Being pretty and wearing makeup is not, and never was, just for girls

Cover of “Pretty Boys,” a ebook celebrating the historical past of males and magnificence, written by David Yi [DAVID YI]   Most male Ok-pop acts put on makeup — refining their pores and skin tones with a BB cream and accentuating their eyes with eyeliners — so it’s not too awkward to see the boys glisten and glow. But when such heavy makeup is worn by a daily male on the road, it nonetheless attracts folks’s gaze — some staring in astonishment, some with a frown.   David Yi, a magnificence editor and founding father of the U.S. publication Very Good Light and magnificence model Good Light, might draw such gazes as he likes to placed on some makeup, “utilizing forehead gels and filling my eyebrows in, utilizing pure eyeshadow to intensify the eyes, and generally curl my lashes if I’ve time.”   Growing up as a Korean American in Colorado, Yi says he discovered at an early age what it feels prefer to be “the opposite and feeling invisible.”   Desperate to slot in, Yi says the youthful boy model of him “hid behind a damaged façade of aggressive masculinity,” wearing saggy denims, deepening his voice and “pretending that I used to be something however who I truly was.”   David Yi, magnificence editor and founding father of the publication “Very Good Light” and magnificence model “Good Light,” is set to launch his first ebook, “Pretty Boys” on June 22. [DAVID YI] But after studying by way of historical past and male Ok-pop acts about “unmasked masculinity, which allowed males all over the place to rethink makeup,” Yi says he turned a assured and proud “pretty boy.” Hoping to empower folks by proving that “magnificence, cosmetics and skincare has no gender” and that “folks from all backgrounds used it to amplify their energy,” Yi is set to publish his first ebook “Pretty Boys” on June 22, celebrating the historical past of males and magnificence. “While the Western world has been coming to grips with the gender binary below oppressive patriarchal guidelines extra just lately, Korea has celebrated males and makeup on and off all through historical past,” he writes. Throughout his ebook, the writer shares his insights on the historical past of males, makeup and masculinity from the start of time till immediately, whereas introducing among the newest magnificence suggestions utilized by male Ok-pop acts like Pentagon.   What led this pretty boy to lose himself in Ok-beauty and go additional to empower folks, no matter their gender, to be happy to beautify? The Korea JoongAng Daily interviewed Yi, who presently resides in Colorado, by way of e-mail to listen to extra about his new launch and Ok-beauty. The following are edited excerpts from the interview.     Q. What bought you into researching in regards to the historical past behind magnificence and makeup that goes past the binary?   A. I’ve all the time been within the gender binary and why sure acts are thought of female or masculine. For occasion, the colours blue and pink had been initially pink for boys and blue for girls. Why is it that that modified? The identical applies to makeup — why is it that it is develop into an act related to femininity or girls when historically that is never been the case? Makeup and skincare has no gender id.    They are merchandise used to empower and elevate — I wished to make a case for this all through historical past, the world and traditions. Everyone desires to really feel lovely, everybody desires to really feel empowered. And makeup and magnificence — from the within out — solely makes an individual extra highly effective.       When was the primary time you had been fascinated with magnificence and makeup? I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There weren’t so many Koreans in my metropolis again then, and I grew up generally being the lone Asian individual. With a lot racism and xenophobia, my immigrant Korean mother and father, mom, Shin Sun-chin, and father, Yi Sung-yong, confronted so many obstacles. When I used to be 5 years outdated, I bear in mind watching each my mom and father slather their pores and skin with skincare. Whether it was a cream or a sunscreen, each took pleasure in pampering themselves. At first, I used to be confused — why had been they so obsessive about these elixirs, lotions?    But looking back, as I’m older, I understand it was a method of survival. It was self-care and self-actualization. They had been caring for themselves in these 5 minutes within the morning to prepare for the day and to have that point to themselves earlier than the tip of the night time. It allowed them to care for themselves whereas nobody else was. They had been fending for themselves in a merciless, racist nation whereas celebrating themselves by poring over their pores and trying within the mirror, preserving their heritage, remembering who they had been, being happy with their ancestry.     When did you first put on makeup? I first began wearing makeup after I moved to New York City after faculty. I bear in mind there being a lot freedom within the vogue and magnificence trade. The first product I used was BB cream, as I learn G-Dragon from Big Bang wears it and was curious along with his eyeliner. I purchased my first — NYX Cosmetics — and began drawing mine on as nicely. Seeing somebody as highly effective as G-Dragon and observing how he was assured impressed me to take action as nicely.   Growing up with conservative Korean mother and father, I’m curious what their response was once they noticed you pampering your self and even wearing makeup. What was their first response, and how do they reply now?     My mother and father at first had been curious. Then I believe they had been focused on why I used to be doing so. I believe there’s concern with each mum or dad and making an attempt to guard their kids from folks at church or their neighbors. What would they assume? I really feel they’ve come round to understanding that magnificence and makeup has no gender, and highly effective folks — just like the Hwarang of Silla Dynasty [57 B.C. to A.D. 935] — all used makeup to amplify their energy and for confidence.   