Ah, Sukyung realized that this woman WAS an employee here. But for some reason, the woman seemed very unhappy to be here. When Sungwoo gestured with his finger, the woman walked toward Sukyung and gave her a business smile.
"Hello. I’m Song Jungim. I’m the walking and image consultant here. I’ll be giving you about three lessons, Miss Kim Sokyung."
Sungwoo interrupted as he announced,
"Nope. Once should be enough. Just get it done in an hour."
Jungim gaped at Sungwoo in shock, but he just turned around and returned to his seat. As usual, he opened his sketchbook. Jungim seemed to want to say something, but when Sungwoo didn’t pay attention to her, she took a deep breath. With a determined look on her face, she turned toward Sukyung and asked,
"Since that’s what the boss wants, we better get started immediately. Could you walk for me first?"
When Sukyung stammered, Jungim raised her eyebrows and replied,
"Please walk from here to that wall over there and back."
It was obvious Jungim didn’t want to be here. Sukyung flinched uncomfortably. But when she felt her shoulders slump, she quickly straightened and turned around. As she walked toward the assigned wall, Sukyung could feel Jungim’s eyes on her like sharp arrows.
Was she walking funny? Was she staggering? She felt so conscious of her walk that Sukyung began to sweat. She tried to hurry, which only made her stumble awkwardly. Her shoes banged against the wall, making a loud noise. Sukyung blushed. Feeling embarrassed, she kept her head down as she walked back toward Jungim.
Sukyung noticed that even Sungwoo was watching her. When she glanced at Jungim, she saw that the walking instructor looked like she ate something bitter. But when their eyes met, Jungim quickly put on a fake smile and announced,
"Umm… I think you need a lot of practice. We need to start with your basic form. You shouldn’t slouch like that and slump your back so badly. If you stand like that, it wouldn’t matter what you wear. You would look strange and unbalanced. Watch this. This is how you’re walking right now."
With this, Jungim slouched badly as if she was a hunchback. She then began walking awkwardly. Sukyung watched her before glancing at Sungwoo.
No way! Was her walk that bad? She knew her walk probably wasn’t pretty, but she walked normally, didn’t she? At least, that’s what she thought until now. Was she wrong?
Sungwoo watched her calmly, but when he saw that Sukyung was staring at him, he gestured with his chin toward Jungim. He was telling her to pay attention to her lesson. Biting her lower lip, Sukyung turned toward Jungim again.
"Do you get it? If you want, we can videotape your walk, but… I mean, it’s the best way for you to learn how you’re walking right now, but we don’t have another employee right now who can record you right now. And it will also take up too much time, so I’m just going to go right to the lesson. Could you come over here in front of the mirror?"
Jungim took Sukyung to a full body mirror in the corner and made her stand in front of it. Standing behind Sukyung, Jungim grabbed her shoulders and straightened them. Jungim explained,
"Stand like you’re pushing your back forward. Your shoulders need to be straight while you need to lower your chin a little. Look about 30 degrees forward. No, don’t push your chest out like that. You need to stand straight enough just to keep your shoulder blades straight. No! Don’t look down too much like that! Okay, just like that! Keep still. That looks good. Remember how that feels right now. Do you understand what I’m saying?"
No, she didn’t. How could she? When Sukyung looked at herself in the mirror, she looked just the same as a moment ago. Besides, the way she stood right now felt too uncomfortable. It felt too wrong.
When Jungim saw Sukyung’s frown, she added,
"It may feel uncomfortable at first. It’s because your body is too used to the wrong posture. You just need to keep this new posture to remind your body over and over again."
"Umm… I… I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I really don’t."
When Sukyung murmured hesitantly, Jungim frowned. She replied,
"But there is a huge difference between how you were standing and the way you’re standing right now. Your original posture was…"
Just then, Sungwoo ordered,
"Jungim, bring me the camcorder."
Sungwoo put down his sketchbook on the table and stood up. Without a word, Jungim turned around and left. With a confused expression, Sukyung looked at Sungwoo and then back at herself in the mirror. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn’t see the difference.
In a quiet whisper, Sukyung asked,
"Do you usually teach how to walk here to all of your clients?"
Sungwoo walked up to her and replied,
"What do you think is really important for models and beauty pageants? Do you really think those women walk around on the stage like you do?"
"B…but those women are…"
"Think about it this way. A pretty woman in a nice outfit is walking on the street like she’s eight months pregnant. Do you think she’ll look attractive?"