Hot Sweaty Korean Women

What makes this commercial so special?

No, it’s not because of Park Ga-hee’s great body, which isn’t unheard of in K-pop. It’s not because she’s leader of the girl-group After School, which I’ve been writing a lot about recently. And it’s not because she’s no manufactured K-pop idol either, once literally penniless on the streets of Seoul after running away from home.

Those do make her more attractive and interesting, but they don’t speak to the commercial.

Rather, it’s special because she’s sweating.

Yes, sweating. Because as I first highlighted over 2 years ago, Korean women generally prefer passive means of losing weight to active ones like exercise. (Update, 2013: post since deleted sorry.) Indeed, even the ones that do attend gyms rarely seem to exert any actual effort while they’re there, and I’ve seen less than a handful dripping with sweat while on a treadmill.

A gross over-generalization? Actually, I very much hope so, and, admittedly not having gone to a Korean gym myself since 2004, then I’d nothing better to learn that things have changed since. But my 2008 post did seem to strike a chord with readers’ own experiences back then, and in turn the underlying attitudes to exercise that they demonstrated were corroborated by one of the few English language studies of the subject: “Content Analysis of Diet Advertisements: A Cross-National Comparison of Korean and U.S. Women’s Magazines” (Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, October 2006), by Minjeong Kim and Sharron Lennon. With apologies to long-term readers for my frequent references to it, but it’s worth (re)highlighting some parts here to remind ourselves just how unique the Fat Down (팻다운) commercial really is:

In his study with Korean female college students, Kim (1998) found that a predominant portion of respondents engaged in dieting for appearance rather than health, and a majority of respondents had previously engaged in dieting. The most common method of dieting was to restrict caloric intake, whereas a similar study with American female college students found that exercise was the most common dieting method among American women (Grunwald, 1985). (p. 350)

(Source: 영원같은 찰나)

Granted, those are old studies. But ponder the fact that one question I posed to my university students for their final vocal tests this week was “What are your plans for the summer?”, and fully 20 out of 55 of the women said they would be dieting to wear a bikini on the beach.* Which not only surely reflects an obsession in itself, but notably none said merely “losing weight” either, and definitely not “exercising” or “working out” (by way of comparison, 1 out of 65 guys said he would be working out). Hence the tests took rather longer than expected, as I felt compelled to step out of my remit as an English teacher and point out that none of them needed to lose weight whatsoever, that Korean women were already the slimmest in the OECD, and that could they at least consider maybe exercising rather than dieting?

(*As readers explained in the comments, I took the word “diet” much too literally. My mistake.)

And there are were plenty more anecdotes like that available in that post from 2008. But I like to be above passing on mere anecdotes these days, so consider some of the empirical evidence provided by Kim and Lennon instead:

The percentage of diet ads in relation to total ads was far greater in Korean women’s magazines than in U.S. magazines. (p.357)

Also (source. right):

A current article in one Korean newspaper (“Half of High School Females Are Not Qualified,” 2002) reported that more than half of Korean high school women suffer from an anemic constitution caused by malnutrition because of dieting. Also half the prospective blood donors from several high schools were not qualified because of deficiencies in nutrition. (p. 357)


Content analysis of the types of diet products/programs indicated that there are a variety of diet products easily available in Korean magazines….Diet pills, body attachments such as a diet belt, and oriental diet herbs were three of the more frequently advertised diet products in the Korean magazines sampled. However, none of them was reported as being clinically approved….Korean magazines promote more passive diet methods than active diet methods. Ads for passive diet methods such as diet pills, massage, aroma therapy, diet crème, or diet drinks that one must take, put on the body, or smell to lose weight were more prevalent than diet ads requiring one’s active participation such as exercise equipment or aerobic videotapes. Passive dieting ads reinforce the idea that buying a product will solve weight problems with no effort on the part of the user. (p. 358)

See here, here, and here for examples and further discussion of such advertisements, and you may also find these electric breast massagers and apple-hip seats interesting. Meanwhile, shame again on the Brown Eyed Girls…but please don’t take this post as an endorsement of Fat Down myself: I know nothing about it, and certainly do not know its ingredients or effectiveness. As you can see above though, I do at least recall that Jung Da-yeon also endorsed it, a woman in her early-40s who became famous a few years ago for being a momjjang ajumma (몸짱아주마), literally a “good body married woman”.

