Shivali Kaushik SharmaShwetha.D Student, School of business studies andsocial sciences, Christ (deemed to be university),Karnataka, IndiaStudent, School of business studies andsocial sciences, Christ (deemed to be university),Karnataka, India ABSTRACT: The purpose is to study why the South Korean markettargets the men for cosmetic industry more than their women.
This study wasmade by referring to various journal articles, blogs and interviews. In whichthe people interviewed (mostly men) tell how it is very important for themmaintain a flawless facade to impress people around them, be it their partneror their bosses. Not only the men but women are also equally affected by theidea of having flawless skin, even they wait to get plastic surgeries done to westernizetheir looks, mainly their eyes. Data is collected through literature study andblogs. The result says that South Korean men are the biggest buyer of cosmeticproducts as it brings confidence within them. Even though the men here are thehighest consumers of cosmetics, the women are no different even they are sobeauty conscious. Plastic surgery has become very common and simple on SouthKorea.
Keywords: Korean men and women, cosmetic product, consumers, SouthKorea 1.INTRODUCTION: The cosmetic industrythroughout the world was always considered a girls only Territory but with timethings have been changing; now we see even men using makeup. Makeup is no morea taboo amongst men, for that matter they have been recently using it more thaneven the women in one country, South Korea. In traditional Korean society,makeup was broadly defined as care not only for external self but also internalself. So, this lead men and women to become overly conscious about how they lookedthereby are creating a unique culture in cosmetics and accessories. Theirdiverse cosmetics tradition has a lot to contribute from the past, that theyhave a museum called “The Coreana Cosmetics Museum” solely dedicated for makeuprelated items, with more than 5300 cosmetics-related items on display. TheKorean Times states that Korean makeup history started in the three kingdom (57B.C.
– 668) and reached with great heights during the Goreyeo kingdom(918-1392). During these time people were interested in self- grooming andbeautification. And in the end of 19 century, new makeup styles andcosmetics product became in western culture, making Korea’s cosmetics famousall over the world. 2. LITERATURE REVIEW: Patrick Hatch (2017)talks about why cosmetics are so important to the men of South Korea.
HeoJeong-nam a South Korean native explains how important it is to him to have aflawless skin and keep it away from damage. He thinks that he can approach agirl only if he is confident and makeup seems to give him that confidence. Thearticle also says that the sales of men’s skin care grew 86% in the last fiveyears. Since it is necessary for the South Korean men to serve the military atleast for 2 years, men are worried about their skin the most during thatperiod. This gave rise to the need for a brand to make its own SPF 50 militarycamouflage which is gentler on the skin. South Korea is said to have thehighest capita rate of cosmetics surgery in the world and is a lucrative marketfor cosmetics companies.
MelissaDouglas (2016)inher blog talks about her experience of teaching the students of South Korea andtheir behavior towards makeup. She being a person brought up in the west findsit astonishing how outer beauty is so important to them over the beauty ofinner self. Often times when she tried talking to the students about the sameshe was looked at as if she was out of her mind. Also plastic surgery to fixparts of their faces seems to be the trend right now in South Korea.
It is somuch a part of their trend that Korea is called the plastic surgery capital ofthe world and going out to get a plastic surgery is so common and as simple asit is to go out to grab a coffee from Starbucks. Surprisingly plastic surgeriesseem to be the driving force among school going women as they are the presentsfor graduating. Beauty as important a status symbol as wealth. Moreover all ofthis is just to hide their true ethnicity and to have westernized looks. Theblog writer concludes sadly stating that inner beauty is the only thing thatdoes not translate. In her article Kathy Novak(2015) talks about how the men in South Korea are upgrading from just buyingaftershaves and lotions.
Unlike the men of the world Korean men have beenbuying a lot of cosmetics to improve their skin and maintain its flawlessnessand smooth texture because in South Korea appearance is everything. It is soimportant that they have a proverb that says “If you buy something, you mustchoose the one which has a good appearance.” Generally people when hiring lookwhich university have graduated from and qualifications etc. whereas there isone thing that can set you apart from the others in South Korea that isappearance.
An analyst at Euromonitor, said that the local companies of SouthKorea are competing fiercely for male customers. Amorepacific a popular for thespecial military line for men said that men develop interest in cosmeticsduring their military service period due to frequent outdoor activities thatrequires sun protection and skin care. In her article CarolEugene Park (2017) talks about how the Western beauty culture has influencedthe native Koreans apart from the traditional Korean beauty culture. While theKorean pop idols have been setting beauty trends and standards, the Westernbeauty trends are not that far from influencing the Koreans.
The South Koreansenvy and idolize Western facial features. It is not just about being beautifulin South Korea anymore but also about possessing western facial features.Facial features that Koreans don’t naturally posses are given artificiallythrough plastic surgeries. South Korea is said to have the highest number ofplastic surgery procedures per capita, as stated by the International Societyof Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The most common procedure is “blepharoplasty” adouble eyelid surgery which is usually done for a defined crease on the eyelids.Even though born and brought up in other countries, many people with Koreanroots are expected to follow their traditional Korean beauty standards. In her article Liza Born (2014) talksabout what is the take of the women, on male cosmetics in South Korea. The maledominated country of South Korea has become the makeup capital of the world.
Even though there are only 19 million men in South Korea, 21% of the globalskin care sales come from the male cosmetics of South Korea. In the recenttimes appeared has become so important in South Korea because over the lastdecade the competition for jobs, romance and advancement has become the new wayliving. In 2002 almost every man in South Korea wanted to be like Ahn Jung-Hwan,and every woman wanted to be with him .Why? Because he very good looking andhad flawless skin which made him an instant sensation.
Women feel that theyhave more in common with men who use makeup. 3.CONCLUSION: Korea has an Ancienthistory of cosmetics use, but today the cosmetics industry has become the mostimportant industry in South Korea. More than the women the men of South Koreahave become the target of the cosmetic industry. With the growing importancefor good looks and flawless skin the Koreans are turning towards plasticsurgery as their only way towards beautification. Now that they are open toplastic surgeries, it is no more just about being pretty but also greatly abouthaving western facial features. Men of South Korea have moved from justaftershaves and lotions to anti-aging products, Botox injections and lasertreatments. Also the men of South Korea are seen diving into the cosmeticindustry face first to get ahead in life.
Only time will tell if male cosmeticscatch on in other countries as well, but now trend remains a commonplace inSouth Korea. 4.REFERENCES: (2017, August 26). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmetics_in_Korea.
kr/www/news/culture/2013/01/135_129776.html. Born, L. (2014, February 25).
Retrieved from https://firsttoknow.com/men-makeup-where-world-more-than-women/. Douglas, M. (2016, October 31). Retrieved from https://www.
Hatch, P. (2017, January 16). Retrieved from http://www.
Novak, K. (2015, October 4). Retrieved from http://money.cnn.
com/2015/10/04/news/south-korea-men-cosmetics/index.html. Park, C. E.
(2017, March 5). Retrieved from https://thevarsity.ca/2017/03/05/for-many-south-koreans-beauty-standards-represent-a-cultural-struggle/.