Korean pop culture, consumed globally and known by the name Hallyu, primarily mengandung music, television and aesthetic preferences and also is


Korean popular music culture, consumed globally and also known by the surname Hallyu, primarily ikut music, televisi and aesthetic preferences and also is much an ext than a virally popular entertainment trend. Former South Korean presiden Park Geun-hye stated during his inauguration speech in 2013 the “In the 21st century, society is power”. The South oriental government’s secara resmi budgetary assistance for the industry characterises the kecenderungan of penampilan entertainment as a tool of economic and also foreign policy.

Anda sedang menonton: Indonesian idol 19 maret 2018

Roots of oriental Pop Music

The background of korean pop music reaches back to the 19th century, as soon as a western missionary referred to as Henry Appenzeller introduced British and also US folk songs with the lyrics interpreted into oriental to the neighborhood population. During the Japanese occupation (1910–45), patriotic songs menjadi banned to protect against the common rakyat from undermining the colonial power. In the post-war years, American popular music music reached korean ears v the US pressures stationed in the recently freed South. The servicemen’s need for familiar-sounding music offered rise to a prototype based upon Western pop music perform by oriental artists and also rooted in regional content—the west being at the same time the source of impetus for the emerging genre and its key market. Among the first kesuksesan stories was a group dubbed The Kim Sisters, which had two sisters and also a cousin. They performed in bars and clubs for united state troops to earn extra money for milik mereka families. The farming support of the regional Westerners lugged them a las Vegas contract, much more than 20 performances ~ above the well known Ed Sullivan Show and also a number 7 fight on the Billboard singles chart, thereby efficiently paving the way for modern Korean popular music music and Asian artists’ commercial kesuksesan on the western entertainment landscape.

K-pop: Culture-specific popular music Music

K-pop’s uniqueness lies in its skill in combining timeless elements details to Korean society with Western-oriented pop music. In the past, warisan was expressed through language, yet recent years have actually seen acquainted folkloric details shown in melodies, choreography and the visual elements of music videos, kemudian as costumes (e.g. BTS’s tune “Idol” and also Peggy Gou’s “Starry Night”). Historical and social aesthetics space modernised to empower warisan in the eyes of globally-minded oriental youth. The standards for writing music, producing videos and performing dance numbers room high. Great demand allows companies to choose the finest of completing professionals so as to shape multilayered and kompleks conceptual art and aesthetics. The industry frequently cooperates v Western artists, drawing attention come East asian music, ketika performers are dibawah increasing press to carry out in bahasa inggris to victory over brand-new audiences, i beg your pardon may cause them come sacrifice anda unique social characteristics.

A tantangan to west Stereotypes

K-pop, which is predominately performed in Korean, has created massive attention in the korean language and culture worldwide—so lot so the the southern Korean government has established 130 language academy in 50 countries.1 This tendency helps to alleviate the xenophobic and also at waktu racist attitude towards East eastern cultures sustained by stereotyping and antiquated consciousness in the West. K-pop is a counterstrike versus the incorrect picture proliferated with US films that represent all east Asian people as shy, uncreative, dull, a- or hypersexual, geeks or ninjas.

Moreover, the genre, which has cross-cultural appeal, has actually improved the image of east Asians born and raised in Western nations who have been formerly socially marginalised. In enhancement to developing a besar selection of job choices, K-pop has actually introduced ancestral culture to younger generations who can not have come throughout it.

Breaking down language barriers, empowering eastern Asian setiap orang and, first and foremost, forcing Western and Anglo-centric aesthetics right into retreat in worldwide pop society are for this reason some of K-pop’s paling prominent achievements.

K-pop together a Flagship the the korean Economy and a alat of international Policy

K-pop has actually swiftly ini adalah South Korea’s numberi one cultural export: the currently paling popular K-pop band, BTS, alone added 3.6 billon dollars to the country’s GDP terakhir year.2 kapan technology giants favor Samsung, Hyundai and LG still carry in more, milik mereka success can also be attributed to promoters who are mainly renowned performing artists.

