Scream "Swaaag!" for This Heart-fluttering Korean Drama, "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo"

Posted on at

(image source:
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo poster.

Good day everyone!  According to the news I heard a few days ago, summer is not yet official in the Philippines. This is unbelievable, when temperatures here in the country are reaching to around forty degrees celsius! If this is still not summer, then I fear how the summer will go this year! Even while writing this blog right now, my sweat is like a confetti popping out from my pores. Whew!

Speaking of temperature and sweat, well, this next blog I am writing is kind of related to it. The constant warmth that the Filipinos are giving to this show is as warm as the weather here in the Philippines during summer. And sweat because the lead character for this drama literally sweats her way to her goal because she is an athlete, a weightlifter to be exact. 

I am certain most people love Korean music. But I am not writing about Korean music today. We're all about dramas today!

Yes, Korean dramas! It may seem impossible but Korean drama is a major major(Venus Raj? Hehe!) thing here is the Philippines. It's been popular here in my country for several years already, but again this year, the wave of Korean drama swoop the islands of my country bigger like tsunami.

I don't know which drama triggered the craze, I just woke up one day and suddenly a close friend of mine was already into Korean drama and she's insisting me to watch shows on her long list too. And she recommended me to begin with this romantic comedy drama, "Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo".

Background Story

(image source:
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo poster.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo is a story about a girl athlete named Kim Bok Joo. Despite going through rigorous training in weightlifting, she became eager of becoming a primmed lady after falling in love to a doctor whom she later found out was the brother of Joon Hyung, a guy from the swimming team who keeps calling her "chubs"(Or "ttung" in Korean, meaning "fat") and later on falls in love with her. The story also revolves around the importance of friendship, family and dreams.

The show is a romantic comedy drama but is more on the comedy side. But when it comes to the romance and drama, it can also surely make you gush and pinch your heart.

The story is also slightly based on Jang Mi-ran's life, an Olympic weightlifter from South Korea.

(video source: DramaFever via
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo preview.

Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo aired in Korea at Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation(MBC) last November 16, 2016 until Januray 11, 2017 with 16 episodes. 

According to a Korean drama addict friend, the show didn't receive much attention in Korea but is a huge hit here in the Philippines. No wonder it would be so popular here in the Philippines because in my own opinion, the show is actually good, funny, and cute. Most Filipinos rely on the internet to watch Korean dramas. Unless a local television network airs it, and dub it in Filipino. Luckily, because of the show's popularity here in the country, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and other Korean dramas that were equally popular will be aired consecutively at one of our local television network, although there is still no schedule announced. That means more Filipinos will be able to watch these foreign dramas!


(image source: MBC via
Kim Bok Joo.

■ Kim Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung)

Kim Bok Joo or Bok Joo for short, is an athlete of the weightlifting team. She is physically tough and would defend any of her friends, team members and trainers to hell. Bok Joo is someone everyone admires. However, despite being looked up to, she has one insecurity that she tries so hard to fix—being a full-fledged lady. When she met Jae Yi, she decided to become a little more feminine in hopes that she would be noticed by her crush even if it means faking her interests and hobbies. She was scared that no man would love a woman like her—doing manly sports, getting bulging muscles and wrinkled face when lifting a barbell. Little did she know that there is a man who will love her even with all her insecurities, and that is Joon Hyung.

Bok Joo cares so much for her father's health and helps to the best she could in managing their food business, Bok Chicken. Their fried chicken is the best in town, by the way. 

(image source: MBC via
Jung Joon Hyung.

■ Jung Joon Hyung (Nam Joo Hyuk)

Joon Hyung is a member of the swimming team and a childhood schoolmate of Bok Joo. When he realized Bok Joo was the chubby kid who saved him several years ago, he started calling her "Chubs"( "ttung" in Korean which means "fat") He loves to tease and being around Bok Joo, getting the girl irritated by his actions unknowingly. Later, he realizes that he has fallen in love with the girl.

He also loves his family so much even though they were not his biological family. When his mother left him at a young age, he got very lonely and had even affected his swimming career. However, he was able to overcome it slowly after his mother came back to settle things between them. 

(image source: sash-hiatus via
Jung Jae Yi.

■ Jung Jae Yi (Lee Jae Yoon)

Jae Yi is a middle-aged doctor who runs a weight clinic. One rainy day, he saw a girl(Bok Joo) drenched in rain while carrying a dresser. Being the ever so kind gentleman, he let her under his umbrella making the heart of the girl flutter. After inviting her to his weight clinic he became close to Bok Joo and even more after knowing she plays cello and loves classical music. 

He is a very kind brother to Joon Hyung that it even annoyed Jun Hyoong at some point. Jae Yi, despite being a good doctor and the epitome of kindness, he is clueless of girls expressing their interest to him.

(image source: kfangurl via
Song Shi Ho.

