Is Cube Entertainment Going Too Far With Hyuna? (Editorial)

Okay, for some reason it seems like all my editorials have something to do with sex appeal lately, haha… I’m sorry about that. I’m really not sure why this is happening. Just bear with me!

Anyway… this time it’s mostly about Hyuna, but somewhat about sex appeal in general.

I’ll start with talking about my opinion of Hyuna right away.

I like Hyuna. I think she has a fun and fairly sweet personality off-stage. I think she has a natural sexy aura. I think she can definitely pull off sexy dance moves. I don’t think she’s that great at rapping (she needs more vocal power and attitude), but Cube Entertainment pushes her to be “the rapper” because that’s what she was when she was in JYP Entertainment. I feel bad for her because since she was just 15, (maybe younger), they’ve been pushing their opinion of  “sexy” on her… when she’s just starting to learn what “sexy” means herself. But I really like her.

Kpop has a general guideline of what an acceptable level of sexiness is. Most idols wear sexy outfits and sometimes do sexy moves, like chest pops. Sometimes you get someone like Minzy of 2NE1 who goes crazy with the moves, but dresses conservatively so it balances out somehow, (in other words, it doesn’t come across as vulgar in my opinion).

But then once in awhile you get an idol or group that pushes the limits on what’s generally considered as acceptable by Kpop society. (Most of the time their dance is banned from being aired on TV and they’re forced to change the choreography, haha. But I suppose it’s a good way to get attention.)

I started thinking about this subject because of Hyuna and all the comments about her being “slutty” lately (as of December 2011). People are saying they want her “powerful sexy” image back instead of the supposedly “slutty sexy” image she’s had recently.
(Personally, I don’t really agree with that term for her, I mean look at these alternatives for it!  Hyuna’s not that at all. However, that’s unfortunately one of the most common descriptions for her around the net.)

What got me,  is the fact that when she had her so-called “powerful sexy” image, (ala “Change”), people were calling her a “slut” then too. Since then, I guess people have gotten used to it and have accepted it. Either that, or they realize the difference between her sexy image now and her sexy image then, and they now know what they prefer, haha.

So yeah.

As we mature we realize what real/healthy sexiness is. Back when I was 10, I thought being “sexy” was red lipstick and barely-there, tight clothing. I fantasized about looking like that when I was a grown-up, (probably influenced by my mom’s Vampirella magazines… haha), and that’s what I thought a powerful and sexy grown-up would be like.

When I was about 16 I realized that my concept of “being sexy” had gradually changed over the years since then. Sexy was more subtle… more of an attitude. If you’re trying too hard to be sexy, you might end up seeming trashy. In my opinion, sexy is something that naturally happens when you’re confident with yourself.

Where am I going with this? Well, I’m just saying there are different opinions on sexy and what’s generally acknowledged as the worst kind of sexiness is the trashy, cheap version of someone trying too hard.

Cube Entertainment keeps pushing Hyuna to be “sexier” because they rightly assume that sex sells. However, they’re starting to head towards trashy and it’s going to end up a train-wreck if they don’t stop. They need to sit down and discuss what real “sexy” is; powerful but natural, confident and strong, but can be subtle. Hyuna doesn’t need to shake her butt a billion times in a music video or have a camera film up her skirt to be sexy. She definitely doesn’t need to rub all over her male co-star.

Being sexy can empower a woman… it can be liberating and portray confidence. But you have to show the woman’s power. You have to demonstrate their skill. If there’s not really any skill it just seems… desperate.

Change was acceptable because there was a lot to the dance. Not only that, but she had power. It felt like she liked being sexy, but if you approached her, she’d be the one in charge. She uses sex appeal for herself, not for anybody else. When watching that video, my sister and I felt like; “Wow, I want to be her!” There was some kind of powerful sexy charisma there. The song is also about changing into who you want to be and not caring what others think about it. The MV set is kind of mysterious. It seems to be late at night and sometimes she’s dressed like she’s going to a high-class club of some kind. “Mysterious” and “high-class” are sexy adjectives, not “trashy” words.

