Kim Ji Na’s modeling career has taken her all over the world. She tells us that besides getting to sample all the glorious delicacies each country has to offer, her favorite part of traveling definitely has to be meeting the different kinds of people. We were lucky enough to have the chance to sit down with her for a quick chat, but surprisingly she had more questions for us than we had for her. She loves learning about different perspectives people have about life in general. Here a few insights into her life we learned from our quick exchange.
Everyone is so thin! It’s hard because I love eating but I always have to diet because I need to maintain my figure.
We can see your struggle. Are a lot of Koreans as health conscious as you [One Championship] girls are?
I can’t really generalize since it really depends on how much care you put into looking good and how much you care about how people view you. I honestly don’t care much about what people think of me, but my job puts me in a position where I really need to keep myself healthy.
What do you mean about caring about what other people think of you?
Some more conservative and traditional Koreans really care about what people think of them so they try to really look as best as possible so people can't judge them. It has its positives and negatives.
So we guess you’re not the conservative type, huh?
I guess so. Since I get to travel a lot, I’m more exposed to different cultures and I have to say that I really enjoy learning their different perspectives. Conservative Koreans seem to value our traditional culture and values more so they can focus in developing those. The younger generation is more open to learning new things the world has to offer them.
So do you think that Koreans should be more open to foreign perspectives?
In my opinion, yes, we do. I understand that the previous generations teach us these values because they want us to become successful. They find it strange when the younger generation thinks critically about their traditional values because for them, they are tried and tested means to succeed in life. But if we aren’t open to learning from other cultures, Koreans will definitely miss out on learning very important things in life.
Here in the Philippines, we’re very influenced by Western culture, to a point that it could be said that it has somehow overtaken our very own. Heck, some Filipinos are more comfortable talking in English than in Filipino. Do you ever thing that’ll be a problem in Korea as other cultures become more prevalent?
I think it will be alright since Western cultures are also being influenced by Korean culture. I love it when I get a massage somewhere and people great me with “Annyeonghaseyo” and I also greet them back with their own greetings like “Kamusta?” I don’t think Korean culture is going anywhere as long as people appreciate it. Being open to other cultures doesn’t mean forgetting yours. It’s about how we share and respect each other’s culture.
Photography Ejay Leung of Midnight Bonkers Makeup Janina Dizon Stylist Sancho Bernardo and R-Jya Ramos Hair Dave Grona Shot on Location Nobu Hotel, City of Dreams Translation Sara Lim