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WTH is Aegyo?!

When I stepped into the world of Korean, Japanese and sometimes even Chinese TV shows, dramas and music groups there were many things I totally didn’t understand at first – and still don’t, sometimes. Things like the detailed Korean definition of being “pretty” or “ugly”; their honesty and the way they tease each other in front of the camera; words like “Flower Boy”, “S-Line” and “Aegyo”; things like the harsh Japanese humor and their indiscreet way of combining it with blood splashing horror; the way they make themselves into damn embarrassing fools while trying to win some kind of competition; and many other stuff.

Especially irritating seemed the Korean concept of “being aegyo” (with the Japanese equivalent called “kawaii”) : Of course I’ve never heard that term before let alone the confusing fact that there isn’t really a one-to-one translation or an explanation as to what exactly “aegyo” actually means. While I already knew that the Japanese word “kawaii” can be translated to “cute” or “adorable” I couldn’t get a grab on “aegyo” – since the Korean term for “cute” and/or “adorable” is “kyeopta”.

After watching tons of Korean variety shows, however, this word slowly started to explain itself even though I’m still not too sure about the sense of it.

It’s not like the word “aegyo” is something you can seize or be. Well… no, that’s not completely true because you can be “aegyo” but actually only then if you do something “aegyo”. Let me explain as follows:

“Aegyo” is something – whatever it may be – you do to look cute. It’s not about actually being cute but only looking like it. “Aegyo” describes actions like talking in a high pitched voice or making cute sounds, showing adorable baby faces, act like little kids or lovely animals and display ducky movements with your hands. You can be “aegyo” if you write childish and playful messages. Or if you flirt in a really cute manner. You can also be “aegyo” if you sulk in a way which makes your face look like that of a sad kitten. Or a little puppy.

Whatever it may be: “Aegyo” is supposed to provoke other peoples “OMG, you’re so freakin’ adorable!”-thought. Korean women like to use stuff like a high pitched voice or a cute sulking face to appeal to men because many guys in South Korea apparently like adorable little dolls… and I do understand that sometimes. ^^

In a lot of Korean variety shows idols, actors and actresses are often urged to present some kind of “personal aegyo” – so something they invented themselves (because they don’t want to think of something new every time they’re asked on TV) which led to the fact that they’re a TON of different “aegyo”s going around nowadays. While female idols try to be pretty and lovely but not too ducky because it could seem a little bit dumb is it quite the opposite with male idols: They can’t be ducky enough! The cuter the better! Make yourself look like a baby and your fans will go crazy. Trust me: Female Korean kpop-fans love adult baby boys! Oh yeah, and oversea fans do, too!

Examples:

Yang Yoseob is the main vocalist of Korean boy group BEAST and one of the so called “King of Aegyo”s. Guys like him are the perfect aegyo-people because they already have an adorable baby face and most of the times a tiny body. On top of that his freakin’ cute voice! >.< He’s calling his mum in the video below and  – obviously – using a baby voice to show some aegyo to his fans.

By the way: This show’s called “Gag Concert”.

2PM is a Korean boy group with six members: Jun.K, Nichkhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho and Chansung (in the order of their age and beginning with the oldest). Even though everyone has their own charming “aegyo” is it really member Junho who’s the best at this because… gawww, just look at his face! Eye-smile-alert!! 😀 The video pretty much explains itself because it has English subtitles.

This show is called “Happy Clinic”.

Sooyoung is a member of Korean girl group GIRLS GENERATION (or SNSD) and doing the  – probably – most famous “aegyo” in the whole country: Gwiyomi. “Gwiyomi” is actually a song and the gestures kind of a choreography but they change from each person to another and many idols create their own Gwiyomi-Choreo after a while.

And if you wanna learn the gestures:

Actors and actresses on the other hand mostly try to appeal more serious because it might look a little bit unprofessional if you’re acting like a little child all the time. Their fan base is not as firm as the ones of idol groups (which even have names!) because their success depends on each and every performance anew – whether it’s a movie or drama – thanks to the fact that they try out new genres and characters many times within their careers and switch their target group of viewers pretty often. Maybe its because of that or thanks to the fact that many actors and actresses are actually older than most of the idols – only my guess – but I realized that they find it rather difficult to act cute and childish. When asked if they could please do something “aegyo” those actors and actresses sometimes play really hard to get and try to disentangle themselves out of this situation. And if they do act cute they’re embarrassed and ashamed afterwards. Which… makes them… even… more adorable… ?! Weird!! 😉

Example:

Lee Jong Suk is a South Korean model, actor, MC and entertainer. He’s one of the most flower-like Flower Boys in the whole country and even though he’s always asked to do his “special aegyo” (because it’s honestly really cute) he can’t help but feel embarrassed and shy about it. So adorable! >.< Lee Jong Suk is doing the so called “bbooing bbooing-aegyo” which is a little corny but loved by fans all over the world.

The first show is a sitcom called “High Kick 3” and the second one is a variety show with the name “Strong Heart”.

As for other actors and actresses… I am sorry but it’s really hard to find videos with an acceptable quality so the one above must do. But instead I’ll show you a video by “eatyourkimchi” about being “aegyo” in South Korea. What’s “eatyourkimchi”? Well, in short: A married American couple named Martina and Simon living in SK and making videos about it; KPop-fans, crazy, cool, hilarious and just likable. 🙂 Enjoy!

