• http://twitter.com/_whatevers asdf

    There’s nothing wrong with letting your boyfriend/husband/or whatever getting you a gift. I just think the commercial was dumb, the way it was set up. If it was like, “My boyfriend that I am not using for money and genuinely love should buy me this as a gift” or something like that rather than, “I’m going to go get a rich boyfriend just so he can buy me this purse” it would be better. 

    But overall I think the whole concept is dumb. Like, they are trying to prove that the purse is so expensive you need someone else to buy it for you? I thought commercials were supposed to be the opposite. Maybe showing how cheap but good quality something is that you can buy many or buy as a gift for something.

    Well overall, this commercial is pretty stupid. Everything about it. It’s a shame Yuri had to be in it. And I couldn’t tell if it was a purse commercial or makeup ad at first.

  • http://twitter.com/_whatevers asdf

    Ok so I just figured out what this commercial was about so I’d thought I’d let you guys know. This is copied from another comment by JR Ryu, ”
    In the storyline of the CF, Yuri used the skin care product to make herself appear prettier so she could attract a boyfriend who would buy the handbag she wanted… -_-” 

    Ok, so it’s still pretty dumb. The message sends that if you’re pretty you’re going to get everything you want from a man instead of working to get it on your own. This is pretty common in Korea though, unfortunately. People think relationships are all about materialistic things and products. *cough*Sunny Hill’s new song*cough*

    • Dana_SB

      Actually, that isn’t what it’s about.  The idea is that the boyfriend is the “total solution” to Yuri’s handbag troubles, just as the skin cream advertised is the total solution to all skin problems.

  • nhoki

    I find it funny that people are outraged by this commercial, because let’s face it, a lot of korean girls date rich guys and expect expensive gifts from them. And not only in Korea, it’s the same in Japan and many asian countries. 

    but yeah, the company should not encourage this kind of behavior and portray women like that (even if it is partially true)

  • zweiosterei

    A woman would be helpless without a man, it’s a well known fact. You women should just learn to deal with it.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ET5EIKNS3RHR7GIBXR4ZFXUVEM Ashley

       -sniff sniff- I smell a troll. Fortunately, I’m a cannibal troll. What do YOU taste like, eh?

    • Rp410

      I sincerely hope this is sarcasm…

  • Triinu

    My knowledge of Korean is limited, but in at least one of the songs in the embedded video the girls are singing about the *guy* not knowing something. I’m talking about 4minute’s What A Girl Wants: “malhaedo neoneun molla”, “nae maeumeul jeongmal molla” (even though I tell you these things, you’re clueless; you really don’t know my heart/how I feel). 

    If I heard right, the same goes for G.Na’s Black & White: “neoneun molla, nae mam molla” (you don’t know, you don’t know my heart). 

    • Rp410

      Yes, I think you’re right. Also, on SNSD’s ‘Gee’, the line goes:
      (What should I do?) What should I do?
      (About my heart) About my beating heart
      ‘molla molla molla’ My heart kept beating (etc.)

      but I think it’s ‘bulla bulla bulla’, the onomatopoeic word that Koreans use for a beating heart, like ‘thump thump thump’, rather than ‘I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know’. I could be wrong…

      • k_db

        i thought the popular term koreans use is “dugeun dugeun.”

        maybe for rhythmic purposes they used bulla bulla.

      • Gaya_SB

        I think ‘molla molla molla’ turns up in the second verse, though, in the same place.

      • Gaya_SB

        I think ‘molla molla molla’ turns up in the second verse, though, in the same place.

  • SBJustinSB

    I think you’re kind of overreacting because I honestly don’t think that commercial is worth anything worth getting angry for, but I agree that this commercial is kind of dumb.

  • Rp410

    Oh, Yuri-Ah, whyyy? I definitely agree that this CF is merely bringing deep-rooted societal issues to the forefront. Good analysis.

    /first-time commenter, long-time lurker!

  • hippocampus123

    Idk, the commercial is pretty lighthearted; I wouldn’t take it too seriously.

    But that being said, men all over the world trip over their feet for helpless women. It’s something that gets their hormones going? And we the superior sex must of course indulge them :P.  If the man wants to buy you an expensive ass bag, then why not?

  • http://1nspirit96.tumblr.com/ Mrs_KimSungGyu

    It’s funny (and sad) that it only works one way. When Baby Soul released “No Better Than Strangers” last November the song was banned to a certain extent because it “lowered the worth” of men. I had a good laugh when I heard this news, to be honest. The lyrics weren’t even that demeaning.

