She sure is a flirt
January 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
Oh the lamest of lame ironies that I’ve been without my computer for several weeks because of a fan problem. Main fan error. Lol. In any case, I’ve missed having a proper keyboard a lot. And yesterday, I watched this video that made my fingers itch because of how badly I wanted to blog about it.
Just before my computer broke down, I wrote this postabout lesbian subtext in kpop. And then yesterday, well… the video for Baby Soul +유지아 (Yoo Jia) feat. Dongwoo - 그녀는바람둥이야 (She is a Flirt) was released.
Now, as you probably know, there’s a lot of discussion going on about this video’s storyline. Are the girls supposed to be lovers? Sisters? Friends? Is it a one-sided lesbian love story? And how would the video’s storyline coordinate with the lyrics? Not because the lyrics are always very well-coordinated with the video in k-pop or the music industry as a whole, but sometimes lyrics sure do provide a clue to confusing videos.
Someone thought the lyrics’ explicit outcries for some boy, as well as Dongwoos feature in the video, are just there to help the video pass Korean censorship, should it be questioned for encouraging the youth to unhealthy crushes or whatever (fu k-censorship, hating you so hard). My guess is that the initial idea was either a way more explicit lesbian storyline, but had to be toned down a bit, or a way more heteronormative storyline, that some genius decided to make just a little more interesting
after having read my plead for more girl/girl material, of course.
If it’s the first alternative, I guess that is just another indication of a lot of queer creativity bubbling under the surface of the Korean entertainment industry. Well. Not surprised. Also, Woollim Entertainment usually makes pretty artsy videos, which is one of the reasons I like them – it might be that the people making their videos are actually genuinely interested in exploring social dynamics or limits to relationships or something, but make music videos for money… or something. I’m just speculating here. If it’s the latter, I take it that Woollim Entertainment are trying girl/girl skinship as fanservice, which pretty much leads me back into the confused loop of my previous blog post.
However, I don’t believe for a second that the makers of this video were unaware of how it would be perceived by its audience. They knew that people would discuss it, and whether or not that was their initial goal, it sure worked.
To take this a little further: A lot of the netizens expressing their thought on the video bring up their own experiences of physical closeness in platonic friendships as “proof” that the characters of the video definitely have no hanky-panky going on whatsoever, or would ever wish for such a thing. And this is something that I have thought about a lot, too. I often interpret it as flirtatious when these kinds of actions are showed on-screen between members of either sex, even though I know lots of straight girls (and a couple of straight guys, too) that act way more lovey-dovey which each other than this, without having any other sparks between them than the ones they could have with, say, a pet animal they wanted to cuddle. I myself have friends that I will gladly give leg massage to, or spoon, or just generally be touchy with, even though the thought of actual exchange of bodily fluids with them creeps me out completely (and to be honest, I think precisely this is the kind of friendship that a lot of the most popular OTP:s in k-pop have). But this is where the k-pop fun comes into the picture: The line between what’s for real and what’s for show. Yes, some people share this closeness without anything else than platonic love between them. But all of this is made to be put on stage, to be broadcasted, and as such, is set on a scene. And as everybody who has spent some time with theatre knows, scenes and acts are symbols, signa
ls, roles: stuff don’t “just happen”. They are put there for a reason. If the directors of this MV wouldn’t have wanted us to speculate in what’s going on between these two girls, they wouldn’t have made the video so ambiguous.
After all this about the video, I guess I should say something about the song itself: I think it’s well made, and the girls have nice voices. I have listened it through for a couple of times without getting annoyed, which says a lot, but it’s also notable that I can’t really remember it after having listened to a couple of other songs in between. But to be honest, this kind of music sort of falls between the chairs of the kinds of music I’m interested in, so I’m probably not the right person to make a statement on this. However, I am going to keep an eye open for these girls in the future.
(Also: Dammit, Dongwoo. What the h— is going on with you these days? I don’t know, but I like it, though that hair is hideous.)