Beanie level: Rooftop room dweller

Really like this song. #animeostsareawesome

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Oh Jackson. I get your frustration. I can only imagine what your relationship with Jinyoung is/was like given that he is your sunbae & also the same age as you. @raonah, Jinyoung is his sunbae right?

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It really is interesting how Korean entertainment sells male groups. It’s like take what applies in the West for female groups/artists, and apply it here to male groups/artists. #hypersexualization?

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    Definitely!! And often infantilisation of female groups (if they’re not also hypersexualised)

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      I think that male members can be infantilized as well. Some may just be really young/teenagers, while other’s play up the child like image.

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      Interesting topic!

      I haven’t heard of this group, since I don’t follow kpop but here is what I think (from what I have seen):

      1. Too many members in groups, and all groups sing similar styles of music, so there is a glaring lack of individuality or genuine talent. It all feels more like a dance show to sell to teen girls, rather than genuine talent.

      2. I hate the inserting of rap verses into almost every kpop group song, because they have to give rappers something to do.

      3. A lot of dancing… I wish they would focus more on individuality (solo singers or small groups no more than 3 members) and music/creative ability, instead of wasting so much time on dancing techniques and forgettable/generic music.

      4. Shameless promotion of boy groups for female audience (especially teen girls), this is something that is rarely found in western music or programs. So I would say that this is a pro of kpop instead of a con, just because they openly pander to teen girls and give teen girls entertainment.

      5. They not only sexualize kpop boy groups (which doesn’t sit well with me), but they also sell a fantasy relationship between the boy group members and the fans (because they realize that girls’ fantasies are not just sexual but are sexual within a relationship frame… girls focus more on relationships as a whole where they feel loved and where they love). This is also why female fans of boy groups tend to be more loyal, and have strong ownership mentality over the group they stan. This I think is also why these idols have a no-dating clause in their contracts, because they are not really selling music but a fantasy to teen girls especially. Now this I find to be equally exploitative of the boy groups and the gullible teen female fans, but I still find it refreshing that they openly pander to female fans.

      6. For female groups I like that the kpop presentation is more grounded and a lot less trashy, when compared to modern western female singers. Often kpop female singers are presented as pretty or cute, instead of sex objects. I can’t stand many Western female singers, not only because I find their music vapid and empty, but also because of the hyper sexualization and trashiness they present (and what’s worse is they try to sell it as nonsensical empowerment to the gullible) – which is not only exploitative to themselves but also harms normal women who want nothing to do with these vulgar images, and who want to be seen as human-beings with dreams, wants and needs of their own. I hope that kpop girl groups and solo artists will maintain their dignity, and not go too far. But I do find a problem with the infantilization of kpop girl groups, cuteness is fine within limits. When infantilization happens in-your-face, then I think there is a problem there as well.

      Wow, this post turned out to be longer than expected!

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        Hmm…hahahahaha I part agree and disagree. I think of kpop as being a visual as well as auditory genre – it’s music you can “see”. The choreography is an integral part of it and many idols are more appropriately categorised as “performing artists”. Like an actor conveying a script, they convey a song.

        Many of K-pop’s idol rappers are amazing. You wouldn’t question Block B’s Zico’s skill for instance. Or BTS’s Min Yoongi. Once you hear their music. And often it is Their music. They have composed it, written lyrics and produced it. Other self composing idol groups I love – Winner & Big Bang. The music differs widely and is very varied. As someone who loves kpop, I disagree that its generic. K-pop is popular music from SK. It’s impossible to generalise a country’s music like this. πŸ™‚ Even if you restrict it to idol pop, many idols have more control over their artistry than you’d initially think.

        I’m more familiar with boy groups and I think kpop gives them more space to explore a greater variety of themes. Girl groups seem to me, to be more constrained by the requirements of “purity”, than boy groups though it exists in both. Their music and songs can be sexy, but they themeselves are held to ridiculous standards of so-called “purity”. And often they’re infantalised while doing sexy gestures. It makes me sad to see it.

        re: Western artists. The problem lies in the need to catch people’s attention as an artist. Since sex sells, women will take off their clothes to catch attention. It’s sad, but its what they do. I understand why and continue to dislike it together with you.

        *incoherent answer* apologies I’m sleepy.

