Pornography is art, sometimes harmonious, sometimes dissonant. Its glut and glitter are a Babylonian excess. Modern middle-class women cannot bear the thought that their hard-won professional achievements can be outweighed in an instant by a young hussy flashing a little tits and ass. But the gods have given her power, and we must welcome it. Pornography forces a radical reassessment of sexual value, nature’s bequest of our tarnished treasure.
Camille Paglia, Vamps & Tramps, 1994.
For reasons of space and propriety, an opening quote that didn’t make it to my latest article for Busan Haps. But, without denying for a moment that there’s been a lot of gratuitous T&A in K-pop this summer, with many more examples in just the few weeks since this article was written, I think Paglia’s quote brings a healthy dose of realism to the discussion, and frames the one on Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime show in the conclusion nicely. Please click on the image to see what I mean.
For much more on the concept of sexual objectification, why it can sometimes be positive, and why consent is so important for determining that, please see here. Also, a must-read is Peter Robinson’s “Naked women in pop videos: art, misogyny or downright cynical?” in The Guardian from last week, which raises many of the same issues (and is a reminder that the “pornification” of K-pop still has quite a long way to go).
2 thoughts on “The Pornification of K-pop?”
I’m not sure if I’d call it pornographic, but sexualized. I’m not even sure if it’s completely a bad thing. As I read interviews from a few of the stars, some like what they wear and how they dance and others don’t. You see these girls defy conservative social norms with how they dress and yet at the same time, they’re vilified for pushing this ideal sexual figure. You can’t have it both ways.
Only talent and independence from corp bullshit can save k-pop. Someone should beg Prince to make a Korean girl’s group cuz this is the f’ing way to make a girls group: