I didn’t want to do this ‘LIKE IT’. In fact, I really didn’t want to do this LIKE IT because it’s such a controversial topic that affects so many people. But because of that, I knew that we had to cover it.

I feel in some ways that my job as a woman, as a teacher, as somebody who works with younger people, and as somebody with a bit of a platform (approaching 29,000 subscribers on YouTube at the time of writing this), I should attempt to do my part and do what I can to promote healthy body images, especially for women.

We all live in a global society that puts tremendous pressure on most women to conform to a certain norm or suffer the consequences of not belonging. Everyday most of us (who live with internet connections or TVs anyways) can easily become bombarded with images of what society deems as the ideal women through music videos, advertisements, TV commercials, magazine ads, etc., and we try to conform to it. Why does it have to be this way?

Here in Korea, the culture has as much as any in the world mastered the art of advertising. Sexy images of men and women plastered at bus stops, on buses, all over magazines, and everywhere on the web can catch your eye, even unconsciously, and there is almost virtually no way to avoid it other than staying home and living like a hermit.

Goodness knows in many ways that I’m preaching to my own self, because I too struggle with image issues. Even with Hallyu Back now, sometimes people say things like ‘oh, Stephanie you’re so pretty’ and this is something I have a hard time believing. More than that, I go through this mental battle and think every time wondering is this what I want to represent? Am I representing what I want to represent? Am I more than just a pretty face? Am I more than just a sexual object? I appreciate hearing that I’m pretty of course, but I’ve also had bad experiences in the past with people who have abused this word or phrase in order to execute ulterior motives.

If there’s anything that I can stress it’s that everyone is different, or created differently. The first step seems to be to love yourself, because if you can’t love you for who you are then it doesn’t matter. But if you do love you for you, it’s a lot more difficult to let others get to you and break your spirit. So enough with the fat and skinny shaming already. We might not all come from the same circumstances, but one thing we can do is decide within ourselves to try and make the right choices in life. We can’t control what others do, but we can educate ourselves and be vigilant about that crazy world out there.

You guyz, if you’re still reading this, I want you to know that you supporting Hallyu Back means the world to me, and I want to do everything in my power to support you back! If you have any questions for me I’d love to answer create more dialogue about this or whatever topic you’re interested in. Drop me a note below or in the comment section on this YouTube video. And thanks so much for reading and watching! ☺

  • Alejandra Ralda

    Well i’m from mexico, latin as you know we got a lot of curves! i’m chubby so after watching this i’m really thinking about go to korea next year or not jajaja the last thing i want is suffer bullying jajaja. greetings!!! :)

    • hallyuback

      First off, as a foreigner you are given a lot more leeway in being whatever shape and size you are naturally. Also though I’ve gotten a few negative comments here and there, I’ve also gotten a lot of positive compliments for what curves I do have. (I also have had friends in the past that have been more than a little curvy who got a lot of positive attention).
      Be aware that it may be harder to find clothes, and that there may be some stupid remarks here and there, but certainly don’t let it dissuade you from coming to Korea if you really want to! ^.^

      • Alejandra Ralda

        owwwn! thank you so much! i think my yearning of meet Lee Min Ho is bigger jajaja so i’m going don’t worry! thank’s for the tips and hope to see you at korea to!! hugs!!!! :) p.s. you really are unique and beautiful! :)

  • joan jensen

    I am adopted from Korea, I like to know how Koreans see us kids there got adopted away from Korea, are we trash or lucky or something else in the Koreans eyes?
    well after your post , I guess I am chubby in korea

    • hallyuback

      Sweetie, everyone is chubby in Korea. 😉 I learned a long time ago not to judge myself by their standards but by my own. While I don’t know much about Korean adoptees (it doesn’t come up in conversation much) I’ll ask around. In the meantime, know that 1.) You’re certainly are not and have never been trash. 2.) You’re a very special person. 3.) I hope you realize just how special and loved you are! ^^

  • Novita Beytrison

    I am Chinese – Japanese, back to my teen age… I was considering myself very chubby person. It’s like the worst period of my life, even my parents put me in an extreme diet since they thought with my weight and size, no one will ever want to date me. Out of their desperation, they sent me to US to study and hopefully I could find someone who doesn’t care about my physical appearance (ghee…).Anyway, I couldn’t agree more with Stephanie…the most important thing is how much you love yourself, if you always have to pay attention about how people blink their eyes towards you, etc…you won’t live long. You just need to be happy, and be healthy.. At least we are naturally beautiful (without nip and tuck).

    • hallyuback

      I’m sorry to here that your teenage years were rough.. sometimes family can be crueler to your self image than other people. Looking at your picture and your comment though, I can tell that you’re a beautiful person both inside and out! Embrace your own individual, unique, nobody can compare beauty. <3

      • Foxy Tail

        Awww Steph, you are so sweet. I like you too, and this is for real

  • Stephanie Gagne

    so im going to study in korea next year and i got admitted in yonsei university but when i said to my friend im going to yonsei she said ” omg so rich ”
    so my question is. it is really hard to go to university ? specially to yonsei ?
    are korean university specially expensive ? im from canada and almost every one can go to university here so im a bit confuse about korea.
    thank you so much