Monday, March 17, 2008

#11 Telling people they are fat


Korean moms will go out of their way to tell people that they are fat. Sometimes they will say that you look 'healthy', but do not be decieved by this outwardly friendly comment. Really, it just means you're fat. There's no getting around it. Many Korean women live in fear of heading to Korea for vacation because they will be called fat by many Korean moms, sometimes by more than five different moms per day. A Korean mom does not have to have a personal relationship with you to call you out on your fatness. Her Korean momness is permission enough. One time while at work, a Korean mom walked past my open office door, then moonwalked back, popped her permed head in, and said, "You gained wieght". After she left, I hung my head and cried. I still don't know who she was.

30 comments:

bokumbop said...

Did the unknown Korean mom also offer you something to eat after she said you were fat, and suddenly whip out a 5-course meal complete with banchan? :-D

Anonymous said...

LOL!!!
my mom i s very obsessed with weight but she herself does not exceed 100 pounds either..i believe shes is only 45kg. but i am 125lb and she calls me always fat or chubby or plump and she tells me to lose weight every day

i dont think she tell other ppl that they are fat though. she knows that its rude to tell ppl but she talks about other ppls weight a lot to me LOL

Anonymous said...

My MIL tells my sister-in-law (yes, her daughter) that she's fat all the time, and makes big jokes about it in front of everyone. And of course, because she's a Korean Mom, nobody stops her or tells her to shut up about it.

Anonymous said...

bokumbop, my KM has been on my ass 24/7 since I was born about my being fat (much of the time, I actually wasn't, looking back, but she gave me such a complex about it that I am still in therapy over it) and yet for EVERY MEAL she makes for me, she puts about five times more food in front of me than I (or any human) could possibly eat. If I eat it all, she is pleased (silent, which I take to mean pleased). If I don't, she interrogates me about every speck of food I did not finish and asks why I did not eat it. "This yachae is good for you! Eat it!" "Was the gogi too salty?" etc.

Anonymous said...

this site is the bomb.
My white mom married my korean dad...but my korean dad comes with his sister...my korean aunt.
When my wife was pregnant (or "preggoner" w/korean accent), we went and visited the korean fam who live in Denver. They called my wife fat so many times that she cried and vowed never to go back and visit. Sad...I know. I chewed them out and they promised not to say anything else ever again.
but my dad still calls her "big butt" sometimes when just talking to me.
*sigh* a fact my wife will never ever ever know.

Anonymous said...

i am overweight... yes.. and i am proud of it.
i play piano and violin like a devil, i am fluent in four languages, i finished high school one year early, i finished my phd when i was 25, my wife is a beautiful quite korean girl from the country side, i have a job where i make LOTS of money and i shower my parents with expensive presents and even a grandson.

but everytime i come home, my mom says: ohh.. you so fat!!! why you so fat??? omma is so sad because you so fat... come... we make diet together... we go run ebery morning, yes?

midnight_mile said...

Hahaha! So true. My Korean MIL is always telling her daughter how she needs to lose weight "You too...too BIG!" But 5 minutes later I hear her cooking up a storm in the kitchen and yelling to daughter "Come here! Mani muh guh so! You need eat!"

MBALADY said...

LMAO.... I get called the term "tei-ji" or pig/pork in korean. "Too tei-ji!"

Anonymous said...

This is sooo true!

One of the first things my Korean mother-in-law ever said to me was that I needed to lose weight. (I was a pretty and healthy size 10.) At the time, I hated her for it. I couldn't believe anyone would be so rude and hurtful--and to someone she didn't even know!

Ten years later, I'm used to her. Now that I've been around many Koreans, I know this is just their way. (For better or worse...)

My husband likes to say it is her way of showing she cares--that she loves you. I used to think that was bulls**t, but now I truly believe it. Over the years, she has made it clear she would do anything for me--and I love her.

Marrying into any family is difficult, but for a white girl marrying into a Korean family it went well beyond culture shock!

And, she made it clear at first that she was dissapointed her ONLY SON was not marrying a Korean girl.

My husband is half-Korean, so, really, what could my mother-in-law say--afterall, she married a whitey too! LOL.

Anonymous said...

i once walked to the counter of a korean jewelry kiosk only to be told by the korean (perhaps mom?)behind the counter that i was too fat for the necklace i wished to purchase. She told me to come back for it once there was 30 pounds less of me.

Dory said...

I'm Chinese and suffer from many of these "Korean" afflictions. At my Grandmother's 81st b-day party one of my MANY aunts saw me and said, "Oh did you lose weight, cuz last time I saw you, you look fat." Followed by another random uncle coming up to me and saying, "Who's that fat girl DO-RE-MI?" Do-Re-Mi=Dory. Yes. Sigh. Oh and Dory on gift tags translate to Dolly. Sigh. Yes.

Heather *IsaBella and Harrison's Mommy* said...

The first time I was called "healthy" was on a 2-week trip to the Motherland in the 7th grade. I thought it was a nice comment - after all, I had never had a broken bone, was only absent for a week in the 3rd grade due to chickenpox, and basically, never sick (since I was 1)... Come to find out it meant I was fat!!! Well, that is just plain mean! I wasn't fat back then! (I am now, but then again, I just had two babies!) Everyday, my mom tells me to lose weight, but then she's got a lot of jiggle in the middle and says that once you're her age, it doesn't matter... whateva!

Love always,
Heather

P.S. I am working on looking anorexic... That way I can fit in with all the other Korean Mommies around here!

Anonymous said...

This is the one I can relate to. Never mind that I'm a size 4, I am fat because I "used to be size 2" (yes, when I was thirteen...). Oh, and my lipstick is too dark, my hair is too short (or too long, depending), and apparently I need a nose job...