Boys whose attractiveness is thought of fairly effeminate was once known as “pretty boys.” How do you’re feeling about that assertion?     The motive why folks would name others pretty boys in a facetious manner is to remove one’s company. It was used to make a person really feel inferior, or “like a girl.” At the core of it, that is misogynistic. Why is it that in our tradition we deem effeminate habits as weak, or lower than, but when a girl is a “tomboy” or can change a tire, we deem that as one thing highly effective?   I believe on the core of it, many cultures are nonetheless misogynistic at their core and consider conventional girls’s behaviors as weak — and I believe that should change. Being a pretty boy finally means you personal who you’re, you personal your company, you stroll into your gentle for everybody to see — you’re genuine and unapologetic. The definitions of what we understand as a “pretty boy” immediately and masculine is continually altering, and I hope that we perceive that masculinity is expansive. It is not about your bodily power, your machoism, or gruff nature — being masculine is strolling in your gentle, being genuine and embracing who you’re.   We have so many fantastic stars from Frank Ocean, Harry Styles, to folks like BTS who’re altering perceptions of masculinity. Korean males are main the cost. These males are altering perceptions of Asian males, that we’re engaging, we’re fascinating, we’re masculine and female, and how that is finally highly effective. Male acts within the Ok-pop trade put on makeup, they’ve laborious our bodies, colourful hair, and are altering all perceptions of what we consider as masculine and redefining it.   BTS members illustrated by Paul Tuller [DAVID YI]   In your ebook, there’s a chapter on BTS as one of many icons which have modified the perceptions on magnificence. Can you clarify extra in regards to the chapter?     There’s a chapter about how BTS has modified perceptions — worldwide — on Asian masculinity and magnificence. They’ve fought in opposition to xenophobia, racism, Western requirements of magnificence — and prevailed. They received. They proceed to problem preconceived notions of what is and is not masculine and lovely, and we must always all be so grateful in direction of them. They’ve had so many challenges, adversities, however they nonetheless got here up on prime resulting from their authenticity.   BTS member RM is featured as an illustration on the duvet of your ebook. Why RM amongst all the opposite members?   First of all, I wished to decide on all historic males of shade [to be featured on the cover], so we will dismantle this concept that Whiteness equates to the final word customary of magnificence, which is unfaithful. We are all lovely — all of us irrespective of our backgrounds.   I wished to rejoice numerous and highly effective folks outdoors Whiteness. RM was necessary and important for the duvet as a result of he does not match Western requirements of magnificence or Korean requirements. What he does is pave his personal path and show that he defines his personal greatness, his personal magnificence. If magnificence is within the eye of the beholder, RM proves we — all of us — are the beholder. We have the ability in our personal arms, and RM proves just that.   There’s a chapter within the ebook that illustrates the most recent magnificence suggestions utilized by Ok-pop boy band Pentagon. [DAVID YI] The ebook provides recommendations on easy methods to get an at-home facial. [DAVID YI] In your ebook, you delve into iconic figures who’ve modified the notion of magnificence and how they beautified themselves utilizing makeup. Who are among the figures you undergo?     Some figures embody Neanderthals from 50,000 B.C. who used basis, floor pyrite for highlighter; 3200 B.C. Babylonian warriors who went to a salon, curled their hair and matched their fingernail polish to their hair shade earlier than battle; Pharaoh Ramses, who beautified within the day with dozens of servants who styled him earlier than he began his day; K’inch Janaab Pakaal, a Mayan ruler who went by way of cosmetic surgery to elongate his head to resemble corn, an indication of deity and godliness; and a lot extra.   Of course, Korean magnificence is important to this ebook! Koreans have beautified for centuries, and we hint this again to the Hwarang of the 600’s Silla Dynasty. They had been fierce, they had been lovely and additionally they wore makeup. We have so many chapters on Korean magnificence, from BTS and their rise to energy, Ok-beauty and Ok-pop historical past, and in fact, the Hwarang.     Why do you assume Korean magnificence has gained a lot reputation within the U.S. market? The innovation. Korean magnificence is light-years forward of the U.S. and different markets when it comes to new elements, textures and know-how. The U.S. has lastly found the ability of Ok-beauty and it is not a development — Korean magnificence is right here to remain.   Your magnificence model Good Light represents these past the binary. Can you inform us the story behind establishing such an embracing model?   It’s all about selling variety, inclusion and freedom of expression. The model is for everybody irrespective of their gender id. It’s necessary to grasp magnificence merchandise don’t have any gender id — they’re for all, they’re democratic. They needs to be used to empower and uplift, to encourage. I’ve all the time been an activist and advocate. When I used to be youthful, as the one Korean American in class, I’ve all the time felt like the opposite. I’ve all the time felt invisible. Asian Americans had been never lauded or celebrated. I do know what erasure looks like. I need everybody to know they exude “good gentle,” they’re important to life, they’re lovely and worthy. No matter who you’re or your background, we wish to rejoice you at good gentle.   A captured picture of Good Light’s homepage [SCREEN CAPTURE] Good Light’s milky firming lotion [DAVID YI]   BY YIM SEUNG-HYE   [[email protected]]

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