The March issue of Marie Claire Korea is certainly one to look forward to. What are we most excited to see? Park Shin Hye’s gorgeous looks as she pays homage to Audrey Hepburn– the film and fashion icon during Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Clearly, Hepburn’s legacy is one that has endured long after her death in 1993. In fact, the American Film Institute named Hepburn third among the Greatest Female Stars of All Time.
Although it is impossible to recreate a legend, we are awfully impressed with Park Shin Hye’s stunning tribute spread titled “My Fair Lady.” For the spread, the South Korean actresses reenacts iconic Audrey Hepburn styles from Roman Holiday, Funny Face, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Park Shin Hye not only shows her versatility as a model, she points out that she is a force to be reckoned with. The 24-year-old artist has been quickly rising to fame and is most known for korean dramas You’re Beautiful, Flower Boys Next Door and Heirs. In fact, her role in You’re Beautiful shot the actress into worldwide popularity.
Recently, we showed you a very popular trend among couples in Korea. In an effort to publicly show their relationship, many couples will go for the “couple look.” They will match with the same color, shirt, shoes, or even go to extreme lengths and match head-to-toe in identical his-and-hers versions of an entire outfit.
There are many reasons for this phenomenon. Some couples use this as a way of showing affection. Others use it as a clear sign that they are off the market. Some have even reasoned that it makes a big fashion statement because it is so easily noticed.
Whatever the reason may be, matching couple outfits are getting more and more popular everyday. WWD wandered the streets of Seoul on Valentine’s Day to catch a glimpse of the “couple look.”
Sure enough, the matching outfits popped up everywhere during the romantic holiday. One couple argued that they didn’t need Valentine’s Day to be cute with one another. “We dress the same every day,” said Shin Seung-Chul and fiancée, Bae Jung-a.
Check out more couples who decided to flaunt their love for Valentine’s Day:
If you’re looking for something other than chocolates and flowers to give to your significant other this Valentine’s Day, take a note from what many young couples are doing in South Korea on a daily basis.
The “couple look,” or publicly advertising a relationship by wearing matching outfits, is quite easy to spot on the streets, beaches and cafes of South Korea. While it can be as simple as a matching T-shirt or shoes, there are couples taking it to the next level, curating entire looks that match from head-to-toe, from jackets and pants to socks and underwear.
The “couple look” culture has understandably spawned a sizable market for specialized retailers, according to AFP. Many online retailers sell couple attire for snowboarding, swimming and running, as well as pajamas and lingerie for the more intimate moments.
There is no substantial data to show how well these businesses are doing, but many young Koreans say donning the couple look is a sweet way of showing affection for one another and even showing off their relationship in public. Married couples have also been getting in on it as a way of reaffirming their love.
Needless to say, things can get complicated if a relationship goes south. Articles of clothing are a bit more permanent than chocolate or flowers, but at least it’s not his-and-hers tattoos.
Popular men’s magazine Maxim Korea is accustomed to racy, eye-catching covers, but that’s usually due to the scantily-clad women. In this case, however, the editor-in-chief of the South Korean publication is under fire from netizens for a front page headline in the February issue that reads, “How to date Japanese women who haven’t been exposed to radiation,” as well as for his faux apology that blames the Japanese for the mistake.
The controversy began when readers in South Korea initially pointed out the inappropriate nature of the headline. Once the Japanese media picked up the topic, the issue blew up even further, prompting a public apology from the editor on Feb. 5, but his statement only added fuel to the flames.
He began appropriately enough, apologizing for “causing discomfort and inflicting harm” to any Japanese. He explained the article was a guide about how to get a Japanese girlfriend, and the headline on the front page was meant to be eye-catching and not intended to be offensive in any way.
It goes all downhill from there, as the editor subsequently shifts the blame to Japan: “The recent brash remarks coming from Japan concerning Dokdo and the island dispute, Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine and the issue of comfort women, have unintentionally caused us to make a mistake,” he said.
“I will apologize for a second time to the many Japanese who harbor amicable feelings towards South Korea and continue to wait for the correct resolution to Dokdo and other historical problems,” he continued. “I wish to thank the readers who reprimanded us out of love.”
Japanese readers were understandably angered, with many calling the statement a provocation rather than an apology. There is no word on whether Maxim will issue (another) apology.
Two beautiful princesses, an adorable talking snowman, and a slew of catchy musical numbers that you find yourself humming unconsciously — the animated film Frozen has all the right ingredients for the perfect Disney movie. But in Korea, this particular film has a specific, older audience applauding on their feet.
Among the thousands of theater patrons who visited their local movie theaters to experience this Disney winter tale since its Korean release on Jan. 16, women in their 30s largely constituted the viewing audience in Korea. This particular age group made up 29 percent of the entire admitted audience, larger than any other demographic.
