Saturday, October 7, 2017

Things Korean teenagers like, part 2

Two haircuts are trendy right now, one with boys and the other with girls. There's the "two-block," a kind of stark undercut where a rim of long hair suddenly drops off into a buzz-cut, kind of the opposite of a fade. It's super popular here, but to my eyes has a wince-inducing likeness to the "bowl cuts" inflicted on so many boys (especially Asian boys) by hairdressers in the early nineties. As with so many haircuts, it either works really well on you... unless it doesn't (i.e., if you don't have the looks of a pop star), in which case it looks awful.

The "two-block" (투블럭) cut. From

For girls, the look of the moment is short, thin bangs, curled in front with a downwards spiral. By a kind of metonymy, the curler itself has become part of the look—so it's also cool to wander around with a single curler dangling on your forehead, at least in the morning. It seems to have been this way for at least a few years, at least judging from some of the Google results for "Korean hairstyle short bangs curler."
이렇게. From Amazon.
The other thing that's very cool among my students at the moment is wearing your school trousers or skirt rolled up to show long white socks, often with cartoon characters or the like. I found this one a little surprising just for the reason that among adults, and especially men, the trend seems to be wearing all shoes (including dress shoes) with low-cut socks so that it looks like you're wearing no socks at all. There seems to be some invisible tipping point that happens between adolescence and adulthood when the socks decisively change, but I haven't yet figured out what this is.

Songs of the moment: IU's seasonally appropriate song "Autumn Morning" ("Gaeul Achim"), which has a really sweet music video. Anything from the new EP of boy band BTS, especially the lead single, "DNA."

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