• Michael Park

    A doll is the perfect embodiment of what Korea wants from female idols. In a society so heavily influenced by Confucian ideals and male dominance, dolls represent the submissive role women hold in the society. They’re pretty to look at, beautifully fragile and sit quietly when need to. It’s not just Korea, but this long-held ideal of ‘beauty’ is held through East Asia and throughout history as well. Femininity and womanly fragility is the key markers of a beautiful woman. 

    Dolls are also exactly what idols are – marketable ‘products’ that people can take ownership of. Not physically, but mentally. That’s why fans are so attached to their idols… they are ‘theirs’. 

    Of course what’s most interesting about the KPOP scene, and well the Korean entertainment industry in general, is that there is a duality in their role. On the one hand, we like to think that the idols, especially female idols, are pretty dainty dolls. On the other, they are usually portrayed as fierce, individual women. It’s ironic that these ‘idols’ that everyone can take ownership of, also hold so much power in their ability to influence others. Example: Idols can even bypass normal laws (ahem, GD) or conventional social moral codes (ahem, JYJ).

    SNSD are especially interesting as they are now seen as representatives of Korea abroad, and held with high respect. Yet there is still and always will be the question of how much individual power do these girls actually hold in both their public and private lives, when the backdrop of the Korean entertainment industry is still very much male-dominated.

    • Anonymous

      Korean entertainment industry is not the only one heavily influenced by males… Western image of female entertainers are heavily influenced by the male dominant music and movie industry here in the States as well… 

    • Nk_kandy

      GD’s case didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute him!

      I agree with your statements though! about the whole “Doll” concept. I hate it! that’s why I prefer 2ne1!

    • Guest

      gd had so little marijuana in his blood that they couldn’t prosecute him and anyone else would have been given the same leeway. the prosecutor specifically mentioned that this type of suspended sentence is one that they use all the time, especially with students which gd also is.

      ia with the rest of your comment.

  • Nabeela

    Say what you will, SNSD was made for the doll image, and the doll image is their best image
    In my opinion, they’re long standing image should’ve been the doll concept
    it could’ve been an idea they incorporated into all their concepts, and it would’ve made them more memorable

    they should just own the image, not play around with it
    i mean, look at the failure that came through with The Boys
    they should’ve stuck to the doll stuff 

  • Anonymous

    Can we just chalk it up to cultural preference rather than try to read anything into this?

    Asians tend to place higher importance on chaste image of their women unlike the western image of sexual independence…
    One is not better than the other, it’s just a different…

    • agedvanilla

      Um, when you do that then you just say it’s not a problem.  When in fact it very much is.  Yeah it’s a cultural preference, but it’s necessary to understand why they find it appealing.  Once you do you might notice this society has positives and negatives.  Every society has problems.  There is not one society that is perfect in its depiction or treatment of men, women, people of other races etc.  But when you just decide to ignore it as something fun and cultural preference etc, you ignore those problems.  

      I personally think every country and culture has to handle a little criticism.  You need an “other” to maybe open your eyes (and I mean this for America too so please don’t think this is a pro-west rant).  Blind following of something is problematic.  And no one is arguing that one is better than the other.  That’s not the point in an academic analysis or a sociological, psychological, (w/e) discussion.  The point is to provide an analysis of why something is the way it is and see what it suggests about the mindset of a group of people. 

      • Anonymous

        So what’s your point? Korea’s some backwards country cause it doesn’t live up to your countries moral and ethical values?

        • agedvanilla

          ………

          yeah that’s exactly what I’m saying

        • agedvanilla

          moron. 

    • Dylan

      “Asians tend to place higher importance on chaste image of their women
      unlike the western image of sexual independence…
      One is not better
      than the other, it’s just a different.”

      LOL.

  • Anonymous

    Dolls are pretty. That’s why they are often styled like dolls. Stop looking for deeper meaning, not everything has it.

    • Kpopboi

      hahaha

  • nhoki

    because they can’t voice their opinions 

  • flowerpot

    dolls are consumer products and idols are also consumer products. people pick out idols they like, like the dolls they want to play with.

    • mika

      This remind me of what Tiffany like to say “take your pick”. I don’t know I just find it so weird for her to say “take your pick” most of the time. “We have 9 distinct girls with different personalities and colors so take your pick”. Kind of off topic but i just want to let it out there. 

  • Nana

    I actually hate dolls, their unblinking stare scares the hell out of me.

  • Hermione

    They are dolls, yeah. Look at how lifeless they look here:

    • Kelly

      -.- they weren’t being lifeless. they were probably tired or self-conscious or something…don’t judge people by watching a freaking YOUTUBE VIDEO -.-” seriously.

  • http://www.michelle-chin.com Michelle Chin

    objectification much?

  • Pingback: SB Comments of the Week (11/27-12/3) | seoulbeats

  • Kelly

    Dolls are flawless and pretty. SNSD girls are flawless and pretty. Plus why can’t they dress up as dolls? A lot of models and other performers do that as well…yes, including Western people, not just Asian people.

  • Pingback: Seoul Doll Fair: You’re a Doll…No Really! | seoulbeats

  • Carcaroth

    Presented a 3 image set from a 4 years span period and that means a trend to “dollify” SNSD? lol.

  • Pingback: Scrapeboard