(Update) Related, I like the no-bullshit attitude of this advertisement for a cosmetic surgery in yesterday’s Busan edition of Focus newspaper (p. 6), which reads: “How much will you have to drink before you’ll get a V-line?”, a reference to this drink’s supposed ability to give you that face shape.

(Source: Focus)

Bang! (뱅!) by After School (애프터스쿨): Lyrics & Translation

Remember my plan last month “to find out how actual fans respond to various girl groups’ song lyrics, music videos, and on and off-stage behavior and so on, rather than simply speculating like I’ve done previously”? Alas, I haven’t been able to do any as much work on that as I would have liked to by now, but I have completed a necessary first step: translating After School’s (애프터스쿨) songs into English, so as to get a better grip on what is actually being discussed. Starting with Bang! (뱅!) here, I’ll be passing on the results over the next few weeks, before moving on to 2NE1’s songs.

Actually, there are already numerous translations of the song available, so you may wonder what the point of adding one more is. But then song lyrics in any language can be very ambiguous even to native speakers, and so some of those translations can ultimately differ quite widely. And as you’ll soon see, a mistranslation of just a single line can have a huge impact on the perceived character of a song too, so I’m glad I decided to engage with the original Korean instead.

A quick note on the music itself first. While my predilection for trance music is already well known to regular readers (not that this really qualifies as such), I do genuinely believe that, objectively speaking, DJ Areia’s remix above is far superior to the original below. For not only does it have a faster tempo (134 bpm vs. 120) that is much more appropriate for its youthful, energetic theme, but more importantly because it has a clear climax at 1:29-1:43 which flows well into the melodic, dreamlike sequence from 1:43-2:15. In contrast, the original seems to be almost, well, passing the time at the equivalent period of 1:39-1:54, in a sense waiting for the climax that never comes; instead, you merely get the melodic sequence at 1:54-2:27. This ends up leaving me feeling very unfulfilled, and many fans have also commented that it seems somewhat out of place (but not that I dislike that segment in itself).

Hence the original literally feels somewhat lacking to me, and the first time I heard it I was reminded of playing my father’s singles at 33½rpm rather than 45rpm for fun when I was a kid. Here it is if you prefer it though, and I’ll be briefly referring to the some of the translations in this particular video of it in the text:

T.R.Y. Do it now! Can you follow me? Yes!! Uh-ha~!!

T.R.Y. Pick it up! You’ll never catch me!! Oh~ No!!

눈부시게 빛나는 나를 따라 Oh! Oh! Oh!

가식적인 말들은 비웃어버려 Ha! Ha! Ha!

예쁘기만 한 너는 더 이상은 No! No! No!

짜릿한 음악 속에 던져버려 Bang! Bang! Bang!

Follow my dazzlingly shining self Oh! Oh! Oh!

Laugh out your pretentious, affected words

You only being pretty, no longer

Throw yourself/it into the thrilling music

As you can see, I’ve decided to stick to very literal translations this time: partially because I’m sure readers can already think of phrases that would be more appropriate for English audiences, and partially because with all the ambiguity and different translations as mentioned, then knowing the gist of the song is more important.

Indeed, this helped me to overcome the difficulties which I had as soon as line 3, very literally  “prettiness-only-(having)-you-more-more-(than) No! No! No!”. Not unreasonably I first translated that as “you have no more than your prettiness”, but I found that a little cynical and odd in light of the girl-power vibe of the song as a whole, so I checked out the translations that DJ Areia used, but which also came up with “the only thing you have is being pretty, you’re no more”.  Still dissatisfied, I eventually found the video above at then (which has many more translated K-pop videos), and it had “All you do is being pretty, no more No! No! No!”, which seems much more logical. And later, my wife also confirmed that “더 이상은” is almost always used in a negative sentence, and means “no longer” in a time sense.

