• Sophina Ji

    Brown Eyed Girl’s Abracadabra…the MV speaks for itself.

  • http://twitter.com/A7316A AB

    With respect to the last two songs, “Bad” and “I Remember,” I think that by showing such a relationship in a music video, the lyrics aren’t downplaying domestic abuse at all. Rather, it seems to me that they depict the woes of such a relationship. Domestic abuse at its worst is a vicious cycle that both members continue to be a part of. It’s something that’s difficult to leave for a woman because there are conflicting ideals. She has to determine if she still loves her significant other and whether leaving is something that she can even do with success. By showing those scenes in music videos with the especially haunting songs, I think the music’s intent is to provoke reactions in the viewer much like the one you had, Fatouma, with this article: this should not be happening. The viewer is able to comprehend how bad the situation is, but those involved in the relationship have trouble seeing that extent or breaking out of it because for them, it could be love. Since the music video provides a fictional situation and the viewer is not in one, I find that it brings awareness about a situation that shouldn’t exist, especially when it provokes a watcher to want that woman to just walk away, to not fall back into the arms of the one that just hurt her.

    While MBLAQ’s “Y” is questionable, I do think Song Ji-eun and Bang Yong-guk’s “Going Crazy” also demonstrates how that type of behavior is not right. Though I remember the version in which Ji-eun and Yong-guk actually acted better, in both versions the gist was that the eerily possessive stalking behavior was not accepted well. Though in the actual music video something horrible does happen to the male protagonist, it once again ignites horror in the minds of viewer, not appreciation for the act. After all, the main lyrics are asking if that possessive person is crazy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-Cottle/1297801414 Jessica Cottle

    I don’t think Tablo’s “Bad” trivializes it at all. In fact, the song is down right haunting.

    • http://twitter.com/MrCKDexter Rachel

      I was surprised by that description too. The violence in the music video is not one-sided, nor is it trivialized. It’s a metaphor for when a relationship goes sour, and how two people who were once in love just start tearing each other apart. It’s disturbing, and it’s meant to be.
      The amount of violence shown in “romantic” Korean music videos is staggering, though. How much of this message is internalized by viewers I can’t say, but it is pervasive.

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

    well…. if anythings going to change about gender equality in South Korea it’s the South Koreans that are going to have to do it…. 

    • danahz

      And it’s still probably not going to happen anytime soon.

      • jesuis2

        The US has had how many decades after industrialization in which it took gender equality to get where it has?  (Still no gender equality in the US).

        Gender equality arises from industrialization and women entering the workforce.

        Korea still has a way to go, but they’ve come a long way in a few decades (note how the divorce rate has gone up, just like in the US).

        Countries which are still industrializing – China, Russia, former Eastern bloc countries, India, etc. – are behind.

  • YourYG Bias

    Love is fuc- complicated. 

    These MVs only show stereotypes and relationships that only appear in dreams. Hopeless. 

  • http://twitter.com/seaseesea Janice

    If we were to bring some mathematics in, one would find that the
    ratio of these songs to the songs which depressingly embodies
    disappointing attitudes highly unbalanced. But all in all, I think that K-pop is not entirely void of what we by all standards would deem as a healthy portrayal of relationships. Miss A and 2ne1 are two girl groups that spring into mind, and more specifically, their songs ‘Bad Girl Good Girl’ and ‘I don’t care’.

    ‘Bad Girl Good Girl’ is basically an anthem of a girl telling quick to judge judgey boys to back off, questioning their hypocrisy in their quick to stereotype tendencies. The ladies were strong and confident and they weren’t going to take any crap from boys who chastise them for being who they are or the way they are.

    ‘I don’t care’ on the other hand, is in a nutshell, how I think more and more girls should be like when it comes to two-timing guys. They really were telling the guy that they didn’t care, and that they weren’t ever going to put in any care at all for a guy who does not care for them!

    Songs like the two above are few and far between, which is sad, but the fact that we do have songs like these is better than being void of any at all… I can only wish for more.