The “soft power” that K-pop in foreign politik is verified by the performances the CL and EXO throughout the close up door ceremony in ~ the Winter Olympic games in Pyeongchang in 2018, BTS’s pidato at the UN and also the fakta that previous US ketua Barack Obama noted in his speech at the Asia management Conference in 2017 how numerous Americans dulu learning oriental to save up v the K-pop group SHINee.3

Moon Jae-in, the current president of south Korea, knowingly bekerja untuk use the K-pop to strengthen diplomatic ties through the US. Bulan recently invite EXO to meet donald Trump throughout his visit to southern Korea.4 This naturally created uproar among many fans, together the pita members’ reactions confirmed they didn’t to visit the pertemuan of milik mereka own cost-free choice. While many west celebrities have refused to accomplish Trump on moral and politik grounds, Korean bintang have no seperti choice, given their every relocate is regulated by their employer. Together Korean culture considers the president’s pengakuan to it is in a great honour, it would have been wrong to decline the invitation.

Just sebelum the South oriental and utara Korean leader signed the Panmunjom manifesto for Peace, Prosperity and also Reunification of the korean Peninsula in April 2018, the K-pop group Red Velvet performed because that Kim Jong-un. This to be the very first time in end a te that South oriental artists had performed in utara Korea.5 Thus, bulan Jae-in presents K-pop together a price of goodwill in produksi peace with north Korea.

In rare cases, K-pop juga creates foreign-policy incidents. Chou Tzu-yu, a Taiwan-born K-pop star in the group Twice, had to apologise for waving the flag of her native negara during a South korean TV show, because this created uproar in the People’s Republic that China, which melakukan not recognise Taiwanese independence. At the same time, Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, that supports independence, was disappointed the the teenage singer was pressured right into supporting a linked China.6

Manufactured and Controlled Identities

All K-pop stars must present the perfect façade that a supremely talented and gorgeous, single, heterosexual star, seemingly available to fans of opposing sex. To keep this illusion and also prevent pan from coming to be irrationally jealous, performers are frequently prohibited native dating, at the very least at the start of their careers. As newly as last year, Cube entertain dropped 2 of its highly successful artists, Hyuna and E’Dawn, because they had actually started a relationship in spite of a contractual ban on law so.7

In addition, this picture reinforces heteronormativity, i beg your pardon is currently deeply rooted in the conservative and also homophobic oriental society, as coming the end automatically way certain disgrace and also even the end of dari mereka career for LGBTQ+ stars. There have been tragic cases of LGBTQ+ celebrities losing dari mereka jobs and the assistance of milik mereka families as a result of public stigma, also causing castle to ambil their very own lives. Holland, who made his elevation debut in 2018, and stands up against discrimination and also suppression, is one of the couple of openly happy idols. He says that K-pop often fantasises about same-sex love, yet at the same time that is ironically a sensitive subject and a taboo.8 This is a manifestation of a particular trait that capitalist conservatism, i m sorry commercially exploits homo-romantic “fan service” to fulfill the fantasies that heterosexual fans and also employs queerbaiting without acknowledging and accepting gender and seksualnya minorities, that are compelled to hide milik mereka identity in the K-pop industry.

Trapped by Restrictive beauty, beauty Standards

Due to southern Korea’s restrictive and also ethnically particular beauty standards, the negara has the highest per capita proportion of plastic surgeries in the world. This is why plastic surgery is common among both female and male performers. The cult of beauty increases the already fierce compete in the work market, sejak appearance is thought about important in hiring also for tasks where looks are of no consequence. For the reason, orang pay a most attention to milik mereka looks, no so lot out the vanity but because they want to be successful and socially accepted.

The paling noteworthy beauty, beauty standards room having an extremely light skin and also slim figure, which melakukan not come normally for numerous Koreans. As in Europe, idealising light skin originates native the custom-mades of the the aristocracy in eastern Asia, wherein it symbolised the privilege of not working and thereby confirmed a person’s status in society. Leaving elitism aside, it undoubtedly tambahan has relationships to white Western imperialism and outright racism. For the very same reason, several of the paling popular local plastic surgeries that reference European facial qualities without actually emulating them—creating one ideal dual eyelid and produksi the sleep bridge much more pronounced—are a result of internalised racism.9 Colourism (the wanted treatment of light-skinned people, and prejudice or distinguish against pribadi with a dark skin tone, frequently among setiap orang of the exact same ethnic group) is prevalent in oriental society, i m sorry is why over there are only a couple of darker-skinned idols. Also they are often bad-mouthed because of that or fetishised for showing up exotic. Paling of the idols’ photos room edited beyond pengakuan by the media and, first and foremost, fans, so that stars who actually have a beautiful keemasan skin tone begin to resemble startlingly pale porcelain dolls (“whitewashing”).

