This part of Southeast Asia loves Korean pop music. Girl and Boy bands dominate, singing sweet love songs and catchy pop anthems, all with a strong backbeat and not one of them something you might remember longer than it takes for Justin Bieber to comb his hair. The music is all mostly harmless and clearly aimed at young girls, although the appeal is much broader than that.
This fascination led to one particularly obnoxious advertisement having been broadcast the past few weeks on television. The voiceover is provided in a rapid-fire style by a breathless male Korean, but text appears across the bottom of the screen in English. The video meanwhile shows various Korean pop stars in action.
I think this ad represents the worst of advertising and our obsession with the dubious stars we place up on pedestals.
Now for the English text:
Korean stars, don’t you just love them?
Porcelain skin, contoured body lines. Irresistible features. Unbelievably perfect.
Catch a 360 degree look at Korean perfection. From all directions, all angles, and all dimensions. Yours on TVN.
Only with TVN can you go behind the scenes, chat with them, delve into their inner beings for a taste of their lives. TVN Korea stars 360 degrees.
In reality, it’s probably no worse than the cult status given to stars in the U.S. But I find it quite telling to see it vocalized in this manner.
Perhaps more troubling though is the sexualization of younger girls. Many of the girl bands have singers that for all appearances seem to be in their teens, even though they’re probably in their 20s. I don’t know for certain though. They often dress in schoolgirl outfits and other clothing that attempts to make them seem quite young, but it’s clear that one of the things they are selling is sex appeal.
Are these really the images we want our daughters growing up with, and idolizing? Certainly not me. It has led to some interesting conversations with Elana.