Bubble Pop was a bit trashy because Hyuna wasn’t showing much skill. She was just hopping up and down most of the time instead of dancing. The highlight of the dance was her shaking her butt right at the camera… that was pretty much all there was to the dance. Watching that video, it just feels like she’s eye-candy, or trying to use sex to get her guy, (Lee Joon from MBLAQ, by the way), to pay attention to her.
My younger sister said she thought this video was “sluttier” than Change because Hyuna’s acting all ditsy here, (it’s the aegyo), instead of in-charge. Hyuna just didn’t seem to care as much about herself as she cared for the guy’s attention.

.

The bottom line is: If you want sexy done right, you have to make the girl strong and empowered. 

If she doesn’t look strong and empowered she’s going to look desperate. Like someone trying too hard to get attention.
If she’s going overboard with the sexy it’ll be like some someone going a bit too far with make-up because they think that more is better… never mind the technique!

too much makeup

Entertainment industries also need to stop making kids do things they’re not ready for.
A 15-year-old isn’t going to fully understand the sexy concept, so they need to tone it down. Hyuna danced Change when she was just 17/18. In my opinion, they should have let her grow up and realize what “sexy” is on her own before pushing their own concept of it on her further. Girls Generation is being sexy for their age, and it’s working. Lee Hyori pulls it off with class because she matured before going with the sexy concept. Personally, when I view Hyori’s music videos, I can’t even picture Hyuna pulling the same thing off with as much class, and after thinking about it, I think being allowed to mature into sexuality is the reason why.

I’ll end this essay with a thought; when you watch a really sexy video and feel uncomfortable, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a “prude”. It might not actually mean you’re uncomfortable with sexuality, or that your morals aren’t letting you enjoy it. It could mean that you feel the person in the video isn’t showing enough self-respect, (you can be sexy and still exhibit self-respect) and/or is being exploited by others.

Here are some examples of other music videos. Some do it right, some don’t… some are borderline. I guess you can decide for yourself, though I put my opinion next to them:


Brown Eyed Girls – Sixth Sense:
Powerful Sexy (They’re confident and strong.)

Rania – Dr.Feelgood:
Sensual Sexy (Definitely purely sexual, but there’s a dominatrix-type feel which does have a powerful in-control vibe to it. Also, they’re not trying to veil anything. The song itself is about sex, so of course the dance is going to be hardcore sexy. However, I want to note that I don’t think it’s appropriate for a 16 and 17 year old to be in this video….)

Girls Generation – The Boys:
Classy Sexy (They use sexy moves and facial expressions, but they keep it classy with the camera angles and attitudes. They also balance it with other dance moves.)

Lee Hyori – Mr.Big
(Hyori pulls this off by not over-doing sexy. She dresses sexy and does the dance moves, but look at her facial expressions. Her expressions are mostly girl-next-door. When she makes a sexy expression, it’s more subtle and seductive.)

Ivy – Touch Me:
(Like Dr.Feelgood, this song is about sex, so of course the choreography has a right to be hardcore. She’s showing confidence in her sexuality here, and therefore empowered. It almost borderlines slutty with the floor thigh scene, but I think since the only people present in the video are either furniture-like or her partners, it’s not really outright trashy. It feels more like an insight into her mind at that particular moment. Ivy was about 26 years old in this video as well, so I see nothing wrong with it.)

Trouble Maker – Trouble Maker:
(I love this duo and this song, but Hyuna is being an accessory here. In my opinion, if this hadn’t been a co-ed duo, Hyuna’s role would be acceptable because there is some power here. However, when you add a guy that’s supposed to be her equal, and she’s the only one rubbing all over him… it just looks like she’s a piece of eye-candy. If they had toned down her sexiness a bit because of JS, it would’ve been perfect.)

About these ads

Product Review: “I <3 My Kpop" Shirt

Product: This month’s article of clothing is the “I <3 My Kpop” T-Shirt created by Funky Koreatown.

