Posts tagged kpoprealitycheck
Posts tagged kpoprealitycheck
37. MUST WATCH : Fotoshop by Adobe
This commercial isn’t real, neither are society’s standards of beauty.
The curtain went down on two students performing Trouble Maker cutting short the stage at only 49 seconds at Buchun’s Middle School Talent Show (Korea).
How could the teacher’s not know what was on the program and what type of performances students were going to do? I feel sorry for the students who must’ve practised the choreography but they should’ve chosen something appropriate and less provocative especially for a school performance. Dude to be frank, i don’t think this performance would’ve been acceptable at any high school - ever.
Someone please write an essay on the direct influence the mass media has with a simple song and dance that would be modelled and copied by audiences.
AWKS AS…gotta give them brownie points for being brave enough with the intention to perform in front of their peers and teachers O_O
*Please read on blog for better view and images* Disclaimer: This is my opinion and I don’t claim to be an expert. My writing is incredibly flawed and I hope you can be patient as i’m still learning :) I do not own any of the images.
The racist representations and stereotypes in KPOP media from Black face to terrorists. This is a definite reminder that what we see on television (well on our computer screens) don’t represent or reflect reality. These sorts of misrepresentations and ignorance may reinforce prejudice attitudes. It was incredibly insensitive especially if the KPOP media promote themselves as being this hyper influential Hallyu Wave that is taking over with internationalfans. If the target audience is not only of South east asians but people with other nationalities it doesn’t make sense why they’re being discriminated against or misrepresented.
SBS’s Star King production team apologised due to the controversy of misrepresenting Muslims as terrorists which involved a segment of a man dressed as an Arab threatening MC Kang Ho Dong. Source
At the 2011 MBC Idol’s Athletic Championship, with Boom’s come back from the military he certainly made a few waves with his black face performance with a few token Super Junior members. This is a televised show that is family friendly which means children and young people are going to be watching their idols celebrate and perform with this type of ignorant ‘skit’. Not only that but there alot of international KPOP fans who would find this offensive and would be extremely upset by this sort of shallow comedy.
Even popular rapper Yoon Mirae responded with “Education is key!! Much love! God bless you and yours! And always ALWAYS hold your head high! You are…WE are ALL beautiful!!! I do not think that their intentions were to make fun or offend anyone… It would be unfair for such a beautiful country as Korea to be judged as a whole based on these incidents!” Source
KPOP isn’t always a euphoria filled with extremely attractive people and dream chasing. There are also flaws such as ignorant misrepresentations and stereotyping. Think about your own morals and personal opinion before slipping out the “Oppa didn’t mean it~” line.
This is pretty self explanatory. Not only do you have promotions, recording in the studio, photo shoots, dance practice, concerts, travelling overseas but you’ve got variety shows as well.The industry is incredibly competitive with over 30 new groups debuting alone in 2011. To maintain an image, popularity and awareness it’s crucial to stay present on the scene.
Every idol has a crazy schedule and i’m just going to choose the best example : Super Junior’s Leeteuk. Leader of the popular boy band, a husband to Sora in We Got Married, a father in Sistar’s Hello Baby and a regular on Star King and Strong Heart.
It’s not all glitz and glamour as nowadays in the expected idol package you must be a triple threat: talented in dancing, singing and acting. You must also be active and give off a gag-dol vibe in variety shows. All idol groups pretty much endure the same amount of pressure and activity that is physically and mentally tiring (more or less depending on their popularity).
I changed Voltaire’s disapprove to disagree but you get the picture. Okay so it’s no surprise that alot of fans are opinionated, passionate and often downright dim witted with their commentary -> Eg “I have dreams of rubbing barbeque sauce all over her(Jessica) S!B: People might think i’m weird.” Source
However no matter what fandom, entertainment company you admire or group you idolize, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. This may result in positive discussion, debates or just plain old fan wars and arguments. Not everyone will always share the same opinion as you and you shouldn’t need to conform to everyone’s else’s either. Even if you don’t agree with someone’s opinion that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the right to say it no?
Following this, Simon and Martina of Eat Your Kimchi recently did a review on Trouble Maker that involved tagging Hyuna as a stripper and critiquing Hyuna’s promiscuous and sexy moves.
A minority of people (including myself) didn’t completely agree and were offended with their commentary which resulted alot of fans to voice their opinions against Eat Your Kimchi. (Insert rambly anecdote of the messy trouble maker situation). What surprised me though was that people who didn’t agree with S&M opinion were labelled by fans simply as ‘wrong’ or ‘delusional’. Just because one doesn’t agree with a public figure’s opinion doesn’t mean they are wrong, they still get the right to voice their opinion.
