• Muneeb Ahmad

    I agree 100% (including the Bollywood stuff which I love to watch too!). Its simply the fact that Korea is a very homogeneous society, there is a strong sense among a lot of the population that Koreans have to be white, born in Korea and understand the Korean culture. If you don’t meet all thre criteria then you are unlikely to be considered a proper Korean, if one at all. It’s a shame and not only that but their anti-racism laws are still very weak especially for foreigners. 

    I would love to see more non-Korean in MVs but I doubt it will happen yet. They’re still doing black-face remember. If they cant even get past that I doubt we’ll see any improvements in the near future.

    • Whisperingnotes

      About that, I’m genuinely stumped about one thing. Ever since childhood, I’ve seen people, including Americans, doing the slant eyes and ridicule Asians ina very racist way on TV, yet when these guys are doing the blackface thingy, we’re crying foul as if countries other than Korea aren’t doing something similar. I know that just because the Orient have always been discriminated doesn’t mean that they should do the same thing with blacks, but this has really bothered me.

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

    I read somewhere that GTOP only used them because the korean models they had would refuse to. Just sayin. 

    • Anonymous

      Yeah – and often, white girls are models for underwear and other things that are sexual because Korean girls won’t do it.

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    • Anonymous

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      • Anonymous

         I think its a bot.  The Moderators need to look into that.

  • Anonymous

    “many white women were used in scenes that were overtly sexual” – yes, that´s exactly what I dislike so much. You maybe don´t like that just mostly Causacian women are featured in MVs and dramas or commercials (and I don´t argue about this because it´s true) but for me as a Caucasian woman it´s very unpleasant to watch how “my image” is used. Like all the Caucasian girls are just easy tickets for free plays, touching and “no big deal”. UGHHH

  • Anonymous

    One thing that sorta bothers me is this idea that once you have Caucasian women in an MV, it’s supposed to make it “exotic” and “Western”. 

    Don’t get me wrong here; I think it’s great that people in KPop want to show diversity. 

    But one of the reasons I appreciate KPop is because it does feature Asian men and women. As an Asian American, I’m used to seeing Caucasian actors and actresses in music videos, in lead roles in moves, etc., usually with the “token Asian” on the side. 

    I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong about featuring Caucasian actors (or actors of any other race). But I think it’s possible for an Asian woman to be just as “exotic”.

    Race is always a sensitive topic, so I hope my comments won’t be misconstrued. 

    • Anonymous

       ”But I think it’s possible for an Asian woman to be just as “exotic”.

      You already have this stereotypical image in America about Asian women (China Doll stereotype, from geisha girls to mail-order brides.)  Especially with the high rates of marriages between Caucasian men and Asian women.

      Similar to the black women stereotypes, (Jezebel, Mammies, Sapphires etc..)  So no you would not want expand on the “Exotic” stereotype of Asian women.  So I definitely wouldn’t want to see the stereotypes of black women in Kpop MV’s just to say we were in there, we have enough of that here.

      As a black american woman I do understand about having more representation in tv’s, movies, etc without being the “token” or “stereotype”. Truthfully I would like to see more Asian America’s have more success in America when it comes to music, although Blasians have the most success. Even though Far East Movement has name recognition now, they kinda just had that one hit but nothing more substantial as another hit song.

      I have said this before in another post and why Kpop in general will have a hard time in the west, especially when it comes to marketing in America.  Actually if you look at America within this has played out on how they market certain artist to cross over into different genre’s or to become mainstream.

      Madonna- Her debut album Everybody 1982 had a R&B feel, Sire records decided to portray the image of Madonna as a black artist, since her
      picture did not appear on the single cover. However this misconception
      was cleared later when Madonna convinced Sire executives to allow her to
      shoot a music video for the song.

      That’s just one example and has been used with other white artist, although we are not in 1982, they still use certain marketing tactics along racial lines. 

      Because we have an established Latino base in America it was easier for the Latin explosion in the 90′s to become a success BUT they still had to put out English albums even though their spanish albums were successes amongst Latinos, ie Selena, Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias.

      I think the biggest thing you have to remember is that there is no post racial anything in America!  Lucy Liu is getting hate for being the new Watson in Sherlock Holmes, hateful tweets and FB messages about Rue being a black girl in the Hunger Games (And if you read the books you do know that Rue & Thresh are black), even Michonne who is a main character in the Walking Dead graphic novels is already getting hate since she debut in the season finally of the tv show.  Actually arn’t they still arguing over Parvati/Padma Patil and Cho Chang in Harry Potter? “I never pictured them as Indian/Asian!”  This isn’t just coming from the older generation (Baby Boomers) it’s coming from the younger generation (Generation X/Y).

      Saying all that…. I don’t know about Europe but It will still come down to who is Kpop going to market to in the US?

      A good example of this is to compare NKOTB video Please don’t go girl and Big Bangs MV for Bad Boy & Blue.  Both MV’s were shot in Brooklyn, they have the same concepts in shooting in B/W, and if you also notice they avoid POC’s, even though Brooklyn is very diverse of POC’s.  And they both took from the original New Edition’s Mr. Telephone Man who did not avoid POC’s.

      It will be interesting of the hurdles and adjustments KPOP will go through on the marketing end.

      • http://twitter.com/CocoaBunneh Wesline Georges

        This whole comment is the truth.

      • Anonymous

        Wow! Such a wonderful commentary.

        I would just like to point out that I was not arguing for anyone to expand on the “exotic” Asian woman image. 

        I was just stating that I don’t like the idea that you must include Caucasian women in a music video for it to be considered “exotic” or “special” and that using an Asian woman instead would just be “normal”. 

        In essence, what I am saying is that people are people and using a person of one race isn’t better or worse than using a person of another race (unless it is in a racist context).

        I am very aware of the whole Geisha and China doll image and agree that it would be harmful to promote such images. I am opposed very strongly to “yellow fever”. 

        I actually also agree that KPop will have a hard time finding a niche in the US music market, and I don’t think including Caucasians in music videos is the answer to breaking into the US music scene. It’s more along the lines of culture, language and taste. 

        • Anonymous

          “I was just stating that I don’t like the idea that you must include
          Caucasian women in a music video for it to be considered “exotic” or
          “special” and that using an Asian woman instead would just be “normal”. 

          Believe me, I understand.

      • Whisperingnotes

        Don’t wanna sound stupid, but what is ‘POC’ and ‘NKOTB’? :P

        • Anonymous

          POC- People of Color

          NKOTB- New Kids on the Block

        • Anonymous

           I think POC = Person of Colour (ie- not white) and NKOTB = New Kid on the Block.

          I might be wrong though

    • Anonymous

      Um, wtf. Asian women are portrayed as exotic in America all the time. 
      It’s not really good for ANY woman to be put in that position. 
      Do you really WANT to be objectified?
      Is this a competition?

      • Anonymous

        No, I never stated that I wanted to be objectified, and nor did I state that I want any other Asian women to be objectified. I used the word “exotic” in the sense that I think it’s possible for an Asian woman to be just as beautiful/special/appealing. 

        If you see my response to one of the other comment below, I’m just stating that I don’t like the idea that an MV needs Caucasian women to stand out or to be considered “exotic”. I think an MV can be special by featuring anyone of any race. A music video should not depend on the race of its constituents to stand out. 

        Maybe I should have been clearer about this, but I DON’T WANT ANYONE, Asian or Caucasian or whatever race they may be, TO BE OBJECTIFIED. 

        This is not a competition. I apologize if my comment was read in that way.

        My main point was not to address and or push the “exotic” issue, but to point out that I appreciate seeing Asian people be featured in main roles. 

        • Anonymous

          Okay, that makes much more sense. 
          Still, I think that in Korea, Asian women ARE for the large majority, the ones who are being promoted as the standards of beauty. Maybe recently in music videos, white women have been more common, but it’s not like white women are being praised here for their beauty. 

          Instead they are being treated like a commodity. 

          I won’t even go into all the Korean men who want to sleep with a white girl just so they can say they did. 

          blah. We white women should not be a status symbol either. :( 

          • Anonymous

            I agree. Objectification of women in general is a problem. At least KPop hasn’t gone as far as American hip hop music (let’s hope it never gets there), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t point it out when we see it. 

            Asian women in Korea are definitely the large majority, and that’s why I enjoy KPop. I can see Asian women in main roles. At the same time, I enjoy American movies/music videos/etc, too, so don’t get me wrong here. 

            Let’s hope that with the internet and all, standards of beauty and ideas of race will slowly change and evolve. We may not live in a perfect world, but I think the fact that we are having this discussion (and the fact that other people are having discussions like this one) definitely takes us a step in the right direction. 