Info: This shirt comes in white and yellow, and white long-sleeved. Since yellow is a color that makes you look heavier on camera, I would suggest getting the white unless you’re one of those really skinny people like my sister haha.

It only comes in men’s sizes at the moment. I normally wear a women’s large in average American-sized shirts. I bought this in a small, and it fit really well… not too tight, but not baggy. I also got a medium, and that was pretty baggy on me.

Opinion: Fairly well-made! The print on the shirt is really good quality. You have no worries about the print peeling or wearing off. I washed it a few times in normal warm water & dried it in the drier and the cloth didn’t shrink.

Unfortunately, I started feeling kind of nerdy wearing this design around… like an obsessed fan or something. But that’s my own problem. I really wish Funky Koreatown would come out with some more designs to choose from! I would love some more hangul t-shirts; most are romanized.

But hey, Funky Koreatown accepts t-shirt ideas and will send a free shirt and cash to the submitter if they use it!

Overall: I’m happy with this shirt. It was a good price and great quality.

Where I bought mine: Funky Koreatown of course!

Artist of the Week: Block B

Here is the Artist of the Week! Posted on Wednesdays as something to get you through the rest of the week~

This week’s artist is…

Block B

Block B stands for “Blockbuster”, and was created by Cho PD. The idea behind Block B is an “idol” hip-hop group.

This group gives off a strong vibe. What’s the vibe they give? Real guys.

If you watch them in behind-the-scenes shows or read their interviews, you’ll get the feeling that these are the guys you went to school with. They’re always making jokes and goofing around. One of the reasons for this could be how Cho PD allows them to do what they want. Unlike other idols, they can just drop out of Block B if they feel like it, or they can have girlfriends if they want. They haven’t had intense training like other idols, they can give their own input when it comes to choreography and outfit styles, and none of them have had plastic surgery (so they say~).

…And it works. Because these guys feel like your school friends.

But for me, this is basically “Zico’s group”. Zico is the leader and producer for Block B. Yeah, I like U-Kwon and Jaehyo too, but nobody stands out as much as Zico does. I almost feel like Zico should just go solo because he detracts so much attention from the others, (well, he does do a lot of solo work. Maybe Kyung should’ve been the leader and Zico should’ve stayed solo? I love how Block B is – they’re my favorite Kpop group – but realistically speaking, haha.).
Not only does Zico have a lot of energy and charisma, but he has originality and wit. He excels at word play, he debuted with dreads even though his stylists advised against it, and though he can create some mean rap lyrics, he’s still a “pure” guy who doesn’t drink and has said he hasn’t even had a girlfriend before.

Kyung is also a producer for Block B and is Zico’s childhood friend. They knew each other since elementary school and he supposedly got into Block B because of Zico. He often seems insecure of himself in my opinion…. He’s made passing comments about how Zico is always taking the spotlight away and just general negative things about himself.  He has underground experience too, so he should be more confident! He almost didn’t make Block B because Cho PD was thinking that Kyung should be leader of another group, but reportedly, Kyung begged enough to change Cho PD’s mind and he was put into Block B with Zico.

Jaehyo was supposed to be in B2ST, but had to leave because of an injury.

Like TOP of Big Bang, PO also had to lose a lot of weight, (10 kg) before being accepted into Block B.

[source]

This is a pretty big group; there’s 7 members of Block B. That’s why if you’re interested in them, you should watch things like their MTV Match-Up show to get to know them and see who your favorite is.

Members:

Zico
Leader/Main Rapper/Composer
September 14, 1992

Kyung
Lead Rapper/Composer
July 8, 1992

Taeil
Main Vocalist
September 24, 1990

B-Bomb
Main Dancer/Vocalist
December 14, 1990

Jaehyo
Lead Vocalist/Visual
December 23, 1990

U-Kwon
Lead Dancer/Vocalist
April 9, 1992

P.O.
Maknae/Rapper
February 2, 1993

Guys Who Left

Cho PD was tough in creating Block B. He kept kicking people out  before making a final decision. Even Zico was kicked out before Block B debuted!