This applies to anything really. Some Elfs thought Mr Simple was the best thing since sliced bread and well some didn’t like it however pretended they did and wrote about it on KPOPSECRETS.
“Firstly, this implies some type of stigma surrounding these so-called “secrets”, which are in fact, nothing more than personal opinions people are entitled to hold. This basically discourages individuality and free speech as a k-pop fan, and reinforces the ridiculous rigidity of fandoms.” Source
In the end let’s all agree to disagree. We are all entitled to our own opinion and preferences. This includes Simon and Martina and yourself. Even if i don’t approve of what Simon and Martina said, i’m still going to defend their right to say it. Simon and Martina aren’t supposed to be impressing you, they’re stating their opinion. Opinion is a subjective view or judgment as a result of emotion and interpretation. If you’re too afraid to voice them S!B you will lose followers if you voiced them aloud them you’re not being true to yourself or your beliefs.
Sex in advertising or sex sells is the use of sexual imagery to draw interest to a particular product, for purpose of a sale… in another words records.
Now in 2011 there’s no denying that 4MINUTE’s Hyuna has been the talk of the town with her suggestive choreography and sexy image. From Bubble Pop to Trouble Maker she’s certainly flaunting what she’s got as a result many fans have publicly question CubeENT’s hidden agenda.
Hyuna wasn’t the only one who sold CD’s this way as Rania’s debut had similar sexual themes of pelvic thrusting with a blunt suggestive title track “Dr Feel Good.”
Now just because they were more direct with their concept doesn’t mean the other girl groups weren’t guilty of using their body either. Think Sistar with their strategically choreographed hand wave behind their bottoms.
Coincidence that there’s a close up of their thighs and bottom? I don’t think so.
Moving unto the men who are just as guilty.
MBLAQ’s crotch grabbing pelvic thrusting dance move.
Teen Top requesting their noona’s not to spray perfume as they hip thrust.
I’m pretty sure Hyunseung takes the cake for touching himself
OH and don’t forget the thrusting…
Let’s be frank using sex as a selling point in KPOP is nothing new and it has always been notable. I mean World Star Bi Rain at his First Rainy Day concert in Seoul back in 2006 had a performance where his shirt gets ripped off… wait for it… then his female back up dancers strip off their shirts revealing their bras and begin grinding him…I’m not kidding watch the video…
Before you make the assumption that KPOP is this aegyo fuelled innocent genre of music think again. Even if it’s not in your face, there are sexual concepts that are subtle and so transparent that you may not even recognise it.
Is SNSD’s Oh really a cutesy aegyo song like the music video? With lyrics such as Oh Oh Oh Oh I love you, Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah alot alot~ Keep your head down.. I know it’s taken out of context but that sounds hella suggestive to me…
Many Kamilias were distraught upon hearing the news about Kara’s contract dispute and their request for termination due to mistreatment.
It was messy involving lawsuits, DSP entertainment, the members of Kara (including their opinionated families) and many KPOP fans. With a well documented dispute, it was distressing for the idols and fans alike. Fortunately the dispute between DSP entertainment and Seungyeon, Nicole and Ji Young were resolved.
What did we learn from this?
Kpop isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. Just because idols run around showing aegyo doesn’t mean that they’re grown adults who are professional entertainers concerned about their income and finances. There are hardships and serious under lying issues behind being an Idol. This isn’t the first time that there was issues with entertainment companies about
slave contracts and payments. Source
Following this was a successful comeback with Step winning multiple awards on music shows.
Even though Shin Se Kyung and SHINee’s Jonghyun split up in 2011 there was new couples the KPOP fandom were granted with.
BEAST’s Junhyung and KARA’s Hara.
Funnily enough in a life imitating art scenario, City Hunter co stars Lee Min Ho and Park Min Young are dating aswell!
Lee Hyori and Lee Sang Soon.
Wonder Girl’s Sunye is dating aswell :)
What did we learn from this?
All the other idols are secretly dating underground. LOL joke
Idols are human after all. Humans crave affection and love. If you have a crush, partner or a bias you would completely understand the feeling of your love and attraction towards a certain someone.
In early 2011 Secret Garden’s Hyun Bin soared to fame after his incredible acting performance in the television drama. However he quickly left the scene to serve in the military. Many fans were disappointed that after discovering such a talented idol it would be awhile before he graced television screens.
It was a dramatic year for ELFs who were preparing for the long awaited Super Junior comeback combined with Kim Heechul’s last performance before his military service.
There were tears and embraces as the popular tv personality said his thanks and greeted goodbye before he can years later return to his career. It was incredibly emotional and moving for everyone.
What did we learn from this?
Sooner or later male idols are going to serve in the military as it is compulsory. Their hair colour and screen time is no longer important as all you really want as a fan is for them to be safe and healthy. The only thing you can do is support them, wish them well and wait patiently for them to come back.