    • tangerinehead

      Another notable song like the ones you mentioned is Gain’s Bad Temper. I was disappointed that she wasn’t going to follow her “Irreversible” promotions with this song.
      “I’m only saying what my heart wants to say
      I would not be indecisive
      Pretending to be gentle, kind and weak
      I hate that”
      The rest of the song, primarily the chorus, talks about how she refuses to be treated like a toy in order to make him happy, and she won’t judge (“rate”) him if he just talks truthfully with her.

  • cloudy90

    I never take k-pop’s MV to heart anyways. The way they portrayed love is immature yet its is undeniable that the community is attracted to messages they brought ( Girls depressed over break-ups, even if they get over them they are still obsessed in plotting revenges, [2NE1 I don't care, 4minutes Heart-to--heart], guys portrayed as players and heartbreakers , well that is k-pop for you, or say, entertainment, any kind of music often have that messages as well.) 

    What came to my mind was also 2NE1′s Go Away/ The scene where she was slapped to ground by her bf? I remembered watching with my bf, and he went WTH.

  • danahz

    Now I feel like I should appreciate dance videos in oddly lit boxes.

  • Alex O.

    I actually thought the exact same thing when I saw that MV from MBLAQ, but looking back on it now, it really is just one of those horribly inaccurate scenarios K-Pop likes to present to its viewers in an attempt to dramatize the song and captivate naive fans.

  • http://twitter.com/maeeau maeeau

    Although I agree with many of your points, I couldn’t understand why you would pick Tablo’s “Bad” MV and Song Ji Eun and Bang Yong Guk’s “Going Crazy” as examples. I mean, they both pretty much show the downsides of extreme-scary-crazy kind of love in even just the songs.

    And Tablo’s MV for “Bad” is not only the man beating the woman, but the woman beating on the man also, which shows the dysfunctional parts of love and their relationship.

  • lilmizsara

    I’ve been waiting for an article addressing themes like this for a long time and it’s finally here – thank you seoulbeats and Fatouma :) and this is probably the reason why I won’t or just can’t bring myself to watch/listen to alot of kpop MVs/songs nowadays. It just gets on my nerves sometimes, they things they sing about – how women will only be trully loved if they looked a certain way, how girls keep pining for their “oppas” and acting all shy and giggly and whatnot, how to be tough and be taken seriously as a female you gotta be all bad-ass and dress in black with tons of eyeliner, all the themes about going crazy in love etc. The list goes on. These songs all portray a very warped perception of women, their roles and love itself. And the constant emphasis on appearance in some of these songs is really tiring and irritating – at least for me.

    There are so many aspects – deeper aspects of love that can be explored and depicted in MVs and written about in songs. but most songs just hold very superficial meaning – at least for me, and I’ve grown so tired of them I just stay away from them these days…

    I haven’t watched alot of the MVs that you have listed but I did watch MBLAQ’s Y. When I did, I was trully shocked – Joon’s character had a fight with SH’s character and ended up shooting the girl he was involved with. And all because she was seen with SH’s character and so she was found out for cheating (correct me if I’m wrong). NOTHING justifies that kind of violence towards a woman – not even cheating and I am actually surprised that scene didnt get banned or anything. That scene was really uncomfortable for me to watch as a woman.

  • Alixana_Tigana

    You’re reading too much into it.

    • Grace Ecarg

      It doesn’t seem that into it, considering I can see the message in the songs by just looking at the translations and the mv.
      I think it’s important to look at it like this, cause kpop is everywhere (in south korea that is) and obviously influences us in many ways. How kpop portrays these things is, in my opinion, important.

    • cloudy90

      MVs obviously influences the society. And while most of them are merely eye-candies, it brings a wrong message. Considering the fact that so many teenagers are listening to K-pop, it plays a big role in influencing the mind and perspective of teens.

      I remembered watching Sistar’s Shady Girl MV. Whilst the music was catchy, the lyrics was interesting. It depicts how a girl is “two-faced”, meaning acting a totally different person as so to catch the attention of the guy she likes.

