Essay about Sexualization of Kpop

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The Sexualisation of Kpop…

Author: Song Sae Byul Leave a reply

Growing Up in the U.S.A, the U.K and France and having a really, very culturally diverse background means I have to be flexible. I have to adapt quickly. It also means my tastes, hobbies and dislikes are completely different to everyone else. I liked sushi; they liked burgers and so on and so forth. My taste in music, especially. My dad was into Korean music (KPop) in the late 90’s to early 00’s. Which meant I liked it. He lost interest in 2004, when I gained an independent interest.
My love for KPop was accepted by my parents, and they bragged to all their friends about how their daughter was learning Korean independently at such a young age. As I got older, and other children began to get into Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, I stuck to KPop; the seemingly cute and innocent side to music.

But does it remain in that position? KPop is not what it was. Is it still acceptable for younger kids to watch?

Let's take a look at some of the most notable changes:
WAS Taemin, maknae (youngest) of popular boyband SHINee
, known for his adorable, child­like appearance

Taemin now: He went solo, and... well...
He's definitely not the same person anymore… Here’s the video:

Now for a girl group: Here we have the old Girl's Day (Known for their widely parodied song
Something) ... Cute, right? You probably won’t mind watching their MVs with your ‘rents… I wouldn’t... But now?... Maybe not so much...

At least they aren't completely naked, swinging on a wrecking ball. ­_­

The Korean entertainment industry is, as any other industry, tough to break. The rivalry between groups and even the members within groups is no joke
. Fame in Korea is based mostly (sometimes solely) on looks . SM, the most famous company producing the biggest stars, bringing in the most money and winning the most music shows have scouted some of their most successful acts on the streets or through internet pictures ( mostly Ulzzangs
No talent needed. Just looks. They can be trained to sing later ( more on intense idol training regimes here
). Some fans say that SM are taking away the idols’ dignities by forcing the groups to have “sexy concepts” in order to gain more views, more

popularity, more
. Why is this the case? Surely, the artist should be free to choose whatever they feel most comfortable wearing.
. Not in the Kpop world; What if, all of a sudden, a newer, younger, better looking group from another company debut? What if their group get pushed aside, because of it? The company with the newer group would gain money, and they would lose it. Therefore, they have to do something in order to attract attention, so they don’t lose popularity. A comeback, of course! But they can’t use a cute concept (that’s what most groups debut with)… They need something bigger, better, more scandalous , even. Sex.
They need more sex appeal. They need to comeback with a Big
Bang (pun intended).

Here we have U­Kiss, who were in a slump, losing popularity and sales, so their company decided on releasing a new album: MONO­SCANDAL. The M/V was rated 19+ and was banned on several music shows, and the whole choreography had to be changed (not surprisingly). What about
Hyuna’s Red
? (Bear in mind that her “image” on the whole is very “sexy”…)

Do you think it was an acceptable video? Do you think the reactions to the choreography were OTT, or were they suitable? Would you watch it with your younger siblings, friends and family? These videos were quite obviously meant for older audiences… But the catchy songs and choreography often appeal to younger