  • Fresh Lemons

     I have already said this before on previous articles that were similar to this topic. Its not Korea that is a homogenous society but Asian culture as a hold. I have watched many jdramas, j-movies, Chinese movies, Thai dramas, etc or even in anime and they all propel the idea that the West is only made up of Caucasians. The media itself takes a huge blame for it because they purposely do these things and although the audience should only take what they watch with a grain of salt, they begin to believe this type of thing. I will keep believing Asian culture as a whole is a homogenous society until I see other ethnicities not only featured more often but when they are featured, they have a a decent role in whatever medium it is in. Asian culture as a whole are years behind until these type of problem is dealt with in a correct way.

  • A A

    Beautiful Hangover – part Hispanic or Black
    Tonight – Chinese/American Mix
    Bad Boy – not your typical definition of “pretty girls”

    I think Big Bang makes more of an effort compared to mainstream Hollywood/America. And yes, they want their music videos to be visually appealing, so they cast models, not obese people. Doesn’t the same go for every entertainment industry, not just kpop? Media reflects society, it doesn’t influence it, truth is, there’s something VERY WRONG in society itself…

  • http://twitter.com/Kimimel13 Melissa S.

    Have you thought that maybe this problem has something to do with the availability of models of color (outside of Asian) in Korea which is were a large portion of these videos are being filmed? If jobs aren’t widely available because you don’t necessarily fit the beauty standards of the country would you go their for work? I mean these women aren’t just doing videos they probably do commercials, print ads, etc. I agree with you, but also remember that models of color have issues with work in the industry as a whole and this is only part of it.

    • Anonymous

      replying to melissa s.this is def not the case. most agencies employ black models and many of these models are with multiple agencies and have international representation. they absolutely are available outside of the US however, models of color (i’m including anyone who isn’t white/european looking) are not booked at all for work like this in asia. black models are popular is mostly european (mostly germany), american, south american (specifically guyana and brazil) markets. most of these models make their bread and butter with commercial work such as music videos. it’s a very unfortunate but ‘conscious’ decision (i.e. adhering to the white european beauty standard and rolling with the unfortunate cultural hegemony that makes that beauty standard a standard) these companies are making by employing only white european models. also re: big bang’s bad boy video. it’s in nyc. there’s a TON of talent agencies there that would have easily sent over extras. they chose to send over european models that work in the asian market (i.e. “short” models). that’s a conscious decision on the director’s part.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t help but think that the use of whites in mvs is a nod to affluence and asthetic (not that I’m saying only whites have those attributes cause that’s not true).  Obviously we know that kpop acknowledges the presence of blacks through their quoting many black artists as their favorites but the hip hop scene usually sings about starting out being poor then gaining fame and money.  This combined with the Bill Gates or Steve Jobs of the worldtend to put a view of the white folk being from a world of affluence and as we all know affluence is always combined with gluttony and lasciviousness so the sort of scenes with the white woman “make sense.”

    Hand in hand with that is the asthetic part, where in Korea you are attractive if you have pale skin.  The presence of plae skin means that you aren’t from the country, which means you aren’t a day laborer, which means that you must be from the city, which means you must be from a good status.  So this part rules out every ethnicity that isn’t pale, which seems to mean any ethnicity that isn’t white or at least has some white in them.

    Of course this way of thinking is incorrect, some farmers are actually quite wealthy, but the west has their own version of this as well.  But that’s just the way that I interpret the whole west = white thing that’s going on.

  • Alexa Orduz

    White girls are featured in K-Pop videos the same way women of color are used in western media – it’s considered exotic. It’s glaringly obvious in GD & TOP’s videos where its a very specific modelesque type of super tall, super skinny, super white girls with those elf-like faces that you see on the cover of fashion magazines. The fact that they’re sexualized goes hand-in-hand with that. As a Latina, I kind of don’t mind it – I get a kind of vindictive self-righteousness when I see white girls get the same treatment that me and girls who look like me get in the West. It’s petty of me, I know. But really, its no suprise that other cultures see the West as entirely white – if my only exposure to the US and the UK was through the media they produce, I’d think the same thing.

  • Kerry Darke

    It’s not just South Korea.  There are plenty of countries where you automatically seem to be defined as Easy because you’re from the West.  I’ve been followed around in cars, pestered on the street, had hotel staff handing out my room number and random guys put their hands on me.  In one place I stayed, the hotel receptionist started randomly stroking the back of my neck after following me into the garden.  I felt so threatened I put a chair against my bedroom door as soon as I got inside – but when I complained to the tour guide his whole attitude could probably be summed up as “why is this Western whore complaining?”  And trust me, I am not irresistably attractive and I dress appropriately for the culture I’m visiting.

    It’s disappointing to think that the entertainers we like in S Korea might have the same attitudes but not really surprising.

    • Anonymous

      That’s awful! :(
      Might I ask, what was the place/culture you visited at that time?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P4ZSUYNPUIRG7OCJAG3CTPDETM Bazinga

    nice to know if i went to korea they’d think i was a whore … =/

    • Anonymous

      Not everyone does. 
      Just guys in clubs. 

  • syvellium

    Thanks for this great article!

    As for black people being featured prominently in mainstream K-pop music videos, only two examples come to mind immediately for me, and both are from unconventional artists:

    Ivy’s debut single, “What Happened Tonight” (2005). The premise of this music video was that Ivy has an affair with a Korean man behind her (black) boyfriend’s back. This is all sorts of interesting to me because it goes against a lot of the unwritten ‘roles’ that races and genders are generally assigned to in the Korean media. The most obvious example would be that Ivy is depicted with a black boyfriend. Korean women paired with non-Korean men face far stronger negative social stigma in Korean society than inter-racial couples that are the other way around — since Korean men are super protective of their women and they take it almost as a sign of emasculation when these instances occur (and subsequently, an ego boost to see that they can ‘dominate’ white women). Of course, the fact that Ivy cheats on this boyfriend with a Korean man could be saying something, as well. That’s the other interesting thing to me about this music video — that the Koreans are depicted as the vixens/villains in the music video, and yet they seem to also be the protagonists as well. I haven’t quite figured out what to make of it.

    Of course, Ivy is an artist that is known to push boundaries from time to time. On top of that, back then, K-pop was still developing and exploring new grounds, and not as limited to trying to “play it safe” and formulaic. In addition to the idol groups that were geared towards a teen audience (which obviously dominate now), there were plenty of soloists that were geared towards a more mature audience. Sometimes I feel that there are virtually no real women left in K-pop anymore, only little girls, and grown women pretending to be little girls. Not the case five years back. But I digress.

    The other example I can think of is more recent: Jay Park’s “Know Your Name” music video which pairs Jay off with a black girl backup dancer in parts of the video. Although she is not explicitly portrayed as a love interest, the fact that she is not only a black girl, but also in fact the ONLY girl in the music video, is quite significant. In this case, I chalk it up to the fact that despite his training and debut in Korea, Jay’s roots are still as an American — this is vastly evident in the way that he carries out his solo endeavors. Unsurprisingly, the “Know Your Name” MV got banned by MOGEF even though personally, I’ve seen a lot worse in K-pop that they’ve let slide by.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

      Thank you Fannie!! 

      When I saw Jay Park’s “Know Your Name” I kid you not, I literally spit out my drink and fell off of my chair. 

      I’d never seen the Ivy video before now. I seriously don’t believe my eyes! She’s with a black man but there’s not really any reference to him being black. Am i a nerd for wanting to write an essay on this?

      • Anonymous

        Go ahead an write it! Nothing wrong with good discussions.  It’s also interesting that Jay Park did 2 mv’s of “Know Your Name”.  The official MV is the one with the Black dancer, the other video was there to cater to the Korean buyers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCVzvvlMdkM

        Although he did perform the official song/video on Music Programs but had an Asian woman dance with him.

  • display0_0

    I really love your article on this subject and totally agree with what you say.I may  not be good at writing out my thoughts about this,but I know what your  saying and you’ve done put it down best for me.

     I think kpop thinks “western foreigners” are nothing but “white people”,when its more of diverse of different nationalities.No,I’m not hating on Caucasian people,more of the fact the kpop idols arent getting their fact straight on Western foreigners.We are of mix of cultures,not pertain to one race.

