A Noona’s Worry

I made a comment about this on the 8/12/11 free NYC concert post, but Boab1 thought it would make an ok post on its own, so here it is. My apologies if it rambles a bit…

Last week, an announcement was made about a free K-Pop concert in NYC in October with about ten performing acts. My first reaction, as was many of yours, was “OMG!!” Since this concert is short notice for me, and even though it was a difficult choice between screaming Minho’s name at him in person and paying my mortgage (well, almost), I’m gonna have to sit this one out. Hopefully there will be lots of awesome pictures, videos and stories from those of you who are fortunate enough to be able to attend that you’ll be gracious enough to share with the rest of us.

However, I’m feeling some serious noona anxiety about this concert. Currently, SHINee is my K-Pop band bias. The SHINee guys are adorable, lovable and extremely talented. I love them just the way they are. My concern is about how they will measure up under scrutiny here in the States. In other posts, we’ve discussed the western vs. eastern ideas of masculinity and style for guys. Their management has gradually allowed them to update their wardrobe and image from the bright, colorful clothing of their debut days to more mature, muted tones. Well, actually, the ‘Hello’ video with Key’s pjs-looking red ensemble and Taemin’s and Jonghyun’s leopard print pants was filmed in 2010, eek! Anyway, they’re wearing more blacks, grays and beiges now, but most of their pants are still skinny and stretchy, and some have added ventilation (holes). There is even a youtube parody video about their tight pants.

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And as adorable as I think it is, how is their liberal use of skinship going to go over with the crowds? It would really hurt my feelings if they are misjudged based on their appearance and mannerisms. I’m in mama bear mode right now. The argument can be made that I’m being melodramatic…my reply? I’m a fan.

Why is it so difficult for some world musicians (especially if they don’t speak fluent english) to become popular over here? Musicians from here go overseas and perform english songs to hugely welcoming crowds. Why is the reverse many times untrue? K-Pop in general is accepted as-is in other countries. I mean, there was a flash mob in Poland with the goal of bringing K-Pop acts there. And the Poles aren’t requiring K-Pop performers to speak and sing in fluent Polish. Korean acts do on occasion release songs in different languages for other parts of their market, but they still perform most of their repertoire in Korean. Why should they have to change so much in the way of language, clothing, hairstyles, mannerisms, etc just to suit the U.S. market? Why can’t the music, performer(s) and performance stand on their own merit?

I have to believe that KBS has done their homework and research before setting up this concert. I’m just hoping that people, media included, will be open to and understanding about the cultural differences and that the audiences will be wowed by the sheer talent. Or that the criticism at least be fair. Here’s hoping it will be successful and the start of many such concerts all over the country…maybe a wee bit further south next time.

What do you think?

59 thoughts on “A Noona’s Worry

  1. ….lololol SHINee is your K-pop band bias now? Oh, you did say “currently”. Not even two months ago, you were head over heals for Mblaq, Rain, TaeYang, Nickhun & 2PM, etc. You know I have to tease you on this.. 🙂

    I was very excited to hear about the concert and really wanted to go but I wasn’t too keen on traveling to New York when it would be better if SHINee came here to Atlanta and performed at Phillips’ Arena. The “free” part of the concert in New York was a little unsettling too but I still wanted to go. I’ve loved SHINee for almost 3 years now and I totally agree with you about their sheer talent that sets them apart form…….everyone…….. and their wonderful personalities but this country is just not accepting of artists who don’t speak and sing in fluent English. That’s just the way this country is…..it’s not right but this country has a history of looking down on foreigners and even certain groups of people who ARE citizens of this country.

    I believe the concert will go over well (even though it would have been great to see Super Junior there too) but I’m not holding my breath as far as K-Pop exploding here in the U.S. anytime soon. I’m not too worried for the SHINee guys though if things don’t work out in this country for them because they’re young men now. They have feelings, yes, but I think they’re mature enough to be able to handle themselves. People overseas having these flash mobs for K-pop concerts obviously have much more of an appreciation for great music and positive lyrics and I do feel K-Pop will eventually take over the world little by little. No one or nothing can dominate overnight….it will take time and SHINee will definitely be leading the way. 🙂

  2. I understand your worry, but I also don’t think that it will cause major problems. Honestly, this will be a blip in New York. The only people attending will be kpop fans who know and love the artists. I doubt that anyone else will even know what is going on. I’m sure they’ll have their share of music reviewers and entertainment columnists there but so many of them are liberal and open minded anyway. The Korean Music Festival has been going on in California for years and most of these guys have already played that venue. I imagine it will be like that, just on the east coast.

