On Complexion, Corset & Compact…
Be it career or relationship, the success of women depends on their beauty!
The women are staging protests against this traditional patriarchal concept in South Korea. They are destroying their makeup and cutting their hair in protest against the Asia-Pacific nation’s stringent and unrealistic beauty standards. The protest – popularly known as the Escape the Corset movement – has gained increasing traction on the social media, with women obliterating their cosmetics in videos or posting photos of their smashed makeup. The women are comparing makeup with corsets as both the items constrain their appearances into a homogenous form.
The protesters complain that the world values only the perfect beauty, as far as women are concerned! As a result, they are forced to use the makeup in order to make themselves beautiful. The social structure prompts them to take a very good care of their skins, too!
The protesters have also launched attacks on makeup-manufacturing companies, claiming that these companies are projecting fine soft skin and pink lips as the essence of female beauty only to sell their products. Even their marketing strategies prompt women to undergo plastic surgeries (in an attempt to stay beautiful)! According to a survey, one in every three women undergoes plastic surgery in South Korea only to maintain their beauty. The survey has revealed that Seoul recently became the global capital of plastic surgery. Apart from facial beauty, the women become aware of several other things to achieve the standard of beauty set by the patriarchal society.
Escape the Corset
There are so many restrictions, too, for the women. A female news presenter of one of the three major TV networks in South Korea appeared wearing glasses on air, sparking interest online on April 12, 2018. Lim Hyeon-ju stole the show by wearing a pair of round-rimmed glasses on air. Although male news presenters in South Korea have often been seen wearing glasses on air, it was the first time when a female presenter did so. “Anchormen are free to wear glasses, but why not anchorwomen?” asked Lim. She insisted that she chose to wear glasses not only to be free from wearing contact lenses (which tires her eyes), but also to send a strong message to the society.
Lim Hyeon-ju defies beauty
The protesters have made clear that they will not accept the standard of beauty set by the patriarchal society. For example, beauty YouTuber Lina Bae has got more than five million views for her video – ‘I am not pretty’. In the video, Lina first shows herself putting on false eyelashes and heavy makeup alongside comments she has received about her appearance. Comments, like “Your bare face is a terror to my eyes, lol” or “Your skin isn’t good for women”, appear on the screen before she scrubs the foundation and eye-shadow from her face. Finally, Lina concludes: “I am not pretty, but it is fine. You’re special the way you are.”
Experts are of the opinion that this particular protest is not an isolated incident. The South Korean women have been staging protests against ‘secretly filmed pornography’ for long. They have complained that women have been plagued by hidden cameras that capture them undressing, going to the toilet or changing their clothes. Then, the photographs and images are posted on pornographic websites. The number of reports of crimes with spy cameras has increased in recent years (from around 1,100 in 2010 to more than 6,000 in 2017). The protesters have further requested the South Korean government to introduce laws in order to stop voyeurs using spy cameras to capture graphic images of women. They want the government to punish those, who capture those images, and also those, who watch them!
It seems that the South Korean women wage a full-scale war against the patriarchal society. The Asia-Pacific nation has also been witnessing a battle against sexual harassment for the last few months. The country’s #MeToo movement took down a number of high-profile men accused of harassment and assault, including popular Democratic Party leader Ahn Hee-jung, in 2017. And now, women are destroying their makeup boxes! Hope, they will win this war and will set a new standard for the society!
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