What is a Finger Heart? – Its History & Popularity Explained

What is a Finger Heart

So, you’re asking yourself, what is a finger heart, and why is it so popular nowadays among K-pop and Korean artists? 

Well, for years, Asians have been known to display hand gestures when posing in front of the camera. 

It has become synonymous with Western people saying “cheese” when striking a pose for a photo.

The most well-known and perhaps the most overused hand gesture of them all is the “V” or the peace sign. 

This hand sign has become iconic, and it eventually grew close to the hearts of many Asian people.

However, with the rise of K-pop and the exponential growth of “Hallyu,” comes a challenger to the V sign; the finger heart.

What is a Finger Heart? 

A Finger Heart is a hand gesture formed by overlapping the thumb and the index finger to resemble the shape of a heart. 

It is a way to express love, affection, or even just as a sign of appreciation towards someone.

It is a convenient substitute for big hand-heart gestures.

K-pop artists and celebrities commonly use them to send love to their fans in Korea.

But, people worldwide have now widely used the finger heart in their daily lives.

Nowadays, you can see many Hollywood stars, Olympic athletes, and even North Korea’s leader show off their finger hearts. 

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un making a "finger-heart" with President Moon Jae-in and South Korean officials
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un makes a “finger-heart” with President Moon Jae-in and South Korean officials

Who came up with the finger heart?

Through the years, there have been many claims about the identity of the pioneer of the finger heart.

Many theories and speculations have floated around the internet about the topic.

G-Dragon (like the trendsetter he always was) claimed that he was the one who originated the hand gesture on an Instagram post. 

The K-pop star posted this in 2016, with a throwback photo of when he was still a little kid. 

G-Dragon's childhood photo of a finger heart
from G-Dragon’s Instagram post

You can see a young G-Dragon in the cropped photo posing with a finger heart gesture in front of the camera. 

Therefore, the post has led many fans to believe that Big Bang’s rapper was the one who started the trend all along.

Meanwhile, some argue that comedian Yang Se Hyung started the craze. 

In a photo he posted on Instagram, Se Hyung displayed the finger heart as a child, jokingly debunking G-Dragon’s claims.

Yang Se Hyung's childhood photo of a finger heart
from Se Hyung’s Instagram post

But according to Dispatch, Korean actress Kim Hye-soo popularized the famous hand gesture.

She was using the same hand gesture from way back in 2010. 

A photo of her on a set of the drama Home Sweet Home surfaced on the web.

actress Kim Hye Soo posing in the camera with co-actor Shin Sung Woo with finger heart

The actress was posing with co-actor Shin Sung Woo while flashing the finger heart. 

Another old image of the actress surfaced on the internet, showing her posing with a finger heart.

Kim Hye Soo posing with finger heart

With this, many netizens now recognize her as “the founder of the finger hearts.”

Asians, for a long time, have been very fond of hand gestures. They use it as de facto poses for the camera or as a playful signal of affection towards their friends and family. 

Some people attribute this fondness for hand gestures to Japanese kawaii culture, where the “V sign” or “peace sign” has been ingrained in their way of life. 

This Japanese trend soon started spreading to other Asian countries and the world. 

With all of these coming into consideration, it’s not hard to imagine how a simple and perhaps more adorable hand gesture than a plain peace sign has gained such popularity. 

Heck, we did not even get to the part where globally well-known K-pop and Korean celebrities started using them to treat their fans cutely and affectionately. 

Seeing your “Oppa” flashing sweet finger hearts towards you would make any fan melt to the floor.

Asian people’s original fondness for hand gestures, plus K-pop and other Korean celebrities’ constant use, resulted in the finger heart’s inevitable rise to popularity. 

Spread Finger Hearts & Spread Love

As cheesy as this may sound, we need love now more than ever. 

With everything around us going by so quickly, we, as a collective, should pause and think about how we can spread love to other people. 

Spread love, spread happiness, spread finger hearts!

See you at the following K-pop guide!

Comment your finger hearts in the comments below! Fighting! 

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