Girl’s Day and the New Lolitocracy: Part 1

Girl's Day Lolita Complex(L-R: Jihae, Sojin, Yura, Haeri, Minah. Source)

Humbert called Lolita ”the ideal consumer, the subject and object of every foul poster.” Damon Trent sounded the same theme while writing about ”the new Lolitocracy” in Spy Magazine last year. ”In the last five years, our own civilization has developed a bit of a thing for teen-age girls” and girls know it. Indeed, he added, ”every man woman, and child among us has become a vile, pustulating pedophile.”

In this stew of allegorical, sociological, high-minded speculation, you’ve got to admire Groucho Marx’s ineluctably moral position on the novel: ”I am going to put off reading ‘Lolita’ for six years, till she’s 18.”

(“Think Tank; ‘Lolita’ Turns 40, Still Arguing for A Right to Exist,” by Sarah Boxer, The New York Times, August 1998)

Sorry for the long break everyone, and I hope the following translation compensates, easily the longest and most academic (in style) I’ve ever worked on. By this anonymous blogger, I was sold as soon as I saw Theodor Adorno mentioned, as it’s very rare to find commentary on Kpop that reference any theories of popular culture. It’s also a good introduction to Girl’s Day too.

That said, unfortunately the blogger uses many terms very vaguely and interchangeably, and his(?) analysis of their hit Twinkle Twinkle could easily be a third of its length. However, admittedly I’ve yet to work on Part 2 where he discusses a Maxim photoshoot, compares Twinkle Twinkle to their previous songs, and looks at their additional hit Hug Me Once, or indeed Part 3 on Adorno, so I’m hoping his writing becomes more concise later.

Also, please note that: a) it was written in August 2012, when Girl’s Day was a five-member group (Woo Ji-hae would leave for personal reasons in October), and nearly a year before their hit Female President was released; and b) that it was originally a single, stand-alone post, which I’ve only split into three parts here because of its length:

대중음악 속에 파고들기 시작한 롤리토크라시의 성상품화: 걸스데이를 중심으로 Lolitocracy’s Sexual Objectification Taking a Hold of Popular Music: Girl’s Day as a Case Study

1. 서론 / Introduction

최근 ‘은교’라는 영화가 출시되어 세간에 이목을 끌고 있다. 70대 노시인과 10대 소녀의  성적인 탐욕을 그리고 있는 이 영화는 대중의 많은 관심을 받으며 개봉 전부터 영화계를 뜨겁게 달아올리고 있다. 이 영화가 이렇게 개봉 전부터 세간을 떠들썩하게 할 수 있는 이유는 영화 <해피엔드>의 정지우 감독이 연출을 맡았기 때문이기도 하지만 무엇보다도 이 영화의 주제가 우리 사회에서 금기시 되고 있는 ‘롤리타 콤플렉스’를 노골적으로 다루고 있기 때문이다. 아직 성적으로 성숙하지 못한 소녀에 대한 성애(性愛)적 욕망은 점점 개방적이고 다원화되는 문화 산업에서조차 다소 금기시되어온 주제였기에 이러한 영화의 대담한 발상은 ‘기존의 금기를 깨는 발칙한 상상의 즐거움’을 대중에게 선사하며 대중들의 관심을 사로잡은 것이다.

Eun-gyoRecently, the movie A Muse/Eun-gyo has been gaining a lot of public attention. About a man in his seventies who develops a strong sexual desire for an adolescent girl, it became a hot topic even before its release. Partially, this was because it was directed by Jung Ji-woo, who also worked on Happy End (1999), but primarily it was because it frankly deals with the taboo subject of the Lolita complex. This was bold, even for a culture industry with diversifying [but generally] slowly opening views towards the notion of sexual desire towards adolescent girls, and it titillated the public by breaking that taboo (source, right).

