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From K-Pop to Mainstream: How ‘K-Hearts’ Became the Latest Craze Among Gen Z in the U.S.

Daniel Kim Views  

The Korean heart pose, made by overlapping the thumb and index finger, is gaining popularity among Gen Z in the United States.

On the 9th, the Wall Street Journal reported that various hand poses, including the Korean heart, are increasingly becoming popular.

The media introduced hand gestures such as the “cheek heart,” made by placing the thumb under the cheek and bending the four fingers on the cheekbone. Other examples include the “cat heart,” which is a heart made by bending the index finger to form an arch and pointing the middle finger downward, and the most popular “finger heart,” simply made by overlapping the thumb and index finger.

Such gestures are known to have originated in Korea and became popular in the United States through K-pop artists like BTS and NewJeans. In 2022, BTS made a finger heart during their photo shoot with President Joe Biden at the White House. Iconic celebrities like Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya from the movie “Dune 2,” and Taylor Swift have also used the finger heart. The Wall Street Journal mentioned that “the number of posts with hashtags like #handhearts has increased exponentially over the past year.” Communications professor Mark Bill analyzed Gen Z’s adoption of new hand poses as they are more accustomed to non-verbal communication. Nonetheless, the Korean heart has impacted all generations, including Gen X and millennials. Kim Chen, a 56-year-old dental hygienist working in Seattle, tried to learn all the popular hand signals for her daughter, and noted, “It is so hard to keep up with the youngin’s trends.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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