“I’m singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling, I’m happy again. I’ll walk down the lane with a happy refrain.” Singin’ In The Rain, a musical film released in 1952, starred Gene Kelly who sang with a spring in his step in the rain. Actually, in reality, a rainy day makes people feel gloomy. Rain even makes women who put on perfect makeup for a date to become drenched to the bones. Recently, however, with the vogue for splashed colors and showy decorated rain boots, many female students now look forward to rainy days.
Why Do We Love You
In the past, farmers or fishermen wore rain boots to promote work efficiency such as to prevent slipping. However, as people are now much better off, they easily afford nice, goodlooking shoes. People avoided rain boots, which stood for poverty and paltriness. With the introduction of new rain boots, which adhere to both practicality and one’s aesthetic sense, people now view rain boots as a new summer classical item. According to Dong-A Daily News, one department store turned over 50 million won a day on average during the rain boots event held just before the long rainy season.1 Especially, rain boots are selling like hot cakes thanks to sincere effort to improve the look of rain boots, which was the main factor behind consumer avoidance. Considering the physical shape of individuals, the newly launched rain boots fulfill consumers need to conceal fat ankles or thick calves. Moreover, there are rain boots with fancy, splendid designs such as pastel-toned colors, dotted patterns, feminine floral designs and boots trimmed with lace. In this way, rather than having a dowdy appearance, rain boots appeal to consumers with their polished designs. Choi Boseul, Division of Chinese Language & Literature ’13 stated, “I am short, so I was reluctant to wear rain boots. However, I discovered the newly launched high-heeled rain boots, so I’ve now fallen in love with rain boots.” Today, rain boots have been reborn as new fashion items and occupy a very warm place in women’s hearts, even on sunny days.
For consumers the fashion-oriented footwear industry has added practicality to aesthetic appeal. Nonetheless, the popularity of rain boots has made people seek from luxury items, which are of no immediate importance. High-priced rain boots are selling quickly in great quantities even during the recession by young consumers, who are fashion conscious and consume conspicuously. Famous foreign outdoor brands, designer labeled goods and brand-name products offer costly rain boots ranging from five hundred thousand to one million won, and they are so popular that they are even in short supply. Even though the rain boots are not brand-name products, the basic cost of a pair of rain boots is about two hundred thousand won, which shows the status of rain boots as a luxury item. Chun Wooyoung, professor of Psychology at Chungnam National University explained, “Climate change has made it necessary to supply rain boots, but they really became popular due to the ostentation of consumption: being aware of the way other people see one.”2 According to a survey report from Albamon, one pair of rain boots equals half a university student’s monthly allowance, which is about four hundred thousand won a month on average.3 Kim Hyunggeun, Department of Business Administration ’12 at Korea University stated, “The rain boots that women wear look like shoes for peasants whether or not they’re expensive. Why do women spend almost two hundred thousand won to buy rubber?”
What Makes You Beautiful
The craze for rain boots can be meaningful in that people have found and created added value to trivial shoes. Also, rain boots chase two hares at once — practicality and fashion, so they do not suffer from comparison in the fashion industry. However, it is undesirable to regard rain boots as a luxury item, fulfilling one’s vanity. Enough is a feast whereas too much is vanity. Close your eyes and recall your childhood by winding your watch. Do you remember joyful rainy days splashing in puddles wearing yellow rain boots, which your mother bought for you in the market? Even though they’re not fancy brand-name products, ordinary rain boots can satisfy your needs and provide unexpected pleasure on a rainy day. The author of the weekly magazine of USA, The New Yorker, Susan Orlean, said, “An ordinary life examined closely reveals itself to be exquisite and complicated and exceptional, somehow managing to be both heroic and plain.” Do not forget that you can be a heroic figure even with inexpensive, plain rain boots!
1 Spotnews team, “700,000 won Rain Boots are Selling Briskly…Squeezing Money Out of Consumers,” Daillian, June 18, 2013
2 Park Sunhee, “Too Much Supply, Short Supply of Costly Rain Boots,” Dong-A Daily News, June 18, 2013
3 Im Hyungseob, "Average Amount of Students' Allowance is......," YonhapNews, October 14, 2012