Culture / South Korea

What is up with the peace sign?

I wondered why people were always flashing the peace sign in photos I saw online before I moved here. Now that I’m here and flashing my own sign in photos, some family and friends have emailed me asking about this. What is the deal with the peace sign?

Posing, Korean style. And no, I didn't ask anyone to pose. This just happened.

Posing, Korean style. And no, I didn’t ask anyone to pose. This just happened.

First of all, it’s not a peace sign to Koreans. They call it a v for victory. But I don’t think they’re actually thinking “victory!” every time they take a photo.

The simple answer? It’s cute and it’s simply something everyone does. Even little, little kids will make the sign when posing for pictures, so I think it tends to become habit.

The long answer? It’s cute, but also shows that they’re being a little bit shy. Koreans also often use their hands to frame their face or cover part of their face, showing cuteness and/or shyness and modesty. Another reason women make the v’s is to make their faces look slimmer. Some women have told me they think their faces are too round or wide, and so they think making the v’s helps them appear slimmer.

Posing, Korean style.

Posing, Korean style.

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2 thoughts on “What is up with the peace sign?

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