(Source: YouTube. See there for her secret method!)
Remember my last post on assessing celebrities’ impact on Korean body-image standards? Where I stressed that it was crucial to listen to what ordinary Koreans thought of them?
I’m going to start with 여신왕쥬 (Goddess Wang-ju), who doesn’t mince words about what impact they’ve had on her. Or, more precisely, about what impact they’ve had on Korean men, who constantly compare her to slim, big-busted K-pop stars.
That’s a sweeping generalization about the men of course (my apologies), but you’ll soon understand her need to rant once you listen. NSFW warning for the Korean swearing:
Wang-ju is a little difficult to pin down: she’s made hundreds of videos, on a wide variety of subjects. Generally though, she seems refreshingly outspoken, and funny, a combination which has won her hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube, Facebook, and Afreeca TV.
Unfortunately, this video seems to be the only one a fan has added English subtitles to, so I’ll have to let readers know if I find any more (or please let me know!). In the meantime, for Korean speakers, here’s her most recent one on body-image, from two days ago:
Update: Some great news!
6 thoughts on “Listen to This Korean Girl’s Perspective on Korean Men’s Absurd Body-Image Standards”
This isn’t on topic exactly but this site is run by a korean american so we sure as hell can’t assume that direct exposure to western media helps much when it comes to reducing women to mere body parts. http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com/2015/05/top-5-female-idols-with-best-body-parts.html
I’m a bit confused sorry: that site is run by a Korean-American, but the articles and netizen comments translated there are all Korean. Unless you mean she could (should) have chosen an article on another subject? If so, then sure, I’m tired of “articles” like that one too, but in fairness it is pretty typical for what the Korean media writes about K-pop stars, which is what the site is focused on. Also, of course the Western media itself is pretty bad when it comes to reducing women to mere body parts.
Sorry if I’m overanalyzing your comment though!
I suppose I meant that yes, she could shy away from posting such a blatantly exploitative subject. It also occurred to me that being American as well as Korean didn’t seem to deter her from it. Believe me she posts for clickbait. Yes, it also made me question just how much different should I expect the two cultures to be when it comes to how women view themselves and other women. I know the girl in the video is ranting about male expectations but women are also guilty of imposing these things on ourselves as well. I question whether or not all of our body shaming is driven by males.
TJ, at least in the U.S., individuals who body-shame women are quite likely, maybe even more likely, to be other women. But it’s sexist, patriarchal culture that causes people to think that a woman’s looks are a far more important quality in her, than a man’s are in him. And it’s sexist, patriarchal culture that creates a hierarchy of looks among women that teaches us that a woman’s looks, above all, make her attractive, and that nothing she can do or be is as important as how she looks. Here’s an analogy: African-Americans did not invent and do not want to perpetuate the racism or racist beauty standards that harm them. But African-Americans routinely shame each other for having “nappy” hair, exponentially more than white people do. This is called internalized racism. Women body-shaming each other is called internalized sexism.
Men are the products, and the victims of sexism and patriarchy much like women are, just in different ways. Men are body-shamed in different ways. A person can be oppressor and oppressed at the same time. When it comes to some issues, e.g. the practices of violence, or expectations around parenthood, sexism and patriarchy can be horrifically hard on men. But when it comes to body image, women definitely get the thin end of the stick. No matter where the body-shaming *appears* to be coming from, the logic of thigh gaps is this: thigh gap = unquestionably thin; thin = beautiful; beautiful = attractive to men; attractive to men = high status in society; high status in society = ok, you can love & respect yourself now.
Well put Chunghee.
What a firebrand! I’m definitely going to be looking up more of her videos.