South Korean women destroying makeup in protest against stringent beauty standards
South Korean women are destroying their makeup and cutting their hair in protest against the countryâs stringent and unrealistic beauty standards.
The trend â" known as the âescape the corsetâ movement â" has gained increasing traction on social media as women have obliterated their cosmetics in videos or posted photos of their smashed makeup.
Makeup has been compared to corsets because both items constrain womenâs appearances into a homogenous form.
South Korea â" where patriarchal values are profoundly ingrained â" sees flawless feminine beauty as being integral to success in career and relationships.
Beauty regimes commonly require women to spend hours applying makeup each day â" often involving waking up two hours before work to do so or carrying out lengthy skincare routines that involve 10 steps or more at the end of each day.
South Korea has a massive beauty industry and in 2017 it was estimated to be worth just over Â£10bn, according to retail researchers Mintel.
Cosmetic surgery is very popular in the Asian country â" a third of young women have gone under the knife. Seoul is the global plastic surgery capital and the wealthy neighbourhood of Gangnam reportedly has 500 aesthetic centres.
But some women are inc ensed by what they perceive to be unattainable beauty ideals and are disavowing their makeup.
Beauty YouTuber Lina Bae has amassed more than 5 million views for her video âI am not prettyâ, where she first shows herself putting on false eyelashes and heavy makeup alongside comments she has received about her appearance.
âYour bare face is a terror to my eyes, lolâ and, âYour skin isnât good for womenâ, are some of the comments which appear on the screen before she scrubs the foundation and eyeshadow from her face and concludes: âI am not pretty, but it is fine. Youâre special the way you are.â
One woman on Instagram stuck her middle finger up at her discarded lipsticks and eyeliners as she asked: âWhy did I smear these chemicals on my face?â
The so-called K-Beauty industry has been accused of focusing on immaculate looks with pale, soft skin and delicate pink lips.
A Korean news anchor at one of the countryâs main TV stations triggered a frenzy of debate about unrealistic demands on appearance in May when she became the first woman to wear glasses on air.
The âescape the corsetâ movement takes place in the context of a broader backlash against patriarchal values in the country. Record numbers of women have taken to the streets to call for greater equality and to fight against issues such as illegal filming and sexual assault.
South Korea is in the middle of an epidemic of âspy cam pornâ â" known as âmolkaâ â" which usually involves men secretly filming women without their consent. Hidden cameras capture victims going to the loo or undressing in clothes shops, gyms and swimming pools and are then posted online on pop-up pornography sites.
More than 6,000 cases are reported each year â" with 80 per cent of the victims being women.
Protests in Seoul against the increasingly prevalent practice have attracted tens of thousands. Demonstrators have brandished signs reading, âMy life is not your pornâ, and called for punishment for both the men filming videos and those who watch them.
South Korea is also in the midst of a battle against sexual harassment. In the past year, the countryâs #MeToo movement has taken down multiple high-profile men accused of harassment and assault, including Ahn Hee-jung, a rising star in the ruling Democratic party.Source: Google News South Korea | Netizen 24 South Korea