In the beauty scene, Gyutae is a force to be reckoned with. Hit with medical hair loss, he was forced to find the beauty within, and turn that into outer perfection. Growing up in the countryside, Gyutae dreamed of making it big in Tokyo. But his disease, alopecia, was getting worse, provoked by bullying. He looked to his single mother for support, while learning the joy of makeup from her. Now, his skills are said to rival plastic-surgery, with incredible transformative designs.
Hi, I'm Gyutae.
I'm a makeup artist, beauty and influencer. and creator.
I use makeup to transform into different characters,
gender, or people from other ethnicities.
Thanks for having me.
Check out these 5 frames of love for me and you.
I have no eyebrows, eyelashes, body hair, not even
peach fuzz. It's called alopecia-universalis.
It makes me happy to channel another side of me.
I want to inspire others to do their best alongside me.
This is my life purpose now.
This is where I grew up, in Hiroshima.
It's been a while.
My family house was more in the countryside.
So, when I graduated from high school, I was
excited to come here and live the "big city" life.
I worked at a shop here on the main street.
I'd sometimes stand here with a big sign,
shouting "SALE!" to get customers in.
I'd wear my boots with 12cm heels,
which made me 2 meters tall.
Passersby would call me a "utility pole."
This is the clothing store I worked at.
Aw… It still looks as I remember it.
When he was 20-22 years old,
Gyutae worked in a
Harajuku-style apparel store.
I was already choosing my own clothes
by the time I was 5.
I didn't want my parents to do it.
I'd open a catalogue and say, "I want this one."
Before working at the shop,
I had another apparel job.
But the dress code was so strict,
I couldn't handle it.
When I went for the interview here,
I asked, "Is there a dress code?"
The answer was, "Nope!"
So, I started work right away! And all my
colleagues were dressed so uniquely.
Of course, I was worried people
would notice my disease.
But no one ever asked about
my wigs and makeup.
Since everyone around me was
enjoying being different, I started to think that maybe my hair
loss was my own unique trait.
I'd match my wigs to my outfits, and
explored new makeup looks to try.
It was the first time I started to love myself.
This shop changed me so much.
This was my style back when I worked here.
It's totally different, right??
But I can still pull it off.
This is my closet.
A lot of my favorite things are here.
I love it all.
This is THE jacket.
I was feeling run down at one point, so I used
this as motivation to work and save up.
In the end, I reached my goal and bought it.
Every piece of clothing carries memories.
Like where I bought it, and where I wore it.
They are like an armor that protects me.
And they lead me to wonderful places.
To me, fashion is...
It influences my mood as well as my future.
Fashion makes me move and
gives me direction.
This is where I was born and raised.
Look at all the rice paddies.
It's nothing but fields.
I don't have very many good memories here.
I barely even remember it.
When I was in high school, I started playing
with my hairstyle. I was obsessed.
So, it was such a shock when I got alopecia.
I remember looking in the mirror and couldn't
believe that I had a bald patch this big.
I was so embarrassed that
I couldn't tell anyone about it.
When Gyutae was 16, he bravely
told 2 of his closest frends.
But they responded "We don't
want to be your friend anymore."
The night, half of his hair fell out.
I was suffocating under the fear of more hair
coming out and wondering if I'd ever be cured.
My mental health suffered.
And on top of that was the bullying.
I'd go to school, but as soon as I got there,
I'd just stare at the floor.
It got so bad, I secretly looked up
how to commit suicide.
But then I thought of my mom, who is
the most important person to me.
I could see that she would suffer, so I decided to live.
This is my family home.
And here's my mom.
Hello. I'm Gyutae's mom.
- Your makeup is really nice.
I love wearing makeup.
Maybe I passed that gene to him.
She imitates my makeup looks.
That's why we look so similar.
- There's a lot of Gyutae in here.
Yeah, there's more of me than ever.
- I wanted to display everything at once.
Look at that portrait. That one really stands out.
It looks a bit scary. It took
me awhile to get used to it.
You're the one who displayed it.
I've got an older brother and sister,
and then me.
Finally, my mom.
I became a single mother when he was little.
I worked day and night.
I still remember when she'd get ready for work.
He was always beside me,
watching me do my makeup.
I liked seeing how it transformed her.
He always took care of me.
He was a good kid.
And then he got sick, losing his hair.
At the time, I didn't know it.
I imagine it was hard for him to tell me about it.
I really wanted to fix it for him.
We ran around to so many doctors and
his school, trying to find solutions.
Yes, we did.
But it got worse. The bald patch
got bigger and bigger.
It was such a struggle.
At age 22, Gyutae told
his mother he wanted to
move to Tokyo to make
his dreams come true.
I said, "Why? Can't you do that in Hiroshima?"
"And you're sick, you shouldn't go!"
I was tired of my life being controlled by my hair.
I didn't want to give up on life because of it.
I knew I was destined for more.
I had to respect his decision and
how he wanted to pursue it.
I said, "Good luck" and sent him off.
She had made me this gigantic
rice ball for the journey.
It had lots of fillings.
She told me to eat it on the way, and I remember
bawling behind it on the train.
I believed in my makeup artist skills.
And if my eyebrows wouldn't grow,
then I'd draw them on.
Yeah, you have that positive attitude.
Makeup is a tool of magic! And we can
learn to love ourselves more.
That's what Gyutae taught me.
So, please keep helping others with
the knowledge you've gained.
Because it will end up helping yourself, too.
To me, my family is… My sun.
They're always there for me no matter what, and they brighten me up when I'm down.
Even though I struggled, my mom
always supported me.
I want to dedicate my life to
showing her my gratitude.
So, get ready, mom!
Shoot, talking about her makes me cry.
I've got about 40 wigs.
This is just a part of it.
I've been wearing wigs for 10 years.
I definitely want to make my own wigs someday.
There's a stereotype that wigs are bad.
They're not just for sick people, you can wear them
like you wear fashion. Anyone can try them.
I want to make things like this that come from
my experiences and will help others.
And, I'm gonna keep sharing my life online.
The concept for this Pride Collection is about
breaking the wall and unveiling yourself.
So, GYUTAE was the perfect guest for our project.
I personally experienced total hair
loss 6 years ago.
When it felt like I was the only one suffering
through it, I found Gyutae online.
He showed that you can turn insecurities into
strengths, and more people should know it.
- In what ways do you feel proud of yourself?
I'm proud of the career I've built up.
And I feel that helping others realize their potential
helps me realize my own worth, too.
I've also become more self-confident,
and I'm proud of who I am.
I hope that as a society, we learn to
praise each other for our differences.
- What will you have for dinner tonight?
Beef bowl and a beer.
To me, the future is… Life.
I can't see into the future.
But I believe that every action in every second
I take now will influence my future.
Appreciate the moment. You only live once,
so you better not squander time.
I'll continue to share my life with
everyone, with no regrets.
Let's build our futures together!