Ever since the turn of the year, there has been an uproar among the K-pop net-fandom(as there always is). A plethora of girl groups have deemed it fit to comeback with overly suggestive and sexual manifestations. Skin-tight black outfits are now the trend, my friend. But, the question(s) here is(are), what’s so wrong about it? If it’s just a trend, is the internet just being overly sensitive about it or is there really a problem here?
At first, it seemed quite harmless. Okay, so a few girl groups decided to comeback with similar sexy and sleek styles. No big deal, right? It wasn’t at first. Girl’s Day decided to stick with their shocking “mature” look, Dal Shabet went for something different, and Rainbow revealed a little more than usual with their newest subgroup, Rainbow Black.
But soon enough, it started getting way out of hand. Eventually, over five girl groups had released comebacks with nearly identical “sexy” concepts. Netizens soon began to catch wind of the oversaturation and began to complain.
It’s clear to see that netizens were over it. The clones began to get old and the trend was already starting to run its course. And who can blame these netizens? The fact of the matter is, management companies saw this route as an outlet towards more publicity–and they weren’t necessarily wrong. Girl’s Day’s video currently has over 3 million views and won first place on numerous music shows. Although Rainbow Black’s potential video plot was soiled by the sexual focus, that video garnered nearly 3 million views in barely a month. That’s close to insane for either of these formerly underwhelming groups. Now with this new image, these groups are raking in more views(and most likely more money) than ever before.
Then groups like AOA and STELLAR came along to add more fuel to the shit storm. It’s clear that these two groups in particular were already stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to their rank. AOA tried to be different with their “idol vs. band” concept, but no one was really buying it. And truthfully, I hadn’t even heard of STELLAR until now. AOA’s video features a lot of butt zooms and bathing scenes; if that’s not considered to be purposely suggestive, I don’t know what is. The whole thing just made me terribly uncomfortable. Not to mention, these girls look like any other K-pop girl group now. STELLAR’s video has gotten so much negative feedback, that CJENM made the video age-restricted on YouTube. I’ve never seen such a high dislike bar on a K-pop music video. This video is clearly yucking up the suggestive factor with obvious push-up bras, nearly-thong leotards, butt-grabbing and bending over, milk conveniently spilling down the boob, and unnecessary bath scenes. The fact that these two groups used the “sexy” image only to further their standing makes me even angrier at this trend.
I truly don’t find anything wrong with revealing outfits or sexy dance moves. It’s what they do with those things that matters. None of these groups mentioned have a goddamn thing to back up their images. Can we take a quick lesson from a couple other groups in particular, please?
These are two groups that can say something when it comes to the “sexy” department. Spica have a much more womanly get-up, but there’s no doubt that they’re sexy. SISTAR ooze sex appeal from the pores, but there’s one thing that sets both of these groups apart from the groups mentioned earlier… SISTAR and Spica actually have talent. There’s actually something besides visuals and skin to look forward to. Both groups feature Grade-A vocals powered by the depths of their souls. Not to mention, most of their music videos aren’t sleazy two shots of nothing but dancing and horrible cinematography with nothing interesting or compelling to add other than boobs and (non-)ass. Netizens wouldn’t be so furious with these now “sexy” groups if there were actually more to the story other than suggestive dancing and camera-flirting. It’s downright pathetic that all groups have to offer are skimpy outfits and degrading promotion. It’s become so ridiculous, that federal companies are trying to create even stricter media standards.
There’s nothing wrong with having a sexy or mature concept. However, when that group’s whole being is dependent on that image, it becomes a problem. Groups shouldn’t have to choose between an “aegyo” or “sexy” image. They should be able to mold one themselves by bringing unique elements to the table and not just cloning what’s popular.