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Male Grooming Code 1. Appearance is Competition
According to one survey, more than half of the working people believe appearance is important for an interview. Another survey states that
beautiful people have 5~10% higher
incomes than those who are not. With all the unemployment trend, a lot of youth are investing their time into another factor for their resume, their looks.
# “A” (32), a job seeker, wants to look appealing. He has been looking for a job for 3 years now and he really needs to get employed in 2013.
Resume? He’s proud. Looks? He is suddenly embarrassed. “A” is worried because looks are a part of the resume these days and he doesn’t understand why he has to get rejected just because of his looks. He visited a cosmetics shop for the first time in 32 years and bought a BB cream to
brighten up his facial tone. He got his eyebrows organized and it was a much better look. His face was brighter and somehow he felt more
confident. Next, he thought of purchasing cosmetics to help his large pores. Yes! Appearance is competition!
# He does not wish to have Jang Dong Gun’s large eyes. He knows it’s too much to wish for Won Bin’s sharp nose. He does not dare ask for Jung Woo Sung’s sharp jaw. “B” (31) decided to get surgery after much consideration. With deviated nose surgery, he wanted a nicer appearance, and wanted to get his adult acne and freckles removed for cleaner skin. After the surgery, “B” was complimented on his “nice appearance” from the
interviewee. It felt better than hearing “handsome.” “B” will work at a new company in a few days. His looks did not get him the job, but you can’t say it didn’t play a part. A brave and hardworking soul will get the job.
Youth unemployment is rising like a “hot potato.” In the November stats that appeared in December, the unemployment trend for youth in the late 20s seemed to hit them the hardest. There were 24.9 million new employees, a 353,000 increase from the same month last year. With a 300,000
increase for the second month in a row, last September (264,000) had the least number of increase.
The employment rate for youth in their late 20s was 68.0%, a 2.3% decrease in one year. The employment rate for youth in their early 20s
(44.3%), and 30s (73.5%), was increased 0.8% and 0.7%. It seems like it is going opposite compared to the other age groups minimal increase.
The number of job seekers in their 20s was decreased by 79,000 in one year. The number of unemployed people in the 20s also decreased from
262,000 to 254,000. However, there is a non-economically active group in their 20s, which increased from 36.6% to 38.6%. These people have
given up searching for jobs are staying in school because it is hard to find a job. The job market does not look bright next year, which is a massive weight on the shoulders of the youth.
It’s ironic. There is an industry rising, which is the “male beauty industry.” With the increase of unemployment, the men are focusing on their
appearance for competition, and are naturally buying cosmetics and turning to plastic surgery, which is increasing the activation of the beauty
Last year, 1 out of 5 males cosmetics sold in the world, was counted in Korea.
According to specialists, the main reason was competition, from the point of job applications to promotions, where “appearance” is a competition
in this harsh world.
Euromonitor International, a global market research institution, analyzed that the Korean male cosmetics market was approximately 495.5 million dollars, about 21% of the total profit. Euromonitor stated that “there are only 19 million males in Korea, but it is interesting that this country has
the largest male cosmetics market.” Business work, a political magazine, also stated that “Korea is a competitive country where appearance is
known as a competition factor” and that it is “due to job competition and a lack of jobs.
A lot of random “Homme” (for men) products are increasing in popularity like BB cream, sun block, and eyeliners.
According to a specialist in
L’Oreal, despite the economic recession, the consumption of male cosmetic products is continually increasing, and the market is creating various
This is the same for the cosmetic surgery market. The first reason for cosmetic surgery for women is regaining their lost confidence.
For men, surgery would give them a good impression for a job. According to a survey, the number one reason for men getting plastic surgery is to “not be at a disadvantage,” and according to one research from Yale University with 4000 men and women, attractive people had 5~10% higher incomes than those who were not attractive. Physically attractive people are more confident, therefore are confident when it comes to getting a
raise. This means that in order to get a raise at work, you should take care of your appearance too. In reality, if the physical features are
attractive, then the person looks more confident, and can give off a better appearance to other people. Looks aren’t everything when it comes to
competition, but it is definitely a plus.