Sooo~ that’s it for today’s “Let’s talk about”. Thanks for reading and visiting my Blog and I’d be really happy if some of you may join the conversation and just write about what they think of the whole “aegyo”- and “I’m so cute”-stuff. I wish everyone a great new year and hope aaall your dreams will come true. ^^ ❤

Secret Garden

Genre: romance, comedy

Episodes: 20 + 1 special episode

Main actresses: Ha Ji Won, Kim Sa Rang

Main actors: Hyun Bin, Yoon Sang Hyun, Lee Philip, Lee Jong Suk

Story: Kim Joo Won (Hyun Bin) is the rich, arrogant and eccentric CEO of a big department store, overflowing with selfishness and egoism while looking down on everyone else besides his mother. Living in a special house complex with no one else around him is his only joy fighting with neighbor and pop star Oska (Yoon Sang Hyun) who also happens to be his cousin. One day Oska asks Joo Won to meet up with a certain actress he had an affair with to buy her secrecy about this matter. Even though he’s not really thrilled about this request Joo Won accepts and takes that actress to a hotel room to talk with her… only that he didn’t bring the real one but her stunt double: Gil Ra Im (Ha Ji Won), a really pretty girl with a glamorous body who’s humble and hardworking but unfortunately poor and NOT an actress! Besides Ra Im being all sassy and totally not lady-like feels Joo Won strangely attracted to that absolutely-not-his-type-of-a-woman stunt double. He kind of starts to stalk her and besides her attempts to ignore him is it simply impossible for Ra Im to stop her heart from beating faster when Joo Won is around.

This love story could be so simple… if not for a certain magical drink which makes them switch their bodies! Hilarious: Gil Ra Im’s in fact a great fan of Joo Wons cousin Oska and while having switched their bodies getting sometimes a little bit too close to her favorite Idol. 😉

Trailer:

And because the first video seemed a little too melodramatic here a second one:

Own opinion: A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!! Simply and easily awesome! This drama has everything a great korean drama needs to have… and even a bit more. 😉

First of all: I love the cast! Hyun Bin is one great peace of an eye candy and the fact that he’s an excellent actor’s surely out of the question, right? After everything he’s already done so far… 😉 ❤

Plus Ha Ji Won is one of the best actresses South Korea has to offer – last but not least because she’s doing most of the action scenes herself since she doesn’t really like stunt doubles. The chemistry between her and Hyun Bin’s great and their emotions breathtakingly credible!

Yoon Sang Hyun as the funny and clueless yet super lovely pop star “Oska” (who can’t really sing) makes the whole plot even more entertaining! His story turns out to be quite a piece of perfection after Lee Jong Suk enters the drama: Our little flower boy is playing a gay musician named “Han Tae Sun” who seems to have a pretty serious crush on Oska. Funny about the whole thing’s Tae Suns hilarious way of not even bothering to hide his feelings. And even though Oska’s clearly not into guys are these two developing a strange yet absolutely adorable friendship between each other.

I really like “Secret Garden” and I know that almost everyone who watched it will agree with me on this one: It’s awesome! It’s hilarious, romantic, action packed, thrilling, melodramatic, sad, cute, has great background music… everything a good drama has to be and has to have! There is, nonetheless, one thing bothering me: It could’ve been a perfectly realistic story (well, at least for Korean circumstances) if not for the whole – and in my eyes really unnecessary – body changing thing. I mean: Yeah, it makes them understand each other better but honestly? I don’t think they need better understanding. Kim Joo Won likes Gil Ra Im from the first moment he lays his eyes on her. I’m pretty sure he already loves her at the end of the very first episode. And it’s not like it takes her any longer to feel attracted to him, too. I think they would’ve understand each other perfectly fine even without switching bodies. But well, that’s just my opinion. 🙂

Rating: 9 / 10. Like I said: I don’t understand why they had to bring up a body-change in an otherwise perfectly awesome drama. But that’s just one point so please don’t mind. If you haven’t watched “Secret Garden” till now then be sure to catch up ASAP! You’ll miss something great if you don’t!

Flower Boys

People who’re into Korean music and dramas definitely heard this term before. Everyone in South Korea admires these guys, every girl wants a boyfriend like them and every boy wants to look alike: Flower Boys! But for someone who’s new to the world of S-Lines, Aegyos and Cross dressing things like these might be a bit confusing. Wasn’t it the same for all of us? So today I’m going to explain the term “Flower Boy” and what it takes to be considered as such.

First let’s take the word “boy”. Since it’s not “Flower Man” there’s definitly a limit as to how old you can get to be called a “Flower Boy”. The oldest you can possibly be is 29 or 30. Everyone above that age is a full grown man no matter how young you may look. The youngest flower boys can be found in Idol Groups such as EXO, SHINee or TeenTop – when they had their debut – and are around 13 or 14 years old. Everything below that age is still a child. “Flower Boys” have inter alia the task to impress women and be desirable and wouldn’t it be kind of creepy to desire a kid who’s still 10 or 11 years young? Though 14 isn’t really any better but I never was into boys who’re younger than me anyway. 😉 So the most common age for Flower Boys is between 16 and 28.

Second the term “flower”. Normally when asked which sex you would pick when given the word “flower” most people would say women. And that’s the point: Flower Boys have feminine features. For men in my country it’d be a big insult to say something like “You’re so beautiful that you almost look like a girl!” In Asia, especially South Korea, saying a thing like that is actually meant to be a compliment. Not every guy likes it, naturally, but they’re not offended by it per se. So, what does a Flower Boy need to call himself by that term? One must have soft, milky and flawless skin; big watery eyes or at least a killer eye-smile; smooth red lips; a great body and last but not least tender face features. Tender within the meaning of delicate – like a wax mask.

As a “Flower Boy” – like the term explains – flowers are symbolically flying around you. The air feels fresh when you enter a room and your image’s like that of an angel – white wings would definitly suit you. Your eyes shine brighter than the sun and you look admirable whatever you do. That’s how “Flower Boys” are sold in the korean society.

Here a few examples:

 

No matter how you look at it: These boys are the very incarnation of the word “handsome”!! ❤