Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Boyfriend Wears BB Cream

My boyfriend (Korean) wears this stuff called "BB Cream." To understand why this is blog worthy note that I myself do not wear make up. Not even eye liner or masquera or lip gloss even. I never got into it and because of this I don't really have a clue how to wear makeup except lip stick since that is a no-brainer.

Sure in the summer I put on some sunscreen to protect myself from getting burned but I wouldn't call that make-up.

Really if you are a gal and wear make-up I have no problem with that. Just don't obsess about it in front of me or go on about some product.

But what about guys wearing make-up? It is a trend out here in Asia and the most commonly used product, I feel, is BB Cream.

What is BB Cream?
B.B Cream , also known as Blemish Balm, started off as a soothing treatment balm dermatologists + surgeons used on patients who underwent laser skin treatment. It helps to shield\protect and regenerate delicate skin. Korean actresses and stars soon started using this cream and it sparked off a huge craze in Korea due to its excellent results.

Beauty brands in Korea have since developed BB cream and made it more suitable for Asian skin.

It's a cream used to hide blemishes and practically make your skin look all one color. In my opinion, is this not also called "concealer"? Again I don't have much experience with makeup.

Supposedly using this stuff will improve your skin quality over time, which is better than it destroying your skin cells, I guess.

Therefore it is a product that can make the skin tone more even and improve skin texture as read here.

Guys wearing BB Cream: Weird or Who cares?
I don't mind that my boyfriend wears this stuff. It is not like he looks terrible without it on but since there is really no harm in it then I see no problem.

Collectively, however, it is certainly a little bit of a culture shock to see a man put on make-up or cream. There is a growing market of make-up products for men, more so in Japan, and so it seems some men care about their appearance enough to use products.

In my western culture (America) it is considered too lady-like to wear make-up by men (generally). However, men will wear cologne. But I bet there are some savvy enough to use products like BB Cream since it helps with blemishes and oily skin. Really I don't mind, wear whatever you want guys.

However, I have found myself listening to or reading from expat men how they find themselves at odds with the way Korean men approach fashion and their appearance.

Korean Male Fashion at odds with Western Men:
Let me first just say I love the way men dress here in Korea. There are many styles that I enjoy that young 20 somethings wear to that of the older 30ish crowd.

Take for example that I have seen Korean adult and young men wear pink. Male + pink clothing = not typical in Western Culture.

I found a post on the web that discusses this phenomenon:

I think that this is the most important angle to this topic. The issue isn’t that Korean men wear pink shirts, but that many Western foreigners insist on making a big deal of it. I consider this to be one instance of a cultural divide, however minor it may be.

Why is it that foreigners aren’t willing to adopt this particular piece of Korean culture, when they often adopt other practices like removing their shoes inside, pouring alcohol with two hands for others, and participating in holiday events?

One explanation may be that this particular piece of culture, the fear of being labeled gay, is so deeply embedded in the identity of the average Western male, and they are unwilling to compromise their sexual identity even within a foreign society that doesn’t subscribe to the same views. How powerful the color pink must be to affect the male identity even across oceans!
 Ok I don't expect foreigners to adopt to their Korean surroundings and wear pink or other styles. I merely want to point out that Korean men generally have a different fashion sense than Western men and perhaps is true for women. But this is about men.

Maybe the general complaint is that Western men find it hard to get their size here in Korea. Certainly I can have the same problem here as a woman.

I just wonder what it is like for the Western man to shop in Korea. Do they have a particular favorite brand, shop or area they like to frequent? Do some just hold off till they can shop when they get back home?

If they shop in Korea what styles do they choose or adopt? Is it really such a big deal?

Probably the most important fashion choice is work clothes, since it can help or hinder your reputation depending on where you work.

I for one don't worry about what I wear to work since my coteacher doesn't say anything about it. But for guys I think if you don't wear a tie or slacks then it is considered too casual. Also it depends on your workplace's dress code, of course. For us teachers some might be working at a school that expect you to dress like a "Professional".

Therefore, I find that the Korean Male "Professional" look isn't all that bad.

That is pretty much what my boyfriend wheres to work. Looks comfortable and warm for this season.

Yet another complaint in the male shopping world I tend to hear out here is that jeans end up looking too styled. White-washed with stripes...etc. I suppose the Western Guy just wants some plane "normal" jeans. But when he goes to the store he is faced with this:

I don't mind seeing this style on men. But I can see why some guys would not want to choose this considering they may not care for this genre. White-washed jeans I think were popular during the Backstreet Boys days.

Looking around Gmarket you can see what is out there and yes there are jeans that aren't white washed.

Shopping is always a task and with enough patience you can find what you are looking for even here in Korea.

To sum up I would just say that BB Cream, pink shirts and white-washed jeans are probably not on the top of a Western guy's shopping list. So it is that I find myself intrigued by the fashion choices of my boyfriend.

What kind of fashion differences do you find yourself facing here in South Korea? (Man or Woman) ;) Let us know.

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