Now I wanted to use this playlist to discuss the increasingly popular trend of the “sexy concept” in the Kpop industry. This is not something exclusive to Kpop but it was something that wasn’t really a part of it even ten years ago. Everyone here in America has heard the concept “sex sells”. It seems that some companies in Korea have caught on to this business practice but whether it is for the better is the question.
I have paired videos in the playlist, one where the sexy concept really falls apart or distracts from the song and one where sexy is done really well.
Now with the nature of this concept 80% of the videos on this list are of girl groups, guy groups don’t do sexy concepts in the same way. In this playlist I am focusing primarily on the choreography that they use, and male groups go for strong choreography over sexy choreography. For this reason I might make a playlist later discussing sexy as far as costumes of the showing of skin, but for the sake of this post I am focusing on the choreography and perhaps the cinematography of these videos.
Also all the of the music is great, I’m not going to talk about it, but I really love the songs as well.
If you want to watch the videos that I’m going to discuss then feel free to check out the playlist I made for you!
1. 4L – Move
Now before I say why I think this video is a bad respresentation of sexy dances I want to say that I applaude 4L for going this far. I think this is the most if not sexually explicit, sexually implicit dance I have seen in any Korean group. That being said. The video focuses on the two girls in the front, with good reason. If you look to the girls who are pushed toward the back, a little off frame and slightly out of focus you will notice how uncomfortable they look. They are executing the dance moves perfectly but there is this tension in them which makes me feel like they don’t want to be doing it. They might love it, and not actually have these feelings at all, but I would think if you are going that far into the sexy concept you would want all of your girls to be 100% on board with it, no reservation, no misgivings.
2. Girl’s Day – Something
I’m pairing this with a dance that I feel is not quite as far out there into sexy but very clearly defined as sexy. These girls arch down into the floor and run their fingers up the slit in their skirts to expose their legs. It is decidedly risque. However, they all are owning it. I don’t feel like any of them have reservations with their dance moves at all. For this reason I think that the dance is much more successful. The girls don’t just look sexy, they look powerful. There is a definite theme in my sexy approved videos on this list and that is confidence. It is definitely necessary and that is the first thing I wanted to address. As we continue down this list my complaints will be more on the choreography itself, but step 1 to a successful sexy concept is definitely confidence.
3. Stellar – Marionette
Here we have another group that are known for their sexy concepts, and this is probably another of the most recognizable songs for a girl group going pretty far into the sexy. These girls all have the confidence rubbing and touching each other, moving and grooving as they should. This part was great. My two complaints come in with the really weird butt wipe move. A lot of people who spoke about this video were confused because its decidedly unsexy. At least for a western audience, butts are big right now, but I don’t think I would ever see someone trying to pull this move if they wanted to look sexy. Its so weird. My only other complaint was the styling of their outfits. They have leotard that completely expose their bras and the band on their tights that look a little like shorts. The bra thing is a little tacky. The short/tights thing seems like they pulled their punch. If you are gonna go for the risque leotard, expose their hips, otherwise they just look like they are wearing a diaper. You might be saying, Michaela why would you have them cover up one thing and expose the other? I’m not saying that, I’m saying that exposing the bra is a low bar as far as sexyness goes, and then they did this weird thing where they didn’t go as far as they could have. It sends a weird mixed message.
4. Ladies Code – 나쁜 여자 (Bad Girl)
I preface this music video with my heart going out to Ladies Code who lost two members last month in a fatal car accident. RIP Rise and EunB. I hope the rest of the girls are able to continue to heal both physically and emotionally from such a traumatic incident. I really love their music and this is one of my favorite songs of there’s and it happens to illustrate the opposite of the stellar music video. Admittedly it doesn’t go as far into sexy concept as stellar does, its more of a quiet confidence (although they do hold some pretty heavy duty weapons which is sexy as hell to be honest). They are wearing outfits that show of their curves, but aren’t too revealing, or covering weird things that might have otherwise been exposed. They do hip swishing dances rather than butt rubbing dances. I find this sexier than Stellar’s even though it doesn’t try nearly as hard to be sexy.
