In celebration of icecapades’ first anniversary, this post is dedicated to the very thing that keeps us fangirls alive – boy bands. If not for them we could be dissipating off the face of the earth by now, or probably living a life that is more productive (whichever way you may look at it). In my previous posts we’ve defined pretty much a lot of words in this LJ’s Pop terminology: Fangirl, Fanservice, Fandom, Gravure models and Idols. This time, let’s look at an entity, which is more like a phenomenon really, that’s has been so embedded in our (at least in J/Kpop world) everyday language that we take it for granted.
To state the obvious, there must be more than two young males in a boy band. They sing, dance, and sometimes even act. For now let’s leave out the word “can” next to the words sing, etc. Their genus and species have yet to be discerned. No, seriously. They’re of a different breed. More like, they’re not human!! Or at least that’s what they seem.
No one can deny that the 90’s is THE boy band era all over the world. Of course there were boy bands in the years beyond that but It’s the time when pretty young things sprouted like mushrooms singing and dancing their way out into every girl’s heart. But over the years, the term has acquired a derogatory meaning. Chambers dictionary says this of boy bands: “a pop group, targeting mainly the teenage market, composed of young males chosen because they look good and can dance and sometimes even sing."
Backstreet Boys: This is how much they love each other.
"Get down! Get down! And move it all around! Ooh baby you’re so fine I wanna make you mine, your lips they taste so sweet…"
Okay, you gotta admit. Even with all the corny lyrics BSB is the BEST. Their songs may sound cringe-worthy now but remember the times when you would bawl over "Quit playing games" or danced like crazy to "Backstreet’s back!"
Soon the tooty fruity boy bands were being the target of parodies. Wiki lists down some of the media’s atrocities and humorous attacks against boy bands. Even cartoons get in on the jokes. “In the Justice League Unlimited universe, superhero The Question firmly believes (among his numerous conspiracy theories), that there is an ominous link between boy bands and global warming.” ROFL.
They’re so hot they caused global warming?
Even the members of the boy bands themselves refuse to be tagged with the term. Wiki: “In the 1990s, boy bands such as the Backstreet Boys and Lyte Funky Ones sometimes found the term ‘boy band’ offensive and insisted on being called a ‘male vocal group’.
One thing that probably makes a "boy band" is that they are most likely to be pre-fabricated. A big honcho producer scouts boys, puts them on a grueling training and crash diet – voila! Then releases them into the world of rabid teen fangirls. Unlike a "real band" where members meet "naturally" (like high school friends forming a band or brothers)"boy bands" meet each other as part of the group already.
HERE ARE MY TOP LIST OF BOY BAND STEREOTYPES:
they all seem to be so clean and fresh, as though by looking at them you can tell that they smell so good, mmm… (okay I just sounded a bit creepy there for a sec)
there must be AT LEAST ONE an odd man out, which I personally think is done intentionally by their management to keep things a bit real and to give spice to the group… And by odd I mean…
(A) The un-idol like ones.
Oh, Shindong (Super Junior). Are you sure you’re not lost?
(B) The uh. Just plain odd.
then there’s the hot matinee idol (usually the LEADER) whom all fans dote on, leaving the rest of the group members in the dust…
Kim Hyun Joong leaves SS501 members to star in BOF. Who in the world are SS501 anyway?
Then there’s the pretty one who looks like a momma’s boy and who’s most likely to bawl over and cry if you hit them on the face. And yes, they’re prettier than girls.
2PM’s Nickhun is half-Chinese, half-Thai who grew up in the US and got discovered by none other than JYP. He came out of nowhere! Yet he’s even more popular than any of his groupmates, perhaps even more than other top stars in Korea. JYP really struck gold with this one. I remember first hearing about 2PM and immediately thinking they’re setting themselves up for impending failure. Acrobatics, bad hair and JYP clothes?? But here comes Nickhun, who’s naturally adorable and likeable without even trying! He’s an instant hit! Okay, not only because of Nickhun, but given a chance 2PM may not be so bad after all. Just ignore the one who looks like Rain sporting Seo In Young’s hair. And that dude who looks like a thug.
Next is the cool, brooding, mysterious, bad boy…. The one whose eyebrows are always curled up, who always has that scowl on his face and who looks like he’s seriously gonna punch you in the face if you stare at him for too long. The one who just sits back and keeps his mouth shut during interviews.. But one hint of a smile will make fangirls’ panties up in a bunch…
LASTLY, there’s the gay one..
Matsujun. Just because.
Suju’s Heechul who kisses his band members for fanservice – which is too much it’s sickening already. Ueda, who is such a girl. Come to think of it, they kinda look a whole lot alike when they were younger. They have so many similarities. Heechul was known as the group’s "princess," whereas in Japan, Ueda was known as Uedahime, because he’s apparently come from a wealthy family. These two will look great together!
Now on to the LOL. Boy Band togetherness!
Every boy band has to have that SUMMER vid. It’s a MUST. Seriously. It’s a chance to show their false sense of friendship, a little bit of BROmance, and perhaps get their T-shirts wet.
LASTLY, they always get together and dress as girls… WTH.
Recognize these beauties? No? It’s the fruity SHINEE, with Taemin (second from left) looking almost TOO GIRLY it’s freaky.
I can name a lot of other boy band stereotypes like it’s always raining in their videos, they’re always chasing after one girl and they’re always looking far far away whenever they’re singing a love song, with an occasional pounding of the chest for added effect. But the list will go on and on I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fit all of them here. Of course there are a lot of ther boy bands in Asia that’s noteworthy of being mentioned, (the senpai/sunbae group faves) but like I said, I’m like going dizzy already. LOL.
On a more positive note, to be fair…
These guys (at least some of them) deserve all the fame they’re getting because they went through a hell of a training. It’s not easy being in a position where you are expected not to make a mistake, and where every zit on your face is being scrutinized.
Just a thought, don’t you ever wonder why boy bands are called boy bands and not boy groups? Unlike "girl groups," it’s hardly ever likely that girls who are pop idols will be called a girl band. I mean, it seems like it’s okay to be in a group as long as you’re girls, but when you’re a bunch of guys they’re immediately thought of as cheesy and fake!! It’s a double standard!!
Boy bands have always been around. And they will always be around.
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