February 08, 2023 13:20
Toned bodies are taking over reality TV, where implausibly sculpted flesh reflects a growing fad among younger people for peak fitness.
Netflix's "Physical: 100" for example features 100 athletes including skeleton racer Yoon Sung-bin and mixed martial artist Choo Sung-hoon as they compete in various disciplines, while "Single's Inferno 2" is a blatant copy of "Love Island," where a good body is everything and contestants are barred from finding out too much about each other's profession or education to make their choice largely based on physical attributes.
Slow-motion scenes of the contestants running along the beach recall all the clichés of "Baywatch."
Wise heads have spotted a connection between the current body obsession and the loss of control many young people feel in other areas of life as jobs are increasingly difficult to find and property prices spiral out of control. At least your own body can be forced into compliance, the theory goes, and young Koreans are hitting the gym in droves and filling social media with pictures of their exploits there.
Girl band Le Sserafim have caught on to the trend -- they claim to love working out and often post selfies at the gym.
Pop culture critic Ha Jae-keun said, "The latest craze over the body stems from the idea that a sound body is as important as a sound mind, but we need to be careful not to create body anxiety by swamping young people with unrealistic images."
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