hahahaha that’s a good one.
We have the same experience then.
I can relate to the hair dye thing. Growing up I had a friend who got the same questions about her hair. I moved later and we lost contact, but she had the most incredible naturally red hair I’ve ever seen. It was dark copper red. Not auburn, not “normal” red, just a really special dark red color. I’ve actually never seen anyone before or after with her hair color. She would get asked all the time what hairdye she used, and when they didn’t believe her she’d call me in as a witness, lol.
You made me smile as well, about the men not saying anything so we won’t get mad at them, lol. Poor guys.
It would be interesting to know if guys generally think the same all over the world, or if it’s different in different places, maybe very different even.
It would also be very interresting to know how the koreans girls think about the lipstick on the guys in the dramas. As some write, since it’s used so frequently in the dramas they are probably more ok with it then for ex. me, but it would be nice to get their perspective.
Haven’t you seen pictures of idols wearing full flower boy makeup, with flower garlands (given by fans, I read) on their head, bows, making hearts with their hands, halfway between male and female, often with a female head and a male body, completely androgynous? It seems that this style is acceptable and desirable in East Asia. For some reason.
Although many or most of these people are not gay at all, they act and dress in a way that would be typical of stereotyped Western gays. Actually… nowadays, most Western gays would find it too extreme, because the current trend is for gay men to not act, speak or look gay at all.
Why does the Asian public like this desexualized, dolled up males? Maybe because most of the fans are teenagers and they are afraid of normal males and the sexual connotations of liking them?
As you know, there are actors, usually over 34, who are not at all like that. They are very manly even if sensitive and gentle. Jang Hyeok (Wok of Love) comes to mind.
But even older ones like Ji Jin-hee (Second to Last Love, Gentleman’s Dignity).
These are to accomodate the taste of more mature fans.
It may have to do with a different culture and view. I once read that e.g. in Japan they didn’t talk about hetero- and homosexual people but instead of hetero- and homosexual actions, so it was not the person but the doing. At some point (I don’t know the year) they changed it to the Western definition of the person instead of the action.
It’s also said that in Chinese dynasties male concubines together with female concubines weren’t unusal.
Maybe it depends on the religion, the Western countries (Europe, USA) are or at least used to be mostly Christian. So I think it’s part of their culture and arts/performance traditions.
We have a politician who is married to a woman, having 2 or 3 own biological children and now says he’s a woman (and everyone has to say Misses to him), wears a wig, make up and skirts/dresses.
Imagine a man in a Western country who says he wants to wear make up and skirts, he probably gets problems so maybe the men here now say they are women to wear what they want.
(It’s somehow illogical since no one says a woman is a man just because she has short hair, no make up, no high heels and trousers)
Recently, the most popular Chinese boy band is built by 5 girls. And the band members get fan letters from (probably mostly) female fans.
And a Chinese boy band with male members:
And here some Western/European boybands from the 90’s (all males):
They look all like Kens but never androgynous.
Somwhere in the 2000’s+:
Once we had some kind of visual kei style as EU version (some or maybe all of them were gay):
But even when the Western band members were quite young too, they never get that androgynous Asian look. (Not even with visual kei make up style).
@ The visual style, Japanese visual kei bands also have androgynous/cross dress style
Now with changed music genre:
Doesn’t your doing, your actions, define who you are? And ultimately names are just a description of what the person does.
If I don’t eat animals, I’m called a vegetarian. If I like Hitler and follow the rules of his ideology, I’m called a Nazi. If I beat up blacks because of their skin, I’m called a racist. If I believe that there is a god called Vishnu who was incarnated in 10 avatars and perform puja to his likeness with incense, flowers and coconuts, then they call me a Hindu. If I dance what is called bellydance, I am a bellydancer. If I am a woman and like sleeping with women I’m called a lesbian. If I kill someone I’m a murderer. If I like giving money to charities, I’m called a philanthropist. If I study animals for a career, I’m called a zoologist.
So what’s the difference between the action and the name?
Yes, child psychologists say “Don’t tell them they are bad, tell them they did a bad thing, because the thing they did does not define them”. For instance if you tell them “you told a lie, this is not good” it’s okay, but you shouldn’t tell them “You’re a liar”. Even if they do it several times. But this is because it is believed that it’s not a habitual action, that it’s something that can be changed and because it might ingrain the notion that “oh, I’m a liar”, like a conditioning, as the child is small and his character not yet fully formed, so it’s better to give positive conditioning and not negative.
Coming to sexual habits, aren’t you really defined by your habits?
