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Exclusive Excerpt: The Deadly ‘Pretty Boys’ Who Were Korea’s Warriors and Assassins


K-pop’s biggest male stars may be beauty gods but they’re hardly a new trend. While Korean pop stars may wear porcelain foundations, colorful eyeshadows, and blood-stained lips, there were men who walked — and worked — the earth centuries before. They were called the hwarang – literally “flower boys” aka “pretty boys” of Korea’s Silla dynasty – who sported crimson eye shadows, powdered faces, and slicked-back hair as a spiritual practice. These warriors were chosen for their beauty, as Silla’s king, Jinheung, believed beauty was power. In the excerpt below, we understand Korea’s rich history of beautiful men and how cosmetics, makeup, skincare isn’t a new phenomenon — beauty is literally embedded in the very culture. Here’s a history of the pretty boy warriors who were precursors for K-pop stars to thrive in our modern era.

South Korea is now known as the beauty capital of the universe, and its men hold the title of world’s biggest cosmetics consumers. Korean men glisten and glow, their complexions plumped and hydrated, as if serums pump through their very veins. But to understand why Korean men today care so much about their aesthetics, we must look to Korea’s sixth-century Silla Dynasty, and to the hwarang. The hwarang—which roughly translates to “flower boys”—weren’t only some of the fiercest weapons-wielding, martial arts–practicing assassins in Asia. They would become legendary for their fight and their faces. Aesthetics, and the spirituality behind beautifying, were paramount to their ability to defend their kingdom for over two centuries . . . and to lead the way for generations of Korean beauty boys to come. 

German Radio Station Sparks Outrage After Comparing BTS to a ‘Virus’ Over Coldplay Cover


A German radio station has issued a public apology after fans and artists called out a radio host for comparing BTS to the coronavirus.

Bayern 3, a radio station in Bavaria state in southeast Germany, released the apology on Feb. 26 after its host, Matthias Matuschik, shared his opinion on BTS’ cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” that fans deemed as racist, according to the Associated Press.

YG Entertainment Addresses Rumor That 2 of K-Pop’s Biggest Stars Have Been Secretly Dating for a Year

YG Entertainment

The label of BLACKPINK and Big Bang, YG Entertainment, has addressed the rumor that two of its talents, Jennie and G-Dragon are dating.

YG Entertainment released a statement on Wednesday to address the circulating rumor that the two K-pop superstars are dating, but the company neither confirmed nor denied the news, according to Elle.