I like weird things and whimsical things and cartoonish things. I’ve always found circuses and plays interesting, loving their stories and glamour and magic. So it would make sense that I would like Kim Ji-won’s spread for Ceci‘s November issue.

In this shoot, Ji-won resembles a puppet. Not really a doll, but a puppet. A doll would have full pink lips and long, fluttery eyelashes and tiny little features. A doll would be perfect and lovely and dainty. But puppets tend to be stranger, wearing odder clothes and fancier makeup and coming in stranger designs. This is why Ji-won is a puppet in this shoot, because she doesn’t wear the Barbie doll clothing or have perfect makeup that would enhance her beauty. Instead, she wears stripes and large prints, has a crudely cut and styled bob, and bizarre makeup done to her lips and eyebrows and eyes. She looks unusual but charming and cute, like a puppet would. However, the setting for this shoot is not charming. It’s dark and shabby and cheap-looking, with only a red cane and balloons as props to give it interest.

Ji-won’s hairstyles vary throughout this shoot. Sometimes her hair is pixie-ish, cropped close to her head and away from her face, and other times it reaches her neck and falls into her eyes. Ji-won first has a blustery hairstyle, messy but shiny, sticking straight out from her head like a triangle. In the same picture, she has weirdly drawn on eyebrows that look made of ink and apricot-colored blush on her cheekbones. That with her striped shirt and frilly skirt makes Ceci look cartoon-ish. She looks confused but her rigid posture gives her a doll-like appearance.

Same for her next photo. In the next picture over, Ji-won’s eyebrows aren’t inky and defined but bristly, thick, and messy. Her eyes lack has much makeup but appear large and soulless, and tiny dots on her temples bring them to attention. Her lips are cutely made to look like a heart, as if she’s puckering for a kiss despite her lifeless expression. Her devoid expression isn’t  a problem in this shoot because she’s meant to look like a lifeless puppet. Rather, I find the intensity of her dark eyes appealing, even if she does look a little creepy.

She appears more doll-like in these next few photos, but not entirely. The black-and-white stripes and stars remind me of circuses and jesters and harlequin people. Although she has long eyelashes and full pink lips, her makeup lacks the softness a doll’s would have. Not only that, but her tiny top hat and little tear-jewels further give her a theatrical look.

In the very last picture, we get to see her entirely. Her outfit is strange — star-printed stockings with silver shoes and an abstract shirt. It clashes. Her face is prettier here, more doll-like, but her very curly hair is distracting. She looks the most like a doll here, especially with her rosy cheeks and bent arms, but her ostentatious outfit and hair keeps her looking like a puppet. In all the other photos, we had very good views of her pretty nail art, but can barely see it here. Still, like in the other photos, the fingernail of her ring finger is painted a different color than the rest.

Do you like Ji-won’s shoot?

(Ceci Magazine)


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