• eboy07

    This damn aegyo is annoying.You can see clearly which one is trying too hard or is just natural.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1454993355 Kokonoe Stein

    yea, that article basically covered it. sad but true.

  • Anonymous

    Great article. I love the Grand Narrative.

    Here’s something I learned from the Human Sexuality course I took in college a few years back:

    From an evolutionary standpoint, the purpose of our sex drive is to ensure that we produce as many offspring as possible to pass down our genes. For that, we need to choose the best possible mate. For a man to produce as many offspring as possible, his chances are heightened if he selects multiple women, in the most fertile and healthy period of their lifetime. Hence why men in general are sexually attracted to mature, yet youthful and healthy looking women. Since women need to invest a lot more of themselves into her offspring and can only have a limited amount of children during a lifetime, they are instead emotionally attracted to men that will stick by them and provide for their children. Hence why they are often attracted to guys that can commit, are capable, older, or have money. The guys’ preference for a mate ensures that their babies are BORN often and successfully, while the girl’s preference for a mate ensures that their children have a higher chance of SURVIVAL to adulthood.

    Therefore, biologically, it is natural for men to be attracted to youthful (but mature) features. However, the appeal of PREPUBESCENT characteristics and behaviors is unique to Asia. It’s DEFINITELY a created cultural construct rather than a natural one. The guys prefer women with cute, docile features they can feel dominant over. The girls adopt the behavior that appeals to the guys, to get attention and win out over the competition by other girls. Girls that are seen as physically stronger than guys are jokingly yet seriously referred to as ‘scary’ and unfeminine (and therefore unattractive). This makes me so sad for the girls because appearing ‘weak’ is actually something almost beneficial. Notice that when girls in Korea want to lose weight, they mainly go on severe diets – while in America, they mainly go to the gym.

    • Klewis

      It’s not just Asia. Greeks and Romans loved prepubescent children as well.

  • pg

    It’s too bad because I’m sure not all the girls in these groups even like doing all that aegyo but they HAVE to. I think some girls admitted that they don’t do this regularly in front of their group mates.

    Sunny as an example, she has this tough? side where she can wrestle people and is extremely bold with her actions (chasing after Taeyeon’s “kidnapper”) but does these cute actions to get noticed. She would probably not be as well known within the group if she wasn’t known for this. The other girls are digusted by these cute actions. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad this article linked the Grand Narrative’s translation of Kang Inu-Kyu’s paper. It was a very interesting read. I’ll admit, I sometimes find aegyo cute (depending on who’s doing it) and I can see why it’s popular. But at the same time, I do understand how it can limit female idols roles and expression. I wonder how long Sunny is going to forced to do the aegyo shtick.

    And since the article focuses so much on SNSD, I always thought “Genie” was the creepiest thing ever. The low camera angles focusing on their legs, the Gonzo POV, the pillow fight and giant cake…just ew. The whole video looks like some kind of soft-core pornography.

  • Nina

    Is SNSD the only relevant female group in kpop these days?   

    • pg

      They’re the most well known group and they have a signifiant male fanbase. KARA was not mentioned at all surprisingly. BEG and 2NE1 don’t use this aesthetic as their image, and other groups are too small time to focus on.

  • springheart

    Why is the Wonder Girls picture in this article? You should have put out their So Hot outfit performance not this one because this is a picture from their interview, this is what they wear casually not in their performance. 

  • Mer

    I find it unappealing on females and males.  It’s distasteful for grown women to do that.  Especially to appease some dude that has pedo tendencies.  Dude, if you’re 20+ years old and some old guy wants you to act like you’re a teenager and/or younger…. then there is a problem.  I cringe every time a host asks one of the guests to do it and the male hosts get all giddy, going on and on about how cute it is, while they’re j*zz’n in their pants.  Yuk.  In my book it ranks up there with “ideal type” questions.

    • KoreaNOT_what_u_think

      imo, the perviest of them all would have to be the once blonde haired bearded comedian/host,NHC! Bar none! His one comment on the variety show ‘come to play’ convinced me of it.

