Where is the ‘S-Line’? Male-Female Split in Netizen Opinion

Model Yui shows her s-line in a soju commercial

Ask any Korean about a woman’s S-line, and they might point you to the elegant meanders of the female form: the feline curve of a woman’s lower spine, pert yet voluptuous breasts, a slim waist. Perhaps they would recount their favourite celebrity S-lines, celebrated in magazines and commercials throughout Korea.

But a recent photograph, which has received huge amounts of netizen attention from the Korean internet community, has put the s-line in the firing line. When the Nakkyeosseo Facebook group reposted this picture of Yui’s fine s-line from a 2009 ad shoot, it attracted thousands of likes and hundreds of comments on the Facebook group alone:

Which S-line is correct?

The red line is what women think is an s-line; the blue line is what men think is an s-line.

It’s obviously the blue one, isn’t it….?

The photograph, originally posted on an online community message board, rapidly went viral, spawning several news articles as well as countless blog posts on the topic. The lines drawn on the picture claim that the red line represents a woman’s line of sight when looking at the s-line, while the blue represents a man’s. As the Facebook comments below demonstrate, some women agree that the blue line is the true s-line, some men look at the red. In short, no-one really seems to know where exactly your eyes should linger when you see the perfect s-line, but they do agree that men and women often look for different things in pursuit of the perfect pose.

Lee Hyori shows her S-line in a photoshoot

Still, while we might think that objectifying and alphabetising the female body in Korea (as this interesting post from The Grand Narrative discusses) must surely be problematic for some, netizen reactions don’t reveal this perspective at all, focussing instead on defining the s-line while highlighting essentialised sexual difference between men and women. As the photograph demonstrates, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to know where to draw the (s-)line.

Comments from Facebook

Kang DaeHyun:

Obviously the blue


I’m a woman, but I reckon it’s the blue



Tae Gyu Choi:

If it’s red then I’ve got an S-line~


Weird..I reckoned it was the red..don’t they say that the S-line is what connects the shoulders, hips, and pelvis?


Rather than that, the body of the woman in the photo is fit.

Woojung Jung:

It’s not red


I expected it to be the blue

Sangyoung Han:

I was surprised when I saw the red ke ke ke


Hey~It’s red, right? Ke ke Yui’s got a great figure~~


It’s blue, no?….That’s a no brainer


ke ke ke ke ke


Blue, naturally.


It’s not obviously the blue ㅡㅡ I’m thinking that it’s the red one..men didn’t try to make an S-line, did they

JaeWan Jang:

Looking at the ad, I realised that I was mistaken about the S-line until now ke ke ke

Ryan Seo:

If it’s red then everyone has an S-line If it’s the red one, then every man has an S-line too…

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