ve met) seemed to have a fixed notion of how life should be lived, what should be sought in life. Especially the older generation. Living life according to some manual. I think the notebooks might be one reflection of that. Well, if the students do study harder as a result, touche… Btw, the slogans also promote the erroneous notion that quantity (rather than quality) is most important when it comes to studying. My slogan would read: “Take ten minutes to ponder WHY you are studying. Your life could change as a result.”

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