A viral video on TikTok and Instagram showing a silhouette sign of an overweight man at a train station in South Korea has ignited a heated discussion online about the country’s “fatphobia.”
Key details: Content creator Dailydoseofkorean, also known as KoreAlo, uploaded the video on TikTok and Instagram over the weekend. It has since gone viral, amassing over 24 million views on TikTok and receiving more than 1.3 million likes on Instagram.
What it’s about:
The video shows two side-by-side silhouette signs of a man on the floor of Sangbong station in Seoul
with the “gwenchana” meme
playing over the clip.
The one on the left shows a regular-sized silhouette with an arrow pointing to the stairs ahead, while the other one portrays a plus-size man with its arrow pointing to the escalator beside the stairs.
Several Instagram users called out the South Korean
station for its “fatphobia,” with one user commenting, “This is f*cked up and none of the explanations in the comments justifies it.”
“Using the escalator when my kneecap is barely hanging in place is a needed mobility aid for me,” another user commented, “Implying that ‘you’re lazy or fat’ for using an escalator is such a shit message.”
Agreeing with the message: Others were more supportive of the message on the train station’s floor, as one Instagram user commented, “It means use the stairs and you will get in good shape.”
“It’s not mean. It’s motivation, so people walk more,” another user wrote.
While some users are divided with their perspective on the signs, others poked fun at how the silhouette seemingly resembles Baymax
, a character in the Disney movie “Big Hero 6.
Not the first:
Similar signs have been spotted at several locations across South Korea, with some of them being reported as far back as 2013
. The signs spotted in 2013 have also ignited discussion online as some social media users back then dubbed the picture “Stairs to lose weight.”