Korean Actress Speaks Out On The Idea Of Glamorizing Obesity In Korean Culture

Her truth will leave you breathless and touched beyond words.

Actress Ha Jae Suk recently finished her role as Min Jae Hee in the drama called Perfume. As her character was a woman who miraculously loses weight and becomes “beautiful”, Ha Jae Suk decided to speak up about the outlook on fat people in the Korean society.

She revealed that she’s always been overweight in her life. Although her character had a “beautiful” phase to go back to, Ha Jae Suk claims that she doesn’t have such a glamorous past.

ha jae suk actress

I’ve always been fat, and even now, it would be faster for me to get an ‘ant waist’ in my next life than trying in this lifetime.

I wanted to look back and remember my time as ‘Jae Hee’. ‘Jae Hee’ was able to get her hands on a miraculous perfume that allowed her to go back to her prime days, but I’ve always been fat throughout my life. I was upset that I didn’t even have a peak phase in my life to go back to.

— Ha Jae Suk

Ha Jae Suk frequently got criticized by malicious haters for her weight. Many claimed she was beautifying her weight by being proud of who she was. Ha Jae Suk emphasized that she never said obesity was beautiful. She believes she’s beautiful not just by the standards of outer appearances.

While reading real-time comments, I used to laugh and sometimes curse when I saw especially rude malicious comments. I want to curse out loud today too. ‘Don’t glamorize being fat?’ You don’t even have 0.00001% of looking at me as beautiful. Do you think it could be glamorized?!

I’ve never asked people to look at obesity as beautiful.

— Ha Jae Suk

 

She called out the fact that the majority of her industry peers and those in society cruelly judge others who aren’t “skinny”. She brought to light how wrong it was to discredit someone’s efforts simply because they didn’t look a certain way.

I’ve never asked people to look at obesity as beautiful.

I work in an industry where people judge and criticize me cruelly with their ‘beauty standards’. Do you think I never once felt that I was pathetic and frustrating? I only felt that it was sad that people believed the ‘only way’ to take care of yourself was to be skinny.

In hopes to become a better actress, I read many books, learned instruments, learned to dance, and exercised vigorously; but I was quickly labeled as pitiful, lazy, and someone who doesn’t take care of herself because of my weight.

People would often respond. ‘I’m saying this all~ because I’m worried about your health.’

Stop kidding around!

I take care of my own health! If you’re going to tell me that, at least hand me a bag of diet jelly while you say it! You punk!

Once again, I want to emphasize that I’m not saying this to glamorize being fat. I know. I know it’s not good for your health and blah blah blah. I know, but it’s hard for me. I tried so many times. That itself was harder on me.

Were you able to accomplish everything that you ‘knew’? I’m not saying that I’m not going to try anything anymore. But.

As a perfect mom. An amazing wife. Kind father. As a person. Please don’t discredit people who are working hard to live their life as best as they can simply because of their ‘fat’ and ‘outer appearance’.

— Ha Jae Suk

She left an encouraging message to all the “Jae Hees” in the world. She motivated everyone to love themselves no matter what they look like. She emphasized that everyone has someone in their life who loves them unconditionally and that in itself was something to celebrate life for!

ha jae suk obesity korean culture 1

She also hoped that with more and more people learning to love themselves, the world will eventually change to spread more love as well!

I’m not sure what it means to ‘be like an actress’, but I love my life as an actor. I’ll probably never have an ‘ant waist’ but I am going to live my life by learning and challenging new things.

Let’s all look fondly at each other as we’re all working hard in our lives. And no matter what we look like, let’s love ourselves.

To all the Jae Hee in the world! You lived your life well! Doesn’t it make your heart beat with more fire to know that you have parents who were completely overwhelmed with love the moment you were born, and friends who will quietly drink soju with you when you’re down and hurt by the world?!

So stop stumbling and live life to the fullest no matter what obstacle may come your way! Okay?

The World? You can’t change it! Just change yourself! Don’t you think the world will change one day if you change first? Live life proudly! You’re the prettiest! You are more precious than anyone else.

— Ha Jae Suk

Lastly, she gave a loving shoutout to her husband who has always been by her side, no matter what the weight scale read. She claimed he was “more amazing” than the male lead from the drama!

Whether I weigh 100kg or 50kg, and despite the fact that I gained 30kg after getting married, my ‘Lee hubby’ has always loved me as I am and supported me by telling me that ‘I’m always beautiful’. To me, you’re more amazing than ‘Seo Yi Do’. Thank you. I love you and respect you.