Hence, detailed translations of songs often belie how open to interpretation they really are, and so never take them for granted (including mine!): it would be a pity if anybody got entirely the wrong impression of After School because of something like that. Meanwhile, is one supposed to throw that attitude or oneself into the thrilling music in line 4? The original Korean doesn’t say, but like much of the song, I suspect that it doesn’t really matter.

우리는!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! 너흰 모두 비켜라!! Check it out!! 다 가져봐!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

Right now!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! 모두 미쳐라!! 외쳐라!! 또 이렇게!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

Us!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! All of you get out of the way!! Check it out!! Take it all!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

Right now!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! Everybody be crazy!! Shout!! Do it like this again!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

Those seem quite straightforward, but a quick cultural point: while it is perfectly normal to say “비켜” to children, literally “Get out of the way”, my wife has advised me that adding a respectful “주세요” at the end like with most verbs doesn’t make it an acceptable request to strangers, just like “Could you please get out of the way” isn’t that bad(!) but still wouldn’t always be the most appropriate thing to say in English either. Instead, simply “실례합니다” is best.

T.R.Y. Do it now! Can you follow me? Yes!! Uh-ha~!!

T.R.Y. Pick it up! You’ll never catch me!! Oh~ No!!

가슴 뛰는 이 밤을 내 맘은 Oh! Oh! Oh!

불타는 네 눈길은 내 몸을 타고 Ha! Ha! Ha!

거칠어진 숨소리 멈추진 마 No! No! No!

심장이 이 리듬을 따라가게 쿵! 쿵! 쿵!

This chest-throbbing night is mine Oh! Oh! Oh!

Your burning gaze climbs/burns my body Ha! Ha! Ha!

Don’t stop your breath (that has turned wild and rough) No! No! No!

Let your heart follow the rhythm Bang! Bang! Bang!

Again, I’m sure you get the gist above, but let me just highlight 2 points. First, line 3 is translated as the slightly perverse-sounding “the sound of your breath gets rougher, don’t stop” or “don’t stop the sound your heavy breathing” respectively in the videos above, but that’s not at all obvious from “거칠다”, which is “coarse/rough (skin); rude (behavior)/wild (nature)/harsh (tone)/violent (language); rough/slovenly/slipshod/loose; or rough/wild/raging/furious/turbulent” according my electronic dictionary, and indeed “heavy (breathing)” seems far removed from the “rough (skin)” meant in one of my daughters’ books in the first picture (in case you’re wondering, the girl is pondering what could be hiding under the blankets).

Similarly, like you can see in the bottom 2 pictures, “쿵” in line 4 is an onomatopoeia for the sound of something hitting something else, so probably “bump” in the bottom video is better than the “bang” of the first. Still, the English “bang bang bang” does seem quite apt considering band member Kim Jung-ah (김정아) dances to that part of the song by repeatedly thrusting her chest out at the viewer(!), and on a side note I’ve often wondered if advertisers for the Korean clothes company Bang Bang (뱅뱅) are aware of the double-entendre:

But carrying on:

우리는!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! 너흰 모두 비켜라!! Check it out!! 다 가져봐!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

Right now!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! 모두 미쳐라!! 외쳐라!! 또 이렇게!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

(rap) Bringin’ it to you daily It’s only from the best

After School Playgirlz know how to get fresh

So cool, So right, just so tasty

We bring it fast forward the fellows go crazy

좀더 과감하게 보여 주는 거야 너~ (To be raised for my life)

좀더 특별하게 춤을 추는 거야 너~ (To be raised for my life)

Show yourself dancing a little more boldly (To be raised for my life)

Dance a little more specially (To be raised for my life)

And “과감하다” means “resolute/determined/bold/daring”, so I’d say the first video’s “you should show it more dangerously” is a little off.

One! Two!! Three!!!

음악에 널 맡겨 주문을 걸어봐 Yeah~ (To be raised for my life)

(rap) Crisp clean original new quality is what we give to you.

(Check it out) a new generation and a whole new start (check it out) collaboration with a brand new heart

조금 더 다가와 이순간을 Catch Up!! Oh~

(rap) On your mark set ready to go, can you feel it in your body this A.S. flow…

Hey hey what you want ! Let’s go…!!