  • goldengluvsk2

    HUL! the double standards… if they want to prevent women from having that helpless image NOW its useless cuz that ship’s already sailed… wonder where those “feminists” were all these years… almost every kpop girl group does the helpless cute girl concept/songs and in kdramas the lead is always -except like Protect the Boss Secret Garden No Eun Seol Gil Ra Im FTW!!- a clumsy, dumb girl and those characters are extremely popular and the songs top charts…

    lets be honest, we see the “i must date a chaebol/rich boy to get free stuff and i wont need to work” in like every k-drama… that cliché makes my blood boil and as a girl I want to strangle someone for that but its a bit unfair to only flame Mamonde for this… there should be a general criticism to stop this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=578337691 Jennifer Paige Oleari

      I have to agree that this is nothing new & it’s also not just a general Kpop, KDrama or CF issue – this issue of crystallizing & “compartmentalizing” women’s (& men’s!) roles is prevalent all over the world, in every culture & society. I think it’s very healthy to be talking about it, though. Great article & comments.

  • http://twitter.com/JamilaChyri Chyrita Bonita

    I just think this commercial isn’t believable because we all know Yuri could afford 40 handbags if she wanted them, but i know they need a familiar face to sell their product.

  • leolover

    Talking about lyrics reminds me of when Girls’ Generation had just promoted Oh! and they said after that they were going to come out with a song for the unnie fans. In the end they sang Run Devil Run, a song about a guy, for a guy. SMH

  • Julianne Jimenez

    At first, I was confused about U-Go-Girl, but it’s actually supposed to make fun of all the things happening in the MV

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LL4QDJLVFDT2RDIZYBALSE75JE angel29

    I’m honestly more surprised at how cheap / low budgeted the cf was.  If it was shown on my local tv, I would not have watched it long enough to see the conclusion of the story.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ORSXPERTNAEPCKZBGEZMP7A3NU Bianca

    I say there’s such a ruckus because in a society where the ““Oppa Pout Wiggle,” or “O-P-W.”” (Dramabeans), can almost literally bring a man to his knees, it hits too close to home – for the parents. This is a commercial. Not some obscure G.Na MV or a video with the “Nation’s Fairy” in it. 

  • http://twitter.com/dahlers dAhler$

    I agree: I wouldn’t take it too seriously either. And to be fair, sexist advertisement is everywhere: http://youtu.be/S62sl-qWEqo 

  • regina_filange

    I think we deal with the presentation of woman in Kpop because it’s proven to sell, and because it doesn’t create a society of sexists. Yes, it doesn’t scream women empowerment, and the imagery doesn’t promote the idea of gender equity or independence, but Kpop is all about the marketing the imagery, and pretty, subservient girls sell. 

    There’s a difference here. While I get your point that if you don’t like the shit these CFs are dishing, one shouldn’t be complacent about it, or complacent about the problem which is rooted more within society then we think it is, I wouldn’t blame Kpop, nor would I get at anyone who was more riled up over this commercial than any other imagery in kpop vids. This is blatant promotion of the idea of materialistic relationships, buying out women with products, portrayal of women as beings that are only capable pf using beauty to take advantage of a man for personal gain, and not of being independent and making her own purchases with money she is capable of making… a lot of icky stuff. 

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

    Oppa Pout Wiggle for females in Korean ads
    Bikini Boobs Tan for feamles in Australian ads

    Sometimes, that’s the way it works. :( 

  • Seri Park

    That’s why I like 2NE1 and Yoon Mirae (Tasha Reid)… they kick ass!!!!

    • idontknoe

      Yoon Mirae does in fact kick ass, but 2NE1 is still controlled by a man. Not a fan of them, but I’m pissed that YG lied about lifting Dara and Boms dating ban. They’re women in their late 20s and promising them that you would lift the dating ban after a few years and then going back on your word is not ok.

  • cheoreom

    I think this commercial was meant to be funny, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Maybe that’s why netizens are being so sensitive? I mean people are coming forward about the treatment of women in the entertainment industry, like the issue with Open World Entertainment and revelations (or confirmations) of a prostitution ring amongst actresses… and then this commercial comes out that basically says that women should use men as tools to obtain designer items…


    Personally, I despise the message of the commercial. Although my views might differ greatly from others, I believe that women can achieve—and buy—their own shit without having to sell themselves. It’s called getting a job. There’s no shame in having to work to afford nice things.

  • CassieElfSoneShawolExotic4LIFE

    but this “sex sells” concept is not only in kpop, it’s practically universal, everyone does it

  • idontknoe

    It was just a bad commercial all around. I get where they wanted it to be funny, but it failed. They should have just marketed it as a look great while your being awesome and coming up with ways for YOU to get that bag.

  • whirlypop

    Congrats to SNSD for another publicity well done. Maybe they need ratings for Fashion King.

    And please. U Go Girl was about confidence. Hyori’s of age, not pedobait.