To read more I suggest: Idols and Military Service
Hallyu Wave is definitely growing bigger and better every year. More KPOP idols are having concerts overseas including this year Brazil, America, France, England, Australia and Japan.
The most stand out concert overseas this year would be SMTOWN in Paris. It definitely raised awareness about KPOP in Europe and also about how big KPOP was internationally.
Since we’re on the topic of SM Entertainment, SNSD made their comeback in 2011 with their hit single “The Boys” which was produced by Teddy Riley who once produced for legend Michael Jackson. The maxi single (7 different versions trololol ? ) included an English Version which was released along with a music video. The Boys (ENG) made it into Itunes Top 100 upon release and has mixed reviews but successfully sold 227,994 albums just within 12 days in South Korea alone.
The YG ladies 2NE1 have been promoting all year with hits such as ‘Don’t Cry’ (Park Bom) ‘Hate You’, ‘Lonely’ and ‘I Am The Best’. They stand out as a fierce and stellar girl group with their eccentric concepts and choreography.
2NE1 was dubbed by MTV’s IGGY with the title of 2011’s Best New Band in the World. To celebrate they even performed at New York’s Times Square. This achievement has not only commended their current success but can only potentially bring in more in 2012! Source
2NE1’s CL also graced the stage with a performance of ‘Where is the Love?’ with World Star Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am and Apl.de.ap.
Meanwhile BIG BANG made South Korea proud by beating out legendary pop star Britney Spears and winning Best Worldwide Act at MTV’s 2011 Europe Music Awards. All the intense voting and support from V.I.Ps certainly paid off as the award definitely gave them the recognition that they deserve.
Kpop is definitely making waves and as a KPOP fan I am certainly happy and proud! Congratulations to all our idols for their musical achievements in 2011!
TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING TRIGGER WARNING
At Number 2 we have two unfortunate events which have been distressing for certain Idols and many fans all over the world.
In April 2011, SNSD were performing ‘Run Devil Run’ at Lotte World and an unfortunate incident occurred. A male audience member had made his way past security and intruded on stage pulling Taeyeon away by the wrist. Source
This incident definitely sparked a lot of debate about whether fans were obsessed to the extent of being delusional and mentally unstable. Famous or not, a complete stranger approaching you and dragging you away would be extremely frightening for anyone. (This event followed the previous crazy fan who sent numerous idols blood letters.)
Another unfortunate event would be BIG BANG’s Daesung controversy surrounding the car accident which involved a death of another citizen. I’m not going to go into full detail as it’s overly complicated and emotionally exhausting for not only myself but for readers.
“Daesung is in great shock and sadness over an accident that he could not avoid. He burst into tears due to his concerns for the injured party.” For more information
May our prayers go out towards the family of the deceased and hope they slowly recover. Many KPOP fans have also stated their support for Daesung despite the controversy and stood by the popular boy band.
What did we learn? It’s not all it’s cracked up to be in the spotlight. When frightening and emotional scarring situations such as predators or deaths occur in real life, it’s already difficult to deal with. Imagine dealing with them in lime light with thousands of spectators around the world giving their commentary.
The number reality check for 2011 would be that Idols make decisions themselves. No matter how controlled they seem or whether they’ve signed a contract, Idols still have the ability to make their own choices. Decisions based on their personal judgement and attitude. Sometimes these decisions may have not been the best ones as they’re only human to make mistakes.
BIG BANG’s G-Dragon confessed to smoking Marijuana at a Japanese club while being overseas for a concert. He was fortunately given a warning.
“I smoked a cigarette that someone had given me at a club,” G-Dragon said. “The smell was somewhat different from that of a regular cigarette so I was slightly suspicious that it was marijuana, but it is true that I smoked it,” G-Dragon(Source)
Although he admitted his error in judgement it opened up a can of worms. As a public figure and an Idol does he need to take into consideration that his actions can influence a whole generation of young fans? Or as a grown man he is at least allowed to experiment and make mistakes? Are idols glamorising smoking?
Personally it seems to me that GD shouldn’t be seen as the easy way out to blame youth in revolt. Where are the parents and mentors of these young people? Young people aren’t all naive and they TOO can make their own decision and opinion about the issue. However substance abuse is an incredibly dangerous way to damage your mental and physical health. GD has to still be socially responsible. Ironic how BIG BANG sing public service announcements such as the ‘No Smoking Song’ and it’s disappointing as they should lead by example!
(I know i’m very on the fence about this issue, please forgive me as I am only human lol).