      [When i'm watching a movie, i have to be startled. When i eat with you, i have to leave something aside. Even if i'm not sad, tears have to flow. Do you know those feelings of mine?When i drink water, i have to pretend being drunk. No matter how hard it is, i always have to smile. It seems like it's about to rain, so i have to be nervous. Do you know those feelings of mine? ]

  • http://twitter.com/alfone88 isho

    love the article but I want to give you guys a teaser that a Korean artist Younha is on and her MV that I’ve seen have being reasonable MV, so check out her teaser for her new album!! 
     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxA6A7bL_7o&feature=youtu.be&a

  • pending

    I definitely agree with the article, but there are a few exceptions that I think are worth mentioning. When the author says, “but there aren’t any MVs that show men clinging on to women, having their lives revolve around them, or singing songs about making every
    wish of his girlfriend or wife come true.” I absolutely loved 2AM’s “I Wonder If You Hurt Like Me”, which showed a man clinging to his ex-girlfriend’s memory to the point where he couldn’t move on with his life, and more recently, Boyfriend’s “Love Style” promises in the chorus to be whatever kind of boyfriend the girl/listener wants.

    These very well might be the exceptions that prove the rule, but they show that there are at least a few MVs that go against the default narrative.

  • http://twitter.com/deanheat Heather

    Thank you for taking the time to write this! So much of k-pop is problematic in this way.  I agree that change has to start with South Korea itself; however, if k-pop starts proactively trying to improve the situation, people who look up to them will pay attention and perhaps follow their lead. 

  • http://twitter.com/suimanstudio suimanstudio

    There will always be some teens and tweens who base their standards on how movies, music and other entertainment medias show an exaggerated portion of life. 

    Is the entertainment to blame?

    Mostly no.
    In some cases entertainment bears an insignificant amount of responsibility however fiction is still fiction. 

    The problem occurs because these teens and tweens are not explained and thaught the difference between fiction and reality. Not having a concept of this difference leads to people confusing entertainment with rea life.

    Obviously in order to raise awareness movies and music videos have to exaggerate in one or the other direction. Humans generally aren’t interested in a boring story line – every reality show so far has included an overload of drama despite being promoted as a mirror of “real life”. In truth they cast real people with lives that are bound to any sort of drama. 

    Music videos and song lyrics aren’t an exception. 
    Why would the general public enjoy a story of drinking coffee with friends?
    Instead they want something triggering, a topic that’s both interesting and entertaining. 

    Love is one of those topics where exaggeration makes it marketable. The “he loves me, I love him; he respects me, I respect him” concept is only desirable in real life. In any media, there has to be a conflict in order to turn heads. 
    Including guns, crime, murder…Anykind of unusual or shocking visual elements will keep the music video in topic because people are attracted to being shocked.

    But lets curve back to those who can’t make a difference.
    These people are either moral crusaders who can’t accept any imagery or story that’s not fitting their idea of healthy/good/morally acceptable OR they are simply people who’s parenting failed at some point. 

    The mere fact, that statistically the most influencable age group are teens and early tweens speaks for my claim. Today’s young generations aren’t taught well – many parents assume the world should become more considerate instead of putting effort into raising their child. Other parents overdo their protection and set rules instead of limits. 

    Youngsters won’t learn anything from keeping the “bad” out of their sight. It will make them more breakable and influencable because they will be curious why something is banned from them.

    It’s better to explain them why something is wrong or questionable and how following it could harm oneself. This does not erase the chance of them becoming influenced by the media but raises the chance of them not making the same mistake again. 

    Let’s take for instance Genie. 
    A young girl without a concept of how relationships truly work might think: “If XY oppa would go out with me, I would definitely become his good luck goddess and devote my life to him!” – typically naive thoughts…

    A young girl who has been explained by mother ( and father in best case ) that relationships rely on love, respect and compromissions most likely will see nothing more in Genie than SNSD singing a song with catchy tune and coreography…Her ideal of a relationship will no be harmed by an exaggerated message since she knows already how real life works…

    Same for violent content. 
    The violent portrayal of love will only effect the people who lack the concept of healthy relationships – explaining this concept is not the job of entertainment. It might take on the subject, but it does not have to. 