  • mojo jojo

    i thought they were advertising a skin product?

  • MXIS Song

    That could why someone like Ailee struggles to break into Kpop in a way that her talent deserves.

    She is just too strong … and decent.  Too American.

    Will be interesting to see how Park Jimin and Lee Hayi develop.  Heaven forbid if we see them Hyuna-ing in mini skirts after Kpop’s famous major weight loss and plastic surgery regimen.

    • idontknoe

      Ailee has been killing the charts since debut. She’s a female soloist that doesn’t fall into the idol category like IU and still does awesome. The only rookie with better sales o far is Busker Busker who has high digital and physical sales.

      • MXIS Song

        I know what you mean, but Ailee’s Heaven sounded better than SNSD’s INTW on debut day. I replayed her song plus her rendition of Halo so many times and even grabbed my family to listen to it.

        Based on talent alone she earned an All Kill debut.

  • dandelioness

    Well at least netizens are reactively negatively towards this commercial. It would be more worrying if viewers genuinely agreed that this commercial had a lot of truth in it. I think people who create these commercials, songs, dramas are not always the most current. No doubt that some people will always have the mentality that women should rely men for everything, but the important thing to take away from it is that this isn’t the opinion of the general public.

    There was a commercial that I’d seen on tv a few days ago, and it was one of them most sexist ads I’d come across. I live in England and I couldn’t believe that a commercial that suggested that men were completely useless and that only women could take care of everything was allowed to broadcast on tv. But again, this is another one of those times where commercials try too hard to be funny and not realising the implications of what they’re putting out there.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1415567288 Fernanda McCain

    Actually about Hyori’s I was really mad about it, but as I watched the MV more. I realized, that at the beginning nerdy Hyori it’s watching TV, when her sexy-self comes out on TV, and at the end, you can see it was all the nerdy Hyori’s imagination and she uses that to take confidence in herself. At the end, she never goes under plastic surgery. 

    But.. The lollipop stuff, I think that was way too much. I mean it was weird… She’s like 30 or something and far too old to be holding a lollipop and making cute faces

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Olivia-Ross-Mottley/100000089392053 Olivia Ross Mottley

    i don’t know why everyone is getting so mad about how woman are portrayed in k-pop. I,personally don’t really think it is that big of a deal. even if music is suppose to represent the artist,and does,it doesn’t mean that they are trying to be sexist. there are many fierce woman in k-pop that can say something embarrassing to a man  causing them to back down. where as in north america the guy would try to stand his ground and gain ‘dominance’. i personally think that k-pop portrays women better than in north america. at least in k pop they try and make them seem like powerful woman,where as in north america you have a singer and she ONLY sings about love love love boys boys boys. and i don’t find that commercial all that bad. i may just be a devious person,but i think when woman use there feminine charms to get shit done or get stuff they want,i always give them props. i don’t see how that is looked down upon,but when men use there status AS men they get props.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/CHBKJHLYX7Z2VHVM4H4VT3IFVI EricaG

      Are you kidding me? Do you actually LISTEN to American music? There ae numerous songs sung by women that pertain to ONLY female empowerment that do NOT feature any males at all. Take for instance the old girl group Destiny’s Child. In their hayday they had many a song that DID not concern men but were very pro-female power. Beyonce’s Run the World (Girls). Rihanna and the songs that came after the Chris Brown fiasco. Rihanna and BEFORE the Chris Brown fiasco.

      Seriously, and these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head; there are PLENTY more. Furthermore, have you actually BEEN to America. I don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to men and “gain ‘dominance'”. Just as in Korea, so too in America, no American woman just stands there and lets a man try to “gain” dominance. Did we forget that a large feminist movement BEGAN in America and Europe? Or was that just me who actually paid attention in History class?

    • black_rose45000

      ” there are many fierce woman in k-pop that can say something embarrassing to a man  causing them to back down.”

  • http://twitter.com/celinelilly Chanting Lee

    This article is great and I agree with it on all its points. It touches only the tip of the problem of femininity in Korea though. I agree that KPOP and girl-empowering songs often contradict themselves by the images and visuals it portrays. SNSD ‘s Hoot, SISTAR’s How Dare You, and T-ara’s I Go Crazy Because of You are other examples to the one in the article on Hyori’s U-Go-Girl.

    It’s not just the lyrics and visuals contradicting each other, but the choreography as well. How are you supposed to portray female empowerment if you’re dancing cutely/sexy to the song? With short shorts/skirts in tow? I’ve only been satisfied with how 2NE1’s been able to coherently portray this compared to the array of other girl groups who do the same. It’s not just KPOP either, it’s in the dramas as well.

