July 30, 2015

TBT: My mom. Seoul, Korea. College years.


#4. That's my mom.

The banner on the wall reads "Mok Hwa Ah Gah Ssi Sun Bal" -- it was like a beauty pageant type of competition held within her college. "Mok Hwa" means Cotton {or I presume Cotton Flower} and "Ah Gah Ssi" means lady. I didn't know exactly what "Sun Bal" meant, just always had a hunch based on how the word was used within context, but according to Yangkyu it means person. Usually "Sun Bal" would be followed by the word "Dae Hwe" which means competition, so "Sun Bal Dae Hwe" would mean human or people competition. I am thinking "Dae Hwe" was cut off from this picture. 

I love that my mom's skirt is close to her knees and is plain and straight. I love how simple and fitted her blouse is. And her white heels. She had great taste. Not too fancy and overdone. Very simple and minimalist. That was her style. 

Anyway my mom didn't win. I think I remember her telling me that she was dropped from the first round. She always said it was because she was short. 

Growing up she always used to say I should compete in the Miss Korea competition. I had the eyebrows for it {they were thick and almost a unibrow, which didn't bother me until I got older}. I laugh now recalling this because I am so far removed from what an ideal Miss Korea competitor looks like. Also when I was young I would always come back home with dirt on my hands and face and a new scrape on my knee or legs. Every time she would see a new cut she would say "Miss Korea Na Ga Gi Tul Ryut Suh" or "Now you won't be able compete in the Miss Korea competition." 

My mom always told me that I didn't have a pretty nose and my face was big, but my forehead was beautiful because it was big and wide. So I always grew up thinking that I always had an ugly nose and a big face but a pretty handsome forehead {which I didn't like because I thought it meant I was bald}. I didn't grow up with a shattered confidence though. I know some people may be shocked by my mom's taking blows at a little girl's confidence and body image but I guess those kind of things never really bothered me. I never wanted to have my face or body parts looking a certain way {ok except the brows when I got older}. I think I was more concerned about books {I was always at a bookstore and even turned my little town upside down when I went "missing" one day after kindergarden. I was reading books at a book store and my dad found me there} or collecting stickers, pretty pens and stationary {I would still be doing this in college, ok even now}. And plus it was my mom. I knew she loved me and despite what she said about certain features she thought I was the cutest. And she never really said them in a demeaning way. It also felt like a kind of an endearment. 

Anyway by the time I was in college I had friends who would remark how I had such a pretty nose and how my face was so small. At first I thought they were joking but more and more people began to tell me the same things. When I told them how my mom thought otherwise they were surprised. They also told me they didn't think I had a wide forehead like I always I thought I did. You wouldn't believe I relieved I was to hear that. But even then I didn't really care for a pretty nose or a small face. 

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