Today we are talking about rebel make-up, an ally and symbol of disobedience. This is how beauty becomes a spokesperson for protest and rebellion.
When we talk about rebellious make-up we are not just talking about sophisticated and eccentric looks, but also about how cosmetics have often been used as a symbol of rebellion and disobedience.
The history of make-up shows that cosmetics have often helped to define people's status. They are products linked to historical events and trends, but they are also closely linked to the body and personality of the wearer. They are symbols that allow people to reveal their nature, to feel more beautiful or to send a message. Make-up can be powerful, expressive... In a word, rebellious!
In short, a red lipstick, a haircut, a foundation can become a symbol of protest and rebellion. Don't believe us? Here are a few examples...
The red lipstick of the Suffragettes
Women who fought for the right to vote in the 19th and 20th centuries decided to use make-up as a tangible symbol of freedom and self-determination. While it had previously been considered scandalous for middle-class women to wear make-up in public, the Suffragettes now chose to wear red lipstick on their protest marches to shout to the world about their freedom of action and thought.
And so red lipstick, a product that had long been considered the preserve of witches and prostitutes, now became a symbol of power and freedom.
The beauty revolution in North Korea
The use of make-up in North Korea is a gesture of rebellion against a dictatorship that also controls aesthetics. There is in fact a state guide approved by the Supreme Leader of the Republic, containing guidelines to be followed on make-up, clothing, hairstyles and hair length. The risk for those who violate the appearance guidelines is payment of fines, public humiliation or arrest.
This is referred to as rebel make-up because some people are involved in the smuggling of cosmetics, for which demand is very high. The most sought-after products are certainly South Korean ones, including eye-liners and face masks.
But the smuggling of cosmetics poses a threat to the dictatorial regime, which has decided to launch a line of North Korean cosmetics, which however remains very limited and has nothing to do with the usual lines we know in the rest of the world.
In this case, make-up is a starting point, especially for the younger generation who are now aware of what exists outside North Korea and who increasingly want to discover the world and feel free.
"Escape the corset in South Korea
Make-up is a symbol of rebellion even when it's not there! This is demonstrated by the Escape the corset movement, through which South Korean women have decided to rebel against the patriarchy in their country and the deeply sexist treatment they suffer.
In a country that is called the 'paradise of beauty treatments', being perfect is an imperative. Following these standards of feminine beauty costs women time, suffering and money, and does not alleviate their sense of inadequacy and imperfection.
This is why so many women have chosen to free themselves from these constraints (compared, in fact, to a corset), throwing away cosmetic products and starting a make-up routinethat isfreer and more autonomous, revealing the true nature of each of us.