While locked away during quarantine, millions of online citizens flocked to various forms of glow up culture. Glow-up culture consisted of self-improvement, inner reflection, and self-love. First beginning with the hashtag ‘That Girl’ trend, users began to wake up earlier, clean their rooms, and document their aesthetically pleasing lifestyles. Another instance became the Fit Girl trend that launched Youtube Fitness Guru, Chloe Ting, to stardom. The hashtag Chloe Ting Challenge swept the interwebs with challenges ranging from two weeks to over a month and inspired a generation to get active and get moving.
Now, a new trend has emerged: Wonyoungism.
Some videos have amassed over 420,000 likes detailing aesthetic images. The trend joins the coquette aesthetic with self-improvement where users often detail a productive day in the life or provide encouraging statements. Other iterations of this trend are entitled ‘The Wonyoung Effect’ or ‘Wonyoung Motivation’. Example videos also include motivational tips for becoming motivated, having consistency, and improving study habits.
Yet the central figure is the same: Jang Wonyoung.
The trend is named after South Korean celebrity, Jang Wonyoung. Born in 2004, Wonyoung is a starlet well beyond her years. Initially discovered at Starship Entertainment and competing on Produce 101 Season 2, she debuted as the number one pick selected by South Korea’s general population. She later debuted in IZ*ONE, a South Korean-Japanese project girl group that lasted for two-and-a-half years prior to her second debut in the permanent group, IVE.
The celebrity of IVE swept across South Korea and immediately launched her to a second wave of stardom. She stacked up several brand ambassadorships. One of her more prominent deals is with Miu Miu, the sister brand to Prada by Miuccia Prada. Another would be her innisfree deal since 2021 where her positive personality and gorgeous visuals are constantly showcased. Other brands include jewelry brand: CHAUMET, clothing brand: KIRSH, and makeup brand: Laura Mercier. Her several brand deals have garnered her the name ‘It Girl’. In Feb., she ranked number #21 in the brand reputation chart. This month, she ranked #28. Despite ranking in the twenties individually, her star power (along with her other members' individual brand deals) rises them to #4. She also has visited several fashion weeks for Miu Miu, Chaumet, and Fred Jewelry to promote the luxury brands.
With the attention she has gained, she, unfortunately, has gained hate as well. The hate she has garnered includes being called a ‘pick me’ for doing what idols are told to do and want a soloist career. However, these criticisms have not impacted her mindset. Instead, when asked if she is bothered by criticism, she has famously been seen as saying, “I don’t care. You are you and I am me.” This statement has become the central point of #Wonyoungism.
In wanting to focus more on oneself and promote positive behavior, #Wonyoungism combines the aesthetic pinks and pastels of coquettish with soft chic and rounds it off with self care.
Edited by: Maria Cornejo
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