Entrust yourself (your body) to the music, and try casting a spell Yeah~ (To be raised for my life)


Approach this moment a little more

That first line is one of those cases which would just be impossible without a native speaker: “주문을 걸다” means “cast a spell”, but naturally that compound verb isn’t mentioned in any of my dictionaries. Instead, I was struggling with “주문” as “order”, “spell”,  or “request/demand/desire” and “걸다” which has 10 meanings, but usually “hook”, “put into position”, or “install”, before giving up and consulting the videos.

And that’s about it, but here is the remainder for the sake of completeness:

우리는!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! 너흰 모두 비켜라!! Check it out!! 다 가져봐!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

Right now!! Oh~ After!! School Up!! 모두 미쳐라!! 외쳐라!! 또 이렇게!! A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

T.R.Y. Do it now! Can you follow me? Yes!! Uh-ha~!!

T.R.Y. Pick it up! You’ll never catch me!! Oh~ No!!

A-ha! A-ha! A-ha! T.R.Y. Do it now!!.

A-ha! A-ha! A-ha! Can you follow me? Yes!! Uh-ha~!!

A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

A-ha! A-ha! A-ha!

And on that note, I hope you enjoyed the song, and/or learned a little about After School and/or some Korean in the process. As always, please feel free to correct any mistakes I may have made, and thanks in advance to those that do!

( Source, all screenshots )


Open Thread #13


With apologies to Seoulplay, but I’m tempted to only use screenshots from 2NE1’s (투애니원) Try to Follow Me (날 따라 해봐요) music video for the Open Threads from now on! For like Anna at her Appears music blog explains:

Every moment in this promotional video is a photograph. Every shot, every pan, every object has been calculated to the point of mental instability. What is K-pop like in the 10′s? Everything I predicted and more. And like all the things I truly admire in this world, I’m torn between laughing at them and laughing with them.

Read the rest of her post, and you’ll soon see why. And on that note, a quick but serious question to anyone familiar with 2NE1 to get the ball rolling this week: how accurate a portrayal of the group would you say is presented by the following recent video on them?

In a nutshell, I ask because I’m about to start working on a project to find out how actual fans respond to various girl groups’ song lyrics, music videos, and on and off-stage behavior and so on, rather than simply speculating like I’ve done previously. And to do that, I’m planning to join their fan clubs (albeit probably posing as my Korean wife), but naturally I would like to start with groups whose music I really like and/or which has a slightly radical message before I invest the all the time in translating long comments threads about them.

Liking almost all of After School’s (애프터스쿨) songs so far then, or at least DJ Areia’s remixes, I’ll definitely still start with them, but in light of that video I’m now considering looking at 2NE1 after that. So before I do, my question is: do they live up to all the hype?

Thanks in advance, and of course readers please feel free to raise any other Korea-related issues!


Open Thread #8: Superfuturism & Anitiquity

( “Fade to Red” by StudioQube. Source: deviantART)

Thoughts for the weekend, from boingboing:

Marilyn from National Geographic sez, “I think you’ll love these Shanghai photos by Fritz Hoffmann in March National Geo. It’s hard to believe such a superfuturistic megacity also looks like a village from 100 years ago.”

What she said. There are lots of places in the world where seamless high-tech and ancient cobblestones exist side by side, but I’ve never been anywhere in which you can go from one to the other so quickly as Shanghai. One moment you’re on the set of Blade Runner, then you turn a corner and you’re in a historical drama, with no sign of glass-and-steel in sight.

And of course most Korean cities are some of those places, and perhaps Seoul in particular. Something surprisingly absent from the discussion at boingboing though, is that in many senses such places can be considered ecotones, a geographical term for the zone where 2 ecosystems meet, and all the much richer and more diverse than either because of the ensuing interaction.

Seriously, nearly 10 years after I arrived in Korea, I still love wandering around such districts occasionally: the constant juxtapositions to be experienced there remind of how I felt when I first came. Unfortunately however, Korea’s misguided attempts at “modernization” means that they may not be around much longer, so make sure to enjoy them while you still can.

