“Escape from the corset”: Korean women oppose strict beauty standards

Women’s destruction of makeup is part of a strong resistance to the culture of the skin care system and the pressure to look perfect
When Cha Ji-won decided to throw away all the cosmetics and cut her hair, her mother was the first to tease her: “Oh, look, I have a son now.”

For more than a decade, since she was 12 years old, Cha will carefully apply cosmetics to pursue the narrow definition of leading Korean society. In middle school, she used foundation to lighten her skin and avoid punishing her teachers for violating school rules.

She watched the YouTube makeup tutorial to hone her skills, and she spent $100,000 (£70) on cosmetics every month in her 20s. But in Korea’s broader feminist awakening, Cha chose to give up makeup, lipstick and dyed blonde hair.
“I feel as if I am born again,” Cha said. “Everyone has so much mental energy every day, and I used to spend a lot of time worrying about ‘beautiful’. Now I use this time to read books and exercise.”
Cha is part of Korea’s evolving campaign, which opposes unrealistic beauty standards, requiring women to spend hours of makeup and a 10-step or more step-by-step skincare regimen at the end of each day. In their complaints, women must wake up two hours before work to ensure perfect makeup, and carefully remove dead skins with a peeling gel and steam towel before starting their treatment.

Women who are tired of cumbersome procedures have begun to play videos of destroyed cosmetics on social media, including “escape the corset”, comparing cosmetics to everyday women’s clothing for years, and trying to limit the body to unity. shape.
This trend is part of a larger push for a country’s long-standing society, which has set a record number of women on the streets, demanding greater equality and combating illegal shooting and sexual assault.

This sport is an interesting turning point in Korea, a country that is actively promoting its strength in cosmetic surgery – as many as one-third of young women have been criticized – their cosmetic brands are coveted around the world, industry The value is about $12.5, according to Euromonitor, (£9.7 billion).

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