No, we’re not suggesting that you are fat and ugly, or fat, or ugly. But living in Korea can make you feel that way sometimes. For us, being 6’4 and 5’7, we definitely feel oversized here. We try on the XL clothing here, which is roughly a North American medium, and then we feel like fat and ugly monsters because we can’t even fit into those XL. And when we see how everyone here seems to be slim, how obesity just doesn’t seem to exist here, and then we feel like fatter and uglier monsters. And then we hear about some Korean people, who we already think are ridiculously slim and healthy, and how they supposedly put on some fat, and still think to ourselves that they’re still really slim and healthy, and then we feel like super fat and super ugly monsters. Then we have a conversation with a Korean person in which they let slip a question about our fatness, and then…you get the point.

So the question we got this week is:

Is having a little bit of fat a big deal in Korea? I have Korean friends that always say they need to diet….but they look really healthy to me. It also becomes a hot topic when a little “FAT” shows up on idols? (UEE, Tiffany, Taeyun, etc). WTF?!

Basically, our position in our video is that, in Korea, a little fat means something completely than a little fat to Canadians/Americans. This is because we have totally different body types, and we’re not used to noticing small amounts of fat that a Korean person would notice. The best equivalent we can think of is this: a rich person hears one not-rich person argue with another not-rich person about five dollars. To the rich man, he’s probably like, “WTF is five dollars?” If you’re dealing with millions, a fiver means nothing to you. Canadian/American bodies seem to have a much larger range of shapes and sizes than Korean bodies (seriously, go to Korea and you’ll ask yourself WTF does “free size” on a clothing tag mean), and so a little bit of fat by our standards counts for a lot more by Korean standards.

And of course, Korean media (as well as every other media outlet in the world) pushes the importance of being slim and fit. The idea of having an “s-line” (curvy figure) or “x-line” (hourglass figure) are sought after as ideal body types, and celebrities are often praised for these various alphabet lines. Take this ad, for example:


Now, what’s interesting about this ad, is that to us, that girl’s body is not curvy at all, nor does it similar to the shape of an S. Similarly, Yoon Eun Hye (the boy/girl from Coffee Prince) supposedly has an ideal X Line body. Yes, the same girl who acted and looked like a boy and has the body of a boy and masquerades as a boy and is easily thought of by everyone as a boy. That one. She supposedly has a womanly curvy body. o_O

We’re not her to argue if these two bodies are curvy or not. The point is that – to us – the curviness that the Korean media seems to depict is indistinguishable; any differences in the curvature of those bodies are lost to us. Having grown up in North America and having seen so many different kinds of body types, and thinking of Tyra Banks and Christina Hendricks as examples of curviness, these two Korean examples of bodies just seem more like “l” lines than any other letter of the alphabet. BUT that’s because we’re not sensitive to the nuances. So what are we getting at here? We’re trying to say that a totally healthy foreigner visiting Korea is suddenly an XL and can be seen as overweight to a Korean person, only because that Korean person has different experiences of body weight and “fatness” after having grown up with a smaller range of body types.

Interestingly, we have NEVER ever seen an obese Korean person, though we have seen some chubby kids. In fact, we remember in our first few months in Korea being struck by this fact, and we went out LOOKING for obese people, to no avail. We often wonder if an emphasis on exercise has a deciding factor in this, as there are free exercise parks scattered around every city and they are ALWAYS being used by people of all ages. But then again, there are tons of Korean teenagers that spend all their time sitting at school and then sitting in front of the computer playing computer games. So what the heck? Is it genetic? Who knows.

Super Junior is Short

Simon is not 8 feet tall, FYI. Super Junior is just short.

Lastly, the major misconception we disagree with is how kpop idols are often looked up to and idolized for having perfect bodies…that they don’t actually have. We don’t like the fact that, back when we were teachers, our students would feel low about themselves and their looks because they aren’t as tall or aren’t as skinny or aren’t as small-faced as _____ kpop idol. From our perspective, as two people who have met many idols (and we’ve met many), we can honestly say that their reported heights via online sources are totally false. When this picture of us beside Super Junior was released, many SJ fans were SHOCKED to see how short SJ actually were. We even had people defending SJ, saying that it was a weird camera angle that somehow made JUST SJ look short (that doesn’t make any sense BTW) or that Simon and Martina are both over 6’9 and freakishly huge. No. Actually, SJ are just average Korean height, if not shorter, and they are actually one of the few groups that openly admit to wearing shoe lifts to make themselves look taller, so in fact, that picture should have another 2-3 inches taken off each member.

The point here, though, isn’t that Super Junior or Big Bang or any other Kpop group is shorter and smaller than they report to be. The point is that the combination of a) heightened sensitivities to small variations in body size and b) falsified reports of the measurements of Kpop idols with supposedly ideal body types leads to some severe damage occurring to the self-esteem of kids all over Korea. And, yes, we know that North American media is also guilty of airbrushing, trimming off body fat, and other lovely things to make a celebrity’s body look “just right,” and so the same kind of damage is being done to North American teenagers as well, but we feel like at least there’s more wiggle room in North America, no? For us, it seems like fitting within the archetype of either a supermodel or Christina Hendricks is a lot more forgiving, than, say, trying to fit into the S line or X line body, both of which are nearly identical to us.

Now, we’re only observing Korea from an outside perspective, so there are surely lots of points we’re missing out on, but we’re hoping that a discussion can be opened up at least. Let us know what you think!

  1. Fat ass young women in skin tight shirts strutting around like they are sexy with their muffin tops spilling over their jeans. Their is no shame in America, the country that gives you a trophy for showing up. We are doomed.

  2. Simon and Martina,
    I am 5’2 (157 cm).and still growing at 94- 98 lbs.(42-44 kg). Would I be considered as fat? I have small everything and I know it’s okay to have that in Korea. I lost weight and I know how you feel. Try to dance and do exercise and don’t eat late because if you eat to late your food can turn into fat. Go balanced, have a source of protein, carbs ect. I know you quit carbs but if you want protein you have to have it with carbs or you don’t digest it properly. Have water and green tea for a beverage. Start your day with a decent amount of food and go smaller as the day goes on, like I said don’t have a big meal right before bed or your going to have a lot of belly fat. This helped me so I hope it helps you and others, good luck.
    P.S Please comment back if this helped you or if I am fat.

  3. where i teach at the kids always thought i was fat because because my chest and back are so big and i have thick thighs so from an angle i look really thick (working out every day does that and working out is big in south korea) so one day I said fuck it i did something that probably would’ve gotten me fired and probably no school would’ve accepted me had i gotten fired but one day after a boy i will just refer to as Chul kept calling me piggy i just took my shirt off and said THIS? THIS IS FAT? ya thats right soak it all in even did a hulk hogan pose after i hate flaunting my body thats why i wear many layers but koreans can be stubbornly ignorant but now everything is fine and now there are 3 students including “chul” who work out with me everyday

    my point in all this is that even being too ripped can be considered fat somehow because at the gym i got to i really have yet to see a massive dude in there like i would in the states you know what i am talking about the hulking meat heads who made me feel more like the thing rather than the hulk now when i go to the gym im the hulk and everyone are just puny humans HA seriously though im glad im only 6’0 thats seemingly the perfect height to them over there but in the end if your drastically different over there you get stared out i am not even a meat head but thats the type of looks i get from everyone in there

    you hit on a lot of things though i said or was thinking

    i also agree with the body misconception i remember reading something that said “netziens shocked at yuris rock solid abs” and i remember ya she has a really nice stomach but there are no abs there to be seen same with krystal jung article titled similar and she too has normal abs nice stomach but there are no signs that either of these women work on their abs in the gym i am no knocking korean women I love korean women i am addicted to them since being here i havent thought of any or dated any women but korean women but i dont think they understand what rock hard abs are i also made a remark to my students about that with comparison pictures with myself and kim soo hyun, kim in secretly greatly has like this 3 1/2 pack thing going on and i have a legit 6 pack

    i wont lie i worked out and still do because of being self conscious in korea i refused to work there until i was boxer fit then i finally moved

    i had the privilege of meeting jang keun suk and lee seung gi both billed at 6’0 me being 6’0 exactly was looking down on them not sure how you guys were able to meet idols i have no special connections of any form i was just lucky enough to be in areas they were in, very approachable young men

    there difference between being fat in america and being fat in korea is that as a fat american man or woman if you own that shit and have confidence people dont care but in korea your a walking freak show you just dont see fat people here at all PERIOD

    oh ya and shindong use to be obese and still is by koreas standards how did that guy become an idol?

    sorry for long post i dont really get a chance or speak with americans over here i am at the point now where i only speak english unless im in class even when i talk to myself now its in korean lol but i love this place the people the everything I know they can be ignorant and near sighted but there are a lot of good people here there are a lot of things corrupt in the society there are a lot of very disturbing things but it exists everywhere and i really have no plans going back to the states i love my students and the people here its a great place to live once your known amongst the community and become acquainted and educated on everything its pretty easy to blend in plus my milky white skin makes it even easier to blend in when i wear glasses

  4. i am fat but that means korean people dont care if they are fat or not

  5. ok that means that korean people doesnt care about that person being fat or tall or small

  6. I know that even in American standards I am not small at all…but I am comfortable with myself the way I am. Although, I am hoping to study abroad in South Korea in a few years and it makes me extremely nervous that SK is not over friendly with the idea of being bigger and aren’t as accommodating. I really don’t want to have to change myself just to live a normal life over there. Ugh cubbygirlprobz

    • its a shame but you may have to, i refused to go to south korea until i was i rigorously worked out JUST FOR a teaching job just to avoid any hassle over there thats just me I am comfortable with who i am or was but when it gets in the way of work and personal life I had to make sacrifices worst part about it is that being too muscular is also considered fat somehow

  7. It’s interesting because until I went to college and was exposed to a large community of Koreans, I never considered myself extraordinarily pretty or skinny, just average Asian looks and weight. However, when most Koreans (who recently immigrated to the US) met me for the first time, they couldn’t stop talking about how pretty I looked – my slim s line (wtf I’m an A cup), my small face, my big eyes, etc. Turns out, I hit the ideal natural beauty jackpot. for Koreans However, once they found out I was Chinese, most of the guys suddenly found me unattractive. Do most foreigners experience some sort of subtle racism like that??

    • Even though their asian countries, they don’t get along very well. Some Koreans say Chinese don’t wash. They don’t really talk about Chinese but more sterotypical to Japanese. But they are usually rasict or just sterotypical to other races like blacks. Not all are like this, but some think they look the same. Look at TLDR Sterotypical in Korea by eat your Kimchi.

  8. I am pretty concerned…I used to not be fat even by US standards about 2-3 years ago. Now, I am at least 50 lbs. overweight. I am sensitive, but I can totally see how Koreans would make comments about weight and appearance as a means of concern, etc. which I think I actually agree with and can appreciate because I, too, am concerned! Anyhow—– do you think I will lose weight while living/teaching in Korea? I know that several years ago (when I was already skinny, but also young!) I went to Japan for a couple weeks and ate and ate and ate, as one does on vacation, and I actually LOST 10-15 lbs. in those 2 weeks! I am hoping the walking and the basic food quality is better in Korea than in the US as it is in Japan. Thanks! ^^

    • WHAT YOU’RE 50 LBS????? How tall are you?!?! and how old?!?!? 50 lbs is so small!! how is that at all overweight?! you’re more anorexic than overweight!!!

      • “I am at least 50 lbs. overweight.” Don’t skim read next time :P

        • Sweet Lollies

          Sorry, I kinda rounded it to 50lbs but that wasn’t really what my main point was about. 50lbs is not at all overweight! it’s underweight!!

        • Of course weighing just 50lbs is underweight. The author stated she was “50lbs overweight” not that she weighed only 50lbs. Hence your “main point” isn’t reinforced still. There was nothing to “round up”. That’s why I told you to not skim read, there’s nothing dramatically wrong about skim reading but just be more careful next time that’s all.

        • Sweet Lollies

          I am an idiot. I use the metric system so I don’t put periods for the abbreviations for the units of measurement. Don’t be mad, I’m just an idiot for not understanding it properly. I thought that the period was used for ending the sentence not for the abbreviation. Thanks for clearing it up two times for me to finally make me understand. Haha and I can understand you being o_o at me. I would be like that too!

        • I use the metric system as well so I understand your mistake. Basically all my google searches are convert “so and so” to kg/g/cm/m . Don’t worry i wasn’t mad. Common mistake, just wanted to clear it up. ^__^ P.S You are not an idiot. Nasties are never idiots!

        • Sweet Lollies


  9. ALSO, am I the only one who thinks the member closest to Simon looks hilarious? It looks like he’s challenging martina’s dorthraki warrior to a fight.

  10. T O T So tiny…. *says the girl that is 5’3* lol I definitely want to know about Rain’s height, or Kai and Kris from EXO.

    ….. Or Eric from Shinhwha. Oh…. Eric. <3

  11. In South Korea Is it ok for a Korean person to date a foreigner?

  12. All you people talking about being short o_o I am only 5 foot 2 inches… Im considered a hobbit leprechaun here as I am Irish. I would fit into Korea perfectly if I wasnt so damn fat :/ being short is terrible for weight. If I was taller I would appear slimmer.. ugh life sucks. I am perfect hight but cant fit into clothes. I even bought a headband from korea on ebay and it just almost fits my head and my head is average.. wtf.. im 179lbs btw. jeezuz crhist I can never imaging being 110lbs and shit, thats fucking ridiculous, id be dead sooner.

  13. OK this is sooo late but i never saw or heard of this ;~; i want MARTINA to stand up next to them (since im a girl around her height..5ft5/5ft6) i just wanna know if ill be humungous to anyone ;o; i went to a korean clothing shop in new jersey, and the ladies were my height, and one was slightly shorter..but thats just one place :’( and park bom who was supposed to be 5ft6 was atleast an inch or two shorter than me.

    im so angry at how i missed this for THAT LONG. im sorry simon and martina T_T i love you guys for posting this.

  14. I know this is old but I just have to say this.
    I recently moved to Seoul in South Korea and I find that people are nor abnormally short or tall here, compared to myself. My height is 5‘4 or roughly 164 cm. I have seen a lot of Korean women that are my height, taller and shorter. Same for the men, some are quite tall and others seem to be roughly my height. So, yes, SJ‘s profiles are exaggerated but I don‘t think they are THAT short in comparison to both myself as well as other Koreans. But then again, I‘m not that tall either so… maybe it‘s just me ^^

  15. My mum doesn’t say “Oh that dress doesn’t look good on you” in a kind upper tone like Martina did in the video, she just goes “You’ve gotten fat, go on a diet.” I’m a UK size ten and I’m Chinese -.-

  16. Well, I think it really is a matter of perspective. I’ve never been to Korea but I have been to Japan and for me most people there weren’t too thin, they were just normal (I did see a few anorexic girls though). I’m 5’7”, 115 pounds (170cm, 52Kg. My weight would be “normal” if I weighed 5 more pounds, so I’m barely underweight) and didn’t feel fat or thin there, I fit right in (as far as “fatness” goes). I did feel tall in most of the places I visited, except for Tokyo. I saw many tall men and women in Tokyo (my boyfriend’s 6′ and he didn’t really feel very tall in Tokyo).
    On the other hand, when I look at you two I can’t help but think that you are indeed somewhat fat (I don’t mean to be offensive, I apologize if it feels that way). I’m Portuguese and short, chubby/fat people are not a rare sight here, but to me you still look a little on the heavy side. In fact, regardless of the fact that about 50% of the Portuguese population is overweight, an American M is equivalent to a Portuguese L. What’s considered medium size in America is large here.
    So, from my point of view it’s very easy to understand why Koreans think people like you are a little fat and why they think they’re a little fat even when they’re not. In a country where everyone is thin/normal, the slightest change in size is very obvious. In America, where a lot of people are obese, it’s easy for a chubby person to think of him/herself as “normal”.

  17. I can’t believe how short SuJu are!! When I was watching the videos on your page, Kyuhyun and Shindong looked about as tall as Martina. Kyuhyun is not the reported 5’10″ that SM claims hahaha.

    Anyways, as a female who is 5’9″ (mayyybe 5’10″, but I like to undershoot myself) and is on the heavier side of average, this is really the biggest thing I’m worrying about. I’m going to be studying abroad in Korea for a semester, and I already knew my height would make me stand out, but I’m just so worried because I’m already insecure about my weight. This video made me a bit more prepared, but it’s just a shame that it’s so normal in their country to say that to people they don’t know. I’m going to be spending my winter exercising and dieting but this is almost making me regret my decision to go abroad.

  18. Hey friends! I’m lovin’ the new website! I write for Groove magazine and came across this video doing research for my next piece, a comparison of American and Korean food cultures. I’m wondering if you’re still able to hold out on the never-seen-an-obese-Korean-person-EVER thing, or if you’ve noticed an increase in fatness around here. I’m stewing on a theory right now about it, especially since the data shows a big jump in the last 5 years. What do you think? In all your runnins’ around, how many fat people have you been seeing lately?

  19. You guys should talk about the eating disorder average in Korea!!!!

    by the way… you are simply fantastic! <3

  20. hey just wondering with the differences of beauty being so different in north america and korea what celebrities if any from north america are big in korea?

  21. SJ’s member are tall for me, but I know the truth about being Asian…we can rarely compete with the Westerner…anyway, I always thought that Korean has weird way about defining beauty (SNSD girls has perfect body for example) but sadly, this is spreading into my country (Malaysia). Girls are trying to be as thin as possible (eve elementary school kid) to the point of being flat, and you’re not very pretty when you’re wearing skinny jeans and your thigh to your ankle are of the same size…like having stick for leg…

  22. Is super Junior really that short? O.O I thought that most of the members were my height or taller (5’9″). Would I stand out in Korea being that I am a 5’9″ female?

  23. American people and Asian people do really have a big height difference…. like 6 footer asian are just like 5’5 or 4′ feet if you compare them to american people…

  24. I’m American and the girl on the commercial is curvier than me…… ;__;

  25. first of all…that dude is a fagget for talking about girly topics like that. wtf are u some homo fag locked in the closet. leave the girly topics for the girls. this days you tend to see men acting like women, dressed like women, talk about women topics.

  26. Hi Simon and Martina, I know this article is old but I’d like to ask you a question regarding idol’s real heights. According to the photo, it is extremely obvious that Kyuhyun the tallest member of Super Junior or 180cm apparently, is at least 5cm shorter than you. Now, you say you’re 171cm but I’m not sure if you were wearing heels in the photo but otherwise their tallest member would be 165cm? Now, I’m not sure what extend the media goes to lie about their heights but from 180 to 165~ is rather bizzare. Can you please take your time to answer my query regarding the real heights of these idols? I also know that they also wear insoles so thats another -5cm… Thanks for your time. (This is my second time posting the question, I think when i posted it before it didnt submit properly).

  27. Hi Simon and Martina, I would like to ask you a question and hope you would take your time to reply. About this article, the photo I see of Kyuhyun who is supposedly the tallest member in Super Junior is reported over 180cm in online websites. Now, you’re 170cm (Sorry if you don’t use cm as measurement units) and in that photo I don’t think the angle is weird but it is quite obvious that you are at least 5cm taller. This means that their tallest member is approximately 165cm according to the photo? Now I don’t know what extent the media goes to lie about the height but 165cm is a rather big lie by them. Can you please take your item to verify this query? I’m rather curious about the real height of idols and you also mentioned that Super Junior wear insoles too.

  28. Am I the only Fat Asian here? Yes? Okay…

  29. you should also add kim jeajong to the list coz i think he’s short too…
    and i have to tell you that i am taller then my 4 years older sister and taller then my mother and i felt very proud of myself …to consider that i am a high schooler and i am 18 and also i am 135cm…u most be thinking are u a nines’ family?…no u’re totally wrong coz this is just a normal high in my country which is BTW Morocco(12 hours away from Korea) and i should tell u that we have the same thing about weight coz i am only 52 kg
    and my friends consider me overweight….
    BTW am so happy that Korean stars are short( for u but in my country they’re quite tall)
    coz obviously they’ll fit with me spicially a certain persone called Lee donghae *day dreaming*

  30. LOL i’m six foot tall girl and proud of it.Although I’m a bit scared to travel to Korea now,because of your post.They will think I’m a monster.Have you met BigBang?They are as tall as they said?