To end on a more positive note then, here is my latest favorite K-pop song, or again my new favorite Areia remix at least: Because of you (너 때문에), by After School (애프터스쿨; download the MP3 here). Clearly portraying a lesbian relationship despite the ostensibly heterosexual lyrics, I’ll definitely be analyzing it in depth at some point, but until then I’d be more interested in hearing your own thoughts. Enjoy!^^

Update: And before I forget, here’s a remix of Tell Me Your Wish (소원을 말해봐) by Girls’ Generation (소녀시대) also. But by a different DJ this time, and in my opinion a much deeper, warmer version of the original that makes it actually worth listening to, rather than the song merely being a means to provide some eye candy and indirect advertising via the music video. Skeptics, try the first 15 seconds at least, and if you don’t like those then you simply have no soul(!); everyone else, download the MP3 here.


The Kafkaesque Korean Beauty Trends of 2009

(Source: Unknown)

Confused about all the new buzzwords used to describe Koreans’ bodies these days? Here’s my translation of an article that gives a quick guide.

The author implies that most of them arose organically from the public’s interest in certain actors in Korean dramas. Whereas in reality, it’s companies and the media that are overwhelmingly responsible, as they’re in a constant quest to create new consumer trends (read: new reasons for people to feel dissatisfied with themselves). Yet while most of these have no basis in reality, are essentially useless, and/or are so contrived as to be quickly forgotten or ignored, some do stick.

Of those that do though, if they have some English in them then it often makes them more interesting from a sociological standpoint. For whether by accident, mistranslation or design, they both reflect the way the term is already usually misused in Korean and further influence they way in which related English-language popular culture gets filtered into its Korean counterpart.

A good example from this article would be chongsoon-glaemor (청순글래머), or “innocent glamor,” which at first glance doesn’t seem all that strange: in her television commercials for instance, the ice-skater Kim Yuna (김연아) below manages to project an innocent image while having a seemingly glamorous lifestyle (I wonder if she’ll find the former stifling as she grows older however, like actress Moon Geun-young?). But it emerges that “sexy” would be a much better translation of the English word “glamor(ous),” and although I’m sure readers are well aware of the number of ways  in which women are presented as pure and innocent but somehow also lustful in Western popular culture, and effectively are in Korean, there are still problems with assuming that that is what the term means, as the word “sexy” isn’t construed quite the same way here. Instead, we seem to be left with an obscure term for Korean women that look more virginal than normal(?), but yet still do the mechanical “sexy dances” virtually required of them on Korean talk shows.

Anybody with more familiarity with the term and/or the actress Shin Se-kyung that supposedly spawned it, please feel free to correct me on my interpretation: after all, this is the first time I’ve looked at its origins, and just based on one article at that (Update — with thanks to Seamus Walsh for pointing it out, I did indeed make a mistake: “glamor” actually means “busty” in Korean). But with the proviso that the next means I may be cherry-picking the facts to suit my own views, it does still seem very consistent with the Korean media’s overall trend towards discouraging or outright banning of assertive displays of women’s sexuality, i.e. genuinely sexy behavior.

꿀벅지·미중년·꽃남…2009년 연예계 뷰티 트렌드는? 2009-12-31 by 두정아

올해 연예계 트렌드를 이끈 핫 키워드는 무엇일까. 꽃남과 미중년, 꿀벅지, 베이비페이스, 청순글래머 등 어느 해보다 개성있고 다양한 트렌드가 공존했던 한 해였다.

드라마 ‘꽃보다 남자’로 ‘꽃남’이라는 단어가 사람들 입에 오르내렸고, ‘내조의 여왕’의 윤상현은 ‘미중년’이라는 찬사를 받으며 남성들의 뷰티 열풍을 이끌었으며 그룹 에프터스쿨 멤버 유이의 매끈한 허벅지를 일컫는 ‘꿀벅지’와 배우 신세경의 ‘청순글래머’ 등은 여심을 자극하며 바디 열풍을 일으켰다. 여전한 ‘V라인’ 강세 속에 동안(童顔) 열풍 또한 이어져 ‘베이비페이스’라는 단어가 자주 회자됐다.

