Pure Love f(x): Feminisms and K-pop Girl Groups

K-pop girl groups tend to be described as sexy, fierce or cute.  Some suggest that images of fierceness encourage girls to be empowered, while images of cuteness take away their agency.  However, responses by fans of f(x), a K-pop female group, suggest that fans prefer unique and diverse images of women. Male groups outnumber female groups…

CONFERENCE ABSTRACT: Cross-cultural Visual Aesthetics in K-pop @ AAS 2015

Glamour Girls: Cross-cultural Visual Aesthetics in K-pop March 26-29, 2015 ♦ Association for Asian Studies ♦ Chicago, IL One of the reasons for the global resonance of K-pop comes from its visuality, which crosses language barriers to reach a diverse and global audience. While governments and corporate agencies use this visuality to promote soft power, the global audiences…

Ethnicity, Glamour and Image in Korean Popular Music

The 1960s girl group concept makes regular appearances in K-pop.  While some think that this kind of image represents a lack of ethnic identity in a quest for mainstream acceptance, I suggest that the 1960s girl group image promoted by women of color represents an ethnic glamour aesthetic. Contemporary K-pop is driven by image as…

Whose Generation? GIRLS’ GENERATION!: Gender, Audience and K-pop

As the number of female groups increase in number in K-pop, commentators and scholars continue to focus on the meaning of the representations produced by these groups. While some argue that such representations are geared towards men, this ignores the way the majority female fanbases of these groups construct meaning of these representations. Because female groups,…