하지만 이러한 대중들의 반응을 단순히 이 영화의 ‘금기를 깨는 발칙함’때문이라고 보기엔 뭔가 부족하다. 일반적으로 대중 상업영화 속에서 성에 대한 주제, 특히 이번 은교의 경우처럼 사회적으로 금기시 되는 성적 주제를 다루는 영화의 경우 언제나 개봉과 함께 여러 곳에서 그 윤리성으로 인해 비판의 목소리가 높아져왔다. 하지만 이번처럼 가장 직접적으로 금기시된 이러한 성을 다룬 영화에서 조차 비판의 목소리는 예전처럼 높지 않다. 또한 요 근래 여러 가지 아동성폭행사건으로 인해 대중들의 의식이 높아진 상태에서도 이러한 영화에 대한 우려 섞인 목소리조차 나오지 않고 있다는 점은 매우 주목할 만한 것이다. 비록 작은 하나의 예이지만 이러한 대중들의 반응은 우리 사회에서 성 개방풍조와 함께 “성이 윤리를 수반하는 문제”라는 사실이 점점 희석되고 있는 모습을 반영하고 있는 것이다.

However, the simple breaking of taboos is not enough to account for the public reaction. Generally, whenever films with sexual themes are released, and especially cases like Eun-gyo in which taboos are broken, many ethical concerns and criticisms are raised. However, despite this movie breaking a stronger taboo than most, and despite the heightened public awareness and concern about the sexual abuse of children in recent years, the criticism of the movie has been muted compared to past cases. This reflects Korean society’s sexual liberalization, increasingly fluid sexual ethics, and diminishing sense of sexual responsibility.

이러한 양상은 특히 대중가요, 그 중에서도 2000년대 후반부터 시작된 걸 그룹 열풍에서 가장 두드러진다. 아직 중, 고등학생 티를 채 벗지도 못한 청소년이 무대 위에 올라가 짧은 바지를 입고 춤을 추고 노래하는 모습은 더 이상 낯선 장면이 아니다. 소속사들은 데뷔와 함께 멤버들이 ‘미성년’임을 강조하는 보도를 연신 내보내며 ‘나이 어린’ 걸 그룹을 적극 홍보한다. 대중들도 이런 모습에 더 이상 주저하거나 꺼리지 않는다. 이러한 아이돌에 대해 대중과 언론은 “섹시하다”라는 표현을 서슴지 않는다. 도발적인 춤을 추고 ‘오빠’라고 외치는 걸 그룹에 대해 대중들은 환호하고 열광한다. 우리나라의 모든 걸그룹이 롤리타 신드롬에 기반을 두고 있다는 것은 비약이겠지만 지금 현 대중 걸 그룹계에서는 최소한 ‘미성년’의 코드는 절대적이며 또한 이러한 코드가 단순히 어린 아이에 대한 ‘귀여움’에 그치지 않는다는 것은 부인하기 힘들다.

This aspect is also noticeable in popular songs, especially since the girl-group wave began in the late-2000s. Seeing high school students dancing on stage dressing in very short pants is no longer unusual. As soon as management companies debut a new girl-group they send out press releases emphasizing the members’ young ages, and the public doesn’t seem to mind. [Indeed], the public and media do not hesitate to describe them as “sexy,” and cheer them for doing provocative dances and shouting “Oppa.” Certainly, not all Korean girl-groups excessively rely on the Lolita syndrome, but its use is widespread, and it is hard to deny that this “underage code” is simply about cuteness.

이러한 대중 문화속의 롤리타 콤플렉스에 관한 논문은 이전에도 이번이 처음이 아니다. 하지만 기존까지의 원더걸스나 문근영을 중심으로 한 롤리타 콤플렉스에 관한 논의의 경우, 노래나 작품 중심의 해석에 초점을 맞추어 암묵적으로 제시되는 롤리타 성상품화의 조짐에 주목하는 정도에 그치는 한계가 있었다. 이 논문에서는 기존의 논문들에서 더 나아가 노래와 춤에 대한 해석과 더불어 그룹의 변화 양상과 연예활동을 통해서도 드러나는 미성년에 대한 성애를 자극하는 요소들, 또한 그것을 이용하는 연예기획사들의 성 상품화의 전략을 살펴보는 것을 목표로 하여 구체적인 예를 통해 접근할 것이다. 이러한 구체적인 예로 걸 그룹 중 아동성애적 요소가 두드러지는 걸스데이를 설정하였으며 특히 걸스데이의 대표곡 ‘반짝반짝’, ‘한번만 안아줘’ 와 그 뮤직비디오, 그 외기타 연예활동을 통해 어떻게 이러한 방식의 성 상품화가 드러나고 있는지 살펴볼 것이다.

