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K-pop’s Faulty Perception of a Homogenous West

Music Video via seoulbeats.com

A few weeks ago some friends and I headed to downtown Los Angeles to catch the highly anticipated CN Blue and FT Island joint concert.

While the show itself blew me away, it was the absolutely electrifying energy coming from the crowd that made the experience so much more memorable. I was struck speechless by the sheer amount of people who attended the show and even more astounded by the diversity. Men, women, blacks, whites, Indians, Latinos, Asians—everyone was there representing for K-pop and singing along to lyrics in a language that was mostly foreign to them. At the risk of sounding terribly corny with a side of cheesy, I was proud to be a K-pop fan that day because I truly felt that it represented a global community united through the love of a specific kind of music.

Some weeks later, CN Blue released the MV for “Hey You.” And the pride that I felt that day dissipated. Yeah, it was that dramatic.

I’d like to assume that “Hey You” was supposed to be set somewhere in the West. And why do I assume that? Not gonna lieIt might have something to do with the exclusive all-white cast they used in the video. It was almost as if CN Blue was shouting to viewers, Look at us! Theres white people in our video! Were in America! If there is one thing I learned about watching Korean music videos and Bollywood films, it’s that Caucasian people always signify the Western world. And all jokes aside, what about the huge melting pot of folks that bought tickets and attended CN Blue’s show in Los Angeles? Why were they not represented in that Western-set video? And why do they continue to be left out of music videos that seem to be trying to appeal to a global audience? Needless to say, I am broaching upon a sensitive topic so believe me, I’m treading lightly.

It’s not uncommon for K-pop artists to use foreigners in their videos. After all, the very essence of the Hallyu wave is to share Korean culture with people abroad. K-pop has continued to expand throughout Asia while gaining more and more popularity in the United States and Europe. JYJ recently performed in South America to huge fanfare. Music Banks trek to Paris saw a full house. K-pop has been around the world more frequently than Kim Kardashian has been around the block. So why is there such a limited view of the Western diaspora? And why do K-pop music videos equate “white” with “the West”?

To some, it seems almost frivolous to cast foreigners in music videos. Why go out of your way to cast foreigners when theres hundreds of Korean actors and actresses just itching to be in a K-pop video? But I disagree. I think there are legitimate reasons for non-Asians to be featured in K-pop music videos. Notice I wrote legitimate reasons, not good reasons. First off, the idea of foreigners is trendy, cool, and allows music videos to stick out from the pack. Within a saturated music industry, record companies want their videos to have some element of jarring. Secondly, K-pop uses non-Asians to behave in ways that are considered out of the norm. More on that later. And thirdly, they appeal to a broad global audience.

But I don’t buy the idea that K-pop’s casting of foreigners actually increases “global appeal.” For one, the videos don’t represent global diversity. Sorry, CN Blue, but an all-white cast in your video doesn’t make you global or diverse. And remember when Se7en introduced his song “Girls” on 106th and Park with Lil Kim? African American viewers didn’t rush to go out and buy Se7en’s albums just because a black woman was featured in the video (in fact, I’m 100% positive that Lil Kim only scared most black people away from the song, but that’s neither here nor there). So the idea of using foreigners to appeal to foreigners doesn’t seem plausible. Personally, I started listening to K-pop despite the fact that the artists looked nothing like me. The appeal was there even without the familiarity.

Although I dont fundamentally yearn to see more African Americans like myself (or any other ethnicity) in K-pop videos, it still grinds my gears when those videos portray the Western world as a homogenous society thats home to only one kind of person. And when it comes to this particularly sensitive topic, no one quite pushes my buttons more than the Hip Hop kings themselves, G-Dragon and T.O.P.

Ah, G-Dragon and T.O.P. The men who, ironically, made me fall back in love with Hip Hop. The guys whose swags are, as Kanye West would say, on a hundred thousand trillion. When K-pop fans offer up groups they think have crossover appeal for success in the U.S., these boys (and their Big Bang bretheren) usually top that list. But while they have such broad appeal overseas, it’s almost as if only a certain kind of Westerner appeals to them. And I think that’s the key: what are the perceptions that Korean artists (like GD and T.O.P.) have about the West and what are the perceptions they have about Caucasian people, particularly women?

When I used to watch a ton of Indian films, I noticed that many white women were used in scenes that were overtly sexual. They were portrayed as the antithesis to the virginal, traditional Indian woman. Its a trend that Ive also seen in K-pop. The guys in the music videos touch foreign girls more intimately. Theyre quicker to go in for the kiss (and no, not the K-drama pseudo-kiss). The girls are expected to do things that are perceived to be normal behavior for a girl from the West.

This same hypersexualized behavior is considered inappropriate for Korean girls. Western women are sought after in music videos, but usually end up representing heartbreak, infidelity, and an overall dysfunctional relationship. Its an awkward double-edged sword where Caucasian women are obsessed over and glorified, but are also demeaned and a lot of times disrespected in several forms. Check out U-Kiss Shut Up MV if you think Im kidding. I mean, honestly, the song is called Shut Up. SMH.

