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The Terrifying Danger Of Wearing Makeup In North Korea | Shady | Refinery29

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On this episode of Shady, our host Lexy Lebsack travels to Korea to uncover the reason behind the danger of wearing makeup in North Korea. An underground network of women are smuggling beauty products into the country as an act of rebellion. Press play to watch this week's Shady! https://libertyinnorthkorea.org/ ABOUT SERIES Shady is the side of the beauty world you haven't seen. Hosted by Refinery29 Senior Beauty Editor, Lexy Lebsack, the series swivels between the unexpected and uplifting, dives deep into the dark underbelly of beauty, gives a voice to those trampled by this quickly growing industry, and questions what it’s all worth. From counterfeit makeup to skin trafficking for cosmetic procedures, we go there. ABOUT REFINERY29 Refinery29 is a modern woman's destination for how to live a stylish, well-rounded life. RELATED CONTENT The Truth About Where Hair Extensions Come From https://youtube.com/watch?v=VlZ1SWLBfPE Why Fake Kylie Jenner Lip Kits Could Be Dangerous https://youtube.com/watch?v=G-VsdEy9IF8 What Beauty Is Like Behind Prison Bars https://youtube.com/watch?v=Dp1DFvQTcJk SUBSCRIBE TO REFINERY29 Subscribe to the Refinery29 channel: http://bit.ly/subscribe-to-r29 TALENT Follow Lexy Lebsack on Instagram: https://instagram.com/lexylebsack/ Follow Unbothered on Instagram: https://instagram.com/r29unbothered/ Follow OnHerTurf on Instagram: https://instagram.com/onherturf/ Follow Refinery29 on Instagram: https://instagram.com/refinery29/
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Text Comments (8068)
Refinery29 (2 months ago)
We believe that all beauty products should be readily available to who ever wants them. What do you believe?
ncasiano3 (6 hours ago)
I completely agree, as having achieved that likely means so much more had been granted to people. The irony of the North Korean government producing beauty products while not allowing their people to use makeup is truly horrifying—denying its people something it intends to profit from.
Samoa Silk (1 day ago)
Not saying North Korean strict guidelines are cool or anything
Samoa Silk (1 day ago)
Makeup is technically chemical poison and sets an unrealistic standard for women, as well as men via media exposure. Honestly life would be better without it.
Hai sempai (1 day ago)
But u need to see how the beauty products origin comes from.
tom dahl (1 day ago)
@Raynold Reagan they're fun. it's like saying clothes promote lying because they cover your true self. i like playing with make-up and the different effects you can create. it's arty. and i can assure you i'm not doing it to get more women.
Aoibha's World (45 minutes ago)
I hope these beautiful mistreated people get freed soon..
in sanity (2 hours ago)
Terror fact: Kim Jong Un is only 35
Emma ray (3 hours ago)
I really want to know what happened with her brother n family 🥺
Sakyiah Richardson (3 hours ago)
This is torture kind of remind me of handsmaid tales this is just a prison I hope many will escape that nasty and disgusting place and make it to safety and hope they start a new life in south Korea. Who know how much pain they have been through.
kevin kevin (4 hours ago)
Stupidity is judging other nation or culture simply by listening to house trained slave journalist’s video like this one about North Korea. It is equivalent to listening plaintiff’s eye witness only and convicting the defendant. This video is plaintiff’s eye witness, and you will never hear defendant eye witness, because you live in censored fake media system. When North Korea is sanctioned, that simply means you are not allowed to be near North Korea. Your freedom for free information about North Korea is denied to keep you brainwashed. Do you know how many kids were orphaned during Iraq war because of brainwashing propaganda video like this one? This videos has one agenda, that is to create hate to justify hostility against North Korea just like against Iraq before the war based on lies propagated by the same house trained slave journalists.
Sunki Sowmya (4 hours ago)
Great job @ Refinery29.Dark side of people life's known by this channel. I feel sad for north Korea😔
Juwairiya mehkri (7 hours ago)
Its scary how rights can go from being what gender u want to having the hairstyle you want wtf
Sara Hewson (8 hours ago)
Watching this and thinking of how highly trump regards the “leadership “ in NK is frightening, disgusting, infuriating....
J Julinchel (8 hours ago)
This really made me cry, it saddens me to imagine whatever happened to Danbi's older brother. It's so unjust that he had to make that kind of decision for his family to survive.
Jason Yau (8 hours ago)
All this evidence of the corrupted government North Korea has and yet my father worships Kim Yong-Un... literally he likes North Korea over South Korea. I honestly wonder what is wrong with him? I wish for North Korea to become a free nation and that I will be here to witness it.