However just because you made a mistake or decided to do something that was out of the norm doesn’t mean that your completely evil. YG even stated that he was given time to reflect upon his mistake. Let’s not forget that this is the same talented man who can sing, dance, rap and act. His unit projects and popularity in the band BIG BANG have been granted a huge success this year not only raking awards from Korean music shows but from the EMAs aswell.
Now moving unto another alleged smoker is BEAST’s Kikwang. These photos circulated the blogosphere which led to a statement from Cube which was very blunt yet true.
“We’re not sure whether it is Kikwang in the picture. Even if it is, he is of legal age to smoke in Korea, so we fail to see the issue”. Source
Smoking is definitely legal in heaaaaaaaaps of countries. In fact we all know at least one person who smokes in our lives. This doesn’t change the fact that it is incredibly dangerous to your health. It also doesn’t change the fact that Kikwang is a talented artist who is a triple threat with amazing abilities in singing, dancing and acting. (You guys are slowly getting my point? .. of sitting on the fence that is LOL )
Nonetheless the reality is that Idols have the ability to make their own decisions. This can be the clothes they were, what they say or whether they smoke or not. You may not agree with some of their decisions but let’s remember that we are all human. What you think is a totally cool purple dress may be seen as butt ugly by your mum. Similar to people thinking smoking is wrong but others believe it’s acceptable for recreational purposes?
Also just because they are labelled as idols doesn’t necessarily make them one to you. You decide who you admire. You decide what aspects and abilities of an Idol you admire.
Since it’s New Years i’m going to end on a upbeat note and conclude with the most random and hilarious reality check for 2011 which was hands down UKISS’s Eli getting a tumblr. THERE YOU HAVE IT EVERYONE, THE REALITY CHECKS SUMMED UP IN 2011!
LOL I clearly remember everyone in the KPOP fandom on tumblr flipping out and monitoring his every move HAHHAHAA!!
Thank you KPOP for a wonderful year in 2011. Despite the ups and downs, the controversies and the excitement… It was amazing to be apart of this fandom. Thank you! Can’t wait for what 2012 brings!
*Sorry for the grammar/incorrect spelling there’s bound to be some in there XD
Not really a reality check but stumbled across this today and found it interesting!
With the recent hot topic of BEAST and A-PINK’s endorsement of Skool Looks uniform clothing (to read more about it click Here) here’s another recent example of an advertisement that appeals to the demographic of Korean drama lovers.
The web series advertisement features over 4 episodes and has Hallyu star Lee Min Ho acting as the main character. It has a storyline that’s dramatic with twists typical of a real Korean Drama similar to City Hunter with it’s love story and face paced action. There’s no prize for guessing that the Toyota Camry plays a crucial role in the web series and appears in many shots designed to highlight it’s aesthetics and car features.
Alot of research and work went into this. The shots are well thought out and the cinematography is stunning. They’ve even helpfully subtitled it in English and Mandarin and also dubbed it in Vietnamese. (Three countries alone already :Vietnam, China and Korea they’re aiming at… not to mention foreigners who speak English….)
With lines in the script as below…
Yeah…. no surprises there, I mean what do we expect… we all know we’re watching an advertisement? The most likely reason we’re watching it is because it features our favourite actor Lee Min Ho (the same reason we watched the Skinny Baby MV in the first place). Although this time the product is a car which majority of the target audience won’t be able to afford until being at least in their twenties.
(Let’s be frank, a family man with 2.5 kids is going to chat with his mates and go see the car dealer. His first move wouldn’t be to stalk and research Lee Min Ho’s promotions activities and then watch 4 webisodes worth of Toyota Advertising to make his decision). Nonetheless I assume a shorter version will be aired and broadcasted on television so the concept in my opinion will definitely succeed with the market of people who are old enough to ponder and purchase a vehicle.
What about the young people then with and without licenses? Perhaps it’s to create brand loyalty where you associate the Toyota name with romanticised memories of being a KPOP fan girl or a beautiful love story with the drop dead gorgeous Lee Min Ho… eh? Too far?
Then again i feel like i’m abit narrow minded, this is actually the link to the main website and http://www.toyota.com/oneandonly/profile.html the promotion of the advertisement stylised similar of a Korean Drama seems to be everywhere. I’m extremely pleased and i’ll be even more stoked if one day I woke up and saw this advertisements running on my television :D They’ve genuinely used this concept successfully and it in no way feels like a parody or as if it’s been mimicked on purpose. (COUGH FACEBOOK OFFICIAL COUGH)
Toyota is a giant GIANT company and is a well known brand name and for ToyotaUSA to invest their advertisements into the concept of a Korean Drama is a huge risk and they’re taking a very spontaneous step (imo).
Well I think the concept was extremely clever, upscale and classy. Even the soundtrack sounds amazing! The story was interesting and if you’re a drama lover, you’ll enjoy it!
