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Being Tall in Korea

May 9, 2012

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Ok, so this is a fairly short and not all too in-depth TL;DR this week for a couple of reasons. 1) If you watched our Music Monday on B.A.P.’s “Power” you’d remember that Martina lost her voice. It’s still lost. Slowly coming back, but she sounds like a 439 year old witch whose lungs are made of dust. So, I had to do this TL;DR by myself. Also 2) I’m kinda sick. Not voice-losing sick, but coughing up randomly and uncontrollably. So, the less talking the better. Kinda can’t do that when your only job is to talk on camera! Ah! So, like the shorter and easier Music Monday, we’ve got a shorter and easier TL;DR.

But it’s good that I did this one on my own, because it’s a question that’s geared at me specifically, about being a tall guy in Korea, which Martina can’t really answer. Though she did remember a lot of the things that I don’t remember about being tall in Korea, like almost bumping my head on low-hanging signs. Some of these things you get so used to that you just don’t think of anymore!

I definitely can say that I feel like Korea is a smaller country than Canada. Geographically, obviously, since Canada’s the second biggest country in the world, but in terms of real estate and architecture: things in Korea are a lot more crammed, and so – being a big guy – I feel it a lot more than other people would, I think. Or maybe I don’t? Maybe short people feel cramped more than I do? Maybe all of the people ricocheting off my body affect you more than it does me? I don’t know. Sometimes I feel like flipping a car over to try to get some room.

Simon and Super Junior

Simon scares Super Junior

Also, just in case you forgot, this picture is and always will be relevant. Just in case you don’t know where this is from, it’s from long time ago when we did an episode of Star King with Super Junior. Super Junior, and everyone else for that matter, were quite short compared to us. People theorized that the picture was doctored, or that I’m 7 feet, 32 inches tall, or that the lens barrelled and warped people into being taller/smaller. Not the case. Totally undoctored. Just…an awesome picture. One of my favorites ever :D

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Being Tall in Korea

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  1. Oh my Q. Is similar to ur I read/ heard( I don’t really remember ) that in Korea the legal age of consent is 13!! (14 or 15 in korean age) is that true b/c when I heard that initially, I was FLIPP’IN SH*T ~**tiss there goes my spactula**~ this made me remember da suicide of actresses Jang Ja-yeon in ’09 & how little is being done 2 imprison her rapist, if that happened in the US to a famous person they would b CRAZY comotion. so my Q is whats Korea/Korean’s views on sex,women,eqality of gendersand,and the competitiveness 2get ahead. b/c suicides&depression in considerablly high. and yes i know this can happen any where but 13 really that makes me scare as a 16yr old girl wanting to visti korea in the summer.

    5 years ago
  2. Have you ever seen Muslims (like women wearing scarfs on their heads, mosques etc) in Korea? lol, i’m muslim so i was just wondering if i would ever meet anyone like me if I went there ^^* 

    5 years ago
    • Korea has a small but growing Muslim community. Though most of it is probably concentrated in Seoul, because the Central Mosque is there.

      5 years ago
  3. Sweet Game of Thrones reference!

    5 years ago
  4. I see someone is a huge Game of Thrones fan!!!!

    5 years ago
  5. I wonder how Simon and Kwangsoo would look like standing next to each other!! :D Kwangsoo is forever bending/hunching over though…

    5 years ago
    • Ugh. I’d like to see them and KRIS from EXO together. I’ll probably feel like an ant next to giants. 

      5 years ago
    • Simon and Martina should go back on Running Man so we can find out.

      5 years ago
    • Kwang Soo is like 6″2, so while he is tall, he’s just a lot lankier. Although when he’s modelling he stands up straight, which actually makes him look more proportional than when he’s stooping.

      5 years ago
  6. That pic with SuJu made me laugh verily. Martina is what…5’7/ 5’8 if I’m guessing right? Even she towers over them. XD 

    5 years ago
  7. Around Christmas there are “presents” (wish they were real -.-) hanging of the ceiling in supermarkets….My father (192cm) is always bumping against them….. I (6ft / 182cm) only hit the special offer signs if I’m not careful..T.T.

    5 years ago
  8. Mi

    That picture is so epic!