Crazy Unicorn (9 hours ago)
a a n n x i e t y (9 hours ago)
i hope ill one day celebrate north korean independence day ive been interested in holocausts and i wrote a report on how to prevent it from happening again, however, i didn’t realize it’s happening right now.
Kokichi Oumami (10 hours ago)
I really hope one day the people of North Korea get help from other country's for freedom, it might be a nasty war but these people deserve freedom
Maybelline Lilly (11 hours ago)
13:10 the fat ass that rules north Korea doesn’t want people to wear makeup or dye their hair or use masks to make themselves prettier, because he’s so ugly that non of this products can make him half appealing so he forces other people to be like him so that he doesn’t feel bad about how ugly and such a piece of crap 💩 he is. Even crap is worth more than he does!!
Phiany Ni (12 hours ago)
What if the north Koreans all broke the rulescause they can't kill them all right?( This is a joke )
jemohseni (13 hours ago)
😞😞😞😢😢😢 I'm so sad.
MKAIAH (14 hours ago)
And y’all think the middle east is oppressive??
HEMANT (14 hours ago)
because of her , her brother is Dead . so basically you were selling makeups . if it was ban why would you do that.
sanjukta sahu (17 hours ago)
Ain't nobody gonna talk about his brother??
B M-Y (17 hours ago)
@ 11:34, I felt that.
Jayjay Tahir (17 hours ago)
I saw MONSTA X at 6:04 😍😍😍. Like this if you're MONBEBE
Hibout' Chou (17 hours ago)
I really wish something could be done to help the North Korean people... it always makes me want to cry when I watch videos of North Korean defects and I realise people have to live in such conditions
M O O D (18 hours ago)
Wow! Having liberty and being free in North Korea are called disobedient and is rebellious
Clara Betancourt (19 hours ago)
that one woman's story was really sad and I hope that North korea changes in the future...
Mandy G (21 hours ago)
I forget sometimes just how lucky I am to live in a safe country (Australia) and have the privilege to access what I consider as basic needs. These videos put it all in perspective. just...wow
Amanda Redeagle (21 hours ago)
You can live without makeup, you can live as a woman without glitter and shimmer. You cannot live without natural resources. So the little kids in Malaysia dying to mine the elements to produce many makeups are not my . Especially, when their "happiness" is based on the suffering of another. Get this shallow shit outta here.
Amanda Redeagle (22 hours ago)
Profile pick of me with no makeup.😙 South Africa, India, and yes even America itself, among other industrialized nation, do not even have clean drinking water. YET, you mfs want to fight for makeup rights.....holy shit😕 We are not all going to survive the encounter. May the odds be your favor🤔🙄
Ashley Butler (22 hours ago)
This is so unbelievably wrong how these human beings are treated and I'm so sorry that there's such bad people in our world i wish we could set all free and treat people like we should we all matter no matter were we are from.
Not to be rude but I'm hope this fatass gets so fat to the point where he has a heart attack and dies with no one to continue his messed up ruling
Noon Quinn (1 day ago)
It's make up for God sake SERIOUSLY!
it broke my heart when she started talking about her brother💔 she really lived through hell on earth. we can only imagine how terrible it is there.
Hostile Demon Queen (1 day ago)
Hitler is literally back smh...😤
NEO-GRASS (1 day ago)
that got me, nct ! 💚💚 nctzen here!
i realized only now how lacking north korean vocabulary must be by now, poor people
My Kookie (1 day ago)
Her: “Boy bands” and “girl bands” Me at 1 am: *THEY’RE CALLED KPOP GROUPS BOY GROUPS AND GIRL GROUPS*
Manek Ranjan (1 day ago)
Sunrise (1 day ago)
This is the most bizarre propaganda about North Korea ever. Make up? Really? Are you fucking kidding me?
This sucks....
kurtis kellan (1 day ago)
i like make up
Marjorie Castillo (1 day ago)
This is a great story material. Thank you!
Jkarnoult 1 (1 day ago)
Korean lady’s cheekbones are poppin.. go girl
Yaseen Tasnif (1 day ago)
99 percent of this video is literally her putting on makeup...
Sarah Schmidt (1 day ago)
Well, yeah. It's North Korea. They can't even cough the wrong way, and they will end up in a work slave camp. I kind of don't like the intro. It's as though the reporter is saying the young woman left North Korea just so she could wear make-up. In reality, she left for South Korea to escape torture.
Tamala Rovaris (1 day ago)
Danbi honors her brother’s sacrifice by escaping and telling people the TRUTH! Every defector is a rebel against tyranny! If it’s just the freedom to control your own skin then we should airdrop cosmetics!!!
Tamala Rovaris (1 day ago)
A few years ago I took a class and I was asked to list what South Korea 🇰🇷 would have as its newest export and said K-Pop and my teacher said that I was being silly... no foresight!