    Everyone should be taught the concepts of reality by their close environment. If this does not happen you can’t place the blame on everything else – that’s the easiest way to wash your hands and throw away your personal responsibility to teach your child, sibling, friend etc.

    • Grace Ecarg

       the problem is kpop listeners are probably not going to open up to the people who can teach them (the parents in most cases) and ask, “I’m confused about what this is trying to say, can you help me?”

      • http://twitter.com/suimanstudio suimanstudio

        You completely misunderstood my words.
        I never claimed they should open up.
        I clearly explained they should be taught to from the start what’s good and what’s bad for them and why. 

        They are two completely different issues, a child from birth is influenced mostly by his/her parents until he/she becomes old enough to explore the world by him/herself. In worst scenario this age is around 10, in best around 13-14.

        If raised the good way, the child will naturally only absorb appropriate information even if he/she is introduced to inappropriate ones. This can only happen if the parents spend their time to teach their child that everything has it’s due time and eventually he/she’ll be able to experience when she’s ready. 

        Unfortunately most parents nowadays think school and the media are there to teach their children how the world rolls – which they were never designed for. School teaches knowledge and not manners, media teaches about the diversity and controversy of the world and doesn’t babysit children.

        So if a kid NEEDS to open up to ask his/her parent about a music video, that child hasn’t been raised properly in the first place.  

  • Lo7us

    This was a really interesting topic which I looked forward to reading, although I disagreed with half of it. Nice examples, but I would have appreciated it more if the author actually quoted the English translations of the songs that were referred to, which would have made the article better. I know it’s long enough as it is, but I couldn’t shake off the feeling that a discussion of the exact lyrics and visual representation of them would have been more convincing. 

    I also think this article mixed up two types of songs/videos: The ones that actually fail to realize they are misrepresenting love by passing it off as something “trendy” or “cool” and the ones that actually try to show us what dangerous or unhealthy “love” looks like.MBLAQ would fall into the first category by using trends (“Guns are badass! Let’s use them in our MV”) to misrepresent love. Both “Y” and their new single “It’s War” shows Joon resorting to violence when he realizes he can’t have this lady. Aside from the excessive wrist-grabbing and portrayal of the woman as a passive object, just being seen with someone else is considered “cheating” on him, and that is automatically a great plot device… to have Joon whip out his gun and shoot people/himself? What? Aside from being nonsensical plot videos, both videos, as much as I love MBLAQ, portray dealing with relationship problems in a horrible manner. 

    Now the rest of the examples with Song Ji Eun, Tablo, and Bang Yong Guk are the second case.

    “Going Crazy” by Song Ji Eun literally states “This isn’t love, it’s just your obsession… please leave me alone, etc.” I don’t understand how this song or video promotes what is has just stated is unhealthy. Of course, the MV suits the creepiness and deranged tone of the lyrics in its own way, but it in no way confuses that behavior for true love.   

    It’s stated in the article that Tablo’s “Bad” glorifies violence and passes off abusive relationships as love. The song is written in the perspective of the people involved. The lyrics are like this in order to show, and not blatantly preach to an audience about what exactly constitutes an unhealthy relationship. The lyrics may be misinterpreted just because Tablo is not yelling out to the camera “This is not love! Abuse is not love!” that he is promoting this behavior just by showing it, but this is not true. I think that highlighting the problem by showing it in its true form is much more convincing than simply preaching what to do in a relationship. Like the comment below, I think that this song is meant to SHOW that the relationship is bad by having the listeners go through both the abuser’s and victim’s viewpoints rather than simply be TOLD that such behavior is not good. The author also stated that domestic violence “needs to be shown for what it is, a traumatizing and horrifying experience” which is true, but there are many ways of doing just this. There are hundreds and thousands of different narratives of both survivors and abusers that just cannot be ignored or dismissed just because their way of telling the story isn’t what other people want it to be. 