    If it actually happens, I won’t be able to attend either. I will be sitting at home jealous and waiting for pictures.

    • I have to agree with you, Plinkin. The ONLY reason I’m not worried about SHINee and the other performers not being accepted here is because, like you said, only their fans&the people who know their music will be there. I doubt anyone else will know enough about it to criticize them.

  3. As one of the earlier posters said, the U.S. is just a “hardcore” country when it comes to judging appearances. Is it an ideal way to be?……No. SHINee would probably get more flack for their appearance than their language skills. There are people here who are not fluent in English, so it’s not like people who are American born haven’t heard Non-American born people speak in this country. Also, the touchy-feely/skinship thing Will Not go over well in the U.S. mainstream. It just will not. They would catch holy hell and it would only appeal to certain individuals of the U.S. population. As Plinkin said, if/when they perform here it will only attract those who know of them and are into K-Pop already. Now, if SHINee and other K-Pop artists are truly trying to crossover into the U.S. market on a widespread/mainstream level, then unfortunately for them they Will have to “man” up their appearance (hair and clothing style). They would be trying to appeal to not just American girls, but guys as well. This is the home of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey and any other kind of Jock sport you can name and most Jocks (not ALL, I know) would not relate to pink/green skinny jean wearing SHINee.

    In a perfect world, they would be able to be as they are and not change a thing, but in the U.S. that just won’t be possible…..at least I don’t see it.

    • Sad but true. I do love them as well,but I will be honest, if a guy stepped to me dressed ilke that. It would be over kind of quickly, which is sad because he could be a great guy. I just don’t do skinny jeans on guys.

      It reminds me of the article you did on the English JYJ video

    • “then unfortunately for them they Will have to “man” up their appearance (hair and clothing style).”
      “I just don’t do skinny jeans on guys.”

      when i showed my sister a pic of shinee, she took one look at the hair, the makeup, the glitter, the skinny jeans and said she couldn’t like them because they look like girls. my mom said, ‘well the Beatles had long hair.’ so i’ve halfway converted my mom, lol…

      since i understand more about the culture and the tastes of the asian fans, i’m alright with all of the above. it’s their look and i think it’s ok…actually, the ‘upgraded’ look is not very different from some pop/alternative rock bands already popular here. still, i’m fairly certain that it’s not gonna have widespread appeal here, as bialamode stated.

      hmmm, would i date a guy wearing skinny jeans?….fairly recently i would have said not a chance…today, i’d think about it…although i’d definitely be concerned about our future as parents, lol….

      • “although i’d definitely be concerned about our future as parents, lol….” hahahahhaha!

      • @ladibug@BiAlamode: I gotta admit, I find skinny jeans on guys sexy! Always have! Maybe it’s the rocker in me…but if he has the right bod, skinny jeans on a guy are hot!!!

      • I never said I didn’t like the jeans, I just know they wouldn’t go over well with an American mainstream audience. There’s slim fit jeans and then there’s skinny jeans. Some people get them confused because we are still bombarded with hip hop baggy pant style. However, my hubbie is tall and fit and has a couple pairs of slim fit jeans. They fit him kinda like the ones Bi had on recently with the British flag on thigh, only hubbie’s doesn’t have a design on them…..in a dark wash quite sexy. They must be worn on a fit body though, I agree BOAB81. Now what SHINee wears are those body hugging damn near spandex, skinny jeans in neon colors. Those I’m not too crazy about, and they are the ones I think would put off an American mainstream audience. Either way, whether they are slim fit jeans or the skinny fit jeans (and they are two different fit styles) I think if a man works out and has the body, why not show it off.

