[KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV

CedarBough T. Saeji umyang at gmail.com
Fri Mar 25 11:12:10 EDT 2011

I don't see this as an issue of being PC. I see the harm the insanely
critical messages about physical appearance are causing reflected on the
bodies of young Korean women (and some men) every time I leave my house. I
don't know how long it's been for some of you to watch crowds in Gangnam or
some similar place, but surely you've heard the media reports about plastic
surgery. It really is that extreme. Last week Im Gwontaek was quoted
discussing the difficulty in finding actresses that look Korean for roles
where the director actually wants a Korean look...

I agree that a commercial TV station has a right to run such a piece-- just
like cigarette companies have a right to market their product. But Arirang
is  Korea's face to the world and everyone knows cigarettes are poison...

CedarBough Saeji

On Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 4:37 PM, don kirk <kirkdon at yahoo.com> wrote:

>   I'm just saying that I think you and one or two of your colleagues went
> too far in attempting to get Arirang to take down or take back this piece.
> Arirang had a right to air it, the piece was fairly light-hearted
> commentary. You're entitled to your opinion and they to theirs. Where you
> transgress, in my view, is to urge censorship and retraction and withdrawal
> of commentary.
> By the way, another commentator, Roald M., rebuked me for urging him to
> "keep your mouth shut" or some such thing. That's interesting he should say
> that since, of course, that's exactly what I did not say, and the fact that
> he should misquote me so freely is revealing in itself. You have full right
> to express your views, as everyone knows.
> What is not right, in  my view, is to try to get a journalist or news
> organization to retract a piece that it has every right to report, much
> though you may dislike it. That's my point. In this case, it looks as though
> you may have succeeded. Too bad.
> Don Kirk
> --- On *Thu, 3/24/11, Stephen Epstein <Stephen.Epstein at vuw.ac.nz>* wrote:
> From: Stephen Epstein <Stephen.Epstein at vuw.ac.nz>
> Subject: Re: [KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV
> To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
> Date: Thursday, March 24, 2011, 8:32 PM
> Don,
> 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<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=koreanstudies-bounces@koreaweb.ws>[
> koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=koreanstudies-bounces@koreaweb.ws>]
> On Behalf Of don kirk [kirkdon at yahoo.com<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=kirkdon@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<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Roald.Maliangkay@anu.edu.au>>
> wrote:
> From: Roald Maliangkay <Roald.Maliangkay at anu.edu.au<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Roald.Maliangkay@anu.edu.au>
> >
> Subject: Re: [KS] reprehensible journalism from Arirang TV
> To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=koreanstudies@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... ^^
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vVR_s6Uv1A
> Regards,
> Roald
> On 23/03/11 5:33 PM, "Tobias Lehmann" <Tobias53 at gmx.de<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Tobias53@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<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Stephen.Epstein@vuw.ac.nz>
> >
> >> An: "Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Koreanstudies@koreaweb.ws>"
> <Koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws<http://us.mc394.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Koreanstudies@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
> >>
> >>

Ph.D. Candidate in UCLA's program in Culture and Performance

CedarBough Saeji
Address till 08/2011: 서울특별시 용산구 이태원2동 215-31번지 3충 (우) 140-867 Republic of
Permanent address: 220 Snowberry Lane Lopez Island, Wash. 98261
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