  • http://thefutureisidol.com/ Tina/Mis

    This! This so much!
    Although I fully recognize the problems the “Western” world have with “goon” jokes, practically the whole of South East Asia being put under the same smiley, technology-loving, bowing label, underrepresentation of Asian men in media etcetera – there are problems on the other side as well, and it becomes especially appearent when the (in this case) non-Korean people are so obviously put in there as a strategy to target a global audience, or at least locally seem to do so. To be honest, I think we all need to try to shred the whole East-West polarization. The West is more than Europe and America; furthermore, America is more than just US, Europe is more than just France, England and Spain, and even in those countries there are more kinds of girls than just the skinny, white kind…
    At the same time, I can’t say that I’m surprised at this loop-sided representation in k-pop videos. Whiteness is a privilege, a high-status skin-colour – taming the white means taming the world, no matter how much I wish this weren’t true. Sure, I get annoyed at seeing Caucasian women being frequently sexualized like there was no tomorrow. I also get creeped out and scared as h*** sometimes, because I get included among those women – I do think that Swedish sexual morals are different than Korean as well as American, but that does not mean I’m okay with being touched anywhere, anytime, by anyone. However, these negative feelings aren’t as strong as the ones I get from trying to understand whiteness, and how the Caucasian dominate the beauty standards all over the world, not only in white-dominated areas of it. Argh. Brb, gonna go tamper with my identity.

  • Anonymous

    I think you have to take into consideration that a lot of what people know about another country is largely tied into what they see of their TV shows and movies.  We had a discussion about this on my band’s message board once and everyone listed what they thought it was like in different countries and it was quite an eye opener for everyone.  Nearly everything listed was  based in things they saw on TV or in movies and so far from reality it was actually funny.

    I think it applies here as well.  If you’ve never been to Korea, for example, and all you have to base your opinion on is variety shows, music videos, and Kdramas, your version of Korea is going to be pretty skewed versus someone who’s actually been there.  The same applies to a Korean seeing America through the same channels.  Nearly everyone on TV shows and movies in America is Caucasian.  There are very few people of color that actually lead shows and movies in America.  America looks very Caucasian if you only see it via TV and movies.
      

  • Anonymous

    To say as many (unintentionally to be sure) probably rude things as possible in one sentence purely to stoke debate. If you take the two countries that have had arguably the biggest ‘western’ influence on the world (the UK and US of course) they have a combined white population of almost exactly 75%. Furthermore the people who have had power in these countries are almost exclusively white, as well as the famous ones that they would see on tv. 

    I think the key distinction that you do not make in this article is that CN Blue is not trying to convey the audience that they draw in the US, just painting a picture of the west as a whole and as alluded to above this is an almost entirely white image. Whilst I’ll be the first to admit it’s not ideal and as an ethnic Korean myself I sometimes wish it was different, you can not suggest that it really would ever be otherwise.

    • http://twitter.com/DeniseHuxxtable S☀L

       If you take the two countries that have had arguably the biggest ‘western’ influence on the world (the UK and US of course) they have a combined white population of almost exactly 75%. Furthermore the people who have had power in these countries are almost exclusively white, as well as the famous ones that they would see on tv.

      But the fact is, when you look and listen to the culture that many of these idols are influenced by, it’s not dominated by white people.   

      • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

        Took the words right out of my mouth! A lot of the music is influenced by Hip Hop. Gd and Top didn’t learn about rap from watching Taylor Swift videos :-/

        • Anonymous

          LOL!

  • Anonymous

    SO MUCH AGREEMENT. I’d rather see no Caucasians in videos if the only way a non-Asian can possibly be represented is for one night stands, overtly sexual behavior, and bad relationships, while all of the positive songs about beautiful, amazing women they’re proud to be with are roles solely reserved for Koreans. It’s actually really insulting that kpop idols don’t seem to view non-Asians in a positive way at all.

  • http://twitter.com/DeniseHuxxtable S☀L

    Good points all around. I really don’t buy the excuse that so much of western culture is whitewashed they can’t help but to follow. Big Bang filmed their Bad Boy video in NYC. There was a hip hop feel to it, as was the style. It was the perfect example of culture appropriation.

    There is a conscious effort to exclude POCs in kpop.

    • Anonymous

      You have a point also that needs to be talked about and how fans of Kpop really want Big Bang & 2NE1 to make it in America.  These two groups will be compared heavily to American artists especially since we have been there done that already. 

      Recently I shared with a friend and showed her MBLAQ video’s…My friend, “Oh they are sexy!” LOL

      Then I showed her Rain… My friend, “Ooooh he fine!  He doing Usher!”

      My friend not knowing anything about Rain and that he was influenced by Usher and MJ (We already know in America that Chris Brown, Usher, Omarion were heavily influenced by MJ hence the same type of dance styles), it was the first thing that came out of her mouth to compare him to.  That’s not to take away Rains skills because she was digging it BUT……………

      I have nothing against 2NE1 (I actually like I Am the Best it’s a catchy song and Minzy is a cute as she wants to be.) but I see them as a poor mans TLC, especially when TLC first came out with the clothing style, sound and dance.

      It will also be interesting how Big Bang/2NE1 maneuvers in the American media, will they go on BET, urban(code word for black/hispanic areas) radio stations(Hopefully Seungri won’t get shot by black folks on the way)*sarcasm*, Jimmy Fallon?  Maybe they can jam with the Roots, how well will they do if they got on the BET awards?  I definitely can’t see GD & TOP doing the Cypher on the Hip Hop award show, for people who have not seen the Cypher- http://www.bet.com/video/hiphopawards/2011/cyphers/hha-digitalcypher-s9.html

      I’m not trying to say they can’t make it, but they are going to have to bring something to the table that distinguishes them apart and doesn’t look like appropriation.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

        I love you so much! Just imagine GD & TOP doing the BET cypher! LOL i vote a huge YES actually. 

        I think it’s a great question that you ask about where they would fit in. I had TOP’s “Turn it up Loud” playing in my car one day and my friend who doesn’t listen to anything but Hip Hop begged me to put it on repeat. They could definitely cross over. I could see the YG crew doing both Top 40 and Hip Hop.

        But then again, there’s the question of authenticity. Big Bang can talk the talk in terms of their urban music, but can they really walk the walk? Will Seungri be able to hang with an urban crowd in a cypher? Or will he chicken out? I’d love to see.

      • Anonymous

        “Hopefully Seungri won’t get shot by black folks on the way”…LOL!!!The thought of GD&TOP doing the cypher is making me shudder. Their English raps are corny with a capital C to say the least. They are so basic Nicki Minaj looks like a lyrical phenom. If they do something like a cypher they better get a gooood writer, but that defeats the point.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

          if they did a cypher they could TOTALLY do it in Korean! I remember K’naan once did a BET cypher in Somali and it was sooo good! ok we need to make this happen like now

          • Anonymous

            That’s true. Completely forgot about that. I guess they’re safe for now then. lol

          • http://www.facebook.com/tunmi Turayo Tijani

            I agree. They should have a Korean Cypher

      • http://twitter.com/denzelwynter アシュリ// 애쉴리 (Ashley)

        A poor man’s TLC (with less talent and girl power)… that’s exactly how they’ll be marketed. 

      • Anonymous

        Big Bang at the BET awards…i just LOLed really loud. That would be a true hip hop litmus test wouldn’t it. And since they’re used to performing with a live band considering its how they are doing it for their Alive Tour, it would be very appropriate to see them on Jimmy Fallon. These were awesome suggestions. Question though: does anyone know of any videos where GD and TOP free style?

        In regards to Big Bang’s Bad Boy music video, it was flabbergasted when I didn’t see any POC featured. I mean you are in Brooklyn: thats where most of the POC in NY live. Thats where all the POC cultures mix and mingle and stew. I mean jeez…

        • preservedspread

          I don’t think there are any videos of GD and TOP freestyling but if you find any let me know :) There are only songs floating around from their younger days when they used to go a lot harder (e.g. TOP’s Buckwild and GD’s Hip Hop Flex tracks). I have hopes they’ll perform decently in a cypher though as I’m sure TOP has freestyling experience from his underground days and if the comments from Kim In Ah (songwriter: BEG’s Abracadabra, Gain’s Irreversible, IU’s Good Day) on working with GD are true, a lot of his raps are done on the fly anyway. They’d just need a bit of training to go from hip pop back to hip hop.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mishka-Moncrieffe/544916778 Mishka Moncrieffe

      I was actually really disappointed that they only had white westerners as extras in their Bad Boy. I mean come on, you are in New York, one of the most diversified cities in the world and you couldn’t find people of color to be your extras? The only time I have ever seen a person of color in a kpop music video was in Jay Park’s “Know Your Name”. I was delighted that a black girl was doing a solo dance with Jay but disappointed that 1) she was only used for dance, not a love interest and 2) she was not used in the live performances.

