Korean Sociological Image #60: “Beautiful” Female Athletes

Noticed playing on the televisions on the KTX train, on my trip to Seoul on Wednesday.

Granted, technically it’s only one female athlete being described as a “beaut(iful) bird” (미녀새) here. And arguably that – or rather, beautiful soaring bird – is indeed an apt metaphor for any pole vaulter. Let alone Yelena Isinbayeva, “widely considered the greatest female pole-vaulter of all time”.

But still, can you imagine it actually being applied to a male pole vaulter? Or a male athlete of any sport ever, first and foremost, being described as “handsome”?

Definitely a gender binary to keep an eye on as the Daegu 2011 IAAF World Championships approach!

Update 1: Here’s a similar recent example from the US Yahoo! Sports website.

Update 2: @TheSocyCinema and @landrist discuss another example from Adidas.

(For all posts in the Korean Sociological Image series, see here)