K-pop Characteristics

This week I looked at two of the many characteristic’s that make a singer, or group K-pop. I thought the best way to find out what these characteristics were was to sit down and watch a few K-pop music videos and see what the re-occurring themes where. When first choosing this topic I had reaslised huge differences, yet some similarities between Pop music and K-pop. One of the first observations I made when seeing a K-pop music video was that it was very 90’s. This was due to the manufactured look, matching outfits and cohesive dance moves, it took me straight back to my child hood when NSYNC and The Spice Girls were all the rage!

An obvious factor that makes up K-pop is your overall look. Already looking at beauty standards in Korea for my group presentation, we saw that a huge contributors to this obsession with beauty was the influence of the desired k-pop look. K-pop stars are expected to look “perfect”, this usually leads to K-pop stars undergoing plastic surgery to give them western features such as the V-line face and the double eyelid.(Tamblyn, 2013) This made me realise that k-pop isn’t necessarily about the music, its about the overall package. K-pop doesn’t really push the “sexy” look that western pop music does, it more so emphasises on cuteness though features such as big round eyes and facial expressions. K-pop has really helped push plastic surgery in Korea making it a social norm. After researching this i have come to the conclusion that to be K-pop you can’t just have a good voice, you must look, dress and act a certain way to be classified as a K-pop artist.

Another observation made when researching K-pop is the amount of members in k-pop groups. Most groups generally have between 4 to 9 members.( Slideshar.net/Kimmy4lsu, 2011) One band I came across was Topp Dogg that has an astounding 13 members, this was extremely interesting as western pop groups would have on average no more then 5 members per group. So why so many members? An article I found explained that the reasoning behind the amount of members was simply to satisfy their fans. The more members you have the more fans you will have. This will then lead to more merchandise being sold and more tickets being sold to concerts.( KpopStarz, 2014) I found this a very intelligent way of thinking, of course they are going to benefit from having more members.

Overall this week I found it interesting finding out some characteristics that makes up the K-pop world. Although when doing this research I had difficulty finding journal articles on this particular topic. Other characteristics i hope to explore next include their lyrics and the music.


KpopStarz, (2014). Why Do K-Pop Groups Have So Many Members?. [online] Available at: http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/114392/20140924/why-do-kpop-groups-have-so-many-members.htm

Slideshare.net/Kimmy4lsu, (2011). The Beginner’s Guide to KPOP. [online] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/Kimmy4lsu/the-beginners-guide-to-kpop

Tamblyn, A. (2013), K-Pop Beauty Factory.

One comment

  1. Great Blog! I too am looking at K-pop and J-pop in my blog and also mentiuoned the overall beauty standards in K-Pop and J-pop where surgery is often performed on the singers so they look more westernised or beautiful in Asian cultures. I too agree that its generally not just about the music, because honestly they aren’t actually the best singers most Kpop stars, especially the ones that have like 10 + members, surely a few of them aren’t talented. I had not read the research you found behind why they have so many members in their groups, so that is a great point that you have made. Only comment would be that I would love to read more of your research so maybe make it a tad longer!


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