  31. OH GOD i could not stop laughing when i saw the SJ photo and then i read about the shoe lifts i couldn’t help but laugh harder. Not because it’s funny just because my hopes and dreams of Taemin and Minho from SHINee would be close to my own hight. Also Simon, if you ever get a chance to stand next to SHINee please take a photo so that i have something to laugh about as they hall me away to a mental institute.

  32. Oh so like yuh guyz have already had an interview with B.A.P right? so like was simon taller then zelo? O___o Cuz Zelo iz really freakin’tall( n’not to mention, SEXAY ) n when u say ‘ their reported heights via online sources are totally false’ does that mean that zelo aint really 182cm? ;__;

  33. I think that what they mean with S-line is that her bones are kinda sticking out on her hips and that her waist are really small, so that gives her the “S-line” that we foreigners normally think of as her having “junk” on her chest and booty :) Different…..very…..

  34. it sounds like koreans should spend a day in america and see how many different body types there are. I can’t even remember the last time i  met a semi-chubby asian person. I’m asian (chinese) and I have a hard time gaining/losing weight, I seem to always stay in the 120lb range and I look perfectly fine I think.. I mean yeah, my stomach isn’t like ROCK solid but it’s not bulging out either. And I don’t really understand how you can weight very little and STILL have curves…I really don’t trust any korean idol profile, because all of them say that they’re like 166cm and more, and yet they all weigh around 100lbs. If you really see a person that is THAT tall and 100lbs, they appear very lanky and awkward, and most of all, FLAT.. lol 

  35. i just have a random question that i need to know…Is entering in Military a must for a foreigner who wants to live in korea? Or do foreigners really need to enter military if he wants to be a permanent korean citizen?

  36. Applesauce 21

    Just saying, but if you think that is short, I’m 5ft2, and all of my friends bar 2 are 5ft7/8 plus. I get carried:(

  37. I’m an American and i’m 6’2 and 220 lbs. I have a little fat on the belly but most of my weight comes from muscle. First off, I just wonder if I even have a chance with a Korean woman, because apparently you can be TOO tall, and if they think someone who is 70kg is fat, my god I’m in for a world of hurt. I’ve always been attracted to smaller women so naturally I like Koreans, who seem to me to be the most attractive of the orientals IMO. I can’t believe they think they aren’t attractive or fat. It’s quite absurd. I actually am planning on moving to Korea in the next year or so, and would like to know the easiest way of doing so. Currently I manage a CVS in Ohio, but I have a year or so left (when I go back to school) to get my bachelors in History Education and I always thought it’d be a good experience to teach in Korea. I have talked to a few friends who were stationed there and they all seemed to enjoy it and said it was a fun place to be, just didn’t like being that far from home (which I have no problem with). Any kind of information would be awesome.

  38. i’m just wondering since you two are in Korea right now , i’m planning to go to Korea but i’m going with my friend which is Korean , and she is really pretty and has has a nice body figure , but on the other hand , I’m ugly (but apparently to people I’m “cute”) T_T and i’m kind of overweight , will they judge / compare me to her ?

  39. I have just a question since you two live in Korea , well i’m planning to go to Korea in a few months and I’m going with my friend which she’s a Korean and she’s really pretty and has a nice figure , but on my side i’m really ugly (but apparently to people i’m so “cute”) T_T and i’m abit overweight to , and if you look at me you can tell i’m big , but will they judge / compare me to her ? because i’m really scared of what they think of me and when i look at , just say IU or another female idol i get really annoyed at how they look and their weight because i get really jealous , ever since i got into kpop i’ve always compared me to them , so i just wanted to know if they’d compare me or not , or judge me or like make me feel like i don’t fit in . . . :( ty ty

    • I know I’m not Simon or Martina but it’s okay. Look at Simon and Martina, their not even asian and didn’t even study Korean before going to Korea and they’re okay. You’re going to be fine even if your a little bit overweight you’re probably going to lose weight. I don’t know where you live but Korea has healthy food.

  40. I cant stop smiling every time i hear the Xiah Junsu’s Intoxication sequence in your videos :D

  41. But… I’ve seen SJ in person and I’ve seen enough fancams to know that that aren’t that short. If Martina is 5’7, Eunhyuk (the one closest to Simon) looks to be around 5’5, which he’s not. If you look at where their feet are, Simon and Martina are closer to the camera. Eunhyuk is about 5’7-5’8 without shoe lifts. He looks a lot taller than 5’7 in person. Kyuhyun is 5’11… Anyways, you two look closer to the camera. Case closed.

  42. That picture just made me lol

  43. bahahaha i love how in the picture it looks like SuJu is trying to figure out what Simon is XD Eunhyuk looks like “I shall conquer this beast!” while Shindong and Kyu look like “you go first we’ll just watch” while it looks like LeeTeuk is cowering in fear that Simon will devour him XD

  44. I’m a 6’0″ female. I’ll never find a Korean taller than me :L I know Koreans like height but i think I might be overkill. AH well, bring it on ;D 

  45. Isn’t there a thing that most celebrities( Korean or Western ) are shorter than you expect.

  46. im going to korea this october and im hispanic and a little chuncky, im a little worried how people in korea will perceive me and im very sensitive soo idk…T.T

  47. but to be honest the size difference is like mine and my dad’s (about a head’s difference ) and isn’t that only about 15 cm ? so that would make suju 180 cm if simon’s 195 cm and anyway aren’t you guys pretty tall even for north a,ericans or canadians or europeans ? 

    • i hope so :) because suju says their heights around 178-181 so i guess the reports are pretty accurate. So i would kinda be the same height as them?!? (im 178cm) i think simon and martina are too tall to realize how tall super junior actually is x)

      • Vicky havent you seen the Pic? At least those members that are near Martina and Simon are super super super short, but super short, lol. Open your beautiful eyes and you´ll see it

  48. OMG … But Super Junior looks taller when they are with fans D: even with  North american and from europe…Something is wrong  D:

  49. OMG this is the reason why I hate shopping in China. I can’t fit into anything and the moment I ask for a larger size I feel like a fatass lol. I went to China with my white American friend and she said that I’m not fat even though all my Chinese relatives say otherwise :/

  50. suju look like Hobbits, Simon is a wizzard and our Martina is an Elf :)

  51. You guys aren’t fat and ugly monsters, bwaaa. I totally idolize you two, even though I just found out about you recently. Honestly, you’ve living up the life in Korea. And Martina, you are SUPER SUPER AJKDSLFJKLASDJL CUTE I CAN’T HANDLE IT. I love that I am a similar height and body shape as you  :)

  52. Oh man, I wish I could make that Super Junior picture my wallpaper. I laughed til I cried.

  53. I had a little time in Korea, working in an oil station. The customers told me I was like Tom Cruise (which is quite true), and Mr Bean (which is quite not true ^^) Perception is quite different…

  54. Woaa! The picture with SuJu shocked me so much XD
    I thought they were like super tall ppl *o* !! XD They er teeeny!
    Anyways, great vid/post! Thanks for the info! <3

  55. I have a question. I am going to study abroad in Korean next semester and I was wondering if there is anything specific that I should bring that I won’t be able to find in Korea that I can easily find in North America…for example certain supplies, toiletries, or anything else that you have noticed. Thanks!! 

  56. In America you definitely have more wiggle room. Whenever I’m out with my non-Asian friends I’m the tiny skinny one but back at home in the Asian communities I’m on the chubby side. However I still follow the Asian standards, probably because it’s better suited to my frame and I can only comfortably fit in 80% of the ‘one size fits all’ Korean clothing….*puts down the apple pie* :(

  57. im an obese woman… military dependent… and let me tell you… the looks i get away from the cities near posts… ( if i wasnt big all my life) would make me cry and punch people… the ones near by are rather used to it though.. i do have the plus side of having 2 adorable little girls to take the eyes off me and onto them :) oh.. and the isles in mom and pop style stores… are tiny!

  58. ha ha spoke with truth!!! Guys this is weird because I always check your vids here and this one wasnt available to me on the date it says it was uploaded, maybe a bug? thank you so much for your videos david and will!!!

  59. LOL SUJU!!!!! 
    Bueno de todos modos, moriremos todos
    así que sean bellos y delgados o gordos horribles…

    Stupid conversation… 

  60. wow, im korean, 5′ 3″, 108 lb and i think that im fat as ffffffff

    • What? I weigh about 60kg (about 132 lb) and all my friends say I’m really skinny. That seems so strange to me. I think I’m the same height as you. You would be tiny where I am

      • EXACTLY. it all depends where you live. I’m 5´4” and where i live most girls are tiny, like koreans and i’m “tall and fat” and i’m not, i grew up in the states (USA) and I KNOW i’m normal. over there people think i’m “small, short and skinny” so i think that as long as you know you’re healthy then who cares? :)

    • I am also 5’3 and have been between 101-115 for the past few years. At 103 and below I am ‘skinny and beautiful’ according to my asian friends, but right about 108, I am called “Curvy” and 115 is “fat” – it’s all about perspective. Koreans born here are the same height and weight as normal Americans, all well above 6foot, whereas non American born koreans are all still about 5’9 

  61. I have to admit, this post made me curious (curious enough to make my first comment!). You addressed the fact that people in Korea might find people fat that aren’t considered fat elsewhere. I’m wondering, though, what Korean people think of people who *are* considered fat in the West. If they’re grossed out by people that Westerners consider skinny, are they even more grossed out by people Westerners consider ‘fat’ or does it go in reverse with the revulsion getting less the more obvious the weight is?

  62. Wow. Im glad i read this to help prepare me. I’m American and I’m black, so for us, body image and size is a little different compared to mainstream media. Most guys I know like girl with thick thighs, a nice booty, some hips and many like a girl w boobs and a small waist. I’m 5’2” (idk the conversion in cm) and for my height, im considered a bit overweight, but most ppl tell me I carry my weight well because im proportional (have hips, thighs, and titties). And alot of ppl even find this attractive, but in mainstream I would be considered fat. I guess in Korea I’ll be superfat, lol.

  63. This kind of thing always makes me want to comment.  Being an American who would be considered curvy in the United States and standing at 178 cm (5’10″) I had a hell of a time in Korea.  I would get approached by men all the time because of their curiousity but it was mainly for indecent things (boys are boys no matter where they’re from.) Whenever I would start dating someone the comments started coming out.  “Your face would be better looking if you lost weight.” “I think you’re pretty, but you know you’re just average looking, right?” I understood the culural differences, but I was floored by the fact that they couldn’t see how badly this hurt me to hear. 
    I feel like only my mother could point this out to me, and how dare they be so bold to insult me on my apperance.  After all we are so much more then our apperances. 
    I had to end dating Korean boys all together and find a man who appreciated my stature and my lovely curves and height.  As much as I’m attracted to Korean men, my confidence couldn’t take it anymore.  Even the most confident person would be brought down by hearing these comments all the time.

    • I know it sounds condescending, but comments like “Your face would be better looking if you lost weight.” is not meant to make you feel bad. in fact you’re supposed to use the “noonchi” to figure out that Koreans actually think you’re really pretty. They would think if you lost a bit of weight your pretty features would be more noticeable (since in Korea fat is considered as something that hides your naturally pretty features). They’re not being insulting. You said yourself that you understand these cultural differences, yet you see these comments as insults? If you understood the cultural implications, you would know that these by far are not insults (but since you haven’t mentioned everything in your comments I’m just going to assume..)

      • I understand that maybe they don’t mean for it to be hurtful and this is where cultural differences come into place.  Yes, I understand that in Asian cultures brutal honesty is accepted, but being a white American this doesn’t happen as often here.  You wouldn’t go up to someone you don’t know and tell them they needed to lose weight, that would be just flat out rude.  If I asked a friend if I looked like I needed to lose some pounds, then by all means they can comment and comment honestly but they shouldn’t unless it’s asked of them. 

  64. Can you talk about religion in Korea? I know that Christianity in Korea is growing rapidly compared to other Asian countries. What have you noticed based on your experiences, and do you go to church in Korea?

    • I’m Korean. And go to church for 19 years(I’m 20years old) I know the world’s largest church in the world is korean church in seoul. and korean christian’s number is 8 million.But I think many Korean churches are corrupt. especially Big churches… Pastors not talk about bible in fact, just play with words. and they like wealth… and the church’s christian make them. It’s really sad to me. of course good pastors and christians are. If you can use korean or have korean friend, http://newstice.tistory.com/ read this blog’s category
      기독교, 좌향좌하자   
      sorry about my bad english. can’t explain in detail 

  65. My body is bigger and a bit taller than average Asians, I still remember having the shock of my life when I met a Japanese voice actor who looked so tall in photos but he was tinier and a LOT shorter than me, lol, so yeah they totally lie about their measurements :D

    My theory with idols (and celebrities in general) is that they’re actually on the average to shorter side of heights, so when compared to one another they are more or less the same size, but when you put them next to common folk they are quite small :P

    • I agree- I’m a 5’3 model here in the states, photoshoots are articulated to make me look taller, and of course when I meet someone for the first time they always say “I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE TALLER” – so did I,  chap, so did I….

  66. omgee. suju is so cute looking all short and stuff =w=

  67. I’m Mexican living in Korea and I really differ from your perspective.  I think korean people in general is pretty tall I’m 1.86 meters height and I often find on streets korean guys taller than me, think that didn’t happen in my town and I think that korean girls are slim but they have everything on their place! and I have seen really curvy girls, of course they aren’t going to be voluptuous as J-lo but I don’t really like that. When I see really voluptuous girls I think they are kind of fat, I prefer slim girls. I think my ideal girl is slim with nice legs and just the correct amount up there, not tooo much, and I think koreans girls are just so many like that! :D In Mexico I would say 8 out of 10 girls are a little fat, almost no girls is on her ideal weight or in shape and goverment statistics show that. When I was in USA I was surprised that girls there were slimmer in general than in Mexico and yeah, americans compared to mexicans are more voluptuous up there but not down there. I met some korean girls in USA and I thougt they were the pretties! nice legs and slim with correct amount for everything, small and really cute faces, sadly I cannot say the same for Japanese girls. So now that I live in Korea in Sinchon I see a really really really pretty girl every 30 seconds? or maybe less! to conclude for me korean girls in general are the prettiest I have ever seen, they are slim and they have really nice curves! In Mexico and USA I find generally girls to be “too much” having too much of something but lack of the other, and being generally a little fat. So for me Korean girls rocks so much!!! but everybody have their preferences =P

    • I worked in Mexico, and part of Mexico, what you say is true, most people in certain areas are very short, this is due to malnutrition and it’s kind of sad :/

    • Actually, I think you differ because you clearly have adopted a bit of a ‘korean type’ of thinking… and actually, I totally understand it, ’cause I have too! I remember when I first saw SNSD’s ‘Genie’ MV, I thought OMG their legs are so skinny! WTF! somebody throw them a hamburger! xD and now I see them and all I can think about is … Oh, what would I give to have their legs! or that I need to diet. Plus, since the beginning you had this ‘ideal’ type on your mind that obviously doesn’t fit the average mexican girl (like me, I mean, I have more like an hourglass type of body, and tbh, many clothes don’t fit me sometimes not because I’m fat but because of my chest size -__-) so I think is obvious why you like korean girls more than latin girls, but most of people here don’t like them that skinny, and you can clearly see that in magazines everywhere… the concept of voluptuous here is WAY too different from the one in Korea, and even though I looove Yoon Eun Hye, I totally agree! She’s like 10 kg less than her ideal weight, and every time I see kpop-girl idols with a voluptuous look all I can think about is that they have chest pads or fillings or sth LOL (but yes, I usually also think their faces are like super pretty and smooth (:)

  68. OMG, so how tall are super junior members approximately? O_O

  69. Where is that picture from? I’m looking for the video you guys posted about it here but can’t find it lol.

  70. Hah! My hubs is Chinese and I’m .. not. When my MIL sees me, right away she says “you’ve gained weight!.. you’re too thin!… you have a pimple!..” etc. At first it really bothered me though I played it off. Eventually I noticed that that’s sort of how they greeted their family, by assessing health and facial marks? So it doesn’t even phase me anymore. I’m not saying this is an Asian thing (maybe it is, don’t know-don’t care) but I’ve seen this kind of candid concern more frequently in _my_ East Asian friends and family. 

  71. Stupid superficial debate, I have been with different ‘types’ of women and they have all been beautiful in there own way; slim, fat or curvy…it don’t matter….all this is is stupid cultural conditioning…I was chubby/fat when my Korean girlfriend first met me (have lost a lot of weight since then for my own health and personal esteem)…she said she used to go for ‘slim types’…but, we ‘clicked’ and had the ‘feeling’ between us.
    Before in the West, the fashion was slim girls with small bums, now it’s curvy girls with big bums, thanks largely in part to the fame of Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce…media and cultural conditioning…simples!My advice? Don’t have ‘types’, don’t have preconceptions, because you might actually meet that special someone who is right before your eyes ;-)P.S: Have you noticed how this is symptomatic of a patriarchal culture of women satisfying male preferences, whatever the country may be?

    • That´s not true. Only slim girls are considered pretty!!!!!

       I am a really tall girl (183 cm), my bones are built really weirdly and while normal women look more like a stick-way of figure(I mean no ugly curves), which is pretty,
      I have really huge hips and therefore i cannot even look slimmer through dieting . 
      My figure has never ever been considered pretty or attracting in anyway and it will never! Neither my face (I don´t have pretty structures e.g. korean girls have and I have a really huge nose, which no korean girl e.g.would ever have)….
      I gave up love because I know that I´ll never be able to find someone who will ever like me since I´m not pretty and cannot even achieve a good figure through dieting. And don´t come with ” the character counts”. It doesn´t . Why do people even approach other people on the street if it´s only the character that counts….??Moreover that wouldn´t help me either since I´m weird

      • you have big hips? that’s good, it means you’ll carry a child well and also it makes you look curvier from the front if you have a normal or slim-ish sized waist and i have big hips too and i have been hit on my quite a few people even though i’m only thirteen ! And i really don’t like people approaching on the street it seems stalkerish to me … i am weirdo mcweirdish but the people who know me love me and i just need to find a guy i can fall in love with! i’m also not especially pretty and have a big nose but it makes me me and makes me unique … i wouldn’t want to be perfect, i’d just be uncomfortable … i’m sure that you’ll find tons of good guys and they might not be ultra-hot but they will love you and they also might be extra hot … i’m kinda hoping that zelo goes for younger girls :P anywho good luck with finding your simon :D

      • It sounds like you’ve given up on yourself! You shouldn’t! Is it true that you really dont think that there are people out there that find hips sexy? Even if a perceived idea of what is beautiful seems like it’s the norm where you are from, and even if there ARE a lot of people that agree with it, that doesn’t mean that every single person is limited to that view. I understand it’s easy to become discouraged by stuff like body image and what is supposedly attractive or not attractive, but never forget that the world is made up of all kinds of people with all kinds of different opinions, likes, and dislikes. There isn’t only one type of beauty, there are all kinds. :)

        Also about the getting approached on the street comment: Sure that type of approach is mostly based on the approachers reaction to the other persons physical appearance, however that is not the only way to get a girlfriend or a boyfriend. Nor should it be a standard by which a person measures their attractiveness or their self worth. I personally don’t like getting approached in that way. I appreciate the compliment, however I know nothing about that person and they know nothing about me. I prefer to date someone that I’ve already gotten to know by being friends with them for awhile and know they aren’t just trying their luck at getting in my pants. People fall in love with someone they’ve been just friends with all the time. I personally have developed feelings for people that dont fit the “attractive” standard after getting to know them as a friend, and some after YEARS of knowing them and never before thinking of them in that way. People are very hard on themselves when it comes to their physical self, but at the same time what makes people compatible isn’t the size or shape of their hips or their nose. What makes people compatible is who they are.

  72. I live in Brazil and I have to say this, Korean idol girls wouldn’t have a chance with men here I live.
    The Korean girls that they say that are ”curvy” would have no chance to us, brazilian curvy women.