Anonymous said...

I experienced the same too. It affect me so badly in a point I cried quietly and I feel so ashamed. I used to be a young, energetic girl, love to meet new people and being friendly. But, because of the repeated saying of me being fat and like pig or wadeva, I become am introvert girl somehow. When I want to go out with a friends that after so long I didnt see, my parents said, Dont u feel shy to meet ur friends with that size of ur body? Now, I always feelin shy and not confident to meet new people even to meet my own relatives n friends and now I prefer to stay at home. I've been struggling with this issue since I was born. I wanna be skinny too. sigh

Anonymous said...

Look at the brightside, Korean moms help you develop a tougher mind (in the long term of course).

sandra said...

my mother pokes my stomach and tells me i need to shapen up but then always urges me to keep on eating. i'm telling ya..

Anonymous said...

LOL the fat comments. I'm Chinese and I get it ALL THE TIME, "did you gain weight?"
"stop eating so much rice or no one will marry you" (KO'd by my grandma)
"fat girl!"
"you weight 100.. WHAT?! O_O"
I'm pretty used to it.. I get weight comments from every middle aged/old relative I've got.
Just because you don't weigh 95 doesn't mean you're obese. Only in Asian standards ):

Maida said...

I was called a piggy ever since I was 7 from my mum. She can't get over the fact that I "won't lose weight" (I've lost over 10 pounds already because I'm considering joining the service after college (something she will greatly frown upon for years to come)).
The one thing that kills me is that she tells me to lose weight, YET SHE FEEDS ME THESE DELICIOUS KOREAN DISHES! And yes! I will eat them! What Korean child (half or not) refuses Korean food cooked by their ever loving Korean mother?!

snowmon said...

Considering that Korea is the healthiest nation in the World by OECD standards(only 3.2% obese in total population of 50 million) it's no wonder that being "fat" is being an alien(hardly any girls are over 110 lbs)

Angie said...

hahaha... korean moms are mean!!! Anyways... my mother would do the same as all of yours. She'd tell me I was fat then go cook a bunch of food and tell me I need to eat... as if!! Anyways... it's a lose/lose situation with korean moms. Before I had kids, I was "too skinny" now I'm a tegi-yah. I just nod my head these days and just say "you're right" You gotta love them tho :) Sah-rhang-hay omma <3

Angie said...

hahaha... korean moms are mean!!! Anyways... my mother would do the same as all of yours. She'd tell me I was fat then go cook a bunch of food and tell me I need to eat... as if!! Anyways... it's a lose/lose situation with korean moms. Before I had kids, I was "too skinny" now I'm a tegi-yah. I just nod my head these days and just say "you're right" You gotta love them tho :) Sah-rhang-hay omma <3

Anonymous said...

Arghhh! I'm a British Korean and the last time I was back in the Motherland was when I was an awkward tubby 12 year old. It's been 12years since then and I still can't face going back there in fear of all the comments that I'd have to face.. And yes I've blossomed into an awkward tubby 24 year old. My mother on the other hand has never made me feel awful or even mentioned anything about weight. I love my anglosized korean mama! But she's supportive and encouraging in any diet ventures I persue hehe :)

JustPeachy said...

How do you know my mother? Because this blog was obviously written about her.

Emilyreel said...

I haven't seen my parents in a year ( they moved back to Korea). My mom called to tell me they are coming to the States for Xmas. The first thing I thought was, "shit, I've got two months to lose 10 lbs because my mom is going to berate me about my weight!". And the sad/true thing is that even if I lose 10 lbs she would still think I am "fat"!!! My husband is white and now she nags him about his weight too! We are both completely normal by any other standards.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget...when they say that your face has gotten better "ulgool E Johwa Jeot Da" it means you've gained weight.

Also, it isn't a Korean mother thing, it is a Korean uncle, father, ajeoshi thing as well. Mainly, it is due to the fact that Cunfucian edict states, and I'm paraphrasing here, your outward appearance is a direct reflection of your inner self. Not entirely untrue.

Anonymous said...

Korean MIL's like to call you fat too! And I am white! LOL

Anonymous said...

Well at least i don't think that is the worst thing. I have people asking me if I hve children. Sign.. Living in an asian country.

KatteyCatt said...

Oh, now I can totally relate to this one. My boyfriend introduced me to his parents yesterday. His Korean mom told me that I'm fat and suggested that I should lose some weight. I understand there is something cultural abt Korean moms telling people they are fat, but seriously that is so mean... I was so excited and nervous abt meeting her and I wanted her to like me, but I felt so hurt by that comment... I cried afterwards, because it made me feel so worthless, humiliated and angry. Now I'm not a beauty queen, I'm not a model and I guess as any mom, she feels that her son deserves better, but shouldn't she be more worried about my personality rather than my weight? She made me feel like I'm a piece of meat and I think it's really horrible, because she is a woman and she has to know how all girls are sensitive abt there bodies and have their own insecurities. And I'm also angry at myself for being hurt so easily by one stupid comment, for letting it get under my skin. My mom is also a Korean mom and she always tells me that I'm beautiful, so what right does that woman have to call me 'fat', judge my body type and say that I should change the way I am?

Anonymous said...

omg, my KM does this to me CONSTANTLY.. "yah, sal jom pae" (hey, lose some weight) and then when I do "nuh mu mal ah dda" (Youre too skinny!) -__- This has been going on since I was 8 (before that she just force fed me mass amounts of food to grow)

Mon said...

YESSSS!!! ain't this the truth! Once I lost the weight from my youngest daughter..It took FOREVER for her to say "you look good! You lost alot!"