2012 Toyota Camry - The One and Only
Episode 1: Entune
Episode 2: MPG
Episode 3: BSM
Episode 4: Airbags
For more information you may like to read Advertising techniques in endorsements
Disclaimer: My opinion and I am not an expert/professional nor do I claim to be. I am not affiliated with Toyota.
“skinny skinny boy boy, skinny skinny girl girl, skinny baby hot hot”
Like we already don’t have ENOUGH subtle reinforcement about what body types are seen as beautiful or perfect in the media, they decide to make a song about it? The problem about this is that the majority of the KPOP demographic is YOUNG PEOPLE. Young people already have enough to deal without having these sorts of messages about “skinny baby hot hot” being shoved down their throats.
These sorts of direct and blunt messages in the media can really negatively influence alot of fans into having body image issues and self esteem problems. If your bias/oppa/unnie is singing and basically telling you that skinny people are more superior and hotter than those with different body types than what are you to believe? Although you may see straight through this MV the chances are others are way too over the moon about their idols, new footage to gif/screencap and cube pairings between A Pink and Beast.
Yeahhhhhhhhhhh… you see what i’m getting at.
Sure it’s a song, i’m over reacting fine. This song is catchy. Catchy songs means catchy lyrics = singing. If fans are not only listening and watching this but singing and practically voicing that no other body type is attractive other than skinny people than i’m pretty disgusted. Nonetheless i did some research.
“The song is for school uniform brand, Skool Looks. The members of A Pink and BEAST are shown in a school in the beginning of the music video. The track is written by Kim Taewan, who has also written songs for Rain, Wheesung, MBLAQ, and more. ”
So thank GOODNESS IT’S A CF. Luckily i didn’t have to pull out the one liner “I don’t wanna live on this planet anymore.” since there’s still hope…
Okay guys so i’ve hunted this Kim Taewan guy down and his oherwise known as C-Luv. Sound familiar? He composed songs for MBLAQ - One Better Day, Last Luv, What you want and 4 Ya Stereo. He produced Bi Rain’s - Rainism and recently he composed for U-KISS’s Neverland album with the songs On The Floor and Tell Me Y.
I don’t know whether this guy was given a brief of the corporate identity of Skool Looks and to compose a song that went with the concept but seriously his produced alot of great songs before now his english has been dumbed down to “skinny baby hot hot.”
I can’t. Where’s the coherence and cohesion? There has to be a reason behind it though…
It really sucks because BEAST and A PINK are artists who are modelling the Skool Looks brand and are singing this sort of message to alot of fans all over the world. Even if they don’t believe in what they’re singing or the message they’re representing, they’re STILL going to have to put a smile on their face and do the best job they can - because they’re professionals and it’s their job.
Remember when GD&TOP’s Knock Out was banned because it had slang and apparently would “damage the national psyche.” ? source
Personally I think this promotional song “Skinny Baby” has way WAAAAAAAY more potential to damage the national psyche and scar fans all over the world than “Knock Out.”
Okay it’s important to read this and understand the point i’m trying to make…
Slang is used to express identity and personality. The lexical choice of slang in Knock Out is purposely used to create in and out groups. The in group consisting of those who spoke the slang and were GD&TOP fans. (Generally the in group would be defined as cool and awesome.) The out group would be those who didn’t understand the slang or those who weren’t interested. (Defined as hipsters, oldies and boring.) The purpose of slang in the song was essentially to exclude those who aren’t in the in group which was really to be frank… up tight people.
GD&TOP’s Knock out
In group = V.I.Ps, YG stans, KPOP fans, Young people, Descriptivists
Out Group = National Psyche, Old people, People who aren’t “cool”, Children who might be potentially damaged from the slang in the song, Proscriptivists, (KBS, SBS and MBC since they banned the song)
Okay you see how with one song and just the lyrical content alone has segregated alot of people… now moving unto Skinny Baby!
Skinny Baby doesn’t have slang but it has lyrical content that reinforces messages about what body types are attractive and superior. It is not subtle but instead is very blunt with messages such as “Skinny Skinny Boy Boy, Skinny Skinny Girl Girl, Skinny Baby Hot Hot.”
Now this easily forms an in group consisting of people who ARE SKINNY. They are not only reinforced with this song that they’re hot but they feel as if they can identify and a sense of belonging. They watch the music video and see the girls from A Pink and the boys from BEAST who are all skinny and feel abit closer to the idols.
Now this forms a direct out group. The out group is basically everybody who isn’t skinny. Those who have different body types or who feel offended watching the video. Those who aren’t skinny are discriminated against and aren’t allowed in the in group. Everyone in the out group is made to feel insecure, anxious and lost.