As if a heterosexual woman tries for once sleeping with her best (girl) friend just of curiosity, and says “this doesn’t make me a lesbian”. Okay, maybe. Maybe it’s a one-time thing and indeed it does not define the person. On the other hand… I never had a curiosity to sleep with my best (girl) friend. Nor did I ever feel the urge to beat up a black person nor wanted to go hunting once just “to see how it is”. Or to ask my lover to beat me up with a whip. Just no. It’s not who I am.
After all, if you are a male and you have an … er… physical reaction… seeing another male, I’m sorry, but I’ll call you gay. If you also have the same physical reaction with a woman, no problem, here’s a word for that as well, and it’s very fashionable too. If your actions are homosexual, that makes you a homosexual. I don’t see how you can separate the two things.
Harems including young boys were common in the Middle East as well, especially at the time of the Ottoman Empire. I think that in every civilization, including ancient Greece, Rome, Elizabethan England etc etc. young boys were “popular” that way. Including the Catholic Church, unfortunately. So yeah, not only a Chinese thing.
Interesting post, irmar.
Of course the things with boys are everywhere. What differs may be the view about it, related to monotheistic religions and those that have multiple gods and goddesses or even no personified god/dess.
I was watching a drama just recently, one of the older male actors, wow! the lipstick, unbelieveable! so fake looking. and he is one of my favorite actors at that!
detective doctor is the title
I just saw this middle age actor with the lipstick like the girls actress do top part not fully painted and it looked so ridiculous on him. (episode 5 Chief of Staff).
you mentioned chief of staff in your other message too. I don’t know why I just didn’t think it would be a good one. so I will watch it today. and thanks
I have always liked 80s music and the style New Romantics. (Adam Ant in the middle is sooo gorgeous lol) So in comparison the little make up used in asian dramas doesn’t bother me.
Haha, you got me. True, it’s all true, and I have seen the flower garlands, the aegyo, the whole thing. But I guess I connected that more with the bands having fun with their fans, I mean, they go full on sometimes and stright out crossdresses, and it seems like it’s mostly for fun. So I didn’t really connect that with wearing lipstick in a show, which seems more serious. But you’re right. it must be seen as desirable, or they wouldn’t do it.
I think you may be onto something here, I’ve never thought about it like that before, but somehow it rings true. I mean, I don’t know if it’s true, but it sounds possible. I remember being a bit scared when guys started to show interest of a certain kind, so I can totally get wanting to feel safe like that.
The lipstick reached C dramas
I watched so many competitions of esports and not a single pro gamer did use lipstick irl no matter if they were Korean or Chinese. The Asian teams usually had a similar haircut and many of them wear glasses (more than Western pro gamers) but even though some looked kinda chibi like it was still natural without make up (they were also withouot make up when the broadcast took place in Seoul…)
Yes, I see the Chinese male actors with PINK lipstick and believe me it doesn’t look good at all. I was hoping it was a filter in the cameras but is LIPSTICK. The much older actors won’t use-wear it, so you see the difference.
At first I also thought it’s just the lightening or camerafilter but then… there is one scene in the trailer, the whole esport team ~ 5 guys all have that lipstick.
I wonder if they do it for selling the licence to SK?
Fits to some of the previous posts and may be interesting for some.
Thanks for sharing
Saw another one with some male examples as well (in the video are some quotes of K pop idols who say their managers wanted them to do surgery):
What? Uee had surgery too? I didn’t know that, and she is one of my favorite Korean actresses. Ah well, I have conflicting opinions about plastic surgery, but the saddest part is that flaws aren’t allowed in society. I am not immune either-- I have to stop myself from subscribing to the ‘perfection’ attitude of society. It’s a retraining of the mind.
I’m also sad since some of the singers from the video are members of bands I like (for some females I already assumed that before I saw the video, but I didn’t expect it for the males as well).
It is so cruel, imagine telling a young person that "his eyes’ look is too “bad” so he has to do surgery… (and then they change their eyes so they look more Western-ish.
(And maybe they’ll get health issues because of the surgeries when they are old)
I totally agree. My eyes aren’t even and in fact they are hooded and one looks slightly smaller than the other, but I don’t let that bother me. As for the western eye look, i don’t see what’s so special about that that makes it so desirable. Maybe because I live in America I take it for granted, but I never noticed the double eyelid until i delved deeper in Asian cultures and found that many Asians wanted the double eyelid. I think that monolids are strikingly beautiful and dramatic–I’ve thought so since I was a child.
Yes, I don’t know if there are health risks involved as well when the body gets older. Will the surgery matter, though? We all will get wrinkled in the end, if God lets us live to old age The same goes with many Americans’ obsession with larger lips and larger breasts and larger bottoms. I don’t know anymore, I just wish society didn’t have such a pressure against physical diversity. And another sad thing is that yes, beautiful people get rewarded in society in many different ways. I myself am not averse to liking a pretty or handsome face, but I shouldn’t excuse people or gift people based on beauty alone.