A lot of Koreans are short- particularly girls. My brother told me that for some reason a common myth passed down to children is jumping rope will make you taller- because you’re fighting gravity. He would tell them he never did much jump rope and they were amazed (He is over 6 feet tall).
Koreans used to take pride in their small stature. There was a Korean saying “ A smaller pepper is hotter”, but that idea has faded with Korea’s application of Western ideals in the past 30 plus years. They even have clinics where parents send their too short offspring to stretch (and probably jump rope) to get taller. Short kids are made fun of here in the states but there they have the belief that tall boys will have greater job prospects and better suited wives. Researching this phenomenon, I read that parents would shell upwards of 800 dollars a week to these clinics that are all over South Korea. Some even get growth hormone shots.
Their K-Pop idols aren’t helping. They all tall and present that height is a status symbol. Ironically, since South Korea’s advancement from being a third world countries, on average Korean boy’s heights have increased 3.5 inches, girls 2 inches. Largely from better nutrition I would assume.
It’s interesting to see what South Korea obsesses about, as America already went through its “growing pains” as a country and for all given purposes still hold on to some of the stigma from a few of them. Our children look up to pop idols. Our children are still told to not go in the rain for fever of catching a cold. And we pass judgment on short men in fancy cars as compensating for height (among other things.) Me personally, I still get asked if I am a basketball player, even as an adult. While some things change, some will always be the same.