Contents
Contents 1
Preface3
Introduction5
Chapter1 Jaesun & Demographic
Jaesun, the fat kid-7
Personal experience-7
Trauma-7
Effect-8
Demographic, South Korea; the peninsula of lookism-9
Fatphobia-9
country leading fashion and beauty-10
, South Korea; Confucianism gone wrong-12
“Cho eon”; unasked advice-12
Group oriented, collective society-13
“Da re da” vs “Te li da”; different vs wrong-14
Summary-14
Chapter 2 Wearing black-17
Why do we wear clothes?-17
Why do I wear clothes?-17
Wearing black clothes; what about black?-18
What it means to wear black clothes in South Korea-18
How to wear black clothes-20
Conclusion-21
Bibliography-2
                                  Image1. “Wave of my wardrobe” 2015
                                  Photographer Jaesun park




Preface

I remember the preparing for the first CHS practice workshop. We are supposed to bring an object and a 200-word written text about it. I didn’t want to hesitate, and I picked up my glasses and started writing down about my glasses.

“The morning sunshine starts to light up the room bit by bit. I cover my face with a pillow to sleep for another minute or two. After a few minutes I walk downstairs for a cigarette, the weather is nice and sunny, it might be a good day to wear something bright.  I go back up and head to the bathroom, brush my teeth, take a shower, put on lotion. As I come back to my room thinking what to wear. I imagine myself wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans, but I choose to wear a black T-shirt, black jeans and a black jacket like most of the time. I feel comfortable in black clothes. I look in the mirror, but I can't see very well, still I seem to be okay. Then I put on my glasses, finally I feel like myself. Not because of my bad eyesight, I feel like it's a part of my face. Round glasses with a thin frame, it's been on my face for the past 18 years. The man wearing round glasses, that is who I am.”

I realised that I had defined myself through what I wear. I wanted to figure out why I chose to write the last sentence when it could have ended on the sentence before.
                                     Image 2, “On a trip to Edinburgh with my friends” 2018
                                     Photographer Astha Johri






Introduction

“The way I dress now, the way that I’m comfortable with, is it the best for me? If so or not so, why?”

I remember mother asking me if I could please stop buying black clothes, opening up my closet full of black clothes. Black jackets, black cardigans, black t-shirts and many other black stuffs to put on. When I open my closet see a wave of black jackets, packed so close to each other. Until I have deeply thought about why I am so into black clothes, I considered it as a simple aspect of myself. Maybe something as simple as someone liking peanut butter, because they like how it tastes.
I assumed that wearing black clothes was something more than just a preference because, the age of 19, when I went to university, wasn’t the first time I bought a black shirt. Then from the summer of 2011 I started to buy a bunch of black clothes. While doing research and brainstorming on my interest, black clothes, I found out that it was not just a preference but that it was a mixture of subconsciousness and defensive reflex. Therefor I am on a journey to prove that black isn’t just a colour that I like to wear but that it’s an ethnographic design strategy for me to feel safe and comfortable.
Using past working experiences and academic practices, I’m weaving the present-self as the outcome of a design thinking process and past-selves’ environment and situations as pain points, needs or motivation to come up with such an outcome. I’ll investigate my childhood as a fat kid growing up in South Korea and how that affected me. Then why and how I’m wearing black as a defensive reflex of my childhood.​​​​​​​
                                Image 3, “The chubby boy is not happy” 2002
                                Photographer Kyeong Duk Park




Chapter1
Jaesun & Demographic

Jaesun, the fat kid
Personal Experience
The most painful memory as a fat child wasn’t an especially bad day. It was just another day walking back home after school with a choux cream bread in my hand. Then some kids from other school those who didn’t know me said, “You just can’t stop eating and that is why you are fat and ugly.” I was too stunned to think or do anything I just came back home and cried and cried. I didn’t do anything wrong; I just had a piano lesson right after school and one of my classmates happened to give me a piece of bread, so I was eating it on my way back home because I didn’t have time for dinner before the lesson. Then what happened? I got fatphobic comment right in my face from a total stranger. Of course, choux cream bread might be a lot of calories. Of course, I was overweight, and I suppose that it was noticeable by the way I walk or how my t-shirt was tight, but it still doesn’t give others the excuse to do such a thing to me. It wasn’t because they cared about my health and well-being, the fact that I looked fat instantly let them feel free to make a joke out of me and laugh.
Trauma
Until then I didn’t really think myself as fat or feel like being fat is bad, but everything started to change after the incident. I felt like everyone was talking about my body and actually experienced some distancing from peers[1]. I naturally turned response sensitive, walking on eggshells all the time and extra self-conscious that someone might think that I’m fat, especially in public. I never ate or drank while walking, pretended that I didn’t eat much at school, when offered a something to eat I always said that I was not hungry. Basically, didn’t do anything in public that would lead the others to think my obesity was because of bad eating habits and when I came back home, then ate a lot because I had been starving the whole day. I grew up to be a teenager with low self-esteem in terms of appearance which kept me from doing a lot of things such as speaking in front of public, relationship and many more.


