[OP-ED] Who Do We Blame?
By Mod Myshayla
Obsession. Kpop fans have an absolute obsession with placing blame elsewhere for everything. Kpop can do no wrong and anytime it does something that seems a little wrong, it’s Patrick Star mode immediately. “We should just take all this blame and push it somewhere else!”
Bare with me because this isn’t very constructive writing and I don’t have many answers but this is something I’ve been thinking about.
Now, female sexualization in kpop, which has been an ongoing topic all year and for the most part, everyone has a problem with it. “Why are they dancing like that? Get her some clothes. Ew, looks like they learned this from America. Why do they want their kids looking at this like kids look at it in America?”
I try to ignore the former sentences because I’ve heard all that bs before and as much I hope to wake up and not hear people’s opinions over who needs to wear clothes and who looks slutty and yadda yadda, the end of those conversations doesn’t feel near. But the latter sentences, particularly, intrigued me because I don’t think mainstream music in America holds influence over kids as much as people wish to believe and have to believe in order to place their blame on it.
A five year old can listen to music and not understand the lyrics. Maybe they know what “bitch” means but only that it’s a bad word they can’t say. They don’t understand it’s weight, it’s history. They don’t understand the stripper or sex references in songs until they’ve paired images with those words and actions.
It’s how we all learn to talk and it’s how we learn what is. Carefully writing down the word “cat” beneath a cat picture.
But mainstream American music has lost it’s image, for the most part. Most music video channels belong to cable networks and aren’t accidentally stumbled upon. Most five year olds don’t turn on the tv and go to a music channel. When they see music videos, it’ll probably be in commercials for a split few seconds or on a channel someone older than them turned it to. The relevance of music videos has gone way down in America. Most of our pop stars are so big, they could survive without making music videos.
So this idea that children learn about sex through music or music videos seems odd to me when they probably learned about sex through TV shows they glanced at or maybe even magazines laid about.
Backing this blame is the idea of preserving children and their innocence. I, agree, children have been growing up too fast and it’d be nice if there was some way to slow this down but I think it’s interesting how a five year old knowing about sex seems to be the end of innocence but not a five year old experiencing racism or a five year old being abused or a five year old surrounded by tobacco and liquor. (Racism, smoking, and drinking can be found in kpop easily.)
And how no one talks about the end of innocence when boy groups are being sexy (yeah, we’re going there again) but when Hyuna wears shorts or something, it’s time for everyone to close their eyes and preserve the innocence of children.
I feel so sorry for Hyuna. I don’t know anything about that girl but she is subjected to criticism every day of her life right now.
I see comments about how it’s not her choice to wear what she wears and she doesn’t like it but the company makes her do it and then I see comments that say she always has a choice and she chooses to dress provocatively so let’s judge her because of it, (*cue witch burning ceremony*).
Not to mention, what’s sexual is subjective. I didn’t find Hyuna that sexy in the promotion picture. I just saw a girl in a bra like thing with some shorts. I’ve seen more skin from people wearing bikinis. I guess the fact that her breasts were pushed together was sexy, but to me they were just breasts. Just pieces of flesh. That plays in with how people perceive breasts and asses as inherently sexy, even when someone isn’t attempting to be sexy.
And hey, if it was her choice and if all idols are given choices for their promotions, then where is the outrage for Hyunseung who was in the promotion picture as well? Didn’t he have a choice in being in the picture with a “scantily” dressed woman? Didn’t he control what pose he was to sit in? If she had all this magical control then I guess he did too. So if she’s a gross slut then I guess he’s a man that loves gross sluts, right?
Blame. Sex. Innocence. Just things to think about.