Alondra Casas (1 day ago)
What that was NCT 😮
Hanayo Koizumi (1 day ago)
wow this is next level
ur mum (1 day ago)
Danbis brother is an absolute hero. Put himself down to save his family. What a legend. Respect.
Dia Kitty (1 day ago)
She so happy to be the same skin tone as a white women 😒 so embarrassing my people are like this
David Stainthorpe (1 day ago)
drop glitter bombs on them
ash40248 (1 day ago)
Firstly you're actually endangering these women's lives by showing their faces as they talk about smuggling makeup in North Korea. Secondly at least then make sure they are relocated to another country. Cannot mess with that 'government'
Lust official (1 day ago)
Revolution coming soon. People will revolt. War will break out. NK leader is like hitler. And another chapter will be added in history lessons 😂😂😂😂
Prateek Gautam (1 day ago)
Lexy u are so beautiful
Monica Yumul (1 day ago)
Free North Korea!
Dinosaur Cactus .-. (1 day ago)
Only story I’ve actually almost cried to. I got really emotional dang
KpopaPapaya_ (1 day ago)
Too bad North Korean can’t see this...
Stasha (1 day ago)
Those camps look like World War II concentration camps
Mikelee Matunog (1 day ago)
Wearing makeup is already a big deal. Imagine if you were gay and living in North Korea.
Javen Lai (1 day ago)
I bet 80% of N Koreans wants to leave their country
gd (1 day ago)
The North Korean government will have to answer to God for all the people they oppressed and tortured at the judgment seat of Christ Jesus. Those without mercy will recieve no mercy.
p.a.h _ (1 day ago)
I see nct
dannikancho (1 day ago)
The fact that y’all placed an ad in the middle of that woman’s testimony is disgusting.
Tamara louisa Saintil (6 hours ago)
They need money to do this kind of really important reportage
Sara Hewson (8 hours ago)
I just watched and it’s still there ☹️ it was a bit jarring
Michelle Stewart (9 hours ago)
So my point was, Danni, looks like you inspired change!
Michelle Stewart (9 hours ago)
@ʝυиg cσσкιє not really what? I just watched the video and the ad is after her speaking, no longer during it.
ʝυиg cσσкιє (10 hours ago)
@Michelle Stewart not really
dung dang (1 day ago)
Facial masks=more plastic bags ^^ Whenever cosmestic manufacturers focus on recycle material for their package
Natasha Bethune (2 days ago)
Kim jung spoons a fockin psycho
HueManBeing (2 days ago)
Imagine living in a country where women don't have to wear makeup to feel beautiful. I guarantee you that North Korea has makeup. Think about it. If North Korea was committing crimes against humanity, many nations would wage war against them. However, many people already know that mainstream media has been on a smear campaign of North Korea since the day America won the South of the Korean peninsula. Worry about the liberation of YOUR OWN country. America, look at your streets and see if you have starving people begging at traffic lights and street corners. The evidence shows that you'll find plenty of homeless people with many skills and heartfelt stories in the streets of USA, but you're too f****** worried about the "liberation" of other countries. Spare us all and go volunteer at your local homeless shelter or something, fool. This goes for the rest of the so-called "first-world" countries.
Geede Bon (2 days ago)
So sad I hope freedom comes soon, it was sad when the reporter said they don't know what makeup are out there.
Arianna ?¿ (2 days ago)
Tf dude this shit hurts me , pains me in fact. How can u control people so harshly and not even allow woman to express themselves and feel better about themselves with makeup ?! What’s the point of controlling ? Let these people be individuals and individual !!!!
Cutie BanannaPie (2 days ago)
CORRECTION: K-pop is the latest
cangai06 (2 days ago)
Girls in the street of Pyongyang are all wearing some kind of makeup. They have their hair done and everything, not as fashionable but presentable. I asked about the hairstyle posters, and it was just a suggestion and easier for stylists, you see plenty hairstyles besides the supposedly approved style. I am not defending North Korea, I just think media should get all facts before reporting them.
Airik1111 (2 days ago)
Trump has opened the door for NK to join the world his step into NK was so important yet the MSM paints him as a racist Nazi. If Hillary had won we NEVER would see peace, they used NK in a negative way.
Joshua Fuhrman (2 days ago)
Fuck you Kim Jong Un, can't wait for you to burn in hell.
4:38 its BTS 😱😱😱😱 OMG
Real Talk (2 days ago)
China also had concentrate camps for the oeigurs
Gacha Pentagon (2 days ago)
im so glad that i was born,grew up, and lived 2 years of my life in south korea. i was told that south korea waa better and heathier than north korea. north koreans were controlled on just appearince.
worldwide handsome (2 days ago)
This is why i love south korea 😀😀 because of freedom and north korea is so abusing people they need freedom 😯😯😯
Nonya Bidness (2 days ago)
Lil kim ..wtf r u thinking???
