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Miss A – I Don’t Need a Man: Kpop Music Mondays

October 30, 2012

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A GIRL BAND ON KPOP MUSIC MONDAY! It has finally happened! After 13 weeks of pure Kpop Sausage festivities, Miss A finally breaks the streak to be a girl band on Kpop Music Mondays! If you haven’t seen this record-breaking video, check it out here:

So I’ve noticed that as of late we are saving our deeper thoughts for our blog posts. We had a bit to say about this Miss A video, or more so, what it stirred up inside of us regarding implications about Korean culture, but we feel like Music Monday should remain at least a bit entertaining rather than a heavy lecture about what we think about stuff. But the fact that we have to hold ourselves back a bit for Music Mondays doesn’t make us upset because we feel like there are different communities of people existing on YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and on the EYK blog itself that have different kinds of conversations and enjoy commenting in different ways. While a lot of viewers overlap into all of these communities (the Nastiest of the Nasties!), we must confess that this blog here has our favourite group of individuals, who all seem to promote conversation and to discuss things in a level-headed fashion. YAY! So onto our thoughts about the video:

While Miss A’s message seems simple enough, truthfully, it’s difficult to fully grasp the context of the video if you don’t live (or if you have lived) in Korea. Even thought we really love Korean culture, there are some parts we don’t love, one of which being the rampant materialism. I’ll give you an upsetting example: when I was still teaching at my all girls high school, dating was a hot topic, so I tried to incorporate interesting concepts like opinions on dating into my lessons to foster class participation. One of my classes was an open class survey where I asked questions in English, and the students would vote, and then we’d discuss why they voted for what, and then they’d present their findings to the class.

One of the most appalling discoveries I made was during a survey about dating and marriage. Out of my 14 classes of over 40 students, around 80% of them would choose A) a good looking, tall, rich person that treated them like garbage over B) a short but good looking average paid person that treated them like gold. I was SO shocked and I wanted to know why they would make such a poor choice, to which they’d respond that appearance to other people was more important. And somehow, they thought their personal happiness would increase if other people were envious of what they had, even if what they had didn’t result in their own personal happiness. And there was also the added bonus they could buy things to make themselves happy.

Now, I’m glad that there was a small percentage of students that wanted to meet someone that wasn’t a jerk, but even when I adjusted the survey more in favour of the shorter guy regarding happiness, it seemed like shortness in itself was such a HUGE problem. A huge shallow problem. When I told my students I dated a guy who was a foot shorter than me (true) they were shocked and even responded with “ewww”. I really REALLY tried to impress upon my students the importance of a person liking someone for their personality, rather than for just money and looks, but it was hard to convince them when they’d say, “but you married Simon and he’s really tall.” I didn’t marry Simon because he was tall!!!! O____o

Now as I got to know more Korean adults, I discovered that, in my personal opinion, some of their priorities were out of order. When my friends started dating a new guy, I asked them what they were like and every single person started to tell me about their job, how much money they make, and if they were good looking. I even had one friend tell me in advance, “he’s not good looking and he doesn’t make a lot of money”. And I was like… “Um. I don’t care about that. Does he treat you well? Does he make you laugh?” I really had to needle my friends to find out WHAT their boyfriend were like outside of their jobs, so I feel like something is going wrong with priorities if people are more concerned about impressing their friends about their boyfriends’ job. Now obviously, not everyone in Korea is like this, but I experienced it enough to feel worried about my friends.

Now what does this have to do with Miss A’s song? Well, it seems that the idea of dating or marrying rich is a very big goal in Korea (and other parts of the world), but it’s more weighed towards a woman snagging a rich man, rather than a man snagging a rich woman.

Even if you look at Korean dramas, the concept of wealthy women seem to fall into three basic categories: a really old grandma CEO, a heinous b*tch of a crazy CEO, or the heinous b*tch daughter of a rich CEO trying to hook up with the rich guy that is interested in the poor girl. Why aren’t there any talented F4 flower girls that are sought after by all the boys? Super rich woman driving hot cars and saving a poor guy from his rough life of not-richness? I want to see a Korean girl forcefully grab a guy by his wrist and drag him somewhere against his will. I really think that this is a small reflection of how gender roles are seen in Korea.

Now I know, we could look at North American TV shows and be appalled by what they say about North America, but yeah, I do think that a lot of the trashy reality TV shows out there are a reflection of what needs to change. How is Toddlers in Tiara’s still allowed to be on TV?! What is with this HoneyBooBoo crap?! But since I live in Korea, I’m out of the loop with North American TV and I just read random articles that appall me from time to time.

Altogether, I wasn’t necessarily trying to make a point in this blog post or form a hypothesis or anything. I just wanted to talk a bit about my experiences of gender roles in Korea and how those experiences relate to Miss A’s song and video, which might not be as relatable to people living outside of Korea. Living in Korea, though, this video makes a lot of sense to us. Alright, I need input people, input! Anyone else have similar experiences while living in Korea? Outside of Korea? Inside of a hamburger bun? What….

And, on another super serious note, JYP yells out his name whenever he pulls something out of his pants, and more in the bloopers!

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Miss A – I Don’t Need a Man: Kpop Music Mondays

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  1. My mom always wanted me to marry a rich guy, but that’s just because she wants to make sure my future husband can support himself. She wants me to make my own money, and (in her own words) be able to comfortably support myself and be rich on my own in case my husband turns out to be an ass.
    Boy, Asian mothers are hilarious.
    Me personally, I would of course like a guy with a decent job, but I want a guy who can treat me well rather than a guy who treats me terribly. I know my mom wants a guy with the money, but even she will never let me get with a guy who doesn’t treat me right. I’m pretty thankful for that.

    4 years ago
  2. I’m so glade that in my family the women are respected. We are told to get an education so that we can stand up for ourselves. But in other families it’s more important to marry the girl off, with or without an education. What happens to you when your “man” decides to leave you or when you want to leave him because he isn’t treating you right, but you can’t because you have no education and can’t get a decent job because of that? I really enjoyed the message of this song also because it touched on not taking money from your parent’s all the time but insted giving them money and taking care of them.

    4 years ago
  3. Yeah, my rents are Indian and care way too much about image and what others think and school and money and all that. It was really too much for me cause I was born and raised in Toronto. So yeah, it’s really old fashioned and sometimes I felt like I was living in the 1800’s. Indian parents are also really strict and controlling and think it’s ok to hit your kids. Well, that’s my experience. I’m also thinking of Japan cause I lived there too.

    4 years ago
  4. Dear Simon and Martina,
    With the presidential election coming up, do majority of Koreans pay attention to American politics? If they do which candidate (or political parties) do you see them supporting? Have your political views changed by living in Korea?

    4 years ago
    • Even when I lived in Japan I also experienced some extreme materialistic behavior which influenced me that time. But as I got older and traveled to other countries (and eventually settled in Toronto), I understood the cruel nature of being shallow, and changed my naive and foolish habit of looking at the external, superficial appearance to judge, rather than its (people’s/things’) true value. These kinds of problems are (from what I observed) solved through experience. We won’t really understand the problem with materialism unless we ourselves experience its consequence (e.g. being judged ourselves). So people in Korea will soon start to recognize this societal issue..hopefully. If there’s hope in Japan, why not Korea (or the rest of the world). Also I think Koreans think that people in the West are superficial and materialistic; even if American media portray this as so, its not always true…lets call this a stereotype ^^. So maybe if Koreans (or others in the world) understand that the shallowness of western culture is not what led to its international popularity/success, they would realize that its not really what they want. If people want to follow the footstep of westerns to be a “role model nation” (no country is actually a role model), they should look at what REALLY contributed: individuality, independence, morality..etc ..not just pretty clothes, promiscuity, violence (rebelling) and snobby attitude. SOO..yea, i think its good that Kpop is starting to promote these characters, not just their NASTINESS. Which brings me to another conclusion..now that I think about it, Kpop should consider dropping those superficial views of “perfect boyfriend/ girlfriend” or “perfect clothes” and spread nice ideas more (which some of them already do). THEY HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE INDIVIDUALS LIKE ME DROOL OVER THEIR COOLNESS. After all, its their confidence and strong character (music?..i dun understand their lyrics..) that made me love them..not just their clothes/appearance :)

      4 years ago
  5. The girls go for money thing isn’t so big here (the netherlands). But the “i want a tall guy” is. Rarely do i see a girl with some guy who’s smaller than her.

    4 years ago
  6. This brings me back to memory lane with most of Jane Austen’s novel; marriage and status! (random comment). =)

    4 years ago
  7. Simon went from “I lost my pant…” to “I don’t need my pant…”

    4 years ago
  8. “When ever I pull something out of my pants, I say, ‘JYP!’ ”
    HILARIOUS!!

    4 years ago
  9. Miss A.

    ….and I will never, ever, EVER be able to listen to the JYP whisper the same again. Oooo, you so naaaaasssstttttaaaaayyyy!

    4 years ago
  10. thank you very much for the reviewed…(^_^)…

    4 years ago
  11. In the new EYK office, can there be a gift shop called “The BroChoCho Boutique”?

    4 years ago
  12. I got a bad case of the giggles during the Simon as JYP part. lol I’m going to sign JYP everywhere now.

