Well, I am living abroad...yet again. After Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Korea the Netherlands (and returning to Spain for a Masters) I've unpacked my backpack a little closer to home in Mexico. I live in Culiacan where I am trying my hand at teaching English to University and high school students. Below you'll find random updates as I go to festivals, explore my city or just feel like sharing a random story.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Body Image in Asia

I've lived in Asia before, really I have so I am partially used to this stuff, but...YEESH!

Do people not realize that women now-a-days have enough issues with their bodies, we don't need any more!!

I realize Korea has their own issues. Ladies are often given eyelid extensions for their birthdays or upon graduation from high school (similar to cars when in the States). I mentioned it to a Kiwi friend and she mentioned she had read an article on how students receiving breast implants from their parents in Los Angeles when they graduated from high school. Sadly, it is probably true.

Anyways, random stories about body image in Asia:

~It is not considered rude to mention someone's weight in Korea. It is quite commonplace to be told you are looking, "rounder," "fatter" or "much skinnier" than the last time the person saw you.

~I was teaching an article on eating habits in Korea and it mentioned that Mexico is the number one for worst food because of the lard. I mentioned I was part Mexican and that explains the fat. My co-teacher (defending me) says that I am just robust and buxom! Oh curse those darn online thesauruses.

~Walking around in tourist areas in Korea and seeing signs saying, "Western Sizes Available," "American Sizes" or "Big Sizes Here."

~Walking into a store and being told "No fat sizes" (That one's Singapore, I am afraid to shop in Korea because Singapore scarred me)

~I was hanging out with my European friends the other day and one of them was asking me what I cooked. Erm...I have a bachelors fridge, I tried cooking for like...month, I kinda liked it, but I just don't have the time or energy lately. I have beer, some cheese, bread...butter...and...garlic and noodles...I can make emergency pasta. But its not a big deal, I make toast in the morning, have a big lunch at school and don't normally eat at night unless friends and I are going out. So she asks me where I get all my food from.... I say again that my cafeteria provides my lunch. She repeats her question and finally it dawns on me. "Oh, you mean why do I weigh more than you?" Yeah...that's what she wanted to know.

~That same friend was walking with me and another friend. He was telling me the man we just walked by must be American because he's fat. I said, "Hey, there are fat people in other countries you know" and my other European friend agreed with me saying, "That's true, if its just one person they could be British, if its a group of fat people they're American" Gee...thanks guys!

OK, boys this is where you stop reading. If you keep reading you've lost the right to roll your eyes.

I have boobs here. Its not the big change I had like in Singapore. In Singapore I had boobs and was really really tall. Here Koreans tend to be taller than most Asian countries I backpacked (that's just personal perspective not anything statistical). So I am tallish, but not tall (like in San Diego). But the boobs! Geesh, Anessa, Mel, Lilia, Caitlin, Rachel etc. Bring tape if you come to Korea, you'll be like an odd alien creature!

Its very very odd to me when people say things about the boobies. Back home they don't exist, they're figments of my imagination or perhaps a very flattering shirt and a push up bra! But yeah you would be surprised how often in casual conversation my boobs get mentioned(and this is in a normal t-shirt!), VERY WEIRD!

In conclusion, I might be a fat American, but at least I have boobs...so ha!

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