Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Skinny on K-Pop: Why I will Never Look Like a Korean idol

When I became a fan of k-pop, in my eighth grade year, one of the first things I noticed about the female idols were their skinny, yet somewhat curvy looking figures, close to that of a couple VS models. They were ideal looking and perfect, even more so than pop stars in the US. they looked like something that every girl would want to be, but never would look like.

I always excepted them to weigh more, before I read their profiles, but when I did, i was simply shocked at how skinny the girls really were. Truth be told, I still am. Their skinniness, as of late, has been bothering me, to the point where I begin to nitpick at my own body and obsessively think about what I can change.

The problem is, I'll never be them. Nobody will. Maintaining a weight of 49 kilos at a height of 166 cm (my height) is virtually impossible if you're not built that way. And truth be told, I am not. From my father's side of the family, I have inherited a smaller waist, larger breasts, butt, hips, and embarrassingly larger thighs. I'm not like my mother's family, which is basically composed of tall sticklike women, and I probably will never be.

But I strive to be like a kpop star, one who has an okay figure, with hips and thighs, but weighs nothing. The problem is, the likelihood of that happening is slim.


1. It's no secret that Korean entertainment companies allow their idols to do unhealthy diets. And sometimes the companies stoop to lows, by starving these girls. Surely you've heard of the Nine Muses' "Paper Cup Diet", Duck Bom's "Lettuce Diet", Kara's skipping of meals, and SNSD's 1500 kcal per day intake (yes, with all their exercise). These aren't good diets. They're effective if you continue doing them, but otherwise, if you go back to your old eating habits, the weight you lost will return.

Take me as an example. In seventh grade, after a bunch of anorexic slutbag whores told me I was fat, I pressured myself into skipping lunch completely, eating a light dinner, and drinking mainly water. This worried the fuck out of my friends and my family once they noticed what I was doing. It didn't matter that i was constantly fatigued or exhausted, all that mattered at the time was my weight loss, even though i was not chubby in the first place. But in the end, I lost too much weight, and went back to my old habits. Bam, weight came back. I'm relieved that I didn't develop anorexia.

Back to kpop, the girls are always doing /forced to do these diets because of the pressures of perfection in Korean society. Unlike the United States, where almost every girl has a little bit of body fat (me included, I'm not yet done with losing dat puberty weight), extra weight is considered a big deal in Korea. There, they eat small portions, exercise more often, and overall, focus much more on their outer appearance, compared to most US citizens. It's an Asian cultural thing. Being thin in Korea is 'healthy', it's the image that the media promotes as healthy. Having a curvier or fuller figure (36-26-36) is probably frowned upon. Their definition of curvy in KR is basically the women listed in this handy (shitty) AKP article (writer, what were you smoking?)

Let me just state right now that none of these women can even come close to a true s-line. Most of them are sticking their flat asses out and wearing push up bras to show off their 'cleavage'. Maybe even ass pads (look at Uee's picture, obvious butt pads *cackle*) .

As a more curvy person with 34-26-35.5 measurements I laugh at AKP's incompetence on that article and Korea's inability to recognize true curves in general.

Moving on:
I highly doubt that all these k-pop stars are naturally blessed with slim figures and high metabolism. Don't argue with the 'Asians have smaller bone structure!' defense, because like all ethnicities, Asian women have their share of body types. Yes, their bone structures look a bit smaller than Caucasians, Latinos, and African Americans, but they aren't ALL skinny and doll like. Don't generalize. Not all Latinas have large asses, not all white girls are models, not all black people are tall or curvy, and not all Asians are small statured.

I give you another example from my life: I had a very good friend, a Korean girl, yes, a fully Korean girl, who loved k-pop. She didn't have the appearance of your typical little idol, she was on the larger side, looked more nerdy/not kawaiidollike omg cutie! and didn't give a fuck about what people thought of her. ( She was also a procrastinator, like me, who got good scores, but generally lagged behind in some subjects.)

Likewise, not all idols are like that either, MANY, and by many, I mean a MAJORITY, have undergone plastic surgery to improve their appearance. Don't deny it, they were not all that beautiful pre debut. Many also lost a great majority of weight as well. Because any girl over 50 kilos in Korean Pop is fat. *then I'm obese :( *
Hyuna was not the girl with the visible ribs and 23 inch waist you see today before her debut. She was chubbier, looked like your typical student. Tiffany and Jessica from SNSD were both Americans, who no doubt, were not the skinny minis they are now before their debut.

To put it to you straight:
Few idols are blessed with small bone structure and metabolisms that function at the speed of light. The two main examples I can think of at the moment are Hara and Sooyoung. They are both pretty girls, yes, but flat as boards. They can eat like a horse and not gain a single kilo. Unfortunately for the rest of the world who wants to starve to look like them, that's just the way they are.

Let me mention another real life example.
My mother is basically the epitome of a woman who eats like a fucking horse and still manages to stay thin. I myself have a pretty damn good metabolism (YAYYY, genetics), but am not as tall, nor as skinny, as her (fuck you, genetics). She chews through entire bags of chips in a matter of hours, almost always goes back for seconds, and loves food. She never gains weight no matter how much she eats. And when she doesn't eat, she's miserable and sick.