      • @bialamode–the first words that popped into my mind when looking at SHINee’s pants were ‘spandex’ and ‘jeggings’, which almost made it into the post, but it didn’t sound as ok to me as ‘skinny jeans’, lol…

        btw, sorry if i caused some confusion…i included your quote and lei’s quote in my previous reply…i should have included names…

  4. I think that everything will be fine! Like many have said, most of the people there will be K-Pop fans, so they pretty much know what to expect. Yes, I too will be there. My 14 year old daughter is a HUGE Shinee and Beast fan and has conned me and my husband into taking her and a few of her friends. I feel like I’ve spent a fortune on her K-Pop obsession with the Korean Music Fesitval, SM Town LA, etc. But the smile on her face is priceless, so we endure the thousands of girls screaming. Would be nice if Rain or Supe Junior could be there too but at least I can see TVXQ. Some eye candy for Mommy 🙂

  5. sorry if there’s any confusion…babigurl1 is my wordpress username 🙂 ..

    @min jung–don’t judge me, lol!

    @plinkin and cloud8837–evidently i don’t know much of anything about nyc…there’s a projected 10,000-30,000 kpop fans there and the surrounding areas?? that’s not a blip on the proverbial radar? wow! i had no idea…with the concert being free and with the lineup it looked to me like a way to attract lots of new people who might not know what it is. i had thoughts of them being booed offstage or worse…

    @bialamode–i agree that i right now, kpop just won’t have mass appeal in the u.s. market. i’m kind of hopeful for the next couple of generations, though…i have preteen/teen cousins that love it.

    it’s weird to me why it’s so hard to pin down what it is that people here in general don’t like about kpop. ok, some may think shinee’s appearance and manners are effeminate and they don’t have any songs totally in english. however, rain’s manner and appearance was definitely on the manlier side and he did have some english language songs. so why wasn’t he hugely successful here? shinee’s current look to me would fit right into the pop/alternative rock scene. but that’s not the type of music they usually perform. rain’s look definitely suits his music. so what’s the problem? was it just not the right time?

    i’ll probably never have the answers to those questions. or maybe it’s staring me right in the face….all i know is that i love my shinee guys and don’t want to see them hurt…they’re big boys/men now so i shouldn’t worry…it’s nice to know that i’m probably overreacting…i just kind of panicked for a moment and should have grabbed a brown paper bag, lol..

    • You’re right 30,000 is not really a blip, but there are so many unique musical styles and venues at hand in New York. Culturally there is so much available there and I think that everyone is used to that and in picking and choosing what they want. Also, even though the tickets may be free, I don’t see anyone aside from rabid kpop fans even having a shot at getting their hands on those tickets. The east coast gets little love and I think SM is going to pull fans from all over the country. JYJ had people camping out for days for their shows in the US and I think all of the SM artists will have the same pull. I’ll be surprised if there are leftover tickets that they’re trying to get rid of at the last minute.

  6. I kind of agree with you. But Ima still got the concert if it happens. From what I understand SHINee concdept from the get go was boy next door contemporary band (KEY). Hence the skinny jean (which happen to like on them, not the bright colors). When they came out with Lucifer it looked like SM was goona let them mature and certain people did 😛 But now that they’re doing activities in Japan, they went back to bright colored skinny jeans. I kinda feel bad for them and would feel horrible if they were dissed in America. I would probably take it personally.

  7. “I kinda feel bad for them and would feel horrible if they were dissed in America. I would probably take it personally.”

    me too, *sniff*!

  8. This article is interesting. Although I like KPop, it still would be better to understand what they are saying and, except for a small percentage, Kpop’s music right now as it is would seem kind of cheesy and also has a been there done that feel like from the 80’s and 90’s to most people. Right now America is breaking new barriers in music, and we have it all from Rap, R&B, Country, Retro, Techno, American Pop, and even Lady Gaga (i dont know how to categorize her).. I personally think, 2NE1 would make it over here, and TOP & GD by themselves (not them as BigBang), JYJ and definately TVXQ. I was actually pumpin a JYJ song( I Love You) in Harlem, NY and someone came over to my car and said that song is hot who sings it… So we as Americans are definately open to new stuff, it’s just these radio stations wont play it. We are forced to listen to the same 10 songs and artists over and over and over!!! I came upon Kpop accidentely because i was so in love with Bi-Rain.. We should have a Kpop radio station!!! LOL