      • harmony

        Isn’t it that guy who commented on the DBSK episode that he liked it when girls had white creamy stuff on their mouths?

        • Maggs

          Yep! Thats him. I remember, they were talking about what was the one thing that made the opposite sex attractive. Or something like that… Some of the answers were like, when a guy does the one-handed reverse drive, a girl swooshing snow from her shoulder, a couple of guys said, when their girl was washing the dishes( they liked the way the girl looked from the back). Then here comes mr. Pervy and says, he likes it when a woman it’s pasta w/cream sauce and how the noodles wipe sauce all over her mouth. He even made it a point to say it had to be white sauce not red sauce. Ewww!

          • Maggs

            ^*It’s = eats

        • Maggs

          Yep! Thats him. I remember, they were talking about what was the one thing that made the opposite sex attractive. Or something like that… Some of the answers were like, when a guy does the one-handed reverse drive, a girl swooshing snow from her shoulder, a couple of guys said, when their girl was washing the dishes( they liked the way the girl looked from the back). Then here comes mr. Pervy and says, he likes it when a woman it’s pasta w/cream sauce and how the noodles wipe sauce all over her mouth. He even made it a point to say it had to be white sauce not red sauce. Ewww!

  • Anonymous

    We in the west like our pop stars slutty and drunk or drugged out as possible… You are not a American female pop star unless you have a nip or vagina slip on the red carpet after a night of getting drunk and high… Let’s not even get into homemade sex tapes that gets “leaked”…
    I don’t see how we are in any shape to dish out moral criticism of another culture when we have Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez…

    • Anonymous

      I think anyone can agree that our pop culture isn’t exactly lacking in vulgarity either. But at least we recognize and acknowledge it. The whole problem of the ‘oppa’ issue isn’t the fact that Korean celebrities dress provocatively, it’s that they do so while pretending/believing they are so innocent. American kids might be drawn to crass pop culture, but at least they recognize it as such. If a picture of Miley Cyrus wearing a shirt that is too low-cut surfaces on the internet, there will be thousands of comments by American ‘netizens’ about how slutty it is etc. instead of swarms of loyal fans pronouncing her ‘innocent’ and that her behavior should be a model for younger generations.

      See, the thing about American cultures is, we’re a little too honest and we like to complain. And we’re not concerned about our image at all. So when we complain about our culture, we complain about it to the world, and they get to see all the negatives and laugh at the ‘stupid Americans’ and their ‘culture with no morals’. On one hand, it gives us an awful international image. On the other hand, what needs to be called out, will be called out. On the other side of the spectrum, a lot of strongly nationalistic Asian cultures are more concerned about their image and the appearance of their society than anything. Korea is a prime example of a culture that operates like that. In order to put its best face forward to others, they will do their best to hide and disguise their internal problems. Korean citizens won’t publicize to the public the corrupt dealings of businesses. The kpop industry won’t admit they’re actually selling sex (and if someone is ‘sexy’ it is only a concept that can be applied or removed). And no one has a problem with it as long as no one’s image is tarnished.

      To me, the most disturbing part about the k-pop conundrum is that companies and fans parade their idols as oh-so-innocent when they are clearly sending different messages with their body. This sends a message to the little Korean girls that hot-pants, for example, are actually very normal and innocent articles of clothing. And that if a man pays special attention to them because of what they are wearing, they believe it is purely positive paternal attention, and are thus blind to and ignorant of the covertly sexual nature of the gazes.

      • CrazyInAmerica

        OMG! You are spot on.
        Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you!

        Man, all this “americans are worse…” crap. At least we admit when our girls (or guys) are cheap, slutty, trashy and has no talent whatsoever. We’re not callin it “glamour body, bagel girl,..” or some dumbass tag like that trying to make it “innocent”.
        And what is up with “American-style”!!?? They tag everything nasty( mind you while they’re copying it), “American-style”. But when THEY do it, it’s hot and cute and they start getting cocky somehow.

      • Nana

        You argue exquisitely and write beautifully. I wish I had half your talent <3

    • http://twitter.com/goodstuff3 Stuff

      Speak for yourself.
      and what exactly has Selena Gomez done wrong? i mean besides dating Bieber.

