Sunday, August 28, 2016

North Korea Isn't the Only Crazy Korea...

T & C as we cozily think of them, ran an article on what the 1% of South Korean women are doing on the beauty front.  I think there are about three 1%-ers there, but I could be wrong.  If there are 10, my apologies SK.  

Put on your fluffy bathrobe in case you are suddenly impetuously shoved into an overwhelming desire to take part in some of the less loony antics - you'll be ready.  I'd keep my underpants on; foreign country, no knowledge of local customs, but do what you want to do. 

Let's start down market with a visit to the 14th floor of a Seoul office building.  There we will find a woman named Ryu Bae, nicknamed "the Star Face Maker.)  She is a masseuse and charges $1,000/visit.  Her recommendation for great success is to come in at least 10 to 20 times.  I think we can all do the math here - even me.  One of the 1%ers is a 22 year old woman who comes in twice a week for this $1,000 massage and has been for the past six months.  More $$$ than sense. 

What does she do?  The article says that for two and a half hours she attends to such as:  loosening tight ankles so that one's butt doesn't sag, lymphatic massage against the depredations of alcohol! and taping balls of something called "germanium" to a spot above the ear to release tension all over the body. 

Let us leave her to her germanium balls and move on.

Chaum is a 7-story medical center that covers inner beauty and holistic health.  Members pay $55,000/year which entitles them to drop in for visits to the Eight-Constitution Clinic which tracks your pulse to see what kind of disposition you have.  That information is studied by acupuncturists and the chef to further determine exactly what your body needs.  (Snort.  Mine needs a good stiff dirty martini before dinner, but that's just me.)

At the Kwangdong Hospital of Traditional Korean Medicine, the Intensive Care Acupuncture Facial ($1,200 per) is the profit leader.  (My phrase, not the article's.)  The treatment covers 300 points on your face that will be "treated" with stick-in needles.   These pricks (hopefully and not stabs by a disgruntled acupuncturist) are believed to stimulate collagen and elastin; and to increase blood circulation thus plumping out the face.

I think you could get the same plumping affect by sitting on the floor across from a BFF and taking turns slapping each other silly and for a helluva lot less money.  There would also be the deeply gratifying psychological revenge factor, cunningly disguised as helping the other.  "Took MY boyfriend in 6th grade?" (pow!)  "Borrowed my new Manolas* and tore the heel off?" (bam!)

I prefer the French woman's approach.  At around 40, they look into a mirror and ask themselves, "Face or ass" and get on with it.

* For the gentlemen reading this - Manolas are extremely expensive shoes; their signature is a Christian Dior red nail color sole and the average price is $1,200 per pair which does include both shoes, red leather soles 'n all.

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