- Jun 29, 2015
For Koreans, first of all, fatness is not a taboo subject like it is America. It gave my tutor no pause to talk about my stomach. We weren’t even very close at the time - Hell, I had practically just met her. Was my stomach really that huge? Was it the age difference? Was it just her?
Nope. I’m just a monster. Apparently my beer gut is the stuff of legends. What is a “M” waist size in America is an astronomical “XL” here in Korea. “M” no longer stands for Medium….more like Monster. Another horror story comes from my encounter at a top-notch Korean resort. While searching for a few chairs to steal for the my group’s table, a small group of high school girls stopped to stare and remark about my body. They laughed, pointed, and talked about my gut. I believe the word “pregnant” was used. Now, at the time, my Korean was not perfect (will it ever be?) but it was good enough to understand the general point of what they were saying (let alone the body language, right?).
But it’s one thing to be skinny and another thing to be healthy. They don’t always mean the same thing. Being skinny does not make one healthy and being healthy does not make one skinny. (Cope genetics are everything)
My first encounter with my own personal grossness of a body occurred just a few years ago. When I met my first Korean language tutor, after a few meetings, she and I ate lunch together at the university sandwich shop. While waiting in line and deciding which sandwich to order, she turned to me and remarked “Are you sure you’re hungry? You look like you’re already full.” At which point she poked my stomach. At least I have a nice personality, right? Thanks 누나.
Never change Asia. You're the only place in the world where manlet skinny guys aren't treated like the scum of the Earth