Ending My Battle with Weight

One of the largest complexes in my life has always been my weight. I’m not the “typical” Korean girl on so many different levels. Growing up in a mainly Korean community in both school and church, I was constantly reminded of my different nature. Relatives and friends, even people that I barely knew, would tell me that I would look “so much prettier if I lost weight.” It was and sometimes is, still awful. I don’t have the typical flat stomach, thin waist, and the long slim legs.

The issue of beauty has always been a problem in Korea, and it influences the Korean Americans who live here. In Korea, there are a lot of boy groups and girl groups; they are almost the standard of beauty. All the members of those groups have “perfect” bodies, abs and slim waists. People are more judgemental towards girl groups than boy groups. There was a controversy a few years back in which a TV program asked members of a girl group to dance, and revealed the weights of the members on a large screen. They then proceeded to tell certain members that they needed to “lose a few pounds” and go on a diet. The beauty standard is to be thin and slim. So many women will go on extreme diets to try and look like the girls on TV. They’ll lose a lot of weight, but they lose their health too.

But what does all this have to do with me? With us? I don’t have the slim waist, the slim long legs. I’ve been called “chubby,” “pudgy” my entire life. I’ve tried going on diets, working out, even starving myself, the whole lot. Why am I battling my weight? I realized I shouldn't be doing it to try and fit these absurd standards of beauty – I should want to lose the weight for me, for my health. Because honestly, who cares if there are models and celebrities out there who have these unobtainable waist sizes for the average woman? That’s them. I may want to lose weight, but I don’t want to lose myself in the process, and possibly end up killing myself fighting a battle that I’ll never be happy fighting.

So what do I want to tell you? If you want to lose weight, that’s great. But make sure that you’re doing it for yourself, and not to look like someone else. Even if we don’t have the slim waist and the thin long legs, we’re perfectly beautiful the way we are.


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