Why Asians Make V-Signs in Photos


Hi everyone, my name is Sue, and I am a huge
fan of everything Asian! Style, food, music, movies. I thought it’d be fun to make my profile like
that, so I decided to find out more about it. One thing I really want to know is what’s
the big deal with the V sign in photos? So guess what? I found a friend from Korea to guide me through
all the cool stuff. Her name’s Ji-yun. The first thing I noticed about Ji-yun’s writing
is that she uses a lot of wave symbols, I think they are called tildes. She never just calls me ‘Sue’, it’s always
‘Sue~’. She adds it to pretty much every sentence. She explained to me it’s supposed to make
them kinder! And when it’s added after a name, it shows
affection. That’s so cute~! It looks like they don’t just add it to sentences,
but even to emoticons. Speaking of those old-school smileys, they
do them their own way. When you’re trying to read the emoticons the
way they are in Europe or the US, you have to turn them to the side 90 degrees. Otherwise you won’t see how a colon and a
closing bracket are a smiley face, right? In Asia – you have to look at a smiley the
way it is. It makes the guessing game a bit harder, but
you can read them easier when you’ve seen plenty of them. The most basic one is two carets and an underscore
in-between. You can try playing with it and adding some
extra emotions. I’ll use it when I make descriptions for my
future photos. Ji-yun told me a sure way to get many likes
on a picture is to cross your thumb and index finger. First I didn’t see what it meant, but then
I realized it’s the cutest thing ever – a little finger heart! K-pop helped finger heart take over the world. They say it started with an actress Kim Hye-soo
in 2010, and has been a hit ever since. When Benedict Cumberbatch went on a promo
tour for Doctor Strange in 2016 he tried doing it to please the Korean fans. It turned out to be harder than it looks like. At 2018 PyeongChang, they even sold official
finger heart gloves! Hmmm, that makes me wonder – what if V-sign
also stands for something cute like finger hearts in Asia? I’m getting to it! The more recent finger heart variation is
the ‘Chuu heart’. Chuu from Korean girl group Loona started
it, and everyone loved it! You make a circle with both hands and then
bite into it like into an imaginary hamburger. And… here comes the heart shape. I can tell why it’s also called a bite heart. Now I have a theory about the V sign. Maybe it also has to do with some celebrity
that started it all? There are many pictures of Winston Churchill
throwing the peace sign. John Lennon and Yoko Ono also did it for world
peace. But did they really start the V-craziness
in Asia? I found out there are a few theories, and
none of them involves Churchill or Lennon. The first theory says it started in the 1960s
with baseball comic Kyojin no Hoshi (Star of the Giants), and manga Sain wa V! (V Is the Sign). They made a TV series out of the manga, and
everyone started doing the “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!” chant. Another theory says a super popular singer
in Japan from The Spiders band, Jun Inoue, started it all. He was in a Konica camera commercial in 1972
and threw the V in there. This theory is the most wide-spread explanation
of the V-sign craze in Japan. I think it does make sense: in the 1980s cameras
were becoming more and more popular. At the same time, magazines for women and
girls were another hit. Everyone was buying these magazines, and everyone
wanted to look as “kawaii” as possible (that means cute), just like the girls from
all those glossy pages. This is most likely how it spread to Eastern
Asia. The magazine girls made V-signs, real life
girls copied them. It has to do with how it changes your face. But more on that later. Theory number three is that it began with
American figure skater Janet Lynn. 18-year-old Janet was taking part in Sapporo
Olympics in Japan in 1972. She had a lot of fans, both her smile and
her skating skills were fantastic, and she’d just won five U.S. championships in a row. Everyone was positive she’d win, but oh
the fates, she fell doing a spin two minutes into her performance. It was obvious she wouldn’t win the gold. But instead of making a sad or angry face
Lynn was smiling like a rock star leaving the ice. And this is how she won a bronze medal and
the hearts of thousands of Japanese people. As she toured the country and signed magazines
for her fans with “Peace and love”, she showed the V-sign quite a lot. And this is how it became associated with
a “don’t ever give up” and “you can do it” way of thinking. Of course, no one thinks of all that these
days when they put up their index and middle fingers. It’s almost an instinct all around Asia. I think I can relate to that – I often don’t
know what to do with my hands when someone’s taking a picture of me. Is it just me who feels awkward this way? Let me know in the comments if you also struggle
or you know exactly what to do when the shutter goes up? Anyway, it’s not just an easy solution for
your hands, but also a way to make yourself look more kawaii, or cute. When you do it the right way, your face looks
smaller and sweeter in pictures. I asked Ji-yun for insights on how to make
it work, and she said the trick was to tilt the fingers towards the face and tilt the
face forward. It looks thinner this way. You can also try touching your face with your
fingers or spreading them on the side of any of the eyes. Add a wink and a duckface at the same time,
and success is guaranteed. It’s pretty much like a live version of
Purikura. Oh, Purikura are photo machines that are crazy
popular in Japan. You can find them anywhere from shopping malls
to landmarks and aquariums. They instantly add a ton of effect to your
pictures. You can experiment with effects, colors, and
textures. At game centers, you can rent real costumes,
wigs, bunny or cat ears. What I personally don’t like about it is
that it changes your body automatically because I think you’re beautiful the way you are,
but well, it’s popular anyway. There are tons of apps where you can do Purikura
directly on your phone. There are some more tips Ji-yun gave me for
pictures that work in Southeast Asia. As crazy as it sounds, random things make
photos more fun! Like, for example, a hat on a ski pole. I know, I know, but it spices up boring shots. Let your imagination fly, add a fun caption,
and it’s a winner of the likes game. If that sounds too extravagant, let the Sun
be that random object that will make posing easier. Jump in front of it during sunset, “eat”
it, hold it – whatever works. Sunset is always photo time in this part of
the world. Or, experiment with the shadows. Make an elephant, a bunny, a dove, a monkey,
or whatnot. Oh, I almost forgot, there is another really
important rule my friend told me about – always make sure your toes point inward! My guess is it’s supposed to make your legs
look slimmer and more elegant. Kawaii, you know. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other cool videos I think
you’ll enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!