Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Girl's Day - KPop's Plastic Dolls

Is it cute or creepy to watch 5 Korean teenage girls romp around with plastic hair, pretending to be dolls, until tucked away in their glossy cardboard box packaging...?

Well, it's both. And it's a pretty accurate portrayal of KPop culture, for that matter.

Girl's Day is one of the latest pre-packaged girl groups to gain fame in Korea's ever emerging KPop music scene. There are definitely some major bonuses to KPop that explain its rise as a worldwide phenomenon:

1. The fashion and art direction is amazing. They take the whole Asian technicolor pop fantasy to new heights with super trendy wardrobe and highly artistic set design that is super fun to watch and gives new meaning to the term eye candy.

2. They come in numbers. KPop consists mostly of girl groups and boy bands, with anywhere from 5 to 13 (yes, 13!) members singing and dancing in unison. And they are all adorable. Who doesn't love group choreography? (thank you Michael Jackson)

3. The music is well-produced. And catchy. And fun to dance to and sing along with (very important to the karaoke-obsessed Asian peeps)

However, there are some major down sides as well...

1. It all starts to sound the same after a while. Think autotune and synthesizers to a danceable pop beat - over and over and over again - with a brief pause for a super sentimental over-the-top tween love ballad.

2. These groups are what I like to call, "test-tube artists". They are plucked at a young age and literally trained for years to sing, dance, wink, giggle, and flirt perfectly before introduced to the public and paraded around like show dogs. Everything is so manufactured that the sweetness of it all becomes a bit nauseating.

3. But the biggest downfall of KPop is the incredible stress and strain that is put on these poor little Korean girls and boys to be the perfect pop star. So much so, that there have been a number of celebrity suicides, which many attribute to be one of the reasons why Korea is reportedly the suicide capital of the world. (Kpop Live)

And so, when watching this very fashionable and pop art cute music video for Girl's Day's song Tilt My Head, which opens with this refrain - "Tilt Head. Blankly. Tilt Head. Blankly. Tilt Head. Blankly. Tilt Head. Blankly. Tilt Head. Tilt Head." (English translation) - it starts to feel a little creepy...You be the judge.

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