Top Five Dos and Don’ts in the KPOP & JPOP World

As a fan of both Japanese and Korean idol worlds, one cannot ignore one simple fact: the fashion is both amazing and awful. This time, I’m going to make a list of dos and don’ts that, hopefully, future idols will take into heart and practice. In this top 5, I’m going to pick out the best and the worst tips to give to a budding KPOP and JPOP star. Of course, this may or may not apply to people like us who create and read top lists for fun.

There’s also going to be photographic evidence with each tip so you’ll know why I say what I say. Feel free to comment with your own top 5 tips of dos and don’ts or if you agree or disagree with these. Just be sure to link this post either way – like I said before, I like the traffic.

Tip Five (Worst): Get “Crazy” and Pierce Something Weird

Pictured: the result of the losing end of a bet.

While there’s honestly no shade towards the body modification community, there comes a time in every young idol’s life when they ask themselves, “What’s the most extreme piercing I could get away with?”

And most of the time, the answer would be: “Oh, another hole in my ear.” Unless you’re Kim Jaejoong of DBSK/JYJ fame and Eli from UKISS.

Kim Jaejoong, as most fans already know, is extremely narcissistic, thus he’s always trying to make himself look better for his fans constantly. It’s said that he has 11 piercings which include his earlobes, nipples, bellybutton, and naval. While that is quite daring (especially since he had the nipple piercings during early SM Entertainment days where they guys were as clean-cut as their music), there is a rumor that he no longer wears the nipple piercings – which is why his picture isn’t up there. And this blog wasn’t made for such beefy rumor.

Instead, we’re going to focus on Eli of UKISS. He takes piercing to a whole new level.

In 2010, UKISS released their third mini-album, “Conti-UKISS”; the insert photobook contained a picture of Eli. If you didn’t pay close enough attention, you would have missed it. Needless to say, fans were confused. Why would he get that kind of piercing? And did he lose a bet? He seemed to be blase about it at the time – perhaps he was just glad that someone besides their loyal fans were paying attention to them. Either way, a lot of people thought it was weird.

Like I mentioned before, there’s no shade being thrown at the body modification community – but just, why? Why would you get your hand, out of all places, pierced? It just doesn’t make any sense. I mean, was he careful about it so it wouldn’t get caught? Did that even hurt? Inquiring minds would like to know. However, from what I’ve heard, it seemed that once the hype died down other than idle conversation (“Did you hear that Eli got his hand pierced?” “Who?”) and became random trivia status, Eli seemed to let the hole closed up.

Top Five (Best): Keeping a Consistent Concept

Pictured: Good marketing.

Okay, I know I’m probably going to get flack for this because I used an idol group and yet I criticized poor Eli. But whatever – this is my list.

Anyway, why I chose Momoiro Z is because they have consistent concepts. Even with SM Entertainment, Johnny & Associates, and Hello!Project – a lot of their concept ideas fall short and they often leave fans wondering, “But why?” This group is the only group that consistently keeps their concept. To be fair, I was considering Perfume but then I realize – they pretty much wear the same thing in every single new release they’ve done. Well, maybe not every single but the majority of the time and usually in the same style of dress. Their indie singles seem to be the only one when they were trying different styles.

On top of that, Momoiro Z has concepts where they could promote it and not stand out so much. Their latest single is a prime example. In early March, they released “猛烈宇宙交響曲・第七楽章「無限の愛」” (“Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku Dainana Gakushou “Mugen no Ai””, please don’t ask me to translate that because I really don’t know) for the anime, Mouretsu Uchuu Kaizoku (or Bodacious Space Pirates). The single included both the opening and first ending song for the anime as well.

As ridiculous as it seems to look (at least by Western standards), their costumes are extremely tamed compared to the other idol costumes that groups such as Morning Musume. and even AKB48 had to endure.

Don’t ask me about the song itself because I’m extremely biased (I love both songs and anime a lot) but you can see the music video here.

Tip Four (Worst): Black Face (or ANY Face) is NEVER an Option

Summation: NO. DO NOT ENGAGE. DO NOT EVEN TEST THESE WATERS.

