“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”
Be it in the clanking of their heels while doing intricate dance steps or in their ambitious designs while steering a business – women of South Korea are shattering glass ceilings with their skill, competence and magnetic aura.
To mark the globally celebrated Women’s Day on March 8, here are 4 inspiring South Korean women, setting the stage for young ladies to dream and blossom in their own individual domains!
1. Lia Kim :
The star choreographer behind some of the most iconic dance routines of K-Pop like SUNMI’s “Gashina” and TWICE’s “TT”, Lia Kim, envisions uniting people across the world through the healing power of dancing, transcending all language and ethnic barriers.
Originally a dance trainer for the “Big 3” companies, Lia Kim’s optimistic drive to make the art of dancing accessible to all acted as a catalyst for quitting her job as a trainer and establishing Seoul’s most sought-after dance school “1MILLION DANCE STUDIO”. However, it was the unfortunate side of trainers being shunned from getting the recognition they deserve, that had primarily compelled Lia Kim to build a stage that does justice to her artistic flair and hard work simultaneously.
A stalwart believer in the unfaltering power of passion and hard work, she said in an interview with Korea Economic Daily, “People think I was born as a dancer. But in fact, I am a hard worker who doesn’t give up.”
With about 70% of students and 90% of the YouTube subscribers being foreigners, the studio’s popularity is evidently not just limited to South Korea’s domestic market, and thus this gives true colors to her alluring hope of creating a globally united dance platform.
Lia Kim’s choreography video of “Gashina” currently has over 20M views!
2. Suran :
South Korea’s female entrepreneurship is on the rise and is slowly carving its existence into K-Pop’s competitive entertainment industry as well.
With a strong desire and determination to achieve artistic freedom and the liberty to express it with individual eloquence, Suran ended her exclusive contract with former management “Million Market” to set up her own label “S-TASY” which is a frankenword of “Suran” and “Fantasy”, according to the singer.
“I created a fantasy island named S-TASY, somewhere between dreams and reality. I’m going to make it fun.”
She officially marked the label’s presence by releasing her digital single “Sunny” on February 23 this year:
3. Zihwa :
Etching the themes of feminine power and nature’s inspirations through her fine-line tattoos in black ink, South Korean tattooist Zihwa delicately places her art on the wearer’s body, the aesthetics of which perfectly complement the placements in a way that it looks natural and realistic.
Claiming boldly to be as someone who can “sketch your memories on your skin. Memories we can touch and see.“, Zihwa explains how social media garnered attention and supported her brave attempts on experimenting with tattoos involving feminine themes while working in a country where tattoos are still considered to be something only delinquents wear.
Among her celebrity clients is K-Pop group Monsta X’s Minhyuk whose body-art embodies the theme of an elegant rose submerged in its leaves, drawn with a single needle.
Drawing heavy inspiration from Mother Nature, Zihwa names her nature tattoos as “eternal springtime“. Sketching intricate twigs and vines, garnished with floral petals of Rose, Zihwa’s art when rendered seems like nature has been directly imprinted on the body!
4. Park Eunkyung (Unistella):
Wire manicures, glass nails, nail jewelry – Park Eunkyung is the leading lady behind these trailblazing and chic nail trends that had taken over the internet.
A genius in the craft of nail ornamentation, Eunkyung, better known as “Unistella” has gathered immense favor from celebrities all around the world ranging from K-Pop groups like BLACKPINK, gorgeous soloists like SUNMI, as well as supermodels like Cara Delevingne and Bella Hadid.
On being asked in an interview, how did she come with such a dainty idea for decorating nails, she explained, “This idea came about as I began wondering why we always get manicures I started putting whatever I could find on top of the base coat. That’s how the glass nails, wire nails, bracelet nails, and all my other cool designs were brought to life.”
For the Vogue November 2020 issue, BIGBANG’s G-Dragon with the help of this international sensation’s nail paint, struck a hammer on stereotypes, setting the trend for other male pop artists.
Recently, NCT’s Yuta and Johnny were spotted gracing Unistella’s art on their nails too!
Her studio located in the quiet location of Gangnam Gu harbors the most glamorous nail essentials like custom mixed chunky glitters and opalescent shells – each of which is used on the nails through Unistella’s unique and glamorous craft.