      • Anonymous

        jay park also lived in the US and knows that black people exist. which is why i kinda push harder for expats to make it in korea because that knowledge needs to be spread.

        • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDPGD37I4L672VJY2YL7N56SC4 LaDonna

          BigBang does hip hop, they know black people exist.

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

    infrahumanization much? 

  • http://twitter.com/NotMyBirthday21 Lakeisha

    America has a black President yet people from other countries still think America is all white. Hilarious. Well that soon this will be changing. Reports show that in a couple of years, whites will no longer be the majority. 

  • goldengirl_rock4ever

    I remember there was this african american sir -he gets hit btw so unfair lol- in the Intuition MV and i was like whutt?! O__o cuz you really dont see that in kpop videos… and I thought they were getting to know that theres much more diversity in the West than white -blonde blue eyes- people… but then they released Hey you xD Im Black too and as you said its not that i want them to feature black people only or whatever but it might be good if Kpop industry decide if they want to have a global image -with latin people, black, indian, etc- or they want to show their us more about Korea… cuz in the end Its k-pop right?

  • Anonymous

    Umm…what happened to my comment?  Did it get deleted?  The one about Big Bang/2NE1.

  • Anonymous

    Some really great points made here, Salima. And perfect timing as well as I’m noticing that white models in Kpop MVs are on a sharp rise recently. After digesting your article a little further and reading through some of the readers comments below, I’ve just one comment to make.

    I’d like to ask the international readers and consumers of Kpop for some understanding and patience. You are understandably frustrated and offended by some of the missteps of Kpop artists due to their cultural ignorance. But please remember that this is a country (entire half the continent even) that up until even recent generations’ memories, was virtually closed to Western contact. It’s not just the culture that is completely different, but the ways of perception, thinking and conducting as well. The East is as steeped in diversity as the West and while we the international fans are quick to criticize the Kpop artists for their bias and prejudice and just plain ignorance, I’d like to point out that while yes they may be more ignorant of the Western world, but conversely, are we more knowledgeable then in the nuances, history and relationships of the Oriental nations? Sure, they may have difficulty differentiating between a Latino from a Spaniard but I doubt they’ll have as difficult a time differentiating between the Philipines, the Malaysians, the Laos, and the Vietnamese as we are.

    We can ask – bemoan, implore – the Kpop industry to look deeper into the Western demography and I do think a certain reciprocity of cultural understanding is duly deserving. The simple phenomenon of the Hallyu Wave (as much as we like to ridicule it’s impact) has brought you here, brought me here, and brought people here from all over the globe. Its bridging a cultural barrier between the East and West that wasn’t even bridged (and was in fact enforced) after the Opium War. But until the American Film Academy officially rid its ridiculous categorization of all films non-American/British as “Foreign” and the Oriental languages stop its use of the term “Outsiders” as the catch-all term for any and all Westerners, I’d just urge for some (more) understanding and patience. We are slowly getting there.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t understand that part of “Sure, they may have difficulty differentiating between a Latino from a Spaniard” . 

      Afaik many Americans can’t differentiate between them either. Can you explain what you mean? 

    • cancertwin2

      I do agree with some of what you said. At the same time, I think the patience and understanding should also be on Korea’s part as they are the ones attempting to take their entertainment world wide. As a long time Kpop fans (nearly six years now), I’ve always said that Korea should figure out the market and demographic of the very diverse West that they are trying to “invade”. Until then there will continue to be misunderstandings, racial frustrations and lack of progress.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

      Thank you FallingSnow for your thoughtful insight. As usual, you bring up points that I hadn’t even thought of. You’re right, the intersection of history and culture as well as past interactions between the East and the West can’t be disregarded!

      And although I absolutely agree wholeheartedly that patience and understanding are necessary, so is honest discussion. One commenter said she gets harrassed frequently overseas. Another said she feels vindicated when Caucasian women are objectified because Latina women are objectified all the time. Some of the comments I don’t agree with. And a lot of these comments aren’t politically correct but they reflect an honesty that people are normally too scared to say out loud. Its important to address these concerns and get to the root of why people feel the way they do about these issues. And without honest discussion and even criticism, people will be simply patiently waiting for everyone to come to an understanding. Perhaps an honest discussion (even irrational discussion?) is necessary to move us closer (and faster) to an undertanding. :)

  • Anonymous

    What’s even more amazing is even within that perception of a homogenous West is even more homogeneity.  In most of the Korean dramas I’ve seen, when a white character is cast they are almost always blued eyed and blond.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1287934241 Amanda Huebner

      I had quite a laugh when in one Taiwanese drama (with a very poor budget) they put a ton of make up on someone Taiwanese to make her look white to portray a westerner.

  • Anonymous

    i think you’re trying to make two different and only slightly related points. one is the diversity, or lack thereof, in kpop mvs and the other is how “western” women are portrayed. and while it’s noble to look at these from an intellectual, academic pov, the ground reality is more telling as to why kpop mvs are the way they are.

    re: diversity. 99.99% of kpop mvs are shot in korea and most of the non-korean models used are exactly that, models. how many poc models are there in seoul? not many given that they would have very little scope of employment there. so, kpop mvs cast caucasian women because they form the bulk of the pool that they’re casting from. do they cast a type? sure. tall, skinny women i.e. models. so what about mvs shot abroad like bigbang’s recent blue and bad boy. again, the casting call said ethnicity/nationality no bar. how do we know how many poc models applied, if any at all? without that knowledge is it fair to say they’re deliberately excluding poc? what about the casting agency in charge? they said they worked to the director’s specifications and the casting call already said ethnicity no bar, so any accusation of deliberate exclusion is uninformed speculation.

    re: the depiction of “western” women. since you used gd&top’s high high, i’ll respond to that. high high was an actual party thrown by the seoulcialite agency to a. shoot the mv and b. promote a new club. i doubt anybody knew the racial mix that the party would attract before the day of the party. what you saw was what you got. people who got an invite. and the models used, i.e. the flight attendants, were both korean and “western”. one “western” model who wrote a fan account of the filming said she was hired for a miniscule part but after korean models refused to wear certain outfits, she was asked if she would wear it. she didn’t have a problem and ended up with a larger part. and in knockout, the korean dancers are just as provocatively dressed as the white models. in fact, most bigbang mvs have scantily dressed korean dancers. the how gee mv, the most stereotypical hip-hop bigbang mv of them all, doesn’t have a single non-korean dancer. it’s korean women who are draped across cars in short shorts and who have the camera focussed on their assets. the same is true of top’s turn it up mv where the body of every single dancer, korean or otherwise, is a prop.

    and if you want to talk about the kind of westerners who appeal to them, iirc the bigbang mvs that have non-korean leads are number 1, beautiful hangover, tonight, blue, and bad boy and the leads are filipina-american, latina (?), chinese-american, caucasian, and multi-ethnic (to me, not all of them look caucasian. i may be wrong but i may also be right). based on that, i would say the only “type” bigbang has is women who are shorter than or the same height as them.

    this is not to say that “western” women are not fetishisized, sexualized, exoticised in kpop but that’s not a problem limited to kpop or to the portrayal of “western” women. it’s existed for about as long as pop culture has in every form of pop culture the world over. 

    ps diversity and feminism don’t always intersect happily. stony skunk’s boomdi boomdi was shot in the carribbean and there’s not a korean or caucasian woman in sight, but it’s also a mv blatanly and brazenly shot from a male gaze.

    • Anonymous

      “so what about mvs shot abroad like bigbang’s recent blue and bad boy?
      again, the casting call said ethnicity/nationality no bar. how do we
      know how many poc models applied, if any at all? without that knowledge
      is it fair to say they’re deliberately excluding poc? what about the
      casting agency in charge? they said they worked to the director’s
      specifications and the casting call already said ethnicity no bar, so
      any accusation of deliberate exclusion is uninformed speculation”

      I’m going to disagree with you on this one, although we don’t know how many POC’s showed up being that it was NY I’m sure many did, since NY is a fashion capital and have many modeling agencies.  I remember Patricia wrote an article about “SM Global Audition NYC: The Road to K-pop Stardom

      http://seoulbeats.com/2012/02/sm-global-audition-nyc-the-road-to-k-pop-stardom/

      As quoted, “There was a decent amount of Korean-Americans, a handful of
      Asian-Americans of other ethnicities, and a surprisingly large chunk of
      Caucasians, African-Americans and Hispanics. Most auditionees sang
      Korean songs, regardless of their nationality.”

