What is plus size in South Korea?
Korean celebrities are constantly praised or criticized for whether or not their weight and size fit within the narrow standard of beauty. This pressure trickles down to the average man and woman as well, stigmatizing those who do not achieve it. In a society that highly values looks, it may seem like the ideal type is unobtainable for many. But now there's a magazine on the market that is trying to redefine what it means to be beautiful.
The new fashion magazine 66100 targets "plus-sized readers," and hopes to send an empowering message to everyone who does not conform to the ideal. The title "66100" refers to Korean clothing sizes that are considered undesirable. In Korea, size 66 is an extra-large in women's clothing and size 100 is large for men. The magazine founder, 28-year-old Kim Ji-yang, hopes that it will create a new market for plus-sized men and women who have a very hard time finding Korean stores who carry a variety of sizes.
As the first Korean model to be featured at Full Figured Fashion Week in Los Angeles, Kim Ji-yang is 5'5, 154 pounds and wears a size 88, which is considered XXL in Korea. She says, "The reason why (Koreans) are obsessed about dieting is because they feel insecure and fearful about being excluded. Beauty is not about whether a person is fat or not. It's about having the confidence to know you are beautiful the way you are."
She hopes that the creation of the magazine will help people love themselves and find their own definition of beauty. However, the biggest challenge she faces now is finding plus-sized Korean models who already feel confident enough about their bodies to be in the magazine.
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