Here are some who were trained at Stardom to be in Block B, but didn’t make it to the end:

Taewoon - Zico’s older brother. Cho PD “suggested” that he switch companies and he debuted in Co-Ed instead.

Mino - Involved with the original Block B prototype group, but had contract issues, so he  joined BoM instead.

Hanhae - Also involved with the original Block B prototype, but left and joined Phantom.

[sourcesource 2source 3]

“Meme”‘s And Jokes:

Zico and Hello Kitty. He bought Hello Kitty because he thinks he looks mean and tried to soften his image. However, he grew to actually like Hello Kitty. Supposedly, he “broke up” with Hello Kitty around their first concert.

Zico the Jamaican Begger. Zico used to have dreadlocks and did freestyle reggae rapping stuff for fun at that time.

Trolling and derping. Block B loves to make hideous and strange faces… even their twitter icons are of them making ugly faces. They even walk around strangely while making the faces at important events sometimes.

Taeil tweeted about it once, saying: “While getting off of work, I saw today’s Match Up episode. I saw the part where I was trying to make Minhyuk laugh, and I thought I looked like some orangutan. I wasn’t always like this, Block B made me like this… I feel this all the time, but I think Block B is a weird group.. Like some.. some group for weird kids only.. Ah.” [B On The Block]

Videos:

Kpop Christmas

Although half of South Korea’s population identifies as “no religion”, about a quarter of the population is Christian and the country recognizes Christmas as a national holiday.  Reportedly, Korean Christians celebrate Christmas like Americans do… with Christmas trees and decorations. However, like Japan, Christmas can be considered a romantic couples holiday. Families spend New Year’s together instead of making a point to spend Christmas together like in America.

Vocab:

Santa - 산타 할아버지 (Santa Halahbahjee) = Grandpa Santa

Christmas - 성탄절 (Seongtanjeol)… or 크리스마스 (Kulisumasu)

Merry Christmas - 즐거운 성탄절을 보내세요 (Julgeohun Seongtanjeol Bonaeseyo)… or 메리 크리스마스 (Meli Kulisumasu)

Who’s Popular On Christmas?

Song Joong Ki and IU!

Actor Song Joong Ki, (seen in Sungkyunkwan Scandal,  Many a Little Romance, Tree With Deep Roots), was voted as the best person to spend Christmas with according to other celebrities~  The reasons he was picked was because he’s good-looking and friendly. [allkpop]

Singer/Actress IU, (seen in Dream High), was also picked because of her cute image. [allkpop]

My Christmas Music Playlist:
FLUXUS VOICES – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Park Ki Young – The Christmas Time
JYP Nation – This Christmas
Jang Ri In (Zhang Liyin) – Oh Holy Night
Jellyfish Entertainment – Christmas Time
Se7en – Christmas With You
MBLAQ – White Forever
SMTOWN – Santa You Are The One
IU – Merry Christmas In Advance ft Thunder
Jellyfish Entertainment – 모두에게 크리스마스
SHINee & KARA – Jingle Bell Rock
DBSK – Oh Holy Night
SNSD – Santa Baby
SHINee – Santa Clause Is Coming To Town

Music:

FLUXUS VOICES – All I Want For Christmas Is You

Park Ki Young – The Christmas Time

JYP Nation – This Christmas

Jang Ri In (Zhang Liyin) – Oh Holy Night

Jellyfish Entertainment – Christmas Time

Se7en – Christmas With You

MBLAQ – White Forever

SMTOWN – Santa You Are The One

IU – Merry Christmas In Advance ft. Thunder

Jellyfish Entertainment – 모두에게 크리스마스

SHINee & Kara – Jingle Bell Rock

DBSK – Oh Holy Night

SNSD – Santa Baby

SHINee – Santa Clause Is Coming To Town