      It’s like the whole Last Airbender casting call, they may had said open but they really meant Caucasian, hence why they casted mostly Caucasian actors than Asian.

      As far as Stony Skunk a totally different genre of music which isn’t pop music, its reggae/hip hop and actually keeps in theme with that type of scene (Unfortunately), I’m just glad they didn’t do a total Major Lazer Pon de Floor video.

      • Anonymous

        except there was one casting call where they specifically mentioned they wanted african-americans and in another, they specifically said they wanted girls of mixed nationalities. they also mentioned they wanted girls with all hair styles and all hair colours. 

        and an sm audition is different from a casting call for a music video. there may be many modelling agencies and models in nyc, but how many of them are interested in a kpop boyband video? who knows if the pay was worth their time? they most probably have no clue who bb is and appearing in their video does nothing for the models’ careers in nyc, while for the people who audition for sm, they know and like sm and want to be there.

        we don’t know many things. who showed up for casting, how many were tested, why they picked the girls they did, who had the final say, how much input anyone in korea had given for the final chooices how late they put out the casting call and how much of a time crunch they shot the mvs in, but we do know what they were looking for based on the info they put out, so i would rather judge them on what i know and not what i don’t.

        the stony skunk song reached no. 4 on the billboard hip-hop and reggae charts and is from an agency that is part of the big 3. since the article is about diversity and hallyu, it’s a legit example imo.

        • Anonymous

          Why are you trying to justify why models maybe/may not be interested in Big Bang or know who they are?  A gig is a gig especially for models of color, there’s models who go out for all types of music video’s here, so i’m sure casting gigs get passed around.  But since I don’t listen to BB I don’t have a horse in that race but I do find it interesting on how they are marketed or will try to be marketed to American audiences.

          And I know a KPOP audition is different from a modeling gig but it still brings up the point that many POC’s showed up, knowing that SM only wanted Korean or other Asian American’s even though they had an open audition. 

          Stony Skunk is like Jay Park as far as creative control, hence why they do have POC’s.  Here’s another why isn’t Tasha pushed more under that umbrella of hallyu? Let’s not pretend that hallyu pushes other genre’s of music cause we all know Kpop is king for them and that’s why they push it hard.

          • Anonymous

            how am i trying to justify anything by pointing out that $500 a day may not be enough money for a model to films 4 mvs in 3 days with a no-name boyband from asia? i posted the casting calls where they specifically said who they wanted including one that said they wanted african americans and multi-ethnic women. why are you so convinced they’re out to exclude poc?

            and they’re not marketed to americans and don’t have any plans to be marketed to americans. they’re not 2ne1.

            no, actually it doesn’t because they’re two different demographics. kpop fans with a dream and professionals looking for a gig.

            and i guess the latina in bigbang’s beautiful hangover mv is somehow not a poc? kpop is not king for hallyu, kdramas and movies are. in terms of money, kpop is very, very limited in terms of what it brings to hallyu. and the pushing is done by agencies. tasha is not part of the big 3 and her marketing shows that.

          • Anonymous

            Ummm…ok…I see it’s going over your head….we agree to disagree.  LOL

          • Anonymous

            nope, it’s not going over my head but you can stay pressed and we can agree to disagree. LOL

          • Anonymous

            “you can keep your condescension and your dream world abut evil bigbang who hate poc and we can agree to disagree.”

            CLASSIC!

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

             
            Um…I have to disagree with that, just because they are not debuting in America like 2ne1 does not mean they are not trying market to Americans or become known globally, if they weren’t they wouldn’t have even bothered using white models. Im pretty sure Koreans are perfectly fine just seeing Koreans in there videos if BigBang was only trying to just stay in Asia. They put other races in their video because they were trying to market globally.

            Yeah BigBang had a latina in their video but she looked white. She wasn’t brown skinned, people do that all the time with black women they go for the lighter skinned ones because they think it looks better. For all we know she could have gotten the part because she didn’t look latina. And also just because we think there may be discrimination at work in BigBang videos does not mean we think they are evil or hate poc.

            And I dont think we are making assumptions, every girl in the badboy MV was caucasion except for GD’s and Daesung’s girl who was suppossedly latina as well but again looked white.

            I appreciate the information you gave out about them wanting Caucasion and African Americans to try out for the MV, that makes me feel a bit better but don’t act like we have no reason to question there motives when they had like 5 videos that included white girls and not poc.

  • cancertwin2

    This is a solid article and I do think that you brought up a very interesting issue about the oversexualization of western women. That was something that I’ve witnessed but could quite articulate.Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    The same hypersexualization happens with black, asian and ”latin” women in the west.

    • Whisperingnotes

      That’s a good point. I was exposed to this for the first time when Supernatural started airing in India, and ‘Busty Asian Beauties’ were EVERYWHERE!!! I was like ‘WTF?!’ and that was a kind of a trigger cuz after that, I started noticing that Americans (I don’t know about other nationalities) ALWAYS associate Asian girls with PORN. :|

  • dan lu

    To be honest, western entertainment is just as guilty of presenting the West the way we see it in Korea. Sexualised women and men are so common in American music videos that we expect it. I couldn’t imagine white women doing cute gesture and acting innocently because of how Western media presents itself. America and Europe are generally very liberal in what they are willing to show on television, depicting the more risqué side of the culture even when it doesn’t reflect the majority of the population, whereas Korea appears to be more tame. I’m guessing that they’ve used this opportunity to include more racy material without getting flack because people could think ‘well it’s inappropriate, but they’re white so it’s OK’.

    The same goes for the lack of cultural diversity. Many TV shows and movies in America include an all white main cast despite the growing percentage of ethnic minorities. If American producers and/or directors don’t recognise this or are unable to represent the population accurately even though they’re immersed in the culture, then it’s rather unreasonable to expect Korea to do so when the chances are, their source material for what American culture is like is inaccurate to start with.

    For this reason, I blame the West for their depiction of themselves more so than the way they’re represented in Korean media. Although on a side note, it may just be me but I think Asian media generally treats western culture with a more judgemental tone. In western media, a sexual women is always treated as one who leads a confident and liberal lifestyle but Asian media seems to condemn the same behaviour.

  • Anonymous

    Firstly, I hope K-Pop realizes that the stereotyping of Western women as overtly sexual isn’t flattering now and not just when they decide to acknowledge that the West isn’t full of fair-skinned models.  
    As much as the stereotyping in the videos bothers me, whose fault is it really — K-Pop culture or American culture?  Women of all ethnic backgrounds are portrayed as overtly sexual in American media throughout various forms of advertisements – from Bratz dolls to clothing advertisements to perfume ads etc.  Even cheeseburger commercials at this point have busty broads getting all hot and bothered by the cheap food trying to be sold.  I, personally, place a good deal of blame on the American entertainment industry and advertisements for this false idea of all Western women being ‘easy’ or overtly sexual beings.  That does not mean K-pop devoid of any responsibility of their inaccuracies either nor does it mean Western media doesn’t have it faults with the portrayal of Eastern women either.  In American media, Eastern women are mostly portrayed as being overly submissive doormats with no voices of their own that allow the men all the power or they are nymphos that work in massage parlors.  How insulting is that for them? This stereotyping can also be traced back to Eastern media as the main source of the problem. Most Korean (I single out Korean because those are mainly the dramas I watch at this point) women in the dramas and videos are portrayed as women with extreme doses of little girl in them who are waiting for their man to show up and make all their dreams come true and right all the wrongs in their lives by the sheer power of love ( or domineering) OR they are portrayed as vapid, materialistic, plastic b*****s. Now, I ask, are all Korean women really like this?  I highly doubt it, but that is the way their media portrays them, just like American media portrays most Western women as fun play things that will pull out their boobs when asked.  I feel the only way to truly fix these misconceptions is for the consumers to rise above and realize that what is being fed to us is not accurate and is showing a small piece of the puzzle and to not buy into (literally and figuratively) what we see.
    As for the lack of diversity in the videos, I find it amazing that K-Pop just glazes over the fact that America truly is a melting pot and we are not homogeneous but have people from all backgrounds here.  The author hits it on the nose though when she points out that the American media itself has a hard time diversifying and coming together as a group of ethnically diverse people.  At this point in time it would appear as though all entities are for themselves – which is sad.  One would think America would have advanced farther by now.  

  • Anonymous

    The best article I’ve read on this site in a while. Thank you for this.

  • http://twitter.com/Daebaksamaa DaebakSama

    When JYJ had concerts on the N. American continent, they worked with local dancers ( who yes, were a diverse group). JYJ even brought the American dancers with them for the Seoul concerts and Japan concerts. When JYJ went to Europe, their dancers were Europeans. JYJ brought their home country dance team to the S. American continent this year. 