    The lyrics in Tablo’s “Bad” even contain the sentence “Love is a sickness.” It is obvious to us, the audience, that love is not supposed to be a sickness, that love is a good thing, but what the people in the MV are experiencing are the results of a sick, unhealthy relationship. Now there is sexual imagery in the video, but it doesn’t sexualizes the violence occuring. Aside from the fact that conventionally attractive people are featured in the video (aka the norm in k-media), the bed-scenes and broken glass both serve to show how screwed up the relationship actually is. In fact, the scenes where they are wearing little clothing coupled with their broken expressions showed vulnerability rather than anything sexually satisfying. 

    One of the causes for concern in this article is that end of the video shows the lovers huddled up once again, still together, even after such violence occurred. What we need to understand is that domestic violence is, for many victims/survivors/abusers, a cycle. The sadness lies in the fact that many, many victims that find it extremely difficult to leave even though they know they are being abused, and end up staying in the relationship much longer than they should have, regardless of their reasons for it. So, the ending could be interpreted shallowly as dismissing violence, and encouraging victims to stay in a vicious situation. However, it is really showing that many victims do not leave their relationships immediately after experiencing it. By having the MV end like this, it is showing the dangerous cycle of abuse;I. I would disagree that just showing something is the same as promoting it, because only when you show something in its gory details, or danger, or viciousness, can there be an open discussion about it. 

    It is apparent that Korea and many other parts of the world often dismiss domestic abuse as “lovers’ quarrels” but I think the main purpose of such videos of showing abusive relationships is to highlight the fact that they are anything but. 

    Another example of this type of video could be Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” where Eminem is clearly rapping in the viewpoint of the abuser and even says “if she ever leaves again, I’ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire.” In fact, the whole song is full of the abuser’s utterly terrible thoughts and actions. Just because Eminem is rapping about it, he is not promoting abusive behavior, but rather showing the problem with it. I find this showing rather than telling much more convincing than a song which blatantly says “Don’t abuse.” without any proper context.

    The MV for “I Remember” reminds me of the “Love the Way You Lie” video but it may be unclear in showing that abusive relationships are bad because the lyrics don’t hint towards a particularly unhealthy relationship, just one that left the speaker heartbroken, while the video clearly shows hitting, but the intention may be the same as the other videos. “I Remember” is more problematic in that it doesn’t make the distinction as clear as the others and I personally thought it was trying to copy the “Love the Way You Lie” concept, but failed.  

    As for Mirotic, I always interpreted the lyrics, especially the chorus, to be about sex and lust, rather than love/relationships. Lust is obviously not the same thing as love and the lyrics (“I’ve got you under my skin”) make much more sense to me in that context, which is why I felt that Mirotic wasn’t really an appropriate example for this topic. 

    There definitely should have been more text citations of lyrics; I think that a thorough exploration of problematic songs/videos could have been achieved if this were a two-part or three-part article. I really enjoy when SB goes into deep and relevant topics like this in K-pop, but am disappointed because the usual one-article format doesn’t allow for much in-depth discussion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692789827 Alexandra Swords

    This article has actually offended me. How can you look at these videos and songs in the way you have? There’s no proper analysis, nor any accounting of circumstance at all! It horrible misrepresents not only these videos, but the industry as a whole. Kpop takes on the multifaceted nature of life and love in a way that other music industries can only dream about.

    I’m particularly appalled by what has been done to Bang Yong Guk’s “I remember” because that MV is one of the single most amazing representations of the psychological phases of guilt, anger, forgiveness, and PTSD that I have ever seen.
    .

    I present my counter: (It was written while I was still in hyper-offended mode so it comes off more directly virulent than it necessarily is meant to be, but all of the points are still valid.)

    SJ-M’s SuperGirl caught my attention immediately (See HERE) . Because out of anything this song is HORRIBLE to prove the point that beauty is everything. First off, the premiss that the song is based on is that the girl isn’t the typically pretty thing, seeing as the guy she likes doesn’t see her beauty
    (and I quote, in paraphrased translation, from the chorus: you’re my
    super girl, you’re my baby girl, he can’t see you’re beauty, your
    ordinary charm). <- That SCREAMS that beauty is in the eye of the
    beholder and that she’s only pretty because the narrator in in love with
    her.

