Girl Power: 4 KPOP Songs That Embodies Women Empowerment
KPOP is a culture within a deeply ingrained conservative and patriarchal society. Unfortunately, modern ideals like "feminism" is not yet 100% accepted. This is evident when Red Velvet's Irene mentioned that she read Cho Nam-joo's bestselling novel, Kim Ji Young Born 1982, which reflects casual sexism in the society of South Korea. She was criticized by the Korean public for seemingly promoting feminist ideals. The same thing happened to Apink's Na Eun when she posted a photo on Instagram holding a phone with a case saying "girls can do anything."
But nowadays, people are more vocal about their individuality, with social media as their platform. As for KPOP girl groups, they are taking their first steps in making a change in their society through song lyrics. So to celebrate Women's Month, here are 4 KPOP songs that embodies women empowerment:
EXID's "Ah Yeah"
"Ah Yeah" is a catchy song about how men can't take the hint when they make women uncomfortable by giving them unwanted attention. This song was released after the group experienced a rise in their popularity after Hani's "Up and Down" fancam became viral. In the music video, it was shown how women experience double standards in terms of censorship, whatever they are.
TWICE's "Girls Like Us"
TWICE member Jihyo wrote "Girls Like Us" to stimulate the idea that girls are capable of anything they put their mind into. The lyrics, "Oh girls, do what you want, you're going the right way" encourages girls to dream and make their own path. Being the nation's girl group, this is an inspiration to Korean girls.
The members of MAMAMOO are known for speaking their mind, even if it is an unpopular opinion, especially in their lyrics. And again, in the song "HIP," the group expressed their desire to not conform to the ideals of other people in terms of their bodies and appearance. If you watch the music video, they represent other modern ideals like support to the LGBTQ+ community by inviting drag queens.
BoA is a solo singer that first introduced KPOP in Asia. She tackled in her song how she refused, as a woman, to be stereotyped as "ladylike" and "feminine." Not just that, but also to inspire women to be confident whether they are in their youth or adulthood.
Bonus: BTS' "21st Century Girls"
BTS has always been true about their name "Bangtan Seonyeondan" translated as "bulletproof boy scouts." It's been their mission to write song that will protect the youth from prejudice and negative stereotypes that they receive from the society. So even as a KPOP boy group, they wrote the song "21st Century Girls" to empower women through loving themselves as they are because they are perfect that way.
Acceptance of modern ideals in a conservative society may be difficult, but it's not impossible. These KPOP idols are surely maximizing their own platforms to create an era of change. Little by little, as they continue to strengthen the movement of women empowerment, the important social message that they want to send will soon reach the world.