For this week's face-off, I have decided to break from the norm. We usually cover trends that appear frequently in kdramas, but this time, I wanted to look at the lone wolves fighting against the pack. And that's why I've chosen facial hair.
It wasn't until fairly recently that I noticed the consistent lack of facial hair on most kdrama leads. Even in historical dramas (which I have excluded here for consistency), half of the men look like someone glued a few strands of fur to their chins and called it good. I don't know if Korean men just tend to grow patchy facial hair or what, but I wanted to let those few guys who weren't clean-shaven have their moment in the spotlight. I couldn't find any good full-on beards, so it's just goatees and shadow-staches for now!
|Sorry, Yoochun. You're not fooling anyone.|
Now, I know that facial hair isn't everyone's cup of tea. Personally, I can appreciate a decent amount of scruff. In fact, I once based an entire Halloween costume--including sewing myself some neon green pleather pants--around my husband's innate talent for growing Wolverine-like sideburns. I also tend to let mustaches slide because my husband thinks they are hilarious. Exhibit A: His face in its currently mustachioed glory:
|I know what you're all thinking. |
How can so much awesome happen on one face?
In addition to spicing up boring family Christmas cards and making small children cry, facial hair can also make for some excellent jokes:
Ok, ok, I'll stop now. If I have one weakness, it's mustache-related puns. Maybe it's because I share a birthday with Chuck Norris?
Let's meet our proud contenders!
Contender 1: Jo Guk (City Hall)
Cha Seung Won as Jo Guk was the one who reminded me that kdrama men can actually grow hair on their faces. Maybe the drama writers only let it slide because of his status as a smarmy politician, but whatever the reason, he works that goatee for a full 20 episodes.
Contender 2: Tae Woong (The Snow Queen)
I haven't actually seen this drama, but I stumbled on a poster for it and decided it belonged in this battle. I was genuinely surprised at how a little bit of stubble can transform ole baby-face Hyun Bin.
Contender 3: Han Yi Soo (Shark)
Shark pictures have been popping up all over Pinterest since the show started, and I swear that the characters are either crying or gazing into space in every. single. one. Keeping in character, Kim Nam Gil rocks what I like to call the "sad stache."
Contender 4: Kim Hyun Jun (Iris)
Don't let the faintness of the facial hair fool you--a little bit can go a long way! Lee Byung Hun actually has one of those faces that looks like it needs a mustache. Even when he's clean shaven, I can see the ghosts of mustaches past dancing on his upper lip. Besides, we all know that mustaches, when combined with a sweet pair of shades, have been scientifically proven to help you shoot people better.
So out of the few kdrama leads who actually grew their own scruff, who pulled it off the best? Are there any of them who look better when they aren't clean-shaven? Vote below!