In regards to the lack of diversity in K-pop videos, Im not asking that K-pop take on the daunting and noble task of bringing together all people of different creeds and representing them all in their videos. Lord knows American and European entertainment have diversity issues of their own. But as a person of color who loves K-pop and knows a myriad of fans who love it as much as I do, I do ask that K-pop acknowledge that fans in the Westthe same ones who buy their concert tickets, albums, and merchandiserepresent more than just one demographic. And that when they do start showing more diversity, I hope they realize that the stereotype of foreign women as overly sexual is not a flattering one.

(FNC Entertainment, Im No Picasso, Mixtapes and Liner Notes, YG Entertainment)

Hwang Jung Min Jokes About How He Plans to Get Tickets to BIGBANG’s Concert

News via soompi.com
Hwang Jung Min Jokes About How He Plans to Get Tickets to BIGBANG’s Concert

Hwang Jung Min Jokes About How He Plans to Get Tickets to BIGBANG’s Concertilmare42 February 5, 2016 0 On February 5’s episode of “Park Kyung Lim’s 2 O’Clock Date,” actor Hwang Jung Min talks about how much he needsto visit BIGBANG’s upcoming concert.

Host Park Kyung Lim asks him, “Are you trulypartial to G-Dragon?” and Hwang Jung Min answers correct away, “Yes, that’s true! I’m a fan of BIGBANG.”

Hwang Jung Min says that he had an ideal time when he went to G-Dragon’s concert in the past. “I trulysought after to dance, yet I’m awful at dancing so I used to be too embarrassed,” he says with a laugh.

MVP OP-ED Plastic surgery: unnecessarily vain or purely beneficial?

News via allkpop.com

Are idols to blame for pushing these vain standards? Not necessarily, and here's why! Idols are frequently encouraged from the agencies themselves to go through these procedures, generally not from their own will, and once completed, aren't pushing that same same old onto their fans or audience. It is normallypublished that many of us request looking out like idols and base their looks on these idols' functions without their knowledge. Idols like Kwanghee compliment plastic surgery for its many benefits as it also helped him with his career. Even ZE:A's Siwan said how all through filming he suffered an harm and had to get a procedure done stating, "Medicine has really complicated these days, and it's really good. It did not leave a mark. I perceive why Kwanghee constantly praises it!" These are beneficially primarily based statements, not shallow suggestions. Most, if not all, idols do it, and if they have not yet, they will exactly give in to the knife at one point for some type of need. Harsh criticisms come from all over, and even though idols are flooded with compliments daily, the detest is a poison that remains in the brain forever. Taste is what always remains a similar since your face will always age, but if americansneed to set out plastic surgery to make stronger themselves, be my guest!  

Overall, plastic surgery has many negative connotations in the back of IT but it should notpreventhumans from pursuing or feeling proud of having a surgery done. In instances like Park Bom, it is also disheartening that she does not view it in an identicalgentle as Kwanghee and Siwan. Although, it's withal her own choice! Even although she can't be loose from judgement (because even I suspect she looked fine ahead of all of it) she's entitled to plastic surgery. Plastic surgery reaps more rewards than people think and has the most important benefits beyond vanity. Plastic surgery isn't very a bad factor or wrongdoing and will existeasily left on my ownalongthe folk who get it. Thoughts; Is plastic surgery something to be supported, or just stopped and unencouraged? Let us know in the comments below!

Photos Exhibit for the approaching Korean film "Missing You - 2016"

News via hancinema.net

Showcase for the impending Korean film "Missing You - 2016" (2015)Directed by ability of Mo Hong-jinWith Sim Eun-kyeong, Yoon Je-moon, Kim Seong-oh, Oh Tae-kyeong, Jeong Hae-gyoon, Ahn Jae-hong,...Crank in : 2014/12/22Crank up : 2015/03/29Also referred to as "Waiting For You"SynopsisA mystery about a serial killer and the ones tracking him down.Release date in Korea : 2016/03/10

Boyfriend does the unthinkable after breaking apart with female friend of 3 months

News via allkpop.com
Boyfriend does the unthinkable after breaking apart with female friend  of 3 months

Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency printed on February fourthat they have got got arrested a 35-year-old man knownby way of surname Kwon on fees of armed robbery. Kwon is suspected of robbing two convenience shops in Eunpyeong District this beyond January 26, the use of box cutters to threaten the workers into handing him a general of 700,000 KRW (~ $580 USD). 

During the investigation, Kwon turned into reported to have testified, "I gave up on life. If I devotea major crime, then it's going toweresimple for me to kill myself." Kwon had allegedly gotten such drastic mind afterward being stuffed with loathing and vengeance after breaking apart with his girlfriend whom he had dated for a trifling3 months.  