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          That was a way more coherent response than I could’ve come up with @greenfields. I totally agree about how kpop is more than just the music. The dancing is a huge part of kpop and one of the things I love about it.
          Regarding point 3, a lot of groups are writing some or all of their own music like BTS, Seventeen, GOT7, Stray Kids and TheEastLight. Also, GOT7 even had a solo song written by each member on their most recent album so that they could explore their own individual style.

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            I didn’t know this, it is good to hear that they are starting to write their own music.

            As for visual, I don’t mind a well-dressed male singer, as a matter of fact I like to see well-dressed (and talented) male solo singers who take care of themselves, because many western male singers often don’t take care of themselves at all.

            However I still maintain that kpop overdoes it with the visuals of the male groups and too much makeup, to the point where it feels off-putting. I am a female, but an adult female so I just find them rather weird and very boyish. But I realize I am not the main audience of kpop male groups, so to those of you who like them I hope you continue to enjoy your groups! I mean no offense.

            πŸ˜€

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            @raonah – glad you think so hahaha. Unstructured I should say
            @sweetsour – none taken! You were very nice about it. 🙂 I (usually) get β€œtriggered” by the tone not the substance hahaha. On that note, I’m an adult female too! 😀 I’m terrible at being an adult, but I supposedly am one.

            Um…re the target audience. I think the young female fans are done a great disservice by how they’re dismissed by commentators. Young women are at the forefront of so many cultural trends and often determine how those trends take shape.

            It’s true that k-pop places a lot of value on visuals But so do k-dramas. Where’s my ordinary looking male or female lead? This seems to be an SK thing rather than a kpop thing. In the same manner my country places value on fair skin.

            I’m a complete lawyer btw. πŸ™‚ I disagree openly with opinions hahah. now im out. bye! must sleep

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            @greenfields same here. I’m an adult female (in my late twenties).

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            @raonah – same age then! *high fives*

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            @greenfields *high five* 🙂

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            @greenfields *bows in thanks on behalf of young(er) ladies*

            Totally snooping, but this discussion was such a good read. πŸ™‚

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      I agree. It feels disorienting sometimes to watch girl groups’ videos when they are infantilized dancing with aegyo gestures in hypersexualised outfits.

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    Yes, but in a different way that is kind of interesting.
    With boy groups the aesthetic seems to be soft and pretty. All the makeup and decorations. It is still sometimes surprising to me being used to how western male artist are presented. Even western artist that have leaned into a feminine side or androgyny dont feel as …..pretty? Like a Bowie or Jagger, going way back.
    Honestly the girl groups feel more sexualized to me. The boy groups feel like it’s for the teen female gaze where the girl groups feel like it is for the Male gaze in general.
    Maybe because I’ve been watching more variety where they always have the idols dance. When the male idols dance it really feels like everyone is waiting to see what they can do. I hate saying this, but when female idol’s are asked to dance it often feels …less than. I feel like I’m seeing the same sexy walk, hair flip, and butt pop everytime. Except Minzy’s impromptu dance on a RM ep I watched. Not necessarily the routines but definitely the impromptu moves. And all the guys crowded around and the group in the shortest of short shorts.

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      I think the Bowie and Jagger comparison might be more apt than you think. Just because Korean male idols are presented as softer due to styling, that does not take sex out of the equation. Take SHINee’s Taemin for example. In his MV for “Move” his look was his normal softer and pretty self, but is attitude and presentation was 100% sensual and sexy. Given that example, presentation of masculinity, and masculinity itself–as well as femininity–exists on a spectrum. You don’t have to be a tall deep voiced rugged six-pack gruff man to sell sex. On the female side of things, there’s Amber. Granted, she is quite rare, but she’s not your typical female idol, but she has a ton of fans.

      MV’s are what the average viewer will know about K-pop. Live concerts are a totally different beast. Those same not so sexualized men turn the dial up straight to 100. Take GOT7 for example. I don’t think I’ve come across an MV with any of the members doing anything sexual or baring much skin like my earlier Taemin example. Live however, they bare the skin and they do the crotch grabs and hip thrusts etc. as in this example. They aren’t the only ones though. I can give you a ton of examples. The “more masculine” idols do it too, as with Gikwang in this example.

