[Star of the Week] Why Lee Seung Gi is the Ultimate Umchinah
Koreans have many words to describe many different kinds of people, but few took off quite like ‘um-chin-ah’. A shortened version of the phrase ‘mother’s friend’s son’, it represented all those perfect men out there that everybody and your mother would love.
And there’s no other umchinah as beloved as our Star of the Week, Lee Seung Gi.
So how did he become Korea’s umchinah? All it took was - well... a lot.
In order to be an umchinah, you need to have more than one skill. In fact, you might as well just be good at everything. Lee Seung Gi, following this rule, can sing, act and lead a variety show like no other.
If there’s one comforting factor, Lee Seung Gi’s never been much of a dancer. Although he has done it - and he always seem game to try - so maybe that’s not that comforting.
You know as well as we do that to be the beloved son, you can’t just be talented, you have to be smart. After studying international economics and law at Dongguk University, he enrolled again in Dongguk’s Graduate School of Media to study content planning.
When you’re on the path to becoming an umchinah, it’s easy to become prideful - after all, everyone is lavishing praise on you all the time.
Apparently, Lee Seung Gi is immune to that, since staff members, fans, friends (okay, everyone) constantly praises him for being kind-hearted and sweet.
We’re guessing it’s innate, since some say he’s been like that since he was young.
Let’s face it - sometimes talent does not equal success. The immense amount of gifted struggling artists out there proves it.
But Lee Seung Gi has clearly parlayed his gifts into actual success. His dramas have all become veritable hits, and the variety shows he’s led have all been incredibly beloved. And of course, his original career as a singer hasn’t suffered, as pretty much every song he’s released has done well on the charts.
Shallow? Yes. But part of being an umchinah does depend on how charming you look when you do all of these wonderful things. And while Lee Seung Gi might not be the most standardly handsome guy in the game, he’s clearly been one of those good-looking men for quite some time.
After all, the ladies do love him.