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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Korean weight norms reinforce its beauty standards, int’l student says

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“It’s kind of hard to find bigger-sized clothes here in Korea, especially for the smaller shops,” Luna, a 20-year-old student in Korea, said. “I have to resort to bigger and more international brands.”

Imagine that you are an average size in your country, usually wearing medium-size. However, coming to shop in the stores alongside the Hongdae shopping area in Mapo District, western Seoul, many will notice that most of the clothes are one-size-fits-all, equivalent to an S size in other countries.

Weight standards in Korea are shown even in K-pop.

Park Jin-young, one of the main producers of JYP Entertainment, told one of the contestants on the girl group survival show “Sixteen (2015)” that she has “not been taking care of herself” and that she “has to weigh herself every day.”

“The one-size-fits-all reinforces the beauty standards of Korea,” Luna said. “Since it is one size, people will feel the need to fit that size.”

“It became the standard because it is the only one available, and the one-size-fits-all is also a way to regulate the weight standards of the people here because there is no other choice.”

Although finding clothes with more size options is hard, there are some stores that offer them to shoppers.

The 09WOMEN store in Hapjeong in Mapo District, western Seoul [09WOMEN]
The 09WOMEN store in Hapjeong in Mapo District, western Seoul [09WOMEN]

One of them is 09WOMEN, a clothing store located in the Hapjeong area in Mapo District, western Seoul. The store sells casual and smart casual types of clothes. It is a great place to shop for your daily outfits.

It can be convenient for students in Seoul as it’s quite close to Hongik University, Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University.

Another is Romistory, which has branches near Hapjeong Station, Guro Digital Complex Station in Guro District, western Seoul, Starfield COEX in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, Anyang in Gyeonggi, Busan and Daegu. It sells more soft and feminine clothes than the last one. The branches are quite huge, so you will have a wide range of choices.

If your closet consists more of street-style clothing, Evellet by Jstyle near Ttukseom Station is another option.

BY STUDENT REPORTER ERICCA LIVIA [kjd.kcampus@joongang.co.kr]