      I disagree on limiting the female gaze to teens–and females in general–while opening the male gaze to a wider age group. It may very well be true that more older men may be “guilty” of the male gaze with idol groups, however there are many older women who objectify male idols as well. What about those same teen girls who get older right alongside their idols? I’m not saying that what you said is similar to the following, but, similarities can be drawn to rape. Just because fewer women commit rape does not mean that it is not an issue or doesn’t exist.

      I both agree and disagree with you about the average dance routines and what is expected from male and female groups. I’m often annoyed with the overall same presentation of choreography with female groups being often limited to the same move-set. However, sometimes, just because something looks easier doesn’t always mean that it is. Take this example of iKON not doing to well in the single/nano dance segment of Idol Room. GFRIEND was used as an example of how well it could be done and iKONs choreo here, at least at the beginning where they were doing badly arguably wasn’t harder than GFRIEND’s. So a group like iKON who is held in high regard for their choreo and what they could do was outshone by GFRIEND.

      Just like I think the average female group choreo is the same thing reused over and over, in some ways I think male groups are similar. There are however few exceptions like NCT and SEVENTEEN though. However, most use and reuse the same moves other groups do.

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        Oh, I could be completely wrong on all counts. Or also just not well spoken. It happens quite often. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ
        With the Jagger comparison I was thinking that the idol version is a more sanitized concept. They, probably, are not going to be busted naked together with groupies and high on heroin. I know there was marketing that went into groups like the Stones or artist like Bowie or Prince but it still feels like most of it was their own aesthetic and artistic experimentation. I mean Bowie and Madonna definitely had the concept idea for each release down.
        I think Taemin’s Move is very sexy and looks deceptively simple. Totally agree that sexy doesn’t have to fit a “look” and that it covers a wide range as does sexuality. And the simplest dance can be the hardest.
        I’m way older than the average idol, my twenties are well behind me, so yes my older female gaze is on them. Maybe that is why they feel safe to me, because I am so much older.
        I found Pentagon first and none of their looks feels over sexy to me even with the crotch grabs, that I wish would go away, especially during Shine when these 20 + year old guys are wearing school clothes. But different from when 20+ year old females are dressed as school girls.

        Sort of OT but on the power of teen girls. I love the Beatles and am not a fan when every boy group is compared to them. But do love when the power of teen and pre teens girls are disparaged in anyway and someone uses the Beatles as exhibit A. Yes, they worked their way up but at a certain point marketed to that demographic. For awhile had the safe/danger thing going. Always suits but skinny suits. Clean cut but floppy hair. And dont tell anyone that John was married with a baby at home.

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          I could be wrong with some of my stuff as well. lol. Beanies like @greenfields and @raonah are more knowledgable about what I’ve written than I am.

          In terms of the Jagger stuff, I think that would generally come down to cultural differences and target audiences.

          Re: age, I’m in my 30s and I find it annoying that so many of the groups have members that are so young. There are reasons why they are so young, especially the male groups, and part of that has to do with mandatory military service. Basically, labels try to maximize their youth and time they have with their artist before they both reach a certain age and lose 2 years from them to the military etc. But yeah, I find it annoying when they are trying to have young adults sell sex. I use young adults because that’s what many of them are. You may be turned off by them, but there are many who aren’t. Think of it this way. Porn is a billion dollar business for a reason and many porn stars are fresh off their 18th birthday.

          They sell male idols in uniform differently to females. That is true, but also deceptive. There are many layers to this, but two important ones are the infantilization @greenfields mentioned above, and the other might be easier to describe by referencing the School type dramas–the bad boy image etc. Also, you could reference the part 2 to this original video post. In that video, the members generally had a harder edge compared to this video softer and different kind of sexy vibe.

          Basically, labels take advantage of both male and female groups.

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            Agreed with @hades on these points. πŸ™‚
            Particularly the difference in Live performances vs MVs. There seems to be an understanding that a live performance is just that – a performance. So you’ll things that are totally taboo otherwise – such as male group members kissing eaching other (ref: Heechul & another SuJu member) and other homoerotic stuff – on stage. It’s fan service and a performance, completely acceptable. Labels do exploit male groups as much as their female groups.