The film, now the highest-grossing animated feature ever in South Korea, has struck a chord with the older, female crowd. The two princesses, Elsa and Anna, don’t perpetuate the damsel-in-distress narrative — instead, they take the initiative to solve their problems and restore the kingdom on their own terms. Additionally, Kristoff’s character as the common man undercuts the “charming prince” archetype saturated in many Disney films; young girls viewing the film gain a more realistic and grounded idea of love.
But Frozen has left the audience with more than just a positive message; after the credits rolled, the soundtrack behind the film has left a lasting legacy. Covers of the chart-topper, “Let it Go”, originally sung by Idina Menzel, have taken over YouTube, but two in particular stand out.
Korea’s Sonnet Son, currently studying at Berklee School of Music in Boston, gives Idina Menzel a run for her money. Sonnet makes belting and sustaining high notes and musical phrases look like a piece of cake; and her passion for singing, so tangible through this video, will leave goose bumps all over. It is definitely apparent that Sonnet has a promising musical career in sight.
From a completely different music genre platform, 32-year-old Korean singer Park Hyun-bin makes his mark by transforming ‘Let it Go’ into a Korean trot-style pop song. Trot, also known as ppongjjak, is a genre of music that is associated with an older generation of Koreans, but it’s still leaving an impression today. Park’s enthusiastic and almost goofy demeanor accompanied with a very skilled and talented voice distinguishes him from the many covers that pervade the Internet.
Along with other Korean female singers, including Ailee, Lee-Hae-ri, and Lee Yu-bi, who have famously covered the song, Frozen’s ‘Let it Go’has given many Korean musicians a chance to showcase their voice, talent, and musical ability.
Our generation is often criticized for the amount of social media we indulge in on a daily basis. We are told that we rely on it far too much. We are poked fun at because people think we are unable to go five minutes without looking at our phone. Even worse, we are told that our friendships and relationships are diluted thanks to social media.
It’s no secret that a handful of people have nothing but negative things to say when it comes to the topic of social media, but this is a story that will prove them otherwise.
Because we focus so much on the negative aspects of social media, we’ve overlooked how it has helped us: we’re able stay in touch with old friends and family members living overseas, long-distance relationships have a chance of surviving despite the difficult circumstances, and most importantly, we are able to meet people that may have never crossed our path.
Through social media we can meet our future best friend or love interest. In fact, we can meet some of the most unexpected people imaginable. For 27-year-old Samantha from Los Angeles, that’s exactly what happened.
In February 2013, Anaïs, a French fashion design student living in London, got her first glimpse of Samantha through a YouTube video featuring the aspiring American actress. Shocked by their similar appearances, Anaïs could not help but looking into Samantha’s background and finally sent her a message.
The twins learned that they were both adoptees, both born in the same country and shared the same birthday.
Convinced that they were related, the two began visiting one another and even spent 10 days in Korea to find out where their separation took place.
The girls decided to document and turn their amazing story into a film. Now, a year later, we finally get our first glimpse of their incredible discovery.
The idea of being paid to eat sounds great doesn’t it? It will sound even better once you find out that this South Korean woman makes over $9000 a month just for eating dinner. I know what you’re thinking– where are the job applications!?
But before you go and quit your day job to become a full-time eater, you should probably know that there’s a catch. Seo Yeon Park, the beautiful 33-year-old who makes a living off of eating, must spend her dinnertime in front of a webcam to appease hundreds of adoring fans.
A little awkward? You bet.
But many of the Koreans who tune into Seo Yeon Park’s live-channel argue that paying to watch Seo Yeon eat is perfectly reasonable. We want to emphasize that although Park is noticeably attractive, there is no nudity or sex involved. Many people are quick to assume that her popularity is due to some strange fetish among viewers, but fans argue that they primarily watch Seo Yeon Park to heal their loneliness and their hunger pangs.
“People enjoy the vicarious pleasure of my online show when they can’t eat that much, don’t want to eat food at night, or are on a diet,” Seo Yeon told Reuters.
For this reason, Seo Yeon only eats top quality food that costs about $3000-$5000 a month. Seo Yeon will spend several hours eating (trust us, this girl can eat!) and spend a few more hours chatting with her fans. The entire show is roughly 4-6 hours and available every night. The show contains a live chat room and has become very interactive for her fans.
“For Koreans, eating is an extremely social, communal activity, which is why even the Korean word ‘family’ means ‘those who eat together,’” says Professor Sung-hee Park of Ewha University’s Division of Media Studies.
This is precisely why the show has become extremely popular among individuals who don’t want to eat by themselves.
“One of the best comments I ever received from a viewer who said that she had gotten over her anorexia by watching me eat,” says Park. “That really meant a lot to me.”
As a token of appreciation, many fans send in money. Seo Yeon Park gets paid so much that she was able to quit her day job at a consulting agency and now puts her full attention towards eating.
Lucky for her, Seo Yeon’s metabolism seems perfectly capable of adjusting to her job. Fans have watched her consume 4 whole pizzas in the span of a few hours and still maintain a fit body. Now that’s impressive!
