Four spirited single women take on Seoul

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Four spirited single women take on Seoul

A sudden break-up makes you feel lost and bewildered. You’re so used to being with somebody that you don’t know what to do on your own.
The biggest hassle is reinventing your lifestyle to avoid the “where’s-your-boyfriend” look from your favorite bar owner. That’s why those who are in Break-up Situation Stage One often opt to stay at home. Who wants to burst into tears while alone at a bar?
Until you reach Stage Two, when you develop a sort of survival mentality (actually more of a desperate struggle), you’ll find yourself lying on the couch every Friday night.
With gobs of free time, one useful thing you can do is tune into “Singles in Seoul,” a reality show airing Friday nights at 11 p.m. Lets face it, you may have time to kill, but it’s still not worth devoting a precious half hour to “From Martha’s Kitchen.”
“Singles in Seoul,” which airs on the recently launched cable channel On Style, deals with four women in their late 20s to mid-30s. It is loosely based on the popular American program “Sex and the City.”
“Singles in Seoul” differs from the HBO show in that it features real-world women ― a headhunter, a fashion magazine writer, a veterinarian and a sports marketing manager. All were handpicked after intense competition; the screening process included four in-depth interviews and a written evaluation of their values.
It turns out there’s nothing these ladies won’t do to get the 10 million won ($9,000) world cruise, which is awarded to the “best single woman” after 10 episodes.
The show began March 19 with an episode titled “Single, It’s Different,” followed by last Friday’s “Breast Size 36, Waist Size 24.”
In each episode, the four women have a mission to complete, such as changing their appearance in response to the seemingly inhumane admonishment, “Make your breast size 36 and waist 24.”
The camera follows the women as they work out, shop, chitchat and even bathe. This voyeuristic tour is accompanied by a male voiceover with profound messages such as, “They spend their money for their own good. They are cool. They are single.”
The women talk about issues that a single woman faces in this wild, wild world. The sports marketer, dubbed Ms. Blue (no reason given), revealed her concerns over one-night stands by saying, “What if the man has some disease?”
Ms. Green, the veterinarian, replied, “Yeah, but the bigger question is, what if the man wants a relationship after a simple one-night stand? That’ll be annoying.”
During the March 26 show, the singles described their Mr. Right. Ms. Pink, the writer, wanted “a man cute and cool enough to please everyone around me.” Ms. Blue hoped for “a man with special taste.”
It wasn’t long before talk turned to body measurements.
“If they want their girls to have an impossible 36-24 size, then the guys must also be taller than 180 centimeters (5-foot, 11-inches),” said Ms. Purple, the headhunter, blowing off steam.
The show is noteworthy in that it is one of the first in Korea to cover real-world single women exclusively. The more I watch the show, the more I feel that being single is a tough business.
The women on the show have to promote the seemingly too natural truth that being single is not the end of the world. You don’t have to drunkenly sing “All By Myself” like Bridget Jones. The sun keeps on shining, the birds go on singing and the show must go on.


by Chun Su-jin

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