Beyond Beauty is i-D‘s latest video series that explores beauty and body image on a global scale, as hosted by self-proclaimed pixie Grace Neutral. If you’re hearing her name for the first time, here’s what you should know; she is a stick and poke artist based in the UK, an advocate of embracing unconventional beauty standards, and feels comfortable in her skin by removing some of it — she’s done a heap of body modification on herself, from scarification to tattooing her eyeballs to even removing her belly button as an act of love. She’s basically one of the coolest people on this planet. Us? Fangirling? Not at all.
The first four episodes are an insight into the extreme passion Koreans have for their need to look perfect. Although Grace’s questions only brush the surface of this topic, the reaction of one individual when asked what she’d do if she were no longer allowed to use makeup speaks louder than her justification for needing to use makeup religiously. Then, it moves onto the association tattoos have with dubious characters like gangsters — Grace goes as far as reaching out to a Korean gangster who explains that “… so long as our trading partners don’t commit foul play, everything goes well. But if they do, then we don’t resolve the situation with legal ways.” By the second episode it becomes crystal clear that having tattoos in Korea is looked down upon, and those who have them are either disowned by their parents or are forced to hide them. Coincidentally, someone Grace met at an underground club in Korea has plans to reveal her body that’s fully covered in tattoos to her parents, which is an emotional journey for all parties involved — including the host.
It’s a little crazy to think that even in present time, there are still negative undertones linked towards body art. In addition to that, how a person is easily assumed to be a bad character just for wanting to decorate their bodies. The Beyond Beauty series gives a brief understanding as to what’s happening on the other side of the world – the con of it is, now we have more questions.
Watch the first four episodes below:
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