Well she at least wants to be naked as is the custom when she is patronizing a Korean Spa. During a recent visit to one in Los Angeles, Margaret Cho and her body art, seemed to offend some more traditional women of her very own Korean ethnicity. Below is her detailed account of that visit and her feelings on it.
For us it’s interesting just seeing how sometimes your own communities cannot come to terms with its own diversity at times. Sometimes it’s a generational thing in how the older and more traditional generations of an ethnicity can find disappointment or take issue with a younger generation being influenced by contemporary American culture. It sets up an interesting dynamic because most of the older generations want the younger to be comfortable in American society yet seem to feel a certain way when they take part in particular elements of American culture.
Have any of our readers experienced discrimination or acceptance problems in your own ethnic communities because of something unique to you? Let us know in the comments!
by Margaret Cho via Jezebel
In a Room Full of Naked Koreans, Margaret Cho’s Body Is an Unwelcome Sight
This is a really beautiful Korean spa in Los Angeles called Aroma Spa & Sports. Korean spas are wonderful, and they hold a special place in my heart. I have been going to the jimjilbang since I was a little girl in Korea. You can have a bath and a scrub and a sauna and usually a meal and other spa treatments if you like, and aroma is special because there’s a huge swimming pool, a state of the art gym and a golf range on the top floor.
I went this morning, had a gorgeous swim in the pool, then went downstairs to have a soak, scrub and sauna. As soon as I walked into the locker room, I felt uncomfortable. I guess I should mention here, Korean spas are, uh — well, clothing optional is not the right thing to call them. It’s more clothing non-optional, in that everyone is naked.
Perhaps I do get stared at a lot because I am a heavily tattooed woman, but I am also a Korean woman, and I feel I have the right to be naked in the Korean spa with other Korean women. I don’t feel shame that my skin is decorated. My tattoos are my glory. I am happy in my skin and I am not sure what to say when others are not happy with my skin.
I walked around from pool to pool, and I kept getting dirty looks from the ladies there. They would talk about me very negatively in Korean, and I just spoke loudly in Korean –- not back at them, but nicely –- saying “ahhh Jotah!” which means “this feels good” –- really at no one -– but just to show that I could understand what they were saying and they weren’t getting away with anything.
I walked into the huge sauna, naked, and sat there watching golf on tv –- they have a fucking tv in the sauna. How sweet is that? A few seconds later, a fully clothed young woman, I am guessing the manager of Aroma Spa, came into the sauna, looked around and walked back out. Then, I guess she mustered up the courage and came in again and asked me if I would come outside with her, as the sauna was too hot for her as she was fully dressed.
I walked out to next to the pools with her, and she sat me down on the wet bench and tried to tell me, very apologetically that I was making the women there upset with my heavily tattooed body. She was really sorry and embarrassed about it, and I felt bad, but I was actually enraged.
This is something I have never done -– I actually said, in Korean “Do you know who I am? I am MARGARET CHO!” She realized who I was, and she was horrified! She said she did know me, and had seen me and was familiar with my work, and she apologized even more profusely and tried to explain that in Korean culture, tattoos are very taboo and my body was upsetting everyone there. I told her I was aware of that, but… [Read Full Article HERE]