• glacierkn

    I like what you did with the U-Kiss picture and “nugu” image lol
    But you’re totally right about the labels and how they’re so important esp for rookie groups.  I do think that the labels can become “void” later on, but they need to have a “concept” to start out with and declare their identity. 
    I wonder if U-Kiss started with an international-dol label, but that probably wasn’t so effective.  Weed-dol is good for them now :P

    • mognut

      Weed-dol? lol did I miss something?

      • glacierkn

        they are called weed-dols because no matter how many times they get pushed down, they still come back :)

        • mognut

          Thank you! :) See Weed-dol would mean something else here and that doesn’t really fit with Korean law/society, so I was confused, but that makes more sense. Thanks

          • glacierkn

            oh! I think I know what you mean LOL

  • Harliyana Mohd Hanif

    I fell in love with 2PM’s Again & Again and thus, 2PM, way before I even know such things as Beast-dol exists. Just saying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Nate-Broadus/100003245734823 Nate Broadus

    Everybody needs and wants an identity — I imagine this is even more true in Kpop, considering one Kpop idol is merely a face in a vast sea of idols. 

  • http://allthatdramanews.blogspot.com/ Eye Candy

    Another group I think of as being defined by a distinct label would be Infinite who I always heard as described as being perfectly in sync with their dances. I personally like Infinite for a number of different reasons, but I do think it’s cool that they can dance perfectly in sync. However, I do think this results in them having to work harder at their dances, since they are more likely to receive criticism for being out of sync dancing than other groups known for different traits.

  • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

    This is a dilemma everyone faces, and it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. While your label it gives you an identity, and makes you stand out, it also boxes you into a category. It defines you. In many ways, the Kpop “world” (for lack of a better word), is like high school. In high school, everyone is looking for some way to stand out from everyone else. 

    I’m a highschool student right now. My school has over 4000 students. With so many people, you really have to get involved in activities and find a group of friends and take classes that suit you, because otherwise it’s so easy to get lost in the crowd. In some ways, I feel like Kpop idols face the same challenges. They have to establish themselves as an idol that’s talented at singing, or dancing, or acting, or radio hosting, or variety shows. To be someone, they have to prove to the industry that they are worth something. 

    And it’s really admirable when they can. There’s so many other idols vying for a position in the industry, that I commend anyone who can make a name for himself. But by doing that, idols might pigeonhole themselves to the point where that skill defines the extent of their usefulness. For example, ZE:A’s Kwanghee is pretty much known solely for his humor. It’s also pretty much the reason ZE:A is famous. Recently I read an article where Kwanghee said he wanted to have more lines and I was, admittedly, surprised. “But he’s only good for being funny, isn’t he?” I wondered. And, okay, I still kind of think that. But I did find it sad that he probably won’t ever get those lines, because people expect him to be a comedian, not a singer.

    I actually think JYJ’s Jaejoong is another example of this. I’m always shocked when I see rankings done on the best singers in Kpop, because Jaejoong is almost never on them. Now, admittedly, rankings are subjective and not very reliable, but Jaejoong’s singing technique is superior to the majority of idols (personally, he’s in my top three for male idols). Of course, you’d see Junsu on most of these lists, and rightly so, but I feel like somehow Junsu is known for his singing and Jaejoong isn’t. For some reason, do people box Jaejoong into the “visual” category and not look past that to see what a talented singer he is? Maybe this paragraph is a bit of a rant, but it’s a common trend I’ve seen in polls that really gets to me.

    Although we can criticize the use of labels, they always will and always have existed, and it’s a large part of the way we think of people. We like to think we understand everything, so we simplify people so we can feel like we know them. Everyone defines others by labels, to some extent. 

    This is especially true for idols, who want to be seen and heard. I can completely understand why Lizzy might feel upset about her loss of a label. Without that, who is she really? Sure, she’s not just a label, but what exactly is she without it? To reintroduce herself to the public as a more than just a satoori-dol, she’ll have to work really hard, and I bet she already put a lot of effort into getting recognized for that label in the first place. It’s honestly kind of sad, because to some extent, I’m sure she feels like a bit of who she is has been stolen, and now she’s have to make up for that by utilizing other hidden, unused talents.

    But I do hope she doesn’t feel too upset, because in the end, her fans love her for plenty of reasons besides her satoori. While her accent might be the first thing that endears her to her fans, I’m sure the idol they’ve come to love a more complex and well-rounded person. She’s more than her label says, and I hope she knows that.  

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      It’s sad that Jaejoong’s vocals are never fully appreciated by the public simply because of his face. He’s perpetuates such a FACE OF THE GROUP image that nobody takes him seriously as a singer, no matter the fact that he actually sings more than Junsu.

      And to think SM’s original concept for Jaejoong during debut was to be quiet and just sing, and still, cold looks were more remembered than his vocals.

      Kwanghee’s more universally known as the Plastic Surgery Idol, actually.

      • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

        I didn’t know anything about Kwanghee having plastic surgery, lol. I just know he’s considered really good on variety shows. :P

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

          He’s really good in variety shows now because he famously admitted in Strong Heart how he basically changed his whole face when he was a trainee.

          He’s funny in such a self-deprecating manner, which Koreans love. :)

          • http://twitter.com/M_Wys Michaela Wylie

            Haha, I guess I got him confused with his member. I read about someone in ZE:A getting tons of plastic surgery, but I thought it was Siwan. xD

  • http://www.facebook.com/karheng279 Aaron Ho

    One idol came up in my mind while reading this article,  KKAB KING. 

    I wonder what are your thoughts on that?