|/Photography from Paperblog|
Being skinny was not viewed as beautiful. In the past, voluptuous and plump body shapes were preferred. /Photography from Pinterest
Actually, among many kinds of the ideal body shapes in history, there were few things which focused on beauty without considering health. A representative example of this is a corset which keeps excessive pressure on the belly in France, from 16th Century to 17th Century. Similarly, in modern times, there have been frequent efforts to attain the ideal body shape, despite negative effects on health. For the past several years, famous K-pop girl group singers such as Girls’ Generation and Kara are well known to have skinny and slender body shapes which have come to represent desirable standards of beauty. Their body shape made their images of purity and innocence, and these have appealed to the public. As a result, some girls went on severe diets by just skipping meals, which damage their health.
|Girls’ Generation is a very famous Korean singer group for having skinny legs and slenger body shapes.|
|/Photography from S.M. Enteratinment|
However, these days, some changes are being made. Yoo Seung-ok is a female model, who has become famous for her body shape. She was ranked top five in Fitness America Weekend 2014 and has a firm and healthy body. These days, she hosts a show called <The Body Show>, which introduces healthy ways of dieting such as eating healthy foods and how to combine diet and exercise properly. This it can be seen that trend is very different from the past.
This trend is shown well by students in twenties in real life. According to a survey targeting 109 Dongguk University students, about 69 percent out of 71 female students prefer a healthy body shape while 30 percent prefer a skinny body shape. K-pop girl group singer, SISTAR, received 17 votes, which took the largest votes for the question asking about who has the ideal body shape among the celebrities. Members of SISTAR are famous for their healthy and athletic body shapes. Also, students mentioned the reason why they think the body shape of certain celebrities as the ideal body shape - 30 students agreed with opinions such as ‘looks healthy’ and ‘athletic.’ It means that students want to have healthy body shapes. A student who started working out recently said his goal is to make well-balanced body with muscle. He added that doing exercise for diet is old-fashioned and exercise for balanced one is more trendy nowadays. He does cross-fit and freehand squat training to build up his muscles and physical strength.
In accordance with the survey, the standard of the ideal body shape has been changing gradually, and the way of approaching is also different. Benenden Health, a healthcare enterprise, uploaded a video named “100 Years of Fitness in 100 Seconds” online in the last March. The video shows that recently, forms of working out which desire much more body movement are getting more popular. This tendency is also spread in Korea these days. Several years ago, a mere skinny body shape was popular and it did not force to do much exercising, because muscles were not required to look skinny. However, nowadays, the body shape which looks healthy with a little muscle is getting popular. Therefore, athletic abs, thigh, and hips have become the object of envy. It is necessary to do exercise and build muscle to have these body shapes. A health trainer of ‘H fitness,’ which is located in Chung-dam dong, said that it is recognized that the number of customers who think muscle-shaped body as an ideal body shape have increased steadily according to the trend which prefers a more muscular shape to a skinny body.
Now, people admire healthy body shapes with some muscles.
/Photography from Descente
The question arises as to what has brought about these trends and changes. The survey above targeting 109 Dongguk University students also tells that 36, which is about one third of students said that they are affected by the media such as television and magazines when they set the ideal body shape in their mind. Celebrities’ fabulous body shape and praises for them actually appear in the media very much. As mentioned above, body care show programs hosted by celebrities who have ideal body shape attract the public, and encourage people to concentrate on keeping their figures. Also, uploaded photos by celebrities showing off their body shape in SNSs let the public encounter the real life of celebrities and feel that they are the models of a wonderful life. A freshman female student in Donnguk Univesity said that she had taken a glance at <The Body Show > mentioned above. She said “Celebrities’ fabulous body shapes appeared through mass media and SNS make me think they have good lives and I want to know their secret way of keeping their figures. Their body shapes became my object of admiration.” Her opinion is a very common one among young people.
It is recognized that diet and the perception of the ideal body shape have steadily changed according to the influence of media. But, it is evident that being eager to make a good body shape has been there in all ages. Simply starving or doing diets based on dependence using medical treatments can have temporary effects but it is not the healthy way of achieving goals in the long term. The aesthetic clinic ‘Yakson’ has warned that these treatments may cause depression, constipation and anemia. Therefore, it is essential to care for their body conditions, and not do things to on excessive level when on a diet.
You Eun-sun, Moon Kwang-yeon firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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