■ Song Shi Ho (Kyung Soo Jin)

Shi Ho is a rhythmic gymnast and ex-girlfriend of Joon Hyung. When she returned to the campus, she became roommates with Bok Joo. She is sickly which affected her gymnastic routines. Later on, she tried to persuade Joon Hyung to mend their relationship but failed to do so. Mixed with her family problems, she became suicidal and started hating Bok Joo after seeing her having a good relationship with Joon Hyung. Taking her revenge, she secretly brought Bok Joo's diet book to the weightlifting gym for the trainers to find out Bok Joo's secret. 

Inspite of the unpleasant happenings on her life, she decided to move on with life and let go of her past love. She chose to support Bok Joo and Joon Hyung at the end.

(image source: MBC via
Jung Nan Hee.

■ Jung Nan Hee (Cho Hye Jung)

Nan Hee is also a weightlifting athlete and one of Bok Joo's best friends. She is short, ties her hair in twintail and has a hyper and childish personality. Nan Hee loves eating.

This small girl is also the brain behind the famous question, "Do you like Messi?" ("혹시 메시 좋아하세요?" Read as, "Hogsi mesi joh-ahaseyo?") According to her, asking this question to your crush will make him more interested in you because guys like girls who are into sports. 

Nan Hee is also the first to find out about Bok Joo's secret of going to a weight clinic.

(Trivia: Actress Cho Hye Jung needed to gain weight for her character Nan Hee. What a dedication! And after the drama, she was able to return to her slim figure in just one month! Link here!)

(image source:
Lee Seon Ok.

■ Lee Seon Ok (Lee Joo Young)

Seon Ok is also one of Bok Joo’s best friends and a weightlifter. This girl in short haircut is the exact opposite of Nan Hee. She is the cool and serious type, and appears to be tough. Her family runs an inn which she kept secret from everyone because she felt embarrassed about it. On the last few episodes, Seon Ok’s parents want her to quit weightlifting because they see no future for her in this sport but Bok Joo went out of her way to convince Seun Ok to return. Later on, she finds herself attracted to Tae Kwon, Joon Hyung's friend who is also from the swimming team.

She values her friends very much and hated being lied to. 

The "Swag!" Craze!


(video source: meilani. via
Compilation of "Swag" moments in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.

The "SWAG!" friends consists of the three weightlifting ladies Bok Joo, Nan Hee, and Seon Ok. Swag, or "Suweee"(how they say it on the show) is the three girls' trademark expression. These girls literally had given a new meaning to the word "swag". They honestly looked cool and a little funny when they match it with their facial expression and action. It has become one of the show's trademark along with Nan Hee's "Do you like Messi?"

Even though other cast tried to imitate the this expression, nobody can still do it better than the three girls. To give justice to what I am saying, please refer to the video above. (Hehe!) Thank you. Furthermore, here's a funny "What?!" compilation used in the background during the comedy scenes of the show and Kim Bok Joo's very cute ringtone "Nom Nom Nom" by Parry Gripp. Enjoy! 

What is the True Meaning of Beauty?

(image source: MBC via
Bok Joo when she went out for a "date" with Jae Yi.

This series shows the importance of perseverance and determination, being the keys to reach your goals. The importance of family and friends, that they would always be there to support you but won't tolerate you with your wrongdoings. The importance of being strong and unaffected by the bullies. And the importance of true love, which will bring out the best in you.

However, there is one that I believe this show really points out—and that is the true meaning of beauty. 

For you, what makes a woman beautiful?

Is it always being inclined with fashion? Having an on point makeup literally everyday? A perfect body? Being a girly girl? Being kind? Always wears a smile on her face?

In this drama, you will see how Bok Joo struggled between being a girl and a weightlifter. How she forced herself to lose weight which clearly violated her goals in weightlifting. She got conscious with her clothes and tried wearing a more feminine dress, even hiding the truth that she is an athlete who carries heavy barbells. According to Bok Joo, female weightlifters are so hopeless in love that nobody would love them because no man wants their woman with bulging muscles and popping veins. And the wrinkled faces they make while lifting the heavy barbell is a total turn off for men.

Sure, a woman is to be considered woman when she exudes femininity and grace. But I would like to break this stereotype and say, 

Be Who You Are!

(image source: MBC via
The typical Bok Joo.

That's right! We shouldn't get trapped to the standards the society is trying to implant in our minds about how a woman should be labeled beautiful. 

Be yourself!

If people belittle you of your looks, brush them off. (Taylor Swift says, "Shake It Off". Selena Gomez says, "Who Says?") You don't need everyone's approval. Outer beauty is good but inner beauty is everything. Being confident of who you are no matter how you look will still make you beautiful. Being true of yourself and not trying to be someone you are not to please other people will make you more a genuine person. In the long run, inner beauty triumphs outer beauty because the outer beauty fades over time while inner beauty or goodness of the heart remains forever.

Sure, some people will hate you for being you. However, through this, you will be able to know the true people you should treasure forever. Bok Joo, along with her friends, were ridiculed of their appearance but in the end, there is one person who proved that Bok Joo is worth-loving after all. 

We can't please everyone, that's reality. As they say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Since the show highlights different sports, I added here a survey about sports. My favorite sport is volleyball even though I greatly lack in height. Haha! What's yours?

Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

About the author