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"Pretty Boy" Trend Seen in Korea in Recent Years Updated: 2006-02-13 12:00:00 KST

An interesting trend in Korea these days is that men are getting prettier.
Yes, there was the metrosexual movement triggered by David Beckham a couple of years ago.
But this time, the trend is being led by Korean actors, and more and more men are becoming followers.
Kim Hyung-eun has this story.

In case you haven't noticed, Korean men are getting prettier, spending more time and money than ever to groom themselves.
What started off as a focus on fashion has shifted to other areas.
And this means big money for cosmetics companies.

RECORDED: "In case of skincare, as men begin to feel more comfortable buying things like lotions and toners, many companies are moving fast to get in the business."

Sales of men's skincare products have risen steadily, while overall sales in the cosmetic industry are pointing downward.
At the forefront of this trend in Korea is this man: Lee Jun-ki, an actor catapulted to stardom for his role in the hit movie, "The King and the Clown."
With his feminine features, he played a clown who portrays a female concubine.

RECORDED: "With the rising popularity of Lee Jun-ki, more men are asking for tinted moisturizers. That product hasn't sold this well since it was introduced in 2000."

And it wasn't difficult to find a customer looking for that product.

RECORDED: "I became interested in tinted moisturizers after seeing them on TV and Internet ads."

Riding high on the recent phenomenon, the relatively new industry for men's accessories is also booming, and with new marketing styles.
This shop, for one, tries to make shopping as comfortable as possible for masculine men who usually wouldn't be caught dead shopping for a necklace.

RECORDED: "I noticed that around women, a lot of men are too shy to freely look around and try things on. So unless they come with men, women are not allowed here."

Underscoring the sensitivity that still exists among men regarding a focus on grooming, the owner of the shop did not allow interviews with customers.
It's not certain just how long this so-called "pretty boy" phenomenon will last in Korea, but for now, it's definitely spreading.

Kim Hyung-eun, Arirang News.
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