    Here being slim like them is like the nightmare of many girls. Having fast metabolism is also a nightmare because some really want to gain some weight to not look too flat/skinny (men here don’t find this type of girl attractive at all) but they lose weight too fast and are forever working out at gym to not LOSE weight (should say muscles – is not the fatness that is attractive but the toned muscles that they won after much exercise.)

    I mean, I have a friend which would be the ideal Korean man type, she is really really skinny, and she hates it. She eats a lot, exercises a lot to gain ”curvy body/muscles” but once she stops exercising she goes back to her normal skinny body because she has a fast metabolism, something that is forbidden to say to her is ”You lose weight” she cries or gets upset by hearing it LOL~ that is because having a big/toned butt and big/toned thighs (Have to explain that they like big butt and big thinghs that are toned not that have accumulated fatness ) is something atractive for brazilian men, the first thing they look at are these two parts in the body: butt and then thighs in a woman’s body, boobs comes in third. 

    So, people say I’m ”thin” here I live but If I go to USA or Korea, I’ll be called fat. When I hear these girls have freaking 45 kg, I, who have 58 Kg think I’m so FAT. I can’t even…

  73. at first I thought SJ were really hot, but now they only seem super cute!

  74. I FRICKIN LOOOOOOVE THAT PICTURE OF YOU GUYS AND SUJU! XDXDXD It looks like those no budget films where a monster/creature is superimposed over the actual frame to make the monster look huge or in this case small. SUPER JUNIOR ARE SO TINY! PFWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  75. This is one of the FIRST things I experienced in Korea! Luckily…I already knew to expect it, or it might have shocked me. I was drinking outside a convenience store with a couple other “heavier” American girls. A random Korean ahjusshi joined us. One of the first things he said? “You guys don’t have boyfriends because you’re fat.” I just found it funny, but the other girls I was with were pretty mad.

    I also had kids at my summer camp tease me about being fat! One of the most adorable kids would always tell me I needed to diet and exercise!

    It’s definitely NOT meant to be rude in most cases. It’s a way of showing that you care for someone and notice how they’re doing. Although, I do get irritated with girl’s obsession over weight and constantly talking about needing to diet and exercise.
    Also, the fact that there’s no overweight people in Korea is probably, as other commenters mentioned, the food and amount of exercise. Since cars aren’t as common, I think Koreans tend to walk more, especially compared to Americans. And the food is so healthy! I lost 10lbs in the 6 weeks I was in Korea. Of course, I was working 8+ hours a day running around at a summer camp, but a lot of it was the diet. For lunch/dinner, it was about 50% rice, 30% veggies, 15% meat, and 5% sauce(literally. everything had a sauce…). In the U.S., I’m lucky if 10% of my plate is veggies. Also, the average height of Koreans has increased since the mid 1900′s because of a more Western diet, especially higher meat/dairy consumption.

  76. Was that a Reese’s Halloween Pumpkin you were sharing at the start of the video?  Not that a fat American could identify it by the wrapper or anything…. lol

  77. Was that a Reese’s Halloween Pumpkin you were sharing in the video?  LOL

  78. Re: Koreans and obesity – I think diet is a big part of it.  Korean food is mostly rice and vegetables, with small amounts of meat and not that much oil or fat (in many dishes).  

    This is my third time living in Korea, and each time I’ve transitioned, I noticed a sharp difference in my weight.  Where I’d been eating limited portions and struggling not to gain weight back home, I was eating large portions of Korean food and losing weight.  So I’d say that the calories and nutritional composition of the food play a big role.

    •  That is also because many of the korean foods are less processed and fresh. Well many of the dishes. Even some of our food here in the states that are considered healthy are not really healthy. If you were eating limited portions in the states and eating more in Korea, that should say something about the stuff that is added in our food even the meats and the chemicals they use to”protect” the vegetables are questionable to me. All that junk in our healthy foods probably the culprit on our metabolisms making us work out twice as hard and eating barely nothing just to lose weight.

  79. 백인 우월주의?거기까진 안나가셔도 될거같은데;;  나도 한국사람이지만 이해안갑니다. 왜 남의 몸무게에 이래라 저래라 하는지.. 슈퍼주니어 팬분이신가본데 진정하시길

  80. 이 글은 완벽히 백인우월주의에 근거한 조잡하고 저열한 글이다.

    이 글의 속 뜻을 짧게 요약해 볼까?
    “나는 캐나다인이다.
    캐나다에 살 때는 내가 정상 몸매라고 생각했는데
    한국에 와서 한국인들과 비교하니 내가 뚱뚱한 괴물처럼 느껴져서 기분이 나쁘다.
    이건 모두 한국인들이 이상한 탓이다.
    그러므로 한국인들은 내가 뚱뚱하게 느껴지지 않도록 더 살을 찌워야 한다.”

    백인우월주의가 도를 넘어
    이제는 남의 나라 사람들의 몸매까지 뜯어고치라고 말하고 있다.

    한국인들이 당신보고 살을 빼라고 강요한 적 있는가?
    아니, 아무도 당신 몸매에 관심 없다.

    한국인들이 말랐건 뚱뚱하건 그건 당신과 아무 상관 없는 일이다.
    당신은 타인의 몸매나 사고방식에 대해 참견할 권리가 전혀 없다.

    당신은 그저 당신의 몸매에 대해 당신이 하고 싶은대로 하며 살면 되는 것일 뿐이다.

    그런데도 당신은
    슈퍼주니어를 단지 키가 작을 뿐이라고 폄하하며
    그들의 사진에 Holly shit이라고 써 놓고 화풀이를 하고 있다.
    이 얼마나 비열하고 저급한 행동인가!

    게다가 가장 어처구니 없는 것은
    날씬한 몸매를 강조하는 미디어는
    당신네 캐나다나 당신네 옆나라 미국이 더 심하다는 사실이다.

    그 쪽 잡지들은 하루가 멀다하고
    파파라치의 사진들을 내보내며 연예인들의 몸무게 변화를 일일이 체크하고 있으니까!
    한국인들 걱정하기 전에
    캐나다와 미국의 거식증 환자들부터 걱정하고,
    지금도 런웨이를 활보하며 잡지 사진을 가득 채우고 있는
    미국과 유럽의 말라 비틀어진 해골같은 모델들부터 걱정하라고!
    걔네는 수퍼주니어나 소녀시대하고는 비교도 못 할 정도로
    뼈다귀 같이 말랐거든?
    왜 걔네보고는 아무 말 못 하고 수퍼주니어한테 화풀이하지?

    옛 속담에 “‘제 눈에 든 들보는 못 보고 남 눈에 든 티끌만 본다’더니
    이게 딱 그 꼴이다.
    날씬한 몸을 강조하는 미디어와 사회 분위기를 비판하고 싶다면
    당신네 나라 캐나다와 미국부터 비판하란 말이다.

    백인우월주의는 정말 역겹고 신물난다.
    하다하다 이제는
    자기 발로 남의 나라 땅에 기어들어와서는
    내가 뚱뚱해 보이지 않도록
    너네가 내 수준에 맞춰서 살을 찌우라고 하고 있네?

    캐나다와 미국에도 말라 비틀어진 사람 많거든?
    왜 캐나다와 미국의 마른 사람들에게는 시비 못 걸고
    남의 나라 한국까지 찾아와 시비거는 거지?
    백인우월주의는 정말 역겹고 더러운 것이다.

  81. Yes, I agree about your point that K-POP IDOL is too skinny…

    Anyway, loosing fat is not bad… loosing fat with gaining some muscle is good for Ur health.

    & here’s another document about researching OCDE country obesity…obesity is also related with kinda  health problem or desease in medical side…

    The obesity rate…S.Korea & Japan is 3~4%. US & Mexico is almost 30%…

  82. Well, it’s my first time in here and I just heard aboutyour blog before.
    This issue was a bit impressive to me.

    I’m Korean living in Los Angeles, by the way.
    And I don’t think all Koreans think like that.
    When I hear the radio in my car, there’s a lot of AD coming like lose you weight or get thin.
    Even one of their phone # is 1-800 get thin.
    I think it happening all around the world not even Korea.

    Thank you.

  83. I’m a Korean-Canadian living in Toronto On. This is a very interesting topic. I think one of the reason why we ‘koreans’ says those bodies are curvy because we simply don’t have any fat and muscle to begin with. LOL Biologically East-Asians are lack in muscle mass and fat.
    And I wanna share one thing I find in Canada which could be related to your post. (or may be not :P ) It’s related to the body fat. Your post made me think of an illness called 산후풍. This is something an East Asian woman can get after giving birth to a baby. This could be both temporary and permanent symptom. This can only be found in East-Asian Women. This is because we have less % of muscle mass and body fat, especially in the pelvic area and thigh. So for us, Korean women, when we give birth to a baby we have to stay in-door at least 3 to 5 days, keep our body warm, to avoid getting that illness. But in Canada women just go home and jog and do everything. LOL In fact, one of my close friend (언니) had a baby, and the Canadian friends wanted to throw a surprise party for her. But she refused to go out because she was scared, so the party was called off. After that people talked about her being rude. And she was so upset that the hospital kicked her out (that’s how she felt) few hours after her delivery. She thought Canadian hospitals were rude and irresponsible. This was my experience being Korean in Canada. :D

  84. I liked this
    video and it explained something’s. The only thing now is would Korean’s see me
    as having some fat while everyone here says skinny? I don’t know but I think I
    will stick to my American view of skinny.

    Also the Super
    Junior picture xD. It kind of looks like Eunhyuk is shocked that your so tall
    and he need bigger heal rises or something. His expression is so cute ^~^ I
    think they have nice arms and some of them have abs but when I looked up there
    heights I was like, “That can’t be right”. 1) because they wear heal
    rises and 2) Asian’s are normally shorter then America’s because of different
    body types. So does me being normal height in America make me tall in Korea? It
    would be weird to see over everyone’s heads O.o Haha jk.

  85. It’s my first time to watch your videoclip. (I heard of you guys long before~)
    I’m impressed by your thoughtful understanding on cultural differences, the media blopping, and why K-people talk about weight so much.
    (Other than this, I learned that the Girl’s generation is abbrebiated to SNSD, LOL)
    I also worked in hakwons as an Enlgish or Korean teacher, and I used to be a student as well at English hakwons many years ago. From that experience, I might add some other points to your posting.

    Let’s just bring up 1 point for now, well, not-so-resembled Beckham and Pitt case! People do not express ‘what they think’, but ‘what they can express with their limited language ability and their knoweldge abroad’. Say, Beckham and Pitt might be the most resembled celebrities they could think of. Obama case could be the same. People here do not know many Afro-Americans. Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington, and maybe Martin Luther King Jr. are the most famous Afro-Americans other than Obama. If a Korean girl only know those 4 Afro-Americans, and she wants to tell an Afro guy that he resembled someone. She has only 4 options. :) That can be another way to explain situations. This is not objection to your exlanation, but just a little bit of spice. Thx for the nice posting!

    • 언어가 불완전하다고 해서 생각을 표현하지 못하는건 아닙니다. 영어실력이 부족해도 표현하는덴 무리가 없죠. 디테일한 부분에 있어 작은 오해가 생기거나 전달력이 조금 떨어지는 것 뿐 전달 자체엔 문제가 없습니다.

  86. It’s my first time to watch your videoclip. (I heard of you guys long before~)
    I’m impressed by your thoughtful understanding on cultural differences, the media blopping, and why K-people talk about weight so much.
    (Other than this, I learned that the Girl’s generation is abbrebiated to SNSD, LOL)
    I also worked in hakwons as an Enlgish or Korean teacher, and I used to be a student as well at English hakwons many years ago. From that experience, I might add some other points to your posting.

    Let’s just bring up 1 point for now, well, not-so-resembled Beckham and Pitt case! People do not express ‘what they think’, but ‘what they can express with their limited language ability and their knoweldge abroad’. Say, Beckham and Pitt might be the most resembled celebrities they could think of. Obama case could be the same. People here do not know many Afro-Americans. Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington, and maybe Martin Luther King Jr. are the most famous Afro-Americans other than Obama. If a Korean girl only know those 4 Afro-Americans, and she wants to tell an Afro guy that he resembled someone. She has only 4 options. :) That can be another way to explain situations. This is not objection to your exlanation, but just a little bit of spice. Thx for the nice posting!

  87. This is an interesting post. By reading this, perhaps one can think
    about how cultural norms can play into  the life of someone who is Asian
    American, bi-racial or anyone who has the pressure to conform to
    different identities. You can read more about this at Thick Dumpling
    Skin (www.thickdumplingskin.com), a blog that we launched to discuss how
    Asian Americans struggle with body image issues and eating disorders. Check us out and share some of your thoughts!

  88. I don’t speak english.. for now … I’m corean…

    So.. search program of naver rent power…

    To tell you the truth..I think… he… he is the only man… she…she is the only women…

    to tell the truth…complain a fat man…why your bounden duty work of surplus fat what was the real

    reason? show just the other people? not for myself? I think…generally…

    other people say ‘ your beautiful ~ ‘ ? They’re ‘ oh…beautiful me? ‘ in the way of seem to think…

    for a charming spectacle..?

  89. Im portuguese but I live in the Netherlands and Im 154 cms tall…ehm short. Anyway, I often get stared at for being ridiculously short (Average for a Dutch girl is about 170 cms) and its nearly impossible to find clothes here. Whenever I go back to Portugal I still feel short in a way, but I do blend in A LOT more over there. Now, I feel that in the Netherlands most people are very tall and very skinny, because my body type is so different as I have big boogs, big hips but a tiny waist (30 cm difference between waist and hips). When I went to Canada however I totally blended in?! I was on the short side, but not ridiculously so, and as far as dress sizes go, everything fit me just fine and I could actually find pants that werent 20 cms too long! One thing I did notice though, I saw a LOT of obese people over there..And when I came back and went to work again (I work at a supermarket) I decided to count how many obese people I saw during one day at work.I was very surprised, if I was “lucky” I saw three. European people are, generally, not as “fat” as American people…I guess. But whether from and European or Amercian and, hopefully Asian, perspective I hope everyone realizes that lately, most members of SNSD look emaciated. And really, most idol groups do, SNSD is just a good example of pretty girls that lost WAY TOO MUCH weight over the years. I wish Korean media would just stop calling (severely) underweight celebrities fat. 

    • I hear you, girl! XD I’m 151 cms… so short! xD and if even here in Mexico everyone is like… ‘you’re such a shortie!’ I would feel like a midget in Europe LMAO! Here at least my mom, all my cousins (we’re mostly all girls), and aunts around my height :P

  90. Hi guys, I’m Korean-American who was born in Korea and immigrated here at the age of 18. I’ve seen people in both countries, so I know both situations, and while I’m regarded as a ‘normal’ person in Korea, I’m regarded as a ‘skinny’ person in the U.S. While I’m still super healthy and energetic, people in U.S see me as a ‘weak guy’ which I really don’t like. 
    My point here is that people have different perspective of views depending on the ‘cultural norm,’ so you people need to understand Korea’s standard of ‘beauty.’ Also, not so many Koreans hate those ‘a little’ fat people and not every people is following that ‘unachievable’ beauty shown in the media. Furthermore, Koreans usually control their diet while relatively larger portion of U.S people don’t. I’m not saying fat=unattractive, but I like Korean people’s way to control the diet and attempt to look ‘slimmer.’ 

  91. Totally agree with you here and your perspectives on different cultures view “ideals” differently. Back home in Indonesia I’m considered tall and big (I’m around 5’5″) and I met some models who are shorter than me… so naturally because seeing that everybody are usually so much thinner than I am, I feel fat. It really depends… while when I’m here in Australia, I’m just average height and looks fine as compared to much more curvier/heavier people around. At the end, it’s what you feel comfortable with…

    Btw, that pic with SJ – HAHAHAHA

    I’d love to meet you two someday ^___^

  92. …I ‘m 156cm tall. and I ‘m 55kg.. My classmate always says “You are fat” I’m so sad.
    so I searched on the internet.. i’m normal.. Am I fat???

    • Honestly, by my (western, but I have seen many different body types) standards you are completely NORMAL. Then again, if you really feel you are bigger than most people your age, you could shed some weight, nothing mayor though coz you dont need it!! Really, its a lot more important to be healthy, like eating the right foods and exercising. Please accept yourself the way you are and dont feel bad about yourself. No one is perfect really. And if it makes you feel any better Im a western person and Im shorter than you…And finished growing, but Id rather deny that.. :3

  93. Holy.
    I think i should share this video by link. lol
    I agree fo you however kk (not cuz i feel myself fat..!)

  94. I totally agree.
    I’m Korean and I have lived in Seoul for my entire life.

    Many Koreans agree with your opinion.
    About 70% of Koreans think that the ‘Korean criteria of beauty’ is wrong.
    But the rest 30% are young and fool little childrens. They’re very hardcore fans and they don’t listen a word except the word came out of IDOLs mouth.
    And money grubbers want make money out of them. So they advertising every day to force them to buy product of beauty industry. (Boradcasts and beauty industries are very close to each other.)

    It’s all about self-esteem.
    Koreans have very low self-esteem.
    So they want to get beauty as a compensation for their low self-esteem.
    There’s more bizarre compensation beside beauty.
    Like ‘educational background’(there’s no word for 학벌 in english.), money, native place, residence etc…

    It’s related with our modern history. (you know what I mean… WW2… japan…. very sad history.)
    so we(=Koreans) are very conscious of the way other people are looking at us.
    It’s sad but it’s also true.

    • I had lived in Korea and I’d say you are somewhat pessimistic. I agree with the fact that Koreans care about others’ glance more than other country people, but there are many people who are confident about themselves even they are not so ‘good looking.’ I’d say you are not confident enough about yourself posting here like that.

      • Many Koreans misunderstanding between confidence and arrogance. Confidence completes with consideration. Without consideration, it’s just arrogance.

        • etcha sketch

          “korean society forces people to be extroverted” – really?! ive always thought that being quiet and conservative was encouraged

  95. The infamous F on clothing tags appears all over Japan as well! But what’s even worse than that is that, on all kinds of sales, you often can’t try those clothes on “because they’re free size”! I wonder if Korean bazaars and sales work like that too? I can’t even count how many times I had to give up on buying something cute simply because it didn’t look stretchy enough to cover for wherever M size differs from F size…

  96. Oh…forgot to share this…a billboard about being fat & ugly: http://weknowmemes.com/2011/10/tired-of-being-fat-and-ugly-just-be-ugly/

  97. OMO…I could really go off on this discussion. 

  98. I totally disagree with what you thnk about the concept of “obesity” in Korea.  Many westerners in Korea found out that dietary life in werstern world has been totally misled when they witnessed what Koreans eat.  Less fat/meat and more vegetables definately makes your body more healthy and good shape.

    In medical perspective, obesity is measured by BMI (Body Mass Index = Kg/㎡).  WHO classified BMI as follows: 
    Overweight ≥25 and Obesity≥30.

    Surprisingly, recently reaserch shows that more than 40% of Koreans in 40s+ are overweight in BMI terms.  Obviously most wersterns have higher BMI than Asians.  As many Korean are now conscious about their body and health, more people including celebrities regularly execise with less fat and carbohydrate.  Thus so called S line shape is prevailing all over the media though it looks like I line from your perspective.

    I was so surprised to see many moms in the states fed their little kids on soda and McDonals.  This is an awkward truth at least at this moment.  See your self.

  99. Wow, I so agree to this post! I feel that I’m pretty slim and quite healthy here in the UK but whenever I go back to Korea for holidays I get so many comments that I need to lose weight and that I’m so fat etc from friends, family and even strangers at bars! LOL to that. 

