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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. 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.

    7 years ago
  2. LMFAO at the floor table rant and the Super Junior picture!  Simon, you look thinner than usual in this vid :]!  No salty food lately?

    7 years ago
  3. Can you tell us the stories about your tattoos? How you decided which one, where and why?- Minoentje (Belgium)

    7 years ago
  4. Hehe, I’m 181cm and felt the same way in Korea. Except I’m half Korean so people stared at me like I was a giant octopus walking around or something. 

    7 years ago
  5. I love this TL;DR *-* 

    7 years ago
  6. TL;DR question:
    I noticed in some drama that i see characters of Japanese anime’s.
    Is anime as populair in Korea (do you see action figure’s or dvd’s in store?) as it is in Japan?
    And how do they think of stuff as cosplay and such? 

    7 years ago
  7. I’m Canadian too, so for Korea compared to here: how difficult would it be for a 180 cm tall teenage girl?? Would you say that’s taller than the average height is for a Korean male, or about the same??

    7 years ago
  8. Have you got any dark skinned friends? Has there ever been an experience when you’ve seen or heard or even when you were teaching in Korea that one of your student were a bit darker and were made fun of? If you have how bad or good were the comments other light skinned Koreans made?

    7 years ago
  9. Im the same height as you simon and I have had some issues with it even here in canada! for example, my basement only has a 6ft ceiling! Also when I was in cuba, the restaurant staff actually came and raised the dangling lights so I wouldnt keep hitting my head! 

    7 years ago
  10. 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.

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

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

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

      7 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.

      7 years ago
  12. What are your ultimate funniest moments in South Korea so far?

    7 years ago
  13. Everyone is talking about inches and stuff… I don’t get it xD
    (1.63m – shorty -.-‘)

    7 years ago
  14. im only 15 and im already taller than most kpop stars -.- oh what an awkward life it must be but it would be hard to play hide an seek lol….

    7 years ago
  15. I love TL;DR!!! It’s my favorite segment! So glad it’s a weekly thing now, yaaaaay~

    7 years ago
  16. I suppose shoe size 300 refers to 30cm feet. My husband has the same size (sometimes 295 will fit), but we are sometimes lucky enough to find shoes, while 300 usually is the largest size. Maybe they have bigger feet in Japan than they have in Korea? No idea.

    7 years ago
  17. Rem

     OH! THEY HAVE! I’ve seen several people who get quite angry at them and call them pathetic and childish and other not-nice things. It’s really rude to be quite honest.

    7 years ago
    •  And you should see the death threat emails. Fun fun fun!

      7 years ago
      • Cal

        Really :( Thats awfull!

        7 years ago
      • it is really pathetic,  I think “they” really need to know what review is and stop sending rude e-mail to you guys because people have different views and if they don’t like it , it’s their problem !! they should keep this to themselves not by sending rude comments and e-mails !! thumbs up to you guys, Simon and Martina !

        7 years ago
  18. How is Korean humor different from Western humor?

    7 years ago
  19. TL;DR question:
    What is the Korean family dynamic like compared to North America? Do you see a lot of families that are separated or divorced? Do children tend to rebel against their parents? How so?

    I’m curious because I used to work at a family resource center and a lot of the families that I worked with were single parents, low income families, and new immigrants so I witnessed a lot of differences in family dynamics.

    7 years ago
  20. i’m 5’9″ and im considered tall as an asian and im taller than most of my classmates in the US… 

    7 years ago
  21. awww poor Simon… can’t find clothes:( but I’ll tell some of my shorter friends to go to Korea and I’ll be the only one who understands…mwahaha -_^

    7 years ago
  22. what is it like to visit a doctor in korea? as the both of you are sick/getting sick. I can tell you that I had some funny experences in china, getting xrays(while other people watched-one person took pictures.), needing a translator to see a doctor…

    7 years ago
  23. TL;DR question:

    I noticed on AllKpop that there was a story recently about the CEO of Open World Entertainment officially getting charged with Rape of his female trainees, as well as Go Young Wook of Roo’ra getting accused of sexually assaulting a minor. As fans of Kpop, what are your opinions on this whole issue? I, myself, have been slowly getting into Kpop within the last year, and noticed many things that seem to scream pedophilia to me, yet seems to be overlooked by the general fans. Can you comment on what you think of “Uncle Fans” who are smitten by IU, Suzy, and Jiyoung (before she turned 18)? Also, your opinions on celebrities and normal people choosing the “cutest”, and youngest children (in some instances, they are children) as their ideal?

