Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lovin the new SNSD and KARA!!! +plastic surgery rantage

Hooray! Making my first K-pop post! The big news of the day:

1) KARA has released their first ORIGINAL Japanese song, "jumping!" And I totally dig it! (This makes up for their last mini-album SUCKING aside from "Lupin" *sniffle*)

Kara is by far my favorite K-pop group, and they are doing an amazing job breaking into the Japanese music scene: not only has "Mister" topped the Oricon charts, but according to a recent poll on Recochoku, they rank as the #6 favorite idol/idol group (JUST behind Momosu)!

"Jumping" is set to be released on 11/10, and KARA's first Japanese album is to be released on 11/24 (which I am TOTALLY picking up after I snag S/mileage's latest (like a fucking month ago -_- ) and pre-order C-ute's new single).

2) SNSD/Girls' Generation (Shojo Jidai in Japan) released the Bond-esque single "Hoot" today!! It seems like it's been so long since they released "Run Devil Run," so I was pretty stoked. Aside from Hyoyeon's wig (seriously, wtf is up?!), the PV is awesome, and refreshingly different.

SNSD also ranks high on the Recochoku poll (they actually beat out Momosu by two spots), and that doesn't surprise me one bit. KARA and SNSD both fit so perfectly into the idol scene, unlike racier groups like 4minute and 2NE1 (who are totally awesome but just a bit sexy for Japan *insert feminist rant here*)

I will admit, I've always liked SNSD's music: it's catchy and well-performed, the dances are great...and, well, so far I haven't gotten sick of any of their music. (And the fact that Erika and Kanna are fans also rocks!) However, it took a little bit for the group to grow on me.

I first got into SNSD when the "Genie (Tell Me Your Wish)" PV came out last year, and I loved the song...until I read the comments on YouTube (that's enough to make anyone hate ANYTHING). I wasn't aware of the huge fan vs. anti-fan business, and all the squabbling made me want to kill babies. But a couple people brought up some odd conspiracies which I just had to look into.

The first conspiracy was the fact that Uzbekistani pop singer Dineyra released a song in April of that year which sounded...oddly...EXACTLY like "Genie." Oh yeah, and it was released BEFORE it. Seriously, check it:

I did some digging, and was rather outraged...until I did my research. I read several fan and anti-fan blogs, all except one of which were profoundly stupid. The only one which was not pants-on-head retarded came from

" reports are stating that the song is supposed to be SM’s and SM’s only. They officially purchased the Universal Music Publishing Group on February 1st, 2009, with the song’s lyrics and K-pop-ification done by SM-hired Yoo Young Jin and Yoo Han Jin."

The post goes on to state that UMG was considering a class-action lawsuit against Dineyra for using a demo tape leak as her own song...blah blah blah. So far, nothing has happened, neither song has been recalled (as several SM songs have been infamously known to have been), so all must be well with the world. Big deal, moving on now...

The second big whoop was the whole plastic surgery issue, an issue with which fans and anti-fans alike are all too familiar. Looking at most of the girls' earlier pictures, it is OBVIOUS (to me) that almost ALL of the girls have had some form of plastic surgery. And for some reason, this is a BFD among the anti-fan crowd.

(Beautiful by nature or scalpel? You decide.)

At first, this was a big problem for me, and it still kind of is. But now, I have a problem with the fact that I have a problem with it. Being the strong feminist that I am, I have a problem with plastic surgery because it forces unrealistic standards of beauty on women in a male-dominated society. Nowhere is this more visible than in Asia, especially in Korea and Japan. It is SUCH a huge deal to be good-looking there, even more so than it is in America. (Check out this fantastic TIME article)

Yes, even though we here in the US of A have the highest rate of plastic surgery purchases in the world, we aren't subject to a culture where perfect aesthetics are paramount to godliness. I know we think we are, but we are SO not. This standard of perfection is one of several factors that contributes to the massive diagnosable level of depression and stress-related disorders in Korea and Japan (and increasingly, China), at just above 25% for WOMEN ALONE. (and it's only SLIGHTLY less for men...scary.)
Yeah, plastic surgery is usually a response to unrealistic beauty standards, and for that reason, it bothers me.

However, ALSO being the strong feminist that I am, I also feel that I SHOULD NOT have an issue with plastic surgery because, at its most basic level, it can be defined as one simple thing: body modification.

I myself have a few body modifications in the form of nine tattoos, seven ear piercings, a pierced nostril and...a couple other piercings which shall not be mentioned in polite company OMG I JUST DID, WUT WUT?!?!

Why did I get these done? Because (aside from the fact that getting modified is a very spiritual experience for me) I like the art form, because I enjoy having them, because they help me feel unique, because I just want to do it. For some people, that's the only reason they get their boobs, lips, eyes, whatever, done.

Exhibit A: Meet Masuimi Max, fetish model, mega-hottie, and overall, awesome person.

How om-nom-alicious is she?!?! Go ahead, stroke your ladyboners (and manboners), it's okay.

As you can clearly see, Ms. Max has several tattoos. Not quite as obvious (maybe), are her luscious boobies. Ms. Max appeared in the brilliant documentary "Modify" not to talk about her tattoos, but her other lovely modified parts. She did not speak about them as flaws that she wanted to change, but as things she already loved that she wanted to enhance. Ms. Max was absolutely matter-of-fact when she said "Want bigger lips? Get 'em done. Want big boobs? Get 'em done." That simple.

Masuimi Max is a great example of how plastic surgery can just be a simple form of self-expression. Though it rarely is, it can be incredibly positive.

So, back to SNSD.

In the case of SNSD...well, actually...almost ALL female Korean music groups (and Avex artists), they are pressured by their society and their agency to get procedures done because they are supposed to be prime examples of beauty, and nothing less.

Anti-fans, in general, DO NOT GET THIS, despite how much they may protest. They blame (and in the case of Taeyeon especially, publically ABUSE) the girls, instead of critiquing the society to which they are subject. That's nothing short of ignorance, and ignorance makes people stupid.

Knowing this is what helped me learn to support SNSD, rather than OMGing at their surgeries.

So, in conclusion: SOSHI FIGHTING FTW!!!

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