My doll of the villainous mother from my favorite old K-drama, Boys over Flowers, who was played by actress Kang Hee Soo (Lee Hye Young), It’s a flip doll, just lift up her skirt and there’s the other mom on the show. I am pretty proud of her because she looks a lot like the character.
See, it flips! Thanks to my amazing artist friend Michelle who gave me the idea of making K-drama flip dolls. She’s such a mind!
The goofy, nice mom from Boys over Flowers. She had a clown-like presence, so this kinda captures her.

As I’m watching a dizzying number of Korean dramas at night, I’ve noticed there are typically two camps of mothers: remarkably well-preserved, ambitious wretches, or clownish women who devote their lives narrowly to the task of motherhood and could really use a salon visit. (See the dolls above).

With the increased cooking, cleaning and supervising Zoom education during Covid times, motherhood is at full mast. Dabbling in domesticity is difficult so more than ever we’re all expected to be Clowns. (As someone who has been known to let dust gather in my house and dishes pile, this has been a sore point). Understanding that this is a cartoonish analysis–let’s call it Clown v. Vixen–I present it to you as a fun way to assess our motherhood. Besides, who doesn’t like a personality quiz?

I wasn’t sure how I’d fare before doing the quiz below; my number put me on team Clown but closer to the Vixen line than I’d imagined. (though it should be obvious who I am; I do have a current haircut shorn by my eager neighbor Joyce on Thanksgiving by putting my hair in a ponytail and cutting in a circular direction for five minutes as demonstrated on YouTube. The resultant layers give me an unraveled vibe not unlike the second doll above).

For fun’s sake, take this quiz I’ve very scientifically devised to determine which mother you are. The assumption is you are answering these questions when COVID is not the horrid pandemic it is now.

  1. Have you ever been away from your children on a major holiday? (Boys Over Flower’s (BOF’s) Vixen mom left her son alone every Christmas so he could eat with the maids). +10 points
  2. Do you regularly cook for your children without complaining? (BOF’s clown mom made kimchi and banchan with the family and seems to cook nonstop, never whining about it.) +2
  3. Do you regularly cook but resent it sometimes or do you never/rarely cook? +9 (Vixen is never seen handling food. Other people cook.)
  4. Do you do crafts with the kids? +1 (Clown mom makes mass neon pink stuffed animal cats for no known reason with her family).
  5. Do you wear foundation/ a full face of makeup Monday through Friday? +8 (Vixen has layers at all times.)
  6. Do you dye your own hair (not in COVID times) to save time? -4 (Clown mom clearly does that).
  7. Do you follow current clothing trends and shop regularly for yourself? +9 (Clown mom is a mess fashion-wise. She loves stretched out looking lime green wool sweater vests and plaid.)
  8. Do you let your young kids share your parental bed regularly? +1 (BOF’s clown mom and dad sleep on the floor with their kids.)
  9. Do you have a paid job in an office? +5 (Vixen mom wears power suits and sits behind a hulking desk most scenes.) +5
  10. Do you like working outside the home to get a break from mundane parental duties? +6
  11. Does the idea of a long vacation without the kids appeal to you? +6
  12. Have you ever uttered the words “I can’t have fun when I’m out to dinner without the kids?” -8
  13. Have you ever fed any of your children ages 8 and up food with chopsticks or any utensil? -2 (Clown mom is often infantilizing.)
  14. Do you have a specific career/job goal for your child that you hint at and/or openly discourage certain jobs? +10 (Many of the villainous K-drama mothers want their children to carry on the family businesses. My own mother, as much as I love her, has always told me not to go into anything remotely creative, so she gets some points here).

Now what can you do with this number you’ve calculated? Absolutely nothing. You’re welcome. Stay tuned for Vixen, part two.

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