    5 years ago
  9. I can totally agree. I am fairly young and yet I am taller than nearly all my family. And Im around the same height as the SJ members. And I am a lot younger than them…

    5 years ago
  10. I love the caption under superjunior. Even if i was Eunhyuk, i would be afraid! Q: Have you guys ever gotten into a public argument with a stranger in the streets? or witness one? they always showed it in tv dramas.

    5 years ago
  11. After watching many variety shows and kdramas I’ve notice that Koreans really care about height… For example kpop idols often show off their height… so I can’t get why is so important for them being tall if a tall person has difficulties as the ones that Simon explained. 

    5 years ago
  12. That SuJu hobbit picture is so golden xD Simon, you and Gwang Soo should meet and exchange woes.

    5 years ago
  13. tldr question:  simon, where oh where do you get your awesome t-shirts???

    5 years ago
    • Ooo, I know this one! It’s threadless!
      (Unless you wanted them to talk about it in a video. then nevermind :D )

      5 years ago
  14. i love how the thumbnail is of suju looking WWaaaYYY up at simon!  

    5 years ago
  15. I have a question for Martina, did you ever comments about your breast (sorry I don’t mean it to be rude), it’s just that I noticed in movie or dramas for koreans B cup is considered as big chested, which isn’t actually.
    So I wonder if you can find your size and if it’s ok to have cleavage there ^^
    I hope my question isn’t too weird, but I’m a girl so I won’t look like a pervers right ?

    5 years ago
    •  what ?? of course they are going to look at you , because you are wearing bikini … …. same as in Spain , if a hot girl wearing bikini on the beach , people obvious going to look at her as well as in other country , also because of  that people in china or in Asia ( mainly talking about Chinese,Japanese and Korean )  are not as open as US or Weston people.  (not offensive)

      5 years ago
    • Yea, I’m quite curious too. I know my friend went to Japan and said there D cup is a B cup in America. So I am curious what it is actually like to have bigger boobs in Korea. I know I have rather large boobs and am visiting Asia soon, so I am curious what to expect. 

      5 years ago
    • I would really like to know this as well. When I was in Japan, Japanese girls would just touch my boobs, apparently impressed with the size.  It was one of the things I didn’t care for while I was there, and I’m hoping that when I get to Korea, there isn’t a big deal about it.  

      5 years ago
      • Don’t worry, I got the same problem when I was in Japan, girls use to put their fingerin my cleavage in the club and guys was just staring at my boobs, mouth and eyes wide open XD but I didn’t had problem in Korea when I was there.^^ guys gonna look your cleavage but no finger in it  nothing.^^ but don’t look guys ( especially older guys ) directly in their eyes when you walk in the street or they might think you want them… XD

        5 years ago
      •  And if they are drunk you randomly find your new friends (or strangers if they are really drunk) putting a hand to your chest and telling you how lucky you are…oh the joys of Japan…

        5 years ago
      • women in china asked if they could touch mine. they asked first, but it does weird you out

        5 years ago
  16. I didn’t think I could love you guys more than I already did, BUT OH MAN, LOOKS LIKE I DO! (love the hand puppet, Martina!! XD ) <3 You're about a foot and two inches taller than me, Simon, so I am going to be relatively uncool when I come to Korea with my friend who is 5'7. UGH. ::angrymidgetisangry:: I'm not a midget, I'm just short~ ::sobsob:: WOULD IT KILL THE UNIVERSE TO GIVE ME A FEW MORE INCHES?! NO. NO IT WOULDN'T. =_= (Okay, I'm getting an Ed Elric vibe from this whole short rant, so I'm going to stop that now.)  

    5 years ago
  17. mwahahaha i know they’re faking their heights…if super junior looked that short then big bang should be much shorter..i guess…

    5 years ago
  18. 191 cm here. Yes.. I can’t go to amusement parks… *sigh*

    5 years ago
  19. i’d probably fit in fine, all 4ft and 11in of me!! wait…would i be too short??

