You know hover hands? Those awkward photo moments that are called “instant virgin detectors”. South Korea has them too, but they mean something else: good manners.
Behold, the “manner hand!” As tipster Sang explains, “manner hand” is basically when male celebrities don’t touch female celebrities while taking photos together. It can also be when celebs of the same sex don’t touch each other while posing for pics.
Western celebs have been known to pull a hover hand or two, but in South Korea, it’s viewed differently. In the West, people are generally mocked online for doing awkward hover hands, but the Korean press seems to applaud the “manner hand” as it’s seen as respectful. Women, it seems, appreciate the “nice guy” gesture, while men probably don’t give it much thought.
By that same token, when celebs in Korea don’t mind their manner hand, people tend to notice that too! Those moments are even called “bad hand”. So bad.
But why does manner hand exist and why is it more of a thing recently? Tipster Sang thinks it might be because Korean stars are wearing skimpier outfits, which makes sense to me. Also, traditionally people in Asia are less touchy-feely than Westerners with friends and colleagues, so that’s why celebs might be pulling hover hands. Or perhaps, people just want to be respectful and polite.
Here are some examples of manner hand (the photo annotations were added by Korean sites, not Kotaku).
Lee Seung-gi‘s manner hand.
Epic manner hand. More good manners below:
Maybe he was told about the custom? Maybe he’s just a natural?
There is even a variation on the manner hand. Sometimes on Korean TV, males carry females on their backs, but to show proper manners, their hands should not be holding the women’s legs. Above, you can see popstar Onew showing how it’s done. Below is a round-up from various Korean TV programs:
This certainly is cultural. Take Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, for example. When in Korea, he’s manner-handing:
The woman’s face could be blurred because she might be a fan?
But when he’s outside Korea promoting G.I. Joe, his manner hand goes M.I.A. Here he’s in Japan:
And with Catherine Zeta-Jones:
Many of these individuals who are using the manner hand are incredibly good-looking, famous, and wealthy. They are not your stereotypical “hover hand virgins.” But they do have good manners, it seems. Good manner hands.