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Mr. Beauty and Ms. Strong

Posted December. 26, 2004 22:33,   


Hong Gi-sun, a 27-year-old salary man, puts a mask pack on his face once a week. He thinks that if his skin looks chapped, he will be condemned as someone lazy, despite the fact that his chapped skin resulted from working late in the office.

Park Jung-hee, a 26-year-old certified accountant, pays more than her boyfriend when she is dating. Park thinks it is reasonable for a person who earns more money to spend more.

Stereotyped gender roles are collapsing, and more and more people are adopting the good points possessed by the opposite gender.

According to a survey conducted by Cheil Communications on 300 people – 150 men and 150 women – aged from 17 to 39, 66.7 percent of men and 57.3 percent of women were categorized as androgynous. The result of the survey, “2004 Silent Revolution in Today’s Men and Women,” was released on Sunday.

Cheil Communications labeled men who pursue the merits of women as “Mr. Beauty,” and women who adopt the good points of men, “Ms. Strong.”

“Mister Beauty-”

Mister Beauties proudly publicize that they like to cook. A total of 62.7 percent of the male respondents said that men could wear make-up. Also, 75.3 percent said that they are proud to have girlfriends who are capable of earning a lot of money.

As it can be inferred from terms such as “metrosexual” and “flower-looking man,” male college students from the ages of 19 to 24 admitted that it is time to be competitive about outer looks. They do not hesitate in using cosmetics products and wearing flowery shirts. However, it does not mean that they only pursue femininity. Top stars like singer “Rain” and actor Kang Dong-won boast a muscular body while showing the feminine side of their personalities.

Unmarried working men between the ages of 25 and 34 are not necessarily obsessed with the good looks as college students, but do pay much attention to their appearances in order to be evaluated as someone who takes good care of themselves.

Married working men between the ages of 28-39 refuse the traditional, male-centered ideology, and try to become softer and more sensitive men. Sharing household duties is a must. Some think about becoming full-time “house husbands” or taking paternity leave.

“Ms. Strong-”

Ms. Strongs are those who admire the idea of having big Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). A total of 53.3 percent of the respondents think that it would be better for women to have strong physical strength. A total of 54 percent of them fix minor hitches in their home appliances.

Female university students between the ages of 19 and 24 want themselves to look sexy and strong, rather than cute and feminine. They are aggressive enough to ask out men they like first, and demand physical contact first.

Unmarried working women between the ages of 25 and 34 try to be recognized for their competency. They possess both male tenacity and male propelling power at the same time. Work is a must, but marriage is a matter of choice.

Married working women ages 28 to 39 thoroughly manage their time to commit themselves faithfully to both family and work. Sometimes they are envious of full-time housewives, but they try to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.

Ki-Jeong Ko Sang Hoon Kim koh@donga.com sanhkim@donga.com