Effect
According to Saul McLeod, “Freud believed that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality. For example, anxiety originating from traumatic experiences in a person's past is hidden from consciousness and may cause problems during adulthood.”[2] Which I find relevant to me because, from this incident and onward, I’m always afraid that people might think that I’m fat. It is a big fear that people might judge me for my looks, not my talent or personality. The biggest fear is to be hated for something that is hard for me to control and many other disadvantages that would follow.

This is where I would like to start my journey because it was a specific incident that influenced greatly of my personality today and is partly the reason why I became so invested in black attires.




Demographic, South Korea; the peninsula lookism

Fatphobia
From a more macro view on my situation as a child, I do not believe things would have been as bad as they were if I had not spent my teenage years in Korea. “South Korea is probably the last country you want to live in if your fat”, said one of my colleagues from South Korea who used to extremely obese. I very much agree on the fact that South Korea is one of the harshest countries when it comes to judging and discriminating overweight people. In South Korea, fat students they are the first target to be bullied on among peers, when you are at a restaurant big plates would be served to the fatter person without asking which is who'sThere are multiple of swear words for people who are fat such as “toong tang yi” which is an equivalent fat ass, “Kiri” which means elephant, “dwe ji” which means pig, “Gul gul yi” which also pig and basically every single body part would called for a name for body parts of a pig. Making fun of a fat person is just something that South Koreans doesn’t seem to take seriously, they would often say “If you don’t want to be called names, work out!” There are also a lot of prejudices about fat people in South Korea such as, fat people have short temper, fat people are dirty and smelly, fat people are stupid, fat people are sweaty and so on.
            I concede that this sad truth goes for most cultures and societies in the world. Kids sometimes just like to be mean, especially to obese or overweight ones. However, this is exacerbated in Korea just because of the sheer fact that there are less obese people than anywhere else. According to the OECD’s obesity update 2017, South Korea’s overall estimate obesity rate is which is 5.7 %, the second lowest, following Japan which recorded 3.7% while United States have a rate of 40% and the average is 19.5%.[3] Living in a country full of skinny people and where overweight, not even obese, slightly overweight people are considered fat. Skinny being the ideal figure and the norm at the same time South Koreans’ mean perspective on fat people seems to make sense. Through quantitative research it seems that reports written in South Korean seem to look at obesity and overweight as a personal diet issue when reports written in United States, Canada and many other countries seem to look at it as a social, systemic issue. It is very interesting that the cause of the same problem is seen at a different scale and how generous or mean they could be towards the same issue.