What I will discuss today is not the first time the Lolita complex has been seen in popular culture. However, in discussions of it in relation to The Wondergirls or [former "the nation's little sister"] Moon Geun-young, there have been implicit limits in previous analyses of noticeable Lolita-related sexual objectification in their songs and other cultural products. Unlike those, in this post I will not only analyze the songs and dances of the girl-group Girl’s Day, I will also look into the group’s different concepts and show how they encourage sexual interest in underage girls, providing concrete examples to demonstrate their management company’s sexual objectification strategy. I will give particular attention to the music videos to Twinkle Twinkle and Hug Me Once.

My Little Bride(Moon Geun-young in My Little Bride, 2004. Source)

또한 이 논문의 후반부에서는 아도르노의 문화산업론을 기반으로 하여 이러한 걸그룹의 문제점에 비판적으로 고찰해볼 것이다. 앞으로 살펴볼 걸스데이의 예에서 드러나는 바와 같이 걸그룹 시장의 양상은 획일화와 배타적인 시장체계, 단순 소비를 위한 제작등과 같이 아도르노가 주장한 대중문화의 특성과 많은 부분에서 일치한다. 그렇기에 롤리타 콤플렉스의 문제와 더불어 그것을 상품화하는 문화산업의 작용이 구체적으로 어떻게 드러나는지 아도르노의 관점을 기반으로 살펴보고, 마지막으로 현대 대중 걸 그룹문화의 롤리토크라시 문제점을 제시함으로 논문을 정리할 것이다.

Later, I will give a critical analysis of the problems and issues raised by girl-groups based on Theodor Adorno’s theories of popular music and the culture industry. As we will see, the example of Girl’s Day demonstrates the commonalities between the present day girl-group market and features or traits of Theodor Adorno Trading Cardpopular culture that were argued by Adorno, including standardization, an exclusive market system, and production only for simple consumption. Accordingly, I will address the problems of the Lolita complex and look in detail into how the culture industries objectify that, based on Adorno’s views. Finally, I will summarize the post by outlining the problems of today’s girl-group culture’s lolitocracy (source, right).

2. 본론 / Body

 (1)걸스데이와 롤리타 신드롬 / Girl’s Day and the Lolita Syndrome

먼저 걸스데이에 대해 간단히 알아보자. 5인조 여성그룹인 걸스데이는 2010년 당시 이미 포화상태에 이른 걸 그룹 시장의 후발주자로 출발하였음에도 유튜브와 기타 소셜미디어를 통해 대중들의 주목을 받으며 비교적 순탄한 데뷔를 하게 된다. 하지만 얼마 지나지 않아 붉어져 나온 가창력 논란과 더불어 5명의 멤버 중 2명의 멤버의 급작스러운 탈퇴는 걸스데이를 시작부터 위태롭게 한다. 하지만 이러한 악조건 속에서 걸스데이는 포기하지 않고 새로운 도전을 감행하게 되는데,  2009년 새로운 멤버 2명을 영입하고 새로운 음악적 양식으로 전환함에 따라 기존의 이미지를 쇄신하여 새롭게 대중들에게 다가서게 된다. 걸스데이는 새로운 멤버 교체 이후 두 번째 미니앨범 ‘반짝반짝’을 시작으로 ‘한번만 안아줘’, ‘너, 한눈 팔지 마’ 등 솔직한 가사와 친숙한 멜로디의 곡을 차례로 히트시키며 치열한 걸 그룹 시장에서 자신만의 입지를 확보하며 빠르게 성장하게 되고, 2011년 18회 한국문화예술시상에서 신인상을 수상하는 쾌거를 이루게 된다. 또한 걸스데이의 인기는 최근까지 계속되어, 2012년 4월 18일에 내놓은 정식 세 번째 앨범인 everyday2가 발매하는 동시에 주요 차트에서 상위권에 랭크되어 걸스데이의 인기가 한번의 쇼로 끝나지 않음을 증명해주고 있다.