    • “We should have a Kpop radio station!!! LOL”

      i usually always have a kpop cd in my car or ipod with me…today i had nothing…i got in my car after work and said those exact words, lol!

      ok, i can understand the idea that maybe people’s reaction to kpop is ‘been there, done that’…a lot of it does put me in the mind of 90s music, but i like 90s music, lol. and i definitely agree that radio stations play a very limited number of songs. i can’t figure out if they are playing what their demographic wants to hear, or if they are telling their demographic what it is they want to (or should want to) hear. that’s the question i have with all media, as a matter of fact…and based on comments and situations made on two of the radio stations i listen to in atlanta, there’s a lot of people listening to stations that would be considered outside of their demographic. but the stations don’t change to accommodate that. maybe some new studies would show that there is a market for a kpop station here, lol…

      understanding the lyrics is a big factor too…i also accidentally stumbled on kpop and fell in love with the music first since i can’t understand the language yet. i usually look up the lyrics out of curiosity and just to make sure i’m not being told to worship the devil (you have to be careful these days :/ ). but there are still some songs of rain’s that i have no idea what he’s saying…i just like how he sings it and the music. there is a shinee song that i picked out as my favorite just because of the music and how it was sung. i recently looked up the lyrics, and i kid you not, i was staring at the computer screen in tears because it was so sweet. so yeah, lyrics cannot be underestimated…my sister refuses to like any kpop at all because she can’t understand the words. she says rain and taeyang are cute but she won’t listen to their songs…to each his own, i guess…

      • My family knows yhat when they get into my car they will be listening to KPop! My cousin, a hardcore rapper likes the beats and melodys. Heck he likes the the whole songs. BUT. He doesn’t like not knowing what they’re saying and the fact that most of the guys look like gals. I had to show him some eps of Let’s Go! Dream Team so he could Minho in manly action. He knows its just a staged image because that’s how the ajusshi’s like them, but you have to ask yourself…… do they fans really like it or is that what the agencies WANT them to like.

      • Ladibug,
        I think one of the biggest factors for K-Pop not being big in the States will be the language barrier. My husband is 1/2 Japenese and until I learned to have a conversation in his language, it was extremely hard to get close to his elders. But I think with younger kids today, the language is not an issue. My kids go to a very diverse school and there is a big K-Pop and J-Pop following. As I said in my previous post, I have 14 year old twins (boy & girl), and my daughter because obsessed with K-Pop about 2 years ago because of one of her friends who is Korean. After she “fell in love” with Shinee, she started watching J-Pop and K-Pop Dramas. She picked up on the language so quickly and now reads, writes and speaks in Korean. I think because of the language barrier and “cheese factor”, K-Pop will always have a limited audience. I don’t mind the music being very cheesy. With K-Pop, I don’t have to worry about any thing objectionable, so that’s fine for me. My daughter always says that she hopes K-Pop never becomes big in the U.S., since she likes following something that very few people know about.

        BTW, I am new on Board and am very glad that my son found this website. It’s nice to listen to other women who love Bi Rain and K-Pop as well 🙂

      • @Angelface: hello and welcome to BWLB! How awesome to know that your daughter is such a big Kpop/SHINee fan and speaks Korean! And YES, we love Bi here. He’s our favourite, but we definitely give attention to Asian guys as a whole. Glad to have you! 🙂

      • “My family knows yhat when they get into my car they will be listening to KPop! ”
        mine too! they may make faces or comment ‘what’s this?’, but they know the drill…

        “do they fans really like it or is that what the agencies WANT them to like.”
        this might be like one of those charts with the arrows going around in a circle…

        “But I think with younger kids today, the language is not an issue. My kids go to a very diverse school and there is a big K-Pop and J-Pop following.”
        i agree…it’s the same situation with some of my preteen-teen cousins here. they love kpop and are learning the language too. i wish that i had some of those same opportunities when i was growing up….i loved my town, my family and my school, but i knew that the world was bigger than my town. i wanted to be exposed to different things and like different things. unfortunately, that didn’t happen as much as i wished..

