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Wednesday,November 13,2019
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Boys Like Girls

The word “beautiful” is not applied only to women nowadays. It is also applied to men. It is not a rare sight to observe the word “beautiful” being used to describe “pretty” men and good looking men. “Pretty 40s” used to be a trend when Jose Mourinho, one of the best looking Portuguese football players, won several championship titles. The word “pretty boy” was prevalently used when male idol groups such as SHINEE and DONG BANG SHIN GEE became famous.

Just like women, men are willing to pay for whatever is necessary to look better. They do not hesitate to spend money on expensive makeup, haircuts at luxurious hair salons, and skin care at dermatology clinics. Considering this, it is obvious that “grooming” has become an irresistible trend among men.

Kim Jong-shik, a college student, is hesitant to go out without wearing B-B cream. Once he experienced the benefits of B-B cream, such as whitening skin and covering scars and pimples, Jong-shik became reliant to B-B cream whenever he socializes.

Park Sang-hyuk, an office worker, goes to Richard Hair, a hair salon near Gangnam Station, whenever he needs haircut. The haircut costs 40,000 won, but he thinks the haircut is worth the price. His personal hair designer is familiar with his hair composition and what kind of haircut suits him the best. He thinks the hair salon deserves to charge 40,000 won.

The virtual diaries of men who spend money to take care of themselves are happening in real life. Men who take care of themselves call themselves “groomers.” The word “groomer” originated from the word “groom,” which means to comb a horse's mane and wash oneself to be clean and trim.

As the number of groomers has grown, the first market to experience the effects of the groomer trend is the beauty industry. Since 2006, sales of cosmetics for men have doubled. 7-Eleven, a convenience store franchise, sold 57.4% more men's aftershave and lotion products than last year. Another convenience store franchise, GS 25, saw sales of men’s grooming products increase 85.3%.

In addition to the significant growth of men’s products, more men have consulted with plastic surgeons. Kim Sun, a plastic surgeon who runs a cosmetic surgery clinic in Gangnam, stated that more than 30% of his patients are men. Until a few years ago, most men he consulted considered getting a nose job or laser treatment to enhance their skin tone. Nowadays, however, most men want double-eyelid surgery.

There are several reasons for this new trend.
First, men’s desire to show off has become acceptable. Just like women, men want to show off their wealth and looks. Until recently, this desire was shown through automobiles and watches. Nowadays, however, men show this by taking care of their skin and getting expensive haircut.

Second, gender equality has become so common that men want to share the past privileges of women. Women have shared men's past privileges such as law, media, and politics for quite a while. Now that gender equality is prevalent, men want to take advantage of that and want to wear makeup and spend a considerable amount of money on taking care of their looks.

Third, the media has also played a big role. The media presents male idol groups wearing skinny jeans and heavy makeup. Back in the 1990s, such presentations would have caused social outrage and chaos. But now that these practices have become rampant, both women and men no longer consider such presentations as absurd and outrageous.

Besides the psychological reasons of the groomer trend, there is another reason, lookism.
More than 60% of male job seekers admit that looks matter in interviews and job performance. Needless to say, they are not disturbed by the costs of taking care of themselves.

Adding to the occupational matter, men take care of their looks because they want to look attractive to the opposite sex. It is common sense that most women prefer men who spend a moderate amount of money on their looks over non-groomers.

The groomer trend is irresistible nowadays. Then, how do groomers take care of themselves? Here are some tips.
1. Do not touch your face. Men's fingers are infested with various types of bacteria detrimental to skin. The more you touch your face, the more vulnerable your skin becomes.
2. Develop an adequate way to cleanse your face. Purchase high-quality cleansing foam and wash every night with warm water.
 3. Do not use after shave that contains over 40% alcohol. It makes your face
look older.

Christmas is close. Many men are suffering from loneliness.
Why not groom yourself and look more presentable to women?

Ro Hyun-su  geniusdu@dongguk.edu

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