Koreans believe in Real Talk.
Let me explain. No, wait, first, I should define Real Talk.
Or, as many know it from the Chapelle Show, "Keepin' It Real."
|When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong - Brenda Johnson|
Now, let me explain.
This week in summer camp, I've been teaching a class about describing appearances. I have a powerpoint slide devoted to "things you should not tell your friends."
Because in Korea, you can tell friends things like "you're hair looks bad today," or "you look fatter recently." In fact, this is considered a sign of closeness - you are being a good friend to inform your friend of these things.
It seems like, in Korea, everything is out there to be commented on. If you're ugly, fat, stupid, whatever, you know it from a young age. Of course, this applies to positive attributes as well. For instance, I asked a girl to introduce herself for her speaking test. She said "My name is Seo-Young, I am in first grade and I am very pretty."
I have yet to decide what I think of this cultural difference. On the one hand, it's sort of sad to watch girls and boys define themselves as ugly or pretty from a young age and act accordingly. (Most of the pretty girls are more interested in boys than schoolwork - then again, perhaps that's not so different from middle schoolers at home). On the other hand, maybe a little more Real Talk about weight in the U.S. would be a Good Thing.