The Black Girl In South Korea Beauty Tutorial

Standards of beauty aren’t universal, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to turn into an ugly duckling overnight. And, not all swans are the same, but that doesn’t mean they’re not all beautiful.

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You might have come here looking for tips to lighten your skin or lose weight. Well, I suggest you leave now, because that’s not what this beauty tutorial is about. Still here? Grab a drink and a snack. it’s going to be a long one. I’m going to answer the following question: “Is black beautiful in South Korea?”


The Black Girl In South Korea Beauty Tutorial

Black Girls in South Korea: True Beauty

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Riding on the plane to Korea, I– a size two, felt like a giant as I sat next to the very tiny Korean girl who had been lucky enough to get the window seat. Her legs were the size of my arms, and when I finally landed in Korea, I– at 5 feet 5 inches, was taller and bigger than almost everyone else.

At that time, I had long, black hair and dark(er) skin. I speak Korean, so I knew when people were staring at me AND talking about me, which was ALL THE TIME. What did I do? I stared right back, and sometimes, I smiled and struck up a conversation.

Once, I was even in a staring match with an ahjusshi for at least two minutes as he walked past me, turned around, and then stopped to stare at me. Neither of us cracked a smile, but was I bothered? No.

I am confident and comfortable in my skin, but more than that, I know that I might be the FIRST black girl that many people in Korea had ever seen– at least in person. Furthermore, staring and even talking about someone right in front of them is something that is not considered rude in Korea.

Korean people are very close to one another while also being distant with one another, so they are also very straightforward, like family. They will tell strangers, including you, what’s on their mind be it with a look, a gesture, or a word.

So, how did I feel in South Korea with the hard, long stares, the loud “whispers,” and the noticeable differences between me and everyone else? I felt beautiful, because I was accepted.

People were kind, helpful, and genuinely interested in me— they wanted to know why I was in Korea, what I liked about Korea, whether or not I would ever marry a Korean man. Because, what began with a stare would often turn into a smile and a conversation once I realized that people were staring at me because they were curious, interested.

While in Korea, I had so many conversations with Koreans that broke down the barriers between us and made me open up to the people that I met on streets, in stores, in taxis, at clubs, and at school.

Life Lesson 1

When we are confident and comfortable in our own skin that is when people truly see us as beautiful– not a shallow, superficial beauty, but one that radiates from the inside and makes someone’s day brighter and better with eye-contact and a genuine smile.

Life Lesson 2

As women, we should focus more on our inner beauty– our passions, our dreams, our sisterhood and motherhood, being at the same time more supportive of one another and less judgmental of our own “flaws,” flaws that oftentimes, only we are aware of.

However, outer beauty matters, and it matters a lot more than any of us want it to, both to ourselves and to others. I have spent as much time as anyone else struggling to feel beautiful, and it took a lot of time and a little change before I could look in the mirror and be happy with what I saw.

I wanted people to see me, not my flaws. Give yourself the time and the change you need, too, but be honest with yourself: Who is the time and change for? It better be for yourself, not someone else.

Black Girls in South Korea: Your Beauty

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In South Korea, less is more: Less make-up, less skin, but more style, more superficiality. Image is everything, so make your image more glamorous, more stylish. Wear your natural hair, keep your curves, and cherish your own, individual beauty.

I know this can be very hard to do when you are surrounded by people who, for the most part, look and dress the same and a media that definitely idealizes pale, white skin and S-lines. But, don’t ever think it’s impossible.

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Asians, especially Koreans, are obsessed with fashion and style. If you are dressed to perfection— no matter what size, then the way people respond to you will change. I know, because I experienced it. So, leave the low cut shirts and sweats at home– don’t even think about bringing them to Korea.

And, if it’s boys over flowers, then it’s also heels over flip-flops. So, style, fashion, clothes, and of course… size, Size, and SIZE. In Korea, the average size that women wear is a two, which is the size that the “one size fits all” clothing comes in. I saw the occasional Korean who was probably a six or eight, but that was rare.

What does this mean for you? Not much, except that if you are an L or XL you might have a hard time finding clothing in your size. Just go to Dongdaemun, Myeong-dong, or Itaewon in Korea, OR shop at ASOS online. They have the BEST clothes that flatter every body type from petite to average to plus.

However, if you do want to lose weight, then here’s how you can lose weight while still having a balanced, healthy diet: Special K and milk for breakfast and dinner and bananas, hard boiled eggs, and V8 fruit and veggie drinks in between as snacks throughout the day.

Nevertheless, I don’t suggest making any drastic changes to your body before going to Korea, but if you just want to reach your own ideal– not Korea’s, then give it a try! More than being an outward manifestation, beauty is a mentality.

And, if you are tall, dark, and curvy, then you will need to have a strong mind and a strong sense of true beauty and your own in order to survive and thrive in Korea. After all, I don’t want anyone to have the experiences THIS girl had; and, if you haven’t yet, read the comments. They are AMAZING.

