by YOUNG-WOO KANG
Thin legs, a slender waist and pale skin have been the ideal beauty standard among Korean women for a long time. However, these aspects of a pure and innocent image aren’t trending as much nowadays.
Today, Korean woman are seeking more of a “healthy and sexy” image. A sharp increase in fitness centers in what seems to be every building in Seoul has brought about a “fitness syndrome.” Moreover, a number of fitness gurus, such as the 46-year-old Jung Da-yeon, are now as popular as celebrities.
It used to be all about the so-called “S-line,” which refers to the curve of a woman’s waist to hip. Korean women would take pictures from the front to show off their “wasp” waist and big hips, but the current trend is to take pictures from the side, to show their “apple hips” they worked on in the gym.
Current representatives of this new beauty standard include Yoo Seung-ok, Yeh Jeong-hwa and Nancy Lang. Their muscular bodies are more distinct compared to those of traditional Korean beauty models.
Yoo Seung-ok (Photo via prof.co.kr)
Yoo Seung-ok became popular immediately after photos of herself in an international fitness contest went viral. She came in fifth at Fitness Universe Weekend, the first Asian woman to place in the top five.
Even the look of idol girl groups is changing. In the past, most idol girls stressed their cute and pretty image. Now, it’s all about that healthy image, and the women of SISTAR are definitely hot right now. Also, Girls’ Day and Stellar are girl groups who became popular after they changed their image to healthy and sexy.
SISTAR (Photo via Naver)
The media overall showcases this new standard to their audiences. We can see people working out in dramas, advertisements and various online videos, stressing that “fit women are sexy.”
Korean men’s perspectives are changing as well. According to recent netizen surveys, more men are saying they also find “women in tight sportswear” more attractive.