The idealisation the being thin is so excessive that even people of tangga weight are criticised in culture and the media, especially women, celebrities and even young teenager K-pop artists (e.g. Pristin’s Kyla10). Artists room often forced to nearly starve, together the industry trains them come excess until they faint on stage. Twice’s singer Momo revealed the the agency forced she to shed seven kilos sebelum the band’s debut. To accomplish this, she trained every day, just ate an ice cube for a week, and feared that she wouldn’t wake up up the lanjut morning because of malnutrition.11 due to the fact that of this, K-pop is one the utama reinforcers of the unrealistic beauty requirements rooted in korean society, together it is specifically harmful come the confidence and mental kesehatan of young rakyat and normalises danger skin-bleaching creams and eating disorders.

Conforming to and Breaking from gender Norms

Female performers room expected to look sexualised but innocent in a doll-like way, which deserve to be explained by the industry’s Lolita complex, bordering ~ above paedophilia, and the misogynistic idea of humble and also “untainted” beauty.12 Nevertheless, the album and video clip concepts obtainable to female idols have recently broadened to include an ext dynamic images contrasted to the doll vs seksual object binary. In spite of this, the bodies of K-pop artists, particularly female stars, space like national property to take pride in or criticise. Mrs artists space sexualised in an especially objectifying way typical the a capitalist patriarchal society. Although an illusion of a strong and independent female performer is developed to boost sales, once a solo artist favor Hyuna ekspresi her sexuality as they want to, labelling and outrage follow.

Women are expected to be mild, exceptionally polite and sometimes also childishly innocent (aegyo in Korean), kapan men are enabled to show much more of dari mereka character. Although secara politis statements various other than express patriotism space prohibited, anything the isn’t compatible with the korean Confucian patriarchal see of society is also controversial. Because that example, once Irene of Red Velvet said that she read a feminist book, numerous male fans organised a childish protest and burned she photos.13

In the instance of masculine idols, distancing us from classic Confucian masculinity and also breaking sex stereotypes, particularly in terms of illustration (gender-neutral clothing, normalising make-up and also dyed rambut for men) but juga in an innovative work (e.g. Taemin’s dance style incorporates both masculine and also feminine moves), deserve to be viewed as positive.14 differences can tambahan be viewed in basic attitudes—instead of toxicity masculinity, male performers are motivated to be an ext sensitive, empathetic, polite, etc. This is among the main reasons why teenage girls and also young women recognize with them, which has actually boosted dari mereka global popularity (in addition to the music), given that misogynistic hyper-masculinity is no longer taken into consideration acceptable or attractive many thanks to the makin widespread fostering of feminist principles. All of this doesn’t typical that the very same stringent beauty requirements don’t apply to men. On the one hand, the ideal is to have actually a slim but archetypically masculine strong figure, ketika on the other, male performers are supposed to have practically androgynous soft face features. Thus, combining classic gender normative sexiness and also romanticised innocence might be considered the central characteristic that K-pop in kapak of both beauty beauty and perilaku norms.

Cultural Schism: Appropriating various other Cultures, Racism and Xenophobia

Korean society’s ethnically homogeneous and collectivistic alam is juga reflected in culture. The continuous fight because that independence has exacerbated society’s introspective qualities and also ethnic nationalism. Return K-pop groups makin include more non-Korean artists, milik mereka employers are frequently xenophobic and also discriminatory, which is one of the reasons why 3 of the four Chinese members of EXO sued dari mereka company and also left the team (they are currently enjoying success kembali home).15

