The history of male grooming dates back to the ancient Egypt civilization. Scholars consider the discovery of copper razors and oil on the skin as the origin of “grooming.” When Alexander conquered the world and encouraged short and neat hairstyles, it made men feel less aware of the fashion trends of absolute monarchs such as Louis XIV, and more conscious of the fashions of their peers. Development of Women right movements is another reason for the growth of interest in male grooming. As women continued to enter the workforce, it was believed men can compete if they also take good care of their appearance, an idea described as ‘body capital’.Trend research institute ‘Inter fashion Planning’ stated that “Men’s enthusiasm for good looks is not a sudden trend. It is because the importance of human relations in the rat race to modern men living in uncertain times is increasing.” The ‘Grooming man’ considers appearance to be an investment to differentiate himself from his competitors, and as a method of self-development.Also, as more Metro sexual care about their looks and fashion, the number of the ‘grooming men’ is increasing.
The State of Grooming in Korea
South Korea has become the center of Cosmetics for men in the world due to “appearance competition”. In other words, men have decided to wear makeup to survive and compete during a severe job shortage. The Korea Wave, including k_pop, is heavily influential. As pop idols in their 20s and so-called “flower boys” have become popular, the perception of men’s makeup has changed. While it was once common for men who wore makeup to think of a Drag Queen or Homosexual in western cultures, Korean male idols are different. They generally have clean skin, soft eyes, and delicate emotions, but perform dynamic and masculine duties. Men are encouraged to copy the makeup of Korean male idols. In fashion and beauty magazines overseas, there are many articles on skin care and makeup tutorials for Korean pop stars.