Weekly Magazine THE STAR

TERM The 172th term 

This Week's Article

Fashion Followers

Ms. Dan-ye Jee
Seoul Nat'l Univ. of Edu

 Have you ever seen someone wearing same clothes on the street? It is not difficult to find people who have similar coats, hair style, bags and so on. The trend 'fashion' is not only the case of clothing. The lunch box selling in convenience store is a big hit and many people say hip-hop is a general trend nowadays.
 The fashion is always one of the top issues and it is formed by a procedure of individuals imitating the fashion group. However, the fashion which gets the spotlight, changes so fast and gives its seat to the next fashion trend.

 Then, what do you think about those who follow the fashion? While there are various trends now, there are people who intentionally avoid to follow the fashion trend and buy items which others don't use. This phenomenon is called 'snob effect'. They want to be distinguished from others because they think just adopting the trend is uncreative. In my case, I never wore tennis skirt after March, once I saw the classroom full of girls wearing colorful tennis skirts.

 However, following the fashion cannot be just discounted as missing originality. Because through repeating imitation and competition of similar brands, better and better one comes out. The craze of rice burger(Bab burger) and successive new shops with similar rice burgers may seem as a lack of creativity, but it brought improvement of quality.

 Also fashion is actually one of the culture. The reason why people buy same items with their friends, is to share fellowship each other. And this means that the person is the member of the group, eventually forming a friendly bond.

 By the way, we can't ignore that, at the same time, this could strengthen the boundary between those who follow the fashion and  who don't. Few years ago, the Northface jumper was a big trouble in schools. Many students appealed to their parents that they need one and that made lots of parent struggle with money to get the same and expensive jumpers. Did the students really think that the brand was the best among all jumpers? Maybe some did, but most of them just wanted, because all of other friends had it and that was an essential condition to join in the group.

 Moreover, if the fashion loses popularity, then the imitating group may just disappear suddenly, as if there were no such a nice group before. And then the people who were in that group will transfer to another trend fashion group to feel the sense of belonging.

 Those who love fashion gets confidence by showing that they are sharing public preference. And those who don't love fashion gets pride by boasting their own originality. The psychology based on peoples' behavior toward fashion may be much more complicated, and it seems to be worthy to think about what the fashion is and the effects which affects to the society.

Word check

● discount [dɪsˈkɑʊnt] : to decide that something or someone is not worth consideration or attention.

● originality [ə|rɪdƷə|nӕləti] : the quality of being special and interesting and not the same as anything or anyone else.

● craze [kreɪz] : an activity, style, or fashion that is very popular, usually for a short time.

● successive [səkˈses.ɪv] : happening one after the other without any break.

● boundary [ˈbɑʊn·dri, -də·ri] : an edge or limit of something.


1. Do you usually follow the fashion(clothes, food, music and so on)?

2. What do you think about the culture of following the fashion?
Blooming Article

Korea and Japan unlikely to settle wartime sex slavery

22nd August, 2016
Edited by Ms. Hyun-Kyung Yoon

 Korea and Japan are likely to drag on their disputes over "comfort women" even after Tokyo pays 1 billion yen ($9.9 million) to Seoul in line with last year's agreement over the thorny historical issue.

 Claiming lack of historical evidence, Japan still denies its sexual enslavement of the Korean women for its army before and during World War II.

 Tokyo also insists that it will offer the 1 billion yen on humanitarian grounds while refusing to accept demands from surviving victims that the payment must be made as legal compensation.

 Concerning the "girl statue" that symbolizes former Korean sex slaves, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has repeatedly expressed hope that Korea will consider removing it.

 The statue, across the street in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, has irked conservative Japanese. The Japanese government has claimed the statue should be removed in line with its agreement with Seoul on Dec. 28, when the two sides agreed to settle sex slavery issues "finally and irrevocably" and refrain from blaming each other over the "comfort women."

 On the Korean side, the survivors and their advocates claim the Dec. 28 agreement is void because it lacks Japan's acknowledgment of its legal responsibility for its state-perpetrated sex crimes.

 They also said the agreement was reached without consulting the victims.

 "I'd say the Dec. 28 agreement will cause another controversy over ‘comfort women' following the 1965 pact made between Korea and Japan," said Lee Myeon-woo, a Japan expert at the Sejong Institute.

 Speaking on condition of anonymity, another researcher said, "It will be an endless cycle of disputes and I'm uncertain whether Korea and Japan can resolve their dispute permanently as they promised."

 In what was seen as a move not to provoke Japan, President Park Geun-hye did not mention "comfort women" during her speech marking the 71st anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

 She instead called for a future-oriented relationship between South Korea and Japan, saying that to make meaningful changes it was important that Japan first face up to history.

Word check

● thorny [θɔ:rni] : If you describe a problem, you mean that it is very complicated and difficult to solve, and that people are often unwilling to discuss it.

● humanitarian [hju:mænɪteəriən]: If a person or society has humanitarian ideas or behaviour, they try to avoid making people suffer or they help people who are suffering.

● irk [ɜ:rk] : If something irks you, it irritates or annoys you.

● void [vɔɪd] : To void something means to officially say that it is not valid.


1. What do you think of Japan's behavior?

2. How can the government best cope with this problem?