Colorado Springs native releases new guide on historical past of male magnificence rituals, skincare | Way of life

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 known 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 dwelling, 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 instructing me one thing else. We have to stability each to turn out to be wholesome people.”

His new guide, “Fairly Boys: Legendary Icons Who Redefined Magnificence (and The best way to Glow Up, Too),” explores the historical past of males and masculine-identifying individuals and their relationship to appears to be like and sweetness from the start of time to now.

“Magnificence has by no means been gendered. Individuals from all walks of life have empowered who they’re via aesthetics,” stated Yi. “Neanderthals used ground-up pyrite as a way 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.”

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

“That is the rise of Technology Z,” stated Yi, a Palmer Excessive College graduate. “They’re extra open and born from the womb with an iPhone. Masculinity norms are altering. Individuals see it isn’t only one be aware, however expansive and could 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 style 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 an arrogance factor. It’s coming to phrases with who you’re, and hugging your pores and skin,” Yi stated. “Poring over your pores is a strategy to turn out to be a extra empowered human. It’s transformative. It’s greater than pores and skin take care of me, it’s concerning the growth of appreciating your self. That is the one pores and skin and physique you’ve got and you’ll want to admire and find it irresistible.”


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After leaving the trenches of style, Yi based Very Good Gentle (on-line at verygoodlight.com) in 2016, a web based skincare publication dedicated to males’s magnificence and grooming, notably males of shade 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 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 strategy to categorical ourselves and rejoice who you’re. It makes you stronger and fiercer.”

Contact the author: 636-0270

Contact the author: 636-0270