Move over mister, girls are here to have fun—and there’s no stopping them! KPOP girl groups are all the rage this year, and each of them are trying hard to stand out from the rest. And with the tough competition, their management agencies are devising ways to amp up the hype. In the sea of pretty faces and diverse talents, one girl is bound to rule.
A new breed of fangirls are born. The stereotype of them only being crazy over boys is rapidly changing. Now they’re rooting for their sisters and waving the flag of girl power! An expert stated: “Right now, entertainment has become an industry. Lately, women have been entering more and more into the work field so it is only natural that women have become the focus in the entertainment field as well. Because of women acquiring more power, girl groups in turn have gained more notice. In turn, their popularity will influence the people with things such as fashion and opinions.”
Based on music company strategies and audience reactions, I noticed some trends that were used by girl groups in order to make noise in the already jampacked Kpopdom.
TREND 1: BEING THE FEMALE VERSION
When YG announced they were going to debut a girl group, many speculations surfaced that they were going the be the “female Big Bang.” Former YG trainee May Doni spoke up and said that this new group will present something no one has ever seen before, bringing a more fierce hip hop style against the backdrop candy pop girl group cutesies. I think being the “female counterpart” of an already huge sunbae definitely creates buzz, more so if the sunbae has established itself as a great group. On the other hand, it adds pressure to the girls because they will always be compared and they have to meet high expectations. Plus it’s not really a way to create a solid identity as a separate group.
CL: The baddest female!
When YG family had a special stage performance with its top artists including Big Bang, Se7en, Teddy, Lexy etc., a fresh face caught everyone’s attention not only because she hasn’t debuted, but because she was F-I-E-R-C-E. Everyone was like, “Who’s that girl??”
CL as the female G-Dragon
She’s hot like that.
What’s interesting in YG strategy is that they allow un-debuted artists to be featured in some songs, which is a good way to become part of his or her training and gain experience. Like CL, who was featured in Big Bang’s Intro “Hot Issue” and in Uhm Jung Hwa’s “DJ.” Did you know that originally YG planned for her to be a solo singing, dancing, rapping artist ala Lexy? Wonder how that would’ve panned out!
TREND 2: BEING FAMOUS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
Dara, known as Sandara Park in the Philippines, has garnered much attention because of her huge stardom in that country. Of course Koreans will get curious as to why and how she made it, being a foreigner and all. Here she is with her photo displayed in her home studio in the Philippines.
TREND 3: BEING A FORMER MEMBER OF ANOTHER GROUP
4minute is a group whose style is a fusion of other girl groups. Before debut, they got a lot of raised eyebrows for looking like After School and 2NE1’s lovechild. Cube Entertainment, JYP’s sister company marketed them as girls that will set a “new trend,” namely Candy Funky—which will reflect in their overall music and style. But again if they wanted to set themselves apart they should have created a solid image instead of trying to be everything in one go. On the other hand, it will present them as a group that is flexible and can show different charms.
Former Wondergirl Hyun Ah. The group’s original rapper (who was later replaced by Yoobin) “was said to have many health issues due to stress and could no longer handle it. Netizens on the other hand, like to believe that her departure was because she couldn’t get along well with the other members. She was said to be the ‘Sexy Little Wild Horse’ because she was over playful and very mischievous.” Did you know that JYP was also considering about making her debut as an actress?
Idunno about you, but I find her quite annoying and unnatural onstage. I don’t see why she gets all the attention just because she was a former Wondergirls member. I mean, it wasn’t like she showed great skills back then. She was just the perfect case for “What could’ve been.” Why can’t people just move on. I think there are better 4minute members that deserves to be highlighted.
TREND 4: CREATE A MYSTERIOUS CHARACTER
Like “Junglass Jiyoon,” so-called because she had to wear sunglasses in the whole duration of their Hot Issue promotions. Even in radio stations! LOL but I LOVE LOVE this girl. She’s edgy and she can dance really well. She’s the main reason why I’m looking forward to 4minute’s performances.
TREND 5: THE CASE OF THE LOOK-ALIKES
In my previous post I wrote how I feel about T-Ara. I’m still a bit indifferent towards them to be honest.
“JiYeon has received loads of attention even before debut for her resemblance to actress Kim Tae Hee, she was given the nicknames of ‘little Kim Tae Hee’ and ‘2nd Kim Tae Hee‘ by netizens.”
(Kim Taehee right, JiYeon left) Again having resemblance to no less than whom Korea considers as most beautiful ain’t a bad thing. It’s for easy recognition. People would be like, “Oh she’s the one who looks like Kim Taehee!”—which is a compliment more than anything. But the downside would be that there will always be some haters. JiYeon said before that some netizens were bashing her. And there’s a tendency to always be behind that person’s shadow. Kinda like 2PM’s Junho, every time they introduce or interview him they always mention how he’s Rain’s mini-me. I think he looks cuter imho.
HyoMin (left) as SNSD Jessica’s (right) lookalike. Some mean netizens commented that she might have had plastic surgery to look like Jess. ROFL Netizens and their wild imaginations SHEESH.
SoYeon fits the same category as Hyun Ah. She “was known that she was a trainee to debut as part of So Nyeo Shi Dae, she had even performed as part of the group for their showcase and filmed for their MV. But she had left the group a month before their actual debut.” SoYeon said in an interview, “Actually I wished the truth of me being part of So Nyeo Shi Dae was never known. But it was revealed by the So Nyeo Shi Dae fans with our past photos. I still keep in contact with the So Nyeo Shi Dae members. It is good to see them doing very well. But I’ll also do my best as T-ara member.”
TREND 6: COMBINE ALL THE TRENDS
SM’S newest and most anticipated girl group f(x) is out! Aside from the weird name, this group looks really promising.
Krystal not only has a lookalike, but is actually the sister of that lookalike LOL. She’s Jessica’s lil sis, and of course with SNSD being a famous sunbae, that’s gonna add to their creds. She was featured in SHINee’s Juliette vid—which is a strategy similar to YG having trainees be exposed to the biz before debut. Like Dara starring in Gummy’s vid with TOP!
Victoria Song, leader
Featured in SHINee’s smash hit “Noona is so pretty.” She’s garnered much attention because she’s already quite popular as a model.
Some of her photospreads:
With Lee Jun Ki
The mysterious character everyone’s talking about!
Amber does not fit any category—but for now her image is a girl who looks like a guy, and with the testosterone deprivation in Kpop right now, she’s bound to get noticed. She’s not just androgynous, she’s even quite handsome! Fangirls are going lesbian over her! LOL. Netizens are even saying she looks like Donghae, Jonghyun, Kibum and Lee Junki’s lovechild. I think she looks cool.
So! Who do you think will win this girl group battle? Which among these female group members are you most anticipating?
P.S. I’m rooting for Jiyoon, but I’m curious as hell about Amber!
One thing’s for sure, boys are definitely loving this!
info credits: K Bites, Allkpop, 4minute.com, asianfanatics.net