    • Anonymous

      This is one of the things to me that sets them apart from the standard. 

       The author of this article makes some valid points.  If the portrayal is intentional, it’s bad form.  If it’s not, well……

      Perception is everything.  There are enough issues kpop is going to face in the West.  Adding more to the mix is not a good sign. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=530278960 Sarah Edge

    Oh my god. Thank you. THANK YOU. I was about to post an article about this on our website, but I don’t need to because you’ve said the words that I’ve been holding inside me. 

    Dear Kpop, I’m talking specifically to YOU F.Cuz Teaser, GD & Top video, Hands Up music video, white women are not sluts. Please stop portraying us as so. 

    That said, would it be OK to write a follow up article to this and credit you? I’ve very much been wanting to say something about it all.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

      Thank you! And of course!

  • Anonymous

    hmmm … some people whine about the absence of women other than caucasians in K-pop music videos and some whine about caucasian women being ‘portrayed’ as sluts in those videos (which i doubt was the intention of those who did the videos). the next time non-caucasian women are featured in K-pop music videos, the first group of people will whine how they are ‘portrayed’ as sluts and the second group of people will whine about the absence of caucasion women in the videos. heh ….

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/J6GPXWMHAF33U7QU3ZTJXT4KZE Yan

      Your generalized, vague statement illustrates that you have missed the message this article is trying to send. But I won’t blame you as you are probably only twelve and would most likely have difficulty grasping the issue of white-washing and the degradation of women in the media, which, by the way, are correlating themes that will likely affect you in the long run. I suggest you read up on white-washing and the portrayal of women as a whole as incapable and how they are objectified in the media. Maybe then you will be able to empathize with the author of this article.

      • Anonymous

        uh .. sorry that i am not as intelligent as you are to understand all these talks about white-washing and whatever. it’s just that i’m just so freakin’ tired of reading all these whining about every thing on k-pop … some make it sound like it is the biggest culprit in everything that is bad.

      • Anonymous

        Took the words right out of my mouth. This is definitely an important issue and bravo to the author for bringing it up.

  • Anonymous

    I really loved your article specially the “in fact, I’m 100% positive that Lil Kim only scared most black people away from the song” LMFAO she would scare anyone !
    The use of Western (well white) women is’nt only in Kpop.Usually model for lingeries were white, or they were the one wearing the more sexy and lacy stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/chinche09 Cincinn

    Also in kdramas the actors are speaking more Engrish and using “Americans” but they are not  Americans.  When they have a shoot in NY,or in a airplane on the way to the U.S they are using Europeans, who speak with an accent, they look German or Swedish and the African Americans actors are either Haitian or actually African, not American.  I say if you are filming in ” New York” use actual New Yorkers!!   Also Americans are portrayed in a very negative manner.  One kdrama filmed in Central Park for Christ sake!! where were the New Yorkers?!!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1287934241 Amanda Huebner

    I completely agree – especially with the demeaning of women in the west. I am a Caucasian girl who loves kpop, and the reason I was so attracted to kpop in the first place was its innocence and non-vulgarity.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormon), furthering Salima’s opinion. The west is full of different races and creeds, and I find the degrading of women – all women – particularly offensive. <3

  • http://twitter.com/HinaDesu Sara T~

    NOw that I think about it, the only instance that first comes to mind of a Western person in a music video that’s not white was in Jay Park’s “Know Your Name”. He was dancing with a black girl, if memory serves me correct. I remember my friends were freaking out like “OMG BLACK PEOPLE ARE IN KPOP WAT” (although for the live performances of that song he has a korean girl but still). It may be because Jay’s from America and most likely grew up in a heterogeneous community, but small things like that I think that it’s starting to become less homogeneous. C:

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

    Excuse me if I sound like a but hurt fan…but BIGBANG, or YG (because Im not sure how much of say BIGBANG has in this) has really dissappointed me with how they represent foriegn women…I feel like I set my hopes to high for them, because they’ve work with black and white people I kinda expect them to be a bit better but they aren’t. I guess I felt like they had a broader view of non-koreans than the majority of kpop idols because of their experience with other races, like Rain. JYJ, and Jay Park do but I guess I was wrong…

    I’ve only watch the high high video once, because it screamed “look at me, I have white women at my party”, the whole mv was just cringeworthy because it was just too in your face. Having only white women does not make someone diverse..thats just you featuring only white women, diversity is when you showcase different races, not just one. They majority of people at the party were asian with whites being the minority. They should have shown both the asian girls and the white girls so that it look diverse instead of only looking whitewashed, but instead they chose to make it seem like there were only white people there. And then in there recent videos they had the opportunity to showcase other races, what with them being in the states in all and still only chose white girls for their mvs…and this is about the 5th time now that theres only white girls mostly, its really dissappointing at this point. I honestly don’t know what to think about it because its not something I wan’t to force kpop idols to do, I don’t want them to be like “o black people are complaining so now we HAVE TO put a black girl in video”. I would want it to be genuine, but that might be asking for way too much….*sigh*. I wish they actually wanted to use black girls or women of color in their MV.

    I know that as fans we don’t really know these people, but at the same time as fans you want to feel like the people you support and idolize care that you are their fan. When I see these things I feel as if kpop is sending out this message that if you are non-white, non-asian, we don’t care if your our fan or not…their target is not me…or any other person of color because they think the west equals white, and its because of this mindset that leaves me feeling a bit neglected as fan. It makes me question rather I should even be buying merchandise from the kpop industry.

    I also agree with the oversexualizing of white women in these videos. In music videos that are about falling in love and caring for the women, they use korean girls, But in music videos when its all fun and games such as high high, knock out, and tonight it goes to the white girls. It like they are saying I can be in a serious relationship with a korean girl, but white girls are just for fun. And I hate that because I understand that way to well in states as a black girl. I have heard numerous of times “oh I’ll date a black girl, but never marry her”, which means to me I’d like to have fun with a black girl but nothing serious. These images hurt others a lot more that people think. So in a way I guess I wouldn’t want black girls in the kpop mvs if they are going to be potrayed the way white women are potrayed.

    Im sorry if this post seemed all over the place but its just my thoughts really lol.

    • http://twitter.com/FloradeG Flora de Greef

      I think you are SOOOO damn right!
      You know, I feel the same too,, a bit, 
      I am white, but I do exactly know how you feel, 
      But Koreans are so proud of their blood, they really are, and that’s fine of course, but that’s why the most Korean people are not interested in other races to have a relationship with, they still aren’t,
      And I always saw it as a good sign, that there were some white females in Kpop MV’s, but now that I’ve read your opinion, I am not that glad anymore, 
      Koreans (and I guess some more Asian countries) adore white people, because it’s something different and they think white people are more beautiful, especially the urge to have a white skin because they love that, but still they think about it more as a sexy fantasy than as something to have a real relationship with, because she hasn’t got the culture, and all those prejudices they have that white girls are slutty, lazy, don’t do their work, etc etc
      But yeah, they think they are ok for fun yes!
      It makes me sad, because, even though we have now globalisation over the whole world, everyone connects with each other, no matter what kind of race you are, there is still discrimination, and there are still people with so many prejudices…

      And I completely understand your doubts about this, and,,, I think black girls/people are not the only one left out side, I think white people are that too in Kpop, because we are screened as one night stand girls…
      Not really to my liking…

      Wow, I am not really clear either,, don’t know what I wanted to tell exactly,, I think I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re right, and you’re not the only one who feels an outstander sometimes :(…
      But hey! I honestly think black girls are SOOOO beautiful! Kpop artists better make a MV with a black girl in it! They don’t know what they’re missing ^^
      Well, I think you’re right, it’s sad,, but let’s hope it will change through the years!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

        Lol thanks for your comment lol. And don’t get me wrong though, I wasn’t trying to make it seems like it happens all the time. Like BIGBANG’s Blue MV, I think the white girl was an actual love interest, but it happens too much for my taste.  I guess were all left out a little when it comes to kpop but I’m hoping that changes soon, it’ll have to if it wants to become more global. I just hope they realize when it comes to foreigners, that we aren’t much different than they are and that if your going to use a women of another race no matter what color, you should treat her the same way you would any korean girl. Were women FIRST before we are white, black, hispanic etc. I also hope they realize soon that there is more to the west than just white people…it makes it hard to enjoy kpop sometimes when I feel like they act as if I don’t exist.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