I bet Hara and Sooyoung and the naturally skinny girls in kpop are like that as well. Unlike the rest of their group, they eat whatever they want whenever they want.

Reason 2 Why I Will Never Look Like A Kpop Star.

My parents taught me to love food.

Like most of my family, I indulge in food. I freaking love it. I love eating. My portions aren't gracious, but by god, they're not huge either. I eat a decent and good amount of food without over eating. And luckily, if I do over eat, I don't wake up the next morning with extra pounds (YAYYY genetics). I couldn't imagine giving up food.

I've tried repeatedly to skip lunch for days, but like my 7th grade experience, I find myself feeling exhausted and fatigued. The other day, I started to try and skip lunch again, and subsisted a solid meal for a glass of water and maybe 4 crackers. I proceeded to feel tired and laggy during the day. And when I left school, my hunger worsened. I was erratic, my stomach was churning, and I truly felt like collapsing in the parking lot.

I don't feel well when I don't eat, especially if I'm walking around. I tend to feel like crap. if I ignore my crappy feelings, I them vomit.

According to everybody I've asked about this, it's basically my body's way of saying 'feed me'.

And apparently letting myself vomit is a gateway to developing bulimia.

So eventually I give up on my partial starvation diet, and go back to eating normally.
And really, I don't notice the difference as long as there's not any pressure/skinny magazines/whatever lying around. But when I do I begin to fret about my body again. And so begins another starvation diet.

I don't know if this cycle will be neverending, but it really does pain me to not eat. Especially because I love food.

But yeah, even with diet and exercise, I'll never be able to top the scale @ 49 kilos.

As I stated previously, reason #3 has to do with me being more thickly built. Not just more so than azn pop stars, but lots of white chicks in general.

I was once told, in the 8th grade, by two classmate/sort of friends of mine that my butt was kind of roundish for a white girl. It's really an unfortunate thing that I can't get rid of, and it's just kind of there. I've kind of accepted it. But then again, because I have an ass, I also have bigger tits (yay, tits), which means I don't have to purchase expensive push-up bras. My tits and ass are probably the only two things I really take pride in. Besides the fact that I have them both without being plus size or obese. But the rest of my body is still in a bit of an awkward stage, my thighs have yet to lose sag, there's a little fat here and there (though I've lost more baby fat than I think, looking back on an old video of myself at age 13, my stomach appeared to be a lot pudgier, though the rest of my weight was well distributed) , and I'm not perfect. Even if I exercised I wouldn't have a completely flat stomach or thighs without a biiiit of jiggle.

What I've noticed is that everyone, even models, even actresses, have imperfections. Even though the rich and famous are photoshopped to no end, they still look bedraggled when walking around in public, aren't the prettiest people without cosmetics, don't have clear skin, and are basically just like the rest of us.

Society has tried to convince everyone that [insert product here] will make their life better or improve their appearance, or wearing/doing whatever [insert celeb's name here] is wearing/doing will make certain things better.

But in actuality, the people endorsing these things are generally not entirely beautiful/perfect by the standards of society either, and are just promoting whatever it is because they like it or they were paid to do it.

Advertising is all a clever motherfucking facade that the companies use to convince people to buy their shit.

I'm not a pretty Asian kpop star.

I'm not going to ever be as thin as one.

Kpop stars are people too. They are human, they're not robots controlled by the Big 3. They have feelings. They aren't perfect. They have weight issues themselves and probably went through a great deal of pain to get as thin as they are now. They are probably still going through that pain.

I generally indulge in whatever food I want without gaining 5 lbs. I'm not naturally thin, but genetics have been kind enough to provide me with a pretty nice metabolism. My diet is better than it was years ago, and I've started eating healthier stuff (with some fast food in between). I like my boobs and ass, and that's a good thing.... (Right?)

I've realized that everybody has fat or acne at one time in their lives. Even models, yes. Motherfucking models. These are the women with the immense thigh gaps that we all bash on the internet.

Society, in any country, is a bitch. They want you to become someone you're not, someone perfect. Become skinny, diet, use their workout machines, eat their expensive food, wear their slimming clothes.

But this 'perfection' bullshit is all a scheme to push and sell more products.


  1. I agree with you completely. Kpop kinda forces this "perfect body type"on women and men(more common in women) for everyone to gaze upon. Yet in reality, there is no "perfect body type". Everyone has different body types. Therefore, it's fucking ridiculous. This is one of the reasons why I kinda dislike kpop.

  2. Totally agree with you honey. Sometimes I think girls around the world are just so focused on their flaws that they don't realise their strengths.

    But nevertheless, my love for kpop never stops me: go check out my blog haha! (:

  3. I agree with you. I think their "Curvy" is flat as a board, and to be honest when I look at Sooyoung or Hara I'm afraid they will break at any second. Don't get me wrong, I think if you're naturally skinny you're beautiful. As long as you're healthy. But I prefer a curvier body. I like shapely legs and boobs, it's just sexier to me.

    And to those people who think sticking out your flat ass and nowhere-to-be-found boobs is "curvy", they need to take a break from kpop. Because I used to like the thin figures, I thought it was pretty. Then I didn't look at kpop girls for maybe 2 weeks. When I started watching them again I was surprised I never noticed how skinny they were! It's not healthy nor realistic to look like that.

    I can't stress enough how unappealing it is to be unnaturally thin!