It cannot be denied that many Filipinas find Korean men generally more attractive than Filipinos. The realization of this fact has been the subject of countless online flame wars and cause for insecure “Pinoy Pride “chest-beating every other time a K-Pop boy group or Korean matinee idol visits the country to a giddy reception from (mostly) Filipina fans.
This admiration of Korean men doesn’t necessarily mean that Filipinas would rather marry a Korean, nor get into a relationship with one. It does, however, give Korean men who do want to go out with Filipinas a huge advantage over most Filipino men.
Regardless of whether you have a morbid curiosity about the phenomenon or simply want to harness that Korean kamandag for yourself, it’s worth knowing the five biggest reasons Pinays find Korean men so attractive.
1.) The cultural differences (and similarities) are intriguing
It’s normal for most people to be intrigued about what it would be like to date or be intimate with someone from a different culture. There’s a kind of thrill that comes with being just a bit alien that makes most people swoon.
As when it comes to dating other foreigners, the cultural differences make the matchup (or the idea of one) just a bit more titillating. The fact that Korean men are so obviously different from most Filipinos also adds a bit of intrigue that stimulates the imagination.
Almost as important as the differences, however, are the similarities. Koreans may be foreigners, but they also share many of the same values as Filipinos, in terms of how we treat our families, our collective nature, and our collective exposure to both Eastern and Western culture.
It’s also important to note that most Koreans are also quite familiar with Christian practices, and many are also Christian themselves. This makes it easy for many Filipinas and Koreans to interact with each other.
2.) A historical preference for lighter skin
We’ve all heard the odd Filipina proclaim that she wants light-skinned babies. It’s no secret that most Filipinas see people with lighter skin a more attractive. And given that most Korean men have lighter skin, to begin with, this gives them an edge over the average local when it comes to attracting Filipinas.
While there may be a bit of a racial element to it today, this local preference was once almost universal across different cultures, as the lack of a tan usually meant that a person worked indoors, and was probably wealthier. This preference for lighter skin was apparent even in Western countries, and skin lightening was all the rage in Victorian Europe. In the West, however, this preference started to disappear when Coco Chanel started wearing a tan in the 1920s.
This preference for lighter skin did not go away in Asia, however, and the pattern was further reinforced in the Philippines thanks to lighter-skinned colonizers. Even if they were not always wealthier than the locals in all cases, there was and continues to be a very definite pattern where darker-skinned people tend to earn less and have fewer opportunities in life compared to lighter skinned folks. This tends to mean that lighter skin was often seen as more desirable.
And you don’t need a sociology degree to see that this is the case. A cursory check of the people you see outdoors and the people you see gracing the inside pages of local lifestyle magazines and TV programs tends to show more lighter-skinned folks in the latter. Most Filipinas grow up seeing this all around them, and it’s no surprise that they will find lighter-skinned Korean men attractive as well.
3.) They’re richer than the average Filipino
We all knew this was coming. It’s no secret that Korean men earn several times more than most Filipinos. Even with their high living costs, they are able to comfortably afford a quality of life in terms of material items much better than that of the average Filipino.
Most Filipinas tend to be somewhat pakipot about whether or not they would go out with a guy simply because of money. Most would hesitate to say it outright, but it’s pretty much obvious to anyone with a functioning set of eyes that in reality, plenty of Filipinas are really just after a guy who can buy her the nicer things in life.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If money is what turns you on, that’s really your own business. However, given that the lowest wages in South Korea earn you roughly between P60,000 and P72,000 equivalent per month, it’s clear that the average Filipino simply cannot compete if the woman he wants is simply after money.
4.) An association with Korean popular culture
The South Korean cultural juggernaut has been steadily taking over the world since the 2000s, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Korean food, dramas, music, fashion, cosmetics, and films are extremely popular locally and they no longer all that exotic for most Filipinos.
However, Korean cultural exports are often seen as superior to local equivalents. We’d be lying or delusional to think that this isn’t for good reason. The quality of Korean cultural exports quite often blows away both local and Western counterparts out of the water, as evidenced by the fact that Korean culture is quickly taking over most of the Western world as well.
This “Koreans do it better” idea has been floating around in the country for well over a generation at this point, and the idea is so pervasive that even local and foreign companies try to produce items with a bit of Korean flair in them. It’s no wonder that younger Filipinas are especially drawn to Koreans, given that everything they’re associated with seems to be just better, overall.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of the popularity of Korean culture also has to do with official Korean foreign policy. While the Chinese try to win the world over with loans and cash assistance, the South Korean government has thrown its weight behind Korean popular culture in an attempt to create a market for its products and increase tourism in the country. So we guess you can bring up that tidbit the next time someone brings up K-Pop in a conversation.
5.) They have elevated grooming and fashion standards compared to most Filipino men
Let’s face it – Filipino men tend to be quite sloppy when it comes to personal grooming and fashion. The rise in the men’s care market seems to indicate that we’re certainly slightly less grungy than we were in the 90s, but compared to Korean men, there simply is no comparison.
Korean culture puts a huge emphasis on outward appearances. While self-care, grooming, and fashion are often seen as effeminate and undesirable pursuits by many Filipino men, Korean men simply do not see it the same way.
Being a “pretty boy” is seen as desirable in Korea, and as a result, Korean men tend to invest more time and money in self-care, cosmetics, and fashion compared to most Filipinos. They generally tend to watch what they eat and try to keep themselves healthier than most Filipinos, not because it’s necessarily good for them, but because it helps them be more attractive.
The result is that Korean men’s “hotness baseline”, if such a thing exists, is higher compared to our own, regardless of how ugly we all really are, underneath all that BB cream.
Why do you think many Filipina girls go for Korean men? Tell us your titillating theories below.