    5 years ago
  20. omg!!! so Martina is pretty tall too! right? im just 165 cm Y.Y  but in mexico im tall XD 

    5 years ago
  21. I’m sixteen and like 5’7′ and I always feel uncomfortable about my height. // But there are much bigger girls than me here. ~ But it’s not too tall or unusual in Korea, is it? ^.^”

    5 years ago
  22. Lucky me and my 160 cm :D

    5 years ago
  23. Nev

    Worrying a bit, cos I am intending to go to Seoul later in the year, but I get claustrophobic, is everything really cramped? Is this all restaurants and social places? Im not v tall, only about 5’6″ so Im guessing that Id be stood within the crowd height too??
    This pic still makes me laugh, cos I love the expressions on SJ faces…. “Be-Jaysus, hes tall!!” “Ha ha ha, Im standing behind him” “Im big n not intimidated by tall guys” (with hands on hips puffing out chest)  “I am… Im scared, let me hide behind you!!!”

    5 years ago
  24. TL;DR question: how do you settle down when you first come to korea?

    5 years ago
  25. Because you two are mostly alone, I always thought you guys are just normal. But after seeing that picture with suju, oh god! You guys are giants! Lol

    5 years ago
  26. So I’m a woman, and 180 cm tall(Yay, tall women, ur beautiful !). Luckily I’m from Norway, which is the second or third “tallest” country in the world, so I don’t feel so much out of place there, however I want to move to Korea. Does anyone know how it would be going to Korea as a tall woman ?

    5 years ago
    • Hi Sophie! I’m 5’8 (cm?) and I lived in Korea for a few months last year. I plan on moving there permanently this fall. I’m not as tall as you, but I would say the hardest thing to get used to is feeling frumpy and unstylish for not wearing high heels. 

      You can wear high heels by all means if you like (I agree, tall is beautiful), but it can make things difficult if you like dating Korean boys. Now, to me, Korean boys are totally worth wearing flat shoes for the rest of my life. Some would even prefer you wear high heels and be taller than them so you can look chic, but it’s really up to your personal style. I like the aesthetics of high heels, but they’re just so damn uncomfortable! I’m happy to have an excuse not to wear them. That being said, it does make selecting shoes difficult when you’re going to more formal nightclubs, parties, weddings, etc. 

      I’ve found plenty of tall guys in Korea, but I am usually the tallest among my girlfriends. However, they do tend to wear high heels often. That evens things out a bit! I’d say you just have to learn to embrace your statuesque frame as something beautiful, even if it does make you stick out a bit. Be proud of it! :)

      5 years ago
      • Thanks. I suppose 5’8 is 172-173 cm, so in feet and inches I’m 5’11. I don’t worry much about shoes, ’cause I can’t really wear high heels here either, besides I walk like a cow in them. I must admit I have kind of a thing for asian guys, so I was worried about finding a guy that was taller than me there. It’s not that I dislike shorter guys, it’s just that I long to feel feminine, and I just don’t if he’s shorter. I’ll look forward to moving there, thank you so much. :)

        5 years ago
      • good advice :)

        5 years ago
    • Y expiriens; not that big of a problem. I went there for holiday and bought lots of stuff. Only pants are little difficult if you have a big size (like europe side 39+). But yeah dongdeamun rocked for me

      5 years ago
  27. How tall is Martina?

    5 years ago
  28. how tall is martina?  she looks taller than all of the super juniors…
    hope you get your voices back.  it sucks not being able to talk.  
    p.s. – i hope i bump into you guys when i visit this summer~  will be looking out for towering white guy and pink-haired white girl.  :D  

    5 years ago
    • Martina is wearing wedges so she looks taller.  Besides, Super Junior is known for male shortness.  My poor babies…

      5 years ago
    • When the picture was first posted she stated she’s 5″7′ which is technically the height half of the SJ people had in their profiles.

      5 years ago
    • k

      i hope i bump into them this summer too!!!

      5 years ago
  29. Ha ha, I always love that picture of you guys with Super Junior… they look like Hobbits.  XD  But I totally understand.  I’m 5’8″ and living in S. Korea as well.  It’s nice being able to look intimidatingly tall if I ever feel like I’m in a pressure situation, but at the same time, I find that I tend to hunch my shoulders unconsciously to look shorter.  Doesn’t work.  I’m sure it just makes me look like a weird tall person.  (^_^)

    5 years ago
    • Nev

      so at 5’8″ you feel tall too??…  O__o wow, I thought that 5’8″ wouldnt be that tall over there.  Can understand how 6’4″ would be tho ;)

      5 years ago
  30. ah, i’m 184 cm tall, going to korea this summer, guess i’ll hear that i’m tall a lot too. Which brings up another question, have you guys ever seen tall girls in korea, if so, do people like it, or think it’s strange?