First, let’s learn the basics about Girl’s Day. A late-runner, they arrived in September 2010 when the girl-group market was already saturated, but through the use of YouTube and other forms of social media their debut was moderately successful. However, not only was their singing ability soon called into question, but two members suddenly and unexpectedly withdrew, placing the future of the group in jeopardy.

So, they were quickly replaced, and Girl’s Day resolved to change their musical style and image and approach the public with a new face. Soon afterwards they released their second mini-album, and with their back-to-back hits Twinkle Twinkle, Hug Me Once, and Don’t Let Your Eyes Wander, which all featured honest lyrics and familiar melodies, they fully established themselves in the highly competitive girl-group market, winning Female Rookies of the Year at the November 2011 18th Republic of Korea Entertainment Arts Awards. Their popularity has continued in 2012, releasing their third mini-album Everyday2 on 18 April, and its high chart rankings prove Girl’s Day is no mere flash in the pan.

걸스데이가 이렇게 걸 그룹의 홍수와 여러 악조건 속에도 살아남을 수 있었던 데에는 물론 멤버교체와 걸스데이 각 멤버의 노력을 빼놓을 수 없겠지만 가장 지대한 영향을 끼친 것은 새 멤버교체 이후 두 번째 앨범인 ‘반짝반짝’의 히트라고 말할 수 있을 것이다. 2011년 3월 16일 쇼 케이스에서 컨셉 사진으로 먼저 공개된 이 앨범은 17일 엠넷 엠카운트 다운을 시작으로 이틀 후인 19일 벅스뮤직, 네이버 뮤직, 싸이월드 배경음악 실시간 차트에서 1위를 차지했으며, 그 외 멜론, 소리바다, 도시락 등에서도 10위권 내에 진입하는 기염을 토했다.  ‘반짝반짝’의 흥행 행진은 여기서 멈추지 않았다. ‘반짝반짝’은 이후에도 주요 지상파 방송차트에서 지속적으로 높은 순위로 랭크됨은 물론이고, 다음 앨범을 위해 활동을 중단한 후에도 노래음원이 주요 순위 체계에서 상위 10위권 안에 기록되는 등 빠른 속도로 변화하는 대중음악 시장에서 이례적인 모습을 보여주며 걸스데이를 주요 걸 그룹 반열위에 올려놓았다.

Of course, while Girl’s Day survived this perfect storm of a debut partially through the efforts and abilities of its members, the main reason was the wholly unexpected popularity of Twinkle Twinkle. Promotional concept pictures were first released on Showcase on March 16, 2011, then on the 17th it was made available for download on MNet MCountdown, then Musicbox, Naver Music, Cyworld Background Music Chart on the 19th. It reached number one on all of them, and made it to the top ten on Melon, Soribada, and Lunchbox. Later, of course it had a high ranking when it was performed on the major television music shows, and remained in the top ten in the charts despite Girl’s Day ceasing their promotions in order to prepare for their next album. This popularity was very atypical for a new group, and placed them among the elite girl-groups.

하지만 이러한 ‘반짝반짝’의 흥행 신화는 음악적인 양식을 완전히 버리고 ‘롤리타 신드롬’ 시장에 편입함으로써 가능한 것이었다. 걸스데이의 성공 요인인 ‘반짝반짝’은 기존의 걸스데이의 음악적 색과는 완전히 다른 롤리타적인 성애를 자극하는 장치들로 가득 차있는, 그당시 걸그룹 시장의 ‘어림’의 경쟁에 합류하기 위한 전환점이었다는 것이다.

That said, the big hit myth of Twinkle Twinkle was a complete reversal of their previous musical style, and was only possible because they decided to run with the Lolita syndrome concept, employing a number of devices to stimulate a Lolita-like sexual desire. The song marks a turning point in the groups’ attempts to [employ youth to compete in the girl-group market].

James: Forgive me for stating the obvious, but I recommend actually watching(!) the Twinkle Twinkle music video before continuing (the one above has English and Hangul subtitles). Also, make sure to check out reviews at McRoth’s Residence, KPop Reviews, and Yellow Slug Reviews (I’d appreciate any more recommendations), all of which emphasize an excessive use of aegyo and/or how much of a break it was from their previous work.