What were the hot keywords that led trends in the world of entertainment in 2009?

With kkotnam (flower man) and mijoongnam (beautiful middle-aged man), ggoolbokji (honey thighs), babyface and chongsoon-glaemor (innocent glamor) emerging, there were many very distinct trends compared to most years.

From the drama Boys Over Flowers the term “flower man” was on everyone’s lips; from Queen of Housewives the actor Yoon Sang-hyu received a lot of praise for his looks, spawning the word “beautiful middle-aged man” and a strong following among men wanting to emulate him; and women were similarly interested in the After School member UEE’s smooth and velvety thighs known as “honey thighs” and actress Shin Se-kyung’s “innocent glamor.” Finally, in addition to the eternal “V-line,” a strong interest in youthful faces has been shown by the new word “babyface” that is often talked about.

(Source: Unknown)

‘꽃남’·’미중년’, 남성 뷰티(美) 열풍

KBS 드라마 ‘꽃보다 남자’ 신드롬에 힘입어, MBC 드라마 ‘내조의 여왕’ 태봉이 (윤상현 분)가 일으킨 ‘미중년’ 열풍까지 남성들의 뷰티 열풍이 어느 해보다 뜨거웠다. 이를 계기로 남자도 외모 관리를 해야 한다는 인식이 공유되기도 했다.

거친 남성다움보다는 부드럽고 세련된 귀족적인 이미지를 선호하는 분위기로 바뀌며 성형외과나 피부과를 적극적으로 찾는 남성들도 크게 증가했다.

경제 성장을 이루던 90년대에 사회생활을 시작한 현재 30대 후반부터 40대 초반의 중년들은 전통적인 부모 세대와 달리 중년이 돼서도 문화와 여가를 즐기고 자신을 가꾸는 노력에 적극적이기 때문이라는 해석이다.

Combined, the flower man syndrome caused by the KBS Drama Boys Over Flowers and the beautiful middle-aged man craze caused by the character Tae Bong-ee in Queen of Housewives have led to men taking a great interest in their bodies. This is how the notion that men, like women, also have to take care of their bodies and appearance has become accepted wisdom.

In turn, as the preferred image of Korean masculinity has become softer and more polished, refined and noble, cosmetic surgery and skincare clinics are reporting a great upsurge in interest from men.

One additional reason for this is that even though men that grew up and entered the workforce in the 1990s are now in their late-30s and early-40s, they are very different to their parents’ generation, and choose to enjoy culture and their free time more, which includes taking a greater interest in themselves.

‘꿀벅지’ ‘소시지룩’ ‘청순글래머’ 바디 열풍 선도

올 한해 주목할 트렌드는 바디 열풍이다. 소녀시대의 지(GEE) 열풍과 함께 유행한 일명 ‘소·시·지(Gee)룩’. 몸매가 고스란히 드러나는 초절정 스키니진에 타이트한 티셔츠를 입은 여성들이 패션을 주도하면서 여성들의 S라인 욕구는 상승했다.

뒤이어 그룹 애프터스쿨 유이의 건강미 넘치는 탄탄한 허벅지가 주목을 받으면서 꿀이 발린 듯한 매력적인 허벅지라는 뜻의 ‘꿀벅지’라는 신조어까지 탄생했다.

또한 요즘 주가를 올리고 있는 단어는 ‘청순글래머’. MBC 시트콤 ‘지붕 뚫고 하이킥’ 출연하고 있는 신세경은 청순한 매력과 섹시한 관능미를 동시에 지니고 있어 ‘청순 글래머’의 대명사로 불린다. ‘포스트 김혜수’로 주목받으며 휴대전화, 화장품 광고 모델 자리를 꿰차는 등 그 인기를 입증하고 있다.

이에 대해 그랜드성형외과 유상욱 원장은 “과거 여자 톱스타들의 상징이 ‘화장품 모델’이었다면 2009년은 이효리, 신민아, 송혜교, 손담비 등 청바지 모델로 그 중심이 바뀌었다”며 “이 같은 변화는 요즘 대중들의 관심이 바디로 옮겨지고 있다는 증거”라고 설명했다.