Beauty: The Tips and The Tricks

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Along with being confident and comfortable in your skin, here’s how you should take care of it and everything else while in Korea to look and feel your best.

Eyes

I LOVE circle lenses, and I suggest you try them, too! Check out GEO circle lenses, and get them in your prescription if needed.

Nails

I swear by these nails and couldn’t live without them, because I am too OCD for chips and too low maintenance for nail salons. But, my sister just curses them, because they always fall off. She’s doing something wrong.

These are stick-on nails, and they are amazing. Place them close to the cuticle for a natural look.  It’s not about pressing down hard, but about having a clean nail, so wipe your nails with alcohol or nail polish remover before starting to stick ’em on.

Skin

If you’re not already using BB Cream because you either don’t know about it or can’t find it in your skin color, then try Kiss New York Aqua BB Cream or PTR’s CC Cream. It was made for our skin. It’s a rich cream with lots of color and coverage, but none of that oily residue that most make-ups leave behind.

The BB cream is also made in Korea, which matters, and it’s inexpensive. You also get a lot, so try it out along with a cream to powder from the same brand for a flawless finish. I have terrible skin with lots of blemishes, and these two together cover everything up!

Hair

I prefer to wear lace front wigs, but feel free to do your hair however you like. Koreans actually expect you to have your natural hair, and they were always surprised and curious about my “straight and silky” hair. I think they would love the long, rope braids that a lot of black girls wear now, too.

As for me, I wear a 22″ yaki straight lace front wig with a silk top in color #4. I love the texture, it looks much more natural. I wear wigs because I like to be as low maintenance as possible.

I also like having long hair, which I could never really have in this lifetime. It suits my face more than short hair. So, if you are interested in lace front wigs and other hair tricks, then check out the hair stuff here.

Body

We talked about diets, but there is also shape-wear if you just want to have a smoother line underneath the tight clothing that we all love to wear. But, my favorite body trick is this one: Going two cups up– without surgery.

Girls always hesitate to try this, because, well, what will a guy think when he finds out? Who cares! He shouldn’t be with you for your boob size, anyway. I know I’ve always wanted bigger boobs to get the S-line that I want.

So, check out these ultra cheap, durable, comfortable, and natural looking bras that do more than “push-up.” I found them at Target years ago for $16.00, so be sure to check out your local Target before you buy them online. Trying them on in the store first is also a good idea, because they WILL make your boobs BIGGER.

The Power of Beauty, The Power of You

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Well, what’s all the fuss about beauty for? Us? No, not really: Boys– or men, if you believe that men aren’t just bigger, older boys with better, more expensive toys. I think if you want to go on dates in Korea, then you don’t have to do anything except dress up, look good, and notice when men are looking at you in a good way.

I think most girls are terrible at doing this. It’s about your walk and posture, his prolonged glance, then you smile, and he smiles back. Conversation (hopefully in English) ensues. So, look around and pay attention to people. Don’t just speed walk through streets…

Or stand on the subway feeling different and awkward. Go out by yourself. Slow down, look around, and remember to smile at strangers– even if they’re giving you that hard, long stare.


For more on beauty in Korea, be sure to check out Shocking Life – Beauty, a gritty, stunning, and shocking documentary series on DramaFever.com.

Finally, if you really want to feel beautiful in Korea, then don’t pay attention to what Koreans think. You are not Korean. Don’t hold yourself to their standards. Stick to your own, and stay true to who you are.

Because, beauty is relative, beauty is subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which means someone, somewhere– even in Korea, thinks you’re beautiful just the way you are.

Korean Boys &Black Girls, Part 2: It’s Not That Complicated (Or Is It?)

More about language barriers, cultural barriers, physical barriers, plus all the other complications that come with dating and relationships, interracial or not!

My 오빠 (Korean “brother”) D- and I go out every Wednesday, which is also known as “hump” day. We do this to celebrate the middle of the work week and being just that much closer to the weekend. D- is actually the reason why I started blogging.

I’ve known him for at least five years, and he always comes to me for advice about relationships, work and life. He really believes in me, and he has always wanted me to share my stories and positivity with everyone else. So, here I am now doing just that!

Last Wednesday we talked about Korean boys and black girls. He likes black girls and is recently single. There is this one black girl that he really likes, and he will start talking to her again when she gets back from France.

Korean Boys &Black Girls, Part 2: It’s Not That Complicated (Or Is It?)

Relationships between Korean boys and black girls are not that complicated. We’re just like everyone else. We want to find someone special, date and fall in love. What could be SO complicated about that? Well, you’re about to find out!

On Wednesday D- reminded me how complicated it is by asking me, “How many black girls do you know that have dated Korean boys?” I couldn’t think of anyone except for the couples that I’ve seen on the internet, which he said don’t count since you can find “anything” on the internet these days.

Then, we got to talking about how Korean boys and black girls have a lot of barriers between them, which is exactly what makes things so complicated. Although, looking back, my relationship with my first boyfriend Junho wasn’t that complicated, because we really loved each other.

