K-pop has always dabbled in the supernatural, but the past couple of years have seen the idea of idols with superpowers gain hold. Just like how members of a group are responsible for vocals, visuals and aegyo, companies have now found more things for their charges to specialise in.
We have Exo’s various superpowers, of course, displayed in their debut MV “Mama;” and recently debuted group BTL seem to hint at powers of their own in their debut MV. And sure, these groups take their powers very seriously, but there must also be some fun to be had with this idea, and an opportunities for companies to be more creative and tongue-in-cheek about it.
And so, for this week’s Roundtable, we asked our writers: What idol superpower would you have and what kind go image/concept design would you have to go with it?
Gaya: One of the things about having strict, traditional desi parents is that I can never cut my hair short — let alone dye it — without starting World War III. Whenever I get bummed out about this, I always think back to the daydream Francine has on an early episode of Arthur and fantasise about having superhuman hair with a life of its own.
My hair would be able to change length and colour, so I can try out any style I want and have a canonical explanation for all the hairstyles I would go through. I’d probably have some kind of vigilante concept, where I use my hair as a weapon in fights — and I have actually used my hair to hit people before, so don’t try me — and maybe, to borrow from another piece of pop-culture, use my hair to pick locks and stuff. I’d never have to worry about losing my keys again.
Warda: Does being able to part hoards of fans like Moses and the Red Sea count? And Gaya, PREACH! Free hair for all!
I think having the ability to control the minds of young fans would be incredibly useful. Of course popular culture of any kind influences the minds of young impressionable fans, but my superpower takes that a little too literally. Imagine coming out your entertainment company after a long day of practicing, only to find 100’s of fan girls blocking the road between you and sleep. I’d click my fingers/tap my feet/shimmy my shoulders and BAM! All just drop to the ground in a deep slumber. I’d just tip toe my way around them to a sweet bliss of my own.
My costume would be a swinging necklace (my evil instrument in hypnotising the masses) this way I can make them all think I’m the coolest kid on the block, without actually having to work for it. No bleach required, no dieting needed, heck I don’t even have to wear clothes! Illusion Meister.
Andy: Maybe it’s my introversion, and slight anxiety, talking, but the ability to create some sort of force field would be beneficial. The power would be performed by my hands, and with a little concentration, I could form a protective bubble. If any fan got handsy, or ignores basic personal space rules, I could protect myself from them by putting up a force field.
Since I’m also all about some reinforcement, in particularly dangerous circumstances (like airports), I could produce a slight electric charge to zap the offenders. It would feel like a static charge shock. The power would also be able to be expanded to encircle any other people I was accompanying. You got to protect your group mates, right?
As for the concept or image, I suppose some sort of gloves would create even more impact. It would serve as a warning: if I’m putting on the gloves, you need to back the heck up.
Laverne: My superpower would be the golden touch. Not as in the King Midas golden touch but where any song (or album) I worked on would sweep the charts with multiple #1 hits. I’d be raking in the royalties and the fame all without having to be an idol! Companies would be clamoring to work with me as my music would dominate the airwaves.
Of course, since I wouldn’t have a concept or image, I’d have to insert my brand into every song a la the JYP whisper….
Lindsay: My super power would be multilingualism. I would be able to speak every single language in the entire world fluently. I’d want this power even if I wasn’t a K-pop idol, but it would certainly prove useful in that line of work. Gone would be the days of shaking translators and not being able to communicate with my fans.
No matter what country I was performing in I’d be able to do legitimate fan sign events and talk easily with my fans during the concert. Sure, idols often learn enough to have a basic handle of a few languages, but being able to speak them all would afford so much more freedom!
I’d dress like a normal K-pop idol for the most part, but all of my jewelry would be word themed. Each necklace, headband, ring, and bracelet would be engraved with or shaped like words and letters from languages all over the world.
Ambika: I have hopes for the ability to sweat minimally or not at all and not suffer health repercussions. Sure I’d be depriving my loyal fans of dreams of being that one person who wipes sweat off idols, and there would be no sweaty towels to sell for big bucks or place on a shrine, but I would be much more content.
There would be less need for touching up makeup, fixing hair, or using towels, and I wouldn’t feel like a shower was necessary after every gig. My superpower would transfer into a pristine appearance, even after long performances, that has everyone wondering what magic I’m using. Who knows, maybe I’d score an antiperspirant CF.
Gaya: Maybe instead of wiping off sweat, Ambika, your fans can instead dream about being the person who sprayed water/fake sweat on you when you’re acting, whether in your next MV, in a drama or even on the big screen.
And then drying you off after.
Lo: I think I’d go for the power of good fashion. No plastic skirts, no stuffed animals pinned to my jacket, and no plaid. Everything I wore would be of the never-out-of-style type. Jeans, button downs, vests, snarky t-shirts, Chuck Taylors, camisoles and suits would make up my wardrobe. Of course, to counteract the normal clothes, my accessories would be numerous and ever-changing. Lots of crazy earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and fedoras in never-ending varieties of color and style.
My fans would adore my being able to emulate my style without breaking the bank and still look good. They would, however, buy jewelry from the numerous brands I would endorse.
Okay, in all seriousness, I’d probably do teleportation. That way I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of long flights, and could pop home easily for more rest. (This is assuming my company wouldn’t double my schedule because travel time is eliminated…) Plus, I could do some crazy tricks onstage, meet more fans (can you imagine just appearing in the audience during a concert?), and also get out of hairy fanmeet situations if need be. For my image concept, I’d wear colorful sneakers all the time, because people would confuse teleportation with being fast.
(Images via: SM Entertainment, Kiroy Company, Newsen, Woollim, Seoulbeats, Unilever, MBC)