This is where the body image and self esteem issues come in. Everyone in the out group continues to watch and absorb the MV as it becomes something they aspire to become. They’re being fed this message that they too can be cool and hot like A PINK and BEAST only if they’re skinny and… surprise surprise purchase Skool Looks clothing.
PURCHASE SKOOL LOOKS CLOTHING - THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE WATCHING AN ADVERTISEMENT. YOU ARE SINGING NOT A SONG BUT AN ADVERTISEMENT JINGLE.
Not only is this brand name feeding off fan’s guilty pleasure of KPOP idols and insecurities of body image but they’re also wanting some cash from your pocket? Unbelievable. Advertising is so powerful and has the ability to change and transform human behaviour.
We are so used to watching these music videos and korean idols that it’s so easy for the lines to get blurred. It is only when you are REMINDED that it’s an advertisement that you think DUH!
Everyone at this clothing company has got the target audience locked down. It’s pretty obvious now isn’t it? One thing leads to another…
BEAST and A PINK FANS = Teenagers.
Teenagers go to school.
Teenagers go to school and have hormones, are going through puberty and sometimes struggle to identify and be comfortable with themselves. Teenagers are more susceptible media influence and have insecurities.
Hey! Let’s just roll that all together and make an advertisement = BAM! There we have it le Skinny Baby MV.
They should at least have some moral and be socially responsible if they’re just after making some money. Pretty disgusting these big giant corporate companies huh?
I trust alot of you fans know better and hopefully aren’t influenced by this! I know Beauties, A Pink and Kpop fans are alot stronger and smarter than this! Be media savvy and know when what type of media product you are watching.
To read more about similar accounts: KPOP Advertising Techniques in Endorsements
Disclaimer: This is solely my opinion. I’m not an expert and I don’t claim to be correct. Gif’s aren’t mine.
Am i slow or dude is it just me or you hear TVXQ Changmin’s infamous scream/high note at 4:20? O_O
DISCLAIMER: This is only my opinion and i do not own any videos/images. I’m not an expert and i don’t claim to be. Just another kpop fan ranting on what they thought was interesting. THERE ARE ALOT OF FLAWS IN MY WRITING AS I AM STILL LEARNING, I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND :D
Please read this on the actual blog because with the new theme, it looks BEAUTIFUL! :D
I love T-ARA’s Bo Peep Bo Peep, it’s freaking catchy and although it’s repetitive that’s what makes it so good! That song even won awards at music shows and it’s signature dance move is practically engraved in my mind.
So why am i talking about this out of the blue? Well the japanese version was released this year and i only came across some of the promotional photos the other day that startled me, thus watching the Japanese PV and i felt abit -> LOL WHAT?! :O
Here’s the video:
Call it a concept but the extent of how far these women were sexualised into being less than human - animals- really got to me. The representation that women are less than human, the fact that they were dressed up in costumes of cats made them cute little animals or toys. Essentially objects. In the PV, you had your usual close up shots of each member, the group shot of the choreography but the rest of the clip had the members behaviour was very ditzy and playful like a cat.
So the girls are dressed as animals? So what? It’s a concept? The fact that the girls were dressed as animals and that it was a weak animal (cat i assume)in my opinion is not a coincidence. This symbolises that women are weak and vulnerable which is backed up in the PV as they all just run around, play with toys, objects, fabrics and play fight. At one point a member even munches on fabric in her mouth? LOL WHUT
Even though it’s aimed at T-ARA fans which consist of males and FEMALES, in my opinion it’s very obvious that the target audience is men. Not only is gender inequality still predominant in Asia but the song was written and produced by men as well: Shinsadong Tiger and Choi Gyu Sung. I tried to find out who directed the PV but i couldn’t find the information, but i can only assume it was under the art direction of a man aswell. The message in the video is clear: Women are weak, playful or feisty as animals. Women are the prey, men are the hunts. Men are human. The lyrics to me present a love hate relationship however in the PV it just shows a pool of hot girls acting cute and vulnerable then surrounding this one guy in bed. Sort of every fan boy’s fantasy (perhaps if they weren’t acting like animals too much lol).
Lol the above photo was what caught my attention in the first place. It freaks me out more than the actual live performances/mv itself. They look like creepy half women half animal dolls. Well pretty animal dolls, i can’t deny that.
Okay tell me i’m not over reacting but below is a photo inside the booklet that comes with the CD package: she’s eating a freaking shoe lace. LASGDLIYASGD?!! No one does that voluntarily, someone probably told her to do it to appropriately fit the concept or the intention of the art direction. WAEEEEYO!? THOSE THINGS GOES ON YOUR FEET! I don’t know about you but i feel abit degraded looking at it.. she was the only one in the photoshoot with something in her mouth, but really? a shoe out of all things? When was the last time you saw a male idol eating a shoe? I should reword.. when was the last time you saw an IDOL munch on a shoe?
