Monday, 19 July 2010

Physical (Genetic) Differences between East Asians (Koreans) and Caucasians (Western Europeans)

In this post I’m basically going to list differences I’ve noticed during my years of living in Korea in the physical differences between Korean people and white people – particularly the white people I’m most familiar with, namely those of Western European descent. From the outset such a list is going to have gross generalizations. They are not intended to be racist or degrading to any of the two groups, although some stereotyping is inevitable.


Viewed from the front, Korean heads are generally wider than Caucasian heads. Caucasian heads seem longer. Viewed from the side, Koreans heads seem shorter, as if flattened from the front and back. Caucasian heads seems more oblong, as if flattened from the sides.


Korean hair is rounder and therefore generally straight. Only on occasion would one see a Korean with naturally wavy or somewhat curly hair. Caucasian hair is more often oval shaped and therefore tends to wave or curl. Korean hair is typically black or dark brown. Caucasian hair is seen in a wide spectrum of hues, from brown to blond. Korean hair seems usually thicker and stronger than Caucasian hair, although older Korean people seem to have thinner hair.


Korean faces are usually wider and Caucasian faces narrower. Koreans typically have higher cheek bones.


Koreans generally have thicker eyebrows than Caucasians, while the arcs of Caucasians eyebrows tend to look wider. Many Koreans do not have a “double eye lid,” which is a natural second fold in the eye lid seen with Caucasians. This makes their eyes seem narrower. Many Koreans, especially women, get plastic surgery to create an artificial “double eye lid” and so increase the opening of the eye – making their eyes “bigger.” Korean eyes seem further apart and Caucasian eyes seem closer together. The eye shape of Koreans is typically Asian with a more defined slant towards the outside edges.

Korean eye colour is dark brown, brown and on occasion a light yellow brown. Caucasian eye colour comes in a variety of hues.


I wouldn’t say that Korean noses are stereotypically bigger than Caucasian noses. The nose bridge of most Koreans, however, is much lower than Caucasian nose bridges which tend to be comparatively much higher. The lower nose bridge gives the impression that Korean noses are typically broader than Caucasian noses. This lower nose bridge also creates the illusion that Koreans' eyes are further apart. Rhinoplasty to raise the nose bridge is a common type of cosmetic plastic surgery in South Korea.


Generally, Koreans have fuller lips than Caucasians. I've been told by a Korean dentist that the actual nerves of Caucasian teeth are longer than those of Korean teeth.


Typically Koreans have much more defined jawbones than Caucasians, especially Korean men. When viewed from behind, it is often possible to actually see the Angles of Mandible of a Korean man’s jaw protruding out on the side. On the other hand, one very seldom notices a Caucasian man’s jaw when viewed from behind.

Caucasian men are more prone to facial hair than Korean men. Facial hair for Korean men tends to cluster around the mouth and chin to form a “goatie” while Caucasian beards tend to grow along the jaw line, lower cheeks and meet with the sideburns. Many Korean men grow “fake” side burns by growing their normal hair long along the ears.


I haven’t noticed any specific general differences in the ear shape between Koreans and Caucasians. Like with Caucasians, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Caucasian ear wax is usually moist and a golden brown in colour. Korean ear wax is usually dry and white-gray in colour.


Korean skin is usually a light tan and may even, with much sun exposure, turn into a strong golden brown. Caucasian skin ranges from very fair to a golden tan or dark tan.

Most Korean babies (I’ve heard more boys than girls) are born with a blue/purple spot on their bum, known as a “Mongolian Spot” (Congenital dermal melanocytosis). The spot usually disappears in early childhood and tends to be gone by puberty, although for some this birth mark remains into adulthood.


Typically, Koreans have very little body hair. Occasionally Korean men will have some chest hair. While many Korean men may have some leg hair (although comparatively little relative to Caucasian men), most Korean men do not have any arm hair.


Koreans have longer torso’s than Caucasians, but shorter limbs. For this reason Korean muscles often look shorter, i.e. rounder, and therefore more easily defined when they do weight training. The average Korean is 1.73 m tall. North Koreans are typically 1.65 m tall. The average Caucasian, if I were to guess, is around 1.75 m tall. I’m about 1.78-1.8 m tall.