        Lol thanks for your comment lol. And don’t get me wrong though, I wasn’t trying to make it seems like it happens all the time. Like BIGBANG’s Blue MV, I think the white girl was an actual love interest, but it happens too much for my taste.  I guess were all left out a little when it comes to kpop but I’m hoping that changes soon, it’ll have to if it wants to become more global. I just hope they realize when it comes to foreigners, that we aren’t much different than they are and that if your going to use a women of another race no matter what color, you should treat her the same way you would any korean girl. Were women FIRST before we are white, black, hispanic etc. I also hope they realize soon that there is more to the west than just white people…it makes it hard to enjoy kpop sometimes when I feel like they act as if I don’t exist.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

    Excuse me if I sound like a but hurt fan…but BIGBANG, or YG (because Im not sure how much of say BIGBANG has in this) has really dissappointed me with how they represent foriegn women…I feel like I set my hopes to high for them, because they’ve work with black and white people I kinda expect them to be a bit better but they aren’t. I guess I felt like they had a broader view of non-koreans than the majority of kpop idols because of their experience with other races, like Rain. JYJ, and Jay Park do but I guess I was wrong…

    I’ve only watch the high high video once, because it screamed “look at me, I have white women at my party”, the whole mv was just cringeworthy because it was just too in your face. Having only white women does not make someone diverse..thats just you featuring only white women, diversity is when you showcase different races, not just one. They majority of people at the party were asian with whites being the minority. They should have shown both the asian girls and the white girls so that it look diverse instead of only looking whitewashed, but instead they chose to make it seem like there were only white people there. And then in there recent videos they had the opportunity to showcase other races, what with them being in the states in all and still only chose white girls for their mvs…and this is about the 5th time now that theres only white girls mostly, its really dissappointing at this point. I honestly don’t know what to think about it because its not something I wan’t to force kpop idols to do, I don’t want them to be like “o black people are complaining so now we HAVE TO put a black girl in video”. I would want it to be genuine, but that might be asking for way too much….*sigh*. I wish they actually wanted to use black girls or women of color in their MV.

    I know that as fans we don’t really know these people, but at the same time as fans you want to feel like the people you support and idolize care that you are their fan. When I see these things I feel as if kpop is sending out this message that if you are non-white, non-asian, we don’t care if your our fan or not…their target is not me…or any other person of color because they think the west equals white, and its because of this mindset that leaves me feeling a bit neglected as fan. It makes me question rather I should even be buying merchandise from the kpop industry.

    I also agree with the oversexualizing of white women in these videos. In music videos that are about falling in love and caring for the women, they use korean girls, But in music videos when its all fun and games such as high high, knock out, and tonight it goes to the white girls. It like they are saying I can be in a serious relationship with a korean girl, but white girls are just for fun. And I hate that because I understand that way to well in states as a black girl. I have heard numerous of times “oh I’ll date a black girl, but never marry her”, which means to me I’d like to have fun with a black girl but nothing serious. These images hurt others a lot more that people think. So in a way I guess I wouldn’t want black girls in the kpop mvs if they are going to be potrayed the way white women are potrayed.

    Im sorry if this post seemed all over the place but its just my thoughts really lol.

  • Anonymous

    Will probably add more when I come back tomorrow, it’s way too late over here T__T

    To add to your last part, I am very curious as to what YG and GD/TOP feel about the perceptions of Western women, like you said. Especially since they are the most “westernized” and probably have the biggest chances of making it here in the US if they ever choose to do so. I am a non-white American so I do feel a little offended and wonder if they might say something insensitive about my ethnic group/culture if they ever slip due to cultural ignorance in an interview (and let’s face it, the majority of Koreans haven’t been exposed to much yet). Although in the Bad Boy video they DID use white girls for the BB members except GD, who had an Asian American girl, by the looks of it.

    Trivia for those of you who don’t know: I read a blog about a girl who featured in GD&TOP’s High High, and she said that a friend of hers who organized the event asked her to model in the video (it was probably cut out in the final version). But she was supposed to wear a provocative outfit and dance sexily in the background from what I remember – the Korean models refused to do it so they asked the white model to do it instead. But since American/Western women are less likely to be shy or feel the social stigma from being sexual beings, this white model agreed to it just for the heck of it. It might look confident to American viewers but to KOREANS it looks bad, and I’m not sure if the model realized that. And probably Korean viewers took it in stride, “Oh of course this American model would dress like that, Western women are sluts” to put it bluntly.

    And using the word “sluts” sounds like a harsh word but I read a blog about an American expat (white woman) living in Korea and I kid you not, a Korean guy came up to her asking “How much?” like she was a PROSTITUTE. -_____- To be honest using white models for sexual objects looks bad through MVs but they are a reflection of the culture (even if it’s subtle), and it’s much worse in real life. Kpop artists have to connect/relate with their audience somehow, and if they saw a virginal Korean woman dancing or dressing like that, there would probably be an uproar. The reality of it is that pop culture is just the tip of the iceberg (and probably an understated version of everyday Korean culture since Kpop wants to look pretty, nice and polite for international fans), while the real deal is much more serious, complex and dark.

    BTW, I think it’s not entirely Korea’s fault though. Minorities are not really represented well in the media or pop culture in America, besides maybe African Americans who have pushed their way to the top because of the popularity of hip hop and rap. The majority of Victoria’s Secret models for example (major sex symbols and celebrities in our pop culture) are white. Chanel Iman is 3/4 African American and 1/4 Korean, but besides Tyra Banks and a few others, they are the only non-white Angels that get a lot of attention and are separated from the normal runway models. Even then the black Angels are in the minority… Just food for thought.

  • Anonymous

    @JasmineA I agree with you to an extent, maybe read over my comment to see my thoughts on why white girls were more frequent in those sexualized scenes than Asian ones.

    And I totally agree with you about “serious relationships with Korean girls” but “white girls are just for fun.” It’s really sad to be honest and can be heartbreaking for fans when it feels like Kpop artists are just “pretending” to respect other cultures just because people are watching. Even Korean Americans have trouble visiting Korea because they are held to high standards to know EVERYTHING about Korean culture (if not they risk people having a condescending or hateful attitude towards them) even though they were born in America and were raised there.

    As a Southeast Asian American I wonder if Koreans think that we’re dirty or low-class compared to them. It does make me question whether or not they respect ME as a consumer who supports their work, and if I should support them at all or start gleefully downloading pirated songs off the internet, haha. Anyway, I would add more but I was preparing to sleep when I saw your comment and had to write out a quick response. My thoughts are probably getting more scrambled as the night goes on lol. But I do agree with what you say if my comment makes sense XD

    P.S. Don’t know why this didn’t appear as a response to your post -______-

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

      Yeah I understand the dirty comment. I remember watching a video on racism in Korea by a black lady and a Korean man commented saying “we aren’t racist, we just like clean white skin”. And Im just thinking thats a problem in itself, why do you equate white skin to being clean. Why is someone with dark skin “dirty”. That comment bothered me but I didn’t bother replying back to it because you know how youtube is, people spend hours arguing on that site. But anyways thats a whole other subject.

      Yeah I often wonder how they feel about it to…are they just doing what they are told or do they really view these women in this way?  Im not trying to make GD and Top, or YG for that matter seem like a bunch of insensitive jerks. But when I watch these videos I always get a bad feeling. I can barly stand watching them honestly because the message in it is so obvious.It’s kinda like how I can barly watch some parts in a k-drama that features white people because you can tell they are there to serve one purpose only, and that is to look cool for Koreans, so that Koreans can be like “o look white people!”. Although to the west it just looks ridiculous, because for one they almost always act like the white person is from American when they are clearly not American and the white actor can not act at all. Same with these music videos, the white models look so awkward and they don’t seem to connect with the artist very well. And like the author was saying this gives a false idea that American equals white when it doesn’t. I think it also helps perpetrate racism in Korea when it comes to hiring teachers. A lot of black and asian english teachers have a hard time getting work in Korea because Koreans want there children to be taught by real Americans, aka white people. They don’t view a black, hispanic or asian person as a real American. Which brings me back to my point about how I feel like kpop idols do not value me as fan, they could care less if I am their fan or not because they are trying to appeal to the western audience which they mistakeningly think is all white…but in some ways I feel like kpop idols should know better because they have traveled outside of Asia and can see for themselves when they visit other countries that that’s not the case but I guess the stereotype is ingrained into them that they still believe it to be true…Im not sure but thats just my guess. Because I know even though BIGBANG has worked with black artist they still act a bit different around them. Like for instance I was watching a fan came of the making of BAD BOY MV and Seungri and Daesung where staring this black guy down lol, and I know they aren’t being racist they are probably curious and then another case was when GD said he was amazed when he heard a black women listening to his song in the car during an interview they had even though he is in the States were there are a tons of black women lol. So I guess they are still mostly clueless about other races although they’ve work with them a bit.

