Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Korean Beauty Secrets #2: Height & Body Proportions

Part 2: Height & Body Proportions

Some of you may already be familiar with the "loser" scandal but for those of you who aren't: In 2010, a student named Lee Dokyung stated on TV that she would never date a guy shorter than 180cm because they were all losers - much to the discomfort of the male guests on the show who are all shorter than 180cm and the National average of Korean males being 174cm. 

Her statement seriously annoyed netizens who then went on to dig up every little detail on Lee Dokyung's personal life including information on her own breast enlargement surgery. Even thought everyone was utterly disgusted with her, it would be impossible to deny her statement is partly true: girls look for taller guys.
Even though girls are exempt from the problem of not being tall enough, there is also the issue of body proportions which applies to both men and women. The picture below shows the ratio of head length to height: 

The average ratio for Westerners is around 1:7.5, and 1:6~6.5 for Koreans. The goal for Koreans is to hit the 1:7 ratio, if you can hit that you stand a good chance at being able to pull in clubs. The "Golden Ratio" of 1:8 is seen as the ideal ratio and will get you scouted as a model, actor or idol.

To make yourself appear taller, girls have 2 options: 

    1. High heels


    2. Insoles (also called Shoe Lifts)

Girls sometimes use insoles, for when they wear flat shoes, but most of the time they will opt for heels. Males on the other hand don't have a choice and most if not all Korean guys will wear at least one pair of insoles in their shoes. Insoles are great because not only do they make you taller, but they focus on making you taller by making your legs appear longer, thus improving your body ratio!

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Spacious shoes like Hi-Tops/High Tops are perfect for hiding insoles

Insoles vary in shape and height, with street vendors selling packs of 1, 2 and 3cm insoles this means they are very cheap and you can also stack them on top of each other for an extra height boost! 

Wearing heels or insoles also slims your legs as the muscles tighten when you stand on your tip toes which is a great bonus as Koreans prefer a slim body frame. Men are expected to be muscled and well toned but still slim, this is called the "Reverse Triangle" body shape. If you imagine an upside down triangle, with the wide top symbolising the wide shoulders a man should have, then the tip of the triangle showing a thin waist. 

Lamar Skin Plastic Surgery Clinic recently conducted a survey from July 17th 2012 to August 2nd, asking 654 of its female customers which male idol they consider to have a body as good as the swimmer Park Taehwan
. Super Junior's Choi Siwon was voted in 1st place.

Park Taehwan vs. Choi Siwon

Choi Woosik, the head of the clinic, stated that "Siwon has a broad shoulders along with a toned back. He also has great abs which add to the ideal body type for guys. His body is what females look for. It's not too buff but toned enough for a smoother look." The idea is to be muscular and toned but not big and bulky.

Girls are also supposed to be slim. Koreans don't really care about girls being toned, unlike the West where toned stomachs are the ultimate stomach, because Koreans prefer girls to look youthful. By keeping thin but not toned, the body, especially the stomach, looks more like a child's, therefore making the girl look younger and therefore appealing more to the opposite sex. Of course this is a generalisation and there are guys who prefer curvy, toned or thicker girls!

The supposed "Most attractive female idols" 1) Kim Taehee, 2) Shin Minah and 3) Lee Minjung

Final Notes 
  • Invest in a good pair of heels or insoles
  • It's OK to wear more than 1 pair of insoles
  • Take photos in an angled mirror to make your legs look longer

List of Korean body lines:
S-Line - Ample breasts and buttocks when viewed from the side
V-Line - A slim face narrowing towards the chin OR a girls cleavage
W-Line - Breasts viewed from the front
X-Line - An Hourglass figure: Large breasts and wide hips with a narrow waist
U-Line - Exposed lower back in low cut clothing
M-Line - A "six pack" on men

List of Korean body lines you want to avoid:
D-Line - A pregnant (or pregnant-appearing) stomach
B-Line - Large breasts and a large stomach
O-Line - Straight out fat

Coming soon: Part 3 Plastic Surgery 

A/N: PLEASE KEEP IN MIND: Even though wearing high heels and shoe lifts may make you look more aesthetically appealing, constant usage can cause your body a lot of damage:

"Constant wearing of high heels change the feet permanently. They also change the way all your joints in your body are aligned. Heels, even the small ones, cause you to fall forward, and the body compensates by contorting the back and changing the positioning of the shoulders and neck, making you prone to herniated discs. You also use the joints and muscles incorrectly, because you're not walking in a natural way. The Achilles tendon also shortens and you'll have pain whenever you wear a flat shoe. You can lengthen that tendon over time, but it depends upon how long you've been wearing high heels. A podiatrist can help." - Dr. Michael Nirenberg

As wonderful as looking attractive is, please take care of your health! This article is just for fun and an overall generalisation of the Korean Ideal, and I would not encourage anyone to wear heels constantly!! I warned you and therefore the blame is off me. Health comes first!


  1. It seems you have some additional points compared to my post which is below. Glad to know about new secrets.

  2. I read your blogs regularly. Your humoristic way is amusing, continue the good work!

  3. Is it true that most Koreans look pretty because of plastic surgery? I read it in an article here > is this true?

    1. Yes it's true~
      Considering how widely available and socially accepted plastic surgery is in Korea, to the extent that most of the general public have had some sort of surgical procedures, it's not surprising that pretty much every celebrity has had it too. Celebs are supposed to be ''better'' than the average person, but if the average Korean uses surgery to enhance their looks, celebs are going to have to undergo more to procedures to out-do the general public. Korean idol stars are normally on strict diet plans and get surgery in order to appear better than your everyday, average person.

  4. most girls aren't very good at gauging height; they may think someone who is 175 cm is actually 180 cm, especially if he is wearing shoes. plus even if someone is tall but ugly and skinny, it's meaningless. also, Lee Dokyung is ugly herself and most likely doesn't get much respect from men in her country

  5. These are for girls but if you want shoe lifts for men than you can click on highlighted text.