Everything You Never Knew You Needed To Know About South Korea's Finger Heart Trend

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang are just getting started.
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Lupita Nyong'o pulls a double finger heart at the Seoul premiere of "Black Panther" earlier this month.
Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

A new Olympics has begun, allowing us to momentarily bask in the sweet esprit de corps humanity might enjoy on a more regular basis if our world’s nations quit talking about hurling nukes at one another.

Encapsulating the games’ spirit of cheerful camaraderie, athletes in Pyeongchang are starting to catch on to a neat little hand gesture South Koreans have been using for years now.

Behold the finger heart: making photos cuter since at least 2015.

The gesture, formed with the thumb and pointer finger, is just a way to flash a heart in a photo ― and simpler than cupping two hands together. 

It’s like a snap, but not quite. Team USA sort of got it at Friday’s Olympic opening ceremony:

Korean rapper G-Dragon, whom Vogue has christened the “undisputed king of K-Pop,” claims he started the finger heart as a child. The rapper offered up a grainy, old photograph as proof in 2016, when the signal was becoming a full-fledged trend in South Korea as a way to show love, thanks or appreciation.

According to one source, however, Korean actress Kim Hye-soo was making finger heart signs back in 2010, possibly helping to popularize it. Other estimates date the sign to the early 2000s.

Wherever it came from, loads of Korean celebrities and public figures have been spotted flashing finger hearts in photos ― including former South Korean President Park Geun-hye ― and it’s cropped up across social media.

In recent years, Hollywood stars visiting South Korea to promote movies have tried their hands at it, too.

The cast of “Black Panther” more or less had it down at the Seoul premiere of their movie earlier this month.

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From left, "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler flashes a finger heart alongside actors Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o and Michael B. Jordan at the Seoul premiere of their movie earlier this month.
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And Ansel Elgort seemed pretty stoked to nail a finger heart at the Seoul premiere of “Baby Driver” in 2017.

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Ansel Elgort at a "Baby Driver" press conference in Seoul in August 2017.
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The sign appears to have required significant focus on the part of Jack Black, though.

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"Kung Fu Panda 3" director Jennifer Yuh shows actor Jack Black how to form a proper finger heart at a 2016 press event.
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With the Pyeongchang Olympics just getting started, we’re sure we’ll spot more cute li’l signs of love from now through Feb. 25.

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