      And regarding your statement about how the korean models refuse to do it so they ask the white models…*sigh* honestly I think they should just stop using models. Why dont they use dancers? Dancers can be sexy and there are many dancers of all races and they probably can act/connect with BIGBANG much better than a model can. I honestly think they should try that route the next time they want to use foreign women because these models are not working out lol. In every video were they use these white models they seem to have very little chemistry with BIGBANG.

      Simon and Martina had that experience too in Korea, She said that a Korean man came up to her and said “russian” which is kind of a code name for prostitute there since the majority of white prostitues are from Russia. And she said “no im canadian”, and he kept saying “O russian”, but saying it in a way were he was hinting that he wanted to take her home as a prostitue and she kept telling him no canadian, and she knew what he was getting at so she told him in Korean that she was Canadian and that she was married, and the guy still didn’t budge until Simon came to get her. And it’s like wow that stereotype must be really strong if she told him she was married and from another country and he still thought she was a prostitute…

      I know its not just a “Korean Thing”, and that America has its problems when show casing people of color but this is an article about Kpop and one of the reasons why I have come to respect the Kpop sub-culture is there effort to connect with their fans on a more personal level, so when I am left out of that connection because I am not white/asian, I don’t feel good about it.

      • http://twitter.com/musicizmystyle Ashley Polk

        Do you remember where GD said he was surprised? I would like to read about it.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

          Here ya go- http://ibigbang.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/interview-g-dragons-10asia-interview-im-going-to-run-hard-from-the-beginning/

          Although the translation is wrong on this one, it said he said he felt weird, but the one I read said he felt amazed so I dunno…ether way he seemed generally shocked about it which I find weird because I feel like BIGBANG has really big black fanbase, probably one of the largest behind RAIN.

          • http://twitter.com/musicizmystyle Ashley Polk

            true, Most black fans that I know listen to (lol what I call the Black big 3) Rain, BIGBANG, and Jay Park.
            but is the putting in White women really their preference or is it YG??

          • Mel

            Probably both YG and BB preference.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/LimaCake LimaCake

            Thank you Jasmine for this link. How interesting!

          • whatasky

            He said he felt weird not because the person was an African-American, but because that happened in US not in Korea. He was talking about globalization of music. About the MV, that was out of convention, I guess, an insensitivenss, you’re right. Sorry for my bad English…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/MMRQEZEPSNJ26LJ7XJNDDM5NCI JasmineA

            I don’t think he was being insensitive. I was giving examples as to why I thought maybe they aren’t aware of their black fanbase as much as their white fanbase. But I guess I miss interpret what he said. I thought he was shocked she was black because he already new he had some fans in states, during an interview back in 2008 bigbang said they were happy they were recognized here when they went to disney world, so I though he was shock about other races liking his music, kinda like how park bom was when she meet some of her black fans in the first or second (can’t remember) season of 2ne1 tv lol.

          • whatasky

            I understand you. Maybe GD was impressed by the happening ’cause he witnessed what he had just heard of

      • wahooyahoo

        I was wondering if I could get the link to that video the black lady did about being in korea? If you still have it, or if you know the title, I’d really appreciate it. You’ve made excellent points.

  • Whisperingnotes

    Ah…..so people really have noticed this in Bollywood movies. It’s weird that a lot of Indians haven’t. Actually I’m surprised you watch Bollywood movies…..considering that it’s now all rip-offs and huge flops, except for Udaan last year. I digress.

    Thank God someone finally wrote an article about it! You’ve taken the words right out of my mouth. Now all I need to know is if these people do it intentionally….I mean, can they be so dense as to not realise what they’re implying? Many international fans don’t take any notice of such implications that it makes it look like we’re looking much too into this….

  • http://twitter.com/FloradeG Flora de Greef

    Hmm, I just fully replied to someone,,, but now I suddenly remember,,,
    Shinhwa’s newest MV Venus is also with a white girl, and this girl is not a toy for one night, but really ‘their love’,,,, If I can put it that way xD
    Anyways,, I hope it’s slowly changing,, the idea we’re only for the fun makes me sad :(

  • http://twitter.com/Sylar2798 Morgane

    Just saying : the MuBank in Paris wasn’t sold out at all. They even had to cancel a date because the tickets were selling so bad.

  • Odeah

    I also noticed this trend in Kpop and other Asian artists, but mostly in Kpop… I admit that we Asians have the same tendency to generalize Westerners like the way that Westerns have stereotypes of Asians. It is sad and disappointing sometimes but  I hope that Kpop would realize that they have to be more culturally sensitive.

  • Maryam Syed

    the only reason there are white girls are cause korean girls or indian girls dont like doing that..

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/P4ZSUYNPUIRG7OCJAG3CTPDETM Bazinga

      lot’s of white girls don’t like acting like that either. -_-

  • John Raymond

    No matter how many times you write it, there will still be no such word as “homogenous”. That fact pretty much obscured any message that the article may have tried to convey. You probably also pronounce the word that way, too. The correct pronunciation is “homo-genius”. It’s OK to say “homo”. You’re all grown up now.

    • http://peppermint-kiss.tumblr.com/ Reise Ohne Ende

      Your arrogance betrays your fundamental lack of understanding of how language operates.  Take a Ling 101 class before you start criticizing other people.

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

      Except that “homogenous” is, in fact, a word and is pronounced just like that – hoh-MOJ-en-us. I’m about the farthest thing from a bio major, and I know that. And I don’t know what the author allegedly being unable to say “homo” has to do with anything.

  • BurningAJ

    Hey You was filmed at Korea , but CNBLUE use all white extras … Intuition was filmed at Japan, the used both black n white extras 

  • http://twitter.com/C0C0Zi COCOZi

    Its interesting and as a big bang fan I really want to see some diversity in their vids. Sad that they went to an area in america with a lot of black people but only featured white foreigners in the video whilst singing a genre derived from black people. And Jay Park got some flack by some fans for having a black girl in his video, but it’s commendable, didn’t make me go crazy about the vid but made me wanna watch it just to see Lol. Black people are more accepted in Japanese culture than the korean one. I heard TOP fancies beyonce and nearly everyone in 2NE1 except dara has a black artist as their ideal types so I don’t write it off as discrimination or anything on their parts, maybe there just aren’t many black models putting themselves forward to feature in a korean music video, the proportion of black models is small itself let alone black models for a korean video [ and YES Jenny/Joe Blogg with no style off the street can't just wonder into a kpop mv, image is still akin to currency in Korea so models are the most likely candidate with a chance], but who knows??
    Anyways, I’m also a huge MIB fan and they come from Jungle Entertainment as most know show a hardline against racism of any sort and I suppose I can keep ‘dreaming’ of having a shot in an MIB video, wish I spoke korean though it’d be so much more easier to make an impression that way lol (^-^ ).Having been into korean entertainment for a while know, when I first got into it the term ‘foreigners’ was so offensive to me, I didn’t get it, but the general attitude was that foreigners are akin to aliens. The amount of times I see a korean Idol or person clam up or get really nervous from a foreigner coming up to them is too many. As foreigners go,  they may have to kinda made peace with the fact that korea may never be truely ‘home’ for a non-korean like most people in the west find a place they belong. I’ve heard many expat’s tales state koreans are usually SUPER, SUPER friendly but they never get a sense of a true closeness with the them. But it’s of course also true that as foreigners go white people are probably better accepted than black or other tanner people. I don’t really buy into the whole, koreans are not exposed to black people as much and therefore have only negative stereotypes to base on cos the sheer number of times I see western references to book, movies, programmes, cities, people etc some even I don’t know about, its so diverse that I’m impressed, they know about sport, important figures etc they don’t live in a cave. 
    However, KPOP as a whole has in my opinion grown far too fast for the society to be ready for us. Its in itself a phenomenon that so many non-koreans love it when korea didn’t market to them in the least bit kinda like the mylittlepony phenomenon lol. And someone once asked me a hard question, how would I react if koreans fully integrated other nationalities into kpop, into its groups, shows etc?? Even as a ‘foreigner’ myself I had to admit that it probably wouldn’t feel like kpop to me anymore if diversity is common place. Yes, i may get happy to see a non-korean on tv for a split second and champion the changing attitudes but maybe somewhere deep inside me its nice and familiar that the kpop I know and love stays inherently korean.