[KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV

Stephen Epstein Stephen.Epstein at vuw.ac.nz
Thu Mar 24 20:32:02 EDT 2011


I am willing to accept that suppressing the video is perhaps not the right tactic, and may infringe on expression of free speech.  In fact, in retrospect, it probably would be better for the original to be up on the Arirang channel to allow it to take the scathing criticism it deserves and to encourage debate and draw attention to a serious problem in Korean society. I hardly wish to be part of a PC censorship brigade.

I also accept that the piece says something about current fashion and thinking. But it clearly crosses the line into promoting and not just reflecting that thinking. If you or anyone else really believes that this is a " simple feature piece that has colorful, fun, appealing images, pleasant and interesting commentary", wiithout real world consequences, then I merely ask that you read some of the comments from YouTube users, hardly "politically correct academics", on the original post from Arirang (I made sure to save them before the video might be taken down) and reconsider:

Since when was being "healthy" a flaw? Healthy legs are not a good thing to have? tons of women would kill to have the women on that list's legs!! This is disgusting: the girls you mentioned have fantastic figures. Note also that Suzy and Sulli are not even 18 yet! :|
sashahawkins<http://www.youtube.com/user/sashahawkins> 20 hours ago 6
Again, I am highly disappointed in the way Arirang is encouraging UNHEALTHY body images. These girls have nice legs, with well-developed muscles. Why is that so wrong? Are girls supposed to project a helpless, useless image so that men will like them, is that it?
Shame on you, Arirang, for all of these stories. Help promote healthy, positive images for women in Korea and the rest of the world and stop telling them that "healthy" or "sturdy" or "muscular" is a bad thing.
saanrio<http://www.youtube.com/user/saanrio> 20 hours ago 4
This is dumb. You're promoting a ridiculous body image that will only make millions of girls insecure. These female celebs are perfect as they are. They don't need a stick thin legs to support their upper bodies. As a broadcast station that goes international to promote South Korea and its culture, this only shows how ridiculous the standard of beauty and body image in Korea. Please re-evaluate the content of your programs and scripts before airing it. Avoid offensive contents like this.
Qrizta<http://www.youtube.com/user/Qrizta> 21 hours ago 9
This is an awful message. Arirang you are promoting body shaming and purporting that healthy body images (actually all of the ladies in this video are probably TOO skinny) are wrong or unfashionable.
As someone who has had to deal with body issues and faced extreme pain over it, I hope you know that this video harms those in it and those watching it. Suzy is only turning 17 this year. As a teenage girl, Arirang, you have disgusted me with your lack of respect to the celebrities and ignorance.
bubblesnbroomsticks<http://www.youtube.com/user/bubblesnbroomsticks> 1 day ago 108
Do you realize how disgusting and twisted and WRONG it is for you to describe what you call imperfections in their lower bodies as "healthy." If they are healthy, that means that don't need to improve because they're already perfect the way they are! The fact that you describe their supposedly imperfect legs as "healthy" implies that if they were to make the improvements you suggest, they would then become unhealthy. It's this logic that pushes already beautiful women into eating disorders.
Rivere<http://www.youtube.com/user/Rivere> 1 day ago 81

From: koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws [koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws] On Behalf Of don kirk [kirkdon at yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 10:03 AM
To: Korean Studies Discussion List
Subject: Re: [KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV

Thank you for posting this piece back on you-tube. It's quite an amusing commentary, actually, on Korean fashion, "girl groups," models and society. There's no reason to carry on a crusade about it. Arirang has a right to run such a feature. It seems extremely odd that academics, the first to defend freedom of speech and democratic rights, should attempt, in the name of political correctness, to want to suppress a simple feature piece that has colorful, fun, appealing images, pleasant and interesting commentary and actually something to say about current fashions and thinking.
There are views other than those of like-minded academics, who are not necessarily correct in all their political correctness. Shame on you, in the name of PC, for this disgraceful effort at suppression of free speech, free idea and free reporting.
Don Kirk

--- On Wed, 3/23/11, Roald Maliangkay <Roald.Maliangkay at anu.edu.au> wrote:

From: Roald Maliangkay <Roald.Maliangkay at anu.edu.au>
Subject: Re: [KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV
To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 7:49 PM

Dear all,

I have re-uploaded the video, but YouTube warn me that it is not "my" content and may therefore be removed again, so please have a look at it before Arirang TV dare have it removed and risk retaliation from the “strong muscles on my calves" next time I pass by their offices on the way to the Kungnip kugagwôn... ^^




On 23/03/11 5:33 PM, "Tobias Lehmann" <Tobias53 at gmx.de> wrote:

> Dear Stephen,
> the first link from the livejournal does not work out. I get a permanent
> warning that this website is X-rated...:-)
> Greetings,
> Tobias
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> Datum: Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:40:31 +1300
>> Von: Stephen Epstein <Stephen.Epstein at vuw.ac.nz>
>> An: "Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws" <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>> Betreff: [KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV
>> Dear all,
>> I don't usually send out links to the list, but the below piece from
>> Arirang is one of the most absolutely reprehensible items of journalism that >> I
>> ever seen and deserves wide circulation, as it offers an opportunity to
>> combat the attitudes it reflects. The piece takes examples of female pop
>> stars
>> in Korea with "healthy" legs (yes, "healthy" is their word) but tries to
>> suggest that "healthy" (i.e. anything but very nalsshinhada) is, in fact,
>> bad. The promotion of extremely unhealthy body images and eating disorders is
>> the logical outcome here.
>> The piece is getting hammered on YouTube (it's only been up a day so far
>> and running 15 to 1 dislike to like, maybe more, a ratio I've never seen,
>> and the comments have all been appropriately scathing.). In any case, for
>> those of you who ever have to teach anything about body image or plastic
>> surgery in Korea, this will be eye-opening for students; you may want to
>> download it as I suspect it will be taken down soon. Hopefully this piece
>> will get
>> wide attention (my own aim in sending this out) and Arirang will be forced
>> into issuing a high-profile apology
>> http://community.livejournal.com/omonatheydidnt/6227567.html
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaPs7bMH2Vc
>> Cheers, Stephen

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