Especially in the previous decade, K-pop has been an ext and much more inspired through African-American R&B, hip hop and also rap music and also style. At the very same time, the awareness that African-American society is low, i beg your pardon frequently reasons tactless and sometimes even directly racist incidents, because people don’t distinguish between deferential and also neutral references and the symbols of a very painful history. This is why one may uncover references in K-pop come the us Confederate flag, which signifies support for slavery; the “n-word”, i beg your pardon is selalu racist once a non-black person uses it; blackface; and false dreadlocks. The terakhir may seem an innocent hair style, yet one must untuk mengambil into account that this is among the traditional ways to layout Afro-textured hair. At times, this styling has provided employers legitimate grounds come dismiss orang in the US, darimana the format is not thought about “presentable” ~ above grounds that racism. Thus, if other races employ a so-called trendy accessory of African-American culture, the racist, especially when that is creators space still discriminated against.

These terutama and young issues membuat dissonance through K-pop among the worldwide fan base, who are culturally much more knowledgeable, since—while the racist and xenophobic mocking of marginalised cultures in bespeak to knife a benefit by emulating lock is makin criticised in the West—the K-pop industri mostly ignores criticism or refuses to recognize it, no to cite self-reflection or apologising. Performers are typically barred from having actually a to speak in choosing the formats intended for them, which makes it challenging to discover the real culprit in this issue. This is why many hitam fans the K-pop space deeply disappointed and alienated by the genre, i beg your pardon imitates their culture there is no respecting them.

Ignorance is regularly excused by the fact that Korean culture existed in isolation because that a long time but, given the present K-pop industry, which has a worldwide reach and also has obtained extensively from various other cultures, the ignorance seems knowingly cultivated. The exact same applies, that course, to the West’s demeaning and at times racist attitude towards K-pop in certain and East eastern cultures in general. Interestingly, the industri is an extremely tactful towards Japanese culture despite Korea suffering under Japan’s imperialist power, because the K-pop pasar is so large in that negara that entire albums in Japanese are developed for many performers so that they have the right to make a breakthrough.

Contractual Slavery

Pre-teen would-be stars talent-scouted through companies amongst massive competition often sign so-called slave contracts, which tangan kedua to be valid for an ext than ten years. However, in 2008 the duo TVXQ sued SM Entertainment for an unfair 13-year contract that barred them indigenous earning any money native albums that marketed fewer 보다 500,000 copies.16 The complying with year, the oriental Fair profession Commission established a dominion that contracts may only last up to seven years. In 2017, the fines that companies bisa legally need for cancelling a contract dulu reduced and also pressuring performers into prolonging agreements was made more difficult.17

Nevertheless, virtually the whole earnings of new performers are often taken by the company to compensate for training and beginning costs, so the artists may successfully work because that nothing for years sebelum they knife anything in ~ all. Pendidikan performers come sing, rap, dance, act, speak international languages, perform and also so on may take years. For example, one of today’s paling popular artists, G-Dragon, trained because that 11 year at YG sebelum making his debut in the group huge Bang.18 some of the groups are never launched, darimana only the super-talented make it and also some less successful groups only perform for a couple of years. Thus, hopes of stardom may finish with crippling debt, no to mention the kebenaran that countless youngsters sacrifice dari mereka education to follow a dream, i beg your pardon is why it’s difficult for them come find another job later.

Moreover, the restrictive servant contracts permit companies come control virtually every facet of milik mereka performers’ lives. The trainees, who live in ascetic dormitories, are frequently prohibited from communicating even with milik mereka parents and also friends. They may not go out if it’s not urgent and also they’re functioned to exhaustion up to 20 hours a day. This state that half-imprisonment cuts young teens off from normal development and also may cause mental kesehatan issues, particularly if lock live in fear of their employer’s violence.

Physical and sexual Violence

Systematic physics and seks abuse is widespread in the K-pop industry. It was revealed terakhir year the Lee Seok-cheol and also his brothers Lee Seung-hyun, members of the team The eastern Light, endured physical and linguistik violence at the milik of their producer since before they were teenagers. Over 4 years, they were beaten through a baseball bat and tortured with guitar strings tied around milik mereka necks, among other things.19 that is to be hoped that this is one exceptionally too much case, yet it is not rare for managers to punish performers for also minor mistakes v aggressive reprimands or outright hitting.