  100. i agree some . but,
    i think its wrong this time u guys talking
    in other country(U.K or U.S) there are so many celebrities are skinny or big boob n hip

    asian got different skeleton  than u people. u guys big hip n breast n taller than asian
    its normal size that u think too skinny in here

    that’s why i disagree about u think

    i got very normal weight but if i go to ur country im skinny. u can explain with that?

    if here is great body model or healthy people. we say wow how great he is (or she) any televisions say u look good to fat people. its not country problem. but u talking like its only korea’s problem 

    how about so many breast surgery of celebrities ?

    how about so many makeover show?

    how about anorexia nervosa?

    u know one model died because of that?

    and super junior’s height thing? what the hell? thats kinda racism

    • Hi, I dont think thats what they saying at all. I think the main point what they saying is that the MEDIA lie about the statistics of these celebs, making them seem taller or weigh less than they actually do, making the ‘ideal’ of celeb bodies almost impossible to achieve because not even these celebs have the ‘ideal’> http://www.soompi.com/news/female-stars-real-secret-to-slines-on-photo-shoots . Also ANY culture congratulates someone for dieting on only coffee or living on 1000 cals or less a day while still living strenuous lives should not be too happy with itself, whether Hollywood or K-Ent land or wherever, as this does not promote healthy living to their youth, anorexia is not a western problem.

    • 이 글과 비디오 클립을 잘못 이해하신 것 같네요. 문화적 다양성과 차이를 이 부부는 잘 이해하고 있고요, 내용 상으로도 한국을 탓한다거나 인종 차별로 읽힐만한 부분은 없다고 생각됩니다. 다만, 미국 및 영국의 외모에 대한 관점(의 문제점)은 이야기되지 않았기 때문에, 한국의 외모에 대한 관점만이 문제시되고 있다고 판단될 여지가 있긴 하지요. 하지만 미디어의 문제는 온 세계가 동일하다는 점을 이들도 지적하고 있어요, 지금 글쓴이가 모델의 죽음 등을 들며 서술한 부분은 미디어로 인한 문제점과 닿아있는 예라고 할 수 있을 테고요.(이 부부는 브리트니 스피어스의 예를 들고 있지요.) 오해가 풀리시기를 바라는 마음에서 말씀드립니다.

  101. The Korean news website portrayed you guys in somewhat of a negative way.. as if you guys are condemning the korean culture (the title conveys that the most) So.. some Koreans are annoyed with you guys for things you guys didn’t even say. Its fucking Korean press as always.

  102. Compare Korean Pop stars to J-Lo or Britney Spears… You dont see much difference in figure. Maybe except how big a silicone you have implanted…

  103. Wow… So if I stand between Simon and Martina(and we’re all wearing red), we’re going to look like Blossom’s bow(Power Puff Girls) but lopsided. Simon(6’4)-me(5’2)-Martina(5’7). OMG!!! I would love to see that. (I just put in random thoughts. Please don’t mind it.)

  104. I totally agree with you. I’ve never really felt fat: I’ve always been told I’m skinny and that my friends envy my size here in Canada. When I was in Korea this summer, shopping for clothes was really confusing: I usually look at something and know how it’s going to fit but it Korea, it’s impossible to do that. No one made any remarks on my body size but I did feel extremely conscious when a friend’s girlfriend was talking about her needing to lose weight (when she is an American size 0-2 max) and how she was planning a boob job (when she is an American full C cup)…

  105. It’s true but Koreans aren’t as sensitive as Americans where calling someone fat is a major offence. But in Korea, they laugh about it and only few get stressed by their body. :)

  106. I always thought Martina and Park Bom were like separated at birth. SERIOUSLY! I can’t remember what MV I watched but I was like, “Ha, Bom looks like…Mar…tin…a…WHOA.” :D

  107. You know, i always though Martina looked a bit like Scarlett Johansson.   

  108. Seriously I’ve never thought about their lenghts at all, but everyone is lying while making their profile before their debut. Just to look good. But it’s a bad image for ‘little’ kids. I’m going to study in Seoul next year, although I’m not that fat nor that I’m slim, I’m curious about how people will react. People who giggles around you or pointing at you… It’s kinda annoying, I’d the same experience when I was in Vietnam or in Hong Kong. Somehow I felt sad. They thought I couldn’t understand them, but I’m half Chinese and Vietnamese, because my (step) dad is Dutch they all think we’r American, which is absolutely stupid. They think: ”Oh, I c a white person, it’s an American!” – And suddenly they r touching my little sister and dad… What the heck? I get that your image is an important thing, but why judging people by there images? It’s the inside people! I’m not going to study there to be critized by people who don’t know a thing about me.

  109. OMG I LAWL’D AT UR PIC WITH SUJU SO HARD LOLOLOL i met cha seungwon at the premier of his movie 71 into the gun fire here in hawaii and the guy was HUGE. he’s shorter than simon (btw, simon’s height isnt normal… lol) but im the same height as martina and i didnt even see his face till i looked up

  110. nicely written post and video! I agree, body image seems to be a hot topic in Korea, especially regarding women. what bothers me more than anything else, though, is that Korean media places way too much concern over women’s weight (the number shown on the scale).

    I was watching older episodes of Running Man, and Song Ji-hyo’s weight (the only female in the main cast) was brought up one or two times. the cast members may have just been joking around, but when one of the guys said Ji-hyo looks like she weighs 52 kg (~114.6 lbs), she seemed rather defensive and even a little distressed. 52 kg/115 lbs isn’t remotely fat AT ALL. in fact, that’s probably far lower than the average weight of a woman in North America. I realize American tabloid magazines publish the same sort of material regarding female celebrities’ bodies, but it seems as if Korean female idols are pressured to weigh a certain number, regardless of their height and/or natural body type. e.g. someone who is 5’6″ and weighs over 120 pounds isn’t fat, it’s rather proportional to their height.

  111. Why did you say “back then”? Do you not teach anymore??

  112. the exposure thing is soooo true. At first I couldn’t differentiate any of the SNSD girls, they all looked the same to me, not anymore though.

  113. wow suju looks so tiny compared to you guys. and martina you said you are 5’7″ right? o.o DOES THAT MEAN I’M AS TALL AS SUJU WTH o.o but i’ve seen a lot of tall asians (tsk. kids these days) 

    and does this mean i can’t find clothes in korea then? aww that’s so sad because asia has such cute clothes. 

  114. How tall are you two? I like that picture of you two next to Super Junior

  115. ok, shindong is fat and no one gets on his case bc he is a kpop idol. imo he needs to lose weight. So the point is, if you’re famous, you can get away with being fat (like shindong), if you’re not famous then SUCKS FOR U

  116. i got a little tint in my skin, i dont wanna be called Obama lmaooo
    and i’m hella proud of my body. they call me slim here but i got a booty and some boobs. so when i go to korea, i could honestly care less. but yeah, god tl;dr

  117. I’m really curious about something. So in dramas and movies I’ve seen people at bath houses/saunas have like Princesses Leah buns made from a towel. My Question kinda has 3 parts:
    1: Do people really do that alot?
    2: How do you make it?
    3: Why do you wear it?

    • 1. I don’t go to bath houses or saunas, but Yes, I do that every day after I take shower.
      2. You just wrap up your hair with a towel, that’s all ~
      3. In my case, because I have long hair and it gets in the way when I am putting on body lotion. And also because it takes a long time to dry such long hair, so I wrap it up with a towel to soak water from it first before using the hair drier.

  118. Actually X-line is about a ridiculously tiny waist while having long arms and legs. The S-line is more towards the hourglass, but viewable from the side, instead of “curvy”. This is old, but here’s some other alphabet lines (some men lines included): http://thegrandnarrative.com/2009/05/08/korean-women-are-not-alphabets/ I'd rec the Grand Narrative in general for thoughtful, informative posts over gender, sexuality, and media that’s focused on South Korea. He does some rocking song translations too and talks about the process of said translations.

  119. One of the other blogs i read is” What would Eve Do”, a blog by a hispanic woman who has spent 14 months in Korea and is now leaving and ONE of the reasons she is doing so is because she is tired of hearing how ‘fat” she is.
    But I just don’t buy the “cultural” angle, ..Koreans have been ‘exposed” to Western Body types for quite awhile now, at least on TV and many have travelled to the US or Canada etc etc.
    Now WHY they continue to use the “fat” card or the “Brad Pitt” card or the “movie star” card is beyond my expertise.
    Just a personal muse.

  120. This is perfect timing, Simon and Martina- I’m currently researching an
    essay for school on body ideals and perception of body image across
    different cultures, and I am planning on focusing my final project on
    South Korea. As a general shout-out, does anyone know of any articles
    published on the topic? I’m currently trawling the school library
    database, but I love reading about this stuff (…masochistic, I am),
    and I’m always interested in more viewpoints/stories.

    On another note, AHA. Now I understand why one of the waitresses that I work with told me to wear more makeup. |DD

    • Look at the Grand Narrative. I posted above one of his posts that’s about alphabet lines and he’s been published. If you give him an email he might be able to point you towards some suggestions too, but he does get pretty busy!

  121. This is perfect timing, Simon and Martina- I’m currently researching an essay for school on body ideals and perception of body image across different cultures, and I am planning on focusing my final project on South Korea. As a general shout-out, does anyone know of any articles published on the topic? I’m currently trawling the school library database, but I love reading about this stuff (…masochistic, I am), and I’m always interested in more viewpoints/stories.

    On another note, AHA. Now I understand why one of the waitresses that I work with told me to wear more makeup. |DD

  122. You two are some of the most gracious expats in Korea, not to mention kind, understanding and willing to see social issues from different points of view! That said, I really don’t think it’s entirely okay that some Koreans use the Mom Card as if it was a free-for-all buffet. I say give those guys a yellow card, along with people who do the following (to quote Korean novelist Lee Oisoo):  1. Asking an unemployed relative when they’ll find a job 2. Asking an older, unmarried woman when they’ll find a mate 3. Asking a high school senior if they’re ready for their college entrance exam. This has got to stop!

  123. I’m an american(domincan american, born in the us) living in america currently but I plan to move to Korea after I graduate university in 2016. I’m 5’1 or 155cm & I weigh 102lbs & I am 17 yrs old and over here they consider me to be super tiny and extremely petite, everywhere I go they call me a “small thing” I don’t get offended anymore since its true and I’m not gonna grow anymore than this, but I guess I’ll fit in, in Korea :3

  124. This was super enlightening as it is something I am worried about. I am a 6’2″ woman and I may be coming to Korea to teach. I’m roughly about the size of Simon, only with added lady curves, so I am not really keen on the thought of being told how huge I am everyday, since I am fully aware of it. I know that I am tall even for North America but it will become even more of a “thing” in Korea. I will just have to remember to take any comments I receive with a grain of salt. Thanks for the insight. You guys are wonderful.

  125. warlock110 warlock110

    martina also did interviews with G-dragon and some ukiss members if i remember correctly, and there’s really no “camera angle” there, they’re just flat out side by side (this is for those who still wants to talk about camera angle like they know things about cameras).

    idols are generally small/medium size, it’s very hard to find big idols (they’re out there just not a whole lot).

    g-dragon is listed at 177cm, Martina is 5’7, I’m 5’8.5 and in cm that’s around 173-174, g-dragon was most likely on shoe lifts, he looked about .5″ or 1″ taller than Martina, I’m not sure if she was wearing heels or flat that day (only Martina would know that :)).

  126. i just looked up the height of eunhyuk, and it said he was 177cm=about 5.8 ft. and he definitely did not look like that at all since martina said she was 5.7. i’m so shocked right now…DAMN YOU MEDIA!

    • 5.8 as listed does not equal 5’8″. You see the conversion error you’re making? 177 is approximately   5’10″. 175 cm is exactly 5’9″. 

      And honestly i’m a dude so i couldn’t care less about super junior, but they are obviously placed at a distance and angle that isn’t best for them compared to martina. I’m not saying his statement is right cause it isn’t, but that picture makes them look like mini-people which probably isn’t true. 

  127. Nice video and article!!!
    I absolutely agree with everything you said but I will still feel like a fat and ugly foreigner with a O-shape in Korea when I will go there as the Korean will perceive me like that.
    I’ve never heard of this Korean Body lines before, they are so many!  o_O > http://www.asianplasticsurgeryguide.com/everythingelse/svbodylines.html

    “Simon is not 8 feet tall, FYI. Super Junior is just short.” haha
    Beckham is also tall, one more similarity ;)

  128. tohoshinki is going to have a concert in Jan. and it will be just tohoshinki, no one else

  129. tvxq tone tour!!!!!
    in Jan.
    awesome BD present!!!

  130. wait, so simon was actually thought of as you know who??

  131. I’ve always considered myself average/slightly on the big side of average where I am. Recently, I gave my measurements to an online buddy from North America so she could buy me a shirt, and the first thing she commented when I gave her my measurements was “You’re a tiny thing, aren’t you?” At first I was slightly offended, because normally I am the big strong mighty one. How am I tiny?? I am not tiny! I’m the average height of a GUY! But I’ve come to terms that in North America/Europe, I’m “petite”. 

    Its like what one of the comments said, Asians just have naturally smaller bone structure, regardless of height or weight or “fattiness”. Even overweight Asians will look smaller than the average North American.  We’ve seen “big” girls and boys in our Kdramas and Jdramas, so we know they’re out there, but since North Americans see us as “small” they don’t see it as “fat”. (It could also be environmental as much as genetics. Phil Wang from Wong Fu Productions has Asian parents on both sides I think. He turned out looking huge. Esp when he’s next to Ted lol I wonder how tall he actually IS..)

    PS: The only Korean celebrity with an honest to goodness REAL S-Line is JYJ’s Kim Junsu. Fact of life.

  132. come on, i think i have more curves than  that girl. i can’t even see her curves. 

  133. Asians are naturally smaller in bone structure and size and hence we look slightly skinnier and shorter as compared to foreigners (but not in where I live, you’ll see quite a number of overweight people on the streets). Super Junior are one of the idol groups that openly admit to wearing insoles or being short. I think like the tallest among them is Siwon, about 182cm or 184cm? Same like SHINee, we all know Jonghyun is short at 173cm.
    Yeah, even as a teenager, I agree. They don’t have curves… I don’t know but I think UEE (pronounced U-E, 유이) is not fat. Her legs are really okay, I mean, honey thighs ftw. My non-kpop friends think that they are bloody skinny instead of a lil fat. Which I agree with. Those Koreans need to be exposed to really fat people. Literally -.-

  134. hmm…good TLDR!
    I’ve lived in Korea for 2.5 years now and I know exactly what you’re talking about. Yes it was hard to get over some of the comments I heard at first but my students now say things like “wow, teacher, you are getting skinnier everyday” or “you used to be fat but now you are not but you are always pretty teacher.” I think it’s so cute actually and I usually just laugh and tease them back. Although I have to say that I do make a point to teach all my students that foreigners find these comments offensive so that they don’t insult their future teachers by accident and can learn about different cultures too.
    Like you said guys it’s not an insult but just ridiculously honest comments and opinions that actually show that someone cares about you (mom-card means a close relationship right?).
    I’m still a little pudgy in places and definitely curvy but my Korean boyfriend just says that it’s great because no one else in Korea has big boobs or a butt so it makes me unique.
    He is the unique one I think though because I’ve come to find that uniqueness in Korea isn’t so much a good thing as it is in North America (would you agree?)
    We come from a much more individualistic society so it’s easier to be “the curvy girl” or “the loud girl”a lot of us like being different.
    In Korea I’ve sometimes found that standing out in the crowd is the last thing that people want. At least my friends in Busan tend to feel that way. There’s so much plastic surgery and set styles that people seem to always be conforming to. There seems to be less diversity in style and body images etc. (which often makes shopping outside of Seoul difficult for those of us who like more unique styles) Also my boyfriend hates all the attention and stares that HE gets just because he is with me and clearly dating me ( I always just say, hey I get stared at all the time, get used to it). He wants to just blend in.
    On another note I’ve seen quite a number of overweight Korean’s here in Busan. And there are 근옷 (big clothes) stores all over the place. Maybe they are all hiding in Busan?

  135. yes, true…
    but we can’t deny the fact that americans(canadian little better) are the fattest people in the whole world.
    when you put same height asians in comparison with most of europeans in terms of body size, there’s actually less difference in body size than that would with americans. And I think it’s more about the way they eat that makes them fatter, and it’s not very recommending  to eat it that way. So I think trying to stay fit and not fat is better than being accused of being obsessed with their weight. And it’s also better for helping people living in poverty, which is obvious in greater portion of the world than
    americans are aware of, since U.S.A alone consumes 40% of what is available out there in every aspects. Canadians are better in that matter but americans? They need to change the way they eat and consumes stuff as well as their conception of being skinny. They are F***ing fat as hell.
    And Simon is 6’4 and that’s considered tall in anywhere in the world. Average height of white american is 5″10(equivalent of 178) and canadian is about same. So the picture shown above on the difference in height between Simon and S.J would be same in America, too. Whenever I go to Korea, one thing I notice is that all the people coming from other countries are tall ones even in their own counties.

    • dude/dudette o-o europeans are more like canadian/americans, and england was like last year the country with the fattest people o-o (actually in most of what simon & martina say about canadians i think owh thats about the same as here o-o (opinions etc))
      And well (at least in Europe, but i think just white people in general) 178 for men is considered on the shorter side (not that much), like 183 is considered averagey and for a woman 175 o-o (Well its weird because my mom is 165 and i always thought i was average but people say im not that tall XD (i’m 175))

      • you might wanna google average height of europeans. If you are from german then maybe. cus they are the tallest in europe of about that height. Check france italy spain and even england(178).
        So your saying their average is roughly 6″1 is not true. Actually they are far from the fact.
        You know what? one thing that people say the most in america is “we eat too much, waste too much consume too much” did you know that?
        why do you think they this a lot? cus they are the truth….
        And I can distinguish european from american with ease…you know how?
        they are skinnier no doubt. You don’t just know how some people are gobbling everything on their path.

        • I dont need to google since i live in europe o-o But i live in the netherlands (next to germany) so maybe thats why i think that way XD I even asked my mother and she said 180-185 so its not me xD.

          Well okay i have to agree with that, Europeans are in general a bit skinnier but if you look at body types we are nowhere near asians o-o people who are skinny and avarage height,  for example women who are around 175 are ATLEAST 50kg (or they have a eating disorder D:) which is already much for asians but the normal weight is around 60 for us. I think we just have asians-europeans-americans on that scale of skinnyness with asians———–europeans—americans o-o

        • 175 with 50-60kg is ok compared to a lot of american women. A lot of them are pushing 70 or more.
          So there we go. your being from netherland is the reason why you think that way.
          I’ve met a number of europeans. And Franch,Spanish,italian and people around there are significantly skinnier than americans. And north europeans are bigger in height than american but much better in shape. And also english have similiar body structure to american but still not as fat.
          And germany and netherland are big in both height and bone density(looks thicker) but not as fat.
          You might be the first person I’ve heard saying “Americans are not fatter than europeans”
          I wonder you ever have been to USA. And what I mean by ameican is not limited to people in big cities like L.A and New York. Try some place like Bakersfield or middle part or anything but big cities. I personally have been to a lot of places in U.S, I’ve seen a lot of people.
          In general, people in big cities are thinner or much better in shape but….

        • Where did i say americans are not fatter than europeans. I said england used to be the country with the fattest people but in general the european body type is the same as americans, we just dont have as much fat as most of the people there o-o but you said asians and europeans are more similiar than europeans and americans, and thats not true o-o

        • Just to jump in…… > you cant compare the height charts.. they arent like with like, the Uk ones tend to include all ages, whereas other nationalities differentiate heights with ages groups.  Even studies that say they are based on ages tend to be a bit…. optimistic… with the ages they include. And someone whos a pensioner will be shorter than when they were 20

    • oh i read it again but its like you say americans/canadian people are ‘bigger’ in size because they eat more? >.> thats so untrue (and ofcourse also true) then you say i, and for example martina could be as thin as asian girls?

  136. I never really payed attention to the bodies of celebrities until I got into kpop. I always thought my skin is too dark, I weigh too much, my hair isn’t nice etc….. Eventually I just got tired of comparing myself to idols and decided I like my body the way it is. I think it’s sad that some of us get so influenced by the bodies these celebrities don’t even have.

    • Being a teenager is hard everywhere. Eventually I decided to forget much of my problems with my own body cause it’s not going to change and just dress it to look better. After all, that’s what most celebrities do, they dress to enhance.