  • Anonymous

    Aegyo is just plain creepy to me. A grown-up women should not be dressing cutesy and acting like a child.  I think this is why I don’t like SNSD.  They really cater to the pedo fanbase.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MEGAH5NUOS6RD2OYMMJ4XS2LCY MariaI

    OMG took the words right out of my mouth! Ive always had an unsettling feeling wid this whole aegyo concept. SNSD’s Tell Me Your Wish (like really? -__-) &Oh! song really just put it in full gear for me. Especially after I recall a interview of them apologizing to their female fans for having to ignore them cuz they were paying attention too much to their male fans. Its like wtf way to admit that u value what ur men fans think of u more &choose to cater to them instead of showing some love to your female fans &making them feel good about themselves for once. They KNOW what theyre doing which is even more aggravating. I guess their Run Devil Run concept was supposed to be for the ladies? Lmao riight. Female empowerment does not equal telling a guy off &telling him to “run”. Everything about a female does not have to revolve around a male. Theres more to us than that. How can they feel right subjecting yourself like that to men? Do they have no self respect? &dont give me the whole “what can they do? Theyre company is in charge of the concept.” crap. You have a fn mouth & a ur own brain, use it.

    • 13

      CAN they use their mouth and brains? Can they just tell everyone what they really think about their concepts? The group has expressed dislike about their songs (Hoot, Oh, Gee) but what are they allowed to do about it? What do you want them to do?

      SME wants the group to keep raking in the money so they’re targeting the populations with more to spend.   

      • azn13oy

        I know right! Compare sales of Oh! and RDR and see if the company will ever listen to the girls complaining about having to do aegyo. Take it up with the people buying the crap that was oh, if they stop buying it SM stops making it.

    • azn13oy

      I don’t think it is right for you to put the entire blame on the girls. The concepts chosen are 100% company. Yes the girls have a mouth and a brain, but even if they complained the company wouldn’t give 2 shits. Taeyeon hates doing aegyo songs, she has admitted to crying when they had to do Gee.If you watch any shows of the girl you know they absolutely hate watching each other do aegyo. The only ones that do it on command are Yoona and Sunny and that is only when they are asked to do it to be annoying.

       If you want to be a singer or even an entertainer you have to start with a company. If the company decides to put you in an idol group you’re not in a position to refuse because honestly you are replaceable. If you don’t do it there are thousands out there waiting to take your spot. Your best bet is to put up with being an idol for 5-6 years then move on to the field you want to work with whether that be solo singer, variety, acting, mcing. So yes the company is in charge of the concept blame them for the crap they put out not the girls.For the record I am not saying this as some die hard SONE fanboy. I hold 0 physical attraction to the girl. I absolutely detested the song Oh! and the concept. I did like the song Gee, and Genie because it was incredibly catchy. I don’t understand why women always have to blame other women…

      • http://twitter.com/kanimaki C-in-the-box

        I love your comment especially the 2nd paragraph. Blame the company, not the women themselves. The entire Kpop world is a patriarchal world. This is also why I am not interested in Kpop at all. I only listen to f(x) songs and that’s only because of Amber. I love Amber.

  • http://twitter.com/atarashiiyoake esther

    Comparing myself to those guys, it makes me feel slightly better for perving on them since I’m only their unni by a year or two. But I have to admit I like them a lot better when they’re acting their age and natural, instead of acting like a bunch of twelve-year-olds. If I were into that stuff, I’d be creeping around elementary schools instead of listening to Kpop.A lot can be said about female Japanese pop-idols too, but they tend to actually have a LOT of songs directed at girls and it’s actually about holding your own, being yourself and fighting for what you believe in. None of this ‘oppa crap’ (like ‘Marial’ described).