A country leading fashion and beauty
It is a well-known cliché, stereotype or maybe a fact that South Koreans have strict standards of body, beauty and fashion. I felt this when I was having a discussion with an Italian in London, I said that I think I’m fat. The response to that was “Are you a fashion blogger or something?”[4] which was quite surprising and weirdly complimentary. In London, when I say that I like clothes, friends from other countries would say, “Of course, you are Korean.”[5] Also a lot of people told me that they love K-beauty and also ask me if everyone actually get plastic surgery in South Korea. I would ask if I look like I had plastic surgery then tell them that plastic surgery is very common and popular but not everyone gets it. Still South Korea is one of the most external feature driven countries in the world. South Koreans’ obsession with beauty and body care, evidenced in a high rate of plastic surgery, is all over South Korean society fueled by neoliberalism and traditional Korean culture of Confucianism[6]. After the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 (also known as IMF Crisis in South Korea), neoliberalism became dominant in South Korea. Under the dominance of consumer capitalism in South Korea, the rigid gender scripts of neo-Confucian ethics inform South Koreans to produce more beauty with their bodies as new requirements of decorum. In turn, to improve one’s appearance through body care becomes a social imperative in order to increase human capital both in the job market and marriage market in South Korea.[7] It is not officially said but beautiful body and face are considered more as competence more than a gift, something that is obtainable through effort or investment. “ Whether you are a man or a woman, if you are not mi-in (a beautiful person), you belong to a "miyŏng hawui kyegŭp" (a cosmetic underclass), in other words, a lumpen proletariat class of beauty, and your social wellbeing may be at risk.”[8] Some companies in still ask for a cover letter and a resume with a photo of the applicant and sometime even height and weight as well. There is now an issue in South Korea that there were more than 120 police reports from especially men that while cafes were recruiting a barista the café manager was were commenting about appearance. This happened in just 4 months, from January to April of 2019[9]. This represents how appearance driven South Korea is and how appearance deeply it’s rooted in the society as an essential aspect of a person.
Even the language addresses how much South Koreans value appearance. The social face, ch’emyŏn, which has been a fundamental element of society both in the past and today, means BODY (ch’e ) + FACE (myŏn) is a very important term and a concept in South Korea. It is something that is more than a word that is referring to the face and body, but it refers to the social state of a person[10]. It is a commonly used in a sentence like, “Don’t make me lose my ch’emyŏn.” which is used in certain situations such as being dishonoured, losing prestige or that would harm their status. Mostly when one’s descendant have caused trouble in public or is doing something against their will. In a positive sense for example, it would be used like “thank you for keeping my ch’emyŏn alive.” Which is used when someone has kept you from humiliating yourself to other people.  The fact that the word that meaning body and face is used to represent one’s social status shows how important appearance is as an aspect of a person in South Korea.




, South Korea; Confucianism gone wrong
Confucianism is spread all over South Korea, South Koreans usually are educated in a such manner with the following five moral disciplines.
(1) Justice and righteousness should mark the relations between sovereign and subject
(2) There should be proper rapport between father and son;
(3) Separation of function between husband and wife
(4) The younger should give precedence to the elder; and
(5) Faith and trust should reign over relationships between friends.[1]
 In short, the five disciplines indicate the five relationships of ruler and subject, parents and children, husband and wife, brothers and sisters, and friend and friend. Confucianism stresses duty, loyalty, honor, filial piety, respect for age and seniority, and sincerity. The only problem is that in modern South Korean society they are selectively cited for one’s convenience to act hierarchy.
South Korea is a highly group-oriented or collective society in contrast of the western individualism or self-oriented culture.  There are interesting three features to this collective society, one is to advise one another, and another is establishing the norm for almost everything as an entity. The other is that South Koreans often misuse the word ‘different’ with ‘wrong’.
“Cho eon”; unasked advice