    7 years ago
  24. lmbo “heating disorder”

    7 years ago
  25.  I hated being tall when I was younger, mainly because I had “giraffe” legs (you know, like how unstable a baby giraffe is, I was always falling down ‘n stuff lol), but now I’m trying to be okay with it. I feel like I’ll end up like a female version of Kwangsoo when I get to SK though, all awkward. XD

    7 years ago
  26. I have no question… but I just wanted to say, Martina, don’t worry! While it may be annoying, your voice will come back soon! I’ve had a lot of experience with this losing voice thing T^T

    Both of you, get well soon! 

    7 years ago
  27. How much awareness of animal rights is there in Korea? (For example: many countries have on the packaging of cosmetics a small drawing of a rabbit which means the company is not abusing animals. Is there anything similar on Koreans brands? How can I tell if the company is cruelty free?)

    7 years ago
  28. 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)

    7 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

      7 years ago
  29. Simon you giraffe you.

    7 years ago
  30. 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 ?

    7 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)

      7 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. 

      7 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.  

      7 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…

        7 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

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

        7 years ago
  31. TL:DR question:

    What is the reaction most Koreans have to non-Caucasian foreigners? I’m specifically think of non-Korean Asians or adopted people, blacks, Hispanics?

    The reason why I’m curious is because there’s a lot of talk about stereotyping and how white people get better treatment, but I’ve no idea if it’s true… If you choose to answer this, can you address whether it make a difference if a foreigner comes from a wealthy Western country (ie, US, Canada, Australia) or other country? Do they think all Americans are white? Yeah, I’m basically… just curious, especially since there are LOTS of bloggers and kpop fans who criticize Korea/kpop for whitewashing foreigners, but as they’re mostly outsiders, I don’t feel like I can trust their opinion as much as I can trust yours,,,, Let me know your experiences!

    7 years ago
  32. L M

    My question is about the “Three Refusals” rule/custom thing. I read about it a lot but I still haven’t had a truly coherent answer as to what it is! Would love to hear an explanation from you guys. How prominent is it? How is it possible for that to not get awkward? And most of all- does it apply for dating? Do you have to refuse someone as many times as possible?

    Please advise!

    7 years ago
  33. Time to do some major shopping when you guys are here in CA! :D

    7 years ago
  34. TL;DR Question!!!

    Have you met any North Korean refugees in South Korea? Is North Korea, and specifically its refugees, a topic that is talked about a lot among the public and the students?

    Please watch this whole documentary! It really opens up your eyes!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cVOrUMWaJ0&feature=relmfu

    7 years ago
  35. TL;DR question:

    How do you handle haters? Was there a time where you thought of just stopping making videos because of some people’s harsh comments?

    7 years ago
  36. You should check out JYJ they are being chased around all the time by 100-200 people, every time they leave their house. Even chasing them by car.

    7 years ago
  37. 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

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

      7 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?

      7 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

        7 years ago
  38. Well that was the reason for the TV scandal! Personally, I don’t really understand the whole height thing (this is Martina) because majority of Korean girls are short, thus, the guys are quite taller then them, but when the girls want to be taller, so they wear 3 inch + heels and become taller, and then they want taller guys. Who cares about height!? What is his personality like?

    Dating someone based on height just makes no sense to me.  One of my ex-boyfriends was really short, like 5’5, and he was an awesome guy, but my friends were like, “OMG he is so short, how can you date him” and I was like, “he’s as awesome boyfriend, way better then your tall scumbag cheating boyfriend…hahahahaa!” That shut them up really fast.

    Heart above height!

    7 years ago
  39. Not a tldr question, but can you guys please add plus sizes for your shirts. I’m not feeling the love here T-T

    7 years ago
  40. Is Martina wearing heels in that pic? or are my eyes just stuffed?

    7 years ago