Kim chee. Seoul Olympics. “Gangnam Style”. Mention any of these words to your friend, and he may immediately think of Korea, an Asian country known for it’s spicy delicacies and Northern dictator. But have you heard of the “S” shape? The “W”? Or the “B”? In a grand marketing scheme, Korean advertising started alphabetizing body types, and suggests certain “letters” are more desirable than others. In this article from slate.com, the author documents how having a “S” shape (ample gluteus maximus and breasts) is looked highly upon, and that even men can be awarded the “M” status (6-pack abs).
This type of classification, although seemingly harmless from a marketing standpoint, can lead to the deterioration of an individual’s self esteem. Basing ones worth via a “letter” overlooks his or her inherent personality traits and character. Judging oneself on only the external limits his or her naturally positive qualities, and can lead to a lifetime of negative body image issues.