Advising one another could be helpful and proactive as it sound, however I argue that it is not the case in a country with a Confucian culture. “Cho eon” is the equivalent in Korean for the word ‘advice’, the dictionary definition of “cho eon” is ‘helpful word’. In traditional South Korean Culture “cho eon” is usually given by the superior to the inferior in hierarchy. For example, in a traditional South Korean culture there would be no “cho eon” given from a son to his father, but only the other way around. Moreover, one of the most important aspect of Confucian culture is to respect the elderly and to obey. Combining these two Confucian features turns “cho eon” from an advice into an order. As a result, the perception of “cho eon” changed a lot. It is rather something that is interfering and against one’s own will but something that one can’t ignore since South Koreans believe that a person owes total loyalty to parents and authority figures, notably rulers, elders, and organizational leaders, as well as those who are in high hierarchical rankings in their hierarchy. Even in a relationship without hierarchy(e.g. friends, colleagues, brothers, etc.) since it is clear in the social and verbal context that the advisor who is giving “cho eon” is trying to be helpful and caring it is very hard to express the discomfort of being criticized. Looking at the quote used above to show how harsh they could be to fat people, “If you don’t want to be called names, work out!” is actually a “cho eon”. The advisor is giving an advice to a fat person to work out since the reason the fat person is being bullied is because the person is fat and the advisor hoping the bullying to stop. Why this culture of “cho eon”-ing becomes a problem is because a lot of times there is a lack of understanding and empathy to who they are advising. It’s just a disruptive and annoying second opinion when an advice is irresponsibly delivered. Still, the advisors wouldn’t think that they are giving negative impact because their intensions are good. This also affects the atmosphere of South Korean culture, when someone is making a decision they ask what they should do to other people, seeking for others opinions before action so that they don’t get negative “cho eon” or at least to keep the people around them on the same page.
Group oriented, collective society
Since an individual is expected to consider the benefits and interests for the whole group, community which he or she belongs to. The Korean society, as a collectivist society like many other Asian countries, requires people living in a harmonious group rather than an individual. Individuals are not supposed to embarrass others or cause others “chemyon” to be hurt in public. People are expected to avoid disturbing others’ by considering the group as a whole. In other words, South Koreans are generally more group-oriented and collectivist.[2] Also, another important characteristic of South Koreans is that they have a strictly established norm in every circumstance and are afraid to be the abnormal. It is seen that acting differently from other people are considered awkward and embarrassing. Even they to tend not to risk their “cheymon” in any circumstance. A very clear example would be the students’ attitude in class. They never tend to answer to any of the teachers’ question because answering the question is risking their “chemyon’ with a chance of a wrong answer, which is totally fine in a western culture. Moreover that, to be the one to answer the question means that you are the only student to be speaking while other students are remaining silent. Whether you have a great answer or not doesn’t really matter. In that moment where no one is speaking, being silent is the norm, and answering to the question is challenging the norm and South Koreans are weirdly uncomfortable with that. A lot of the times, who act differently are asked to just act normal as other people do and do not risk their “chemyon”. Due to that South Koreans seem to be very keen to what is main stream and what is old fashioned. Being the majority is very important for South Koreans and being the minority is something more than just being a small number of people, it mean less power, lower status, less communication and being in the lower position in the hierarchy.
“Da re da” vs “Te li da”; different vs wrong
It is interesting how the language is reflecting the character of the users. In South Korea “da re da” which means different and “tel li da” which means wrong, these two terms are frequently misused in conversations. The interesting part is that “da re da” is never misused for “tel li da” but “tel li da” is used as “da re da”. According to the dictionary they have different meanings and people know that, but they misuse it all the time. Going a few decades back, hierarchy was even stronger it is now. According to the discipline of Confucianism the younger should give precedence to the elder, was taken as just say yes to the elderly. A young person can’t even imagine saying “no” to the elderly. Even I have heard older people saying, “How dare you speak like that to me, how old do you think you are?” when I appealed disagreement. With that kind of mindset, it is not hard to imagine an older person just not considering the younger one’s opinion.  There is a sense of underlying thought saying, “What is different from me is wrong.” in misusing “da re da” with “tel li da”.  It is getting better through education, but it is still commonly misused. It shows how South Koreans are not open to diversity and doesn’t appreciate various perspectives