The number of males is increasing every year in the cosmetic surgery market. On the other hand, the number of students that finished their finals
is decreasing, and events for male cosmetic surgery are increasing.
Kim Min Ji (34, alias) is working as a consultant at a plastic surgery clinic in Gangnam. She says that “due to the stress from the decreasing job
market, people are asking for ‘employment surgeries’ because they want to grab attention. Looks have become one of the factors to consider
during interviews along with education, certificates, TOEIC, high grades, community service, and because the first impression is very important,
the interviewee is most likely going to hire the more attractive person compared to the one who is not.”
Labor economics professor Daniel Hamermesh at the University of Texas at Austin, stated in his research that a good looking person has a higher
income than someone that is not. He states the same idea in his book, “Beauty Pays: Why attractive people are more successful.”
Starting from the 1970s, Daniel Hamermesh researched and analyzed 12 factors about people such as education, age, race, marriage, etc. and
found out that men who are attractive receive a 17% higher income than those who aren’t, and women who are more attractive receive a 12%
higher income that those who aren’t. He states that attractive people are generally confident, which plays a positive role in finishing tasks.
It is the same for job hunters. STCO, a shirt and tie shop distributed questionnaires to 1542 member of the employment community, “Persistent
job hunters” in Naver. 870 people, more than half, answered that appearance is ‘very important’ during an interview. 42.4% replied that it was
‘important’ which revealed that job hunters pay attention to their appearance. 6 out 10 job hunters replied that they “photoshopped their resume
picture” and half of the male seekers wore makeup to the interview. It seems that men investing in their looks known as “metrosexuals” and the “grooming tribe” are growing.
Because the education rate is high in Korea, more than 80% receive high school education. And more than 80% enter college which makes Korea
the highest in the OECD countries. The competition is fierce in polishing resumes for large companies, but within the younger generation,
the unemployment rate is becoming worse. The male cosmetic industry is another means of competition for males who have fiercely competed
from middle school to after graduation. Males who wear make-up aren’t trying to look femininedelicate. They wish to look vivid and wholesome.
In this economy, where even looks are competition, people can’t afford to not look better than other people to give off a better impression.
Much interest in employment surgeries
>> What is the trend for male cosmetic surgery?
The number of men interested in cosmetic surgery is increasing every year. Men visiting are increasing 10~15% annually. Men wish to get surgery for employment reasons so that they can give off a good first impression. This age group is expanding, and it seems like the trend will continually
>> What is the ratio of males in their 20~30s who wish to get surgery?
Males in their 20~30s visit us the most out of all the male patients. There are many success stories about getting hired after surgery, causing the males to be more interested in employment plastic surgeries.
>> Amidst this depression, why is the male beauty industry rising?
With the long term economic recession and unemployment, the youth in the 20~30s are considering appearance as a part of competition. According to a research in the US, attractive people receive an income that is 5~10% higher than someone who is not. As this trend rises and expands,
resistance towards plastic surgery clinics and plastic surgery has been decreasing. Also, as plastic surgery is helping people regain their confidence and bringing about positive change in their daily activities, we can say that the male beauty industry is being activated progressively due to such
>> Is there a specific patient that you remember?
Seeing all these “ulzzang” pictures online, I feel like there are a lot of attractive men and women in Korea. But some of these people Photoshop
their pictures and upload them. A man in his 20s that visited us informed us that his photoshopped picture became a hot issue and wanted to
make his face like the picture. He felt like he was getting attention and was happy, but that he was worried his real face would be revealed.
The results turned out well after the surgery, and now he is working in the broadcasting business, model business, etc. I remember him because
he regained his confidence through the surgery and achieved his dream.
>> What are the precautions for men getting plastic surgery?
I would like to recommend people to get rid of their greed before getting surgery. Plastic surgery is not magic, but a medical procedure, so it can’t be completely satisfying. The patient must consult a professional cosmetic surgeon and recognize the areas that can be improved and areas that
cannot be changed. It is important to control oneself from becoming addicted to plastic surgery and making the reasonable choices.
“С помощью лучших навыков и эстетических технологий,
Клиника пластической хирургии Вонджин позаботится о