The Metropolitant team speaks to Siwoo Lee. An avid instagramer, and he is trying to fulfill his dreams to be an underwear model. We speak to him and finds out why this young 23 year old Korean heartthrob is baring it all in the modeling industry.
M: Before you decided to become an underwear model, I heard you learnt cooking?
SW: I was the youngest boy in South Korea to attain the national technical qualification certificate for Western Culinary arts. This means I’m a certified chef! I got this certificate when I was 12 years old—6th grade in elementary school. Back then I was 147centimeters tall—really a short height as for 6th grade. My journey to pass the national qualification exam for that chef certificate was filmed for a nationally televised tv documentary on the MBC channel. (MBC is one of the three major broadcasting company along with KBS, SBS within South Korea.)
M: And I heard you practice Tae Kwon Do too?
SW: During high school in Cambodia, I trained Taekwondo intensively. I competed several times for the Cambodian National Taekwondo championship in Poomsae division with my taekwondo gym members. Once, I won a third prize—a bronze medal—for team demonstration division. Competed twice in the world taekwondo competition in 2009, 2010 respectively. Currently I’m a 2nd Dan, Black belt holder. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Taekwondo missionary Hanju, Kim for his aegis and tutelage. He guided me through from white belt up to 2 consecutive appearances in World Taekwondo Hammadang, 2009 and 2010. The training has improved my strength both in mental and physical endurance.
M: So tell us, how do you maintain your defined ABS!
SW: In order to maintain physique – I’d like to call it an eight pack set, I need to shun some fried food, food with excess fat and intentionally plan on clean diet and regimen. Sweet potatoes, boiled egg whites, boiled pork tenderloin, fresh greenery and vegetables usually make my diet. I don’t think there are much sacrifice other than food and time. Time-wise, I go to the gym Monday to Saturday or all 7 days, and spend between 1 and an half hour to 3 hours—I have a hectic schedule for gym because I am going to compete in a muscle/fitness competition on April 18th 2015.
M: Good luck to your competition! But why is there a huge scar on your chest?
SW: I was an exchange student in the United States for high school program in 2007. I was at a friend’s birthday party one night, and when rode a four-wheel ATV in his backyard, I accidently ran into a barbed wire fence with my chest facing forward. Hence, the scar across my chest. It is almost like my trademark.
M: Who inspired you to train so hard for such a lean body?
SW: Believe or not, I’ve had six pack abs since 5th grade of elementary school and I have been exercising my entire life. After that 3 yrs of intensive Taekwondo training between 2007 2010, my abs were really defined. I liked having a fit and appealing body so I kept on doing abs and chest workout when I entered college. I really liked the feeling after a hard workout. I was inspired by Men’s Health magazine Korea cover models and other hunks in the campus. In 2003, most importantly, I saw the Calvin Klein Underwear tv commercial video clip featuring the Matt Terry. That single event has gotten me so involved in pursuing sculpted and chiseled fitness. (I recommend people to watch that ‘concept Calvin Klein underwear’ video clip)
M: What are some of the difficulties you face? And which brand do you want to model for?
SW: There aren’t many difficulties I face. But to name a few, eating clean all the time is a daily challenge. Eating every 3-4 hours requires extra attention. I’d rather be an underwear model because fashion models, based on what I observe, are mostly skinny and some male models do not look like a real man with beast instinct. But for Calvin Klein Underwear models, they go on runways without having to lose all muscles. So I’d like to be the Calvin Klein model if that’s any possible.
M: What are your future plans?
SW: Future plans are to join all the guy’s pageants in Asia region for 2015. Men’s health Cool guy contest Korea, the Man Project Korea, and WBC fitness competition Korea are my short-term plans for April. I would like to go join guys pageants in other countries and definitely the Physique model search contest in Singapore held by iFitness Magazine. I would definitely want try out for auditions at New York City’s biggest modeling agencies such as Ford Models or Wilhelmina Models.
M: Any advice for our readers if they are struggling with having a good body or want to be an underwear model too?
SW: To all Metropolitant’s readers, you too can have an awesome physique for yourself if you are willing to put effort into it on a daily basis and never quit. I recommend reading the fitness magazines or the bodybuilding magazines can be of great effectiveness. Your physique is in your own hands! If you do not know where to begin, I recommend going to martial arts gym and keep going at it until you achieve black belt level.
On a personal note, I love all the countries in SE Asia and Singapore is one of the best countries throughout Asia. Hail Singapore!