Summary
Summing up the demographics of South Korea would be
South Koreans have a very high standard of fashion and beauty
South Koreans like to advise and ask for opinion.
South Koreans do not like risking being the norm
South Koreans often mistaken ‘wrong’ with ‘different’

I was a fat kid – as simple as that. But kids can get fat, they are still growing. The problem is growing up in Korea, my slight obesity was placed under the microscope, blown of proportion, and exposing me to ridicule that hugely influenced my personality and characteristics of me today. Yes, I am sensitive to people’s opinions around me and yes, I do get paranoid from time to time on what people might think of my appearance. However, I have learned to come to accept it as a part of me, and it also helped me develop my own sense of aesthetics. Even before going to university to study design, I went to fashion shows, went to design exhibitions, read a lot of books and magazines about design, forming figures and visual perception. Also, I find my “nunchi”, which a Korean term for the ability to instantly determine another person’s feelings or thoughts by collecting visual and verbal clues, very developed compared to other people. “Nunchi” is called a sixth sense, but I find it is more about being insightful and trying to truly read or understand other people. It played a large role when I was trying to find the right clothes for me. My preference of black attires is a result of who I have become to me – only it is not just a preference, but a strategic choice on my behalf. This is what Chapter 2 is about.

[1] Choong Y. Lee, Korean Culture And Its Influence on Business Practice in South Korea, Pittsburg State University (2012)
[2] Choong Y. Lee, Korean Culture And Its Influence on Business Practice in South Korea, Pittsburg State University (2012)
​​​​​​​
                                 Image 4, “Jaesun is wearing all black again, you’re such a fashion blogger” 2019
                                 Photographer Alessandro Paone









Chapter 2

Wearing black

Why do we wear clothes?
There are a lot of that a garment says about the social, cultural, historical context and also about the person who is wearing the garment. The textiles show what materials or technologies that were available at the time the clothing was made. Also, various style of clothing reflects the social customs and culture. Actually, wearing is a unique and exclusive character of human. Anthropologists suggest that clothing was first developed to protect the vulnerable human body from extreme atmosphere such as cold, heat, rain or snow. From the ancient times methods of garment production is still evolving and it was influenced by how the people of the life styles of chronical and environmental backgrounds as well as situational factors. As clothes were taken for granted and mankind became able to manufacture clothes in different styles and aesthetics, fashion industry and trends started to develop. Clothing is constantly changing due to several factors such as entertainment, climate, academic explorations, politics, economy, social trends, technology and many other. In modern society the purpose of clothing is to express oneself through the image shown by how they dress. Clothing shows gender, age, income and profession.

Why do I wear clothes?
However, wearing clothes in back in South Korea for me aligns more to the ancient time than it does to now. I wore clothes to hide. Body image consists of both the perceptions that the wearer has of oneself which is the actual self and the perception of oneself of how the wearer wants to be reflected which is the ideal self[1]. Due to my fat body the actual self was too different from the ideal self that I was just afraid of how people would perceive me.  I just wanted to hide body to protect myself and from being hurt by others’ judgements. As an overweight child growing up in South Korea and according to the 3 characteristics of South Korea above (South Koreans have a very high standard of fashion and beauty, South Koreans like to advise, verbally, South Koreans do not like risking being the norm) I wore clothes to keep anyone from talking about my appearance and to keep them from thinking that I am not one of them because I’m fat. I chose black clothes to hide in. It was a big success in many senses. “Although the purpose of clothing is primarily determined by environmental conditions, its form is determined by man’s own characteristics, especially by his mental traits.”[2] My mental traits that determine black attire wardrobe is the desire to one, look slimmer and two, to blend in to the majority of my social group.

Wearing black clothes; what about black?
The first aspect that drew me towards black clothes was its visual effect of slimming. I was able to hide my curvy body therefore I was free from my traumatic memory as an obese kid being bullied for eating a piece of bread. It’s common fact that colour black is slimming on people. It’s because the characteristic of the colour black. Black is technically not a colour since in the visible spectrum it is rather a result of absorption of all colours. It can also be defined as a visual sense of lacking light, what we call dark. So, what black objects can be seen as light absorbers than light reflectors which makes it look “black”. An important feature of black in colours studies is that since black is a non-colour it performs a dramatic contrast with other colours and a dramatic brightness contrast with white which is also a non-colour. A good example would be the Composition series, by Piet Mondrian. It is noticeable that the black lines add contrast to red, blue, yellow and white. At the same time, it brings visual stability and balance. It’s because black is a non-reflective colour visually it let the black lines to clearly form sections and let the other colours look more dramatic in contrast. If two same figures are painted in each black and white, the black on looks smaller in comparison. When used black is used for clothes it will have a visual effect on the body to make it look thinner because the volume of the body gets toned down. If you think of white in comparison, since it reflects every wrinkle and volume it is more likely to look bigger.
What it means to wear black clothes in South Korea
However, it’s not just about wearing black clothes to look slim. Living in a country where people have high standards of beauty and fashion means that you can’t wear anything that you want to. Although there isn’t a well-known name on the list of great fashion industry, “Korean fashion” as a brand is reckoned not only in Asia but globally. Managing your style in South Korea is a dominant paradigm, seeing appearance as an initial and crucial interface for communication. Seen uncool means that you are less likely to be the majority with power and authority of a group in a collective society which basically pretty much in your own. It is common around the globe that social life may be a lot about seduction, but it is also intertwined with power and popularity. Appealing appearance and character are powerful social instruments for popularity especially in South Korea. Taking a closer look at the mechanisms of aesthetic stratification, examining fashion from the perspective of social competition and how it intersects with survival in a group than a peaceful communication or self-satisfaction.
You always have to reflect on the perspective of others to survive in a group, this is where the characteristics of South Koreans are important. South Koreans have a very high standard of fashion and beauty, South Koreans like to advise, verbally, South Koreans do not like risking being the norm, South Koreans often mistaken ‘wrong’ with ‘different. All these features can be seen in a very short dialogue.
Jihye: Hey, have you seen what Hyunjeong was wearing today?
Eunji: Yeah, I was going to ask you the same who wears skinny jeans these
days, it’s so weird. I don’t really get her fashion. Oh, and tell me about
her scarf, scarf? Seriously?
Jihye: Me either, how can he be so “tel li da” from us?
Eunji: I guess there is something wrong with him.[3]
From the dialogue show how Jihye and Eunji talk about Hyunjeoung’s pant then diagnoses her as different and conclude that Hyunjeong is a weird person. Of course, it is a dialogue from a tv series and it may have gone more dramatic than it would in reality, the scene really shows how a person could be a talked from behind and bullied for wearing that is not so main stream, even though her fashion wasn’t too bad.
This adds to my point that choosing to wearing black clothes is a smart choice. Garment has always been the reflection of the wearer’s social status, feeling, personality, character. For that reason, the colour of a garment has more than just a practical value, it’s an important index shows aesthetic and symbolic value as well. Preference of colour varies from culture and race but black has been the most important colour from the ancient times till now but in different sense. It is the colour that has dominated the history of fashion. Throughout history the wearing of black clothing has had multiple and often contradictory meanings.[4]In the ancient times black had a negative image being considered as the colour of death, ghosts, and spiritual disruption. Then in the medieval time black clothes were a symbol of wealth and royalty. Perception of black clothes was revolutionized and simplified in 1926 by the French designer Coco Chanel. She published a drawing of a simple black dress in Vogue, an influential fashion magazine. Then said, “A women needs just three things; a black dress, a black sweater and on her arm, a man she loves.” She has set garment as the essential but ultimate. Christian Dior also said,” You can wear black at any time. You can wear black at any age. You may wear black on almost any occasion. I could write a book about black” [5] The black’s effect on the eye gives it an irresistible visual appeal. “A black dress seems to make the body neater and smaller and to unify the parts,” Hollander declares. “Since many bodies are not slim and lack either perfect harmony or absolute coordination, a black dress can help give them that delicious resemblance to a stretch limousine that seems so desirable in the present fashion climate”

