A peppy, upbeat makeup video has attracted controversy from all sides today, as everyone sees the oddly-titled video as representative of something different. Some of the articles written about the video haven’t cleared anything up either — really, they’ve just thrown more fuel on the fire.
The video, called “How To Remove Your Face” is a beauty video posted by a small YouTube channel with enormous views. Over 7 million people have tuned in to watch this Korean girl wipe the makeup clear from her face. Considering she only has 700+ subscribers, it’s clear that the video itself is a lightning rod.
So what’s the big deal?
Apparently no one can decide if this is a satire of beauty standards, a commentary on Asian culture trying to emulate “white culture,” a simple makeup removal tutorial, a cry for help, a pro-Meninist statement or one of the many other theories being offered in the comments on YouTube and its remoray sites.
The title is mysterious — but it could just as easily be the result of bad translation; note the lettering on her channel name. Though the beautiful — with and without makeup (gotta protect ourselves here) — girl does not speak in the video with the uptempo K-pop song overdub, it does not appear English is her first language. “How To Remove Your Face” could merely be the most literal translation she could approximate instead of a scathing indictment of double standards for women.
Of course it could also be what it sounds — this girl does clearly have the intent to show how much difference there is between her makeup-clad face and her naked face. And that K-pop song could be a satirical juxtaposition.
Of course the trolls and meninists are claiming that the intent of the video is to show that makeup — and therefore women — lie.
Refinery29 writer Sabrina Rojas covered the video and offered up a sentiment that “her makeup doesn’t appear to be erasing her features at all but exaggerating them in a totally cute way.”
It sparked a wildfire in the comments as well.
This is the sort of next iteration of the blue/white/gold/black dress debate, only with a serious human component (if I didn’t clarify that, you know critics would seize on me likening a person to material goods or something). Everyone sees something different and takes something unique away. Perhaps that is the hallmark of good art?
Sigh, watch that be a trigger for someone now. Maybe we’re just too angry of a society?