South Korea seems to be known for its slender, slim people. At least my father sure seemed to think so when he visited just a few weeks back. And I think to most casual observers this place is pretty much full of thin people. How accurate is this really?

We’ve covered delicate issues before on LIKE IT, but this one somehow was different. Trying to balance being sensitive, and in the same light truthful can be nerve-wracking. In fact to be blatantly honest I’m nervous about the reaction to this video. I especially feel nervous talking about it because of all the fat and skinny shaming that happens in our world. We both talked about that briefly in our Eating Disorders and Thinness video.

But that aside, this is a topic that should be talked about. I don’t want someone to come to South Korea unaware and put themselves in a situation that could be detrimental to them. I’ve read articles before about women who come here and really struggle with this. I also know other women who have managed to not let any of it bother them. I wish I could be so confident all the time.

The truth is when I first came to Korea, I wasn’t prepared for how self conscious I would feel getting stared at. I had to take very direct questions and comments from students and coworkers about my appearance. Questions like ‘Why do you look so tired?’ or comments like ‘You have a big nose’. These are more common here than you would expect. I actually made a video with Chonunmigooksaram all about it.

A lot of time alone in my apartment (because I still hadn’t made a lot of friends) was difficult to deal with at first. Admittedly I was probably in the best shape I’ve been in while in Korea too. I had lots of time to walk and do yoga during my first months here. But, I wish I had been a little bit more prepared for the mental game of moving to a different country.

Please take a moment to check out the Scholarship Fund Campaign we launched on Indiegogo for the surviving families that have lost a son or daughter in the recent Korean ferry boat accident.

  • Deidre Crummitt

    This was a really good video, guys! As a fat girl, this has always been in the back of my mind and probably one of the reasons I haven’t visited Korea yet. I’m glad you spoke honestly about it. Thanks! ^_^