The Phenomenon Of Young Korean Men Wearing Earrings

il_fullxfull.431645013_pctuThe practice of wearing earrings by the younger generation of Korea men is very common, but most especially in the Gangnam Area. I personally wore earrings myself. Just a year ago, right after I got out of a difficult breakup I decided to change my look completely. Where once I was the average short hair styled, neatly trimmed hair American guy, I decided to grow my hair out to shoulder length. I wanted to become someone else, with a different look and style.

I would get my ears pierced, TWICE. This led to me getting two sets of ear studs. I choose the blue sapphire round earring studs and then the crystal clear diamond stud earrings as well. In addition, I wore a silver necklace, with a cross although I have never been, and did not convert into Christianity.

My style improved and I started to wear much tighter clothing. I thought that I was being original, and maybe even ‘cool’ for the changes that I did to myself.

When I got to Seoul back in July, 2012, right when Psy’s Gangnam Style song was first uploaded to Youtube, I realized very quickly that my male sapphire stud earrings was not that unique.

It seems that almost half of all young korean men was wearing earrings. I was left to wonder “How did I, a Chinese American male in his late 20s end up with the exact same style of dress and look as these native Korean guys who are dressed to impress everywhere they went.

As I sat in a local NesCafe drinking my Caffe Latte right next to Gangnam Station in the Gangnam location of Seoul, I realized that I looked exactly like every other Korean guy in the coffee shop.

How was it that in my quest to become a completely different person, and look better I had ended up just like these guys, all of them with either the 3 piece suit being impeccably well dressed from work, or as one of the young guys who seemed to ooze the state of ‘coolness’ and had style written all over them?

I have lived in Seoul for over a year now, and I have taken off the earrings. My Korean girlfriend loved them and that might have been one of the things that attracted her to me in the first place, but I decided that they are not for me, not right now. For all the other young asian guys around me, the wearing of earrings is something that they do to define themselves as a person, but for me I don’t do it anymore.


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