subdee asked: To me the weirdest thing about your summary quote of Rachel Bailey's article is: Lady Gaga is actually a huge Kpop fan! Didn't she try to, like, recruit Teddy Park? Isn't her whole thing about trying to become a consumer object (with the concurrent idea that the art!pop world is one of only a few places where she can truly express herself), in a very similar way to how Kpop turns its acts into objects of consumption? It's just weird to pick a Kpop-inspired artist to rail against Kpop.
Good point! I knew about Gaga trying to get Teddy to work with her—and who wouldn’t, he’s a genius!—but I didn’t make the connection. And we could also point to other female artists with ostensibly feminist messages in their music (Gwen Stefani, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry) who are quite obviously influenced by Japanese music and/or culture/fashion, if not K-pop as well. And if you’re going to portray K-pop that way, I don’t even want to know what you’d say about J-pop.
Can you even imagine if some female K-pop idol had done what Rihanna did, deciding to do that remix with a guy who physically abused her? I don’t want to get into whether what she did was good or bad (because that’s missing the point), but I think the comparison is interesting and highlights the Western tendency, when looking at “othered” groups such as Koreans, to erase their autonomy. It’s frustrating because no matter what you do, you’re going to be seen as somehow coerced. If Korean girl group members act all demure and cute, it’s because they are being infantilized. If they act sexy and assertive, it’s because that’s some fantasy of men that they are acting out.