    4 years ago
  13. Lol this was great xD the kangaroo (costco) card part was so funny xD and the i dont need my pants part xD

    4 years ago
  14. ok I can See it now. Simon singing “I lost my pants in rippito flipitto sipi slow motion” then Martina or a chorus of girls can chime in with “He don’t need his pants, he don’t need his pants!” lol that would be awesome.

    4 years ago
  15. PREACH!
    Honestly all countries have issues with gender equality but certainly the legal and social/moral boundaries for women are more oppressive in South Korea. Ever since Confucianism (although its just one aspect) became the dominant ideology in Asia, this trend towards rigid gender divisions and strict moral propriety have been much more evident as have ideas of material status since modernization. I feel like I have this weird psychological compulsion wherein I cannot find people with bad personalities, attitudes and discriminating opinions attractive. I can subjectively consider them good looking, in an aesthetic sense… like… I might, for example a nice looking couch, but I can’t be emotionally or physically attracted to them. I say this because many people I know, male and female seem be or have been in relationships where the physical attraction overrode some SERIOUS flaws in the relationship and the partner. I don’t know how they do it, how they can be sexually attracted to someone who treats them awfully or why they would desperately cling to them or try to win over their affections. I try to understand but my brain just does this weird ‘does not compute’ thing. I don’t know if I’m lucky or cursed…

    4 years ago
  16. PREACH!
    Honestly all countries have issues with gender equality but certainly the legal and social/moral boundaries for women are more oppressive in South Korea. Ever since Confucianism (although its just one aspect) became the dominant ideology in Asia, this trend towards rigid gender divisions and strict moral propriety have been much more evident as have ideas of material status since modernization. I feel like I have this weird psychological compulsion wherein I cannot find people with bad personalities, attitudes and discriminating opinions attractive. I can subjectively consider them good looking, in an aesthetic sense… like… I might, for example a nice looking couch, but I can’t be emotionally or physically attracted to them. I say this because many people I know, male and female seem be or have been in relationships where the physical attraction overrode some SERIOUS flaws in the relationship and the partner. I don’t know how they do it, have they can be sexually attracted to someone who treats them awfully or why they would desperately cling to them or try to win over their affections. I try to understand but my brain just does this weird ‘does not compute’ thing. I don’t know if I’m lucky or cursed…

    4 years ago
  17. totally loved this one, i actually liked this more than Touch. it’s nice to see that Miss A is still sticking to being healthy (weight wise) and showing off their skills instead of trying to be cute. Good on ya JYP

    4 years ago
  18. PREACH!
    Honestly all countries have issues with gender equality but certainly the legal and social/moral boundaries for women are more oppressive in South Korea. Ever since Confucianism (although its just one aspect) became the dominant ideology in Asia, this trend towards rigid gender divisions and strict moral propriety have been much more evident as have ideas of material status since modernization. I feel like I have this weird psychological compulsion wherein I cannot find people with bad personalities, attitudes and discriminating opinions attractive. I can subjectively consider them good looking, in an aesthetic sense like I might say a nice looking couch, but I can’t be emotionally or physically attracted to them. I say this because many people I know, male and female seem be or have been in relationships where the physical attraction overrode some SERIOUS flaws in the relationship and the partner. I don’t know how they do it, have they can be sexually attracted to someone who treats them awfully or why they would desperately cling to them or try to win over their affections. I try to understand but my brain just does this weird ‘does not compute’ thing. I don’t know if I’m lucky or cursed…

    4 years ago
  19. I haven’t seen the video yet, but I have to say, being so curious (heyyy) about you two and your perspectives made me start going to the blogs recently instead of just watching the Youtube videos straight up. I always appreciate your “groundness” despite all the silliness in the videos (and I love every bit of the silliness!)

    4 years ago
  20. #1 – I am SOOOOOOOOO happy that miss A won!!!

    #2 – Maybe miss A wanted the dance to be different than their other songs so it wouldn’t distract from the words and message of this song. This dance certainly doesn’t challenge their awesome dancing skills as much. Great performance anyway.
    Oh! And check out their dance practice video of this. A single camera shot captures the excellence of the complete dance with each them visible. I love Min’s dancing, and Suzy has really grown to become a fantastic dancer!

    4 years ago
  21. I live in North America and I’m appalled that Toddlers in Tiara & HoneyBooBoo were ever allowed on TV, and I’ve never watched a single episode of either.

    4 years ago
  22. I personally, when I studied abroad in Korea, all of my roommates (rather the two who were single) talked about how when they were looking for a guy to date (they were 24 korean age at the time, I believe. I am 3 years older than them) they were looking for marriage material, and for the long term instead of just having fun in the moment.
    Like. Okay . I understand that, but … life is all about having fun in the moment–if that guy makes you happy then what the heck else matters?
    And why are you thinking about marriage at such a young age? I wonder if they were all secretly judging me for being old and single… They didn’t say that (nor that I was old, despite being ‘wang unnie’ lol).
    Anyway, yes, I have experienced a similar thing–also. I love this song.
    But had I voted. I would have voted for Hyuna just so I could watch what Simon and Martina would do for it lol.

    4 years ago
  23. i watched a Japanese drama where the GIRL is RICH and the GUY is POOR. it was really interesting to finally see the gender roles change and have a girl that was rich instead! and Kamenishi Kazuya played the main guy who was poor. i think that you two should really check it out simon and martina :) the dramas called Tatta Hitotsu no Koi

    4 years ago
  24. i dont live or ever visited korea but i did understand how much of an impact or maybe dismissial it could get by the korean community cause like u said martina after watching so much kdramas and movies …its always a rich guy and poor girl or if theres more than one woman talking about men, there always talking about how many thing they buy them and how hot they are….sometimes the chicks are are
    just using them….

    4 years ago
  25. To comment about a wealthy woman takes care of a poor man… I have to say I’m a Chinese girl dating a Korean man (I’ve finished school and have my own place and stuff but I wouldn’t say I’m rich). He lives with me and I support him, he’s a student. His parents can’t afford to take care of him here (Canada). His mom wants us to break up or for him to move out because she doesn’t like telling her friends that I am the one supporting him because she’s embarrassed, especially when she comes to visit us and her friends pick her up at my house she tells them I’m living with him…. I think its ridiculous but I guess she doesn’t want to be looked down upon when she’s out with her friends… poop

    4 years ago
  26. independent woman scare of asian guys though cause they feel they have nothing to give them since they have everything they need already ,so ive heard..

    4 years ago
  27. I never really understood the concept of consciously choosing to be in an abusive unhealthy relationship as long as the person has a lot of money. Money can’t buy love or happiness. But I guess it all depends on the ideals you were raised by. (I’m Nigerian American) If given the choice I would hands down choose happiness than putting up with the pain of living with an abusive wealthy person. Nothing is worth that! What’s important is the person’s heart not the money in his bank account. Money comes and goes so quickly and it’s not guaranteed that the man with wealth will REMAIN wealthy. I mean the next day, the guy could loose his job, house and everything else. Plus beauty fades. I am glad that my parents instilled that we put education and independence first over superficial things. You never know what’s around the corner.

    As for Miss A, loved the song and it definitely had a Destiny’s Child vibe, . . . but it was missing something. I know it needed more ‘JYP!!’ LOL

    4 years ago
  28. please please bloom by gain

    4 years ago
  29. Your text was hilarious. I can imagine you saying in perfect sync.

    I live in Oregon. I’d choose happiness with a bit of looks over money. It’s a flat out lie if you said looks doesn’t matter. From my own views, I believe it’s mostly in the Asian countries that have that perspective of wanting the “ideal” man image (tall, rich, handsome). I mean, don’t we all, but love can change that and how we view the person we’re attracted to. II believe, it’s basically where you live, your surroundings and how your friends/media impact your life with all this. To everyone out there, have a stronger mind and view of the world with your eyes.

    4 years ago
  30. “B) a short but good looking average paid person that treated them like gold.”

    that’s the SECOND HERO SYNDROME in almost every drama I watched, the treats like gold part. Except Gumiho where the 1st hero is pretty poor.

    god I hate 2nd hero syndrome…

    4 years ago
  31. I have vote for Miss A

    4 years ago
  32. Simon you should have used JYP money at the boutique!

    4 years ago
  33. Ehehehehe. Epik High on the laptop makes me very happy :D

    Simon, I thought you wanted HyunA to end the sausage fest, but since Miss A has won, I no longer feel any obligation to vote for HyunA. I don’t like the artist/song/video, and I would rather not see you in leather latex, doing a bathtub scene, or doing raunchy dancing. Yes, I’m one of those weird people who don’t enjoy dirty jokes. Sorry.

    Now, about this KMM!! Forward ho!!

    ….we must confess that this blog here has our favourite group of individuals, who all seem to promote conversation and to discuss things in a level-headed fashion.

    D’awww~~!! :’D I love the people here too!!! They’re lovely aren’t they?

    There’s so many comments about the whole independent woman thing, so maybe it’s not necessary for me to comment :p But fun fact, I often get semi-serious marriage proposals from men who want to be house husbands – because they figure they won’t need a high paying job if they’re married to a doctor, lol.

