Colorado Springs native releases new book on history of male beauty rituals, skin care | Lifestyle

It took David Yi years to embrace the skincare routines his South Korean mom thrust upon him as a little bit child.

There have been the facials, which he hated, and the strict adherence to layers of thick and pasty-white excessive SPF merchandise, which, mixed along with his pure widow’s peak, incurred the bullying of classmates, who referred to as him a vampire. It solely added to the aloneness Yi felt as an Asian American in his predominantly white Colorado Springs neighborhood. His dad and mom immigrated to the Springs from South Korea in 1983.

After which there was his dad, who had no downside pampering himself along with his spouse’s cosmetics and merchandise. It confused the younger Yi. At house, self-care was nongendered, nonstigmatized and brought significantly, however exterior the house, within the Western world, the notion of males listening to magnificence was scorned.


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“Self-care has nothing to with masculinity within the Jap world,” stated Yi, a Springs native. “It’s about empowerment. The Western world was judging me, and the Jap world was educating me one thing else. We have to stability each to develop into wholesome people.”

His new e-book, “Fairly Boys: Legendary Icons Who Redefined Magnificence (and Learn how to Glow Up, Too),” explores the historical past of males and masculine-identifying individuals and their relationship to appears and wonder from the start of time to now.

“Magnificence has by no means been gendered. Folks from all walks of life have empowered who they’re by way of aesthetics,” stated Yi. “Neanderthals used ground-up pyrite as a method of expression. Vikings had been thought-about fierce warriors, however they had been additionally obsessive about aesthetics. They’d grooming kits, toothpicks, brushes for his or her beards and hair, tweezers — these had been males obsessive about magnificence.”

When you’ve been listening to popular culture, you’ll have seen males and masculine-identifying people are returning to their roots, and taking again the serums and eyeliner. They’re embracing gender-bending clothes (pop star Harry Types), indulging their obsessions with acrylic nails (rapper Dangerous Bunny) and adorning their mugs with make-up and dying their hair in Kool-Support colours (South Korean boy band BTS).

“That is the rise of Era Z,” stated Yi, a Palmer Excessive Faculty graduate. “They’re extra open and born from the womb with an iPhone. Masculinity norms are altering. Folks see it isn’t only one word, however expansive and might be a number of issues.”


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Yi’s change of coronary heart about coddling his pores and skin and saying sure to magnificence got here after leaving Colorado for New York Metropolis, the place he labored at Girls’s Put on Day by day, New York Day by day Information, Harper’s Bazaar and Mashable, and wrote for GQ, The Wall Road Journal, InStyle and Vogue, amongst others. (He moved again to the Springs a 12 months in the past.)

Working within the “cut-throat trend business,” he stated, the place he skilled racism and invisibility as an Asian, prompted him to return to his self-care roots as a type of self-preservation.

“It’s not a conceit factor. It’s coming to phrases with who you might be, and hugging your pores and skin,” Yi stated. “Poring over your pores is a approach to develop into a extra empowered human. It’s transformative. It’s greater than pores and skin take care of me, it’s in regards to the growth of appreciating your self. That is the one pores and skin and physique you’ve gotten and it is advisable admire and find it irresistible.”


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After leaving the trenches of trend, Yi based Very Good Gentle (on-line at verygoodlight.com) in 2016, an internet skincare publication dedicated to males’s magnificence and grooming, significantly males of colour and the LGBTQ neighborhood. And in March, he launched the gender-inclusive skincare model Good Gentle (on-line at goodlight.world), with such merchandise as Moon Glow Milky Firming Lotion and We Are available in Peace Probiotic Serum, all made in South Korea.

“I need to be as inclusive, loving and supportive as I can,” Yi stated. “The tagline is magnificence past the binary. Magnificence is for everyone to empower themselves. We as a tradition in 2021 are coming again to our nascent selves. Magnificence is a conduit of change and a approach to categorical ourselves and have fun who you might be. It makes you stronger and fiercer.”

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270

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