Seoul is quickly becoming the next big fashion capital of the world. Thanks to South Korean idols making their way to Hollywood and not to mention homegrown beauty brands hitting it big in American retail stores, the country is now attracting fashion-savvy individuals across the globe. Only in Seoul can you find a shopping mall open at the wee hours of the morning. And it is only in this South Korean capital where you can shop for a trendy outfit for less than $30.
Despite all these conveniences, keeping up with the latest trends comes at one catch: you have to be the right size. So what is the right size according to Seoul standards? Apparently, the one size that fits all is small. Someone who is willing to challenge the norm is South Korean plus-size model Vivian Geeyang Kim. Find out how this model is leading a campaign to inspire curvy and plus-size women that their bodies are nothing to be ashamed of.
South Korean Plus-Size Model Challenges Country’s Beauty Norms
Vivian Kim is a South Korean plus-size model, a title that is completely rare to her home country. The “ideal” weight for women in South Korea is 50 kilograms, should you weigh more than that, you are considered overweight. These unrealistic standards are rooted from the majority of South Korean idols that appear on television or are plastered in ads around the country. It should be noted, though, that their svelte figures are the result of strict diets controlled by their management. For example, one idol from a popular girl group is rumored to stick to drinking just one bottle of soy milk in a day to shed the pounds. Regardless if this is true or not, it has prompted women around the country to follow this life-threatening fad.
The dangerous quest to be skinny in South Korea has led to fuller-size women being body-shamed. Vivian is looking to change all that by becoming a voice for the minority. As a woman who wears a size 10, she is considered to be plus-size by South Korean standards. Vivian never had any problems working as a model in the United States, but upon returning to Korea, the job pool ran dry.
Instead of choosing to lose the pounds, Vivian opened an online clothing shop as well as a plus-size fashion magazine to cater to women who feel like they’re purposely left out in the country’s fashion industry. But Vivian’s bold campaign has not been sitting well with some people. Her actions have triggered an online backlash from trolls who openly tell her to “go kill yourself.”
“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 on the media,” Vivian told the AFP News Agency.
Vivian has never backed down from her cause despite the bullying. In fact, her quarterly magazine teaches plus-size women on how to deal with body-shamers. Her clothes are also a breath of relief for women who fall above the sample size. Vivian’s store is regarded as the first in the country that produces well-fitting clothes instead of the usual dull outfits seen in plus-size sections.