2 thoughts on “Flower Men of South Korea

  1. Although I find this article to be fascinating, I would like to challenge this article. After discussing it with my mother, she told me that men who live in Seoul and its districts (Gangnam) are typically the very few who wear cosmetics and worry about their skin. These areas are inhabited by Korea’s wealthiest people, and are where celebrities and models live to begin with. I think it’s wonderful the article is calling attention to the social acceptance of men being concerned with their skin, but I think the article might have generalized it a bit too much.

    But I would like to shine light on something relevant. In chapter 6 we talked about how in the black and hispanic communities, being light skinned was considered a hierarchy based on the concept of colorism; the lighter you were the more attractive you were perceived. In Korea it’s the same thing, men and women alike purchase cosmetics in order to look lighter. It’s a concept relatable to the Victorian era where having lighter skin was considered powerful, because it proved that you didn’t have to work arduously in a lower class. Being lighter is seen as beautiful, and even though being tan is not considered gruesome or hideous, being pale is just more beautiful.

    Try looking up photos of Korean celebrities and models. I’m sure you will notice that most of them are incredibly pale, some might even be scary pale. Even though South Korea’s gender divide might not be as wide as some other countries, it’s divide on skin pigmentation might be greater than most.

  2. I find this article so refreshing. I’m living with my grandparents in a small country town in New York and I’m finding a common thread to the young men here. “The dirtier you look, the harder he works.” And a lot of the ladies in this town find that to be very true, and they flock to the farmers and the men who work with cattle verses the men that work in restaurants and in the local grocery store.
    A quote that stuck with me in the beginning of this article is ‘Your appearance matters, so when I wear makeup on special occasions, it makes me more confident.’
    I feel the same way and can relate to this quote. I recently started getting into the habit of putting on makeup everyday. I’m turning 20 this year, so I figured it was time for me to start ACTING like I’m turning 20 this year, haha. I used to only put on makeup for important events, but now I’m realizing that I carry myself differently and I take more pride in myself when I put on makeup.
    Go South Korean men! You keep putting on that makeup!

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