  137. I saw comments when people said Secret’s girls are fat. Oh my… this kind of person sucks. It’s a sickly comment.

  138. hola : 
    cuanto mides martina ?, es que quisiera saber si eres mas alta que yo y preguntarte si los super juniors  son mas altos que yo

  139. I was pretty worried about this before my first trip to Korea because I’m overweight by American standards and thought people might stare or make comments. Luckily, though, just like any other big city, people keep to themselves and don’t bug you, and all the Korean people I met were incredibly nice and would never go there.

    I actually got more comments when I was clothes shopping in India – the shop keepers would be like “oh that’s going to cost extra because her waist is so big” in Hindi to my mother in law, assuming i wouldnt understand them because I’m white. Blah. It’s just a culture difference.

    p.s. You guys totally make Suju look like hobbits. Amazing.

  140. oh my gosh…SuJu looks TINY next to you guys O.o I guess my GD is really short too… T__T

  141. Well I guess genes do play a role because here in Singapore the healthy bmi range is about 18-22 I think. But in America it’s 24? We’re just generally smaller and shorter. I wear S size clothes in Asia but had to buy kids size clothes in Australia… An average Singaporean girls’ height is ~160cm and guys ~175cm. Of course I still agree that the Kpop idols being ‘fat’ and needing to go on diets all the time seem fairly ridiculous ._.

  142. The contrast in height doesnt show up so clearly in the video…
    so the camera angle would have played a part. If you look closely, Hyuk and Kyu are the same height in the photo except I’m pretty sure they’re at least 5cm apart…
    And Martina u are so freaking tall! 175cm O_o
    I guess to us short little Asians, kpop idols do have pretty nice bodies, heights etc. 

  143. I know I am going to get looks and comments when I go to Korea in Feb. I am 5’7″ and 300lbs. I am still excited but kind of worried that I will get mean comments being so big. I have heard from some of my friends that they got a lot of comments when they were in Korea. They did get really sick of it and they are smaller then me so I guess I will have to just be ready to deal with it. 

    • don’t worry about it. just because you don’t fit into their version of ‘perfect’ doesn’t mean you have to. you’re gonna be taller than all of them anyway. (if i’m right about the conversion) they won’t even be close. so just look down at them and pretend you don’t understand them :)

    • It could happen sometimes in korea, cus they are pretty straight forward in telling what they think.
      But that’s mainly from different culture rather than on purpose. And what is considered mean comments is usually not so in korean culture. They just take it lightly or else.
      But korean are ones you wouldn’t understand at first but as you spend more time being with them you would know why they act the way they do sometime. they put more emphasis on human interaction and relationship than I guess western people and saying such a thing? hard to understand, right? korean are what they are showing.

  144. I wonder if you guys could do one about korean attitudes vs american attitudes? Because i read online that seungri isn’t liked that much by korean netizens because he’s cocky, but i love his confidence. Also, what are some likeable and socially accepted characteristics of women?

  145. I am fairly curious regarding SUJU’s height. I’m 165 cm and I don’t think I;m taller than SNSD.. oh well. Nice post really. having S-Line in Korea…..I don’t see it too :p

  146. I think the worst thing about the whole body image in Korea (and maybe some other Asian countries?) is that it’s very specific. I think you guys talked about it in the Korean beauty standards and how specific it is. It’s very sad. Like everyone has to fill into the same mold. Talk about uniformity. Is this only happening in Korea or perhaps East Asia? Because in South East Asia, I don’t think people care all too much about their body shapes.

    By the way, before I saw pictures or videos of you two with other people, I thought Martina was short. But she’s only short compared to Simon but very tall compared to idols. It was shocking but funny all at the same time how Martina is taller than male idols.

  147. Hahaha that picture of SuJu cracked me up. I’ve always thought Koreans, especially Koreans celebrities are pretty tall… Or could they be taller than other Asian races on average? Anyway, one Korean celebrity named Hyuna from 4minute. I hope I spelled her name right. She’s so skinny already and recently an article that was posted on allkpop saying that she just lost weight, and seriously, no mentioning about her health concerns or saying she’s already super skinny. And the article sounds like she just lost a bunch of fat and she’s really happy about it.
    Beauty is in the eye of beholder, but then external factors does influence on your perception of what is beauty, for example the media (I hate the media so much)

  148. o.O Wow! Was I ever shocked when I saw the picture of Martina and Simon standing next to Super junior. I thought they were at least 5’11! :D  I’m guessing I am about the same height as them :O

  149. LOL! Even Martina looks taller than SuJu… XD
    I’m asian and I used to care about my weight but I just don’t care anymore now.
    As long I’m healthy, I’m happy. :)

    And yea, the media is the SAME everywhere. It’s a bad thing. Poor kids become victims of diets and being skinny.
    Also, the rookie group, Piggy Dolls, seemed to have fallen into the trap as well. Sigh.

  150. I wonder if Koreans say things about people being too skinny as well.
    I’m Eighteen years old, only 5ft and 86lbs give or take. I HATE IT. 
    But maybe in Korea they would envy me?
    It’d be a nice change from

    Its called a high metabolism assholes…. UGH

  151. I think that you are missing just one point here: they’ve been told that they needed to lose weight, that they’re too tall, that they can’t buy regular clothes… so that, for me, it seems pretty rude for foreigners (for anyone, actually) and you can’t blame them if this is the way they feel about it. I know (and Simon and Martina also know it, as they have stated it in both the video and the blog post) that people don’t mean to offend you by saying it; but to us, it’s very uncomfortable.
    Besides, no one here is seriously thinking bad about korean people because of this. We still are interested in your country, and would very much like to travel there and get to know your nation better. I’m sorry you felt unpleasant reading/watching this, it’s just that we can relate to these experiences, because here (all over North and South America and Europe too) weight and height ARE touchy and taboo subjects.

  152. theres that huge problem that most people dont understand of you cant have a great S line without having more fat content unless you are magical in ways that I can not understand. My friend and I are both asian shes about 5’8 and im 5’3 but shes much more to the korean body type of super slip yada yada ya and im more Americanized I guess although Im a midget next to every white person. I wish people could just understand that we can’t all be sticks like my friend who eats like a pig and yet never gains any weight *sigh*

  153. I am Korean and my husband is pure white. He is 6 feet, hazel eyes, brown hair with what Americans would consider a very large nose.   I grew up in US. My Korean raised sister in law met my husband for the first time. She looked him up and down. I know Koreans can be really “honest” and I was afraid of what she was about to say. She said, “You’re so tall and your nose is so big. You look like a movie star”!  My brother and I cracked up because that seemed crazy.  If a made for TV movie were made about my husband, Owen Wilson, the goofy looking brother with the weird nose would play him.  I guess it is all about perception.

  154. OMFG HOW ABOUT ME?? I am Indonesian and 112KG (read, not 112 lbs but KG). my friends and family accept me just the way I am. even my parents didn’t call me pig or something bad. they respect me. soo… i don’t think i could go to korea. i am afraid people wouldnt welcome me and say “OH LOOKS THAT UGLY FATTY FOREIGNER.” i am surely couldn’t buy some clothes in korea. it’s soo different like when i was in UK T_T

    • It’s not that bad I can assure you. I haven’t been called a fatty ugly foreigner once since I’ve been here (I myself know some Korean and know enough to know if I was being insulated). You will get stared at for being a foreigner though-but that happens in other places not just in Korea. I myself am not fat by U.S. & and world standards- and yes you can buy clothes in Korea- go to stores like Forever21 (one in Myeongdong) where they have a variety of sizes & you can try them on. =) It’s ok if you don’t fit in with the Korean/Asian standard of being thin- I know that I don’t and that’s fine.=)

  155. This reminded of the comment Leeteuk (I’m pretty sure it was him, if not another Suju member) had made about Suzy’s weight from Miss A when she was filming Dream High–it was during one of those radio shows or something (maybe Kiss the Radio or Sukira). Idk if you guys have read the allkpop article on that, but apparently she had gained some weight due to the diet change she had during the filming (I tried to compare her before and after weight and srsly found NO DIFFERENCE…I was ultimately confused), and as she (and a couple other bandmates) were discussing their comeback, he said ‘after Suzy loses weight’ or something and I was super shocked. I was like DAMN…he must be SUCH a jerk. I hope he feels like shit for saying that…but now I kinda understand…I guess that’s how they do…Not saying that it was okay, but I still love Leeteuk and don’t think it’s as much his fault since he grew up that way. I was just surprised considering that she was like…super skinny… I also watched a show where Suzy was saying she found a newspaper headlining her as pregnant when she was filming Dream High. Isn’t that absolutely ridiculous? Preggo?? Anyways, just thought to share. ^_^

  156. i think that it’s interesting that you are saying there are no obese koreans at all…. i live and work in Japan, and although the same kind of issues of all you’ve been describing here also apply, there are obese japanese people. they are few and far between, but they are there… i wonder if this may have anything to do with the fact that korean guys have to do military training?? (it wouldn’t explain the girls though, but still…)

    btw, that picture with SJ is just hilarious… they look like little dwarves next to you… lol.

    also, i dunno if you get this too but here in japan, japanese people seem to hold foreigners to a different standards than themselves… like, i’ll be chatting with a japanese friend and she’ll complain about getting fatter (being totally skinny) and i’ll say “what are you talking about, have you seen my wobbly thighs?!” and she’ll go “no way! you are fine!”… and this has happened with more than one person… and i’m kinda chubby. so they are either all just politely lying to my face, or their glasses needs washing, but either way, this is weird.

    oh and on the other hand, you have doctors here (silly silly *coughcrappycough* japanese doctors) who don’t take the fact that you are built differently than a japanese person into account and expect that you should have all the same stats as a japanese person… i’ve known perfectly healthy white males to be declared “metabo” (i.e. overweight) by j-doctors, and also other stuff to get misdiagnosed all the time… and medicine is “weaker” here because their bodies are smaller and thus don’t need as much… but i’ve had instances of having to go back to the doctor again and again because the medicine i was given wasn’t strong enough for my big gaijin body and i just wouldn’t heal…. fun times!!

    i’d be curious to know if it’s the same in korea?

    • The same happened to me! So, I wonder how asian people view westerners that are chubby. Do they find them attractive or do they just don’t care because they don’t even think of them as possible suitors?
      Meanwhile, I think you need to find a good doctor^-^

  157. I think Park Bom one of the few idols with curves to me

  158. OMG, Martina I lurve your hair! Sorry, I just saw it and I had to say something cuz its flippin’ adorable. I also wanted to say that I love that pic/macro/whatev of you guys and SJ. I dunno, the fact that their short just makes them seem cute to me. Seriously, they’re like adorable little elves. Well, compared to you guys, at least. (I mean no offense to other short Korean people, I’m American and I’m 5′ 1, so shorties represent!) I can totally see why people would be confused by that pic, though, what with online resources and other pictures portraying otherwise. I don’t care though, it just makes them more real. And that picture is priceless.

  159. Hi, Simon and Martina, I think you guys are mistaken. There was a study that found that western and Korean ideal body shapes are the same at Bust=Hip:Waiste ratio of 100:60. The ratio for 38-24-38 measurement you mention is 100:63, waist a little thicker than ideal. On the other hand, the value 36-22-36, an examplary Korean glamour measurement, is 100:61, closer to the ideal. So the latter should appear more curvy. Unless you have a bias for bigger women.

    • And what study is that may I ask? I’m not trying to be mean, I just want your source. For me, (note this is my opinion so don’t go and say all Americans say this) some Korean women do have curves, but I am baffled when people say so and so have an S line and I’m thinking, where are the curves that people with an S line supposedly have? They don’t seem to have any. But again, this goes to what Martina and Simon are saying, people who have live in different places notice somethings especially in regards to beauty, differently.

      • I agree with you Diana. Different views on what is the ideal woman. =)

      • Ah, the standard of beauty, there are certainly individual and cultural differences, but we humans share more common universal inclinations.What I wanted to say is that some westerners think western women have more curves. Simon said Korean women who are admired for their “S-curves” by other Koreans have no curves according to his taste. This I disagree. For most easterners, western female figure tend to appear stubbier (except for some model figures) than asian women. In US, 40% of population is out of shape (fat) so this perception is not without foundations. I lived in US and Korea many years, and I think Korean women on average have more balanced shape than North American women. More S-curves…

    • Dr. Devendra Singh, an evolutionary psychologist at UT-Austin showed in many studies that the ideal waist-to-hip ratio across many cultures is 0.7, although there are slight differences according to other researchers. 

      Some researchers have found that the waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a significant measure of female attractiveness.[18] Women with a 0.7 WHR are usually rated as more attractive by men from Indo-European cultures.[19] Beauty icons such as Marilyn Monroe,Jayne Mansfield, Salma Hayek and Sophia Loren typically have ratios close to 0.6, even though they have different weights and heights. In other cultures, preferences appear to vary according to some studies,[20] ranging from 0.6 in China,[21] to 0.8 or 0.9 in parts of South America and Africa,[7][22][23] and divergent preferences based on ethnicity, rather than nationality, have also been noted.

      Taken from Wikipedia, 

  160. LOL that photo of SJ & their facial expressions just made me laugh xD

  161. I think I may work out a little extra before visiting South Korea… I’m not obese in the US but there are already a lot of girls skinnier than me and they complain about not weighing enough to donate blood (so irritating). I especially feel bad for my best friend, who is 6 foot and would probably take a major hit to her self esteem by going to Asia.

    • If your friends’ weight is so low they can’t even donate blood than they’re not healthy. I think you should change your perspective.
      A healthy young female should have a body mass index between 18.5-25. You can calculate it by dividing your weight(kg) / height’s square(m) (aka weight/heightxheight).

  162. I’m 5’6″and 115lbs. I remember last winter, when a teacher from one of my schools was complaining about her ‘number’ (weight), I tried comforting her by telling her mine – which was roughly +20 pounds higher. .. She almost hit oncoming traffic. haha 
    (and said, I quote, ‘but you’re skinny! how can you weigh that much?’)

    While living in the states, I was never considered fat. And in South Korea, I’m considered freakishly tall sometimes (compared to small, loveable Korean girls tottering around in killer heels), but I’ve never been called fat.  (My height stretches it out, I guess. lol) In fact, a lot of people have taken time out of their day just to tell me “no, you’re not from America. Americans are fat!” with big hand gestures and everything. (u u’) But I can relate to everything you two wrote about.  Foreigners are usually given a free pass when it comes to korean beauty standards because we really do have such different body types, but it’s hard not to compare yourself or feel self-conscious when you’re about a head taller than everyone else in the subway car – the men included. (^^”) But, oh well – Hwaiting!

    • even the guys? I’m 5’9″ and one memorable moment was when I was the shortest guy in the packed subway car including the high school students. I’m guessing some of them were wearing insoles but kids in Korea nowadays are getting pretty darn tall. My junior high cousin’s already like 5’10″… don’t mean to generalize of course, but the kids are noticeably taller than say a decade ago. 

  163. Here’s an interesting thought experiment from an Asian perspective. I’m 4 foot 11 inches and I weigh 130 pounds. You can imagine that I am far from the “Ideal look.” Now, none of my Asian American friends have said anything about my appearance. It’s only from my parents and relatives back in China do I get a lot of criticism from. Going by your theory, this is because my Asian American friends and I have already been exposed to all the different body types that we don’t necessarily care. But yet, our parents continue to maintain their perception of beauty. Even if more Asians were to come to America, do you think that they’d become more open-minded?

  164. Thanks for the picture of you guys with Super Junior…I had a good five minutes of laughing my head off!

  165. I’m curious about how tall is Lee Gwan Su … he seems to be a GIANT, seriously !! 
    When you saw him on running man, was he really tall? Or is it because all the other “runners” are small?

  166. no offense in the minimal, but Even Shindong looks slimmer than Simon… And they tell him fat….

  167. awww but the fact that super junior is so short just makes me like them more! it makes them more relatable, no? as a pretty short person, as long as a guy isn’t like…5′ 3″ or something, it doesn’t really bother me. celebrities are so tiny there though, miss a and snsd especially are rather diminutive. It makes sense that the boys would seem taller standing next to such small women, and also that the girls wouldn’t look so short standing next the guys.
    about the weight issue, I’m 5’3″ and 125 lbs and when i was in Korea I definitely felt like I was fat compared to everyone around me. when I went home though, it was such a nice image boost! I was like hey! I actually lost weight this summer, what do ya know? So maybe the food in Korea was more healthy? When I’d go out to clubs all the guys I danced with had really nice bodies, despite being on the shorter side sometimes, and I’d feel self-conscious at times about my weight around them i guess, considering the girls around me were like 90 lbs. 

    for the record, when I met simon and martina, I was very impressed with martina’s slammin bod! and she really does have great skin. not that I don’t think simon and martina look good on screen, but in person they are both even better looking. Simon really is tall O__O but neither of them are fat in any way. 

    I can see how it would be hard to find clothes though with the free sizing… hahaha i came home and I was like, what? you mean… i can try it on? wait… it comes it sizes? lol

    anyway, love you guys! ~Kat

    ps. I’m coming back to Korea for the spring semester, hopefully I’ll get to see you guys again! 

  168. I’m from Australia, and I don’t mean to offend at all, I just wanna say … I’ve probably only met ONE person as tall as 6’4 … so um … to me you’re a giant Simon … I’m sorry. So I don’t actually think Super Junior are that short, you guys are just pretty tall, especially with your heels on Martina!! n_n;;

    But jesus, I’m a medium in Australia and I have a feeling over there I’ll be an extra large. ;o; Awww shiiiitttt.

  169. Hahahaha, I love that picture of you guys and suju, and of course the paragraph stating those guys are tiny as well :)) I’m so freaking tired of those crazy elfs who always talk like suju are super models or something =)) But you’re so right, lol, about the heights of Korean idols :)) I bet that Tae Yang, Jay Park and Seung Ri are shorter than 1m70 as well :)) But I believe not all the Korean idols lie about their heights in their profiles, such as SS501 Park Jung Min or DBSK Shim Chang Min, these guys are like slim giants when they stand next to other people, haha, I feel sorry for the ones who stand next to them lol. Shim Chang Min’s height must be something close to 1m90 already. Park Jung Min’s height in his profile is only 1m81, but it is because it was recorded from he first debuted with SS501 and they haven’t changed it. According to fancams, fanaccs, photos [of him standing next to other idols, MCs, fans], etc, Park Jung Min’s height should be 1m86 by now.

    • Suju are our KOREAN super models! :)
      We can’t help but love their cuteness and onscreen sexiness, haha. It’s not our fault that the media makes them seem like PERFECTION, and not these short little azn dudes, heheheh.

  170. nice vid. but as a korean having been watching nearly all of your videos now i have to say that i cant help but feel uncomfortable. i just deleted all my words cuz it strated get longer and longer. and since i have no time, i gotta just say that you’re completely misunderstanding us. this blog is for understanding korea and helping others understand korea. right? you should be much cautious about what you post and you should think a lot when you post. ( looks like you dont. for me. ) i had been thinking to say it to your guys but it was bothersome and i just thought ‘let them think that way..whatever’ but this time i really gotta say.. and this time, reading what you wrote,i felt it’s ridiculous how you guys misuderstand us and how you guys dont try to understand us ( especailly simon. always says wtf? why the hell? like he will never ever understand us and never try to understand ) many foreigners visit here to get information about korea. and if you wanna be really helpful, you should first ‘understand’ us and post what you’ve got understanding us. but look at you guys. you’re just seeing us from your perspective and posting it like what your saying it almostly true in korea. and people are watching it .ewww…this is so bad. being a 20 years old university student in seoul, i even dont know what ‘X’ line is. like this,  you guys tend to make a small stuff in korea a big one.( because you just hear it from your friends or something and with your tunnel vision, think it is just true). you’ve made a lot of mistakes before. please try to not to make mistakes. i know this is your place and you have every right to express what you think. but a large number of people who really dont know about this country are watching you.  i think it’d be better you guys thought it much  more seriously

    • Thats a little rude :( their just saying it from their perspective on what they have noticed. If they wouldnt want to try and understand Korea they would have all ready left Korea.

