A new lifestyle named “Na Na land” emerges as one of this year’s top trends in Korea. In the new expression ‘na’ means ‘I’ in Korean and an ongoing art exhibition titled “Na Na Land: It’s My World” at Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul shows a wide range of aspects about the trend named after the movie “La La Land”, which features the world of people pursuing their dreams.
|▲ From left, Bang Wu-ri, Kim Yoo-jin and Bae Kyo-hyun pose for a picture. / Photo: The Korea Times
The trend represents the young generations’ lifestyle ‘as being myself’. They do not care about how they look to others and worry about what others think of them. Like the main characters in the movie, people with high self-esteem are in Na Na Land where ‘I’ am the center and they want to live without being swayed by the standards of others in society.
Getting tired of living hard lives, they are also called the “Mumean” (of no meaning or purpose) generation because they have a tendency to seek simple meanings and enjoyment rather than valuable things: No context, no stimulus, and no action. Since last year books talking about living with ease are becoming best sellers, and many people are listening to bland ASMR on YouTube that contains natural soothing sounds for relaxation and entertainment. Comfort living became a more important criterion than being fancy in terms of fashion. A nice appearance or a slender body line is not a matter of concern to them anymore.
Moreover, the young generation now deny the outdated customs or uniform norms, understand the diversity of individuals, and then recognize differences between individuals beyond stereotypes, prejudices and conventional ideas of beauty and so on. They also put emphasis on individual’s uniqueness and diversity. Stressing the importance of appreciating and loving ‘myself’, this trend includes changes in fashion, consumer culture and society.
The Rise of Ugly Chic & Gorpcore
The ‘Ugly chic’ concept appeared, indicating ugly things are what could be the most fabulous items for people when those suit them well. Gorpcore is a street style trend that means a mashup of normcore and gorp. With regard to the rise of ugly items and gorpcore that started from ugly sneakers, experts say people tired of forced perfection are raising their voices to return to something natural, that is, the essence. Fashion items such as ugly shoes and ‘gorpcore’ clothes that began from looking as if someone was wearing rough luxury brand clothes are getting popularized these days.
Buying for Myself
As part of this trend, self-gifting and buying for ‘myself’ are popular among young people. A newly-coined word ‘Meconomy’ (Me+Economy) reflects this consumption trend that they consume things only for themselves based on their own wants. Such individuals called ‘For-Me People’ are playing major roles in a variety of markets. Convenience stores are selling luxurious and high-quality foods packaged for one person such as eel and grilled beef. In addition, they give some small gifts to themselves on special days like their birthday or when they are very tired of life.
Being Confident with My Body
The ‘Body Positivity’ movement has changed deep-rooted ideals of body and beauty worldwide. Plus-size models like Ashley Graham are breaking the usual standards of beauty that models must be slender. It implies that people voluntarily take off invisible ‘social corsets’ put on their bodies. Wearing bralettes and flatties became part of the trend. ‘I Weigh’ movement to reject judging women’s values by their weight and appearance is supported by many women. The official Instagram account (@i_weigh) made by Jameela Jamil, an American model and actor brought this movement into action, with more than 683 thousand followers.
By Cha Jang-won, Tribune Reporter