A video of a sign in Sanbong station, a subway station in Seoul, Korea, has gone viral and you won’t believe why.
The video above, was posted by digital content creator @dailydoseofkorean, also known as Alo.
It showcases two signs: A skinnier man which points towards the stairs and a chubbier man which points towards the escalator with the caption, “Korea is so mean.”
When speaking to SAYS, Alo said that this sign is meant to encourage people to use the stairs as part of their daily exercise.
This sign has been present for years as seen in a Reddit post dated five years ago. However, it has gone viral once again due to this video, garnering over 25 million views on TikTok and 61 million views on Instagram.
Korea’s Beauty Standards
Korea is known for having strict beauty standards. They are reported as the “plastic surgery capital of the world,” therefore it is also relatively easy to find beauty regimens, exercise and diet plans of Korean celebrities to follow or gain inspiration from.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve come across IU’s infamous sweet potato diet.
Female Kpop idols are normally under immense pressure to fit into the impossible beauty standards. An example being striving to achieve a 25 inch waist or even smaller.
These have undoubtedly influenced South Korea’s population. There are even reports stating that “attractive” individuals tend to have an advantage when seeking for jobs.
Mixed Reactions from The Public
This video has gained mixed reactions from the public on both TikTok and Instagram.
In light of the fat acceptance and body positivity movement, some members of the public are unsurprisingly upset about the sign. Some recounted unpleasant experiences they encountered in Korea while others viewed this sign as an offensive and unacceptable message.
On the other hand, many comments on Instagram saw no harm in the sign and pictured it as a way to motivate others to be healthier.
Some have made light of the situation and compared the chubbier sticker to the beloved character from the movie Big Hero 6, Baymax.
That being said, if your everyday diet consists of fast food… maybe consider avoiding this station on your next trip to Seoul.