One plus-size model from South Korea is determined to change the nation’s “ridiculous” standard of beauty.
When South Korean model Vivian Geeyang Kim worked for American modeling agencies, she was described as “too skinny” at 165 cm and 70 kg.
Yet the situation back home takes a stark contrast: she was cyberbullied for being “flat-out fat” and “disgusting.”
The 30-year-old told AFP (via The Huffington Post):
“In South Korea, the ideal weight for women is 50 kilograms, and many women who weigh more than that think they are fat. That is a ridiculous, impossible standard that cripples many South Korean women’s self-esteem. And that has to change.”
Kim runs an online clothing shop and publishes a fashion magazine for plus-size women in South Korea. She is clearly at war with the country’s tough standards of beauty where female celebrities — K-Pop idols, actresses and models — are following strict diets and exercise guidelines that may or may not be imposed by management companies.
In her attempt to encourage a new appreciation for beauty, Kim is facing severe backlash, with some even wanting her dead:
“People hate it when a ‘fat girl’ like me parades her body without looking ashamed… they say I should not be seen in public or in the media.”
This resulted to several lawsuits. But despite negative feedback, she maintains her mission:
“I wanted to send this message to girls like me out there that they are not alone and they are beautiful no matter what.”
Kim also shared hearing stories of so-called “fat girls” being abused by their own families, friends and strangers. In response, her magazine gives advice on dealing with bullying.
With South Korea cramming a definition for beauty, many are turning towards plastic surgery. The country is known for the industry’s $4.6-billion worth, and while the most popular procedure isn’t weight-related, getting an “acceptable” figure is closer to reality.