    Also, the MV isn’t about looks at all, it’s about daring. Hangeng
    doesn’t become the uber-popular guy because he changes his look, he becomes the popular guy because he puts the stupid camera down and actually ENGAGES with the people around him
    instead of simply looking on in wonder. Oi Vey! This is actually a very
    GOOD example of simple sweetness, and yet the Seoulbeats author used it
    as a degrading thing.

    Aish, it seriouly pisses me off when people say something is bad when
    it’s clearly not. I can tolerate people saying something’s different
    than I see it, everything has multiple interpretations, but there are
    limits people, there are actual facts to work with here …

    .

    And for songs like Genie, it is seriously wrong to want to make
    things easy for your partner? Is it so bad to want to make their lives
    easier? If you’d care to notice, Genies are notoriously tricky, they
    only grant you three wishes to begin with and all of those wishes are
    warped in some way to benefit the genies themselves! Being a Genie
    rather than a servant is the best way possible to want to grant a
    partner’s wishes and desires!!

    .

    Also, mysterious writer of Seoulbeats, in regards to 2NE1’s
    confidence being based off their looks: HAVE YOU SEEN THEIR LOOKS IN
    THAT MV? They look ridiculous. Their confidence comes from with
    in and it makes them look awesome even when they should theoretically
    feel like like look like idiots.

    .

    You then move on to 2PM’s10 out of 10. It’s a song that undeniably
    about ranking pretty girls based on their looks. Um, hello, it’s a
    gag-mv / irl-game that both guys and girls participate in on a regular
    basis.

    .

    AndMirotic? You prove my point yourself! The song asksIs this
    Love?and clearly it is not. However, it’s not just the girl that’s
    bound, in the lyrics it’s the girl that’s obsessed, tied inexorably to
    the narrator, but in the MV it’s the boys that are chasing after her and
    physically bound in someway by her. Besides obsession is a thing that
    happens in the real world, it’s dramatic and thematic and TVXQ has a
    history of working with it.Wrong Numberalso addresses the same,
    obsessive quality that the idea of love can often make people fall
    victim to.

    .

    And Y’s MV clearly explains the reasons for the violence, and to take
    it a step further it’s highly probably that the violence is even
    metaphorical!!! Just the act of a desperate psyche as it finally breaks
    down.

    .

    And that you dare to say that GOING CRAZY is somehow awful…
    Have you even watched that MV? Aish! The whole burning in the car thing
    is a symbolic trope, it’s a removal of the pain from ones self in a
    symbol of freedom, flames of passion and light and warmth that cause
    more pain and destruction than you could imagine. By being in the locked
    in the trunk, it’s a notion of the past being put behind you. The
    violence is entirely metaphorical, dramatic, a well respected
    filmography technique and, I must say, very well done.

    Neither Y nor going crazy are about true love, they’re about
    the individual misjudgements of it that people make on a daily basis,
    simply exacerbated by dramatic metaphor. To not see the drama
    and the metaphoric finesse of it is quite sad, actually, because that
    means you are set in your ways of being angry and offended and that you
    cannot appreciate the art of exaggeration.

    .

    I TAKE DRAMATIC AND PERSONAL OFFENSE the fact you say
    Bang YougGuk’s I remember creates a triviality out of domestic violence.
    It honesty offends me to the core. You have some horrible nerve and some tremendous temerity to so degrade such a beautiful song and music video. That story is one of the most well crafted stories of self-sacrifice, drama, and psychological conflict I’ve ever seen.
    It goes into the mind of guilt, of fear, or anger, and of love despite
    it with such accuracy of psychology that it STILL gives me shivers to
    see. (watch HERE)

