“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.
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