Feminist book Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Namjoo has been a hot topic of conversation in South Korea for years. Last year, it as even adapted into a movie starring Gong Yoo and Jung Yumi. One of the main reasons the book attracted so much attention was that several K-Pop idols admitted to reading it in spite of all the backlash. Now, three of them have been honored with quotes in the foreword from the Canadian edition of the book’s recently released English version.
1. Sooyoung (Girls’ Generation)
The first idol quote in the book is from Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung.
I read the book and it changed how I think. Everything I’ve put aside, thinking it doesn’t mean anything, is actually because I am a woman. I realized how unfair it has been all this time.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 made such an impression on Sooyoung, she named her Dingo reality show after it: Choi Sooyoung, Born 1990. The quote used in the English edition of the book comes from a scene on Sooyoung’s show.
[TRANS] Sooyoung: Did you read 'Kim Ji Young, Born in 1982' (well-known feminist novel)? After reading that book, it was like getting hit on the back of the head. Things that I thought were nothing, were actually being treated unfairly just because I'm a girl. (…) https://t.co/WUzp1EgH0Q
— ㅈㄱㅇ (@ch0sshi) January 12, 2018
2. RM (BTS)
The next idol quote comes from BTS’s RM.
The book’s implications were unlike any other, and I was impressed. It’s a thought-provoking book.
RM has always been an avid reader. Back in 2018, he took to live broadcast to talk to ARMYs about some of the books he’d been enjoying recently. One of those books was Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982.
3. Irene (Red Velvet)
Last but not least, the book also includes a quote about Red Velvet’s Irene from renowned international business magazine Quartz.
Irene, a member of the girl group Red Velvet, faced an online backlash after she told a fan meeting that she’d been reading Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, a book that quietly chronicles all the small ways women experience being ‘less than’ in Korea… [and] illustrates the injustices faced by Korean women.
Irene was the center of a huge controversy back in March 2018 when she revealed she read the book, with some fans going as far as to burn her photocards.
However, the outcome ultimately became positive when sales of the book skyrocketed 450% thanks to Irene’s association.