South Korean women are finding their way to fight the patriarchy and the ridiculous beauty standards in South Korea. It all started months ago. A movement called ‘escape the corset,’ a backlash against the pressure aimed only to women to look perfect in the patriarchal society. It was quiet at first. Back in April, a news presenter caused a sensation when she became the first South Korea woman to wear glasses on a news program. What was crazy about this is that it happened even though her fellow male news-reporters wear them as well. Then some women started posting photos and videos on social media of their smashed make-up products.
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Carried by the #MeToo movement, the protest spread nation-wide and women found the courage to speak up against double standards in South Korea. Kim Jiyeon, a protester, said: ‘we go through 12 steps just to put on basic products before even apply make-up.’ Men don’t have to. Men are not required to do so to be socially accepted.
As expected, the movement is under fire. It’s not easy to change such a conservative society. While women are being assaulted and beaten up for having short hair because they are believed to be feminists, San E, a South Korean rapper, wrote a diss track to fuel the hate towards feminists and the #MeToo supporters. The track, ‘Feminist’, is filled with hate. ‘Wo-mad’ the lyric says ‘if you want right you should go to the military.’ Kind of funny since it comes from someone who never went to the military. The track was talked a lot but surprisingly, a few weeks after the release, it backfired. San E’s label released a statement: he was fired.
Maybe it’s still too early to talk about real fairness and equality in the South Korean society, but feminists are not alone and one day they’ll hopefully be able to wear glasses on a newscast just like their male colleagues do.