Coming back to the point that this media product was clearly produced and written by men FOR men. Not only do i feel that the concept was tacky and cheap but T-ARA were also ashamed of their KOREAN BO PEEP promotion costumes.
“For our first performance, when we received the animal costumes, we were extremely embarrassed. There’s something we absolutely need to explain though. When people saw our costumes, they would say things along the lines of ‘Are T-ara’s codi’s (coordinators) antis?’ But they have no fault at all. The Bo Peep Bo Peep costumes and accessories were all the doing of our company’s CEO, Kim Kwang Soo.” - Eunjung and Hyomin on Strong Heart. Source
Once again i’d like to point out that they stated themselves that the costumes and accessories were arranged by their CEO Kim Kwang Soo - who is also a man. Coincidence? I think not.
After watching Japanese Bo Peep i moved unto the Korean version.
Here’s the Korean version:
There was two different versions and i’ve selected the banned music video as it featured a love scene between a man and a woman…cat? Woman cat? Cat Woman? Woman with a tail? TROLOL?
So not only do we have the members of T-ARA running around in costumes that resemble teenage Halloween bashes but we have an actual character whose a woman that is half human and half animal. It all starts out as the man and woman meet at a nightclub, cue the music, dancing and making out. The woman is revealed to have a tail and it is implied they have sex while she has crazy cat eyes. Love scenes are quite rare to see in mainstream KPOP music videos and to have one with a character that isn’t fully human? I’m not too sure but isn’t that edging on zoophilia (bestiality)?
Anywho that led me to think about practically a whole drama surrounded by a similar concept minus the sex - the popular television drama “My Girlfriend is a nine tailed fox (Gumiho).”
“On one day after Cha Dae Woong ran away from his grandfather, he accidently freed a nine-tailed fox who was closed in a painting for about 500 years. He didn’t realize what he has done, until the Gumiho (nine-tailed fox),who took the form of a beautiful woman, appeared in front of him. Dae Woong was really frightened that he ran away from her and fell on the riverbank.Since he was severely injured, Gumiho came to save him and gave him her most precious bead to share with him the mystic fox’ strength, as she owes him her freedom. Gumiho then asked him if he can help her become human and how to act like one. In return, she allowed him to use her bead for him to shoot for his dream action movie despite his body’s severe condition. As time goes by, their mutual relationship grew deeper as they start to fall for each other.” Source
I’ve never seen the drama before but have heard if it due to it’s explosive popularity. Judging from the synopsis the female character isn’t strong as she’s not only indebted to the male lead for her freedom but is also dependent upon him to learn how to act like a human. The female character is represented as less than human and has themes of being vulnerable and weak. I understand that it’s a television drama and of course due to the set up there is going to be character arcs/development but once again the man is the human and the woman is less than. The man is represented as a strong hero who rescued the wild animal (woman in this case).
Moving onto Brown Eyed Girl’s Sixth Sense we have Narsha representing an animal by crawling, sniping, scratching and rolling around on the floor.
Her animal like gestures are juxtaposed by a shot of a black cat. This is perhaps for the audience to make an association between her character and the animal.
“Narsha represents the ‘sixth sense’ in itself, and embodies the animalistic lyrics in the song (such as “The tips of my sharp nails become embedded into your skin”). Since there is a recurring ‘jungle cat’ theme, Narsha was directed to act as wildly as possibly for the video. The melody picks up in pace during the parts where she emerges; it was a natural concept derived from both the music and lyrics.” - Lyricist Kim Eana <- who i might point out is a woman Source
Below is the MV:
Narsha’s character is animalistic as she sensually crawls around on all four legs similar to a cat. This is within context of the lyrics and the theme of the song/MV which was resistance is futile. I can’t really say much since all the women in the music video were either restrained or held back (DAMN GA-IN IN THAT CHAIR!) without sounding naive. Narsha’s gestures were much fiercer and powerful in comparison to the weak aegyo gestures that T-ARA did in their Japanese PV nevertheless an animal is still an animal.
Now above is Miss A’s Suzy for Good Bye Baby promotions. Her costume is reminiscent of cat woman with the tight leather dress and the head band with cat ears. In context of the lyrical content for the song, the cat symbolises rebirth or resurrection since a cat has nine lives thus the girl recovering or walking away from a broken relationship (Goodbye baby goodbye!). I’m just abit miffed that a woman has to be represented as an animal to be perceived as liberated from her ex lover.
Concluding with the most recent example of our latest cat woman is Hyuna in Trouble Maker. Just like before, there’s also a close up of a cat but this time Hyuna’s sitting there stroking her metaphorical alter ego i guess?