However, now I can see the barriers that we had to overcome before and after we fell in love. So, in this post I’ll talk about the barriers that stood between us, which might help you see which ones are standing in your way, too.

You Are Your Biggest Barrier

I’ve noticed that a lot of black girls don’t think Korean boys will like them. You should never assume anything about anyone, so make sure you have the confidence and courage to find out the truth.

1. Ask.

2. If you’re too shy to ask, then make yourself available.

The Language Barrier

I was just starting to REALLY learn Korean when I met Junho. I had been studying Korean on my own for awhile because of my Korean friends, but I was finally in a Korean class. In fact, I think I was the only person in my class who actually learned Korean, because I got to practice listening and speaking with Junho, who– by the way, didn’t speak a lot of English.

It was strange, but from the moment we met we just had a connection. He knew a little English. I knew a little Korean. It was enough for us, and we talked about everything. He was my best friend. He was my lover. He was my boyfriend. He was my everything.

So, language wasn’t a problem for us, and it even kept us from having long, drawn out fights, because there were some things we just couldn’t say to each other. By the time we had it all figured out we had already forgiven each other and moved on, which worked for us.

This might work for other couples, too, but I’m really not sure. It depends on your personalities. I could see this totally backfiring, though: After not saying anything, suddenly one day, it ALL comes out.

In the end, I think you should at least learn to speak a little Korean– that should really just be your starting point, though. Your goal should be to understand his culture, which will shape his thoughts, actions and even feelings.

The best way to understand Korean culture is by understanding the Korean language, which is inherently reflective of the culture. But, for us, finding our own way to communicate was a lot of fun. The language barrier just made us listen that much harder to each other– grow that much closer to each other.

The Cultural Barrier

Learning how to bow and use two hands when necessary is pretty easy. In fact, many Koreans don’t expect you to, and they will tell you not to once you get closer with them unless they are a LOT older. But, Koreans really take respecting your elders to a whole ‘nother level! (I thought Nigerian culture was the highest level, but then Korean culture came along.)

I have to tell you girls about 형 (big brother). If a hyung tells someone younger to do something, then he has to do it. This was a problem if not a barrier for my ex and I. I didn’t like my ex boyfriend’s hyung. He was always hitting on me behind my ex boyfriend’s back.

So, I told my ex boyfriend not to hang out with him. He listened to me– he always did, and he ended up lying to his hyung one night in particular. He told his hyung that he was at home, but really he was out with me.

We were at the club when my ex went to the bar and came back furious. He had run into his hyung, who punched him in the face as soon as he saw him. My ex comes from the older generation, but this is still common among Korean boys: 시키는  대로 해!, or do as you’re told!

Thankfully, my ex didn’t mind hanging out with me and my friends, so we always had a good time together. And, thankfully, he listened to me and not his hyung, who was always calling him even when we were in the middle of a date.

I’ve run into this situation even in Korea, so my only advice to handle hyungs is this: You’re not Korean, you don’t have to play by their rules.

Honestly, its easy to get over what strangers might think or have to say about seeing a Korean boy and a black girl together. Like, IDGAF! But, its not easy to get over what his family, especially his mom, might think or have to say about seeing you– a black girl, with her son.

D- ended up breaking up with his girlfriend because his mom hated her. She was half-white, half-Japanese, but she ALSO had a terrible personality and was extremely rude to his family when she met them.

After that, she was seen on Facebook by his sister dancing realll dirty with another guy, so lets just say she put the nails in her own coffin.

They dated for two years, so she had plenty of time to impress his mom, and don’t think that you won’t have to work hard, too. But, I hope if your relationship gets that far you’re ready for whatever comes your way!

The Physical Barrier

The biggest barrier that came between Junho and I was physical. He went back to Korea. We tried to have a Long D (long distance relationship), but it just didn’t work out. We never said the words, but we broke up.

Long D has been a recurring theme in my life, but I hope if you meet a Korean boy he stays in the same city, state, and country. Trust me, I’ve been through it all!


The barriers between Korean boys and black girls CAN be broken by love, but it needs to be a strong love or you will both collapse under the weight of those barriers, those burdens.

So, most of all, you need to support each other, because sometimes, you just have to follow your heart. Now, if you are too comfortable sitting in front of your computer screen and searching for the perfect answer to all of your problems, then please get a little more uncomfortable.

Live your life, wherever it takes you, and just remember that you can always get back up after falling down. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and change the world. I mean, challenge the standards that the world and other people have set for you. You can change the world later.

The Dark Side Of Kpop: Behind The Glamour

Here’s everything you didn’t know– and don’t really want to know, about working in the Korean music and entertainment industry from scams to slave contracts to forced prostitution.

Olivia– a French girl, is making her debut as a Korean idol. However, don’t envy her yet, because the Korean music and entertainment industry is a tough AND terrible place to work. Continue reading “The Dark Side Of Kpop: Behind The Glamour”