When a musical genre like K-Pop transcends being simply the source of viral hits in the realm of liberating socio-cultural norms – you know it’s no longer a musical genre but a movement in itself. Even its harshest critics can’t deny K-pop’s astounding ability to shape important conversations about genre, lifestyle, and how we consume pop music itself.
The gender norms that mainstream Korean society adheres to can be quite rigid, even stifling for an artist. Any attempt to wear flowing clothes is seen as a propensity to the West, and the reviews very quickly become intensely personal. For K-pop idols, it’s no stretch of the imagination to simply own their skin and have the freedom to express their creativity in any way they want.
And yet we have examples of powerful K-pop idols who have gone against the grain and decided not to give in to the binaries of masculinity and femininity. Despite the barrage of hateful comments and attacks on both their personal safety and professional integrity, these K-pop idols have persisted and some might claim and even thrive. Against all odds, they continue to create art and they do it with all the nerve and grace in the world.