— Ha Jae Suk

With so much love and power in her words, Ha Jae Suk most definitely changed the lives of Jae Hees everywhere!

 

Read the full translation of her post below:

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As I say goodbye to Jae Hee. The questions I get asked most frequently these days are, ‘How many kgs did you lose?’, ‘How did you lose weight?’ Who knew Jae Hee’s dream job would be a fashion model. I needed to lose weight. I had to try as hard as I could. For Jae Hee’s dream! I completely gave up carbs and soju, which were like my religion and faith. I had to face the inevitable and eat a variety of vegetables and proteins to the point where I smelled chicken poop, all the while exercising. To be honest, I wanted to go around boasting that I lost this much weight and that I worked this hard (even though I am far from being ‘skinny’). But looking back, I used to go around shouting for people to love me despite my overweight body – to love me just as I am. Now, I’m embarrassed to go around showing off that I dieted a little bit.

The reason why my introduction was so long.. I’ve always been fat, and even now, it would be faster for me to get an ‘ant waist’ in my next life than trying in this lifetime. I wanted to look back and remember my time as ‘Jae Hee’. ‘Jae Hee’ was able to get her hands on a miraculous perfume that allowed her to go back to her prime days, but I’ve always been fat throughout my life. I was upset that I didn’t even have a peak phase in my life to go back to. I wanted to express this, so I began writing this with the help of some drinks. This is the first time I reunited with Soju, and I had missed it. It tastes so sweet.

While reading real-time comments, I used to laugh and sometimes curse when I saw especially rude malicious comments. I want to curse out loud today too. ‘Don’t glamorize being fat?’ You don’t even have 0.00001% of looking at me as beautiful. Do you think it could be glamorized?!

I’ve never asked people to look at obesity as beautiful. I work in an industry where people judge and criticize me cruelly with their ‘beauty standards’. Do you think I never once felt that I was pathetic and frustrating? I only felt that it was sad that people believed the ‘only way’ to take care of yourself was to be skinny. In hopes to become a better actress, I read many books, learned instruments, learned to dance, and exercised vigorously; but I was quickly labeled as pitiful, lazy, and someone who doesn’t take care of herself because of my weight. It felt bitter as if I ate three bags of powdered cold medicine without any water.

People would often respond. ‘I’m saying this all~ because I’m worried about your health.’ Stop kidding around! I take care of my own health! If you’re going to tell me that, at least hand me a bag of diet jelly while you say it! You punk! Once again, I want to emphasize that I’m not saying this to glamorize being fat. I know. I know it’s not good for your health and blah blah blah. I know, but it’s hard for me. I tried so many times. That itself was harder on me. Were you able to accomplish everything that you ‘knew’? I’m not saying that I’m not going to try anything. But. As a perfect mom. An amazing wife. Kind father. As a person. Please don’t discredit people who are working hard to live their life as best as they can simply because of their ‘fat’ and ‘outer appearance’.

Now that I’ve said goodbye to ‘Jae Hee’ and returned to the human named Ha Jae Suk, I’ll probably go around town to talk with the neighboring mothers and drink with the local fishermen as they share their latest catch. As I do so, I’m not sure if I’ll gain all the weight back or if I’ll maintain my new weight. I like that I’m able to love people like this and share the smiles and tears of others. I’m not sure what it means to ‘be like an actress’, but I love my life as an actor. I’ll probably never have an ‘ant waist’ but I am going to live my life by learning and challenging new things. If my role requires it, I’ll probably put my life on the time and go on another diet. Let’s all look fondly at each other as we’re all working hard in our lives. And no matter what we look like, let’s love ourselves. Tonight, I wanted to say that – a phrase that seems obvious yet not obvious.

Whether I weigh 100kg or 50kg, and despite the fact that I gained 30kg after getting married, my ‘Lee hubby’ has always loved me as I am and supported me by telling me that ‘I’m always beautiful’. To me, you’re more amazing than ‘Seo Yi Do’. Thank you. I love you and respect you.

To all the Jae Hee in the world! You lived your life well! It’s amazing that you were once the first love to someone throughout your lifetime! We don’t need to talk about first loves… Doesn’t it make your heart beat with more fire to know that you have parents who were completely overwhelmed with love the moment you were born, and friends who will quietly drink soju with you when you’re down and hurt by the world?! So stop stumbling and live life to the fullest no matter what obstacle may come your way! Okay? The World? You can’t change it! Just change yourself! Don’t you think the world will change one day if you change first? Live life proudly! You’re the prettiest! You are more precious than anyone else.

From Jae Suk unnie to all the Jae Hees in the world.

— Ha Jae Suk

. . .