I wish there was a time where I don’t need to explain why this is bad. I really do. However, it absolutely needs to be done – especially when there are Gyaru styles like the B-Gyaru that could fall into black face territory if one is not careful and especially since KPOP is attempting to be more internationally popular.

The history of black face is ugly. The whole point of black face is to undermine and make fun of an entire race, particularly towards African-Americans/those who identify as Black. There is no ifs, ands, or buts about it. That is it. The most awful thing about black face is that it’s ongoing and continuous. It originated in the United States and made its start in minstrel shows in the 1800s and even continues today in rap music. You can read more about the stereotypes and a more concise history here at this website (warning: there is a lot of racial slurs but it’s needed to further educate how horrifying and awful it is).

The Japanese have not seem to be doing it but they’re guilty as well. But the most recurring and now, well-known, offenders of this tip is South Korea. They consistently use black face as trying to be funny.

On one hand, Asia in particular aren’t exactly the most subtle when it comes to their racism and they don’t have the history that the United States (among others) have. But it doesn’t make it okay. That doesn’t make it suddenly okay for the Koreans, Japanese, or anyone else really, to make fun of an entire race just for laughs or use it simply as a fashion statement.

What I don’t understand is how can South Korea push KPOP into the mainstream of international radios – and yet they do things like this? Do they honestly and truly think that people are going okay with this? Do they honestly think fans of color (or who at least understands that black face is wrong and offensive) would laugh along with them? And on top of it, are they aware that yellow face exist and is prevalent even now as well?

This is a bit longer than I intended to be but this is an issue for, again, not just entertainment but for fashion as well. Like with the Cho-Gals post I made a few days ago, that particular fashion may be leaning towards brown face as well. Of course, I’m sure those girls don’t even realize that they’re pushing it and that it’s really for fun – but there is a huge Latina Gyaru community. I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way as I do but it’s always good to be on the err side of caution.

Tip Four (Best): Get Yourself Endorsed

Some say that Jeremy Scott is an honorary 2NE1 member. They may be right.

When 2NE1 debuted in 2009, most people were taken aback by their fashion (in particular, CL’s). So was it any surprise that they were picked up by the eccentric Jeremy Scott? It’s not like they weren’t endorsed before by other companies though. They were endorsed by Fila, LG Lollipop (in fact, that was their first single with their seniors, Big Bang), Baskin Robbins, Nikion, Yamaha, Samsung, and many others. It wasn’t until 2011 that they were endorsed by Jeremy Scott.

The problem with getting endorsed is that you may have to change your style because of the company’s image. Like with Baskin Robbins, they had to dress all cutesy and not them. I feel that they were able to get away with the LG Lollipop style they had been because G.Dragon used his own stylists for them. After that, they were pretty much on their own.

But Jeremy Scott was so enthralled by 2NE1’s style that he had to have them endorse him. Hardly anyone was surprised that chose them to endorse his line of adidas Jeremy Scott x 2NE1 Wing Sneakers. Not even going to lie – I want those sneakers (even though I originally saw those in 4MInute’s HUH video) but maybe that’s a pipe dream.

In any case, Jeremy Scott gave the girls free rein to continue their unique style that not only compliments his own style but theirs as well.

What I’m trying to say that if you’re going to get endorsed, try to find to find something that’s going to work with your style – not against. I don’t think 2NE1 have gotten endorsed by Baskin Robbins again ever since. It just didn’t look good and it just didn’t work with them.

Tip Three (Worst): Don’t Get Caught Without Makeup


Sorry I gotta keep bringing this up, Black Jacks.

One of the most basic and first rules you learn about being an idol or even just as a professional trying to make it into the mainstream anything: Never get caught without makeup. Or unless your looks are that natural, I would highly suggest purchasing face masks. Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t wear makeup every day myself because I’m lazy and I never have time in the morning to do so. And yes, my looks are also that natural (as you can see in my user page).

