In case you're wondering, this has nothing to do with ancient acupuncture meridians.
Rather, this is today in South Korea, where it's become so common to see the S-Line and V-Line used on television and in magazine ads that the locals there might be astonished to learn that not many outside of Seoul are that familiar with the Korean practice of classifying Asian body shapes by assigning them letters from the Latin alphabet.
S-Line used in a health
With the best letters already taken, the newest Korean body lines have begun employing numbers, objects with well-known shapes (most notably glass containers), and food items as their descriptors.
S-Line - Ample breasts and buttocks when viewed from the side
S-Line (second use) - Side view: forehead to bridge of nose to tip of nose
V-Line - A slim and oval face narrowing towards the chin (see wide face simulation slidshow above)
V-Line (second use) - The line in-between the breasts
W-Line - Breasts viewed from the front
X-Line - Long legs and arms connected by a narrow waist
U-Line - Exposed lower back in low cut clothing
M-Line - A "six pack" of abdominal muscles on men
D-Line - A pregnant (or pregnant-appearing) abdomen
B-Line - Big breasts, big abdomen
O-Line - Generalized obesity
8 Line - S-line married to a tiny waist, a shape sometimes mistakenly referred to as the X-line described above
1/8 Line - More accurately, "8 Deung-Shin," which indicates a face so small that it accounts for only 1/8 of the body
According to the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards:
Beer Bottle Line - Narrow, dropped shoulders and overall flab
Jar Line - Loss of a well-defined waist
While not exactly a "line," food terms are being used in similar ways:
Egg line - Oval-shaped face that is not quite as sharp at the chin as the V-line described above
Honey thighs - Immaculate, smooth skin over the female thigh (or you might say the opposite of "cottage cheese")
Chocolate abs - A "chiseled" abdomen, similar to the M-line described above
With More Sure To Come...
Here are a few we've encountered that haven't yet caught on:
Y-Line - Giant breasts, rest of the body tiny (think overdone implants)
Zero-Line - Stick-thin head to toe (think anorexia)
And here are two new ones that we just thought up:
US-Line - Fuller female curves so popular in the United States
I-Line - Contours around the eyes, not just the crease (also, eyeline)
Frivilous, devious, or useful...
Some observers are quick to dismiss such catchy designations as little more than clever marketing gimmicks intended to encourage Asian teens and young women to evaluate their bodies in an overly critical light, using Western letters to objectify living flesh with artificial beauty ideals.
While there may be an element of truth to this, we view such harsh assessments as shortchanging the true significance. Why? Because body line designations are far more than a "call to action" for plastic surgery.
Instead, they communicate complex and nuanced relationships of shape and balance more succinctly and effectively than any other method (in other words, they're more about major body contours than individual or isolated anatomic parts).
They're also more descriptive, less pejorative, and in better taste than their few American slang counterparts.
In any case, Victorian-era corsets and girdles are said to be making a comeback. Cosmetics companies, clothing designers, dealers of exercise equipment, diet aids, soft drinks, and even a line of beer now feature a prominent S or V in their branding or packaging. Pop celebrities openly discuss their own letter lines.
Not to miss out, some plastic surgeons have attached popular alphabet descriptors to serious operations, such as the "V-line chin reduction surgery" designed to slim the lower face.
Like them or not, Korean body lines are popular, growing more so, and here to stay.
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S-Line, V-Line, & 19 More Body Lines