Sexual abuse, even procurement, is an even bigger masalah in the oriental entertainment industry. That is well-known that Jang Suk Woo, the owner that a smaller K-pop company, sexually harassed and also raped at least ten mrs artists, several of whom dulu minors.20 mrs would-be starlets room told come offer seksualnya favours come “investors” or “sponsors” and also there are reports that rape di bawah the influence of GHB. In 2009, actress Jang Ja-yeon, who was forced into prostitution, cursed suicide because of it.21

At the start of 2019, among the korean entertainment industry’s best sex scandals was revealed. It was suspected that drugs dulu sold aided by police corruption in the Burning sun nightclub own by Seungri, the by-now former member of K-pop group huge Bang. He to be convicted of providing pelacur at the club to potential international investors. Seungri’s previous boss, yang Hyun-suk, founder the K-pop agency YG, is juga suspected of the very same crime and stepped turun from his position as result of the charges. Seungri remained in a group chat in which several male celebrities posted videos of sexual acts with perbedaan women the they had filmed in mystery and without consent, and even perverse clips the unknown ladies in public toilets and elsewhere filmed v peephole cameras—an issue that has become an epidemic as result of the mix of southern Korea’s patriarchal misogynistic society and advanced technical connectivity.22 The just positive distinction from Western guys who abuse their similar location of power and also engage in seksualnya violence is the the publik condemnation of kemudian crimes is so serious in Korean culture that that is complied with by life-long loss of reputation and an end to the abusers’ mainly careers.

Ignoring Mental health Problems

Companies’ regulate over dari mereka performers’ working and private lives, exploitative overworking, sometimes abuse, restrictions emerging from fame and the pressure to show up perfect create a many stress and also mental kesehatan issues choose anxiety and depression because that K-pop artists. Ignoring mental illness is widespread not just in the K-pop industry, yet in Korean culture as a whole. Southern Korea has the greatest suicide perbandingan in the world, sejak few orang seek psychiatric help.23 The key reason because that this is the Confucian masyarakat mentality that values household honour over the individual. This is why many fear also to recognize mental kesehatan issues in order come preserve their family’s reputation, since mental condition is a thought about a huge stigma arising from a absence of self-discipline or selfish weakness.24

In late 2017, south Korea and also millions that fans throughout the world were shaken by the untimely death of Kim Jong-hyun, that belonged come the well-known K-pop team SHINee. Jonghyun (his stage name) was undoubtedly one the the genre’s most talented vocalists and songwriters who, unlike the median K-pop artist, dared to publicly criticise oriental society, assistance discriminated minorities and talk about the depression he had actually suffered for years without false shame. In his radio show, Blue Night, he offered a type of a therapy session come listeners, bagikan advice to alleviate milik mereka troubles. The is even more tragically unfair the a person who helped so many roughly the globe to face anda mental kesehatan problems to be let down by the Korean medical care system as soon as Jonghyun’s personal psychiatrist claimed that the singer’s long-term depression was a kepribadian issue. Together with a feeling of inferiority produced by the devilish entertainment industry, this false case convinced Jonghyun the he to be to blame because that his mitologis illness, and also he lost mengharapkan of recovery and meyakini that his depression to be the result of his kasar personal failure, not a chemical imbalance that the mind that was at the very least partially curable.

Several other leading oriental celebrities have actually taken their own hidup and that is feared the tendency will continue until sufficient psychiatric membantu becomes available, the kesuksesan culture that reasons so lot stress is reduced, and also dangerous sosial prejudices space disproven.

Problematic fan Culture

The strength of the public and K-pop providers to dictate the plot of bintang and the objectified picture of idols cultivated by the companies have created an at waktu problematic fan culture that is obsessively possessive of artist who are no much longer seen together ordinary manusia beings. There space thousands the fanatic pan (sasaeng in Korean, meaning “private life”) who have considerable networks that role as a totally unethical company in which people trade in-depth information top top stars’ private lives for ukurannya besar sums that money: addresses, phone call numbers, personal photos and also videos, dari mereka locations and activities at any given moment, and more.25

Although these extreme fans are jelas a minority, countless dedicated sekutunya fans push others to assistance one artist or team only and spend a the majority of time and also money top top him/her/it, producing unnecessary tension in impressionable young setiap orang and in ~ the very same time exhilaration as complimentary advertising for the K-pop industry.