How to wear black clothes
In order not to be judged or talked from behind in South Korean, ones’ appearance shouldn’t be too different from others or try too hard but at the same time it should be unique and good looking enough to gain a certain level of power and popularity within ones’ social group.  One has to stand on the line of ‘dress well, not loudly and don’t forget to look like you didn’t try so hard’ which is the line of neo-Confucian South Koreans. Those who still pursue the hints of Confucianism and the value of beauty and aesthetic as a competitive instrument. My choice of wearing black clothes could be seen as the equivalent of the simple black dress and black sweater Coco Chanel was referring to. Black is experienced as stylish through the influence of modernism pursued in South Korean society[6], which aligns to neo-Confucianism. Allows me to be modern, in the sense of style not the expression of the values of modern theorists, which is what South Koreans consider as neat. Thanks to hip hop becoming an influential culture in South Korea as well black clothes in fashion is again expanding its spectrum from neat and tidy to a sense of freedom and self-expression. Makes it easier for people like me wear black clothes all the time but still wear properly, adapting to situations.

Conclusion
I look at myself as a mannequin when I’m dressing up. As mentioned before ‘body image consists of both the perceptions that the wearer has of oneself which is the actual self and the perception of oneself of how the wearer wants to be reflected which is the ideal self[7]’ there is a distance between the actual self and the ideal self. I see myself as a person who’s lacks ideal self to be more objective about how I dress. I used to buy clothes that I thought was gorgeous but now how gorgeous the garment is not important to me anymore. It’s all about the clothing suiting me. How I coordinate myself to look how others want me to look like. It might sound like I don’t care enough about myself but, this is how I care about myself. I don’t want to be discriminated because of the way I look. I don’t want to be judged by the way I dress because I didn’t care enough about my outfit. I’d rather give up a little bit of loving myself and use that as a source to make people love me a little more. It doesn’t mean that I’m going harsh on myself, trying to put a standard that I can’t live up to. Some people are really nice to themselves appreciating what they have and not really wanting what they don’t have. I just choose to beg the differ, I need to know what I’m lacking or what I’m not good at and try to cover that up using what I have.  I choose to grow and develop by objectively looking at myself. Not only in terms of fashion but in other things I do as well.
I have always tried to distinguish and differentiate myself from the mean and selfish South Koreans elaborated in the dissertation. They were the ones that caused me pain and actually took a big part in making me think of studying and living abroad, somewhere out of South Korea.  I hated to be one of those people who are deeply in to lookism thinking that appearance is crucial part in life. Even without realising turn out that I have became one to know about them to protect myself from them. It’s really the perfect example of a famous quote by Friedrch Nietsche, “He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

