Korea Q&A: Beautiful Fat Korean Selfies – Seoulistic

Korea Q&A: Beautiful Fat Korean Selfies

Questions include: “Why do Koreans look so good in pictures?” “What’s it like being fat in Korea?” “Is it safe for a young girl to visit Seoul alone?” “Is there a dating scene for Koreans over 30?” “How do I attract Korean boys?” “What’s an ulzzang (얼짱)?”

Kari asks: “Why did my Korean teacher ask us to take off the flash when we took a picture?”

Generally, Koreans (in particular girls) are quite self-conscious when it comes to pictures. Many don’t like unflattering pictures, especially if they end up on the internet. So Koreans have learned many picture taking tips and tricks to get the best looking pictures. Flash is one of them. The darker the picture, the better they come out (isn’t that why everyone at a club looks so good?). Another is the angle. There’s this crazy phenomenon of videos made by Koreans entitled “the importance of angles.” They all know how to work it!

Shaenova asks: “How do I attract Korean boys?”

Aegyo (애교). It’s a powerful thing in Korea. Acting cute, innocent and sometimes a bit helpless can be very attractive for Korean men. Check out our video on aegyo if you haven’t yet. Also, using the word “oppa” (older brother, used by females), makes Korean guys tingle on the inside for some reason. For many, it makes them want to take care of cute and innocent girls. Of course, these are generalizations. So don’t blame us if your aegyo skills don’t work!

See what it means to be oppa & noona here!

Kathy Lause asks: “There seems to be a lot of pressure for Koreans to get married in their 20’s. Is there a dating scene for people over 30?”

For women, there is very strong social pressure to get married before 30. For men, it’s pushed back a couple of years to their mid  30’s. Parents will put on the full court press for their kids to get married at those ages. But Koreans are becoming pretty modern these days. There are tons of single people that just want to live their lives and wait to get married. So there definitely is a dating scene for people over 30. It’s just not as vibrant as it is for people with parents nagging about grandchildren.

MrStarSparkz asks: “What is an ‘얼짱’ (ulzzang)?”

Ulzzang is an old Internet Korean slang word that combines the words 얼굴 (eolgul), meaning face, and 짱 (jjang), meaning the best. So best face is used for good looking people. It’s a bit outdated though, so you might just be looking at 10-year old pictures of Koreans!

tttaemint1 asks: “I’ll be going to Seoul alone. Is it safe for a 22-year old girl?”

Sure, Seoul has ghettos and crimes just like any major city in the world. But for the most part, people feel that it is very safe. Especially in touristy areas where there are many people hanging out late into the night, you’ll feel safer with all the people around. If you want to read in more detail about it, we covered it in our post over here: Is South Korea Safe? 8 Things You Should Know?

JonB asks: “What’s it like being fat in Korea? What do Koreans consider overweight?”

This is something a lot of non-Koreans have discovered when they come here, but Koreans in general don’t shy away from commenting about weight. But it’s never with bad intentions, really. It’s just the way Koreans talk to people. As for being overweight? It’s relative of course. But generally, Korea is a pretty skinny country, especially the girls. There is a lot of pressure here. Plus the weight comments. So… be prepared for a lot of self reflection?? 😛

Thanks again for watching everyone! Remember to leave a question for us to answer next week!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. DavidXian says:

    No flash? I feel that. lol
    The flash will be reflected by the skin’s oil and make our face looks much more oily. (greasy? ugh, I don’t know the word for it)

  2. Ryan says:

    Hi, where in Seoul should you go to buy camera equipment (lenses, flash etc.)? Does camera equipment seem to be cheaper or more expensive in Korea?

  3. Ah. I always wondered why they always looked so awesome in their selcas :p I didn’t know about the flash thing though (learn something new everyday)

    -Thanks great article keep it up.

  4. Basma says:

    Hi..I wanted to ask I s it hard to start a project in Korea maybe a restaurant ?
    cause I want to open an Egyptian food restaurant so I wanna know is it gonna work or not?! , Thanks

  5. April says:

    Haha, yes I remember one of my Korean friends coming up to me and before saying hello said “You’ve gained weight” I wasn’t offended just not used to people being so honest like that lol. I didn’t know what to say back.
    Also one of my friends would instead of taking a picture, film himself while changing poses so he could screen shot it later. I was on his phone once and saw it and was like what the?

  6. pegi says:

    hello. Eastern white but with a non-Korean face can be a kpop? Foreigners generally can being Kpop or MC?

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