    • I think they really do think about what they say.. 
      as people who really love the culture and overall love Korea, I don’t think that they are saying stuff without any thought. 
      what might seem small to you might seem bigger to them because they are foreign, therefor they see differences much more clearly
      I don’t think they are saying things to make it seem like it is “bad” but to tell people “hey, this is what it is like, this is what we’ve experienced. Be prepared”
      Maybe you aren’t seeing what they are trying to say because of who you are, so you are getting offended 
      How much more unbiased do you want them to be?

      • im not saying that it is bad they look at a small thing to korean as big one. it can happen and nothing is wrong with it. i mean, they come across a kind of tendency (about anything) a few of korean have, and post it here like almost all koreans have it. yes they are not just saying ‘hey, this is what it is like’ and sometimes, ‘this is so weird, not right. so be prepared’. i love what they do here. but whenever i see some words judging korean thing only from their perspective, i feel offended.

        • Actually, I myself am asian, and I can say that the MAJORITY of them especially those that have not been influenced by Western Culture do care A LOT about appearances (whether it be weight, height, even skin tone). I almost always get these remarks when I am back home. For Asians, its a way to show that they care about a person, but for us Westerners, it can get pretty offensive (i.e we are individuals and we like it that way). In the video, they do say that this is just what they see themselves. A theory is just an educated guess, it’s not a law or something like that. But it’s pretty much true for the most part. If you were to ask your fellow koreans, I’m sure that they would agree to parts of this..

        • I think that you are missing just one point here: they’ve been told that they needed to lose weight, that they’re too tall, that they can’t buy regular clothes… so that, for me, it seems pretty rude for foreigners (for anyone, actually) and you can’t blame them if this is the way they feel about it. I know (and Simon and Martina also know it, as they have stated it in both the video and the blog post) that people don’t mean to offend you by saying it; but to us, it’s very uncomfortable.
          Besides, no one here is seriously thinking bad about korean people because of this. We still are interested in your country, and would very much like to travel there and get to know your nation better. I’m sorry you felt unpleasant reading/watching this, it’s just that we can relate to these experiences, because here (all over North and South America and Europe too) weight and height ARE touchy and taboo subjects.

    • could you explain what it’s like then? I’d really like to get korean perspective on this as well, and it seems like you don’t agree with simon and martina’s observations.

    • first off, they always put a disclaimer at the end that this is simply an analysis from their point of view as foreigners, and for anyone who’s watched more than 3 vids from eatyourkimchi, you should realize they think about what they post. 

      honestly, if you’re discrediting this video’s statements, i have grave doubts about how Korean you are? 20 year old university student in Seoul? How long have you been in Korea? I don’t mean to be rude, I just find it a bit absurd that you’re calling them out on this video of all videos. Being called out on your weight, height, and looks are standard protocol in Korea. It’s so obvious and ubiquitous I don’t see how you fail to NOT see it. 

      I don’t even necessarily think it’s a bad thing. Korea probably has the greatest food delivery industry in the world. It’s actually amazing that Korea is the thinnest OECD country…. better this than the US where half of the population are obese. 

    • Sorry on their behalf in case they don’t see this. But I don’t think they mean to offend at all, I’m pretty sure this is what they think is totally true rather than what is totally true-so please don’t take it to heart. They’re only trying to inform the fans from their own experiences. And for the way Simon talk, I’m pretty sure he’s not trying to be offensive-that’s just the way he talks-I do this as well, to express confusion and/or frustration. Anyhows, hope you do well in college! I heard it’s really hard to get in and really hard to ace stuff as well. College Students Hwaiting!!

    • Um, you do know they live in Korea right? So its not that they are
      hearing it from their friends, they have actually experienced most of
      what they are saying they have. And are you really sure you haven’t
      heard of the X and S line? I ask because when I log into sites like allkpop and seoulbeats and others similar to that, I’m always hearing Tiffany being praised for her s line, and how Lee Hyroi’s legs are oh so wonderful, etc.  They are writing it from their perspective, but in a non biased manner-and trust me, even though I know how Koreans seem to big on their concepts of beauty, I still want to go. Hec, my twin is in Korea right now and the same thing is happening to her-she’s had to buy clothes in XL because she’s not petite, and she is most certainly NOT FAT, she just doesn’t have the slim body most Korean women seem to have. For every culture, there are good and bad aspects, but that doesn’t stop most people from visiting the places they want to go. Even though my sister says she has struggled with finding clothes that fit her well, she still loves being in Korea and would love to stay longer. And I believe Simon and Martina are trying to understand the culture, which is why they are making these videos. Ok. End of long rant. But feel free to reply, I always want to hear both sides of the story.

    • I don’t think Simon and Martina have ever been disrespectful of Korean culture or pretended (or intended) to present their views as the ultimate truth. Instead of blindly accusing them of insensitivity, point out their “mistakes” and the things you consider to be incorrect, and correct them here or email them about it. I didn’t really notice anything in this video that would be considered offensive from Korean perspective.

  171. Whoa great video!!!
    Although, I think your comment about how Koreans can’t tell differences between foreigners is a little unwarrented. Actually, I find many Koreans interested in western culture and only the old and few young feel such a gap with foreign people. And I don’t think any of my friends would think Simon looks like Brad Pitt or Beckham, no offense, Simon!!!.
    And I’d like to clarify that S line in Korea doesn’t mean curvy,no. I think it’s really different concept.
    S line in Korea means SLIM and soft line, that practically every Korean woman long to have. In the commercial you posted, the girl(I don’t remember her name) says 날씬한 느낌, which means ‘feeling of being slim’ roughly translated. It shows that in Korea slimness is more important than being curvy.
    I don’t know, I’m a senior in highschool and I finally took K-SAT, and all my friends say that they have to lose weight soon, because they spent so many time sitting down and studying, and I too can’t say I’m not thinking about those things. It’s like a thing really.
    Thanks anyway for posting the video :)

  172. The mentality is the same in other parts of Asia as well.  I remember a friend of mine telling me about how her friend who was talented, fit, buff (6-pack et al) went to Taiwan to become an idol – where they fixed his face, and told him he was fat.  Next time she saw him, he was almost unrecognizable. His reasoning was that it was no big deal to him, he’ll do it, so he can get to do what he wants later.  My friend, (also musically talented and was offered contracts) declined because she couldn’t go down that road knowing she would be subjected to the same treatment.

    On another note, I think I’ve only seen one idol dwarf Martina – Lizzy from After School (picture posted on Twitter).  But I would imagine without the platform heels, they would be the same height.

  173. Okay, so… We have an exchange student from South, Korea this year and she’s one of my closest friends. She told me that her mom has started calling her a pig since she came to the US because she’s gained weight. She is at least 5 ft 6in if not taller and looks to be a size XS/S to me. She complained saying that she’s so fat now and has to go on a diet. I told her that because she’s so tall, it makes her look even skinnier and that she should actually gain MORE weight. (She looks underweight but healthy at the same time) She thought I was insane so I then said to her, “Well if you’re fat, then i’m not sure how i’m even alive with all my fat.” And she kinda got the picture then… Weight shouldn’t be that big of a deal… >_<

  174. Haha still love that pic w/ Suju. XD

  175. Wow, what you’re saying is very true. Even though I live in the US, I can still apply this to me because my school is a heavily populated Asian school. I love your TL;DR’s so much. Both of you guise are very good looking and healthy looking too

  176. Oh my gosh, SJ is short! And Martina, you’re 5’7? And you look taller than SJ! So this means I tower above my oppas.. >.<

  177. LikeLikeLike! We all get wrinkled and saggy eventually so what does wasting time on obsession with body shape and size leave us with? Love who you are for WHO YOU ARE, and love others for who they are, not what they look like. You can’t live your life through the reflection of a mirror. 

  178. This is such an interesting TL;DR! As a 6′, 185 pound white female, I’d often wondered how I’d be received if I ever made my way over to eastern Asia, especially since, even here in the States, my family (I’m the second shortest!) and I are considered SUPERCRAZYTALL.

    • honestly… yes, you would, prepare to get stared at. I get stared at as a Korean just for speaking English on the phone by elderly people. 

  179. I’m 5’8/172cm and 115 lbs (and Korean), and I was considered “chubby” in Korea. Had to buy most clothes in medium there, while in the US I’m always a XS or S. -_-

  180. Awn, I loved this TL-DR!! And that picture of you and Super Junior: WOW THAT’S A BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!

  181. Martina it is very obvious you look like Scarlett Johansson! I was wondering if you have had to deal personally with people talking about your phatness (yes, phatness, TOTALLY NOT fatness) because of this resemblance to S.Jo in the, well….top section of zee body? This might be MUCH to personal a question and if so feel free to delete this post! 

  182. its true about  each culture having different types , for ex: in some parts in africa the bigger you are means the more money you have

  183. I think especially the height thing is going on in the west as well. I remember being 12 and at Madam Tussaud’s in London, standing next to their wax Kylie Minogue and being shocked at how tiny she is.
    I live in Japan, and there are some chubby people, but they’re all considered horribly obese. What I think is far worse than that are the sickly thin (with legs as big as my arms, and I’m skinny by European standards) girls on the train I see everyday, I just always hope they’re alright.
    Also, I don’t know about Korea, but many stores in Japan only offer one size, and if you don’t fit that size you won’t be able to buy from that brand, which I guess can make one feel very concious about their body.

    • Also, (I want to add) if that brand is super popular and everyone wants to buy or at least own 1 article of clothing from there, but the person doesn’t fit into the clothes, they can get obsessed with body weight too :

    • it’s roughly the same, it’s called “free size” or if you’re in the Dongdaemun shopping district for instance, “dongdaemun size.” the size of course being small to xs to xxs. 

    • There are stores like that in Hungary as well… When I first walked into a store like that, I picked a pair of jeans and asked for my size. Sales person “we only have one size”. A-okay. So I now know I have to avoid that chain lol

  184. I wonder if this comes from the need to have/be the best of something. I remember when I lived in Korea, there was an ideal way of life and that was the culture. The ideal way is what they would consider the best way. For example, being the valedictorian in school is the ideal/best way of being a student. Now things like beauty, it is impossible to determine what is ideal. Still I guess that’s what they need – an ideal that everyone can aspire to. Whatever is the ideal physical beauty now is what they came up with. I wonder if in 10-15 years the ideals of beauty in Korea will change…

  185. If you want Simon’s real twin (Perhaps a bit more chiseled), look at this picture of Peter Picciano, 
    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lsrgn0vjI81qarksao1_500.jpg (Wow that’s a suggestive Thumbnail, it’s just an Underwear shoot, nothing too bad)

    One of the new korean students this year is pudgy (even for our standards), and until we learned his name, he was either referred to as “The Fat One” or my personal favorite “Shin Dong”. 

  186. I think the same stigma applies to both cultures, it’s just that the smallest and largest sizes are different so it depends on the context and what you’re being compared to. For instance, I used to have a tiny computer screen that I used for many years but I didn’t really notice how small it was because I got used to it. When I finally got a new one that was bigger, it felt 10x the size of my old one and I suddenly thought it was enormous! Until I got used to it as well and now it doesn’t seem so huge anymore. Also, the term “Fat” can vary incredibly from person to person. When I was 9, my mom’s friend told me I should exercise to loose weight….. No matter what size I ever was in my life, I was always fat according to someone. And for a long time that hurt me and bothered me, until I stopped giving “weight” to what others thought I looked like. I think this is a new perspective for foreigners who are considered so-called “normal weight” in their own countries but then considered “Fat” in others. They get to see what life it is like for someone labeled “fat” in their own countries. What it comes down to is that it is human nature to be surprised and shocked when we see something/someone who is so different from our day-to-day, but we should get past that to get to know the person and then they won’t seem so different anymore.

  187. I had this problem when I vacationed there. I was okay for a few days, and then eventually I just started feeling really big. I wanted to go shopping and there were TONS of really cute clothes, but I knew none of it would fit. I’m a size 14 in Canada, and I’m pretty proportionate, but my bust and hips are too much for their teeny tiny clothes! ;D

    My shoes size in Canada is an 8, which translates to a 250 there–and 250 is the largest size they carry in most shoe shops. Even then, their 250/8 was too tight for me to fit. Back home, size 8 is extremely average and normal for Canadian girls. It made me feel really bad about myself for a while, but when I got back to Canada I relaxed a little. I’m usually pretty good with body image and self-esteem, but after 2 weeks in Korea, I was starting to get depressed. I’m not usre if I want to go on a good exercise regimen for when I move there next year–would I be giving in to society’s pressure (a society that isn’t even mine, per se?) or should I just stay the way I am now, and deal with all the fat comments? 

  188. how tall r u guys? ^.^ just wonderin … after seein that super junior pic.. i m wonderin how short they r >.<

  189. I also think there’s a difference between the North American & Korean perspective of beauty/body image in the concept of diet.
    In Canada: Going on a diet means eating differently then normal so no meat, Atkins, Weight Watchers, all fruit & veggies, etc. Typically this can be healthy but this is not always the case, depending on the diet type.
    In Korea (and most Asian countries): Going on a diet is most popularly a code for NOT EATING. This is NOT NOT NOT healthy for a lot of reasons and can not only hurt your body, but cause you to GAIN weight and your body to start eating your muscles. I’m not going to argue about changing Korea’s perspective of body image but they need to take a serious look at ditching this no eating diet.
    FYI: When I was in Korea I saw a few heavy-set Koreans (not gyopos either) and I was living in a small town. I just wondered where the heck they got clothes!!!

  190. I’m 5’4″ and 98 lbs, so I’m obviously a little on the too skinny side (guilty of having an ‘I’ line, mostly through genetics).I participated in a Korean culture event at my university a year or so ago where two of the Korean girls who were in my group wanted to take pictures afterwards. One of the girls got her camera out and  then looked over at me and asked me to not stand next to her. I actually had to ask somebody else in my group why and they said it was because she didn’t want to look fat standing next to me. What surprised me, though, is that before we did the event, both Korean girls who were really pretty and in no way shape or form even remotely chubby, spent three weeks before the event dieting. And to be honest, afterwards when they were all decked out in their nice duds and everything, I didn’t see the difference between the before and after even though all the other Korean students and even some of the Asian American’s who were part of the group were complimenting her.

  191. Thanks for the thought provoking TLDR….reminds me of conversations with a dear friend of mine…who is of Swedish (american born) stock. Her family lived in Japan when she was in High School (father in military)…she said when the family walked down the street they would literally stop traffic….because her father was 6’7″ (for real, I’ve met him)…and she and all 3 of her siblings are each from 5’11″ to 6’4″.
    They were considered a freak-show…hahaha. They took it with a lot of humor :)

  192. When I look at your Star King pic with Super Junior, I  feel like they are Minimoys… They should have been called the SuperMoys XD (dear Super Junior fans, please spare my life, i’m just JOKING, and I like Super Junior too). When I saw them in real at SM Town in Paris, I  was like ‘Uhh, they’re not as tall as they pretend to be actually… And Shindong is NOT that fat !’ 
    I have a korean penpal who says that she has to go on a diet, even though on the pictures, she looks perfectly slim to me. I guess I’d be an fat monster in Korea too. -______- 

  193. I go to Korea almost every summer to visit my family and I’ve never gotten called fat straight out. I’ve always been told I have an s-line and junk like that. Which by american standards, I do. But when my Korean family tells that to me, I feel like they’re subtly telling me i’m chunky x_x I don’t think much of it though since they’re family. 
    Also, i’ve had a few instances where i’m shopping for clothes in the open markets and ajummas will straight up tell me that my boobs are too big and won’t fit their clothes. I just LOL and go to a different stall, i’m not really offended by it. XD

  194. I hate when people comment on my weight, even when my mother does it. My mother is Asian though and she will make comments like ‘Oh you lost a lot of weight’ and I’ll be like what the heck are you talking about I look exactly the same!! Lmaoo. If I went to Korea I’d still be the shortest ever (4’11/150cm). Even though my dad is European both of my parents are extremely short! :(

  195. I actually think it’s worse there (KOR) than here (North America) – as far as the media goes. Here we have people star as lead roles and they are chubby… like Queen Latifah. She’s always been kinda chubsy – but it was never said because it “Now you are not a sexy woman”. I think we’ve actually gotten a lot more proactive about emphasizing health. Unfortunately though we also now emphasize “It’s ok to be fat – I love me how I am” —- and that also isn’t good for your health. *Sigh* Oh well.

  196. I think korean people are so obsessed with their appearance and looks much more than it is necessary, and they are aware of that.
    A lot of people are sick of how Korean media is talking about small face and long legs, that kinda stuff.
    But what could they do about it? It’s become the standard of beauty in Korean society, and beauty is considered so important. So, people just accept the fact and try to look better by plastic surgeries, diet, and so on…

  197. My boyfriend is Korean and he has been living in Canada for 10 years now.  When we first met 6 years ago, he was really super skinny, worked out alot, and according to him only ate rice and kimchi.  He was what Korean people would consider “in shape”.  Today, he has put on some weight and is a little bit chubbier, eats lots of red meat and snacks.  But, he always laments about how much weight he’s gained and how fat he is.  I asked him once, “What’s your deal?  You aren’t fat!” He said, “Korean people consider  me to be fat”.  I asked him what was with the differences in eating habits and lifestyle choices since we started dating.  He told me he lots craploads of weight and exercised alot so that he could get a girlfriend (me – though I didn’t start dating him for his smokin’ asian body it was his wicked personality) and then became comfortable in our relationship and the habits of a typical Canadian and gained a tonne of weight.  He said that he felt like he would never meet anybody in Canada because in the Korean world most or maybe all have such a firmly engrained idea of what the ideal body type is and he thought that this would apply to Canadians as well.  Now that I have managed to bring him back from his starved state made up of just rice and kimchi, he still looks at himself as less than ideal in the Korean world and always tells me that he needs to lose weight ASAP to be a sexy cool asian again.

    It’s just really unfortunate how body image is a cross-cultural issue for people of all ages.  Regardless of your culture or age, there’s always going to be someone who isn’t satisfied and longs to be like the stars they see on T.V. which, as the picture of SJ and Simon and Martina show, don’t necessarily have all the “ideal” attributes.

    Excellent TL;DR btw :):):)

  198. i completely agree with what you guys said. i’m a malay from malaysia,and i grew up amongst asians, so i think it’s safe to say that MOST asians are short. i’m female and 155cm tall,most of my friends are around that height as well. the tallest girl i’d known is around 173cm and she’s taller than most guys i know. 
    when i first got into kpop i was really amazed to know that the idols are averaging +165cm for girls and +180cm for guys. 
    and then i found out about those shoe-lifts. 

    i never believed in any profile after that.

    actually i can’t find anything wrong with being short as long as it’s the normal for your community.after all you can’t change your height.and being the tall one amidst all the normal short people would make you feel uncomfortable,like the friend of mine.she always feels like she’s attracting unnecessary attention just because of her height.

    as for the body shape,i do agree that korean ideals of body shape have infiltrated my country,and i find a lot of girls comparing their bodies with kpop idols,dieting,exercising and whatnot.personally,i think having a healthy,somewhat chubby body is way better than having a stick-thin figure looking like you’re gonna break anytime soon. the most important thing is feeling comfortable with yourself,right? 

  199. I know what you mean. Different size perceptions for different kinds of people. I went to Korea recently with a friend of mine. She was very concerned about how the people were going to look at her since she was tall and chubby but she didn’t want to go on a diet just to please them (more power to her I say). I am shorter and I have something between an S and an X line body (big boobs, small waist). I also have a flat stomach but I’m definately not skinny. I’d say I’m slim-normal and toned (I super love my abs). I dieted before we went because I wanted to eat like a pig there and have some margin to gain weight (I actually lost even more though wtf?). But it turns out noone said anything about our weight while we were there. Not even our Korean friends. My own boyfriend who is Korean actually said I had the best body ever or sth though I suspect he hasn’t even seen any girl with boobs bigger than a B cup.

  200. My body is has a s-line but not being skinny sucks and my waist is very small, i think asians are born with a certain body type and ppl want a small waist like Hara’s or Yuri’s 

  201. This is a great topic. I’m very interested in beauty ideals across cultures. It surprises me that you two are considered overweight though- neither of you are, in my opinion. Martina in particular is beautiful! Oh well.