    • I agree with everything you said. I think Americans would be open to new stuff. If I hear one more Rhianna or Beyonce’ song, I will scream. It is the same artists over and over and it doesn’t help that the same artists keep dropping new albums every 6 months, not giving new artists a chance. Then you have people like Adele, who I love, who they are just now noticing and she has been around for a minute. They will soon throw her under a bus for some trashy non-singing person.

  9. Jessica,

    I agree with you to the fullest. There there is a significant Korean population here. I don’t get it? as one girl asked ” Why not come down South?” Do the promoters not think that they don’t live in this region?We have the facilities like you said. Suwanne had Korean festivals in their area and if I’m not mistaken, they still do. Maybe if they knew these things exist down here,they probably would come down.

    • we’ve got about 5 hmart stores…that should count for something 🙂 …

      towards the middle of july there was either a korean fest or asian fest, i can’t remember which, going on in duluth….didn’t get to go but i’ll be on the look out for it next year. and with so many stores with hangul signs around there, i get plenty of chances to practice reading korean. trying to read the signs while going 45 mph is a good way to increase reading speed, lol.

      also, with the thriving music scene in atlanta, i would think they’d want to check it out, if they haven’t been here already.

  10. I think language barriers are a factor, but also the American mainstream STILL has a problem “wrapping its head” around visualizing non-Caucasian men as sexually appealing (just in general). We (@ BWLB) find Asian men appealing, but when you have a non-Asian “suit” in a board room trying to possibly market a K-Pop singer, he can’t relate. Therefore, they feel like the rest of mainstream America won’t relate either.

    Now, the thing I notice about Bi is that when he comes to the U.S. he makes subtle changes to his dressing style when he’s here. He understands it’s necessary. He is still the same Bi, but his style takes on a more “American” appearance. He’s not unrecognizable to his established Asian fans, but he doesn’t put off new American fans either. There’s a delicate balance between language, style, culture, over all sex appeal and expectations. I don’t want to offend anyone, but IMO in order to capture the attention of an American mainstream audience, they have to feel there’s a “grown man” in front of them (if it’s a non-teenage audience). Some of the K-Pop singers don’t give off that vibe, even though many are past the age of 20. I know it’s silly and unfair, but that’s the shallow part of the American mainstream. Bi is “grown man” ready to crossover to an American mainstream audience. I know I said before in a perfect world these K-Pop singers wouldn’t have to change a thing, but it’s not the case. Americans like for others to conform to American standards. Unfortunately…………………….

    • BiAlamonde,
      Great point about American mainstream not being able to wrap its head around a non-Caucasian man as “sexually appealing”. Have we ever even had an Asian sex symbol in the US? I don’t believe so. Unfortunately, stereotypes are alive and well, we all know that. When I first met my husband in college, I did have to change my way of thinking as far as opening myself up to other races with men. I initially felt weird with going out with a guy who was 1/2 Japenese and White; and then of course worried, how would my family react. But like my hubby says all the time, the world becomes so much smaller when people start to “mix things up”. LOL!

      I do get your point about Americans needing to feel that a “grown man” is standing in front of them when performing. Sometimes with the K-Pop stars you forget that most of these guys are in their 20’s and some pushing 30. They do seem so child-like, which I think is the biggest appeal to the young girls. Most teens tend to “de-sexualize” their idols and once they grow up, stop liking them. For example, my daughter used to love Jonas Brothers but as soon as they started to appear “older” ie with facial hair, she stopped liking them. I once asked her why her Bias in Shinee was Key and Taemin and she said because they are “girly and seem safe”. Definitely not what a woman would want in a man but for young girls, I can definitely get the appeal.

      • @AngelFace,

        I know what you mean regarding the teen idols growing up and losing their appeal to teen girls. I’m telling my age, but when MJ was singing “I Want You Back” I was a really young girl and Loved some MJ but by the time “Got To Be There” came around I was like what’s going on with Mike, he doesn’t sound the same. Your post brought back that memory. (SMILES) I don’t have kids, but I do know who the Jonas Brothers are…hard not to. I saw a pic of Joe Jonas yesterday and did a double take…..I quickly had to remember my age. (HA!) Lastly, the closest I think we’ve ever been to an Asian sex symbol in the American mainstream was Bruce Lee and even he was not really allowed to play up his sex appeal. He will forever be known first and foremost as a great martial artist.