2009 was a real year of body trends. First, there was the very popular so called “sausage look” of Girls’ Generation. Hiding nothing, the ensuing fashion of wearing extremely skinny jeans and tight t-shirts among women has sparked an intense interest by women in their S-lines.

(Update — “Sausage look” may be a mistake, as the “소시”, or “soshi”, in “소시지(Gee)룩” is also the Korean shorthand for Girls’ Generation, and the “지”, or “gee”, the name of one of their most iconic songs. So the term may mean “sausage look”, or it may mean, literally, “how Girls’ Generation looked in the Gee music video”, in which they happened to wear skinny jeans. Either way, it’s a good pun!)

Next, as a lot of interest in After School member UEE’s firm, smooth and very healthy-looking thighs emerged, the new word “honey thighs” was coined to describe thighs like them.

Another word that’s stock is rising is “Innocent Glamor.” This comes from the actress Shin Se-kyung that appeared in the MBC sitcom High Kick Through The Roof, described as the icon for women who combine a pure and innocent image with sex appeal. Considered a second Kim Hye-su also, because of her popularity she regularly appears in cellphone and cosmetics commercials.

According to “Grand Cosmetic Surgery Clinic” owner Yu Sang-ok, “in the past the symbol of top female stars was the cosmetic model, but in 2009 women like Lee Hyori, Shin Min-ah, Song Hye-gyo and Son Dam-bi have been mostly modeling jeans instead,” and “this is proof that the focus of people’s attention has moved to star’s bodies now.”

(Source: Naver)

‘V라인’ 강세, ‘베이비페이스’가 위협

올해도 ‘V라인’ 강세는 여전했다. 뭐니뭐니해도 ‘동안’, ‘V라인’, ‘작은 얼굴’은 사람들이 가장 선호하는 이미지이기 때문이다. 갸름하고 부드러운 V라인은 첫인상부터 편안하고 친근한 장점도 있다.

MBC 드라마 ‘선덕여왕’ 미실 역의 고현정은 소름끼치는 연기와 더불어 나이를 가늠할 수 없는 ‘베이비페이스’로 주목을 받았다. 투명한 피부는 물론, 볼륨감이 그대로 살아있는 생기있는 얼굴은 아기 피부 같다는 찬사를 받았다.

‘베이비페이스’는 ‘어려보이면서 입체적인 얼굴’을 말한다. 그 특징은 얼굴 옆이 아닌 앞쪽으로 볼륨감이 살아있는 얼굴로 콧등의 높이와 균형을 이루는 부드러운 곡선 모양의 탐스러운 이마 그리고 갸름하고 조금은 짧은 듯한 턱 선이 생명이다. 이러한 ‘베이비 페이스’의 열풍은 2010년에도 지속될 것으로 전망된다.

Last year, the emphasis on the V-line remained unchanged. After all, the preferred image is to have a dongan “youthful face [for one’s age],” V-line, or jakkun-olgool “small face.” And if you have a long, slender face with a V-line, people’s first impression of you will be softer and friendlier.

Hence the interest in the “Babyface” of actress Ko Hyeon-jeong, who played the character Lady Mishil in the MBC drama Queen Seon Duk, and whose acting was so good that she gave viewers goose pimples. With clear skin and glowing, firm cheeks, she has received a lot of praise for having a face as good as a baby’s.

But a babyface has been described as a “solid, 3D face.” In particular, it’s not just the volume of the cheeks on the side but also the balance with the bridge of the nose, the softness of the curves and the desirability of the forehead that make it look youthful. They look set to remain popular in 2010. (end)

(Source: Naver)

Like I said in an earlier post, I was embarrassed at not realizing how sexist the term honey thighs was when I first heard the term, but I doubt I would have if they’d been described like that instead. And continuing with the theme of  sexual discrimination, I was surprised not to see “chocolate abs” for men also; unlike the commercial that spawned it, perhaps the term itself is more 2010 vintage?

Regardless, please let me know if you can think of any others, and especially if you have alternative explanations for where any of the above ones came from!