A man wearing make-up on the street may elicit unwelcome glares, questions about his masculinity and even his sexuality. But in South Korea, ideas about how to look good as a man are changing attitudes and influencing the world, as the BBC’s Saira Asher reports.
When the BBC posted a video about the make-up routine of a 16-year-old YouTuber in Seoul on Facebook, the reactions ranged from intrigued to downright vitriolic.
Some assumed this meant he was gay, while others admonished him for his choice saying “real men don’t wear make-up”. There were, of course, those that argued for his freedom to live life however he pleased and against the “fragile masculinities” on show.
But Kim Seung-hwan is used to it. He says he’s been called gay by some Koreans online for as long as he’s been doing make-up tutorials.
When asked about whether he thought he looked feminine after he put on make-up, he was confused by the question as if he had never even thought about it.
“No I don’t. I do not think about this being a girly look,” he says. “It’s about looking good.”