In a recent event dedicated to Korean-pop lovers, it became obvious that I’m not as open-minded as I think I am. Let me walk you through the process.
Korean Pop is recently very famous in Indonesia. I could never understand it, thus have never been a real part of this craze. It’s not the music, at least I really hope so, it’s the extra aspects that I don’t really enjoy.
There’s definitely something about groups who base their musical careers on their looks, and the difficulty in which they try to maintain this ‘looks’ aspect has always been problematic in my eyes. It’s not just the shallowness of the idea, but also the effort they are putting to present something looks so…superficial.
It’s the fashion style I cannot really grasp, women with costumes designed to highlight their proportional body, men who are pretty and at the least metro-sexual. Looks are a very important part of any entertainment industry, but putting so blatant of importance in looks is an entirely different thing.
Korean music videos are part of the reason for my new policy when it comes to music: Don’t watch the videos, listen to the music. That way I can separate myself and my like/ dislike of the music from the video. To put it simply, Korean music does not float my boat, it leaks it.
But I digressed, most youngsters disagree with me. People cue for days to order a ticket of Super Junior concert. Naturally, they form communities and are starting to need a media for gathering and expression. For that my University presents KOREAN DAY as a media and competition for Korean Pop lovers.
It is this event that I attended recently and brought me to an epiphany I mentioned before: I’m not as open-minded as I profess myself to be. The case was a simple comparative study: the winner of last year’s Korean Day was an all female group dancing to the music of Super Junior’s Mr. Simple while the winner of this year’s Korean Day was an all male group performing Girls Generation’s Mr. Taxi.
The epiphany came from the fact that I considered the girls imitation Super Junior as cool, the process of watching men dancing in a women-flirty fashion made my eyes water. It shouldn’t be a problem right? I mean, if I think women have to have equal chances to dance and imitate guys and make me go wow, isn’t it a given that I should have felt okay with men imitating women right?
As it turns out, I couldn’t. And I’m not going to say that this applies only to Korean Pop. In my single-minded few, being a tomboy girl is better than being a feminine guy. (and this is not a debate over what is feminine or masculine) And that is made obvious mainly by comparing my reaction to an equal case where you simply switch a variable. I’m guilty of having a double standard. It’s not a very pleasant revelation, but something I have to work on after all. And trust me, I am.
I shut my mouth about the fact that the men dancing on stage succeeded in looking and moving more ‘feminine’ than me. I realize that the problem of my unease is a sign that I’m not as open minded as I think, and that my mind really needs some expanding to do. I have to make space for this kind of circumstances, and growing in a culture where (now I realize) masculine traits are held in a higher ground I really need to address this issue.
Other people might consider my lack of femininity more problematic than the next guy’s lack of masculinity. In a society formed from a perfectly evolved me (in gender ideas-wise that is) hopefully you simply are a person with a set of traits, free from the labelling of said traits.
NB: It’s indeed humbling to realize that I learned a lesson from something I underestimated. So for this score, thank you Korean Pop and K-Pop lovers.