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Is being tall important in Korea?


Korea is a country with a unique culture and traditions. One of the most intriguing aspects of Korean society is its obsession with height. Height is considered an important factor in determining one’s social status and success in Korea. People who are tall are often admired and respected, while those who are short may face discrimination and social stigma. In this article, we will explore the importance of height in Korean society and discuss the reasons why it matters so much.

The Historical Context of Height in Korea

The importance of height in Korea can be traced back to its cultural and historical roots. Korea has a long history of hierarchical social structures, where people were ranked according to their status and power. People who were taller were often seen as more powerful, as they could physically dominate others. This idea was reinforced by Confucianism, which placed importance on physical appearance as a reflection of one’s inner character.

The Modern Perception of Height in Korea

While the historical context has influenced the modern perception of height in Korea, there are also contemporary factors that contribute to this phenomenon. The media plays a significant role in shaping people’s perceptions of beauty and attractiveness, with tall actors and celebrities often being held up as ideals. Furthermore, the rise of globalization has led to an influx of Western standards of beauty, which emphasize tallness as a desirable trait.

Height Discrimination in Korea

Unfortunately, the emphasis on height in Korean society has led to discrimination against shorter individuals. This can manifest in various ways, such as job discrimination, dating preferences, and social exclusion. Shorter people may find it harder to get hired for certain jobs or may face ridicule from their peers for their height.

The Impact of Height on Dating in Korea

One area where height plays a particularly significant role is dating. Many Korean women prefer taller men, and some men may even lie about their height on dating profiles to appear taller. This can create a lot of pressure for shorter individuals, who may feel insecure about their height and struggle to find romantic partners.

Height in the Workplace

Height can also have an impact on one’s career prospects in Korea. Taller people may be perceived as more competent and capable, and they may be more likely to get promoted or hired for leadership positions. This can create a lot of pressure for shorter individuals, who may feel like they have to work harder to prove themselves.

The Influence of Education on Height Perception

Education is another factor that can influence people’s perception of height in Korea. People with higher levels of education tend to place less emphasis on physical appearance and more emphasis on intelligence and character. However, this is not always the case, and many educated Koreans still place a high value on height.

The Role of Genetics in Height

While some aspects of height are influenced by social factors, genetics also plays a significant role. Koreans tend to be shorter than people in Western countries, which may be due to genetic factors. However, this does not mean that all Koreans are short, as there is still a wide range of heights within the population.

The Impact of Height Insecurity

For those who are shorter, the emphasis on height in Korean society can lead to feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. This can have a negative impact on mental health and self-esteem, and may even lead to body dysmorphia or eating disorders.

The Benefits of Being Tall in Korea

Despite the challenges faced by shorter individuals, being tall does come with its own set of advantages in Korea. Taller people are often seen as more attractive, confident, and successful, which can lead to greater social and economic opportunities.

The Future of Height in Korea

As Korea continues to modernize and globalize, it is possible that attitudes towards height may shift. However, it is unlikely that height will ever lose its importance completely, as it is deeply ingrained in Korean culture and history.


Height is a complex and multifaceted issue in Korea, with both social and genetic factors contributing to its importance. While being tall can come with its own benefits, the emphasis on height can also create challenges for those who are shorter. As Korea continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how attitudes towards height shift and whether this will have an impact on Korean society as a whole.

What height is attractive in South Korea?

In 2019, Ipsos conducted a survey on global attitudes towards beauty which found that approximately 58% of South Korean respondents preferred women to be between 5 feet 5 inches (approximately 165cm) and 5 feet 9 inches (approximately 175cm) tall.

What height is tall in Korea?

In Korea, the average height for men is approximately 180 cm (5’9 ft), which serves as a benchmark for determining short or tall stature. Often, those who are close to this height will round up to appear taller. For women in Korea, the typical height standard is around 165 cm (5’4 ft).

How tall is a normal Korean?

The typical height for South Korean men is 170.7 cm (5 ft 7 in) and for women it is 157.4 cm (5 ft 2 in). In comparison, North Korean men are about 5 inches shorter on average, while the height difference between North and South Korean women is only around 1 inch.

What is the ideal height for a girl in Korea?

As of 2021, the typical height for South Korean women in their twenties and thirties was approximately 161.77 centimeters. Women in higher age ranges usually had shorter heights. The average height of South Korean women was 158.17 centimeters. This data was collected on March 17, 2023.

How tall is the average Korean at 16?

South Korean high school students are among the tallest in Asia, with male students aged 16 years old averaging 173.9 cm and female students averaging 161.5 cm in 2021.Jan 18, 2023

Are big lips attractive in Korea?

Research has shown that Japanese women prefer thinner lips, whereas Korean women prefer fuller lips. This aligns with a previous study conducted by Ioi et al, which demonstrated that Korean women are more accepting of slightly larger lips compared to Japanese women.

One possible way to reduce the negative impact of height discrimination in Korea is through education and awareness campaigns. By promoting a more inclusive and accepting attitude towards people of all heights, it may be possible to reduce the stigma and discrimination faced by shorter individuals. Additionally, workplaces can implement policies that prohibit height discrimination and promote diversity and inclusion.

Another potential solution is to shift societal values away from physical appearance and towards other qualities such as intelligence, kindness, and creativity. This would require a significant cultural shift, but it could help to reduce the pressure on individuals to conform to certain physical standards.

It is also important to recognize the limitations of using height as a measure of success or competence. While height may be associated with certain advantages, it is not necessarily an indicator of intelligence, work ethic, or other important qualities. By valuing individuals based on their skills and accomplishments rather than their physical appearance, we can create a more equitable society for all.

In conclusion, while the importance of height in Korean society may seem superficial or arbitrary to outsiders, it is deeply ingrained in Korean culture and history. However, as Korea continues to evolve and globalize, there may be opportunities to shift attitudes towards height and create a more inclusive and accepting society for all individuals, regardless of their physical stature.

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