He Said – She Said is a special Soompi editorial that gives male and female perspectives on current topics and trends of the Korean entertainment world.
The topic at hand is the current trend of “sexy” girl groups. In January, we were bombarded with more than a couple girl groups who teased us with sensual teasers and then made their comebacks with short skirts and push-up bras. Their message was loud and clear: innocence is overrated and sexuality rules the market. Even with their butt shaking and legs spreading, the reception of this in-your-face sexiness seemed mixed. Does wearing revealing clothes and making breathy moans really make one sexy? Have these once innocent girl groups accomplished their goal of being sexy icons?
Two brave Soompi writers will tackle this subject, offering their different (or maybe not so different) perspectives. The thoughtful and articulate Hazelnutthursdays will start things off with her female perspective, and then the funny and koala-fighting Lordbordem will offer his male perspective. After reading their thoughts on the matter, tell us if you disagree or agree with one or both of them.
– The Female Perspective by Hazelnutthursdays
I think it comes in every woman’s life when she realizes—and insists that she is no longer a girl. She becomes aware of her sensuality, sheds a bit of her innocence, and learns wiles to entice the opposite gender. It’s a fact of life.
I don’t know what’s in the water, but it seems the girl groups that came back in the first month of the year have all rushed into that certain point.
A few weeks into January, we got glimpses of girl groups making comebacks with “sexy concepts.” We had Girl’s Day kick it off with “Something.” Dal Shabet followed with “B.B.B” (or “Big Baby Baby.”) Next would be AOA, with “Miniskirt,” which I admit was the one that surprised me the most. Finally we have Rainbow Blaxx with “Cha Cha.”
Notice I put “sexy concepts” in quotes, because the question was posed to us—Are these sexy concepts actually sexy?
My quick answer is no.
But, but, but, you say. They’re pulling their skirts to reveal upper thighs (Girls’ Day). The look like they’re touching their crotches (Dal Shabet). They’re shaking their butts to the camera (AOA). They’re licking cream off their fingers (Rainbow Blaxx).
Sexiness is not about the suggestiveness of naughty things or revealing more flesh or being overtly sexual. Those things are a part, but not all there is to being sexy.
Sexiness, for me, is an attractiveness that takes not only the suggestive displays of physical attributes, but also charisma. All these have to be taken together. To be truly sexy, there has to be a certain classy quality to it, too. It means, they don’t come off as simply naughty or dirty. It’s being engaging and magnetic, and a pleasure to watch.
Girl’s Day is close to approaching what I consider a good sexy concept. I like what they did with the long skirt with a slit—I think this probably has shades of influence from the classic Latin dance, the tango, and it would’ve been more pulled together if there were none of the shots of them dancing against mirrors.
I think Lee Hyori does sexy concepts really well, and I would like to cite her “Miss Korea” as an example from more recent releases. “Hush” from miss A is also in my book. Ga In and generally the Brown Eyed Girls’ work are other examples. These are what I consider sexy.
I am also conscious that my views may run towards the more conservative side because of my gender. I’m also curious what you think, dear Soompi readers – do you think these recent girl group releases are actually sexy?
– The Male Perspective by Lordbordem
This is a rather interesting question and I suspect it is going to get a lot of mixed responses. As a fine(?) male specimen of the human race, do I consider recent concepts from AOA, Girl’s Day, Rainbow Blaxx and Dal Shabet to be sexy according to my definition? The short answer is no and the longer answer is noooooo.
An actual long answer is that some of these concepts are straddling a fine line between being sexy and being artistically lewd. I guess finding the right middle ground is always going to be tough. In this highly competitive industry, the temptation will always be there to lean towards the extreme.
In my eyes, what I actually believe to be sexy is a touch of seductiveness, a hint of suggestiveness, and a sprinkling of charm. Unfortunately, in more recent months, it seems like the trend is to pour in a whole bottle of seductiveness and then just sort of forget about everything else.
This lack of finesse and subtlety is one of the biggest issues I have with these new concepts. It’s pretty much become a battle of who can have the more attention grabbing concept. As a guy, I can sort of understand why it happens. We live in an era where we have a lot of things to pay attention to, but not enough time to cover it all.
In that regard, one thing these new concepts does brilliantly is to capture a lot of initial attention. Items like AOA’s skirt zipper dance and Girl’s Day’s cat dance, and others are so provocative that it’s hard to ignore on first sight. But that doesn’t mean it’s sexy; it’s just gratuitous and instinctive attraction to a series of visual and audio cues designed to get the testosterone flowing. Sexy is something I believe should have more complexity to it, something that also gets the imagination going and doesn’t have to resort to increasing provocative gestures.
The industry has shown that they are more than capable of producing great sexy concepts with plenty of fineness. Park Ji Yoon, IU, miss A and After School have demonstrated this perfectly well in recent times. At the very least if we’re going to be obscenely provocative, being completely self aware about it, such as with Lee Hyori’s last album and Gary’s recent album, makes the whole experience much more palatable.
What they need to do is to break away from this ugly cycle of one-upmanship. 2014 is going to be a very interesting year for girl groups.
According to these writers, it seems that the key to sexiness is to have both seduction and charm, and it looks like this new trend is lacking in the charm. Although they offered their perspective from opposite genders, they agree that the current trend is not as sexy as the girl groups intended it to be. Do you agree? Have the writers been successful in representing the general public, or do they you think are out of touch on how other people feel? Share your thoughts below. Are these “sexy” girl groups, actually sexy?