5. Sunmi – 보름달(Full Moon)
Now the majority of this video and routine is flawless. I really like it. The concept is really cool, although she looks a little like a dancing duck and not a vampire, but that she is still sexy. The problems for me arise with the scene on the couch where she lies down on the back. She does this on the live stages as well. Where I think it was meant to look sensual it ends up just looking a little awkward. In the music video I think she is worried about injuring herself on the ornate detail that the back of that couch has, but it remains in the live stages with a different couch which is much less pointy. It might be that she is worried the couch will flip, because I’ve had that happen to me when I was just sitting on the top bit. Don’t sit on the back of a couch they aren’t made for that. It tries to be sexy and fails. It ends up being awkward. I will add that I noticed Beyonce did a similar couch riding thing, although I think hers was more of a lounge and was far more sexual, and I found that awkward as well. I might just be biased against furniture riding. All in all this video isn’t that bad, I think it would have been better without the couch riding.
6. Gain – Truth or Dare
I chose to compare Sunmi with Gain, not only because these songs were promoting at the same time so they were naturally juxtaposed in my brain but because Gain’s solo songs are always inherently sexy. She is an artist that you know will push the boundaries of what is acceptable in the community. Another song on this album is about rape in a relationship for goodness sake. Now there is no furniture riding in this routine at all. In fact there is very little to this routine at all. Its all sensual arm and hip movements. Nothing too provocative and yet I still find it completely sexy. It embodies sexyness, in a way that Sunmi’s failed to slightly in that couch scene. Gain doesn’t need to do anything but sway her hips and smile a little cheekily and people are fanning themselves. Sure she is wearing short shorts and short dresses but idols do that in concepts that aren’t meant to be particularly sexy at all. It is the simplicity here that is everything. It comes back to the confidence, there was a moment of lapse in it for Sunmi, but Gain exudes it. It makes all the difference.
7. Jun Hyoseong – Goodnight Kiss
I have one thing to say for the theme of this video: boobs. The dance showcases her boobs, I couldn’t count how many times the video was framed to showcase her chest to the point of cutting off her head. The song is actually really sweet but it was like since they wanted to go for a sexy concept they were going the flaunt the fact that Hyoseong has an ample chest. Look she has a chest, look how nice it is. I think she even wore an outfit with a boob window. I thought those only existed in super hero concepts. I feel like as an artist I would be a little insulted that both the director and choreographer only wanted to focus on my chest rather than showing her actually really strong singing and dancing skills. It makes me sad. That’s why its on the list
8. Red Velvet – Be Honest
Now I added this song in at the last minute, it just came out and I absolutely felt that it needed to be in this playlist. I debated switching this one in instead of Gain to compare with Sunmi because this is sexy with furniture gone right, but I think that I would rather compare it with Hyoseong because it is more of a counterpoint here. These girls are covered up from ankle to neck. There is not really an inch of skin exposed and still this video is so sexy. The dance moves are sexy without being crude. They have such cool crisp moves, and the emphasis is on legs. You see their whole bodies. They aren’t resorting to gimmicks to be sexy, they are just sexy. This dance is far sexier without exploiting the girls bodies. It is smooth and cool and once again confident. I think overall I would say this dance is crisp and that’s what makes it so sexy. It is so on point and all of the girls kill it.
9. Cross Gene – Amazing Bad Lady
I felt like I needed to throw in a couple of boy groups because they do sexy concepts too, although its much rarer or at the very least usually subtler. Here is another song where one particular dance move threw the whole thing off for me. These guys have this weird crotch rubbing move in their chorus and even other random times in the song. Its almost as if they are doing that rubbing your tummy patting your head thing, but just rubbing their crotch. I just find it really awkward. I’m not really turned on by it. The other moves in their dance are really great. They have such strong sharp moves. I love it, but then they go back to that crotch rub and I’m left squinting at the screen confused as to what that’s supposed to be implying.
10. UKISS – 끼부리지마
The last line of the last review was that I wasn’t sure what their move was supposed to be implying. UKISS’s last comeback was definitely implying a lot and very clearly. So much so that their music video was banned in Korea. It didn’t air. Which is sad because it is done so well. There is so much confidence and their moves are so smooth. Admittedly they have girls to play off that Cross Gene didn’t, but even without the girls they are able to portray what their actions are meant to represent perfectly. I happen to know that not all the members were comfortable with the concept but it doesn’t come off in their acting or dancing at all. Which I commend them for.
What do you guys think?
Are they all sexy?
I think that sexy concept is a perfectly respectable and obvious thing to have and I don’t want it to go anywhere, it just needs to be done the right way. Not that there is one right way because the things I found awkward might be the hottest thing ever to somebody else. I guess I just want all of these idols to be confident in their concept and themselves, I want them to show off their dance skills rather than exploit their bodies. Sexyness isn’t about being pretty, its about being powerful.
Now that we’ve had this sort of licentious sunday spam I will be back to talk with you guys about food tomorrow! Are you excited? I am.