    Do you get the same feedback in other Asian countries, like Japan? (Assuming you visit there- my family lived in Seoul for 2 years and a flight to Japan was very quick and easy)

  202. Oh man. lol I’m 5’10″, from sturdy Irish potato-farmer stock. XD Even here in the U.S. I feel like Godzilla, especially around other girls, so I guess I’ll be used to it. ;D I’m just thankful I’m not taller. There’s this guy at my work who is 7ft, I can just imagine how they’d react seeing him walk down the street! :)))

  203. To be honest, one of the biggest things that’s been stopping my decision to visit Korea and try to teach there for a little after my undergrad this year, is that I’ve always struggled with my weight even here in Canada. Because of that, I feel like Korean culture would just throw me off the deep and and make me feel beyond terrible. It’s made me really want to put off going because I don’t think I’d be able to buy anything there.

    • I’ve thought about that for awhile too. Honestly, until I met Simon and Martina and heard them talk about weight (and how some stores wouldn’t let you in and just flat out tell you they don’t have anything to sell to you because of your size), I seriously just thought about starving myself prior to even applying for a teaching job there. Then Simon and Martina mentioned that you really shouldn’t let this affect you. It’s true, if you want to experience teaching in Korea, I think you should go!

  204. WOW. I must be a supermodel in Korea…. I am 5’7″ and 105 lbs always
    been petite to my standards…then again I have a European look (long
    nose and green/hazel eyes). I been called anorexic and many other things
    in America.  The truth, I eat like crazy and I’m totally a cookie
    monster.  What kind of monster would I be there?   

  205. Almost all Asians have smaller bones and faster metabolisms. The end. It’s stupid for foreigners to try to fit into Asian standards of skinniness because even if you got down to that weight, your bones are bigger and heavier than Asians’. A 120lb American girl looks healthy. A 120lb Korean girl would look fat. It’s all genetics. It’s even been scientifically proven that Asian’s skulls and bones are more neotenous and pedogenic (which basically means, childlike or small) than other races’. Look it up.

    • Also, I would just like to mention that how much nutrition you get as a child plays a large factor as well in how healthy/tall you are going to be as an adult. What type of diet you have when you are growing is HUGE. For example, I don’t think dairy is a particularly common staple in the Asian diet, but in Canada and the US it sure as hell is.

    • Wanna give you a big hand! How come you explain so logically like this?!

  206. Martina looks like Scarlett Johansson.

  207.  It’s mostly due to the fact that food in the states is saltier and they tend to supersize stuff much more than other countries. The obesity problem in the US has pretty much reached epidemic levels. I don’t think Koreans are any healthier in terms of lifestyle especially considering their issues with suicide it’s mostly due to diet. At least I think that is the problem it’s not that Koreans necessarily have a healthier lifestyle over Americans but is what tends to get eaten.

  208. I hear that Koreans are getting chubbier, but not to the extent that Americans. It’s probably due to all those western diet/fast food joints being introduced over the last couple of decades. I’m not quite sure what they mean by chubbier or fatter here in the states we are used to seeing people who are REALLY obese. Other countries are not as bad as the USA because in the states they tend to make it saltier.

  209. While I do understand the dangers of the misconceptions of beauty from the media, I am worried about the unhealthy eating habits of many North American women. While I was teaching in South Korea, I did notice many women from Canada and the US who were greatly over-weight. Of course being to over-weight and too skinny is clearly subjective but when they both reach dangerous levels, there is definitely a problem. I myself try to balance my diet and do light exercise when I can, such as walking versus taking a taxi. I think that people need a balance.

  210. U guys live in Seoul, right? I haven’t been in Seoul, though I stayed in Korea 3 months(mostly around Daegu and Busan) and i gotta say I saw many chubby people, especially kids and teenagers. As for me there was bigger amount of fat kids than here in Poland. Middle aged people and elders were mostly slim or skinny(in Europe it’s the tendencies are opposite I think):). My husband explained to me that cause of some historical matters(wars mostly) people from different korean areas apart of using different saturi also look different as they are descendants of diff tribes or sth like this. Here in Poland I’ve met people from around Seoul and from around Daegu and I gotta say there is visible difference between them. People from Seoul are mostly small, slim(or rather they have really small bone structure) and well.. prettier? And people from around Daegu have like more massive bone structure and bigger heads. Surely not all, nothing on this world can be generalized. Hmm, well.. staying there where I stayed I didn’t feel big or fat at all(well, I’m a bit smaller than average european girl but not skinny or too short). But I often hear those korean people staying here in Poland say that polish people have big bodies, they are especially sensitive about butts, haha:) Anyways, anybody just should feel well with their own body, not compare it to others, I think I’d look ridiculous if I was skinny lik SNSD girls:P 

  211. me and my friend actually thought you guys were super tall bc of that pic. then we met you in Toronto, and we were suprised to see you guys were just average height!

    Super junior’s height must be like mine. Im 5’3 and Im considered short, lmao. When I took a pic with u guys, I looked tiny too.

    But this explains why there are articles about idols gaining weight, and when me and my friend look at it, they look exactly alike! We seriously cant tell the difference!

  212. Even G.NA just recently admitted that her measurements were fake. And to believe her profile measurements anyway was just insane because there is no way with her height and her ah-hem, assets, that she weighs less than 110. It drives me nuts! I hope some day idols will tell their real heights and weights and own it! Maybe in my grandchildrens lifetimes…

  213. well I’don’t know if it happens only in my country (El Salvador) or in any other Latin american country but people (men) here love curves  and if someone see a girl with a body like someone  from KARA or SNSD would say ” this girl is flat” or” she is too slim” but i agree with U they are not used to our body shapes :( unfortunately if someday i go to Korea I would look like a big fat monster to them even if here I have a “normal” weight and height .

  214. I can honestly believe that the weight or height of some idols are lied about. Park Kyung from Block B (one of my favorite groups ever) admitted on “Starry Night Radio” that the height he had given was false, and that he wears shoe lifts. Of course, he said he would lower his height by one centimeter per comeback until they reached the real height, so….

    It’s almost sad how the Korean media’s comments affect not only Korean fans, but international fans as well. I follow quite a few confession blogs on tumblr, and I ALWAYS see at least one confession a day on how someone’s favorite girl or guy group make them feel fat. And then you have everyone who is praising G.NA for having such a perfect body and weight, when (if she can believed) she only weighs 110 pounds,which is about 13 pounds under her ideal weight limit. And she looks like she needs a hamburger drip. And then you have that one girl group was known for having D-cup breasts (which was either taken as an average among their sizes, or the Korean version of the D-cup, because they didn’t have them).
    Lesson: ignore the media, smile…..and pack a ton of jeans in your own size from your country before you go for an extended stay to Korea. 

  215. I’m actually going to study abroad next fall semster in South Korea and I was freaking out because I’m a little chubby and I knew that koreans can be mean when it comes to weight related issues. So I made it my goal to loss as much weight as possible. I mean I already knew korean standards and stuff so I know what I’m getting myself into. But I am very sensitive so I don’t want to feel miserable because of my wieght when I’m there. I just want to enjoy my time :)

    • I feel like that I may run into the same problem… I plan on working in Korea in the Spring and it’s always in the of my mind how Koreans are going to react…

    • I think you shouldn’t worry that much, I heard when it comes to foreign people, it little bit different I mean they may don’t think your fat because they see you as a foreign girl, so they wouldn’t apply korean rules of perfect body on you, don’t try to change to fit the korean standars, there are many things korean girls envy the foreign as well, like those beautiful eyes of you…so have a greaaaaat time there..I hope I’ll get the chance to go study there too ^^

  216. Sadly, these issues exist wherever media plays a key role in influencing youth. But I agree that it seems a bit more subtle in North America. Asides from diet advertisements, not a lot of direct emphasis is put on having the perfect body, and superficiality is mostly influenced by the constant bombardment of beautifully-photoshopped people in media. However subtle it is, this technique seems to be quite effective…

    I recall reading an article about an American girl who, at the age of 12, had already started saving money for breast augmentation surgery. (Seriously, kid? You’re only 12, they haven’t even finished growing yet.) There was yet another article about how young girls were trying to figure out how to get a flat stomach. It’s sickening how these children can worry about these things at such a young age, and it’s things like child beauty pageants (and TV programs like Toddlers in Tiaras) that only make it worse.

    When I was in the 5th grade I had a friend who constantly complained about fat her thighs were, and I remember thinking how bizarre that seemed. I never really paid attention to body image back then. I’d notice if people were on the heavier side, but I never thought much about it. I guess they spend a lot more time thinking about this in Korea…

  217. This makes me feel better. I weigh as much, or more, than some of the male idols, and was feeling huge!! And I’m only 5’2″, so this shouldn’t be! Oh, and Simon is tall. 6’4″!! I only know 1 person that tall. I wear a medium here, does that mean I could actually shop online from over there, and fit an XL? Mind you, I don’t know if my ego could handle buying an XL. I already feel big for my height as it is!

  218. I don’t get it. If they are idols and are looked up to, shouldn’t they be the ones to let kids know that they are amazing as they are? Giving false information that makes teenagers “punish” themselves for not being on a diet all the time is not the right way to be an idol.
    Not that I have much room to talk, I lost 11 km since I started liking Kpop in March this year, and I have 7 more to go before I reach the weight I want ;~; 
    And about the gengetics thing, it may be that, since most are skinny without any special attempts~

  219. I normally buy either Large or X-Large clothes in USA. However, when I went shopping in Korea it is nothing but “Plus size! Plus size!” Hahahah. I bought a jacket that fits me pretty well and it is a 3XL. ;_; I’m just 6ft tall and about 190-195lbs, but I’m a fat monster in Korea. :D GAWWZILLLA

  220. I totally agree with you guys on this, and I think this can affect foreign fans just as much as local fans, too. I’ve been into Asian culture since I was like 13 and I was always comparing my own body image to idols. Not necessarily K-pop or J-rock idols, but I was always thinking ‘why am I not tiny like them?’ or ‘why am I not as cool looking as them?’ I’ve grown to accept what I look like, learn to be healthy, and learn that I don’t have to look exactly like the people I look up to in order to be considered pretty or beautiful. Now, I’m just content with copying hairstyles and fashions lol. 

  221. I’m definitely on the bigger side and was concerned about how I would be perceived when I visited back in March. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised that no one (even at the bathhouse) seemed to notice… since they were usually looking at my crazy, curly hair and skin tone.
    So if you don’t want them to look at your weight, give them something else to look at. xDD

    I saw quite a few Korean young women, young men, and children who were overweight by North American standards. It wasn’t really that surprising, though I was interested in how the women dressed among such a style-heavy city, and they looked fab for sure. :3

    I was compared to a celebrity too! She’s a singer in Korea, though, who is also black and Korean from my mom’s generation. So at least it was really close… Although, I finally got to see who they meant, and there definitely isn’t much of a similarity aside from coarse hair, brown skin, and our eyes. LoL.

  222. SIMON, I LOVE YOUR SHIRT. The Oatmeal :)

  223. Body image and physical appearance is a touchy subject everywhere, but man….I feel like sometimes it’s on a whole new level here.  I’m a pretty big girl, by Korean standards and North American standards, and Korean people are always eager to point it out.  It used to be something that *really* bothered me, but now, four years later, it mostly just cracks me up.  When I meet a new group of students and they say, “Teacher! You’re fat!” now I’m just like, “Yes, and I’m Canadian, 28 years old, blood type O, etc.”  Then they don’t know what to do haha.  But then the total opposite will happen.  For example, I was out in Hongdae this past weekend, and two separate Korean girls came up to me and told me I looked like Kate Middleton.  Let’s put this into perspective — I look about as much like Kate Middleton as Simon looks like David Beckham.  We’ve both got brown hair and green eyes, and that’s where the similarities end.  Long story short, I don’t think I will ever truly understand Korean culture when it comes to standards of beauty, but my confusing brings never-ending LOLs.

  224. omg lol that picture of you guys and suju is so funny haha. they look like hobbits!
    and i have you guys met any tall idols? like for example dbsk (homin). they’re both really tall.
    and yeah snsd is kinda short. the tallest member, sooyoung, is only like 173cm? 

    i’m from singapore and there’s a lot of foreigners here and they kind of stick out mainly because of their height. rarely because of their weight. if they are about the same height as us (173cm-180cm) then people won’t really notice since like  most young adults in singapore dye their hair.

    my friend is 175cm and she is considered really tall for a girl. 180cm here is considered really tall.. :)

  225. omg lol that picture of you guys and suju is so funny haha. they look like hobbits!
    and i have you guys met any tall idols? like for example dbsk (homin). they’re both really tall.
    and yeah snsd is kinda short. the tallest member, sooyoung, is only like 173cm? 

    i’m from singapore and there’s a lot of foreigners here and they kind of stick out mainly because of their height. rarely because of their weight. if they are about the same height as us (173cm-180cm) then people won’t really notice since like  most young adults in singapore dye their hair.

    my friend is 175cm and she is considered really tall for a girl. 180cm here is considered really tall.. :)

  226. I’ve always been told that I’m relatively tall for an Asian female, and it has been a sort of complex of mine since most of my other Asian friends are either my height or a lot shorter (guys or girls). The thing is, I’m not even that tall (5″6). Nevertheless, wearing heels around those friends make me feel like a giant, which makes me quite sad since I actually like shoes with heels. So when one of my Korean friends was telling me that her cousin told her she was tall when she visited Korea (She’s 5″2/3) she was so shocked. She told her cousin that she should meet her friends (us) because we’re definitely a lot taller than she is. It totally baffled me to here that story from her since even she doesn’t consider herself tall, but her Korean cousin, living in Korea, thought she was O.O. That’s probably why idols who aren’t really that tall, are actually considered “tall” by most people. 

    I also don’t have the typically narrow Asian build, which makes me look bigger than every other Asian female (and sometimes even male) out there. I’m not the skinniest person out there either, so I always freak out whenever I have to go somewhere that’s populated by Asian people, cause I know I’ll stand out. It’s really rather sad. Just imagine if I go to Korea…. I’ll probably be considered a whale or something. The fact that weight is so openly talked about in Korea is probably one of the reasons why it’s so much easier for them to lose weight there. I mean, imagine all the people poking fun at you for being “fat” when really, you’re just considered a normal size in North America? Oh dear God, I would be determined to lose the “extra” weight too.

    PS. Looking at that SUJU picture with you guys, makes me realize that I’m probably just a little shorter than Kyuhyun and taller or as tall as the rest of SUJU, without shoes on. Since I just roughly reached Simon’s shoulder when I saw you guys in Canada. Talk about extremely falsified height statuses. >.<

    • its true. I met SUJU in New York and I was very disappointed because they are so short. I’m 5’7″ and I was taller than most of them. Their profiles said that the shortest was 5’7″ but that’s not true

  227. the only person i know have s-line…JYJ xiah junsu…><…kekekeke

  228. I have to say that Koreans are the tallest (East) Asians I’ve seen. I’m Chinese American and I’m short; 5 feet or so. My students – I teach elementary, by the way, which means up to 6th grade – are around my height or taller starting at around grade 4th. WHAT DO THEY EAT??? O_O I feel like a midget sometimes, haha. Basically, there are some tall people here. 

    I never truly cared about my weight, but it was one of the niggling concerns I wondered about before I moved here because I know that Asians care a lot about appearances and Koreans, more so than others. I was right. However, I found that they weren’t all that harsh and I’ve been able to fit most of the “free size” clothes I’ve tried on. To give an idea, I’ve always had a little bit of extra fat on my bones and I called myself “pleasantly chunky”. Let’s say 5 feet, weighing around 120 pounds? My weight tends to fluctuate a lot so everything’s estimated. 

    To conclude: don’t worry about the weight. The Koreans will love you anyway because you’re foreign. It’s only when you look like them that they initially won’t give you as much slack because they expect you to know things or fit in… until you open your mouth. However, that usually doesn’t have much to do with your weight. I agree, though; they like making comments on how you look and I find even my students pay attention to the tiniest change in my appearance. 

    i dont understand why koreans have these people say ‘S-line body is good’.. i mean.. they dont have an S-line, there a freaken TWIG!!! == and its tru wat simon said, they hav no curve… sorry SNSD… 
    And also kara, the ‘step’ choreo, there supposed to shake there hips or waist, THEY DONT EVEN HAV A WAIST!! and there shaking nothing, becha Beyonce can do it better!!
     =.= ugh.. 

  230. Yes. I am aiming to get a job teaching English in Korea this February. yay for GEPIK taking a while to get back with me. LOL But Ive been watching so much K-pop videos and dramas and what not. I am 168 cm and muscular. I’m an athlete (volley ball body).  I’m not muscular to where I don’t look feminine. But you can tell that im strong. and I feel like Im going to be considered not pretty or manly…especially since im apparently taller than the men over there, and more buff. SO… i will just have to remember that they have different body types and a smaller range and not beat myself up. I was considering stopping strength workouts and protein eating and just doing cardio, to try and loose some body mass. So thanks for the video reminding me to not get sucked into their ideal body type…because I was definitely feeling BIG and not pretty. :^)

    • With 168 boy will be taller…. the younger generation is much taller than the older ones. And its not like the point at you or some thing and there ARE “fat” koreans and also fat koreans. So do not worry tooooo much and pack clothes ;)

    • For real for real, don’t get sucked into their perception of what makes a “good” and “bad” body. I taught in Asia for a couple years and it’s so easy for your mind to become warped, because everyone around you is so, so small. I’m 5″6′ and wear a size 4-6, but I still felt HUGE next to the people surrounding me. Just remember your own personal, healthy, comfortable body weight and be confident in that. It’s hard to remember when you’re in it, but don’t compare yourself to the people around you. Different cultures, different genetic makeup. Have so much fun!!!

  231. So what is the average height for korean boys and girls? Because know I feel betrayed… hahaha

    • for guys i think the average height is about 170cm-180cm? 180cm is considered tall.
      for girls i think it’s about 150cm-170cm. i’m not sure though. this is from what i’ve seen in korea and also from being asian myself :) 
       i’m from singapore :)

    • I just checked wikipedia hahah
      Average Height South Korea: [Sample Age: 19, Year: 2006]
      Male – 1.739m (5ft 8 1/2 in)
      Female – 1.611m (5ft 3 1/2 in)

  232. After being unable to look away from that Suju pic, I feel like I’m going to have nightmares about being a giant in Korea.  Like… attack of the 50ft woman meets hot kpop idols and laments. 

  233. I just can’t stop staring at that suju pic. XD They really look like midgets compared to you guys. And that’s actually what I think is the factor here: Asian people are just smaller. They’re smaller by genes, and western people just are a bit bigger. Not necessarily by weight always, but our body proportions are different. So I think we shouldn’t try to fit ourselves to Asian standards, as it’s usually just impossible. Of course, there is a lot more variety in sizes in western countries, and some of us may even fit Korean standards, but most os us won’t be able to do that.

  234. damn i love this video, love all your comments on the different perception! 

  235. oh man O.O now i start to worry that i’ll be a one fat foreigner monster to the koreans, if i’d like to visit them. i’m actually a normal sized girl with a normal level of fat here and there, but i have a REALLY wide hips (inherited from my mum it seems… Simon u should know what am i talkin about, since u have polish mum on ur own as well XD )

    i was kinda shocked when u mentioned the actress from coffe prince that she have a perfect body shape. gosh i too think she’s just flat and not womanly at all O.O like a boy with cute face O.O

    also ur vid with super junior was my first i’ve watched from ya, and it was another shock as well O.O i’m not really sure how to read ur sizes in inches, but as far as i remember, kuyhyun is somethin near 180cm tall O.O but lookin at ur vid – i’m not so sure now. i myself have 170cm, so i kinda start to worry that i’ll look oversized compared to the korean people.
    maaan this sucks >.<

  236. Omg. If the reported heights of idols is FALSE. I’m freaking as tall as some of my biases/even taller! Hoooolllyyy crap. And I’m an Asian girl (who grew up in asia). But it’s true that when we Asians look at westerners the first thing we think is that they’re really really tall! And I think food plays a huge role in determining ones body type. Because Asians generally have less rich and creamy foods (with less milk and oil added) and eat less (its not forced… But also because plain and small sized meals are more affordable lol) we tend to be more petite. But I’m one of the bigger sized girls :/ I can’t help eating rich foods! I just dont feel satisfied/happy without them!

