I grew up in a Disney household—we had all the VHS tapes, sing-along cassettes, stuffed animals, and anything else that could be Disney-fied. Mickey has been my favorite cartoon character for as long as I can remember, to the point where I used it as my alias in middle school when signing notes passed amongst friends in between classes (FYI, all the tweens at the time were doing it…I’m not weird, I swear). I think I finally “outgrew” Mickey in my later high school years, but only because I’d reached the age where I was trying to Adult and not look like a high-schooler anymore. So I haven’t really rocked any Mickey paraphernalia for a literal decade. But man, it has been hard to avoid Mickey in Korea! Koreans LOVE their 귀엽다 (kui-OPE-ta aka “cute”) cartoon characters, and you can find them everywhere from jewelry to college students’ sweatshirts (girls AND guys) to the rich housewives toting bejeweled Minnie Mouse phone cases. If only I’d visited Korea as a middle-schooler…
The cuteness that Koreans adore has rubbed off on me to the point where neither I, nor my co-workers, nor my students, found it strange that I wore this Mickey hat to work…regularly. And I’m glad because it is SO warm and sooo cute!
Another Korean trend I’m warming up to: oversized clothing, especially for women. Koreans like to cover the upper halves of their bodies…a LOT…but I hate looking like a blob or hiding my curves, so it took me a while to give in to this trend. But I soon gave in for two reasons: 1) Korean clothes aren’t that cheap, and the sizes are some liars (Asian XL = US S/M). The cheapest Korean-brand clothes come in billowy, shapeless free-sizes (one-size-fits-all) and those are usually the only clothes that can fit me -___- #iAintEvenThatBigDoe; and 2) There’s nothing better than a large, loud, cozy sweater to hide those holiday food babies.
At least my shoes look grown-up ^_^ <— use of various emojis are also a bi-product of living in Korea ^_^;;