(2)걸스데이의 ‘반짝반짝’ / Girl’s Day’s Twinkle Twinkle

 우선 걸스데이의 성공의 시발점이 된 ‘반짝 반짝’이라는 작품을 살펴봄으로써 이러한 요소가 어떻게 드러나는지 살펴보자. 먼저 가사를 보면, 반짝반짝의 가사는 음악적인 반복되는 선율에 따라 A-B-C-A-B-D-B 형태로 이루어져 있다. 가사의 전체적인 내용은 ‘오빠’, 또는 ‘너’로 지칭되는 대상과의 사랑을 나누는 가사 속의 화자, 주체에 관한 내용으로 가사 전체는 ‘다가가고 싶지만 사랑의 아픔이 두려워 다가가는 것이 쉽지 않다’는 메시지가 주를 이루고 있으며 대상이 좋기는 하지만 어떤 이유인지 쉽게 다가가기 힘들다는 내용이 담겨져 있다.

Let’s look into what factors were responsible for the popularity of Twinkle Twinkle, the starting point of Girl’s Day’s success. First, if we look at the lyrics, they are very repetitive, following an A-B-C-A-B-D-B rhythm. Looking at them as a whole, the narrator often professes her love for someone referred to as “you,” or “Oppa,” but the song has the basic message that she wants to approach him, yet is scared of possible heartbreak, so it is not easy to do so. Or in other words, she likes the subject, but for some reason can’t act on it.

가사 속 중심적인 의미를 구성하는 이 ‘이유’는 가사 B 부분을 보면 알 수 있다. 가사 속의 화자는 ‘슬쩍슬쩍 바라보지마 .반짝반짝 내 입술 바라보지마. 좋아하는 우리사이 멀어질까봐. 멀어질까 두려워.’라는 가사를 통해 화자의 입술을 ‘훔쳐보는’ 대상으로 인해 화자와 대상과의 관계가 멀어질까 두렵다는 언급을 하고 있다. 즉, 노래 속 화자에게 사랑 속 힘든 이유는 대상이 화자의 입술을 바라보는 행위의 함의, 즉 육체적인 ‘스킨십’에 대한 부담감 내지는 거부감 때문으로 해석할 수 있으며 가사 속에서 이러한 대상에 대해 ‘사이가 멀어질지도 모른다’라고 경고하면서도 또 친밀한 관계를 유지하고자 하는 주체의 다소 모순되는 마음이 표현되고 있다.

If we look at the main, “B” part of the lyrics we can see the reason. Here, the narrator says to the subject, “Don’t peek at me. Don’t steal a glance at my twinkling (glistening) lips. I’m afraid that if we fall in love, we may end up driving each other apart.” Or alternatively, the reason falling in love is so difficult for the narrator is because if she does she would feel pressured to have a physical relationship with him before she is ready (so, something that may ultimately drive them apart), and this is manifested in her discomfort at him looking at her lips. On the other hand, the irony is that she actually does want a more romantic, more physical relationship with him.

Girl's Day Twinkle Twinkle Composite(Source)

이러한 식의 가사는 다른 여타의 사랑 노래에서 충분히 발견할 수 있는 부분으로써 문제가 되지 않는다. 하지만 이 노래의 배경과 기타 요소들을 종합해 보면 그 내용이 단순한 성인 연인들의 사랑 노래만으로는 해석할 수 없음을 보게 된다.

This kind of love story can be found in many other songs, and it’s not a problem in itself. However, given the music video’s setting and other factors, it can’t be described as a simple love song between two adults.

‘반짝반짝’에서 걸스데이는 기존의 앨범에서 추구했던 이미지와 완전히 상반된 교복의상의 컨셉를 가지고 온다. 또한 뮤직비디오의 배경도 ‘girl’s day school’ 이라는 팻말이 보이는 학교건물을 연상시키는 무대로, 노래의 주체가 고등학생임을 강조하고 있다. 또한 가사의 대상이 ‘오빠’로 지칭되고 있으며 이 오빠로 지칭되는 인물이 뮤직비디오 상에서도 고등학생이 아닌 다소 노숙한 인물로 묘사된다는 점과 걸스데이의 2011년 기준 평균나이는 만 19.2세로, 80년대 생인 두 명의 멤버를 제외하면 모두 고등학생과 중학생이었다는 점과 ‘반짝반짝’ 활동 당시 언론을 통해 ‘어린 청소년’의 컨셉을 중심으로 활동을 했다는 사실을 종합해 볼 때 노래 전체 가사는 미성년과 성인 사이의 사랑에 대해서 다루고 있음을 짐작할 수 있으며 가사 B에 해당하는 부분을 연인들 사이의 다툼으로 보기 어렵게 만든다.