  11. “Lastly, the closest I think we’ve ever been to an Asian sex symbol in the American mainstream was Bruce Lee and even he was not really allowed to play up his sex appeal. ”
    true, true…bruce lee had already passed away before i was born, but i remember seeing him on tv in a movie when i was young and thinking that not only was he a butt kicking martial arts machine, he was a cutie…my friends agreed with the first part, but not the second part. they were all into taimak, aka bruce leroy…he was cute too, still is, but i digress…

    “Now, the thing I notice about Bi is that when he comes to the U.S. he makes subtle changes to his dressing style when he’s here. He understands it’s necessary.”
    this is what i’m hoping happens with shinee and the other kpop. i don’t like that it’s necessary if they are trying to attract new fans, but i’d rather they dress for the market here than be ostracized because of their usual concert garb…is ostracized too strong a word? idk…btw, it’s been mentioned above that the nyc concert will likely attract current fans of kpop who already know what to expect. my error was thinking this concert was in some way groundbreaking and for the purpose of gaining new fans. i didn’t know that kpop acts regularly perform on the west coast, so it’s not as big a deal as i assumed it to be. i suppose it stood out to me because two years ago i had no idea about kpop at all and now suddenly one of my favorite kpop bands will be performing in nyc, and i recognize everyone else on the program too…

    “Sometimes with the K-Pop stars you forget that most of these guys are in their 20′s and some pushing 30. They do seem so child-like, which I think is the biggest appeal to the young girls. Most teens tend to “de-sexualize” their idols and once they grow up, stop liking them. ”
    i suppose keeping them young looking as long as they can will possibly extend their fame…i must have been odd as a child…the guys i liked were around my age or older, but i expected them to grow with me…i didn’t like a guy who still looked 15 if i was 20…this is coming from someone who was in love with stewart granger when she was a preteen. well, the mid-30s looking steward granger…it never occurred to me that he was actually in his 70s by that time 😛 …

    • “it’s been mentioned above that the nyc concert will likely attract current fans of kpop who already know what to expect. my error was thinking this concert was in some way groundbreaking and for the purpose of gaining new fans. i didn’t know that kpop acts regularly perform on the west coast, so it’s not as big a deal as i assumed it to be. i suppose it stood out to me because two years ago i had no idea about kpop at all and now suddenly one of my favorite kpop bands will be performing in nyc, and i recognize everyone else on the program too…”

      I think in order for this show to work the way KBS wants it to, they’re goona have to do some legwork. That means finding radio stations that could MAYBE play a some Kpop songs, like 2pm’s Hands Up. Offering backstage passes and advertising on TV and major publications. They people that would be willing to are out there. They just have to be reached.

      • Seli,

        Living in Cali we do get “spoiled’ with seeing so many K-Pop shows but I do still think that it is very BIG deal that they are performing a concert in NYC. I believe that within the next year or so, SM Town will have a US tour for major cities such as LA, Houston, NYC, Boston, Philly,etc. Not a huge tour but probably 5-7 big cities. I am pretty sure that SM Entertainment understands that the US is unchartered waters but they realize the money making potential. I can tell you from personal experiences of being at both the KMF and SM Town LA, that at least 1/2 the crowd were non-Koreans. With Americans singing each song word for word. I can only equate it to the Menudo phenom back in the 80’s. I am 35 years old now and was a little girl when I saw Menudo and remember being shocked at seeing so many different races in the crowd. Being black and Hispanic, I had expected to see mostly Hispanics but I think the majority of the crowd were not. My point being, I don’t think K-Pop has to gain new fans to be viable in the US. The fans that they do have are ardent and I am sure SM Entertaintment, YG, JYP, etc, is aware of this.

      • please please PLEASE let atlanta be on the list!

        @angelface, you got to see menudo live?? wow, this girl could only dream…

    • At first I thought you meant Farley Granger who was in 2 Alfred Hitchcock movies. When I was younger I also didn’t get the concept of what I was seeing on tv didn’t necessarily mean they still looked that way. I would get disgusted to find out they were either dead or old enough to be my grandpa. I also liked guys my age or older, but did and still do want them to age with me, but still age well.

      • Ooh AngelFace. I am just loving the fact that your daughter has 4 differant nationalities in her blood. I absolutely love that!

