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szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen -> 
S. Korea’s beauty industry targets kids
    2019-04-18  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Last year in kindergarten, Yang Hye-ji developed her morning routine. Uniform? Check. Homework? Check.

Makeup? Definitely.

“Makeup makes me look pretty,” the 7-year-old said on her second visit to the ShuShu & Sassy beauty spa in Seoul.

She was wrapped in a child-sized pink robe and wearing a bunny hairband. Her face was gently touched up with a puff. Her lips got a swipe of pink gloss.

South Korea’s cosmetics industry, known as K-beauty, has become an Asian powerhouse and global phenomenon for its rigorous step-by-step regimens.

But exacting beauty norms also put enormous pressure on South Korean women, making the country one of the world’s centers for plastic surgery. And increasingly, the beauty industry is looking at younger and younger girls.

That is stirring concerns that touch on many core social debates in South Korea: How much a society should value appearance, and whether messages about beauty crowd out other aspirations for young girls.

ShuShu Cosmetics is a pioneer in K-beauty’s outreach to children. Started in 2013, it operates 19 boutiques across South Korea, offering “healthier” cosmetics for kids, such as water-soluble nail polish and nontoxic lip crayons in a range of “edible” colors.

There are sticker earrings and tattoos, “sun-whipping” cream cleanser, “fancy girl” soap and goat-milk shampoo carrying the slogan: “I’m not a baby.”

This is hardly a trend that is exclusive to South Korea. Kylie Jenner has built a cosmetics empire worth an estimated US$900 million largely targeting teenage girls, while child beauty vloggers are also popular in the United States and elsewhere.

“From K-pop divas to K-beauty cosmetics, the market capitalizing on women’s objectification has become a hyper-saturated ‘red ocean’ in South Korea,” said Yoon Kim Ji-yeong of Konkuk University, using a term describing an existing market with cutthroat competition.

“The market sees a ‘blue ocean’ for expansion in younger customers, ready to instigate and monetize their insecurities about their appearance.”

Words to Learn 相關詞匯

【抱負】bàofù aspiration a strong desire for high achievement

【賺錢】zhuànqián monetize utilize something as a source of profit

在幼兒園的最后一年,楊惠姬開始了她早上的常規流程。校服?當然了。家庭作業?必須的。

化妝?那當然了。

“化妝讓我看起來很漂亮,”這名7歲的女孩在她第二次去首爾ShuShu & Sassy美容水療中心時說。她穿著兒童款的粉紅色長裙,戴著一個兔子發帶。她臉上略施薄粉,嘴唇涂了粉紅色的唇膏。

韓國的美妝行業,也稱為韓妝,因其嚴格的規范已然成為亞洲的行業龍頭,在全球也有相當影響力。

但韓國嚴格審美要求給成年女性帶來了巨大壓力,使韓國成了世界整容中心,而美妝產業也逐漸將目光放到了孩子身上。

這也引發了一些憂慮,在韓國社會帶來了很多核心價值的討論:社會應該在多大程度上關注外表?對“美貌”的重視是否會影響年輕女孩對于其他人生目標的追求?

ShuShu美妝是韓國低齡化美妝的先行者。自2013年開業以來在韓國一共開了19家專營店,為兒童提供“更健康”的化妝品,比如可以溶于水的指甲油,和無毒害可食用的唇膏,多色可選。

還有即貼型的耳環和文身,兒童防曬潔面乳,“靚麗女孩”香皂和山羊奶洗發水,產品上的口號是“我不是嬰兒了”。

事實上,化妝的低齡化并非韓國獨有的趨勢。比如美國“網紅”凱莉?詹納就創建了一個估值9億美元的化妝品帝國,目標人群就是廣大少女,兒童美妝視頻博主在美國和其他地方也很流行。

“從韓流音樂天后到韓流美妝,把女性物化的市場已經成為韓國一個過度飽和的‘紅

海’”,韓國建國大學的尹金佳榮說,紅海指競爭異常激烈的市場。

“市場看到了向年輕客戶擴張的‘藍海’,隨時準備煽動并把她們對外表的不安全感變成利潤。”

(English text from The Washington Post)

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