Anyway, when this picture made it to the internet, a lot of the anti-2NE1 fans (should I call them Dealers?) made lots of quips saying, “Man, YG Entertainment standards really lowered the bar.” “The only decent looking one is Bom – and that’s even stretching it” and “I don’t know what I want to eat today.”

To be fair, celebrities in Asia are just like regular people (forgot to add the spoiler tag there) where there are days where they probably won’t feel like putting on their latest endorsement’s makeup just for some Gamjatang down the block or even to get a quick bite of Gimmari.

However, it’s just not a good idea to do so. I’m not saying that everyone should wear makeup at all times – because I’d be a nasty hypocrite. What I’m saying is that if you’re going to be caught without makeup – just be sure you still look somewhat decent. And by decent, I mean don’t look like you just rolled out of bed after a hot night of intense Scrabble with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Tip Three (Best): Purikura/Photoshop/Instagram

I wish they hadn’t gotten rid of the machine over here.

Now, this is something most Gyarus, Ulzzang, and even Western models use to make themselves look good. Sometimes things beyond one’s control happen – like maybe one would have a sudden breakout of pimples or your complextion might get messed up because of a sudden weather change. Understandable. In fact, I don’t think other Gyarus, Ulzzang, or Western models post a completely non-edited picture online if they want to make it in the industry. In fact, it’s quite well-known that this goes on.

Purikura, at least according this website, is short for “print club”. For these things, you can choose the backgrounds for the pictures and you can write your name using the premade characters/letters or you can hand write it yourself using the machine. You can set a style, color, and setting. Once your pictures are taken, you choose the best ones from the batch and you choose whatever you want to do with it. You can draw on it, Japanese characters to it, or write a cute message. These are extremely fun to do! There used to be one around where I live but they recently took it away because I guess it’s not as popular anymore…. Maybe one day I’ll post some pictures as an example one day to show off of what it is.

As for Instagram, it’s an app for smartphones, particularly Andriods and iPhones. Once you take a picture, you can make a certain part not blurry or you can leave it plain. You also have the options of filtering it as well with different kinds of filter. It’s actually a lot of fun! I even have an Instagram account. You can see them in the sidebar under ‘Rainbow Sightings’. Oh yeah. I forgot to mention – you can also link your Instagram to your Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and pretty much any social network. That’s pretty convenient but it’s hard to follow people on the site. You have to sign in on a third-party site to do so but it’s worth it.

With Photoshop, though, it is possible to minimize its usage and still have the ending product come out looking natural. Everyone does indeed use it. In fact, it’s unheard of about the gyarus or ulzzang or even the western models using it. However, Photoshop can be used for evil, in a matter of speaking. No one really cares that much if people use Photoshop but if you’re going to lie about it, then do a better job cleaning up your tracks.

There’s a girl in particular that comes to mind right away who does that exactly and worse but this isn’t the post for that. Maybe sometime in the later future.

Tip Two (Worst): Dress Yourself

Tip Two (Best): Dress Yourself

Top One (Worst): Let Your Company Dress You

100% of Johnny’s fans shouldn’t be surprised they’re on here. At all.

Top One (Best): Let Your Company Dress You

To be fair, it is suits.

And there you have it! I would have posted this earlier but my allergies have been extremely severe – and plus, I’m supposed to be studying for finals. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this top 5 list. Do you think I’m too harsh? Wrong? Cruel? Funny? Awesome? Too good to be true? Feel free to let me know your thoughts!

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4 Responses to Top Five Dos and Don’ts in the KPOP & JPOP World

  1. ONE_broken says:

    i have to agree with this list for sure.

  2. Pingback: Anime & Fashion: Where Does Inspiration Come From? « { rainbow chiffon }

  3. NyNy says:

    I wish more companies would read this list. Kpop companies especially and certain idols need a reality check on what they should. The ones that have done Blackface really disappoint me as well.

    Also, have you ever thought about more what goes on behind the scenes of making an idol? If so, I wrote a small post that I wonder if you could read and comment on about certain aspects that K-Pop idols are being made into these days: http://nynyonlinex.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/workaholic-society-of-an-idol/

  4. nomz says:

    Actually Morning Musume had some pretty cute outfits then.

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