“The standard code for women in the Republic of Korea”

“The standard code for women in the Republic of Korea” 


This remarkable public advertisement has appeared recently in the Seoul Metro and sponsored by the City of Seoul. The graphic is a modified bar code which is referred to as “The standard code for women in the Republic of Korea” beneath.

the “V” is glossed as “V Line” the following numbers are glossed as “bust, waist & hip” and the “S” as “a perfect S line”

The text below reads

“Society tells me i must have the same body, the same face, as everyone, but I do not want to be like that. To do so to conform to a stardard made not by myself, but by others. The way I am now is the one and only true form for me. It is just fine for me, and fine for you, to just be the way we are.”

The ad is remarkable in part because of the striking creativity of employing the bar code image as a symbol of the oppressive domination of women by images and the resulting usage of plastic surgery and other techniques as an artificial means to conform.

The ad is also noteworthy because the city government produced it as a means of playing a positive role in society and offering up an alternative discourse for women in opposition to the dominant one of consumption and indulgence. It seems like a positive model for the role that government can play in society.


being human

2 responses to ““The standard code for women in the Republic of Korea”

  1. exploringtheorient June 29, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Exploring The Orient and commented:
    I’ve only been back in Korea a fortnight and this already rings true. So many female friends who are constantly dieting and trying to attain ridiculously unrealistic body goals….

  2. Pingback: You are Beautiful, Stop Hating Your Body | The Grand Narrative

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