  • G-Dog

    After thinking long and hard all I could come up with was “I don’t give a fuck, I still love my Soshi NOONAS”, the world is already fucking screwed up so stop giving too much shit about anything. And yes they are my noonas, I think they are the cutest things to me right now, and believe it or not I have never been aroused by them I either think they’re cute and pretty or badass(Run Devil Run). I don’t understand why Gee is sexy and “arousing” isn’t it just cute and trendy? All decent looking girls out there dress like that. I am not an oppa so aegyo and pedo-ing does not apply to me so I have nothing, nothing to saaaaaaaaaaaaaay~

    No, I am not an immature 13 year old kid just in case you were wondering.

    • Lordofreimes

      I accidentally liked your comment when I was hitting reply.
      How old are you? Have you hit puberty?
      Either that or are you gay?

      • Aya

        no. my 13 years old cousin think better than that. and all of my gay friends also not like that. if he’s not all those 2 above…i’m guessing he’s some where between “get your **s off the computer, go out like normal kids and lay off those chips” or “dear god..go get a girlfriend…better yet..a pet and stop watching all those R rated movies”

  • JP

    This was one of the most well written and thoughtful article I have seen on this subject.  Even some of the comments are very well thought.  I don’t really follow a lot of kpop girl groups except 2NE1 and After school (or its units). Plus for some reason I tend to like mature ballad singers like Baek Ji young (if I could I would marry her — and I am girl) much sexier and easy on the eyes and ears. May because I am woman (and I have lot of inherent biases), I like mature women more than “girls”.

    And the question of displaying squeaky clean image outwards is problem with lot of big Asian entertainment industries.  I am Indian so I can say without the doubt that Bollywood tries to do same things as Korean entertainment industry. But things are changing slowly but surely both in Korea and India at least in motion picture/TV section so who knows what future might bring.  I was introduced to Kpop through Kdrama and for some reason I think I am more biased towards Kdramas than Kpop because to me lot of dramas at least try to take a controversial stand (eg. Life is Beautiful).  Plus for some reason I like korean actors better than idols.  Some like Ha Ji Won and Jang Hyuk are absolutely delectable.  When I first started watching kvariety shows I didn’t know any idol and would always looks for actors but many of them don’t do variety shows.

    Well enough talk about dramas and actors.  Opposite of this topic would be fan-service by boy idol groups. I would not mind seeing an article here on fan-service by boy groups and how come kissing games/skinship and stuff is OK on variety show, but homosexuality in general is not and what purpose does fan-service serve?  Also how do korean men/boys view fan-service by guys because even a group like Big Bang who have lot of male fans have stuff like Secret Garden parody (which I absolutely loved).

    Thank you SB for introducing me to Kim Tae Woo’s melodious voice, his latest ballad was awesome and music for ears.  As a suggestion, may be SB could do regular monthly/weekly article introducing ballad singers (new/old) and other less known singers.

    • yuki kokoro

      “how come kissing games/skinship and stuff is OK on variety show, but homosexuality in general is not and what purpose does fan-service serve?”

      Really easy: the answer is money. Fan service brings more fans = more money for the company. The company simply sell sex because it sells well.

      “Also how do korean men/boys view fan-service by guys because even a group like Big Bang who have lot of male fans have stuff like Secret Garden parody”

      I don’t know how they view it but generally male idol groups have a low percentage of straight male fans, so their company don’t care if they scare some of them away to reach more female fans. That said I don’t really know about Big Bang so I may be completely wrong on their account…
      Good question!

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  • Gnat

    SNSD’s fans are the creepiest things ever. Seriously! Not all of them, obviously, I’m just talking about the ones I’ve seen. I ask you, have you been to Tumblr? I have a tumblr and after discovering kpop (not a real fan, just find it interesting and different), I looked around on tumblr for pictures to reblog and videos (you’d understand if you had a tumblr). I liked SNSD and noticed that they were sexual but in the same way that I notice that Katy Perry and Beyonce are sexual. I don’t want to bang them or anything. But other kpop fans don’t share this sentiment. Every one I’ve ever come across has been a perve. They put the members together in pairings and will argue with you that the members’ love for each other is real. I’m pretty sure Taeyeon and Tiffany aren’t gay for each other. But that annoyance I can tolerate. It’s the others that really freak me out. After coming across a confession blog, where people anonymously confess things, I came across highly disturbing comments like how one person has dreams about rubbing BBQ sauce all over Jessica’s body and how another person mastubates to their music videos. I kid you not. And it’s not just creepy old men, it’s also creepy young women. Teenage girls who claimed to have turned “lesbian” for SNSD.