The Phenomenon of Koreaboo and Fetishism

Until recently, K-pop to be exclusive outside Korea, i m sorry made being a fan nearly an elitist and spesial hobby. Plenty of fans awal learning Korean and studying the society owing come K-pop, but some too much fans idealise whatever related come Korea in a superficial and stereotypical cara based ~ above the genre. Some also want to ini adalah Korean. In korean society, being korean primarily method being born in the nation, not obtaining citizenship. Identification is intrinsically associated to ethnicity, which is why pan who are mockingly referred to as koreaboo sometimes juga imitate korean features. Even though this is no malevolent behaviour, such a parody is in reality offensive to and harmful for Koreans dari it is fetishist, cements stereotypes and generalises the entire Korean society on the pokok of the industrial K-pop genre.

The phenomenon of koreaboo has provided rise to a wave of fetishism directed at rakyat of Korean and East Asian asal in the West. On the one hand, it is very positive that other kinds the beauty space idealised besides European standards, which have conquered the dunia thus far dibawah the affect of west imperialist racism. Top top the other hand, Western pan of K-pop makin frequently deem all Asian orang Koreans exclusively on the kurung of their racial characteristics and also identify them with K-pop artists also though the similarities space minimal, even going as far as stalking rakyat of oriental origin. Plenty of Western fans try to make friends or connect in romantic relationship with rakyat of East oriental origin hanya because of dari mereka ethnic background and also appearance. Such fetishism might seem unauthorized or also a compliment, however it in reality reduces a person’s distinct personality dibawah to stereotypes and also exotic appearance, i m sorry is always dehumanising. It is specifically detrimental because Western racism versus East Asian setiap orang manifests itself in see them as a monolithic mass, due to which the abovementioned fetishism contributes to erasing the individual personal kadarnya even further.

The Background come K-pop’s Popularity and also its confident Aspects

Given the nearly dystopic and inhuman facets of the K-pop industry, maafkan saya is it that these countless fans determine with as well as the music? The genre is most likely so popular since a large proportion that the artist belong come bands or groups that work and live bersama for years or even decades, which create a unique group dynamic in between them. The town hall these acquainted close-knit units as bystanders is emotionally comforting and enables one come escape native one’s day-to-day worries. It creates a sense of belonging through the groups and fandoms for the fans.

Numerous concerts, autograph sessions and other khususnya events, and participation in besar fan clubs, facilitate closeness between performers and also fans. Fan projects foster creativity, imaginative talent and also organisational skills in the young fans—this includes untuk membuat thousands of banners and coordinating them for this reason they appear in the appropriate order at concerts, preparing and spreading official fan chants (specific cheers to it is in sung in ~ concerts), developing fan art and merchandise, and also taking picture for pan sites the rival experienced photographers’ skills.

The control not controlled Chaos the Capitalism

Any listener to K-pop through a working morel compass at some suggest faces the dilemma of how to support these talented artists there is no financing the unethical industri to which castle belong. Melakukan K-pop really membantu to realise people’s greatest dreams, or melakukan it hinder imaginative creativity, suppress performers’ personalities and create a Stockholm syndrome-like partnership of make the efforts to obtain approval native an abusive employer, sejak this is the only method of achieve a breakthrough? There more than likely are K-pop bintang who are genuinely happy about milik mereka careers, yet there are more who endure in this semi-authoritarian stressful setting that values profit over rakyat than those who prosper in it. The is to be hoped the fans and also the media are able to do the yes, really voices the the idols heard and also can stand next to them when cases of injustice and inhumane treatment room revealed. Paling of the dark next of K-pop stays behind closeup of the door doors, which method that if the industri is not systematically required to adopt more humane principles, nothing will certainly change.

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We mengharapkan this crucial exploration that the K-pop industry isn’t merely the expression the cognitive dissonance but, rather, a testimony to the require for reform in the attention not only of local and global consumers, however of the stars themselves. Developing art to serve the capitalist appetite for profit tidak pernah justifies manusia sacrifice, and no artist, no matter exactly how commercially minded, deserves to suffer.