    5 years ago
  31. WHOA!!!!!! i’m like 5’1….and i’m 19!!

    hahahaha on the latest episode of Running Man Kwangsoo was too tall for the glass box which they had to vote in!!!!! i was laughing my head off at that!!!!!!and Simon…please….stop….with the toilet story…….

    5 years ago
  32. I’m going to Korea in July, and I’m 194,5 cm tall. It will be an interesting experience! My traveling buddy, a female friend of mine is 181 cm tall. We are sometimes called “The Twin Towers”. x)

    5 years ago
    • Lol when I read this my reaction *in ultra deep bass for a girl* DDAAANNNGG! then cackles imaging the ‘omg-its-a-gaint’ looks you will get there

      5 years ago
  33. i’m 150 cm and i’m 59 kg…. simon, u are a giant!! hehe…

    5 years ago
  34. So I have been wondering if you ever felt, that some customs, traditions, habits or things that are normal for korean people, should be introduced to other countries? Or shouldn’t necessarily exist in Korea? ( I know it depends on culture)
    as for me, I like it when people call someone older than them unni/noona or oppa/hyung  :) 
    (we have that in my culture too, so my little siblings call me “older sister”) this way you feel respected and the other party is polite to you :P
    What do you think aboout this? :)
    btw I love your shows!

    5 years ago
  35. i’m a girl thats 187, and i even get coments that i’m realy tall. The guys don’t even like me anymore here. Wanna cry

    5 years ago
    • I know how you feel ~ I’m only 172cm and one of my guy classmate called me a “monster” :/ Although he is just joking but it’s still disturbing >”<

      5 years ago
  36. Oh my Simon! You’re making me really worried. You’re a guy with a tall height, and you are already experiencing so many disadvantages (is that what I should call it?)! Guess what? I’m a female and I’m 188cm…. I’m not white, I’m Asian, a very… exceptional Asian… I think I should go to one corner and cry… Now I got things to really be careful of for my trip to Korea end of this year… Will I be treated as a freak? =S

    5 years ago
    • I envy you girls. You all get the fresh air! XD

      5 years ago
    • OMG! A female that understands me! I’m 14 yo and I have 181cm~ Well that’s too much for a girl in this age, I kinda have some complex with my height… I keep thinking if one day I go to Korea I will feel confortable there. I have a question to Simon: Do you know any way to feel more confortable and confident with this kind of height?

      5 years ago
      •  I think the most important thing to remember when you’re tall is to make sure you stand up straight. There’s nothing that says “I am completely self-conscious about my height” like someone who slouches all the time. Don’t worry, you’re still young! Being tall is one of those things that sucks at first because you stick out so much, but as time goes by, you learn to accept it and even really love it. And to be honest, I don’t think 181 cm is that tall for a girl. :) So keep your chin up! (when you don’t have to look down at people lol) Oh, and this video is relevant and hilarious XD http://youtu.be/pNMllBdAppc

        5 years ago
  37. Simon you giraffe you.

    5 years ago
  38. not only Simon, Martina too, it’s like…Super Junior are so short…and you are like giants,…god…now I’m afraid of being taller then my bias…what’s Martina height?

    5 years ago
  39. Yo Simon, so you mentioned that you can’t find clothes, pants and shoes in Korea? Well, this is awkward.. but… how about underwears (boxers, briefs, etc)? Can you find them in Korea? lol

    5 years ago
    • Fortunately, I don’t have a big waist (well, not that big) so I can fit into unnerwares here :D

      5 years ago
      • Good for you. I mean, it would totally suck to always fly to another country just to buy undies (well, that’s an exaggeration, but still).

        5 years ago
  40. kyuhyun 180cm is consider very tall in my country but simon is way taller. omo. lol

    5 years ago