This South Korean model is ready to destroy unrealistic beauty ideals.
Curved models are increasingly visible in the fashion industry in the United States, with models like Ashley Graham and Tabria Majors gracing the pages of Sports and going out of their way to promote body positivity.
In many Asian countries, however, the fashion industries are still obsessed with skinny above all else. This is especially true in South Korea, where the starting point for "plus-size," or extra-large, is a Korean size 66, the equivalent of an American woman 8, according to Racked.
South Korean curvy model Taylor Tak knows him firsthand.
Many models - including Graham - prefer the terms "curvy" or "curvy"
rather than plus-size, but in South Korea, the labels haven't caught on.
"In South Korea, they would call megreasy, not curvy, "Tak told HuffPost." Curvy is basically a thin, thick body with no belly, big boobs, and big ass. So many girls are working hard to get these shapes, no gaps, long thin arms. "
The representation in print and on the catwalks could change.
So far, Tak has posed for publications such as Cosmopolitan Korea and Queen Size Magazine and has worked with clothing brands such as Fashion Nova, Curvy
Sense, Hotping and Romwe.
Tak, who is represented by the Australian modeling agency NAM Management, began her career when she was spotted by a professional photographer in London. He asked to take some pictures of her. Although initially cynical, Tak eventually agreed.
"I was initially like, 'Are you kidding me' or like, 'This is how a photographer tries to flirt', But he was serious," Tak said. "We took about 50 or 60 shots and I really enjoyed being in front of a professional camera.""
A year later, Tak was poking fun at modeling jobs and promoting body positivity, posing confidently in size 14 clothes. She recently moved to Sydney, Australia, looking for more opportunities.
After years of feeling uncomfortable in her own skin, modeling was a welcome change. At age 10, Tak was sent to a summer "diet school" where he was limited to about 600 calories a day for months. Now, embrace her curves.
"My hope is that girls see my photos and realize that weight and size don't define your self-esteem," Tak said. "Losing weight shouldn't be your life goal. You weren't born to lose weight. You don't have to change your look for a happier life."
Tak is not the only one eager for changes in the Korean fashion industry. Last year, an association of six women's rights groups protested Korean clothing companies for the exclusive use of thin mannequins and for the production of limited-sized clothing.
K-style online sites have been quicker to offer plus size, but Task is waiting for the day when a Korean girl can go to the mall and find her size.
"We need to buy clothes online forever," she said. "See the plus size and petite models walking on New York Fashion Week. I want to see it at Seoul Fashion Week.""
size isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to creating a more diverse and inclusive fashion industry. Even in the US, there's a long way to go before Asian models are offered the same opportunities as their white peers, Tak said.
As a curvy Asian model, I sometimes feel like I don't belong to anyone, "Tak said." We need diversity everywhere in the fashion industry. "