One of those by now, is the importance of looks in Korean society. How you look and how others judge your appearance is something that comes to the mind of all Koreans. For example, in North America when we go buy groceries you might just slap on a pair of sweats and some old runners while you run to Walmart. But in Seoul, it's a whole different story. You see moms dressed up to the nines shopping late at night inside Homever. When I say dressed up, I am talking about full on make up, a nice outfit and high heels!
Now this importance placed on beauty starts at a very young age. All my students came to class dressed up in cute little outfits, even the young ones (living in Mokdong was a major factor of this) I had students write in their essays that they were scared of getting fat--because then they would not be able to wear nice clothes and high heels. This was coming from an eleven year old! I had some high school students mention that they wanted cosmetic surgery, such as the "double eye lid" for that Western look, or nosejobs. It's quite distressing to hear this from students at such a young age. Maybe they should check out the following Dove "evolution" video that many of you have probably already seen:
Anyways, Beauty Credit (the page will not load properly with Firefox--Korea's web pages are dependent on Internet Explorer!) is just one of the gazillion cosmetic stores you will find littered throughout Seoul. The Face Shop is another big chain, that can be found in subway stations and on every street corner (even in Canada!):
Anyways, as Devante was checking out the store I took the time to film this short video. There are lots of interesting things to take note of whenever you enter one of these stores. You'll most likely see a) the obedient Korean boyfriend following close behind his lady carrying her purse; b) lots of women in high heels (wait, that's the entire country); and c) people trying out the communal lip gloss testers on their lips (I saw this one girl with the nastiest canker sores using a tester on her open, bubbling sores--okay that didn't happen, but it could!). These are just a few things to keep in mind the next time you walk into a busy store! Here's the vid, watch for my short cameo!