    Now for those of you that don’t get it: She’s involved with bad
    people, that’s why they fight at first. He doesn’t want her in that
    crowd anymore, but she has some reason keeping her in it. They’re in
    love and despite their anger with each other, they still have a
    passionate regard and tenderness for one another. She gets caught up in a
    hold up somehow, and he’s pissed because he’s scared for her, hence his
    scene of ripping up the apartment. He goes in guns blazing to save her,
    and succeeds, but dies in the process. Her grief drives her to rip up
    the apartment herself, and to project him into being with her while she
    sits on the floor (yeah, in all those cuts of him and her sitting like a
    cute couple on the floor? HE”S DEAD and she’s in psychological trauma
    that’s projecting him around her, PTSD people). It is a BEAUTIFUL story, and it’s SPECTACULARLY done.

    • AcadiasFire

      I said the same thing about the I Remember video. I was like, “Hmm why’d she put that there? I got the message he was trying to send.” I also got the message with Going Crazy.

    • jesuis2

      You know the author of this piece had a set agenda and then wrote a story around it.

      Tha author writes this…

      ____

      Some MVs, and songs, go even as far as to imply that men should not be sensitive or timid in terms of relationships, and should be more active and act confident. Girl groups even find themselves perpetuating this trope, like Secret’s “Shy Boy” and 2NE1′s “Pretty Boy.”

      ____

      But the thing is, Secret’s “Shy Boy” does the exact OPPOSITE.

      The song’s lyrics disses the player type who is arrogant, can talk big and has plenty of girls, and praises the “shy boy.”

      As for 2NE1 - they are all about “GIRL POWER.”

      In fact, K-pop girl groups have gotten popular in Japan w/ Japanese girls b/c they portray a more “powerful” image than the J-pop girl groups which stick to the more the cutesy/innocent image.

    • seanaldshoee

      I don’t completely back the author of this article either because I do feel that her perspective was skewed, but your arguments are flawed, as well. 

      Super Girl: 

      Although I understand that he did put away his camera and he engaged with the people around him… was the change in wardrobe necessary for that? The change in outfit is a clue-in to viewers that a change in appearance is an easy path to confidence and getting the girl of his dreams. 
      And that’s what the girl is, she’s the girl of his dreams because he sees her as beautiful even though she doesn’t. So the authors’ point is still valid because the video makes it seem as though changing his appearance was a major factor in allowing the dude to have the confidence to engage with others and subsequently land the girl. 

      Genie: 

      The author isn’t saying that there’s anything wrong with trying to make your partner happy. You’re missing the point of the article. She’s saying that the video promotes bad values, which many argue that SNSD does in general. Although on the surface, Genie is about making your partner happy, it also promotes specific gender roles that are popularized in Korean culture by videos such as these. And again, these are subliminal realizations, so yes, the video is about making your partner happy; but videos can fulfill more than just one role.. 

      I also feel that you’re reading far too much into the usage of the word Genie. What in the video leads you to believe that the ‘Genie’ works the wishes of her partner to her advantage? Furthermore, that interpretation of the title only works if you have a firm grasp of the connotations of the word. Which I doubt the general Korean public has, seeing as their first language is…. Korean. Go figure.  

      I Am The Best: 

      That they look ridiculous is a subjective opinion.

      Also, flawed considering the company 2NE1 is signed under. Everything anyone wears in YG is ridiculous. (By anyone, I mean Big Bang and 2NE1 lol) 

      Anyway, regardless of personal taste, their outfits are skin tight, form flattering and the angles show case long legs etc. Even Park Bom’s high ponytail is a style often associated with high fashion. In this sense, we can see that the women are being portrayed as attractive individuals. Then they switch to badass outfits and adopt a tough attitude. 

      So yeah, what the author is trying to say is that we only ever see them swiveling in a diamond, walking with a poodle and sitting around being thugs. So what s/he gets out of the video is that 2NE1′s confidence stems solely from their appearances.

      Personally, I’m not sold on this argument either, but I’m even less sold on yours. 

      10 out of 10: 

      What makes you think that it’s a gag music video? You’ll need to elaborate on that. 