“I will bite your heart and run away like a cat.” Hyuna says according to the lyrics. Surprise, surprise, Hyuna’s character is also represented as an animal aswell. Although it isn’t as obvious as Narsha and T-ARA, the blunt crawling on the floor and Hyuna’s fingernails clawing at the camera is good enough. It is through mise en scene, the costume consisting of leopard print that adds to the theme of the whole “Women are feisty animals.” Leopard print is a definite motif throughout the music video: leopard chair, leopard dress and leopard blazer. Leopards can be easily mistaken for cheetahs so this could be a pun for a cheater in a relationship? …. Nahhhhh~~~~keke
So after only getting shocked by a few of T-ARA’s Japanese promotional photos it led me on a wild rollercoaster pondering numerous examples of how women are represented as animals(less than human) in KPOP. Whether it is intentional or not, just a mere concept or artistic expression it is definitely prevalent with three examples from 2011 alone. Animal costumes/characters have been around for centuries but my concern is that it has ONLY been females in KPOP that have been represented as animals which may construe particular messages to audiences with themes of sex, power and vulnerability.
Correct me if i’m wrong but the only time a male idol has been represented as animals is this….
Thanks for reading! I’m so sleepy at the moment so i apologise for grammar and incoherence. Il lfix up mistakes tomorrow lol
DISCLAIMER: This is only my opinion and i do not own any videos/images. I’m not an expert and i don’t claim to be. Just another kpop fan ranting on what they thought was interesting. THERE ARE ALOT OF FLAWS IN MY WRITING AS I AM STILL LEARNING, I HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND :D
“나는 정말 죽어라 열심히 공부를 했는데도 성적은 오르지 않았습니다. 나도 좋은 성적을 얻고 싶었는데 엄마는 친척들이 있는 데서 나에게 모욕을 줬습니다. 내 자존심은 망가졌습니다. 교육만 강조하는 한국의 사회 구조는 잘못됐습니다. 다양성을 인정해주지 않는 교육 현실을 바로잡아야 합니다. 이런 세상에서는 더 이상 살고 싶지 않아요. 내가 하고 싶은 것은 따로 있는데 무조건 공부에만 매달려야 하는 것이 싫습니다. 성적으로 사람을 평가하는 이 사회를 떠나고 싶어요. 전 미국인으로 다시 태어나고 싶어요. 스티브 잡스를 만나러 먼저 갈게요. 엄마 아빠, 동생만큼은 자기가 하고 싶은 것을 마음껏 할 수 있게 해주세요. 마지막으로 부탁이 있습니다. 제 무덤에 아이팟과 곰인형을 함께 묻어주세요.”
I studied as if my life was on the line, but my grades did not get higher. I wanted to earn good grades too, but my mother spewed out insults in front of all my relatives. My pride was broken. The social structure of Korea which only emphasizes education is wrong. We need to acknowledge the fact that diversity of different types of learning is important too. I don’t want to live in this kind of world anymore. I want to do other things too, but being pressured to only study… I don’t like that. I want to escape from this society that judges and assesses human beings by their grades. I want to be reborn as an American. I’m going first to meet Steve Jobs. Mom, Dad, please. At least let my younger sibling be able to do what they truly want to the fullest. I have one last request. Please bury me with my iPod and stuffed teddy bear.
This might be one of the only posts on tumblr that has actually drawn empathy rather than sympathy from me. Perhaps because I can relate well to it. Or maybe another reason. Regardless of why, my feelings honestly go out to this child. Societal norms are unfair.. and it’s not as if they’re remedied by such discouraging parents. I definitely wouldn’t appreciate being bashed liked that.. and without a doubt, I wouldn’t be able to keep my temper against my parents. Yet this kid’s word’s emanated true compassion, both for his parents, who treated him so tyrannically, and his sibling, whom has to share the same burdens that he did. Respect does not even begin to describe it.
I’m not going to go out of my way to say “he didn’t deserve to die”. It was, after all, his own choice, and it’s not like he seemed discontent with the outcome. He wanted a different beginning; he took his own life in hopes of it being fulfilled. Nor am I going to insult the parents by saying they’re irresponsible. That’s just how it works for many families, the only difference is that the suicide of their child makes it more notable. And it really is just.. unfortunate. Heartbreaking, even.
I can’t speak for the rest of the people who will read this, but this post definitely made me more appreciative towards the opportunities given to me.
I think everyday we easily take what we have for granted. I feel grateful for the opportunities and overwhelming support that i receive from my friends and family in the pathway I’ve chosen. I’m no Einstein or Prom Queen but i can confidently say I am much more fortunate than this poor soul.