    I pray for SNSD. I pray that they never meet those fans.

    Not ALL confessions are like that. Many are just typical stuff like, “I love Yoona because she inspires me” or whatever. But there are many that just make you want to hide under a rock.

    Here’s the link to the blog:

    • yuki kokoro

      Do you realize that these fans exist because SM WANTS them to exist? That’s the node of the problem, that’s what this article wanted to denonce (if I understood correctly).

      And since when having perfectly healthy sexual desires is creepy? I mean they are all grown up women, where’s the problem? I’m sure you can read pretty disturbing stuff on “secret” sites but you seem to lump ALL the fans that have sexual desire for them as creepy.

      And sorry but your prayers are useless, they have already met them… you really are living under a rock aren’t you?

    • http://twitter.com/SpiderWeb2007 Atchi

      god  your so stupid lol when U think that men does not have sexual disire towards for Beyonce or Rihanna than you are freaken wrong. And its not only SONEs who spazz over their pairings..Taeyeon Fany…but other fandom  also spazz over their gay pairings in other Groupe as well. Look at Super Junior Gay pairing..or 2PM. Fans only ship them for fun. Relax will you? 

  • Edward Kim

    Monkey see… monkey do… I blame Japan!  No, seriously.

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  • Anonymous

    Feminist man hating spinsters ruin everything.

    • Anonymous

      Couldn’t agree with you more.  

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZSWF6Q3MGJIL5BSJ4F5BC7GSQ Jinny Binny

      Your comment is so asinine and stupid I don’t even know what to say.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TFMBNK5CDNDTXS7FKKZGMGL62Q Mina

      “Feminist man-hating spinsters.” This comment and article is super old, I know, but seriously;
      1) Feminists are not all ‘man-hating spinsters.’ If you’re going to insult a group of people, a) quit generalizing, it’s lazy, and b. if people are going to be so stupid, try some original insults. At best, your idiocy would be amusing to us.
      2) This little epiphany here isn’t even necessary. If these fuckwits even read the article, they’re not shaming men for their attraction to these girls. The media is manipulating them to feel that way.
      3) Sexual objectification is a relevant topic in music industries around the world, especially the one in Korea, where the country is still very conservative. If you want to fap to pictures of pretty girls, no one’s stopping you. If some people want to have a discussion of this problem, it’s not because of you. Your boners are just not important in the grand scheme of things.

      • Anonymous

        Everything you’ve just claimed is incorrect. Go f%^& yourself.

        You, as a feminist, demand male sexual expression to be demonized, reviled, and hated, and female sexuality be accepted, promoted, and defended (“don’t slut shame me!!!!”).

        Your claims of media manipulation are typical blank slatism. The media can only manipulate insofar as they promote underlying desires. The media can’t make people feel what they don’t want to feel. You ARE shaming men, period, end of debate.

        ” Your boners are just not important in the grand scheme of things.”

        Actually, yes they are, and you’re not going to dismiss, deny, or silence us, BITCH. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/SITLZWJR3XBG3UMMIYI54L4NME B.BarNavi

          Oh, you feel like a MANLY MAN, now? Go out and have a beer and steak, you earned it. Then go buy a submissive whore or two, since it’s patently obvious that you can’t get any through normal dialogue.

          • Anonymous

            You seem upset. 

        • Ari

          “You, as a feminist, demand male sexual expression to be demonized … ” Nowhere in her comment above does she do that. Neither does the author of this article; they cite and even defend Kim Bong-hyeon’s point of view.