Lesleigh Hart (2 days ago)
Such a sad story :( Danbi's brother was truly an amazing man.
Meiyu Qian (2 days ago)
I've read a part of a book 'Nothing to Envy' about a north korea refugee. And the chinese name of this book is we are the happiest people in the world. The refugee was a doctor. After her family, all her kids and husband died of starvation, she crossed the river and fled to a chinese village. It was a cold night. And she straved. Suddenly she saw a small bowl of rice and meet in front of the door of a ordinary family. She was confused and didn't know why people prepared food outside for others, until she heard dog barking. Her heart was broken at that time. Because she always trusted her nation and everthing she learned there. Even though they starved all the time, she still thought they just had some difficult times. And still, they were the happiest people in the world. But at that time she realized that even dogs in china can eat better than they did. They thought china was the same as they were. I remember how I cried for this heartbroken story. Especially when I knew our government would send the refugees back and everyone knows what is waiting for them. I feel so sorry for them. And so disappionted in my country.
Stanyslas (1 day ago)
Lmao nice propaganda bro
ツkorin (2 days ago)
I had a teacher from South Korea, she was so kind and loving. So many people made fun of her for being Korean and I felt terrible, but I would always let her know that she was the best of the best.
YaboiDrizzyDrew (2 days ago)
Someday North Korea will be liberated. Heavily controlled national never last long.
Lady of the Deep (2 days ago)
I love this video and your channel. I am a new empowerment coach looking to create a safe and fun community based on growth, empowerment, strength and healing. I just subscribed to your awesome channel and would love the chance for you to do the same if you feel this aligns with you! Reach out anytime and in the meantime, I will continue enjoying your videos. :p
Kimmy (2 days ago)
This story was put together so beautifully. I cried and stayed interested the whole time. Thanks for showing us what is happening over there. My heart goes out to the people of North and South Korea. ❤️
Leonard Grabsky (2 days ago)
When "one of the most repressive regimes on the planet" does it's worst all it can do is prevent women from wearing makeup. What a fucking nightmare for the long suffering citizens of the PDK. I mean wearing makeup is a human right, and without it life loses all meaning.
Yukie (2 days ago)
Acknowledging the tragedy of it, I still want to point out that if the only reason her family was arrested was because of her smuggling business, then she got her brother killed over makeup. It's hard to believe she was striving for grander freedom of expression when she started her business.
yushi911 (2 days ago)
I'm surprise that only few thousand people try to escape. Living like a captive life with no freedom at all...even your hair cut. You will have a rebellion in America or France. But as they never saw a rebellion before...looks Hong Kong rebellion again chinese governament. Some young people are ready to lose their lives for freedom until 2047.
Unsee my profile (2 days ago)
I don't understand why do they have to go further into south east asia aren't there direct travel means between China and South Korea
Armada 12 (21 hours ago)
Because China has stronger ties with North Korea. Their policy is to repatriate any North Koreans in their country without passport. Reaching South Korean embassies in China is the only direct route for North Koreans in China, but the surrounding areas are heavily guarded by Chinese police.
kym97 (2 days ago)
In North Korea people are controlled by the government and in South Korea and rest of the world by industries selling their products !!!!!!!
Every communist regime tried to keep people from escaping. If communism is so good people would be migrating to communist countries instead of trying to escape.
paula 666 (2 days ago)
Whatever really
unknown mystery (2 days ago)
Few people are saying South Korea 🇰🇷 and few people are saying North Korea I am confused
Aqua_rose 8 (2 days ago)
Ugh i wish i could just go there and tell the people there what the outside world looks like and break them out!! I know im being a bit childish but thats how i feel
Sophia (2 days ago)
We ask ourselves how we let the holocaust happen then look at North Korea like nothing is happening i guess we’ll look back in 30 years and think how stupid we were to let it happen.
Ady Smart (2 days ago)
For the girls who are angry for their beauty products, Kylie Cosmetics or Lo'Real paries they should watch this.
Harish Godiyal (2 days ago)
Blessed to be born in the largest democracy of the world my INDIA 💖
Thyia Colt (2 days ago)
This is like history repeating itself. I bet Kim Jong Un is going to suicide just like Hitler did. I hope that happens soon so he can fuck off to deepest part of hell.
Elif Kıran (2 days ago)
What exactly happend to jer and her Family her Brother.. I wanna know
charlie (2 days ago)
*makeup advert plays*
wang tie (2 days ago)
AYA Barakat (2 days ago)
Her brother is brave af. That’s family sacrifice. I’m seriously so grateful to be born in a free country wow .

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