    I always have a hard time with K-dramas due to the fact that most female characters do not have much say in what happens to them in the plot. They are often influenced by the decisions of their parents, or by their counterpart lead aka la-boyfriend/would be husband. The main female leads, though often portrayed as strong willed and determined, loses that appeal once she sees and falls in love with the male lead. They become submissive despite traces of them still having that inner-strength. It’s either that, or they’re in a less-than-better situation from their male lead because of their fathers (and males their personality/character problems because of mothers… which can lead to another topic itself). The father either a) causes the family to be in debt because of gambling, or b) cannot help the family financially because he is sick or just misses the death of the mother that happened too soon. I have yet to see a K-drama where the woman is in a better economic situation than the male lead, though I think there’s been a few out there that has (My Princesses? and the Protect Boss if I’m correct?).

    So it’s OK for the father to be the reason why they’re in a situation like that in the first place, but it’s not OK if the woman doesn’t want to listen to the father sometimes (because she wants to decide for herself)? And then scolds her or what not? Leaving the girl to say ‘I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, I will do (whatever the dad was scolding her for)”? I don’t get this logic at all, at least the feminist part of me is waving fists.

    The annoying thing is these female leads still submit to the wills of their father (in scenario a) AND male counterpart despite their strong character. When I feel these parents don’t deserve any of the obedience and respect the female leads give them at all. Or the boyfriend is just a selfish douche/arrogant jerk. Cuz some of these fathers just come off as freeloaders on their daughter’s hard work, or stubborn, and the guy just doesn’t treat the girl right.

    I know this is also due to the East’s values of the family and respecting your parents and elderly, etc. but it says a lot on how women are viewed in Korea. After all, most of the time these dramas are catered to women, what does that say in how that will impact on them? Yes, these dramas aren’t supposed to be taken seriously, but if these type of patriarchy and male dominance ideologies are explicit to such an extent, it’s a concern…o__O

    To me I feel as if Korea’s still expecting women to be obedient and submissive in times like today where women are free to pursue their goals and dreams, and have equal (more or less) opportunities as men. It’s very much evident in how companies market girl groups and portray women in television.

  • black_rose45000

    “to reinforce this idea of a badass woman who buys her own car and house without a man.”
    Oh but that’s insane. Who would say no to getting married to a wealthy man and bare his children in favor of that? Psh.

  • GreyLeaves

    This is a great article. Honestly, I think it all boils down to the patriarchal society of South Korea and how they treat women (salary, sex abuse cases, etc…). Girls aren’t marketed as powerful and strong beings, because it would break the power and foundation  of male dominance in S.Korea. I mean it is pretty hard to find information on any south korean feminists.

    As well, I remember when Kimi wa Petto(japanese name I can’t remember the korean name) came out,  there was a group of korean men that protested against the korean version and said, that it wasn’t right for a man to be placed as a pet and have a lower status than the main female character. Sigh.

  • illerz

    I always see korean women appearing strong when it comes to their husbands or their daughter-in-laws or their own kids at times. They are portrayed as bulldogs. They are portrayed as these fierce scary beings. But then they turn right around and wither when a father figure male enters the room. Seriously? Sometimes I think these males were just waiting to get old so they can be nasty and no one questions them. I think its a korean thing built by males so they have something to look forward to when they get older. This control. But I only think this when I am really jaded and annoyed with the status quo. I am all for respecting elders but koreans don’t seem to have the concept of earning respect. Its automatically given by age whether the person actually deserves it or not. I mean if they don’t give it they are the ones who are put in a bad light. Not the person who doesn’t actually deserve that respect.
    There was one k-drama where the parents were just the worst. I mean they stole from their kids, robbed them blind, made their lives a general nightmare. And these kids had so much trouble kicking the parents out. And I understand it because when its time for them to get married they will need those parents. But still they’re parents were just awful….sometime in the future these same kids are seen begging for their parent’s forgiveness. I am shocked like what?! WHY?! For not listening to them. Oh spare me lord for I die. So its a korean thing I will never understand.
    Why can’t we have a nicely balanced female heroine, either she is a shrew or she is a delicate flower who so gentle she whispers and looks down all the time. And why are the evil protagonist females always dressed so sharp and stylish. Showing a little skin and comfortable with their bodies, why are they always the evil ones?! WHY?! A girl can’t be like that and be cool? No?! The heroine either dresses like a child or someone who has never seen a white outfit she doesn’t love. Or something obscenely between skimpy and cute. REALLY?! Its so rare to so a edgy dressed heroine who isn’t portrayed as b*tchy. My feminist heart couldn’t take all this on a regular basis.

  • jodieisme

    so I found a feminist hanging over a cliff screaming for help and I decided not to help her..
    I mean, why should I, she’s an independent, empowered, intelligent feminist anyway..

    chivalry goes as chivalry comes..