      • Lei says:

        “Ooh AngelFace. I am just loving the fact that your daughter has 4 differant nationalities in her blood. I absolutely love that”.

        Thanks Lei! We have 3 children, 14 year old twins, a son and a daughter, and an 8 year old son. We love our little “United Nations” as my hubby calls our tribe. I am blessed beyond words. We always make sure that they are accepting of their entire blood-line. It can get very tricky because people want them to choose one race or the other but their looks are so unique. The baby obviously doesn’t care and my daughter will always tell people that she is “African-American, Puerto-Rican, Japanense and Irish”, without hesistation. She says she refuses to pick sides since she loves everyone in her family equally. My son just feels confused because he wants to be identified as African-American and got hurt when someone at school last year called him a “wanna-be”. So, he is still a work in progress :).

      • AngelFace, I understand how you children feel about being multiracial. I have been asked the same questions many times, “What are you?” or “What are you mixed with?” and it does get quite tiresome. Maybe some day people will stop worrying about someone’s race and focus on that person’s character (hopefully anyway).

      • She should accept all of her family’s bloodlines. That is great. Your son will find his “own” eventually. I wish people wouldn’t be so hung up on what nationality people are and focus on just who the person is. I also am not a fan when mulit-national people choose a race. I feel you are denying a part of your heritage. Embrace it all.

  12. BiAlamode,

    I completely forgot about Bruce Lee. I know my mom used to love him to death but you are correct, the mainstream media deifinitely did not play up his sex appeal. That was funny what you said about Michael Jackson. I did not become a MJ fan until I was like in my 20’s. It’s always a little off putting to see your crushes grow up. We live in Cali and were fortunate enough to briefly meet Taeyang when he came to do some recording during the summer (through a friend of a friend). My daughter also LOVES him but when she met him, he had a facial hair. Kind of like a scruffy 5:00 o’clock shadow. My daughter thought he was still cute but said in the car, “he really needs to shave since he looks kinda old with that stuff on his face”. LOL! Personally, Mommy thought he looked manly and yummy. Teen crushes are amazing! The 1st boy band that I feel in love with were New Kids on the Block. I think I was like 14 when they became popular and pretty much lost my mind over them, so I can definitely relate to what my daughter is going through.

    Take care 🙂

  13. Ladibug,

    Yes, I was lucky enough to see Menduo in concernt when they played Madison Square Garden. I think I must have been 7 or 8 years old and was so in LUV with Ricky Martin since he was the baby of the group. Ah, memories : ).

  14. Ladies,

    This just goes to show you the true power of K-Pop. I just got out of the car and my 64 yr old mom was with me and I was playing a song called “Perfection” by Super Junior-M and she could not stop dancing to it. She wants me to burn it for her. I can’t think of any music out right now that transcends barriers such as age like K-Pop does.

    1) Now that I think about it, I don’t think K-pop artists should necessarily try to cater to Americans. Americans should just learn how to speak Korean. If I’m not mistaken, Koreans have to start learning English in their elementary schools on a mandatory basis early on. I think “ladibug” or someone I was talking to made the point that these countries overseas having flash mobs to get K-pop artists to perform for them….love the music as is. In fact, they try to learn to speak Korean instead of expecting the artists to sing in their language. –i.e. French, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian… I agree with Angelface’s daughter–I don’t want K-Pop to explode here in the U.S. either because if it does, then the quality and integrity of the music will go down the toilet because they’ll have to make it more raunchy and sexually explicit in order to entice American audiences to buy the music. A lot of young Americans in general don’t seem to like clean lyrics, hence the popularity of Hip-Hop.

    And …..

    2) I’d give anything to see a major Asian sex symbol in a non-stereotypical role in Hollywood. Asian men are sexy and beyond beautiful and it’s a shame the only place I can see more than one gorgeous Asian man at a time is on the new “Hawaii Five-O”.

