[GUEST BLOGGER WEEK] K-Drama Trope Du Jour: Men In Aprons

Day 2 of Guest Blogger Week is upon us and today we're talking about K-Dramas and men in aprons....  Doesn't seem like you'd be able to write a whole post about that topic, does it?  Well you would be wrong!  Funny how I kind of noticed the preponderance of men wearing aprons in k-dramas before, but after reading this I'm having a lightbulb moment.  They are EVERYWHERE!  It's a thing!  Check it out:

K-Drama Trope Du Jour: Men In Aprons


So after a year and a half solid of kdrama watching, I'm wondering - what is UP with all these aprons?

Specifically, dudes in aprons? Seriously, there's a dude in an apron, like, every-other-drama!

It's such a common accessory
that I even included a square for Aprons


Fo realsies! Just take a look! SO MANY DAMN APRONS!

And duh, this is not a comprehensive list
-- only what I could quickly cobble together 
from memory and easy-to-find scenes...

These screen grabs are my own 'work' unless otherwise noted...

Note to self: 
going forward, anytime an apron is spied
a screen grab must be taken!

Sometimes the dude wears the apron to do nice things for his lady...

Full House (2004) - ep 12

Rain wore more than one apron in Full House (2004), much to the deafening squeee of countless lady-viewers, I'm sure.

And in the horribly underwhelming Level Seven Civil Servant (2013)...

Level Seven Civil Servant (2013) - Thank you Yahoo Sinagpore!

...apron-boy get's his cook on for his lady love, showing her how much he's missed her. Or something.

But sometimes the apron-wearing is a little more complicated...like in Secret Garden (2010)...

Secret Garden (2010) - ep 7

Ah yes, the Secret Garden cooking scene...so, the person cooking is actually a woman inside the man's body...but it's still a dude in an apron, so imma gonna count it!

I am by no means saying that only women should be wearing aprons!
Far from it!

But what strikes me about the Kdrama Man-In-Apron trope is that
the dudes are always wearing Mom or Grandma Aprons
ie: intentionally feminine-looking aprons
obviously catering to some sort of "domestic god" fantasy

(And we'll save the discussion of what's wrong 
with that book I just linked to for another day...)

Aprons can also have symbolic (for lack of a better word) meaning: in this instance from A Gentleman's Dignity (2012), apron-boy is going through a bit of a domestic crisis in the wake of his divorce. 

A Gentleman's Dignity - ep 8

Also, I think writer Kim Eun-Sook just thinks ladies like seeing dudes in aprons...

I guess she's not wrong...
kdramas like to appeal to women's fantasies

cos she does it a lot in her dramas...see also Secret Garden (above) and Heirs (2013)...

Heirs - ep 1

More Apron As Symbol: This Father & Son 'couple apron' not only looks sharp (for an apron!) and simultaneously ADORABLE, but also shows the closeness of the characters.


Too early to tell, we're only 2 eps in...
and so far IT IS A SNOOZER!
I really like KES's stuff, but man, I am not feeling Heirs at all!
Maybe it will pick up?

Also, is that a Pig Rabbit applique...
no, I think it's a teddy bear in a sweatshirt.
AND - But was there a man-apron in City Hall??
(also penned by KES)...think brain! 
Why do I feel like I've seen Cha Seung Won in an apron...

So it looks like the granny-apron may be a form of fan-service unique to kdrama.  And though I do acknowledge that the granny apron is cute, I kinda wanna know -- are korean lady audiences really that into these gwiyomi aesthetic that this sort of imagery really...'floats their boats?' as the euphemism goes...?

Cos it's doing very little for me.
No ovaries 'sploding over here.

BUT...Some recent dramas have been stepping up the Man-In-Apron game. 

Internet, meet  

KDrama Man-Apron 2.0

Dating Agency: Cyrano (2013)

Ugh...I can't find the right scene to get a good screenshot...and apparently NOBODY ELSE on the entire whole of the interwebs has found this apron, or Master himself, worthy of gif-age.


But just look at this...

image found here - posted in a soompi forum or something

...and now imagine that apron above attached to it. Trust me. It works.


You're the Best Lee Soon Shin (2013)

And as far as I'm concerned the BEST thing to come out of this TOTAL SNOOZER and disgraceful waste of Jo Jung Suk's talents was the aprons - both in the restaurant where LSS worked, and especially at the neighborhood bakery...

Of course, I'm having a hell of a time, just like Cyrano 
trying to find or make good still images

So this will have to do...

YTBLSS - ep 11 -- screen grab courtesy of Rain's Dichotomy

Srsly, internet - the hottie baker's aprons were killer -- KILLER. Not soooo killer that you need to watch all 50 eps of that monstrosity, but killer enough that I may try to look up the manufacturer.

I realize these may not count, exactly as Man-Aprons
cos these dudes work in professions that require aprons
-which is totes different form donning an apron to do household chores
(which is the usual context in which the KDrama Man-Apron appears).

But I don't really care, cos these two here aprons are pretty badass!

So, k-entertainment industry, you fully have my support for Dudes in Canvas Half-Aprons with Clever Detailing. Carry on with KDrama Man Apron 2.0 - by all means!


About the author:

Leaf has 2 year old twins boys, a husband, a cat, and a full-time job -- but she didn't know her life was missing something until she met Hallyu. She would like to thank South Korea for EVERYTHING, especially Lee Jong Suk.  See more of her writings at her blog: kpopleaf.

Stay tuned for more of Guest Blogger Week! You can read all posts from the 1st Guest Blogger Week by clicking here and also please let us know what you think below.
Source: Leaf of kpopleaf Take out with full credit. Images credited as tagged and where due.

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