    Martina you look so pretty :D I love your top, the design, the picture, the colour, and how it complements your body shape really well ;)

    Simon also looks really good in the JYP outfit!! Baggy jeans FTW!! And what’s that I see – JYP Diamond Headphones product placement??! xD

    Loved the Costco skit. There’s been so many times I’ve wished I could buy things with my driver’s license :p btw those chandeliers looked almost real for a sec – I was wondering where you were filming it ;p

    4 years ago
    • HAH! I was thinking the same thing about the chandelier bit! I wasn’t sure if that scene in general was some sort of green screen or something until I looked a little bit closer…. Maybe it was the lighting that looked off…

      “I don’t need a lamp, I don’t need a lamp”
      “What?”

      4 years ago
  34. Yeah, my grandmother is a good example. Sheʻd praise her daughters who married a rich white guy but not bother to show up at the wedding of those who preferred mixed raced “bad boys”. As for people of my generation, I have yet to encounter someone desperate enough to act like a prostitute.

    4 years ago
  35. Thank you S&M for this article! I found your article appealing, as for the past week in my English class we have been discussing gender roles in society. We usually only discuss roles in our own country as well as the stereotypes of men and women. Since we only talk about our own country, because we somewhat know our own society, I’ve never thought much about other countries. After reading this, if we are still continuing our lesson on gender roles, I plan to raise the question of gender roles in other countries. How are they different and how are they alike? Hopefully through research we can learn more about gender roles throughout the world.

    4 years ago
  36. Yea i also think it is an aspect of the Asian “thing” I witness that a lot in the Indian culture too (I am Indian just to make things clear). Whenever ladies at gatherings get together and talk, the hot topic may who the other-Indian-lady-somewhere-that-everyone-there-knows-of’s daughter is dating/marrying/seeing. They would talk about his job, his family background, his looks, and if it gets deep, even his income… So I can understand where Martina is coming from…I have seen this A LOT. I think that some of the people believe that finding a spouse/boyfriend is way to support yourself and bring a good name to the family…just my interpretation…of course this does not apply to everyone… I am sure there are people within the Asian community who do find people based on genuine personalities.

    4 years ago
  37. Wow. Just… I can’t even. I knew that in Korea short men are not desirable, but that example you gave from your time teaching actually shocks me. In America at least the answers would be totally flipped! It was a good MM (the extra space you have now is great BTW) but the blog post made me see what a real issue this materialism is!

    4 years ago
  38. Yeah this whole idea about marrying a rich guy isn’t only prevalent in Asian countries, etc. IT’s EVERYWHERE! And I mean that. If you watch any form of movies or shows from around the world or if you talk to people from America to Africa, you will constantly see this idea of a girl wanting to marry a rich man and thinking this will set her on the path of happiness. Sad, but true. But I have no idea how a person can think marrying a guy or women (whether he or she is rich or goodlooking) will provide you happiness if they treat you like garbage. Why not be independent? Overall I see nothing wrong though with marrying a rich person (as long as that person has a good personality and will truly make you happy) and also a person that looks good ( I mean if you plan to marry you want to be able to stand being around the person and beautiful children don’t you)? But instead of depending on one person, why not invest time in getting your own assets? Because truthfully if something were to happen to that ‘rich person’ or the relationship goes downhill… what will you be left with? You honestly believe that ‘rich’ person is going to be there for you at the end? Umm no. So instead of females dwelling on the idea of a rich guy sweeping them off their feet, I think ladies should really take the time to invest in getting their own money so that they’re not so dependent upon one person. Alright got my rant off my chest:)

    4 years ago
  39. I said the same thing about JYP’s whisper being in the video! It would have totally contradicted the message!

    On another note: I see Epik High on the laptop!!! Everyone reading this should go vote for them… Oh, you want a reason why you should vote for them? Well how about the cute villains? or the fact that one of the regular commentors won the YG scavenger hunt for the video? How about Tablo retweeting our work not once but TWICE? How about Mithra retweeting our work? Orr how about Tablo replying to Fuuko with a Freaking picture of his NIPPLE!!!!!!.

    Yeah you should go vote for them! :)

    4 years ago
  40. The most shocking thing ever said to me by another woman was, “Irritablevowel, you’re so capable, how are you ever going to find a man!” She said it so sincerely. Her husband was an abusive jerk, but she didn’t think she could care for their 3 sons on her own. A lot of women are raised to believe they need to be taken care of. Later that year she did decide to leave her husband, and I like to think my being so “capable” may have been at least a bit inspiring in her journey.
    On another note, all countries have their particular obsessions over appearance, but it seems to run much much deeper in Asia. It’s in the fabric of the culture. The everything. Where does that come from? Obviously it must stem from something historically, but I don’t know enough about Eastern philosophy or religions (almost all cultural hang-ups stem from philosophy and religion.) All I know is that there has got to be some serious existential angst going on up in that place.

    4 years ago
  41. This was such an interesting, well-written and thought-provoking blog post.

    4 years ago
  42. wow everyone left really loooooong comments here! Now i’ll add mine to the list!

    Ok, so even though i’m Asian my parents are always always saying “no boys until college! Don’t even think about it!” But they don’t mention anything about social status of the guy. However, i have two Korean friends and its really shocking what their parents say. One friend told me her mom was asking if there were any single rich boys in the school that my friend could date. I didn’t believe her, and then when i went to her house one day, her mom asked ME if there were any rich guys in school. (and we’re only in high school) Although i don’t believe most cases are that extreme. (are they?)

    Also, something i have also experienced before is how girls are expected to cook and clean. My dad oftentimes tells me to say… vacuum the living room, for example, so that my mom doesn’t have to do all the cleaning herself. Once i asked him why he doesn’t help if my mom needs help in vacuuming the house, and he said “cleaning and cooking is for girls.” My dad pays my brother to wash the car but i don’t get any money (unless my mom sneaks it to me). And i know its not my dad’s fault, its just the way he was brought up, but it really irritates me sometimes. BUt since we’ve been living in America, he’s adapting a little bit and helps out sometimes in the housework. He never cooks, though. My mom and i are still working on getting him to help cook.

    And yeah, its really apparent in K-dramas and some Kpop music videos that in Korea, most of the girls are dependent on guys. Even in the Korean movie Sunny, you see that the main character married her husband for his wealth, not for happiness, as did the main character’s friend. And as Simon and Martina pointed out, why are there no Female F4’s? Why are there are never rich girls who fall for guys that are below their status?

    Did you know that Miss A will be releasing a new song in december? That is because this song didn’t do that well in Korea – probably because people didn’t like the message. That’s really sad. The song has a really important message. That alone shows how much Korea believes in this type of view.

    However, i believe that this stereotypical view is changing in Korea, little by little. The younger generation of girls hopefully will be more open to “not needing a man” and living happier lives with someone who really cares for them.

    Just my two cents ^.^
    and now that i look at it, i wrote A LOT!

    4 years ago
  43. To be honest the whole “you need a rich dude” is something that is seeping into western culture as well for a while now. How many girl groups (in this case then) promote independence in one song and in the next sing about how they want a guy who can pay the bills, give them a diamond ring, has his own car and how it is cool to fall for a guy like that. And how people who are not like that are scrubs, bugaboos and what not and totally not worth your time. While, like you said, the dude that is well off might be a huge douche while the guy that is scraping to get by might be the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet.

    And don’t get me started on some of the messages guys give out in western pop music (one of the reasons I rarely even listen to western pop music)

    For once I would like them to make a song about independence and stick with that theme and not go “girls it’s great to be independent…until that totally hot rich dude comes along in his mercedes then it’s okay to be his waifu”

    Not to mention the news when a socialite gets engaged, the engagement ring is usually butt ugly but it has a big rock in it and they usually can’t wait to tell how much money they wasted on yet another mediocre ring with a huge diamond.

    And even here in Western Europe I notice a lot of girls that won’t date a guy that doesn’t have a scooter (under 18) or a car (over 18) and isn’t able to spend a lot of money on them.

    And here also the first questions are usually about their job and what kind of job their parents have. I do readily believe it is worse in Asian countries but I do think the focus on social status has been out of whack in a lot of places.

    But yeah I am all for independent ladies that go for a guy that they like and treats them well instead of relying on social status.

    4 years ago
  44. wait, I thought 2ne1 had a KMM? they are a girl band, or I am crazy??

    4 years ago
  45. I’ve had a lot of conversations with my Korean friends, and fellow K-drama watchers, and we have noticed the same thing. I guess I wonder where this comes from. I think in part it may have to do with Korea’s image after the Korean War and how hard South Korea has worked to progress so fast. It’s almost as if those material things are a reflection that you can feel on par with the best. I also know that Korea ranks very, very low in terms of gender equality, which doesn’t make me very happy. One drama I know that sort of changes the gender roles a little (with the woman doing the wrist-grabbing and saving) in Flower Boy Ramyun Shop – even though Cha Chi Soo is a chaebol. Another one is the lead female star in Vampire Prosecutor. I hope that this shows a trend to having stronger female role models in Korean entertainment. Sorry that this is post is sort of scattered.

    4 years ago
  46. I can’t even a society like that. I get told, as a girl, that I need to be able to take care of myself. I even get told don’t have more children then I could support on my own if my (way in the future, has yet to happen) marriage doesn’t work out, and it all makes sense. The thought that girls would aspire for something other then that just blows my mind. Maybe if I moved to Asia, or something, this would make more sense, but until then, I’m going to start asking some Korean girls about this in my school.

