if you were born in 2000 and you’re ugly, it’s because god got lazy after nct’s 00’ line, stray kids’ 00’ line, the boyz 00’ line, yoon sanha, bae jinyoung, fan chengcheng, chen linong, loona’s 00’ line, kwon eunbin, park junghyun, etc.
Kpop is still not on the same level as Jpop and here’s why
TLDR: Japan has the same talent, more diverse idols, less strict beauty standards, and has a much larger industry than kpop despite having a much smaller global presence.
So Produce 48 is coming and I’m ecstatic. Not even a big AKB48 fan, but I’m so ready for these two worlds to collide. But I’ve been noticing some shitty elitism from kpop and jpop stans, and especially some kpop fans tbh. “Japanese trainees have no talent or visuals!” “Jpop is dead anyways, this show is going to fail!” “Jpop just wants to ride on the kpop hallyu wave to international success!” This post goes over why that’s all bullshit. This is a long ass post, but I honestly have enough to make a Part 2.
I like kpop. I’m not being sarcastic either, I really, really like kpop. BigBang, Block B, Twice, Blackpink, and Nu’est are some of my favorite groups. But I’m not going to lie, the Korean music industry needs work imo. Here are some points as to why I personally think the Jpop industry is different, bigger, and in my honest opinion, (currently) better than kpop. With pics and videos.
1. “Jpop idols have no talent.”
Wrong. You just aren’t looking. There are plenty of groups with vocalists and dancers who can compete with your oppas and unnies. There are groups with even better vocalists and dancers than them too. Just as examples:
2. “Jpop idols are ugly/short/all the same.”
Man. For a website that likes to pat itself on the back for being ‘oh so body positive’, there sure are a bunch of people who don’t mind shitting on the looks of others to make themselves feel superior. Inclusivity is a good thing! Kpop idols who don’t 100% match Korean beauty standards deal with so much hate even if they make it in the industry. Seohyun still gets dragged for having darker skin despite being considered one of the best visuals. Big Bang’s Daesung has always been ugly in Korea. Maybe that’s why his solo career is exclusively Japanese?
Also, kpop sure loves mixed race kids when they’re white: Somi, Vernon, Nancy. But there are like three mixed race black people in the industry and none of them are particularly famous anymore (except maybe Yoon Mirae, but that’s debatable). I can think of a few Thai idols (BamBam, Sorn, and Lisa), but literally no other South East Asians in kpop. Some knetizens even use “South East Asian” as a dismissive put down for idols like Sooyoung who have larger, rounder facial features. There’s an entire community on tumblr dedicated to reversing the white-washing of idols in their photos.
In Jpop, you can have a big nose, or big ears, or wonky teeth and it’s not a big deal. You can be short and have “bad” proportions and it’s not a big deal. You can be mixed-race black or mixed-race South East Asian or have tan skin and it’s not a big deal. Here are examples of non-white mixed-race idols specifically because it’ll help the idea of inclusiveness sink in better for some of you:
Mendy (dancer of Generations)
Elly (dancer of J Soul Brothers)
Likiya (dancer of The Rampage and Elly’s younger brother)
BananaLemon (half-black Saarah and half-Filipina Nadia)
Anna Suda (dancer of Happiness and E-girls and half-Filipina)
Rui (dancer of The Rampage and half-Filipino)
PS. Notice that the mixed-race black kids are allowed to embrace their natural hair. They don’t have to match Japanese standards of beauty.
3. “Jpop is hitching a ride on Kpop’s success”.
This one is so wrong I don’t even know where to begin. Only people that know jack shit about jpop would say something like this.
Japan still has the second largest music industry after the US and Japanese artists don’t even need international fans to keep that position above Korea. Japan’s music industry is even bigger than China’s and China has literally 10X as many people. It’s actually backwards. Korea had to globalize their music industry in order to compete with Japan and they still aren’t there. Kpop groups get sent to Japan to make money (I’m still salty about IKON), but not the other way around.
In short, Korea has an awesome thing going with kpop right now. But it’s so well structured and formulaic that it’s hit a bit of a wall I think. There are so many idol groups coming out every year that the standards have gotten ridiculously high. Groups that don’t match the already established status quo have a harder time making it (if they make it at all). But it’s changing! I’m thinking mainly of Dreamcatcher when I say that it feels like now that kpop is an established “brand” not only in Korea, but globally, the industry can start taking more risks. Debut different types of people and please give them songs that don’t follow the same, tired trends. Experiment more with sounds and visuals and personalities and aesthetics and kpop will be on the same level as jpop.
THE FACT THAT LAY TALKS ABOUT HOW THEY ARE YOUNG KIDS (MOSTLY) AND THAT HE HAS TO CONSIDER THEIR FEELINGS IS ALREADY REASON NUMBER 3957489549 WHY IDOL PRODUCER IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN P101. HE DOESNT WANT TO TRAUMATIZE THEM AND THEY FUCKING ENCOURAGE THEM INSTEAD OF COMPLETELY PUTTING THEM DOWN AND ASSURES THEM THERE IS MORE TIME TO PRACTICE ETC. in conclusion, p101 has a lot to learn from idol producer