CurvyHK

Asian-chested is not an oxymoron

Archive for the tag “korea”

Where I Fit In

I left Korea several months ago. All the good and the bad are physically behind me now. Behind me also, a culture of hyper-conservative appearance draped over a very complicated attitude towards sexuality. So, boobs? No.

Now I live back in the States! A beautiful place, awash in bikini-clad tourists and strapless dresses and low-cut shirts. Boobs? Yes, very many.

But me? I’ve been trying to find myself in Korea for three years! I found a style for me that was right. Rephrase: I found a style that worked for me who lived in Korea. Transplant me to a part of the States where the weather is always amazing and it’s constantly tourist season, and it works less perfectly.

I’m still trying to find a style that works, but I’m really happy to find that my mindset is still very “I love my body!” I am astonishingly comfortable walking around in my bikini top (yay, Freya!!) at the beach, so really all I have to figure out is what to wear when I finally get a job!

Perspectives: Modesty on the Other Side

I’ve been in Korea for a while now. I love it, I’m making it my home, and I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here, however long it may be.

As I’ve grown up in a version of Chinese culture, the culture shock to me is not as great as it is to some of my fellow foreigners. There are still lots of ideas and habits here that are totally strange to me though.

Korea is a fairly conservative culture, thanks in most part, I think, to Confucian influence. However, if you look at their pop culture icons, or at the younger generation of children and adults, you’ll find tight clothing, sheer clothing, “artfully” ripped clothing, clothing that just has great “sexy” holes”, extremely short bottoms, you name it.

This is one of the most popular singing groups in recent weeks. Their image is sweet and innocent, the adorable "girls next door". Look at how much shoulder they show... and then look at how much leg they show. I don't mean to be judgmental, just surprised that this is perfectly acceptable and fits into their proposed image.

This is one of the most popular singing groups in recent weeks. Their image is sweet and innocent, the adorable “girls next door”. Look at how much shoulder they show… and then look at how much leg they show. I don’t mean to be judgmental; I’m just surprised that this is perfectly acceptable and fits into their proposed image.

However: beware if you are a normal citizen (or alien resident) parading around in the streets in a sleeveless top! Or if, who could imagine, a top that fits your shape instead of draping around it!

korean fashion cardigan fake two piece knit tops k517 Green-3Korean_Fashion_Large_Pentagon_Embellished_Loose_Sweater_with_Scarf

I googled “Korean fashion” and found these two tops to be most representative of what I see out and about these days. Long and drapey with safely concealed shoulders and zero cleavage.

Actually, it’s getting a bit colder, so there’s also this going on:

Yes, a jacket with short shorts or a miniskirt. I'm told this is also popular winter attire in Japan.

Yes, a jacket with short shorts or a miniskirt. I’m told this is also popular cold-weather attire in Japan.

Meanwhile, I’m stomping around with these risque tops that indicate the existence of breasts and shoulder skin (ooooh) and nice comfy jeans.

I'm so, so glad I went on a The Limited craze before coming to Korea. Even now it's almost all I wear to work.

I’m so, so glad I went on a The Limited craze before coming to Korea. Even now it’s almost all I wear to work. I also bought the one button-down that has ever worked for me at that store. Should have bought another…

With the weather cooling down, I throw on a sweater or jacket too, which helps with the shoulder bit of appeasing society… but I still like to have some space around my neck to breathe comfortably. We’ll just have to wait for scarf weather to come around!

Life Changes

I’m very, very, terribly sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. And while I’m at it, for very possible future droppings off the face of the earth. The past few months and the upcoming two, maybe three, maybe four months have been and will be packed with excitement in my personal life. I’m gearing up for some major changes and as such CurvyHK kind of got lost in the crowd.

Major changes, you say?

The angst-ridden post lamenting interview troubles was written regarding a position to work overseas. Unfortunately, my performance did not land me the job. However, I had the chance to interview for another position, in a different country.

People… I’m moving to Korea!!

I can’t wait. I’m trying so hard to not abuse emotionally-charged punctuation here, which I think is working, but if it dampens your perception of my excitement, let it now be known that I AM SO EXCITED.

I’ve immersed myself in both Korean popular and traditional culture for so long, I’ve studied and cried and laughed and suffered and celebrated in the Korean language, and I’ve worked (somewhat) hard to qualify myself to do the work I’ll be doing there. I know there’ll be unexpected issues, and I’ll know I’ll run into plenty of problems, but at this moment I feel like this step is one I’ve been ready and hovering to take for a long, long time.

What does that mean for CurvyHK?

To be honest, I think this will be a positive change. I’ll be busy with my first non-summer full-time job, which means I will have less time to spend here. However, I’ll be an outsider looking into Korean society, which means lots of social commentary and cultural comparisons.

I guess there’s another big topic I’ll begin to attack, which is work-appropriate attire. This is a pretty essential concept that lots of other bloggers have written about. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I plan to learn more (so keep them coming, my friends!). I’ll try to address, specifically, how I’ll need to stay conscious of the more uber-conservative work culture of Korea (or larger East Asia), but I might also work up the courage to start taking pictures of myself for this blog.

I do have a backlog of posts to get out, including those sock posts I promised oh so long ago!

But to give this post just a bit more content, give this a little thought:

Japan is notorious for popping out the occasional unconventional vending machines. The latest to hit the Internet is a bra vending machine. What think you?

(I think it’s a cute gimmick, but probably not at all useful or popular.)

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