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[Opinion] Beauty of Exposure

Posted May. 26, 2003 21:28,   


There is an industry enjoying booming sales every year ahead of summer season. It is the diet industry. Before wearing swimsuit and exposing their bodies, women rush to take pills, diet food, do exercise or even go through a plastic surgery. A survey found that eight out of ten men living in Seoul and five out of ten women saw women with normal weight as being fat. In fact, there have been a number of surveys indicating this kind of obsession with slim bodies. Then, things have begun to change. Women are now exposing their bodies regardless of their body shapes.

It is not rare to see young women in tank tops or halter necks exposing their belly buttons in Gangnam area or college campuses. These are a fashion style for women with cleavage, people believe. Thanks to advanced technology, however, underwear companies produce sophisticated bras with thick but natural-looking pads. Women do not have to worry about the strap part, either. Now they even sport straps of bras that shine like gems. Housewives hardly care about their flabby upper arms. They seem to truly believe fashion advisers, who say they look sexier by exposing more in sleeveless shirts. You can make a strong point out of a weak one by exposing it. It sounds contradictory but convincing at the same time.

This women`s psychology of exposure can be interpreted from the so-called `a fairy and a woodcutter` perspective. A fairy wants the woodcutter to watch her secretly in her subconsciousness. Socio-biologists who believe human instinct lies in desire to reproduce emphasize that women`s best weapon is youth and beauty while the men`s is power and money. Psychologist Nancy Atcoff, author of the book titled `Survival of the Prettiest,` argues that beauty is the women`s best asset that cannot be traded with social status, money or even love.

Whether it is for men or for themselves, there is nothing wrong with exposing bodies and being beautiful as long as it is not excessive. Some say that exposure is a cause of sex crimes, but the argument is like incriminating the victims. The fact is that sex crimes take place all around the year, not particularly in summer and many women, regardless of their dress codes, become victims of sex crimes. What is strange is men`s attitude of thanking other women for exposing while vehemently opposing their women exposing. Is this because men are under-evolving than women?

Kim Sun-deok, Editorial Writer, yuri@donga.com