    • Partly true, perhaps, but almost every Asian student I’ve ever met (I did an exchange to Japan and there were a lot of non-Japanese Asian students there as well) ate twice as much as I’m used to people eating in western Europe… And they were all petite, whereas we’re huge compared to them. So I’m just going to say many are just lucky to have extremely fast digestive systems…


  238. Haha, the Super Junior image never gets old ;)
    I’ve gotten quite insecure when it comes to my appearance after listening to Kpop for about 4 years. When you’re surrounded by people that supposedly have the perfect body (which everyone comments on), you start finding flaws in your own, and there goes your confidence. But as you said, the reality is so much different from what the media and the agencies let know. I remember when I went to SMTown in Paris last summer and saw e.g. SNSD; I got really surprised at their height. Sure, the girls were slim, but not as tall as I had expected…

    Anyway, I guess I don’t really get why the Korean agencies tend to put up false information about their idols in the first place :o 

  239. That picture of you two next to Super Junior just BLEW MY MIND. They look like children!!!!!! Even Shin Dong, who I thought was on the taller/bigger side. PFFT! It’s all lies!! Now I want Simon to stand next to as many of my favorite male k-pop idols as possible to help clear up my mind’s misconceptions. I’ll mail you a list of dudes later. kthx.

  240. lets not forget the super sexy Sophia Vergara! (Gloria from modern family) she is sooooo gorgeous! and her body is just too amayzing to even try to acheive. i like north and south american ideals of beauty the best (likely because i am an american), but you just can beat real curves and being toned everywhere. 

    ps simon and martina i love that you guys are yourselves and not trying to become a size zero to fit in. honestly, that bleep is bleepin genetic. weight in general has a lot to do with genetics. so if your trying to kill yourself at the gym a not getting the results you want, blame it on your momma.( and then go give her a hug and tell her she is gorgeous and that you love her :D) 

    Body Diversity (and all diversity) is Key to promoting healthy body image and self esteem. and also keeping the media accountable for the doctored images with which they create impossible people, and their overrepresentation of rare body types. 

  241. To be honest, as much as I would love to visit Korea, I am quite afraid to do so. In America I’m not healthy looking, I actually look a overweight. I wear L-XL in shirts, and anywhere from 20-24 in pants sizes. I worry that if I ever were to go to Korea, I would stick out so much that people would almost be afraid of me or something. This is also why I never want to meet any of the Korean idols I adore so much. 

    • Don’t be scared, I am the same size as you and when I visited Korea (only for two weeks though), I didn’t get any comments about my weight, and people were very friendly. I even got a lot of polite comments about how pretty I was :) Don’t let your fears hold you back from visiting such an awesome place!

  242. What I’d like to know is that, is this just a culture in Korea or in most Asian countries?

    I’m from Singapore, and its kind of half half. There is that fixed standard of slim people being pretty, and someone who weighs 47kg would call herself fat and go on a diet. Big eyes are also considered pretty, and because I’m mixed blood,(Malay-Chinese) and I have eyes bigger than the norm, people have commented about it…a lot.( Asking whether I was wearing circle lenses and  whatnot… ==)

     BUT, plastic surgery isn’t common, and ‘fat’ people aren’t stared at, commented about that much. There isn’t much talk of an EXACT  ideal type, it kinda depends on the person itself.

    I know, its contradictory, but that’s how its like here. On another note, have you guys ever seen Kelly Katzenmeyer documentary on Korean students? 

    • omg totally agree with this. my friend is like so thin and she’s like i need to lose some weight. and i’m like wtf?? i’m from singapore too btw and i’m mixed blood too! :D (malay-chinese) i look more like my chinese side though but my eyes are a bit different. my eyelids are kinda weird like sometimes it’s single and sometimes double but yeah my eyes are kinda big too. bigger than the ‘average chinese’ eyes whatever that is. it’s probably from the malay genes lol :D

    • i am fat and i get stared at….i weigh above 50kg and I do not like chinese when i am full chinese and i can’t speak my own language XD 

      • Really? Well sorry to hear that >< But that's why I've said its half half. The people around me seem to accept people who are overweight quite easily, but I have seen those who aren't as accepting. I'm sure people don't STARE at you all the time. Because if that happens, they're being rude, and its not your fault.

  243. I generally have the same body type as Minzy from 2NE1; I’m only 2 inches taller and we’re the same weight. I was shocked when I found out that people were calling her fat in the media, so I checked her stats all over the web (I know it’s not going to be insanely accurate but it gave me an average…I think) and when I found out that she was the same size as me I was almost disgusted. I subconsciously was hurt more that I originally thought because I started working out a lot, and going on diets so that I wouldn’t be considered fat when I go visit Korea. My friends and family were even concerned about me at one point because I was over working myself just so that I would be considered a normal foreigner and not a “fat foreigner”  but at this point I don’t think I care that much anymore. Minzy seems like a normal weight to me, and when my friends (I’m American) see her in videos or pictures they think she’s hot! Basically I guess I’m just saying that the media has a funny little way of distorting the truth and making you feel like a huge creature.

  244. I must agree with everything you said, but omg I stopped for a LOOONG time on that one suju vs you guise picture and I just started LAUGHING, because the things is not only with the difference of heights but body proportions too (no I’m not saying you’re freakishly fat or tall or w/e) I know from experience that us foreigner just look bigger in general next to Koreans, and well… it’s freaky, and when you see four boys that are small and two that are big, you’d obviously say that the two are the outliers, although we can’t really say it’s either…. right? from own experience of seeing idol stars with and without their insoles (SHINee) I can tell you that Minho, really is tall, but he’s still that stick figure compared to a white man of the same size, while Jonghyun without insoles probably is just about 3 cm taller than me….

  245. Someone else here in the comments said something along the lines of people in North America being more accepting… I don’t think it has so much to do with people being more accepting of a little bit of fat in Western countries, as much as it is just really rude to say anything about it unless you are family or a really close friend.  Here, it is much more polite to say that someone looks like they have lost weight.  In fact, we are JUST as concerned about it here, but it seems like, for most people they are more concerned about it on other people, not themselves.  People here are just as back-stabbing as anywhere else, and talk about their supposed BFF’s gain of a pound or two over the holidays as though it were the biggest thing since Kim Kardashian filing for divorce or something… Seriously.  If you think I am wrong, go work in an office full of women.  You will never feel safe telling anything to a female “friend” ever again.

    Yes, the media has a lot of influence, but the media wouldn’t make it such a big deal if people wouldn’t respond to it.  Fact is, part of the reason fat women love to sit around and gossip about how fat celebs are is because it makes them feel better about their own imperfections.  Unfortunately, this is bad for everyone, as those prone to low self-esteem and other issues can develop eating disorders and those who are fat and making themselves feel better have no motivation to do better because someone they idolize is fat, too, so it is okay to be fat.  It works both ways.

    Though, I am glad you guys addressed this the way you did.  It is important to note that a lot has to do with what you see all the time, and the image we see in videos is almost never anywhere near real. 

  246. I’m a fat, short and ugly Asian. I guess I have to put off my plans in visiting unless I lose some weight. *sigh*

  247. I don’t know if it’s different in Seoul, but here in Busan I see at least one truly obese Korean person on any given day. I take the subway 40 minutes each way to work with a transfer, so I see a wide variety of people in my day, so maybe that’s part of it. Or maybe Seoul is truly a slimmer city. But yeah, obese Korean people definitely exist and their numbers are growing. I’m even starting to see larger sized jeans in Uniqlo – though they still fit me terribly – apparently if you have a size 34 waist this means that your legs and thighs are ginormously wide.

    I do definitely sympathize with the “feeling fat and ugly” thing though. It’s hard not to when NOTHING fits. But for me I have a bigger problem finding women’s shirts with sleeves that are long enough for me. I’m 6 feet tall so I have long arms and a lot of supposedly large women’s shirts come to unintentional 3/4 sleeves on me. Very dispiriting. And forget shoe-shopping – unless it’s for unisex styles. I’m wondering too where all the large Korean people (who I see every day) are shopping. They can’t ALL shop at Crebig (the plus size store). 

  248. I agree with everything. I suffered from eating disorders my whole life until recently, and part of my recovery was helped by the positive images I see here in America. I have a coke bottle pear shape, and I’ve come to accept my body as it is. I’m not flabby, my rolls aren’t out of control, and I could give Marilyn Monroe a run for her money in the hourglass department. I’m fine with that, maybe even a little proud. :) If I lived in Korea, however, I doubt I would be as content. Even now, when I watch videos of SNSD, I’m amazed by the sheer thinness of SooYoung and Yoona. I wonder where their internal organs are! Their livers and kidneys must be the size of walnuts. But anyway, you guys are right as far as diversity creating a different landscape for weight and beauty preferences. Genetics definitely plays a part too, because if I ate an entire bowl of rice everyday like Koreans do, those carbs would go straight to my thighs and I’d be 10× bigger than I am now.

  249. I know exactly what you mean, I’ve dated a few Chinese boys and whenever i was with them, they would keep telling me i was fat or that i should wear different clothes to show the few ‘good’ assets i have and this would always confuse me because whenever i asked an English boy how i looked, they would tell me i was too slim or was just right. 
    So in my opinion, i think that this view of how women should be that is portrayed in Asian media, is really damaging because, i mean, its hard to be with someone when you feel that they are putting you down, even if they don’t mean too.
    (btw, i’m not trying to stereotype chinese or asian boys, this is just my experience of them) 

  250. I’m considered ‘fat’ for any Asian standards but being raised in Australia taught be to keep rolling on my non-existant segue. Sure I have my moments of “OMG IM A WHALE” but then I remember all the food I get to eat with no regret.

  251. I noticed the same when I was in Korea in 2005. I’m a totally average US size-usually my size is sold out in US stores because its so average. In Korea, there was a jacket I saw people wearing that I really wanted, so I went out with a friend to find it, and ALL the stores (I went to like 5 or 6) that had it had sizes way too small for me. Right when I walked in and asked they started shaking their heads. Some I would be able to get on, but I wouldn’t be able to move cause it was so tight.

    And yeah, I stuck out like a sore thumb on the streets. My hair is a brown, so as hardly anyone dyed their hair back then I was an easily spotted foreigner. Kids would run up to me and say “Hi my NAME is ___” and then run off. Even a foreigner missioner ran up to me saying “What are You doing here! I’m so happy to see another foreigner!” While my friend with black hair, also a white foreigner, was ignored.

    Ohhh Korea~

  252. yeaaaaaaaaaah, i am 5´8 (girl) and even if you find cloth that fit its just too short *cry*
    And korean are really suprised if you are foreigner and not fat… a couple accully said, something like oh we thought all foreigner are fat,…. yeah well i am sorry >.<
    kkkkk Simon and the hobbits =D

  253. What is your height? Because I checked their height and I want to know if that is really true :D

    • SJ is actually short. The tallest is Siwon and he’s roughly around 6ft. Hyuk, Teuk, and Sungmin are among the shortest. But I love them anyways. ^^

    • I saw Kyuhyun pretty close up on the street once and I’d put him at 5’8″, not the 5’10″ that I’ve seen all his height posted as. So working off that, the rest of them are probably 5’6″-7″. And Martina is wearing heels, so that throws things off. 

  254. I totally agree with the point about how the media makes people have a one sided perspective of the ídeal’ body, because I find myself very consious of how I look when I am out and feel bad when I gain a few kilos. 

  255. I’m 5’6″/168 cm, and when I saw Yuri irl, I lol’ed. Everyone’s always like “OMG SHE’S SO TALL,” but even with the shoes she was wearing, she was around an inch shorter than I am. 

    On an unrelated note, I’ve bought several women’s shirts from Korea in size large (even though I wear an American size L), and they fit like a medium. I didn’t mind it too much, except for one really obvious problem – it was made to fit shorter people. Now I own a few midriff-revealing t-shirts. Sexy, eh?

    I really wonder what would happen to an obese foreigner in Korea. Would he/she be completely ripped to shreds or would Koreans have sense enough not to go too far with the questions? Hmm…

  256. though im 18 im 148cm and weight 38kg oh how i hate myself

    the only Korean idol makes me feel a little better (and i LOVE HER)
    is Boram shes 155cm and still a Korean idol 
    though she doesnt look 155 AT ALL on stage or mv

  257. Nice topic and satisfying answer :) I have
    a quick question though. You said reported heights of celebrities are false,
    which is no surprise for me, but what about Korean models? Do you think they
    would give false information about their heights as well? I mean, some of them
    are featured in international magazines too so wouldn’t having a misleading
    profile be bad for them? What do you think?

  258. Korean media also like to lie about idols’ height. When you look at the profiles of k-pop stars, you can think that they’re pretty tall, but in real life…most of them are…tiny ;__; 

  259. bahahahahahahah! the picture of Simon and SJ is hilarious!

    And I love your comments on this week’s question!

    I’m not Korean, but I am Asian. I seems to have this type of problem as
    well. I am tall and big and….fat (also too tan) comparing to an
    average woman in my country. I’m sure I have the same problem as you
    guys in Asia where XL clothes in my country seem to be S to me, and free
    size doesn’t mean that it will fit anybody…it will only fit a person
    who has an average size of body.

    Since I was a child, I’ve always been told that I am fat and I should
    lose weight, which I believed, and during that time I haven’t been
    exposed to any other kind of ideal body type. As a result, sometime I
    felt like there are something stopping me from enjoying the food to the
    max. (like when you have a cake in front of you but you can’t eat a
    normal slice, you would have to cut it in half cos you thought it will
    make yourself fat!) But don’t think I was an anorexic or something. I
    was healthy and I was fine, but that’s just a thing that’s bugging me.

    However, I had a chance to study abroad in North America and that just
    changed my attitude about an ideal type of body. North Americans don’t
    seem to care if you are a bit beyond skinny. Nobody comment about each
    other’s appearance and I can just wear whatever I want. I found that not
    being skinny and not having I line is not a bad thing. I feel healthy
    and I am even more happy. (If I lose a lot of weight I might not feel as
    healthy as I am now) I don’t even care about what people in my country
    will think anymore since I was born like this, it’s me, and I’m not
    gonna change it. You don’t have to be extremely skinny to look pretty :)

  260. Ah finally you made that video ^^ Me and few of my friends are going to visit Korea next year and we are all like “OMG I need to loose so much weight before I go to Korea, because I will look like a monster between Korean people!”. We are not really serious, but I know we will look different, especially me, because I’m as tall as Martina. But two girls who I know they are now on student exchange in Korea, they run a blog, too, and they tell us that Korean guys are not so short as we think. So there is a hope ;)

  261. soooo…. how is the shopping in Korea then? Cause if XL is M, that’s not gonna be any fun…. 

  262. not to long ago I was talking about this with some friends. At school I have a friend who is half Japanese and she’s been talking lately about how she needs to diet and that she’s getting fatter. I don’t see it but I think she’s getting some that thought that she is because we have a lot of Japanese exchange students here and some of the girls are a little thinner then her. In y mind though I see they have two different body types because she’s only half Japanese.

  263. Damn I love that photo!

  264. LOLL I love the picture you used xD

  265. WAIT!!! Simon clearly looks like Jeremy Scott 

    U look like Jeremy Scott

  266. XD Oh my you guys look like giants next to super junior. I thought they were taller than that. 

  267. i am laughing so hard at the simon and suju pic. thank God SOMEONE finally talked about it. I went to Korea last summer and im a 5’7 blonde 50″ bust asian woman. man i stuck out. and when I met TVXQ’s Yunho this past month lets say it took too long for me to register him in my mind. I was looking too far up for his face. D: still godly looking and tall-er than me so all good. ha

  268. Really awesome topic!

    I have been living in Korea for about 4 months now, and I am tall [180cm] and curvy, and people’s reactions to me have been so funny and sometimes a little too honest. On my blog, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they’re afraid to come here because they’re not thin enough or because they’re black, et c, but I always try to let them know that Koreans don’t hold us to the same standards that they do other Koreans. And not looking like a Korean shouldn’t keep someone from coming to such an awesome country. :)

    Another thing I love about living here is that…before coming, I remember just thinking, “Ugh, Koreans are too thin,” et c, but now, I feel like I can appreciate the beauty here and the beauty in Americans. I love it! Very eye-opening experience.

  269. so as a 5’7″ 30something mediterranean looking european, who weighs about 9st Id be a FAT OLD TALL WIERD looking foreigner…. wow Id better get on that flight to Seoul now, cant wait for that ego boost!! :D

  270. I remember seeing a video by expatkerri saying that Korean usually greet each other with “you look fat” or “you look thinner.” I for one am bothered by how thin Koreans could get (i usually notice it by looking at their arms) and I wonder, is it because of kimchi and their love for walking? I’ve seen ajummas walk past me while strolling in Han River and I’m amazed at how fast they are despite their age.

    Talking about being thin or fat aside, the more important question probably is, are they healthy?

  271. Wait, how tall are most Koreans?

  272. Felicity Spencer-Smith

    I’m really glad you’ve commented about this – I’ve just discovered it this week.

    My chinese and korean friends were talking about how fat a chinese guy is, and how he should lose weight – but he was sitting with us! And they were saying this to his face! I gasped, because I thought it was totally humiliating for him. But no-one else reacted.
    I understand now that they weren’t being rude, I think this applies to most Asian countries maybe…

    • It does, and it isn’t necessarily used as an insult, so much as an observation.  Kind of like “Your hair’s growing kind of long, maybe you should cut it.”  Not insulting right?  Just for us westerners it can come across as incredibly crass and rude.

      Half my family is Filipino and I’m usually greeted with “Wow, you’ve gained a lot of weight, you’re getting fat!” whenever I meet them ^^;;  For the record I’m an average healthy weight for a 5’6″ American woman lol.  You just have to learn how to shut off that part of you’re brain that processes insults and learn how to filter out what tends to just be a normal greeting.

  273. so inspiring you guise r ;w;

  274. I really like this weeks tl;dr :)

  275. really? SJ is just short?

    cos to me, they are considered tall -.- 
    which means if i ever see simon and martina, ill look so small…..

  276. i’m 169cm and i literally see eye-to-eye to ryeowook. when i saw him, i was like… oh.

    • this mean i am taller than Ryeowook hahhaah mine just 170cm!! :p LOL

    • like the ryeowook commentor, i’m 168cm (actually i was wearing pretty large heels so make it 172cm) and i was standing literally eye to eye with heechul when i got close to him in person. and i’m definitely not considered tall by australian standards. when i saw shinee in person jonghyun and onew definitely looked shorter than me. the only idol i’ve seen in person that i thought “wow they’re tall” is thunder from mblaq. when you see them live in concert it’s still hard to tell their height because the stages are usually really elevated and they’ll be wearing shoe lifts but the few times i’ve seen male idols outside of those situations, i was shocked. for female idols, the only one i remember thinking “oh they’re actually shorter than i imagined” was jiyeon from t-ara, she was tiny. just watching kpop on a computer really does give you the illusion that all idols are super tall gods hahah i think it’s usually quite different in real life…

      • have you seen kyuhyun or the tvxq boys is person? hell, i was dazzled.

        the shortest i’ve ever seen was jaebum. it was really funny. it was a high five session but since i was the first, i got to link arms with him, and … definitely taller than him.

  277. It’s a clear representation of how society can mold our perception. Too bad we live in different societies. Sad. :(

  278. I think Simon looks like Adam Sandler… and he even sounds almost like him, no joke. FYI: I’m not asian lol.

  279. So, if you are a curvy girl, like how simon described, when you go to korea are you seen as really curvy/ beautiful or do they think it looks weird because its such a difference to their idea of curvy?

  280. I don’t think this happens only in Korea. It’s almost in every part of Asia. But I don’t agree with you on saying that the girl in the ad does not have a s line. she does.

  281. I love Martina’s hair!

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