With Twinkle Twinkle, Girl’s Day completely move away from their previous image of being the objects of desire, to a schoolgirl concept instead. In the music video, there is a stage a building reminiscent of a school, and “Girl’s Day School” can be seen written on a noticeboard in the background; the song emphasizes that the narrator is a high school student. The Oppa she calls and refers to, however, is not a high school student but much more mature and experienced. Add that the average age of the Girl’s Day members at the time the song came out was 19.2; that, but for two members born in the ’80s, three were of high school or middle-school age [James -- Middle school is a bit of a stretch, as the three youngest members were nearly 18, nearly 19, and 19 when the song came out; Korean children attend high school from roughly 16 to 18, although 17-19 is certainly possible]; and that they promoted themselves in the media and on shows and so on through a “youthful adolescent” concept, then we can infer that the whole song is about love between an adult and a minor, and that the “B” section of the lyrics are not some ordinary lovers’ lament or spat.

가사 속에서 가사 B의 내용은 가사의 배경과 함께 이전 원더걸스에 관련한 롤리타 콤플렉스에 관한 논평에서와 언급된 것처럼 성적인 대상으로써의 미성년의 존재를 상기시키는 역할을 하고 있다.

The “B” section of the lyrics, combined with the setting of the music video, reminds us of the existence of underage girls being used as a sex object, as was mentioned in previous discussions [James -- I think posts on his blog] about the the Wonder Girls and the Lolita complex.

The Wondergirls Christmas Baskin Robbins(Source)

입술을 훔쳐보는 노래 속의 대상은 육체적인 욕망을 추구함으로써 가사 속 화자에게 ‘싫어질지 모른다’라는 협박을 받으면서도 반대로 노래 내의 화자에게 여전히 매력적인 존재로 묘사된다. 이러한 존재는 가사 속에서 미성년 성애에 대한 사회 문화적인 억압기제(예컨대 대중적인 의식과 법적인 제제)에 대한 부담감을 그저 ‘연애에서 일어날 수 있는 사소한 다툼, 기호의 차이’등으로 치환함으로써 타부(taboo)시 되었던 미성년 성애로부터 생기는 죄책감과 부담감들을 완화시키는 것이다. 가사 속 대상은 화자에게 법적인 처벌에 대한 위협을 받지 않는다. 그저 연애에서 발생할 수 있는 사소한 문제인 것처럼 화자는 ‘애교 섞인’ 투정을 부리고 있다. 이러한 식의 치환은 성인 감상자가 느끼게 될 이러한 죄책감의 존재를 허상이라고 인식시키게 되고 감상자로 하여금 심리적인 안정을 구현하며 미성년을 성애의 대상으로써의 추구하는 것을 자연스럽게 받아들이도록 한다.

The Oppa acts on his physical desire by peeking glances at her lips, and even though she warns him not to because of what a romantic relationship may bring, she still describes him as attractive. His existence in the song overcomes society’s cultural taboos and legal restraints against relationships with minors by portraying events as just a typical, trivial tiff between two people in a budding romantic relationship. There is never any mention or notion of him receiving some form of legal punishment. Also, the narrator trivializes it by just reacting with aegyo. This substitution helps adult admirers to dispel any guilt they may have about the pursuing of minors, and to rationalize it as natural.

또한 대상의 사랑을 원하면서도 또한 부끄러움 내지는 소극적인 태도를 취하고 있는 가사 속 주체는 유행하고 있는 미성년의 상품적 이미지, 즉 “가시적으로 드러나는 귀여움”, “풋풋한 여동생들이 단체로 발산하는 ‘대놓고 드러내지 않는 쎅시함’” 을 겨냥한 것으로 직접적인 Sex appeal이 아닌 ‘한 발 물러서는’ 어설픈 어필로 롤리타에 대한 남성 대중의 무의식적 욕망을 자극하는 것이고 볼 수 있다.