Usually Korean women tend to have smaller breasts and hips than Caucasian women and therefore less of an hour-glass figure. Instead, the Korean aesthetic ideal for women's body shape is an "S-line."


Relative to Caucasian pubic hair, Korean pubic hair seems less curly. The pubic hair of Asian women is described as "black, short, straight and not thick but rather sparse" (Dennis Morris, The Naked Woman, p. 193). So sparse, in fact, is the pubic hair of some Korean women that they would actually have "hair surgically transplanted from their head to the genital area" (Dennis Morris, The Naked Man, p. 191), because of the general taste of Korean men in bushy pubic hair.

Like with Caucasians, the pubic skin can have no extra pigmentation, or a lot of extra pigmentation causing the labia and scrotum to look dark, even purplish in colour. The average erect Korean penis is about 9-12 centimetres. The average erect Caucasian penis is around 12-15 centimetres. (See a world map of sizes here.)


I've noticed many bow-legged Koreans especially among Korean women. One reason for this may be the purposeful atrophy of calf muscles by Korean women. Well developed calf muscles in women are not considered appealing to many Koreans. Well developed legs are even frowned upon by the Korean media (see a video here).

On the other hand, Korean men often have well developed calf muscles, probably because of the variety of sports enjoyed involving leg agility like soccer, foot volleyball, basketball and the like.


Relative to Caucasian feet, Korean feet are generally smaller but wider. It is generally difficult to find shoe sized for men over 285cm, which is UK size 12 or US size 12 1/2.


Many people consider Caucasian and Korean mixes to be very beautiful. The model/actor Daniel Henney is one of the most famous Caucasian-Korean mixes. It is believed by many that he got the best genetic trades from both sides of the gene-pool.

His father is British and his mother is Korean.

A beautiful female Korean-mix is Christina Sthair, whose father is German and mother Korean.

See more Korean-mixes at HalfKorean.Com.

2012 HalfKorean.Com

This is how I may have looked was I half Korean. Read more about this photo here.


Mary-Jane said...

Hi there - what's your source for this information? Otherwise you have a lot of explaining to do about how exactly you knew about the earwax, among other things :-)

It's interesting how the races differ. The two most common theories that come to mind are: (1) Different alien races who came to occupy earth or (2) Natural developement.

Personally I favour the alien races - it makes it so much more interesting :-) Which view do you support?

Skryfblok said...

Uhm . . . most of it is from personal observation . . . Some of it is from asking many questions and collaborating information on the Internet. I'll let you decide which is which. ;-)

Well, according to Korean myth they are the result of a female bear sleeping with a heavenly being. (The story of Dan-Gun.) That sounds like an alien race to me!

But generally I'll go with the "there's not much sun in the higher parts of Europe so less skin pigments are needed, that's why white people are white and black people, historically living where there is lots of sun and more pigments are needed, are black" theory.

What I'm wondering is why are Caucasian's heads squeezed from the sides and Asian heads squeezed from the front and back? Does it occur during birth, as the baby's head is pushed through the birth canal? Which would suggest that the pelvic shape of Caucasians and Asians are different. Mmm . . . I must investigate!

Mary-Jane said...

I'm not sure where or how you're going to find evidence for the pelvic shape - I suspect that head shape probably has more to do with genetic differences of the baby itself.
I've forgotten about Dan Gun, how interesting!

Skryfblok said...

I saw an albino Korean person today. At first I thought it was a foreigner, but later I noticed some of the facial features I listed in my post. But it was only really when I heard the man speaking to his Korean friend that I was sure that he was in fact a Korean person and not Caucasian. Most interesting -- I haven't seen an Albino Korean person before, and have only seen Albino Asians (not Korean) on the Internet. I wonder if Albinism is less common among Asian people than other ethnicities. In South Africa I've noticed Albinism much more than here in Korea.

Skryfblok said...

A Korean friend reminded me of the differences in feet between Caucasians and Asians, so I added the feet-section.