    Gosh, KMM made me both laugh and think today.

    4 years ago
  47. MG

    . I wasn’t a big fan of the this MV I’ve been voting for Epic High all week. But I think you guys did a great job you made my laugh a lot on this one. Also I love your Shirt Martina! and your hair looked great!

    4 years ago
  48. “we must confess that this blog here has our favourite group of individuals, who all seem

    to promote conversation and to discuss things in a level-headed fashion” *YEY* *___* ♥__♥

    “80% of them would choose A) a good looking, tall, rich person that treated them like garbage over B) a short but good looking average paid person that treated them like gold” that’s horrible ━Σ(゚Д゚|||)━

    Well I know the song has a bigger impact in Korea but for the international fans it could be also a call to encourage independency and make people think more seriously about their lives…

    Seriously guise I feel so glad this video and song made it for Kpop MM! It had to be brought up!

    4 years ago
  49. Simon doesn’t need his pants because he lost them :D
    Anyways, another mature post by you guys. Well, Martina :)
    I’m sorry that girls have those priorities but it’s mostly because “everyone” is like that so even if a girl wants to date a “normal” guy she is kind of embarrassed to do so cause of her friends/family. I think that only media can change that situation since media is what sets an image of what’s “cool” and “desirable”.

    4 years ago
  50. MG

    I also thought of Destiney’s child when I first heard the song. So It wasn’t a new concept for me either. As far as Korean women looking for a tall and rich man to rescue them I don’t think that’s something that’s exclusively part of Korean culture or Asian culture. Here In the U.S women are always looking for the richest man they can find. We also have harlequin Romance novels here when the last time one’s been written about an average working class man? Or even anything on TV here all the men in love stories are either successful or highly talented. Now the subject of Korean Dramas go. One of the reasons I love them so much is their women are always very strong and independent they are middle class or poor they are hard working and are never the type to take handouts from any man, also one of the reasons the rich man usually falls for them. The women in Korean dramas are also very job and Career oriented and they are often in their late 20 or early 30s and not married yet because men haven’t been their first priority in life. So even tho the men are always super rich. it has no effect on why the women fall in love with them. I like watching the struggle of women trying to make it in Korea being shown then just starting off with a successful women from the start.

    4 years ago
  51. Hey there Simon and Martina. I don’t mean this in a rude way or anything, but I just want to point out that this isn’t the only kpop music video that has English subtitles. Not all of JYP’s artists’ music videos have them, but quite a few of them do. I remember when Wooyoung came out with “Sexy Lady” and it had English subs. Also, I know that Block B’s “Nillili Mambo” had English subs. Those are just to name a few. Sorry if this seems rude…I don’t intend for it to be. Thanks for hearing me out. :D

    4 years ago
  52. ……..(was the one who added TVXQs balloons……….nice

    4 years ago
  53. woohoo! you called us your favorite discussion group!

    4 years ago
  54. Haha! Loved the French subtitles!

    4 years ago
  55. This song definitely made me think of Destiny’s Child, in a good way. I thought the message was great, and even though I’m hearing people say it’s really not Miss A’s best song, I have to disagree. This song and the message it’s trying to get across makes it my favorite of their songs. It has substance, and a rocking beat to go with it. It’s nice to know that bands in other countries are going with the ‘strong, independent woman’ message. It’s something that needs to be more well-known. It also reminded me of a quote (and I’m not exactly sure how it goes) along the lines of “Give a man (money, food) and he raise up his family for a day, give a woman (money, food) and she’ll raise up the whole village.’ Sort of. Thanks EYK!

    4 years ago
  56. Wow I think this has been my favourite review in a while… And I totally relate to this song’s message. I mean even living in France I often get comments like ‘don’t you miss having a man?’ when I say I’m single. It might be me overreacting here but I sometimes have the impression that even though the equality between genders is seemingly established, people seem to think that women are more in need of a man than the contrary… Ah well sorry for the rant I loved this KMM and had a good laugh anyway! Thanks for the bit of French at the end by the way (Youtube instant translations are often ridiculous)

    4 years ago
  57. I loved Music Monday this week, and i have to add that Martina, your post makes A LOT of sense! since i don’t live in Korea (yet :P) i don’t have first hand experience with this, its a good thing to know. and yes Simon, you DO need your pants! btw….*whisper:JYP!

    4 years ago
  58. lol @ simon holding up the sausages

    4 years ago
  59. Big hearts to the finger moustache!!!

    4 years ago
  60. I remember being in school and we would all jokingly say, “Junior year is kicking my ass. I’m just marrying a rich guy.” I think the marrying a rich man is because family wants to know you’re taken care of, I know my parents would love me to be well of with a rich man. At the same time, I think they’d be disappointed if I threw everything away just to be well off. I had a physics teacher who flat out told us that a marriage to a rich man would not work out. Then again being at an all girls school, they wanted us to be independent women, not following behind a man the rest of our lives.

    4 years ago
  61. Whatever problems I have with dating in my own culture, I’m glad this isn’t one of them.

    4 years ago
  62. I really liked this blogpost..heh. so level headed xD but in all seriousness, I agree… Although it’s adorable watching the guy save the girl etc etc, I wonder what the drama would be like if the girl saved the guy. Also, in Asia in general, I found that reputation matters a lot. I’ve told my parents many times that I don’t care what I wear, I don’t care that people may think I’m poor since I wear the same clothes, yet my parents insist my reputation would be bad.

    4 years ago
    • That’s why I really liked that one drama, Protect the Boss I think it was called, because it seemed the girl did more saving the guy instead of the other way around.

      4 years ago
  63. The video doesn’t work on my mac :( Loved what you both had to say though!! I didn’t realize how materialistic people could be. Lol I would much rather be in a relationship with someone that is poor but treats me well then be with someone rich that treats me like crap. I wish more people felt that way. Its really sad to see good people end up with jerks!!

    4 years ago
  64. I was really excited when I understood the deeper meaning/context to this song because of you guise. I am constantly indebted to EYK for giving me a better understanding of Korean culture and thus allowing me to enjoy it more.
    I’m really glad you went more in depth about dating standards in Korea. I know you’ve touched on it briefly in other videos, but this blogpost really hits home the big idea. It seems so foreign to me to date only for looks/money and it makes me really sad that some girls in the world hold this as an ideal. Do I appreciate an attractive guy? Yes. Will I solely base a relationship off of looks? No. This does not equal a lifetime happiness, because eventually looks will fade and no amount of money is infinite. True happiness looks past that and I’m glad miss A is promoting that idea. To quote an article I read in all kpop “[Miss A] arent looking for a man, they’re looking for the right man” Amen!
    So yeah, end rant.

    4 years ago
  65. This is so very interesting! Just today we were going over family and life vocab in my Japanese class and Sensei was telling us that even if a married couple hate each other they would never get divorced. She even mentioned that she’s never seen her parents kiss.
    Okay, a little different than what you’re talking about but it’s still interesting to see the huge culture differences. It’s really hard to wrap your mind around marrying for money. Yes, some have the Cinderella idea of falling in love and marrying a rich guy but it seems like they’re skipping the falling in love part. :/
    I, for one, am really sorry you had to subject yourself to Toddlers in Tiaras and HoneyBooBoo. I apologize for my country to making such cheap and horrible shows.

    4 years ago
  66. I couldn’t agree more with Martina, It always saddens me to see wealth and career progression being equated with success in life and a yardstick by which to measure a potential partner. There are far more important things in life. Money is not everything. I just hope that Martina’s former students don’t have to find that out the hard way.

    4 years ago
  67. I’ve been into korean culture for a while now, and I think the same way…after watching lots of tv dramas and MV I understood that one of negative aspects in it is the materialism and the idea of female figure above all…however, I think it is not only an “Asian Issue” but more a global one…even if not so obviously, in other cultures the idea of the “dominant male power” is always the most popular…I mean, I live in Italy and even here woman have lots of problems at being considered as capable as men…so I really
    liked and understood Miss A’s song, even if I’m not Korean… If nothing else, I appreciate
    Koreans because they are honest in admitting that this is their real way of
    thinking … while I hate the way my government claims to support equal
    opportunities when the problem lies at the very core of our culture…

    4 years ago
  68. Were can i vote for this week showdown ?

    4 years ago
  69. While I’m all for women empowerment and less dependence on a guy/your family, I kinda do understand the korean mentality. While I would never marry a rich guy for his money and disregard his horrible personality traits, I also wouldn’t marry someone who didn’t have a stable job/income even though I loved him (unless I was well off enough to support us both). There has to be a middle ground. You can’t throw love away for money, but you can’t throw away stability away for love either. /shrug that’s just my take on it….

    4 years ago
    • I believe that the problem doesn’t lie in stability itself, but the Korean ideal of stability. The article that Martina posted was talking about how the Korean middle class needs to have a lifestyle that’s almost like the high class in North America. I don’t mean to point out that its bad — every country has its own cultural standards — but from a North American view it seems that happiness comes with a very high price to the point that we wonder if the cost is worth it, especially when it seems that sacrificing personal happiness is okay as long as your decisions garner envy from others, even your friends. Personally, I don’t think of their decisions for dating as a form of stability (in the way Martina described their opinions on dating anyways) but more for bragging rights and that isn’t something I really agree with (and is something I argue with my parents all the time – I’m Vietnamese living in Canada). Either way, this is an interesting blog post and I hope I can read more opinions here to learn more!

