Beauty obsessed culture–Korea

Coming to Korea I knew I would have issues with them and my body being a self proclaimed fat woman.. but I didn’t realize how bad it would be.

When I arrived and had to go to my medical check up – I was filled with anxiety from not knowing what to expect. They took my blood pressure and it was skyrocket high for the first time ever in my life. 30 min later they took it again and it was still high because by this point I was stressed bc it was high anyway— then another 30 min they take it again and still high. I am freaking out now bc I have never had high bp and they aren’t even taking it with the right size cuff. They were trying to shove my arm into the cuff they had. If that doesn’t make anyone anxious and embarrassed idk what will. The looks from the nurses were enough to make me look down and the language barrier didn’t help. I finally have to go meet with the dr. and he upon telling me he didn’t understand birth control or anti-depressants…. looks at me bluntly and tells me that I need to lose weight and come back again… the owner of the school happens to be with me in the room and doesn’t do anything to comfort my tears… but looks at me and tells me he is right I am fat and I need to stop crying.

(This was the worst experience i have ever had- Yes I am a self proclaimed fat person but in that moment, that experience–fat was not the word I needed to hear. I am healthy and I have never had issues with my bp, thyroid or anything of the sort… I just happen to be fat and I am comfortable in my skin)

Other experience I have had– walking in Gangnam seeing so many people’s faces wrapped up in bandages from plastic surgery. and it’s normal! or walking into something that says “spa” and finding out is is a lipo/surgery clinic.

While being here I have created a plus size facebook page for those looking for community, advice, and locations where to shop. It is called “plus size and beautiful in Korea” and I hope when I leave that it will continue to be a group. For bodies larger than the standard korean (usually any foreign body above a size 2-8 US size) is considered to be out of the norm. You will have a hard time finding clothes outside of Hongdae or Itaewon. Shopping online for clothes has been a new thing for me but Gmarket has “plus size” and Modcloth has been a savior.

For me it has been a small struggle to keep the confidence I have in my body here in Korea with all of their looks. I think it has been a great challenge for me though because now I just feel even better about myself. You have to stand in your skin and embrace it or nobody else will.


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