Getting dressed up before a night out can be a big part of the fun for many women, especially if it’s something which you do as a group activity, but what if it wasn’t optional?
In recent years it’s become more socially acceptable to reject a daily makeup routine and high beauty standards. Even celebrities who are under media scrutiny. Singer Alicia Keys for example, received a huge level of support when she announced that she wasn’t going to wear makeup anymore because she didn’t want to feel beholden to it and as if she had to put it on.
However, it’s not just women in the western world who are fed up with being expected to be flawless. Women in South Korea are also hitting back at expectations.
Those who are involved in the growing movement in South Korea called ‘escape the corset’, are challenging traditional beauty ideals by going makeup free and shaving off their long hair – often posting pictures of the results on social media afterwards.
As a movement it’s especially daring in South Korea because success can often go hand-in-hand with looks. A 2017 survey found that 88% of job seekers thought that looks mattered when it came to getting a job, and half of those surveyed would consider getting plastic surgery to get employment. In fact, South Korea has the world’s highest rate of cosmetic surgery per capita.
In the end though, it’s not about going makeup free or cutting hair. Movements like ‘escape the corset’ matter because they are about women finding the freedom to express themselves – to be free to choose what to wear and what to do without judgement.