      4 years ago
  70. I love watching for Meemers in your videos… he’s like the Where’s Waldo of your videos, he always pops up in unexpected places

    4 years ago
  71. martina do you mean that you dated a guy that was a FOOT or an inch shorter than you? aren’t you 5’7? did you then date a guy that was 4’7? o.O
    one thing that irked me a bit about living in korea was people always asking me if i had a boyfriend. when i would say no, they would say “but you’re pretty, how can a pretty girl like you not have a boyfriend”? -.-

    4 years ago
  72. I’m really glad that you guys elaborated further in this blog post about what you thought of the message. I agree that this probably isn’t miss A’s best song to date, but the message of this song is superb!

    I remember reading a lot of hate comments on the MV comment section, saying that miss A are being stupid and that people are offended because they still live off of their parents’ money and they like their boyfriends to indulge on them. It took everything in me not to respond to those comments. But I think this song probably hit a little too close to home for a lot of people — which is awesome, because for once, there’s a K-pop song that promotes values worthy of followings and not just about being cute and melting a guy’s ice cream.

    4 years ago
    • I guess I don’t think there is anything wrong with parents supporting kids or giving them an allowance, after all, why have kids if you don’t want to take care of them? BUT I think Miss A is referring to those really spoiled kids (like the kind you see in Boys Before Flowers) that are real jerks about having money to spend even though they don’t earn it themselves. The ones that put other people down and judge them based on clothing and looks and name brands. I guess there are extremes in all situations right? Of course, I loved it when Simon used to pop into my work with surprise flowers when we were dating! It’s a great feeling to have a gift bought for you, but you shouldn’t be dating someone FOR the gifts. :D

      4 years ago
      • I had a boyfriend who I could never get him to understand that while I loved that he wanted to give me gifts, the best gift he could give me was the smaller things like simply spending time with me. The lavish gifts, at least for me, didn’t make up for his douche baggery.

        4 years ago
  73. Do the older women who have experienced unhappy marriages in Korea or even young women in bad relationships have different perspectives on the issue? Or do they stay the same?

    4 years ago
  74. Am i the only one who looks for little meemers to show up ^_^

    4 years ago
  75. What stood out for me about this video – apart from the message – is the lack of aegyo, which obviously makes sense given the main idea of the video and the song. It was so refreshing to see a relatively simple dance and observe a lack of cutesy, exaggerated facial expressions! I also felt that though the song wasn’t outstanding/exceptionally good, it was also – not sure how to put this – very easy on the ear? Either way, I’m glad that Miss A and their management/songwriters raised this issue, and while Miss A are no Destiny’s Child, I like the image they project in this song and video, and they seem to be really enjoying themselves, too!:)

    4 years ago
    • Interesting you should say that, because I actually wrote a huge paragraph about the lack of aegyo in this video and what aegyo represents in Korean culture…but then I deleted it because this post was SOOOO BIG!!! Fake aegyo is just a “give me something” tool used (mostly) by women, and that’s why I dislike it so much ESPECIALLY in music videos since it’s encouraging young girls to adapt that style to be liked. My female Korean friends told me that they ended friendships with their friends over their use of aegyo, because their friend would turn on aegyo whenever a guy showed up, act all helpless and silly, and then as soon as the guy was gone it was just back to normal. It’s an interesting concept that I’ve been over saturated with, but when you meet someone who is naturally aegyo (ie: they don’t know how to ACT aegyo), like a really seriously shy, blushing person, it’s really endearing! My only naturally aegyo friend is actually a foreigner. :D

      4 years ago
      • Mav

        Hi, Martina

        I have a question about the aegyo thing. I’ve noticed that its accepted for both young men and women to use it, be it the “i’m shy and blush all the time ommo” or the “pouty, overly cute, childlike pyuing pyuing” type. However, as korean society has such strictly defined forms of social hierarchy, be it age or socioeconomic status, is there a certain line drawn on who is it acceptable to use aegyo with?

        4 years ago
      • Hey guys. First off, thanks for making a point to speak about something that should be addressed in any society. Here in the US, I see it often enough with Pop or Hip-Hop music. An artist, who has such an unproportionally-large amount of social power due to popularity, does nothing with it – or uses it in ways that makes things worse (ie glorifying selling drugs or stuff like that). So “Huzzah !!” to you for taking a stand.
        But here’s my question to you – while you guys have a pretty large (read that as HUGE in my opinion) following, both in Korea and among us waygookin – have you ever noticed a backlash to what you say? Not so much when you might say something critical about some fangirl/boy’s favorite idol … but about how it might be precieved that you are “attacking” Korean society? In some of the stuff I’ve read or watched that has come out of Korea – there seems to be (mildly)growing message of “we like your cars, movies, music, material objects” but we don’t care for you. Have you noticed that or is it really maybe just a very vocal minority that gets undue visibility? And if you have, has any of it been leveled at you? I’m really curious since I’m interviewing for a job in Yongsan and want to be have the most positive outlook on what might be my new home.

        4 years ago
  76. There are actually woman who tries to hook up with a rich married man just because of, well you guessed it, their money. It’s actually a really common thing where I came from (well I’m Asian).. people will just bash at that woman but no one will really do anything about it though ._.

    4 years ago
  77. Mav

    In all honesty, sometimes I think that girls of my generation are throwing away all the work put by women in the 60’s and 70’s to advance the equality of the sexes. I’m originally Colombian -more importantly I’m a costeña, from an area of the country where gender roles are way more on the traditional side of the scale- and as Latina I have to say that this obsession with using a man as means of self-improvement (ha!) is sadly common in my culture. While, a lot of women in Latin America – and latinas in the states- are educated and generally in equal terms with men, this does not qualify them/us as successful women in the eyes of our culture. If you don’t have a man (a successful man, and in a pinch any man) by your side you are not really successful or are lacking in someway.

    For example, i’m about to finish two majors in college ( as in 2 B.A’s) and begin a Masters. However, the first question I’m asked is not “how school doing?”,”did you finish your thesis?” ”what do you plan to do after college?” Nope, it is “Are you dating someone?” and when I answer ”no” they gasp and ask “Why? you should be dating someone, I mean you have to think about marriage!”- DUDE I’M 23! And it doesn’t matter from where in Latin America you are, or if you are in the States, that mindset is everywhere. You need to have a man next to you, get married before you’re 30. In addition it better be a good looking well off guy, if not it can be understood that you are lacking, since the man next to you is proportional to your worth.

    And going back to my initial statement that women from my generation are making this issue worse, well they are. It’s impressive to see them dumbing themselves down, so that they are more appealing to men and cuter. They are also crazy over how they look, not in because they want to look good for their self, but because being good looking/ hot w/e will help them move ahead in life, because in their heads, they’ll either get better treatment (as in favor) because of this or they’ll luck out “and snatch a good one.”

    4 years ago
    • I know how this feels totally as a Latina myself. It’s frustrating how people can totally judge you just because you are not in a relationship. So frustrating. You Go Mav!!! Going for two majors>>>>>That is totally badass!!

      4 years ago
    • ”And it doesn’t matter from where in Latin America you are, or if you are in the States, that mindset is everywhere. ”

      Hm, in my country Brazil, there is a few girls with this mindset, but most of the people I know, and my friends don’t put it above everything else. They want someone that treat them well, and most of them are happy to marry someone who at least earn the same as them (the guy doesn’t need to be rich but at least earn some money that can make them have a comfortable life without hardships)

      When I visit my relatives, their question is ”how is college?” ”did you decide if you are going to work with this or that?” They of course ask if I have a boyfriend, but that is because I never took one to my house kekekeke.

      But marriage? They are all against it LOL, they say ”you have to date a lot and just marry when you think it is time” ”you are still too young to marry” – I have 22 years btw.

      For example, my sister and her boyfriend are dating for 7 years now and my family is still marriage lol they want my sister to graduate from college first, get a job first and then marry…

      My sister is going to be a doctor, she will earn a lot more than my brother in law, and he also isn’t good looking to tell the truth, but boy do they love each other.
      He loves my sister so much that I can’t…. they are perfect to each other.

      4 years ago
      • Mav

        I can say I thankfully have a similar family, and that many of my friends think like you and me. However, your question makes me wonder what makes the general population of Brazil be apparently more progressive as oppose to other countries in Latin America.

        4 years ago
        • That’s really interesting. My mom, who is Colombian, always says to me, my sisters, and my cousins that studying comes before anything else. My family in Colombia does ask me if I’m dating every now and then, but whenever it comes up I usually tell them that I’ll date when I meet someone who I like and that I don’t want to put too much value on dating. Not that dating is bad, I just don’t want to look for my ultimate happiness in dating.

          My dad’s side of the family, which is Peruvian, was also gungho for the most part on studies, at least in recent decades. My aunt’s a doctor with her own practice. She had a really bad falling out with my uncle, her brother, because he said something to her about how women shouldn’t be doctors. They reconciled years later, but you can see what sometimes happens when these two thoughts collide.

