Hey again! DJ Lee here from TokyoSeoul. We play music from Japan and Korea Mondays 12pm-2pm.
This week on TokyoSeoul the theme of our show was "Girl Power!" We featured female-fronted groups or female solo artists. I feel like this is an important theme because even today, women are expected in many cultures to not have power or act powerful. I would venture to say female celebrities in many cultures are criticized much more harshly than male counterparts. Expectations placed upon women lead to scrutiny and judgment. In South Korea, it is very difficult for a female celebrity to not be criticized. Often times this is centered around her physical appearance and/or musical concept or personality. With the overwhelming number of girl groups in Korean pop music, a trend can be seen in what type of girl tends to be idolized. Usually the female figures that I see are young, beautiful, stylish, and thin with long, flowing hair, a perfect face structure, and a personality or concept that is cute and adorable. This "girl next door" type of look leads many celebrities to get plastic surgery or lose a lot of weight. Additionally, they can't act "too sexy" because that causes people to use slurs and dislike her. In Korea, there is a community called netizens, or people who interact on the internet. These are the people that we often read of in Korean news or tabloids that criticize celebrities very harshly and openly. There have been many cases of celebrity harassment by netizens that have even lead to that celebrity taking their own life. For this reason, I think it is very dangerous to place so much emphasis on a person's worth based on appearance and the amount of power they appear to have or be showing. That's what this week's celebration of "girl power" means to me. Commending the celebrities who have broken through these various barriers and expectations and proven to be successful. That is what I think of when I reflect on what a powerful act is.