Month: March 2014

Korean Dictionary Reverts to Homophobic State

  The 1999 Edition of Standard Korean Unabridged Dictionary, published by NIKL Image source: Emily Singh In November 2012, the Standard Korean Unabridged Dictionary, published by the National Institute of Korean Language(NIKL), re-defined five words: 사랑 (love) 애정 (love) 연애 (dating, courtship) 연인 (meaning ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ without referring to specific gender) 애인 (meaning ‘lover’ without referring to specific gender) All five words were changed to gender-neutral definitions. For instance, ‘love’ was re-defined from a feeling of attraction towards a member of the opposite sex to a feeling of attraction between two people. Likewise, lover was redefined as two people who are attracted to each other, as opposed to a female and male person who are attracted to each other. Many members of the LGBT community rejoiced at this small change, which would allow them to talk about themselves and their feelings free from heterosexuality-based words. However, barely a year later, in January 2014, Christian advocacy groups (technically, Protestant) lobbied into reverting these newly defined words to their original state. Such religious advocacy groups have been backing anti-LGBT movements in many different forms – When dramas with LGBT characters are …

A Trip To Face-Factory Town (AKA Apgujeong)

Caption: “You all look so fake. God you should have gone natural, like I did” Image source: Cosmetic brand ‘NOTS’ Promo cartoon As I wrote in my last post, I went to the dermatologist’s two Saturdays ago with my friend Park. We were referred to ‘O Clinic’ (I think that’s what I’m supposed to do, to give them privacy) by a friend of hers, who said that their mole-removing was just perfect and didn’t leave any scarring. Turns out, it’s one of those dermatology/plastic surgery combo clinics! Wasn’t expecting that, but hey, always fascinating to take a look inside the funhouse. So, we checked in at the counter at 15:00, and were told to please wait someone will be with you in just a moment. So we went to sit in some of those nice puffy couches, which were almost all full, since it was Saturday. Then a plastic-looking-receptionist came to us and said: Receptionist: So, you are Miss Park, and you are here to have some moles removed, correct? – Me & Calculette: (in unison) Yes. Receptionist: …

Apgujeong, Plastic Surgery Mecca

Image source: Getty Images via Business Inside Note: Have you ever heard these punchlines in your life before?: “Hey, I’m going to start looking for jobs after graduation, so I’m on a diet. I won’t get hired looking like this!” (girl one year my junior) “I think the girl we just passed did her nose” “No, no, no, she did her eyes too” “And some fat in her forehead too” (my friend and I) “This stop is Hyosung Elementary School – If you are headed to Beautiful Face Plastic Surgery, please get off here” (broadcast on the bus) “Where did she do it, her with the perfect face?!” “She did it at XXX clinic, I must go there too!” (advert on the subway) Plastic surgery often makes its way into daily conversations in Korea. Not necessarily because you’re considering it, but because you see it and hear about it every single day. On the subway, on the news, and most notably, on the people. As an example I have gathered a review of how often plastic …