          I think part of the emphasis on marriage and gender roles can come from culture, but I also think part of it is socio-economic and generational and perhaps also where your family is from. By that I mean, is your family from the city, from a town, or from a reeeally small town or rural area. I think it’s just a combination of these factors, because one can’t only say “People from the city put less emphasis on dependence on men” because then we wouldn’t be having this conversation about dependence on men in Korea in the first place.

          I’m glad to see some Latin American comments on this topic and on Eat Your Kimchi! Yeaaah! I’m glad to see many different cultures pop up here on Eat Your Kimchi, not just Korean or North American :D

          4 years ago
        • Mav

          I must say that while I’ve made a generalization, and that sometimes doesn’t do justice to the diversity of values inside an individual culture. I understand and to a certain extend agree with you. However, I’ve thought about the socioeconomic aspect and while it explains some cases, it’s not a defining character on the issue. And as you wrote, there is obviously a rural/urban break in gender roles, especially in countries with such disparity in the distribution of wealth, as Latin American countries tend to be. But, from what I’ve been able to observe and experience sometimes education, exposition to other cultures and socioeconomic status go out the window. There must be some common thread to this type of behaviors not only in Latin America but in other parts of the world.Probably some sociologist or anthropologist.

          Like you I’m happy about seeing Latinas/os here, since most of my latino friends are all “tu qué haces viendo eso ha?!” Even if they think Simon and Martina are hilarious, they don’t get the k-pop or k-drama thing.

          4 years ago
    • I’m from mexico and I’ve seen all this that you’re talking about so many times.
      Everytime I meet with my aunts and grandma all the questions, instead of “when are you starting college?”, “what carreer did you choose?” or something of that kind, its “do you have a boyfriend?” I answer no and they go all “Oh, why?”, it’s so tiring.
      This concept of “I have to be married to be a woman in every sense” is totally overrated. Many of my mom’s friends won’t divorce from their crappy husbands just because they think being single at their age (40s) is just a sign of not being femenine enough to keep a man beside you or whatever.
      Even at this age I’ve had to go through some people thinking I’m lesbian because I don’t fully fit into the stereotype of what an 18 year old girl should be. I barely use makeup, I hate using skirts and high heels, play videogames that are usually considered “just for guys” and a vast majority of my friends are male. I’ve been said countless times “If you were more girly I would date you”.
      It’s been around 30 years since women here started to get a more equal treatment around men, and I still don’t see how still at this point the gender roles stay as strong as they were before. I’ve heard of countless girls that just go to college (and the expensive ones usually) in order to find a guy to marry. They don’t even fininsh their carrer because they think they already secured themselves a stable money source for the rest of their lives.

      4 years ago
      • Oh god. I know what you mean. My family is Peruvian & Guatemalan and though my parents don’t generally care whether I date or not (actually it pleases them that I prioritize my education over that and other things); but when it comes to my godmother or other family members (including my sister), they just think I am crazy because I am not interested in dating around. Like when I was around your age my sister literally thought I was a lesbian just because I just did not want to get a boyfriend or whatever (I am fairly feminine–but not flowery– but I have a lot of guy friends so she thinks this is weird). And its true it is definitely all about whether a guy is good looking and if he is financially stable/supportive. Honestly, I prefer depending on myself and have my own plans that I intend on fulfilling.
        As much as I joke around with my friends about “needing to find a man with dem dollar billz”; that doesn’t matter to me as much as whether a guy is well read or is goal oriented and knows what he wants out of life.

        4 years ago
      • Hahaha yeah :D I just want to make teleportation possible because I’m such a Star Trek fan and it would be awesome if you could go anywhere in less than a minute!!

        4 years ago
    • Girls dumb themselves down at my school all the time and it’s so annoying. I think my mom would honestly kill me if I decided that school was pointless and that I should shack up with a rich man. I’ll be honest: I don’t consider myself very attractive, and so I don’t think my boyfriend has to be either. If he respects me, makes me laugh, and gets along with my family, then that is all I need.
      On a side note, what are you majoring in? Double majoring and going on to get a Masters is really impressive^^

      4 years ago
      • Mav

        My mom would have killed me too, but I wonder if those girls moms would do the same. And if they actually are against their daughters acting that way, what motivates these girls to act like that…
        May I say that I love the fact that you listed respect as a quality!

        hehe thank you, I’m almost a Historian and a Journalist ( my grammar doesn’t show it but yeah)

        4 years ago
        • That’s actually an interesting thing to take into consideration: maybe their mothers WANT them to act like that? Or maybe they just want to know that their child will be taken care off financially, I’m not really sure. Respect is a big factor in any relationship I might have^^
          That’s really interesting! I’m thinking about double majoring in English and International Studies and possibly minoring in Education, but I’m not really sure yet :)

          4 years ago
        • Mav

          Ohh Nice! As I was previously minoring in IR ( IS and IR’s are so closely related) and will be doing my masters on that I am totally biased and say go for the double! Are you also a victim of MUN?

          4 years ago
        • Not to sound dumb, but what does MUN stand for?^^

          4 years ago
        • Mav

          it okay, Model United Nations

          4 years ago
  78. Nic

    I saw the new Music Monday was up and was like “Yay!” But forced myself to finish the work I had to do first so I could watch it as a reward for finishing. It was worth it! Loved this Music Monday.

    About what was said about the focus on tall rich guys…. yes sadly I agree and see it all the time in Korean culture.
    I’ve had some experiences myself where it’s been frustrating the focus that is put on height and looks and money. I’m married to a Korean man and he doesn’t exactly fit into the Korean ideal. He is not tall, not rich and by Korea’s high standards not good looking (though Western people seem to think he is good looking). More than once I’ve had friends who were Korean girls blatantly ask me why I married my husband because he is not rich or tall. It shocked me at first but now I have my lines ready about how he treats me so well, he makes me laugh, we are best friends, he makes me happy. I hope I’m changing their views even in a small way when they see how happy we are together. But I do get frustrated at why I need to even defend myself about it….

    But it did make me feel… I’m not sure how to put it… better in some way that’s it’s something obvious to you guys, because it’s something I stopped talking about because when you try to explain this to people who don’t know much about Korean culture either online or offline you can get accused of stereotyping or being rude or racist etc. I start to question myself and wonder is it because I’m closer to Korean men and hear their complaints about this and I start to second guess what I’ve seen and heard. Every culture has good and bad things about it and this is something worrying about modern Korean culture and I do think there should be some dialogue about it. And Miss A’s song is at least a step in the right direction.

    4 years ago
  79. wow very interesting blog post.. i must say I agree and it does scare me sometimes.. outside of the fact that I love korean culture and most of its great things but this is one of things that makes me feel super self conscious when I am surrounded by a bunch of asians or when I go to different country..
    This fact would be I guess why plastic surgery is such a trend over Asian countries.. it’s sad..

    4 years ago
  80. Hmmm, I’d have to say I’m short and single. I don’t really care for tall men because…well…they’re too tall for me…lol! Even the kpop idols are too tall. It makes me wonder how tall Korean women are if they want a tall man. Also, I’m single and live on my own and my step-dad is always talking about how I don’t need a man when I do something as simple as carry grocery bags up the stairs into my apt or take out my own trash….really, now! If I want a man only for those things, then I’m pathetic. I want a man for a relationship and as a companion, not to do things for me. They aren’t slaves. I don’t think I’d want a man for protection either. I can take care of myself. So learning all this about Korea just makes it a little sad for me. I’m not against women independence, but men should treat women better and that goes for all cultures.

    4 years ago
    • By the way, the irony is that most Korean women are shorter than Korean men, but they wear 6 inch heels and complain they want to meet a tall guy. 0_____o I always told my students to throw away their shoes with heels, and TADA! Tall guys everywhere! Hahahaha!

      4 years ago
  81. I noticed that too but never really paid much attention to it. My dad is mongolian and my mom is mexican. love is taken serious in mexican culture, most not all. but finding love when you both have nothing and making it work is a big thing.. but as my dad i noticed it was different. always saying he needs to have a job and good looking is always the first question. but if i tell my mom he open the door and was super nice to me she was most impressed, but if i told her that he yelled at me or told me what to do. she gets really mad and even went to his parents house. To my dad ( that loves me ) saw it differrent. well i see it both ways . but still money is not everything, but it is needed. and looks should just be icying on the cake.

    4 years ago
  82. nice french subtitles…very strange for an insult (but ok, you’re from Canada! ^^), but nice!

    4 years ago
  83. I would rather have a man who treats me right and is not crazily attractive then one who is hot and treats me like crap. In all honesty, i want a relationship like the one may parents have: they respect each other, treat each other equally, and just simply love each other. My mom works and even though she does cook dinner almost every night, my dad does it sometimes and also helps with the cleaning around the house. I guess what I’m trying to say is I want a relationship that is not defined by the gender stereotypes of our society: just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean that I have to be the one that cooks, cleans, and waits on her husband hand and foot. I think society needs to stop focusing on outer beauty when it’s the beauty and character on the inside that really counts.

    4 years ago
  84. I wonder if their draw towards that type of man also has to do with security. When I was in the Philippines I found out that my friends put security and family even before their own opinion of who they choose to marry. When I was visiting N. Africa women don’t even look at a man unless he’s 30 and has his life established.