          “The media can’t make people feel what they don’t want to feel.” Seriously, it’s all right there in the article. If “Gee” and “Oh!” aren’t enough, you can go even further back to one of SNSD’s earliest singles, “Kissing You” – singing about not knowing what to do when they’re being kissed, all while wearing short, frilly white frocks and using lollipops as props. The sexual overtones and image, layered with a supposedly innocent, child-like attitude, creates a dissonance which was highlighted in, once again, Kim Bong-hyeon’s article. He desires them sexually, but the childlike attitude makes it hard to display his desire healthily, because y’know, being considered a pedophile is totally acceptable.

          • Anonymous

            She doesn’t have to say it explicitly.

            The only ones who have a problem with this likely have latent pedophilia of their own.

      • Anonymous

        The only “problem” here, is that feminists, like yourself, are gynocentric pieces of shit. Sit down, shut the fuck up, and get out of our faces. NOW. 

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  • Anonymous

    Funny. I just posted a blog raving about aegyo.  


    If done in moderation it is AWESOME.  So all you feminazis out there, stop hating on this and go join the androgynous bunch.

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  • yuki kokoro

    Ah, I like that guy! His column helped me ease my own guilt. I’m a girl who had a hard time not to get aroused when her only-one-year-younger bias obviously wants the entire planet to react to him. But is that even controllable? I think our only option is to stop watching completely, and that option is obviously very hard for die-hard fans!

    I don’t like the whole “you have to become a sexual object or you won’t have any fans” thing… They just have to stop selling sex and they will stop having this type of fans! But it’s doomed to happen because I guess that as long as it will brings more fans, companies that make more money the more fans they have will continue.

    If the sexual nature of some clothing and choreography are completely dismissed by society in general, how in the world are you going to stop your 7 years old to dress and dance like her idol? I hope hot pants in size 7 are not sold in Korea, but I can’t be sure because I once found a g-string in size 6 here in my country. o.O

    Also, I have to say that I’m particularly horrified by Sulli’s picture! It’s like pedophilia is going mainstream! Sorry but to me that’s sicker than if it remains hidden. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EF5VUL7M6PW7OWJPHQ35MXAVY4 piper

    it’s so sick. sex and sexiness isn’t wrong. but as the article points out, what is wrong about snsd is that 1) they are being liars – they act innocent and try to deny they are sexy when they actually consciously aim to be sexy. 2) their sexiness is a delusion, not something a wife gives to her husband, or a girlfriend to her boyfriend, but something given to people for the sake of money and profit. in short, they are like prostitutes by SM.

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  • redfish

    I think the author of this article goes a bit far in that she’s regarding things that are healthy compared to Western culture as unhealthy and as a product of some sort of repression and deviance.

    As an example, the author says of Sulli, “the lack of makeup enhances her youthful innocence,” which would imply that the only people who think girls look attractive without makeup or with little makeup are people with someone pedophilic fetish and want them to be submissive, dependent, and childlike. But for men to be attracted to girls who don’t wear makeup is more natural, normal, and healthy, than men feeling women need to wear makeup to look attractive.
    That’s only one only area in Western culture where as a woman you’re taught to “grow up” you have to have more aggressive appearance and manners. Its natural for girls to be regarded as cute and pretty, since they are naturally cute and pretty compared to men, but a lot of women’s fashion in the US self-consciously tries to prevent women from looking ‘merely’ pretty or cute, as that’s seen as childish. I’d also argue its why ultra-skinniness is so important today for women in Western culture, while Sunny can be appreciated as attractive in Korea even though she doesn’t appear very skinny. In the Western eye, any amount of baby fat makes a woman look ‘merely cute’ as opposed to ‘sexy.’ If a singer or actress in the US was Sunny’s weight, even thought that’s normal, she’d be hounded all the time for being fat.

    I don’t know Korean culture well enough to know how much hypocrisy there is, all I know is you shouldn’t stigmatize the healthier aspects of aegyo as bad and try to replace them with worse Western ideals.

  • jbob

    “perhaps verging on pedophilia” — Um, no. Pedophilia is liking little kids. While I’m not saying it’s ok for older men to crush on 15 year old girls, it is not, in fact “verging on pedophilia”. The word is ephebophilia, not pedophilia. There is a big difference between being attracted to young women in puberty and being attracted to little kids.

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