I somehow found this link to a video which talks about the height obsession seen in the South Korean society and culture . Link HERE
I tried embedding the video onto this page but it never seemed to load so you will have to click the link to see the video which is an excerpt from ABC News.
Personally this video was very influential for me since I live in the city of Seoul currently. I can tell you that if you go to any street sidewalk in one of the major shopping areas like Myeondong, Dongdaemun, or Namdaemun that you will see height increase insoles sold out in the open by sidewalk vendors. The insoles can range form regular insoles used for medical reasons being only a few millimeters in extra height to insoles being over 1.5 inches in padding height.
I have seen on TV that male TV stars and pop singers admit on national tv that they wear lifts or add height increase insoles to their shoes. In the US, you really try to avoid talking about this type of thing, since it is not socially accepted to say that you are trying to so hard to look better. In South Korea, it is acceptable to state publicly that you are not attractive/ good looking for others and yourself. The people in this country think that by using criticism that people can be shamed and fell bad about themselves enough to want to take action on their appearance and improve themselves.
On the video, they talk about what is supposed to be a “magic shoe” that has an insole that makes Korean men taller in a discreet way.
From the video, it turns out that there are “Growth Taller Clinics” all around Seoul that I didn’t even know about. Parents are actually actively pushing their kids to these clinics because they fear that their children won’t find a good job or have a wife/husband if they are too short.
In the clinics, the kids are put through certain exercises, many of which are really strange and probably created without any real proof that they work. They do hair sample analysis and blood test to determine how much height the child will reach. The clinics often have programs that take up to a year and use acupuncture and herbal medicine. There is also supposed to be special growth stimulating massages that come with the package. If that is not enough, the clinic even gives the HGH/somatropin shots to the children which is growth hormone therapy.
At the end of the ABC segment, the reporter makes the important note that all those things the clinic are putting the young kids through are all experimental. At the end, a doctor was asked about the best way to maximize height and she states, 1. plenty of sleep 2. exercise 3. good diet and 4. being happy.
The place I am living at right now Gangnam-Gu I walk along the streets and nearly all the girls are wearing high heels, around the 3-4 inch mark. It doesn’t seem to matter that the girls are in pain all the time with these shoes, people just want to look good in this city to feel like they are fully accepted by others. It really is quite sad.
I am say clearly that South Korea is a country that is very competitive and I understand why the parents would want to give their children every form of advantage that they can in the job market or the mating selection.