    4 years ago
  85. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with MissA, but you guys look like you lost a lot of weight! Congrats!

    4 years ago
  86. nah

    Miss A for my vote, it was a song that grew on me, wasn’t a fan the first time, but now im singing it everywere

    4 years ago
  87. “YAH DIS IS JYP WHO DIS!?!?!!!!!”
    I died guise… I died….

    4 years ago
  88. VB

    Just noticed the lack of sunglasses! Cheers for getting over your conjunctivitis!

    4 years ago
  89. You can see ‘Take care of the young lady’ – a rich girl with really bad temper and a poor guy. It’s not perfect but it kinda swith the roles at some point.

    I’m little disapointed that B.A.P didn’t win this week. Not because I like their song better (oh God, no I don’t) but it would have been more interesting and funny to watch it being reviewed. And finally learning what was that freaking tail all about -_-.
    Miss A’s song is better and have a better point and all but… Well it’s kind of boring to listen about it.
    I loved the JYP’s gag by the way ^^^
    I really really hope Hyuna or B.A.P will win next week. I wan’t to fall off the chair from laugher.

    4 years ago
    • I was confused at first too ^___^. In the music video Bang Yong Guk is a demon.

      4 years ago
    • I think he was suppose to be a a little devil or something. He was invincible and causing the girl he liked all kinds of trouble.

      4 years ago
  90. Loves miss A..my fav ..and this song is catchy enough to draw my attention. But I hope their next album will be of more dances and probably hip hop..or urban style. The girls are awesome to me¡

    4 years ago
  91. Yaaaay for those subtitles!! I’ve noticed LoenENT (BlockB, Rania, T-ARA, Nu’est — probably more, but those come to my head right away) have been adding subtitles pretty consistently (and I’d swear even to older videos, but mebbe I just never noticed them before) I reaaaally hope that more labels pick up that habit. ^_^

    As for the showdown — mah vote goes to MissA. :)

    4 years ago
  92. Meemers loves the camera. He even hides beside the plant pot in the bloopers, he’s always in the shot! He definitely wants to be a idol. Ah Meemers…

    4 years ago
  93. wow, Im shocked by that survey.
    and it bothers me that dramas starts off with a guy treating a girl badly and then they end up happy togheter in the end. Is that the point? that if you find a mean rich guy you will be happy in the future?
    and the shortness issue, me and my kpop friends joke around that we couldnt be seen togheter with some of our fav idols because the height would be embarrasing, but ACTUALLY rejecting/accepting someone for their height alone, that is ridiculous. is that why shoelifts are such a big deal?

    4 years ago
  94. my vote goes for Miss A :p (n’empêche, Simon a quand même un peu une tête de citrouille tout en longueur, avec une tige rouge XD)

    4 years ago
  95. I love this song! I haven’t been in Korea like ever xD but I do agree with your thoughts about what the song implies for Korean society. I’ve realized how unfair it is for women to think happiness can only be found in a tall rich man! In this same line is sunny hill’s song prince charming, also I’ve seen it a lot in dramas. In my country (Venezuela) there’s a similar feeling on tv but not in reality all the soaps are about finding a rich man to take care of you and yet these are not the expectations on Venezuelan women. Anyway just wanted to let you know what I thought =) I don’t need my pants what?! XD I lost my pants? Oh Simon you’ve done it again. =3

    4 years ago
  96. Your videos were awesome (as always) and I got a good chuckle out of the bloopers, but as you said in the blog, there is more to the video than what is really seen. From what I’ve seen of most cultures, the idea that the women need to snag a rich guy no matter what is a very popular sentiment. This makes me sad and frustrated, especially in dramas like Boys over Flowers and, one I’ve just recently finished, Playful Kiss have the men treat them horribly time and again, or let other people hurt the ones they are supposed to care about, but the girl still follows them! This could be because I’m American and a very matriarchal household but I was always told I needed to be able to take care of myself first. /I/ needed to make money to support myself, not depend on a man to make enough for two.

    It’s normal to be attracted to beauty but I feel beauty disappears if the personality isn’t there, if there is personality and ‘little beauty’ on first glance, people become beautiful when you enjoy being around them. This has been my experience, anyways. I hope the girls you taught somehow learn that it’s better to struggle but be treated nicely/lovingly than it is to have everything in the world but someone who really cares. =/

    Alright, I should stop rambling and whatnot, thank you for the video, guise! It makes my Mondays AWESOME.

    4 years ago
    • I find I am far more attracted to personality than actual looks. I once dated a guy who was extremely overweight, and probably not all that good looking by other people’s opinions, but to me he looked like a giant, huggable teddy bear because he treated me like gold, and I really liked him. But it doesn’t matter how good-looking a jerk is, I still want nothing to do with them.

      4 years ago
      • Exactly! My ex was not the most attractive person in the world but his personality was just so amazing that, too me, he became more attractive. I totally understand that. =)

        4 years ago
  97. I have to say, reading this article has enlightened me a lot. I was thrilled with the concept of this song before, but having learned about how it reflects Korea from this article, I’m even prouder of Miss A! INDEPENDENT WOMEN REPRESENT!

    4 years ago
  98. That’s really nice, to have an explanation for the skits in the video. Initially I’d brushed off the video/song as a rather irritating song, but after understanding it, it makes sense and becomes more appealing in a way. Thanks for explaining it! (Y) (Y) (Y)

    4 years ago
  99. Miss A

    4 years ago
  100. All hail my country,the Philippines, where women being strong & independent are the role models & not the wimps…And even if sometimes,it seems too cheesy, the “love before anything else” concept predominates here..I’m blessed to be a Filipino coz I have one heck of a strong independent personality & I’ll kick the ass of any jerk who’ll try to knock me down…

    4 years ago
  101. i liked this song!!…..’cept for the chorus, there’s something about it!
    and i found it a liiiiiiiiiitle awkward to watch the mv in some parts!!
    hahahaha Brohoho Boutique!!!! and you should have said ‘Shinigami chop’ when you attacked her!! heeheehee!!!….but obviously you gotta watch Soul Eater to know what that is… and so, what DID you say? haha i heard ‘churro chop’

    4 years ago
  102. I’m not living in Korea, nor have I ever been there, but I experience similar things in the states. For one, I have a co-worker who is married and has kids. We got to talking about my personal situation, not just with men, but I still live at home as I try to struggle with this economy. One of the first things she says to me is that I should find a guy with a good job and a house, that’s what she did. Now I can’t comment on how he treats her or how well they get along because I just don’t know, but it really shocked me when she said that. To me I would rather have things in common with my significant other and get along with him really well and then we can worry about money and jobs. I don’t want to just have a guy that has a nice job, but treats me horribly or just look for a guy with a nice job before I look at anything else.

    4 years ago
  103. In response to the blog post: I 100% agree…about the “I would much rather have a guy that treats me like gold and that we need to teach this to our kids and the generation under us” part…^^

    Maybe this is why plastic surgery is so freakishly high in Korea. The idea that for a girl to be noticed by a tall-rich guy a girl has to have a perfect face….so, she “improves” her appearance for this to happen….I hate this idea….blech….

    4 years ago
  104. “You are a pumpkin stuffed unicorn” I might have to use that insult from now on. Also, nice Monty Python reference ;)

    4 years ago
  105. Also Martina if you want to watch a good romance drama about a rich girl and poor boy watch Tatta Hitotsu No Koi (ya its japanese… but its really good!… and it has kamenashi kazuya in it! :D )

    4 years ago
  106. “I want to see a Korean girl forcefully grab a guy by his wrist and drag him somewhere against his will.” YES! Arceus that would be lovely. About that… You know how the concept of “Girl pretending to be a boy” is popular in dramas? Well, that’s why I was happy when the oposite happened in the mini-drama (Three episodes) “Ma boy” :D

    4 years ago
  107. 4minute!

    4 years ago
  108. Congratulations on finally getting a kitchen table (JYP)! (:

    4 years ago
  109. Another awesome review you guys! Keep it up! How is your eyes?!

    4 years ago
  110. It’s definitely got a Beyonce/Destiny’s Child vibe to it. Very cute and bouncy. I’m glad they’re back too. Win!
    Um, with dating, I don’t have any friends that think this way entirely. Some might be more superficial than others but all would chose love and friendship with a man over attractiveness and money. Though those things are good too. =D
    Oh and my guy friends usually express they like best a pretty face and makes them laugh. They have enough girl friends to know bodies change. You can never count on that.

    4 years ago
  111. This blog post of your s remindeed me of my favorite book “the little prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. There is this line in the book (I had to look up for the quote on the internet since i read the book in Lithuanian) “Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ” Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”

    4 years ago
    • Heh, this reminds me of a speed dating thing my room mates conned me into going to with them. They had all these questions for us that we could ask each other, like what is your major, what kind of job do you want to get, what job do you have now. You know, things like that, that most people ask when they want to get to know you. I decided to throw those questions out the window and instead asked things like “what do you like to do for fun?” (since their personality is much more important to me than what their major is) but so many of the guys looked at me with like “But… that’s not one of the questions…”

      Sadly this is also the attitude of people near Washington DC. Literally the first things they will ask me are “What kind of job do you have? Is it a well paying one?” “Where do you see your career in the future?” “Are you planning on going back to college?” instead of questions like “Hi I’m ____, what’s your name?” I always have an insane desire to tell them that I plan on being a hobo that bums off my parents for the rest of my life, and maybe I’ll knock myself up with a rich man’s baby so I can get money off him. Ah, the things i would say if my parents hadn’t drilled into me to try and be respectful…

      hmmm, sorry if that seems like I’m ranting. I guess I’ve kind of been irritated by people lately.

