K-pop stars..why are they so idealized and idolized by the public? Korean pop has made its way into America with music that sounds essentially same within it’s own genre. Which I suppose is why it is categorized as a genre of music. Yet why do I feel that within this genre, any song I listen to, sounds essentially the same as the next. Don’t get me wrong, I had my “k-pop listening phase” back in the darker days for a very brief period of time of about a year or so. It was revolutionary at the time. I thought it was amazing. And I thought that what they sang about was more unique than the sex, drugs, and alcohol that a lot of mainstream music covers these days. I thought k-pop was original, and their lyrics were beautiful and different.
But oh how the tables have turned.
K-pop idols have turned into an idealized form of person. The Korean Pop fan based has grown to an insane amount of people. And for what.. to be noticed by their “oppa.”
The Asian music community utilizes their celebrities to advertise and market products. Often times you will see celebrities advertising little flavored drinks and items or phones. As if this was not the same in America though.. So what is the difference? Take skin beauty products for example. Within the US, many female celebrities advertise for companies like Aveeno and Dove, and many more. They express the outcome of ‘smooth skin’ or the ‘wrinkle-free’ face after use of a certain product three times a day in just a couple days. Yet, it seems that not a lot of Americans fall for the whole “oh, because this famous person is using it, I must use it.” This doesn’t seem to be the case in Korean, and it is more than likely because their music fan base consists of young adolescent girls who probably have yet to hit puberty.
I stumbled across K-pop in a desolate corner of YouTube that has now grown into a wall..the Great Wall of K-Pop. And it was all to justify myself as an Asian American that could fit in with the other Asian Americans in high school. I went to a high school where classifying myself as a minority was an enormous understatement. And there was a small corner of Asians and Asian Americans that I wanted to associate myself with, because it felt like I belonged there. Poor naive Meena’s thought process was that she could not fit in with the white people, and not being involved with Asian pop music would push her into the group with the ten Asians of the school. K-pop was utilized as a mechanism to fit in. Asian Americans as discourse are said to ‘flock together.’ They tend to hang out with each other, and tend to stick together in groups. Interestingly enough, this is the case with majority of races, yet people only point it out in Asians. Perhaps it is just a natural flow and ebb of conversation because you can relate to one another culturally.
K-pop as a discourse in terms of females is generalized as very..sexual, or it exemplifies the “lotus blossom.” In terms of males, it tends to try and refute the stereotyped Asian American male.
It is interesting that K-pop had emerged in my own life as a means to stick with other people I found similar to myself. And yet now, it merely seems like the media has overexerted itself. The fact that these k-pop artists are put on such a high pedestal means that they are looked at as a much high status than others. In terms of class, people who are in more monetary fortunate states, would be able to see these artists in concert and possible be able to “meet and greet” them.