21 Tall Korean Actors And Why Height Is A Big Deal in South Korea
Apart from being visually pleasing, these tall celebrities represent a crucial belief in Korean aesthetics and culture
Seoul, being the Beauty Capital of the World, isn't just known for K-Beauty as in cosmetics and skincare products. When you talk beauty in Seoul, it's like talking about sleeping or brushing your teeth—it's second nature to them! In a past interview we had with Phillip Cho, a Master at Korean Aesthetic Technology, who owns O2 Skin Lab here in Manila, he shares that Koreans consider beauty as a sign of respect to others—how you present yourself equates to good manners; no wonder 96% of them spend a ton of money on perfecting their skin, their hair, and yes, even their height!
And because of their obsession about looking all-around beautiful, clinics for increasing one's height have also become widespread in South Korea. Doctors and therapists that specialize in offering growth supplements, hormones, and employing exercises and procedures to supposedly "stretch" the body to promote growth in height has sprouted all over the country in the past years. This point has been stated in an article on The New York Times, saying that "Swayed by the increasingly popular conviction that height is crucial to success, South Korean parents are trying all manner of remedies to increase their children’s stature, spawning hundreds of growth clinics that offer hormone shots, traditional Eastern treatments and special exercises."
According to NPR, a growth spurt has been recorded in the South Korea, as compared to Western countries in the past decades. Due in large part to many factors such as agriculture, health programs, and economic standing, women especially, have recorded a growth of up to 8 inches in height back in 2010, and it doesn't seem like it's slowing down anytime soon. In the same article, it was mentioned that "having extra inches as a kid is also connected to success later in life. "Being taller is actually a good marker of better educational attainment and higher income," he adds. "Those are big changes with big benefits [to society]."
This belief was echoed in The Korea Herald, where it was stated that "With tallness considered a social advantage, parents often wish their children would grow up to be taller than their peers." Now while these notions of appearing 'perfect' equates to success in life in the Korean society, we'd have to also state the fact that this may be true for their society, their norms, and their culture. As big consumers of the Hallyu entertainment world, our perceptions of beauty may or may not be influenced in large part by these beliefs, so it's crucial that we know the significance and underlying reasons why they believe in such. And in return, make our informed choices for our own lives.
Now while we totally have nothing against not being tall, this story aims to talk about some of our favorite Korean actors with towering heights, making them some of the most visually-appealing in the K-drama world today. Sometimes I wonder to myself, as a bona fide K-drama fan myself, "How are all these Korean actors and actresses so tall? They look really good!" On our screens, we may not really get the full impact of how tall they actually are in real life, but when we see the actual figures, we then get an idea of how towering these stars really are in the flesh.
Now once again, this isn't to say that shorter celebrities aren't as successful as those blessed with height. The simple, undeniable fact is, a lot of fans adore stars who are tall purely for aesthetic purposes, as it makes them even more statuesque and a treat to look at! One sample of a Hallyu star we're all obsessed with is Park Seo-joon at 6'1", the 31-year-old romantic comedy king, who we cannot deny looks pretty awesome in a suit, with those mile-long legs to boot!
Now we all know the saying "with great power comes great responsibility" don't we? It appears that Korean men know that great height calls for equally great respect for others. Koreans, also known for their value for honorifics or their emphasis on showing respect to others, have something called 'Korean Manner Legs', wherein taller men do a wide-leg stance when talking to or dealing with shorter peers, especially women. Now how great is that?
Now whether you're big fans of guys who are tall or not, we present to you some of the towering men in K-dramaland, and get to know what their heights really are!
Tallest Korean Actors
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Lead photos via @bn_sj2013, @byeonwooseok, @gongyooactor1079, @skawngur, @gongyoo_official, @vast.ent, and Hancinema