      4 years ago
    • I immediately thought about this too!

      4 years ago
  112. My roommate is am international student from Korea and I just told her about your survey and she said that she would also choose the rich/tall/treats-me-like-crap guy. I was just as shocked as Martina probably was. She said that money was the most important factor and that a man without a good job and salary implies that he has no skills or ability and that is absoluetly unacceptable.

    4 years ago
  113. LOVED the french part! Merci de penser à nous hahaha!

    4 years ago
  114. great blog post and KMM! It’s sooo funny yet insightful. I have to say it again, you guys are the best!

    4 years ago
  115. Simon lost his pants at first and now he doesn’t need it. Awesome! He needs only his T-shirts. XD

    And Meemers. MEEMERS LURKING EVERYWHERE! =^ㅅ^=

    4 years ago
  116. One more thing… 4:55-5:02 MEEMERS IN THE SHOT <3

    4 years ago
  117. Gosh I can’t stop laughing because of the french “subtitles” ! xD Why the hell did you guys write this ? hahaha lmfaoo.
    Anyway it’s nice to think of your french-speaking fans ! *_* (not sure if this sentence is correct but you get my point don’t you ?)

    4 years ago
  118. Thank you :) this was an awesome article. I’ve actually been kind of interested about the gender equality in korea so i appreciate it ^^
    and just a thought that came to mind now; Do korean couples ever live together without getting married? If they do, how do their families take it?

    4 years ago
  119. The only rich girl I ever saw in a Korean drama who was kinda nice-ish (I’ve only seen a handful though) was that rich dude’s sister in Boys before Flowers (which also drove me CRAZY that the empty-headed female character who got progressively weaker and weaker as the drama progressed ended up with the super rich asshole rather than the super nice but also kinda rich not that it matters guy…). Otherwise they fell into typical gender tropes. Anyway, as many awesome things there are about Korea, the role of women and the way they are treated in relationships, marriage, sexual assault, stereotypes, etc. is one that always makes me cringe. However, I know it’s pretty bad here in the US (have you heard what Republican politicians have been saying?), and of course, much worse elsewhere in the world as well.

    4 years ago
    • Yeah, Romney’s stance on women is one of the reasons I am not voting for him in the election. I don’t think a man has any right to tell a woman what to do with her body, especially a man who’s vice president, Paul Ryan, supported the bill in Arizona refuse to let a woman have an abortion even if the pregnancy would kill her and that says pregnancy begins two weeks before conception…really? Two weeks before the baby is even created and you’re already pregnant, I don’t know where they went to school but that’s not what I learned. Personally I’m pro-choice: I think if you have unprotected sex and get pregnant you should be responsible for your actions, but if you are raped then you have every right to get an abortion. The fact that Romney believes in giving rapists parental rights is also a reason I’m not voting for him. The fact that Romney and Ryan also change their stance on abortion, gay-marriage, health care, and immigration just shows that if he gets elected he is going to seriously f up the U.S.
      Sorry for the rant, as you can see I get a little wound up whenever Romney is mentioned^^

      4 years ago
  120. Even though I really love 4Minute, I think Miss A would win this round since the MV itself tells a story while 4Minute’s MV was cute but didn’t hold much of a story. That’s what I’m basing my answer on since both of those songs were catchy for me:3 MISS A AND 4MINUTE FIGHTING <3

    4 years ago
  121. I can’t stop laughing at the “I don’t need my pants”…..”What?!?!” Well done!!!

    4 years ago
  122. Loved this!

    4 years ago
  123. Having lived in Japan for four years of my life, I have to agree with you that it is a huge problem. Status, money and looks seemed to be the most important thing. I think that it’s a shame because while in Japan, I met wonderful people who were very nice but because of their life situation, would never be given a second glance in a dating situation, which is really sad.
    I also like the point that you brought up about the strong women. What drove me crazy in Japan was the lack of strong independent women, because the ideal type for men was a woman that they could protect. I understood that it was a cultural thing, but I still hated it. (sorry, rant….)

    4 years ago
    • It doesn’t matter if it is a “cultural” thing to me. It doesn’t excuse sexist values to me. For a specific example,I don’t consider the way women were treated back in the day in America (though things aren’t near perfect with that situation still) okay just because “it was in the culture”.

      4 years ago
  124. I haven’t watched this week’s KMM yet bc I’m currently in lecture, but I read the blog post, and soo true about (most) girls’ ‘ideal types’. And I don’t think it’s just a Korean thing, but more of an Asian thing (I’m Taiwanese Canadian)
    My cousin (who I am at all not close with) have stated, in short, screw education imma just marry a rich guy and I’ll be set for life. Like what is this crap, seriously…
    Makes me so upset when I hear guys go for good looking house wife material girls, and girls go for good looking and rich fart sucking guys…

    side note: I almost lol’d in lecture when Martina said she didn’t marry Simon bc he was tall, thanks haha ♥

    4 years ago
    • Well, not just an Asian thing. A friend of mine, whom I believe is Arabic-Israeli, told me about visiting her cousins in her dad’s home town. Granted, they live in a small village away from urbanized area, so maybe their way of life seems more “old-fashioned” to us, but when she told them about how she’s in university and trying hard, they were absolutely appalled! According to my friend, her cousins don’t have any form of ambition and just aims to marry rich.
      My parents are, luckily, more concerned with my own competencies and ability to provide for myself. I guess it has to do with their lives, how they went from being really quite poor to building up a comfortable life for themselves and me all thanks to their own hard work.

      And anyway, isn’t it more realistic to not be completely dependent on another person so something like finances (and happiness)? The economy fluctuates, businesses can fail, and boy wouldn’t it suck if your only ambition in life was to marry rich and then your rich husband’s business fails?

      4 years ago
    • Yeah, waaaaaaaaaaay back then everywhere marriage seemed to only be for money and status. Thankfully the Western world has progressed from that, but Asia…well, they ought to catch up. That’s why I’m also glad that my Chinese parents want me to choose a career and a man that will make me happy, not rich (though I’m sure they’d think that’d be nice lol).

      4 years ago
    • I’m thankful my parents always preach that my independence and therefore, my education, always comes first and in my mom’s words, guys are optional lol and I’m sometimes baffled to hear these words from her when she’s your typical asian housewife that (financially) depends on my dad, but they’re both so loving and supportive in my erm… independent-ness haha

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve walked away (?) from that part of your life and was self-aware enough to do so; I’ve heard stories where the girl continue to stay in a bad situation either bc she can’t bring herself to, she doesn’t have support elsewhere, or heaven forbids, her parents and/or friends tell her to stick it out… it makes me ill that there are people out there that encourage enduring abusive relationships…

      4 years ago
      • I wouldn’t look down on your mother because of how she chooses to live. There are some people that want to stay at home, raise a family, and be a house wife. It’s what they enjoy, and they get fulfillment out of life like that. Some people get an education and still choose to be a housewife, if they find a good husband. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s still good to get an education though, because unexpected things happen in life. With an education you can make sure that whatever you choose to do, you know you can at least support yourself (and hopefully your family if you need to) no matter what you choose to do in the end.

        4 years ago
        • Oh no, I’m not, and looking back at what I wrote, I realized it sounded like that ><"

          I sound like a bad daughter now :(

          4 years ago
        • No, you don’t sound like a bad daughter, don’t feel bad.

          4 years ago
    • agreed~ though it may not be as big as what EYK have written above, often when i’m around Asians (I’m Chinese living in Scotland) and they talk about relationships and stuff, the first thing that they will ask is “What does he do for a living?” “Does he get a good pay?” “Wheres he from?”

      Social status is a big thing amongst Asians, which is one of the things i’m not really proud of being a fellow Asian XP it’s like saying if you can’t reach the top, don’t bother talking to me~ >.<

      4 years ago
      • Exactly! Social status and public image is so important among Asians and maybe it’s because we’re living ‘west side’ and in a Westernized culture, so it’s something we can’t really wrap our heads around…

        4 years ago
    • VB

      Hullo! I’m Taiwanese American, agree with the “asian thing” idea. MY cousin said the exact same thing. She went to college to “find a guy and marry rich.” Which annoys me because she cheapens the idea of higher ed and shuns the the idea of a girl pursuing a master’s degree and above as useless (what I’m doing) *sigh*

      4 years ago
      • Oh wow… and college isn’t cheap at all either… well… I hope that um, works out for her but you know what, you keep doing your own thing! Because seriously, when all else fails, it is SO much better to depend on yourself than a so-called rich guy. Who needs to “marry rich” when you can “get rich” yourself? :)

        Of course, economic crisis aside… -sigh-

        4 years ago
  125. All Hail the End of the Sausage Party (on Music Mondays) !!!!!!

    4 years ago
  126. Miss A!!!!!!

    4 years ago