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CoverControversial Issues
Korean Teenage Makeup: Charm or Harm?Teenage Makeup is Right
Jang Hyo-won  |  hwjang16@cau.ac.kr
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승인 2017.08.06  18:51:15
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
Spotting teenagers with heavy makeup is not a difficult task. Unlike the older generations when makeup was just for adults, teenage make-up tutorials, cosmetic brands, and makeup models have made “makeup” to naturally blend into teenage culture. Following the K-Pop Wave, K-Beauty is becoming an influential industry to teenagers who make up a large portion of its consumer percentage. Although teenagers strive to accomplish homogeneity with their peers and take care of their appearance, negative judgments and sanctions are made against teenage makeup. Students and schools are still in an antagonistic relationship with regards to this issue. Why can’t teenagers put on makeup?
            Fundamentally, teenage makeup should not be judged whether to be right or wrong since putting restrictions on makeup itself infringes on basic human rights and freedom to beautify oneself. Looking closely into the definition of makeup shows that it is the act of keeping physically hygienic or applying cosmetics to the face to enhance or alter appearance. Anyone can have drawbacks to physical appearance and could cover these up with makeup. Asymmetric faces, hairless brows, wrinkles, pimples, birthmarks, visible pores and so many more traits that act as one’s defects could easily be solved by putting makeup. Although many insist that we are independent from lookism and respected individually, it is inevitable that one’s appearance has a great influence on first impressions. Likewise, minimizing flaws and maximizing strengths gives high self-esteem and helps to create amicable relationships. Thus, unconditional prohibition of teenage makeup is unacceptable.
            Secondly, applying makeup can be a stress-relieving action. Parents against teenage makeup perceive makeup as an obstacle to academic success. However, students in higher grades tend to not only study well, but also have great self-management skills. In other words, academics does not come through 24 hours of stay-on-task studying, but with a balance between stress relieving times and concentrated study periods. Therefore, censoring students’ makeup triggers stress and lowers self-esteem, which could act as actual obstacles to academic achievements. Hence, people against teenage makeup hold negative stereotypes that students wearing makeup are problematic children, which defy logic.
            Thirdly, teenagers should put a priority on the substances contained in cosmetic products rather than the cheap price. Whether these young consumers are concerned or not about the components of makeup products make a huge difference. Most teenagers rely mostly on pocket money and prefer products on sale or brands in a low price range. Recent news capturing teenage girls using marker as eyeliner has been a great issue related to the use of cheap cosmetics. Since teen’s skin cells are yet developed and puberty makes skin sensitive, applying products containing toxic chemicals is not recommended, not only for teens, but also for adults. Chemicals such as polyethylene glycol, dimethoxybenzenes, talc, para hydroxybenzoate and so many more are proclaimed for their harm. However, what comes before everything is ethical production of cosmetics by cosmetics enterprises. If teenagers are aware of the harmful effects of artificial chemicals, these changes in consumers’ preferences will trigger a betterment in the healthier formulation of cosmetic production.
Fourthly, proper education on basic makeup is necessary for better and safer use of makeup. Applying skin care products, sunscreen products, and facial cleansing products are the basic, but most important steps of makeup. If teenagers are taught to use products that fit their skin types, keep makeup tools sanitized, apply products in step and thoroughly cleanse without residue left behind, it can even make the skin healthier by fulfilling necessary care. Teens should also be taught that it is unsanitary to share cosmetics with peers and products should be used only for external use, especially with lip and eye products. Hence instead of unconditionally restricting makeup, teenagers should be taught to properly decorate themselves.
            According to 2016 MBC News Desk January statistics of students in their teens, 52% of female students are using color makeup and many male students are concerned with basic skin care and makeup. Besides, 47.3% of teenagers have already started using makeup by the ages of 15-16. Likewise, in the 21st century, teenage makeup has become firmly rooted in teen culture and banning makeup is an outdated move to halt the present social phenomenon. In order to help teenager’s interest to improve their outer look to come into bloom, proper use and knowledge of products is necessary. Everyone is beautiful in different ways, so rather than artificial heavy makeup, is would be preferable for teenagers to seek natural beauty on their own. The more society opens to the teenage makeup culture, the healthier the makeup culture will be that is established for teenagers. 


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