Soooo I’ve compiled a handy list of kpop music videos that my followers and I have found offensive. If you can think of any other MVs to add to the list, please reblog and link! Also give a description of why the MV is offensive, so people will know what they’re getting into when they click the link.
tbh i have nothing against videos that depict domestic violence as something terrible because domestic violence definitely happens and it is terrible
i don’t think they should be hiding it away and pretending that it doesn’t, so i have no problem with mvs that condemn it
fetishizing/romanticizing it however, is completely incorrect and disgusting
I wish I could reblog this with all the commentary and other videos people have added, but they’re not all in one place and anyway that’s what notes are for. (I’m guilty of deliberately picking the one that justifies my knee-jerk aesthetic attraction to “Y”. The cinematographyyyyyy!) For my part I’d like to add Piggy Dolls’ "Trend" (if not their career in general), which may have its heart in the right place but opens with unglamorous close-ups of the girls eating pizza in a basement, because that’s what fat people do all the time, right?
For further discussion, see Frank Kogan’s short-lived Problematic Korean Video Fridays: "Ya Ya Ya", "Trend", "Bbiribbom Bberibbom", and a particularly great discussion of Orange Caramel’s “A~ing” and performing cute femininity here (and here, in the context of IU’s “Marshmallow”).
Jacynthe, “Don’t Touch Those Faders” (French version). Interesting here for two reasons. Firstly, After School recorded this song as "Virgin" on their album of the same name. Secondly, this version of the song (there’s an English one as well) mixes in English lines with the French, which reminds me of the way K-pop songs mix English in with the Korean, as “Virgin” indeed does. However, I don’t think the motivation here for including English is the same as it is in a K-pop song, that is that "English sounds cool and foreign", because Jacynthe is Canadian and Québecoise and singing for an urban, clubbing Québecois audience that, presumably, is acquainted with English as an everyday language.
Here’s what I want to know: Can we draw a parallel between historical Anglophone imperialism over Francophone Québecois culture and Western globalizing/cultural colonization of South Korean culture (and colonialism/imperialism via U.S. military bases, etc.), and link that to the use of English by a Francophone Québecoise singer and by a South Korean girl group? Or are we post- all that and able to assign other reasons for the use of English in these songs, ones that prioritize the music over its cultural context and assign more agency and autonomy to the people producing the music? I’d actually prefer to do the former, but I don’t want to jump to any conclusions.
I often feel as if K-pop would be successful in North America for its direct engagement with pop forms here were it not for a kind of inborn, historically inextricable xenophobia. Even strong, passionate fanbases can remain ghettoized, recognized only once in a while by the media for the absurdity of their affections. But something about the branding, the specificity, the knowledge with which MTV catered to this audience last night electrified the air. It didn’t matter how Sway and Pinfield weirdly, earnestly trivialized the event. It didn’t matter much that the MTV Iggy segments were all fractured, stereotypical ideas of foreignness. It felt as if something had infiltrated.
The K-pop wave has made lots of progress on this side of the ocean in 2011, going from something people think hipsters talk about to something they actually talk about and with showcase concerts being held fairly regularly across the U.S. (though, sadly for me, not too often in Canada). Reviews of Korean singles on the Singles Jukebox where the blurber felt the need to qualify his or her lack of knowledge about K-pop (still as genre, not as industrial model) have gone down in favour of talking about the music itself. I think this review of 2NE1’s first concert in New York (? correct me if I’m wrong) shows K-pop acts traversing the same route that their music already has via the internet: they’re playing to a vocal but ghettoized fandom, but proving their appeal to an audience outside that fandom.
As an aside, I understand why people love “Ugly” but hell no it is not the best song of the year!!!