If you still find yourself puzzled by all this, you’re not alone. In fact, Seo Yeon often receives harsh criticism from people who don’t support her channel.
“I get some really awful commenters who make me reexamine ‘why am I doing this again?’ but at the end of the day the positive feedback overwhelmingly outweighs the bad, so I am happy to continue.” she says.
And she’s not the only one! Over 3,500 people have been doing similar online programs sponsored by restaurants.
We’re not quite sure that this is a fad that will work in America, but we’re certainly interested in seeing how this progresses in Korea.
2013 was quite the year for Audrey Magazine. Not only did it mark our ten year anniversary, it was also the launch of our revamped website. While we’re more than excited to kick off this new year, let’s take a moment to look back on all the stories of style, beauty and inspiring Asian Americans of the previous year.
Ranked by which stories were the most popular of the year, we bring you Audrey’s Top Ten Stories of 2013!
1) Breaking The Asian Myth | Asian Hair “If there’s one Asian stereotype we’re all very familiar with, its Asian hair. No one knows when this actually happened, but at one point people began thinking that all Asian women had the same kind of hair…”
3) Korean Twin Sisters Unrecognizable After Plastic Surgery
“It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift. Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal…”
5) Korean American K-Pop Star Embroiled in Nude Photos Scandal “Korean American singer Ailee has been receiving enormous attention from the Korean media after nude photos of the K-pop star surfaced on the Internet. Allkpop, a popular New York-based K-pop website, published censored versions of the photos last night, igniting a firestorm of controversy…”
6) The Ultimate Guide to EXO “EXO is separated into two subgroups, EXO K and EXO M, which promotes in Korea and China respectively. But together? This boy band totals to 12 members. Overwhelming? Just a bit. As much as we wanted to get to know the line-up for KCON, was learning all 12 members worth it? YES. The answer to that question is a very enthusiastic yes…”
7) False Rumor: Philippines Disqualified From Pageants For The Next Two Years “In the midst of all this good news for the Philippines, a strange rumor has begun to spread. According to The Adobo Chronicles, the Association of Beauty Pageant Franchise Holders (ABPFH) has disqualified the Philippines from international beauty pageants for the next two years claiming that Filipina candidates had an “enormous advantage” this year…”
10) Where I Went and What I Bought: Seoul “I took a dream vacation last month. Not to some tropical hideaway surrounded by crystal clear waters. Not to a romantic European capital overflowing with crumbling palaces and fine wine. No, I went on a shopping vacation. To Korea…”
Nujabes was a Japanese hip hop producer and DJ. The name “Nujabes” is the reverse spelling of the DJ’s birth name, Jun Seba. Aside from owning Shibuya record stores, T Records and Guinness Records and founding Hydeout Production, Nujabes is most known for his blend of jazz with hip hop music.
Some of his more notable works include the “Luv(sic)’ hexalogy as well as his work in the anime Samurai Champloo.
In 2010, Nujabes died in a traffic accident leaving his many fans to grieve over the 36-year-old.
Of course, much of his work remains popular today. Recently, some students in Korea have been reaching viral popularity due to their impressive cover of Nujabes’ “Aquarian Dance.” The best part about all this? The students are 2nd graders.
Check out the talented students of an elementary school in Daegu, South Korea. For your reference, you can hear the original Nujabes version below.
It’s no secret. In Asia, plastic surgery is becoming more and more common. In fact, double eyelid surgery is so typical that many girls have been known to receive the procedure as a graduation gift.
Aside from these minor procedures, just how far has surgery entered Asian culture? According to some, surgery has become a very serious ordeal. Photographer Ji Yeo tried to call attention to the amount of plastic surgery occurring in South Korea, by showing the physical cost women endure in “Korea’s beauty-obsessed culture.”
Additionally, more women seem to be willing to go to extreme measures to live up to the high expectation of Asian beauty. As a result, some have faced the horrifying repercussions of a surgery gone wrong.
Regardless of all this, many remain undaunted by the possible negative side effects. Plastic surgery remains more popular than ever. There’s Miss Korea who completed in the Miss Universe Pageant 2013. Kim Yumi had absolutely no problem admitting her multiple procedures. Then there’s the woman who was so obsessed with Miranda Kerr‘s looks that she decided to go under the knife in an effort to look like the Australian Victoria’s Secret model.
Now, apparently, there’s a Korean television show called “Let’s Beauty.” Asiantown.net claims that the purpose of this show is to “help those with special circumstances or people who are too ugly to feel confident in their life.” The participant facing “special circumstances” will have their plastic surgery sponsored by the television program and audiences follow along during the transformation.
A pair of twin sisters caught much attention after participating in the show. After their surgery, both twins look completely unrecognizable from their original self. Check it out for yourself:
So tell us. Is this television show going too far or is it simply an entertaining topic? Watch an episode for below.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.