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            Can I say it is confusing being an older fan.
            Take Pentagon’s E’Dawn and Kino. E’Dawn I find attractive though a part of it is still…”If I was 20 I’d crush on him”. Kino, while he is handsome, just is so young to my eyes. I feel like a proud aunt that wants to pat his cheeks.
            Not that I need to respond in anyway other than to the music, which is where I’m mostly at. It’s been fun.
            Oh, weird thing I just watched that Idol Room ep last night. That one and the one with Pentagon & G Idle.

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            Oh @greenfields. I can’t believe I forgot to mention the homoerotic stuff and how they flip it from the girlxgirl thing in the US for fan service. That stuff really pisses me off especially bc when real gay issues come up then suddenly two men together is a no no.

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            @bcampbell1662 I guess I can identify with the age thing in two ways. The first is the age difference. Yeah, I’m close to twice some of these guys ages. The other is that as far as I’m aware, they are all straight. 😭

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        Oh, one of the things I really like about Taemin, the little I’ve seen, is like in Move he uses women dancers, and choreographer, and the dancers do the same dance. Love the dance practice video.

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    Oh, the shipping and fan service is really odd to me. I dont understand it.

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Whoever is in charge of branding for NCT is kinda genius. I mean, it’s kinda silly the rotation/composition of this group, but the yearbook idea makes sense in that regard. The style makes sense.

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I’m really liking these guys. Really well conceived performance.

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This choreo is sick. 🔥🔥🔥

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I wonder what the 2x version of this would look like. πŸ€”

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@isthatacorner, small warning. Watch this at your own risk.

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Lot’s of B-Days around this time.

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Late, but hey.

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Ohhh, look at the pretty faces and cool choreography. Pay no mind to the less than stellar to non-existent vocals.

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I friggin’ love this song!!! It’s so American though. I guess that’s why I like it. More specifically, I love the melody.

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Awe, they did their fan chant. An easy way to learn the members’ names and match it to a face.

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@raonah Now this was funny. I didn’t even know half the references here, but BamBam’s delivery was just too good! 🀣

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@raonah In sum, poor JB. 🀣
@isthatacorner poor Jackson.
I didn’t know GOT7 was that popular/successful! #kpopeducation
Hyunjin, too cute. I think Stray Kids has a very bright present and future.

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@raonah Poor JB got a cramp. Jinyoung and Mark went in to save the day. 😝

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If only they had overall better songs, these guys could be monsters. They’re personable, funny, and talented. Not many K-pop groups have such good vocalists who can do live well–specifically JB, Youngjae, and Jinyoung.

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    I may not be able to give an unbiased opinion about this.. obviously. But they do have sooo many great songs..check out Let me, My Swagger, Sick, ThankYou, MoonU, See the light. And their popularity overseas is no joke. I think the main reason why they are still so underrated in Korea is due to the fact that their sound is quite Foreign.. and doesn’t really match the skorean taste?
    Well almost half of them are foreigners so it is quite expected.
    And i can really understand the apathy or distaste of people towards “streaming”. It does kind of feel silly to stream videos all day and night. I am myself quite new to the concept of it. But knowing and loving these 7 genuinely nice, beautiful and talented people … knowing the hard work they put into everything they do.. makes me want to do something in return.. to give back some love we have received… i think that’s the reason i haven’t had a good night’s sleep for a week now.. well no regrets!
    Listening to them talk about how they used to move to the back, during music shows and pretend to be winners and give winning speeches to each other.. just breaks my heart. So since they still aren’t doing so well in Korea we have no alternative rather than [email protected] videos everywhere all the time💚💚

    Sorry for such a long rant.. I just had to pour my heart out❀ the fan girl in me just couldn’t contain my emotions..lol

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To say that I thoroughly enjoyed this performance would be an understatement:
[1] The faces/moments they got of them were hilarious half the time. JB’s β€œwahhh” (?) face @1:14, BamBam’s β€œI’m in a storm” face @1:43, Mark’s β€œthis is actually fun” face @2:19, Youngjae’s β€œwhat am I doing/idk” face @2:43, and Jinyoung with his β€œF’this” face @3:10.
[2] Speaking of faces, of course that’s Jinyoung’s own face and of course he’ll remain most handsome even in that situation.
[3] I thought BamBam would be the one to have the most problems given how skinny he is, but he proved me wrong. That title went to Youngjae.
[4] There’s a reason why Mark is so popular and part of it has to do with the smile I’m sure.

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