NOW THAT'S FUNNY
South Korean men wear makeup. I’m not talking just a little cover stick, I’m talking foundation, eyebrow pencil and lipstick. Amorepacific, South Korea's biggest cosmetics company, estimates that sales of their men’s products this year will be more than $885 million in that country.
So much for “Made in Korea.” Now it’s “Made Up in Korea.”
According to Yahoo News and Associated Press, there are 19 million men in South Korea, and they are the leading purchasers of male makeup in the world. Men there are inundated with images of clean, neat faces, and they now believe that look is crucial to getting ahead in business and in love. The effeminate looking man is a sign of success.
The trend began about 10 years ago, when “flower men,” handsome Korean celebrities and sports stars with beautiful skin began selling cosmetics. Men wanted to look like them, and women wanted to be with them.
South Korea is a male-dominated culture, with a two-year mandatory military service obligation for the men, but this puts a whole new face on things.
I can understand it. The pressure to be young and beautiful, or in this case Jung and beautiful, is everywhere. It seems that people just keep getting better looking. Even the reality show stars are improving. Remember Richard Hatch from "Survivor"? He won that first season, and he was just an average-looking guy. Four seasons later, the winner was this fellow, camera-ready Brian Heidik. No wonder guys are trying harder.
American men are jumping on the bandwagon, too. The Los Angeles Times reports that men’s grooming products are one of the fastest growing segments of the cosmetics industry. Department stores like Macys and Nordstrom are devoting more space to those products, even if they are a bit camouflaged.
In other words: don’t say foundation, say tinted moisturizer. Don’t put it in a pink bottle; put it in a black tube.
I have two sons, teen and tween aged. They don’t even wash their faces unless they’re in the shower. They spend as little time grooming as possible, and by that I mean, only when I yell at them to do so. If they want to start wearing makeup, all I can say is, we’re going to need another bathroom.