The kid actor from 'Baker King' is a overall hottie now

News via allkpop.com
The kid actor from 'Baker King' is a overall hottie now

The runt-ish, small kid actor that played the mini Kim Tak Goo on 'Baker King' has grown up into a general hottie, or so his images evidence.

Oh Jae Moo, who used to be just 12 years old when he played the more youthfuledition of Kim Tak Goo in the heartfelt drama that got here out back in 2010, is now getting prepared to adulthood, and boy, puberty certain has worked its magic on him! Oh Jae Moo became making us all pass "awwwwwwww!" on 'Baker King Kim Tak Goo' yet straightawayhe is making us all go "ohhhhhhhhhhh." 

A netizen was so beneficiant every bit to percentage a boatload of selfies and candid pictures of the actor, and the ones that saw his photos left comments that went, "He yes is handsome simplyI am gettingthe sensation that he will make my insides curl regardless of what he does kekekeke," "He's no longer my type...hmph..but he's handsome.." "I bet he's very pleased with his new nose," "His looks are rather burdensome but he's still good-looking," and, "He looks as if Siwon." 

Park Hae Jin Fulfills Fan’s Wish With Marvel Seek suggestion from to Her Top School

News via soompi.com
Park Hae Jin Fulfills Fan’s Wish With Marvel  Seek suggestion from to Her Top School

Park Hae Jin Fulfills Fan’s Wish With WonderSeek recommendation from to Her PrimeCollege ilmare42 February 5, 2016 0 Actor Park Hae Jin overjoyed one of his fans, and in all probability all of her classmates as well, by way ofcreating a surprise visit to her high school!

Park Hae Jin’s agency WM Company posted a picture of the special visit to their Instagram on February 5, in which Park Hae Jin is observed grinning as he bows to the young student. The caption reads, “The first wish-granting match just wrapped up. This is Cho Rong, who sought after to spend her ultimate moments of her freshman year with Park Hae Jin and her classmates.”

As a section of the event, Park Hae Jin and his fan shared triangular kimbap, which his personality Yoo Jung and Kim Cross Eun’s character Hong Seol have regularly unwrapped for each and every other in the preferred drama “Cheese in the Trap.”

Netizens Speak about Korea’s Newest Plastic Surgical operation CRAZE – Lip Tails

News via koreaboo.com
Netizens Speak about Korea’s Newest Plastic Surgical operation CRAZE – Lip Tails

82 / -6 There are those that are here claiming this is a waste of cash but she is making an attempt to turned into a flight attendant who at all times have to placea grin on their faces. On news media, there are this type ofgreat amount of posts claiming some flight attendants are so ugly. Fighting! Your lip-tails are stunning now.

BEAST Fan Is totally Won Over By way of WINNER After Their Newest Performance

News via koreaboo.com
BEAST Fan Is totally Won Over By way of WINNER After Their Newest Performance

Although fan wars are very standard and not unusualamong K-pop fandoms, there also aremany of us who dont hate other teams for no reason. Instead, there are rather a lot ofenthusiasts that in truth cheer on and prefer other groups as well.

Originally posted on Pann, a fan belonging in the Attractiveness fandom compliments male idol community WINNER for their manners and performances on stage.

Translation: Im certifying myself that it's miles me on Pann. Im no longerpartial to WINNER yet a fan of BEAST. This CD is limited edition. Sick also cheer for WINNER!

Netizens Debate Whether DIA’s Chaeyeon Looks Very identical to Red Velvet’s Joy

News via koreaboo.com
Netizens Debate Whether DIA’s Chaeyeon Looks Very identical to Red Velvet’s Joy

There are many idols that resemble each and every other in appearance in South Korea. Because of their same facial functions and styles, there are at all times comparisons made vialovers and netizens on whether which idol is higher or not.

Koreaboo has accrued reactions from Netizens who commented at thecommon article from our Korean source. The beneath comments are the preferred comments at the time of this newsletter being published.

63 / -55 I think she is lovely in my eyes.. There is a little of Joy in there. Please prevent dissing her for taking a look like Joy.. It isn't her fault for searching like her T_T They are eitheractually pretty

T-ara's Hyomin now showed for March comeback with an inventory of hot, hot, hot composers!

News via allkpop.com
T-ara's Hyomin now showed for March comeback with an inventory of hot, hot, hot composers!

The firm teased that it can exist a fine quality album as the manufacturersconcernedcome with Ryan Jhun, who created EXO's "Love Me Right," Red Velvet's "Dumb Dumb," and SHINee's "View"; DQ of Beyonce's "Hello"; and August Rigo of Justin Bieber's "U Smile." On height of that, Hyomin composed two songs and B2ST's Junhyung was once put in control of the lyrics.

Director Lee Ki Baek could bein command of the MV; he up to now worked with top artists like G-Dragon, GDTOP, Lee Hyori, Epik High, Zico, Jay Park, and Gary. The rep stated, "We're strikinga huge number ofpaintings into Hyomin's solo album. We in my opinionsolidfor surenow not only the composers yet also the MV director and the photographer."