is one of the ways I have found to stay youthful, vibrant and positive about life.

 

I will add to this post when I will get over the fact that I had worked on it for past two hours, then in a hurry, I accidentally hit delete and exited the post without saving it, so I've lost all the content I had added. Now I am going to go away and mourn the loss of text and time. Sorry. Check back later!


I started watching K-dramas in 2016. A particularly stressful year, personally, with writing

and editing my first novel, many moves, a series of health issues, and a dark turn of events with the social unrest and political changes that hit the United States with the force of a mega-bomb after the November 2016 election.

 

To escape from reality and destress, for aproximately two years, until 2018, I'd watch sporadically, whenver something would pop out on my Netflix page. I believe my first ever K-drama was "Legends of the Blue Sea" which was a sweet, hearwarming comedy/romance with two of most beautiful (and talented) korean actors Lee Min-ho and Jun Ji-hyun.



Apart from the reinterpretation of the story of the mermaid and the prince, the chemistry between the actors and the humor, what struck me were the great settings, the modern interiors, the fantastic wardrobe, etc. It was indeed a change from the gloomy and gray world around me and a light, soothing entry into a whole new world, a world that became the "better place" in 2018 when I started watching a lot, too much actually, about 5-6 hours a day. This new addiction had some healthy benefits. For one, it was not mindless candy crushing on my phone - instead, I was watching something that sparked my imagination and inspired me to turn to illustration, specifically illustrating manga and webtoons. It also inspired me to take better care of myself, such as-

How to take better care of my skin, and appeareance.

The beauty industry in South Korea is incredibly popular and has an impact on all levels of society. South Korea is one of the top 10 beauty markets in the world, accounting for nearly 2.8 percent of the global market. This blog https://blog.technavio.org/blog/south-korea-world-leader-cosmetics-industry describes this in more detail.

There is good and bad, as the focus on one's image is of course as superficial as it gets. I have always been conflicted about the mix of pro- and anti-feminist messages associated with beauty culture in South Korea. The impossible beauty standards, the unhealthy pursuit of them, the disparaging discrimination between "beautiful people" and the average, and so on.

The positive aspect would be the grooming along the lines of "my body is my temple" and the constant striving of their society to raise hygiene standards and be fit and healthy, perhaps a departure from earlier, more polluted decades. Not to mention the fierce competition between brands and with other international cosmetic manufacturers, such as France, there is a constant growth in the quality and affordability of such products.

After much testing, I can say that some Korean brands are on par if not much better than Chanel, Dior, La Prairie, etc., and at least in my experience, cost only a third of the price. All in all, adopting a better skincare regime in the evening and morning has shown great results as I am still wrinkle free, thankfully. I will make a different blog post related to the products I use and link to the section of the shop where you can purchase those, if interested. Mind that the shop is not yet functioning as I haven't yet got to stock the products etc. But it will be coming sometime after June 2022.

Culture through food