      The game itself is a game that degrades people in general…. and promotes appearances in an unhealthy way. I fail to see how that argument legitimizes the video as one that doesn’t fit this author’s argument. 

      Mirotic: 

      I don’t know this song well enough, but I’d like to propose a rebuttal to this line: 

      “Obsession is a thing that happens in the real world.” 

      It is something that happens in the real world, and it’s something that is inextricably linked to unfair and sometimes scary ‘loves’. Stalkers, possessiveness, all that jazz. 

      I think what the author is trying to say is that music videos like this popularize themes such as obsession and therefore indirectly begin to legitimize it in society….or at least the fan base. Furthermore a video such as this popularizes this facet of love to its fans. Their love for this video and for the artists may lead an acceptance of this treatment in love.

      Again, I’m not completely sold on this argument…. but again, I’m less sold on yours.  

      The rest of the songs, I don’t know and I’ve never watched the videos for…. but I’d like to say that CAPITALIZING random words in your ARGUMENTS actually make you sound LESS coherent and your arguments LESS convincing than if you just kept everything the SAME size.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MP4ODZABSPCOVB3ASN3X6D6GGQ B.E.G. Fan

    The only thing I really disagree with is the description about Tablo’s “Bad.” That video is not romanticizing it. If you listen to the lyrics and what his saying, then you’d realize that he’s saying the kind of love where you lose yourself and hurt one another is the bad “love.” This video is showing a completely dysfunctional and horrible relationship, and it’s not “sexualizing” abuse at all. In fact, several images in the video are downright haunting and sickening.

    Tablo’s “Bad” is amazing. It’s not trying to say, “this is love and how it’s suppose to be.” It’s showing how some people call that kind of relationship “love” when it’s actually completely detrimental to the people involved. When she says “What we call love,” I still do not believe she is saying “this is love.” It seems more like, “we call this love, but we continue to bring out the worst in each other. This love is ‘bad’ for us.”

    You completely missed the point of that song, my friend.

    • Whisperingnotes

      My thoughts exactly.
      I’ve read cases of abusive relationships where the girlfriend does get abused yet still thinks that the love each other. To me, Bad portrayed how every love isn’t ‘good’, that a relationship and the couple’s minds can be as messed up as this.

    • Whisperingnotes

      My thoughts exactly.
      I’ve read cases of abusive relationships where the girlfriend does get abused yet still thinks that the love each other. To me, Bad portrayed how every love isn’t ‘good’, that a relationship and the couple’s minds can be as messed up as this.

  • zazuki_24

    ‘Love’ has always been such a prevalent theme in current k-pop songs, that singing it has lost it’s meaning. (to me, though) Every song is about love between two ppl, that I swear I don’t need to understand the lyrics to know what these idols, bands, soloists are probably singing about.

    However, some of the MVs actually correctly portray the korean’s view of love – having good looks. I’ve seen a video [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5GvkcjszLk&feature=g-hist] where high school female students are already undergoing plastic surgery because looks, to them are extremely important in a relationship and society. What was worse is that a student said that she was ugly and after the surgery, her mom liked that she became pretty( WTF?! sorry i usually don’t say it but seriously..) The Korean society’s view on love is so superficial and most of them don’t even think there’s anything wrong about having these views enforced.
    I think…I digressed lol…

  • ArielLM13

    I just want to say that while I agree with this article and most of it’s choices as examples, I strongly disagree with the fact that Song Jieun’s and Bang Yongguk’s “Going crazy” is included. Jieun sings the part of the victim and Bang raps the part of the stalker. Nothing in the video or the lyrics trivializes violence. Jieun clearly sings ”this isn’t love, it’s just your obsession” and “have you gone crazy?”, even saying “this just hurts me”. That being said the guy in the video played the role of ‘victim’, whilst the girl who kills him plays the role of stalker. The stalker kills the person they “love”. This only serves as proof the the stalker is indeed crazy and that it isn’t love. They very clearly showed that this was indeed not an act of love or passion but instead an act of a Crazy McPsycho pants.