Korea must really evolve when it comes to how women are treated.
A principal dancer for the Korean National Ballet, 김주원 (Kim Joo-won), has been docked one month's pay for a topless photo that was featured in this month's Vogue Korea.
Here is a quote from the article I read explaining the reasoning behind this decision:
"As a member of the Korea National Ballet, Kim is obligated to get prior approval for any actions she may take outside, and thus her independent act deserves disciplinary action," the ballet company said.How ridiculous! The steam rising off of that load bullshit is thick.
"However, we have decided on just a one month salary reduction since this was the first time she has caused any kind of controversy. She had been a model member of the company until now, making great contributions to the company and to the development of Korea's ballet, even receiving the prestigious Benois de la Danse award last year," the KNB added.
I haven't seen the photos but now I'm going to run out and find the issue now. At least Vogue Korea will get positive press out of this. It's not like Ms. Kim was butt naked in a raunchy spread eagle pose in Wanker-Korea magazine.
Vogue Korea is a high fashion magazine and the nude body has been featured in other forms of art such as sculptures, illustrations and paintings for centuries. The idea of nude photography in this context is far from raunchy or shameful. The long lines and modest curves of a ballerina's body is not what you see in nude magazines.
What's to discipline? It seems the only reason for the discipline is someone didn't sign off of the concept before it was published. She's been in Vogue Korea before (see below). What's funny is I've framed this as a women's issue, but the artistic director of the Korean National Ballet,박인자 (Pak In-ja), is also a woman. You'd think they'd support her and not fine her.
Clearly, artists and entertainers in Korea need to strike such sweeping control clauses out of their contracts. Better yet, they need to expressly stipulate that they don't have to seek approval for images not directly connected to their work with a theater or ballet company, TV show, movie, etc. I know that's purely in theory because this society is all for micro-managing from top to bottom. However, it's got to change if Korea wants a shot at true globalization and maybe it can start with the artists...maybe.
It was because of unreasonably tight control like this that foreign participants in a talk show were canned when their fame got them commercial deals and appearances on other shows: Working Hard in Korea. That decision was just as silly to me as this one involving 김주원. In most cases, in the West, magazine photo spreads, commercials and cameo appearances are seen as a good thing because of the publicity. Sure, you don't want your entertainers who most definitely represent your group or show flashing crotch shots or dancing naked on tables, but that could also be worked out in the contract without limiting them to the point where they virtually have no choice in doing other projects. But getting fired for doing a cameo appearance on another TV show or getting your pay docked for doing a photo shoot for Vogue where you're topless shouldn't be happening.
However, I just remembered something similar happened to a children's show host in the US over a year ago: Make Satirical Video, Get Fired Years Later? Melanie Martinez Fired by PBS.
Here, however, there is so much micro-managing and control that employees don't have very much say and almost no options but to leave when something like this happens.
Here is 김주원 in action:
Update 1: April 20, 2008 @ 6:22am
Since it's the weekend of the extended insulin reaction for me. Instead of getting up to hike up the local mountain again, I decided to check the traffic to my blog. That lead me to this page: Korean Ballerina Posing Nude? (발레리나 김주원 누드)
These are the pics. These are clearly fashion photography/art pics. What's so shocking? Anyway, months after the fact I'm still getting hits. This is more about the porn seekers looking for a cheap thrill than anything else now. Keep movin' pervs. There isn't much to see here.
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