I would like to leave the question in the introduction with an answer of “yes, it was the best I could offer myself” and carry on personally with more related questions to my past and present. I knew that I was going to write about myself and my obsession, black clothes, all though I was not expecting to find out so much of myself. Thinking of all the main ideas to write this dissertation that has been turned down now, I think I could definitely find out a lot more about me. It was an emotionally challenging piece of work since I had to go through my traumatic memories. Not only the traumatic memories but I am not usually as open and transparent speaking in public. As I was talking about my dissertation to my peers, I felt naked.  However, it was helpful in the end to be able to think that all those traumatic memories as a child, somehow became a fertilizer to grow my soft skills as a designer and used it to find out how to dress up.
Finally, I wanted to show the people who might have been in such a hard time as I went through or is currently going through one that there is always a way to manage with bad situations. I’m not trying to say that one has to be optimistic about a personal situation or doesn’t have to take it seriously. but to deal with the situation in a manner to solve it and believe that you will be have grown after struggling. I guess this is what I want to tell myself as well.

Footnotes
[1] Peer view obesity as one of the most stigmatizing and least acceptable. Research has shown that children rate obese peers as less liked and less preferred as friends or playmates than they do nonobese peers or peers with other handicaps. Stephen K. Bell and Sam B. Morgan, Chidren’s Attitudes and Behavioural Intentions Toward a Peer Presented ad Obese: Does a Medical Explanation for the Obesity Make a Deifference? (The University of Memphis, 2000)
[2] S.A McLeod, What are the most interesting ideas of Sigmund Freud?, Simply Psychology (April, 2018) https://www.simplypsychology.org/Sigmund-Freud.html (accessed 6 June 2019)

[3] Marion Devaux, Sahara Graf, Yevgeniy Goryakin, Michele Cecchini, Hélène Huber and Francesca Colombo, ‘Obesity Update 2017’, OECD Obesity Update,(2017)

[4] A response from a friend from Italy, Alessandro Paone (2018)
[5] A response of a Belgium friend who I met in Barcelona, Sofia Ocampo (2017)
[6] Lee SH, Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory (2008)
[7] Jin Lee & Claire Shinhea Lee, Feeling bad can be good?:audience research on Korean reality makeover show, Get It Beauty and The Body Show (2017)
[8]  Valérie Gelézeau, The body, cosmetics and aesthetics in South Korea The emergence of a field of research, 3-6 (2015)
(accessed 14 June 2019)
[10]  Valérie Gelézeau, The body, cosmetics and aesthetics in South Korea The emergence of a field of research, 3-6 (2015)
[11] Choong Y. Lee, Korean Culture And Its Influence on Business Practice in South Korea, Pittsburg State University (2012)
[12] Choong Y. Lee, Korean Culture And Its Influence on Business Practice in South Korea, Pittsburg State University (2012)
[13] Jessica L. Ridgway, Jean Parsons, and MyungHee Sohn, Creating a More Ideal Self Through the Use of Clothing: An Exploratory Study of Women’s Perceptions of Optical Illusion Garments, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 2017, Vol.35(2) (2017) http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0887302X16678335 journals.sagepub.com/home/ctr (accessed 17 June 2019)
[13] Ernst Harms, American Journal of Sociology Vol. 44 , No. 2 pp. 239-250, The Psychology of clothes (Sep,. 1938)
[14] Rainbow Romance(K-Drama), Lee Heung woo, Kim min sik,  (2005~2006)
[15] Gerard Vaughan, Black in fashion: Mourning to night (National Gallery of Victoria, 2008)
[16] Valerie mendes, Black in Fashion (V&A Publications, 1999)
[17] Daniel Miller, The little black dress is the solution, but what’s the problem? (UCL, unknown) https://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/people/academic-and-teaching-staff/daniel-miller/little-black-dress-solution-whats-problem (accessed 18 June 2019)
[18] Jessica L. Ridgway, Jean Parsons, and MyungHee Sohn, Creating a More Ideal Self Through the Use of Clothing: An Exploratory Study of Women’s Perceptions of Optical Illusion Garments, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal 2017, Vol.35(2) (2017) http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0887302X16678335 journals.sagepub.com/home/ctr (accessed 17 June 2019)



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