Girl's Day Twinkle Twinkle No Cut NewsThe narrator, who wants the Oppa’s love but is embarrassed and adopts a passive attitude in the lyrics, also uses an image that sexually objectifies minors, which is common among girl-groups at the moment; in other words, cuteness combined with an obviously exploited but unspoken sex-appeal. This faux modesty stimulates men’s unconscious desires for Lolitas.

<그림1> 걸스데이의 ‘반짝반짝’ 컴셉사진. 다양한 방식으로 변형된 교복이 그 당시 앨범컨셉이었다.기본적인 형태에서 벗 어나 섹슈얼리티를 강조하기 위한 변형들이 눈에 띈다. (사진출처: “걸스데이 반짝반짝”, 구글) Caption 1: Girl’s Day Twinkle Twinkle photo, demonstrating the altered, more sexualized school uniforms concept (source).

이러한 롤리타 콤플렉스를 겨냥한 장치들은 가사 이외의 다른 부분에서도 예외가 아니다. 앞에서 언급한 바와 같이 의상이나 무대 면에서도 이러한 아동성애적인 요소를 공략한 부분이 잘 드러난다. ‘반짝반짝’에서 나오는 교복 컨셉의 의상은 여학생 교복이라는 기본적인 형식을 취하지만 다양한 변형을 통해 섹슈얼리티를 강조하고 있다. ‘반짝반짝’에서 멤버들의 의상을 살펴보면 교복의 전형적인 모양을 본뜨되 상의의 아랫부분을 잘라 맨살을 드러낸다든지, 치마를 줄이거나 핫팬츠 형태로 축소시켜 신체 부위를 과도하게 노출시키고 있으며 몸에 달라붙는 옷으로 몸의 실루엣을 강조함으로써 멤버들의 여성성을 높이는 역할을 하고 있다. 이런 식의 변형된 교복은 학생, 미성년의 상징인 ‘교복’의 이미지를 섹슈얼리티의 일환으로 바라볼 수 있게 하는 시선을 제시함으로써 그전까지 존재하던 터부(taboo)를 깨 남성대중에 존재하는 소녀에 대한 성애적인 욕망을 자극하고 앞에서 언급한 바와 같이 가사를 통해 ‘죄책감의 기제’를 약화시킴으로써 감상자로 하여금 이러한 롤리타적인 욕망을 죄책감 없이 소비하도록 끌어들인다.

This use of the Lolita complex is not only found in the lyrics. As mentioned earlier, it is shown in the music video’s school setting and the performers’ school uniform concept, the latter of which emphasizes sexuality through various means. For example, the tops [of two members] are cropped to reveal their navels, their skirt lengths are raised so high as to resemble hot pants, and they’re skin-tight to better emphasize their feminine silhouettes. With uniforms being such symbols of underage students, this provides a means of sexualizing the clothes. In doing so, it breaks taboos towards and stimulates men’s sexual desire towards minors. As mentioned earlier, it weakens the sense of guilt surrounding viewing and sexualized minors, and makes them into a product to be consumed.

Girl's Day Christmas 2012(Source)

As always, I appreciate readers pointing out any errors in the translation (which I admit there may be more of than usual), and I’ll try to have Part 2 and Part 3 ready on Monday the 30th and the 6th respectively. Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I hope you all like the return to the old blog theme!

Related Posts:

Consent is Sexy, Part 3: Female President by Girl’s Day #FAIL

Reading the Lolita Effect in South Korea, Part 2: The role of K-pop and the Korean media in sexual socialization and the formation of body image

Ajosshis & Girls’ Generation: The Panic Interface of Korean Sexuality

What did Depraved Oppas do to Girls’ Generation? Part 1

“Cleavage out, Legs in” — The Key to Understanding Ajosshi Fandom?

The Origins of “Ajosshi Fandom”?

4 thoughts on “Girl’s Day and the New Lolitocracy: Part 1

  1. Pingback: Recommended Kpop Reading: December 23, 2013 | Idolminded

  2. Pingback: Japan Gender Reader, Jan. 2014 | The Lobster Dance

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