    • @Jessica: amen to that!! Why should they have to change to make the Americans happy?? We should use this opportunity to broaden our horizons and learn about their language and culture. What’s wrong with that?? Not a darn thing! ^^

    • Jessica,

      Great points. K-Pop is so pure, I just don’t want it become “Americanized”, and it would have to, in order to become popular here. As much as I love Super Junior, there’s no way a song like Happiness (which happens to be the ring-tone on my phone because it makes me, well ‘Happy’ LOL”; would ever go over well with the young kids here. The teens in particular have become so de-sensitized to the raunchy lyrics, they don’t even think its bad. My son has just begun to start listening to rap and it’s like a war in our home over what he “wants” to listen to and what we will “allow” him to listen to. Thank goodness for K-Pop.

      It would be wonderful to see an asian man in a non-stereotypical role, who becomes a sex-symbol. Unfortunately, I don’t think that I will see that in my time but I have hope that things will change in the future. Americans just cannot view Asian men as sexy. Of course, I am bias but i LOVE Asian men and think that they are beautiful, gorgeous, sexy, kind, etc. But I can tell you from personal experiences, I have heard soooo many times that my husband is such a “good-looking Chinese man”. He has even stopped correcting people that he is 1/2 Japanese and not Chinese but, you get the point. It always bugs me because it’s like, why not just compliment him on being handsome, why quantify it with “Chinese”. But again, to most peopel any other race who happens to be beautiful or handsome, are just not seen as the norm in America, which is a shame.

    • @Choi Min Jung a.k.a Jessica Jackson
      I know this is kind of off topic but relates to your post. If you haven’t seen Harry Shum Jr., check him out. He’s been in so many dance related “teen” movies and he’s also got a solid spot in the Glee cast now. I avoid Glee but started watching clips from the show just to see Harry.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Shum,_Jr.

      After reading through the entire thread, to date, I am so jealous of you who have a shot to go to the SM Town show in New York. I’m in the Chicago area and recently got an offer to move to Cedar City, Utah. I know, right? How exciting could that be? You wouldn’t know from my reaction, which was, “OMG KOREAN MUSIC FESTIVAL ONLY FOUR HOURS AWAY IN THE LA!” Because, you know,I think about the important things when making huge, life altering decisions like picking up my entire life and moving across the country to help start a comic book store, when I know nothing about it other than that I like anime and playing D+D and Worlds of Warcraft, but omg so close to The LA!

  15. Well Ladies,

    America still has a long way to go towards race relations and acceptance. We have a biracial Black president who after almost 4 years in office still gets a sh__t load of disrespect. You would think if Anything would go long way on the road to more positive change in race relations that would. But Alas, same OLE America and it ain’t changing no time soon. I live in Texas, believe me I know.

  16. @AngelFace… lolol You have Super Junior’s “Happiness” as a ringtone? That’s a great idea. I think I’ll do the same thing with “Sorry, Sorry” or “Shake it Up”.

    I’m with you 100%…although I love all kinds of men, I have a bias for Asian men too. I’m not married but I know what I like. East Asian men just have this strength and charisma about them and they carry themselves differently than from other men…..just my opinion……

    @bitofabelly81 … well, I think we have you to thank for helping some of us ladies continue to expand our horizons. I’ve always loved Asian men but I didn’t think I could discuss it openly without being ridiculed. This is the only site I’ve seen where women, particularly of color, can come together and share our love, fascination, and appreciation for the east Asian men we love.

    • Jessica,

      I love my ring-town. Like I said it makes me very happy when the phone rings. LOL! I’ve had this for a few months. My last ring town was Hello by Shinee and my husband begged me to change it because as he said, between our daughter Mika playing the song constantly and my ring town, he was “losing it”. : ).

      I gotta agree with you on the difference of being with an Asian man. Before my husband, I had never dated an Asian man but he really opened up my eyes to what real love is.

      Take care 🙂

  17. I was just on allkpop. There’s an article on a possible SMTown concert in NYC. I just hope it happens. They usually do it in LA everytime.

    • Nicole,

      There have been rumors about a SM Town in NYC for a while and I’ve always believed that it would happen. Not to slight any other cities but I believe that most entertainers will tell you that they don’t feel like they have “made it” until they have performed at the Staples Center and Madison Square Garden. I think they will play NYC before coming back to LA next year for a 2nd time. Should be fun!!

      Take care : )

  18. Hey @Plinkin …yeah, I’ve seen Harry Shum Jr. before……he’s been a backup dancer for some pretty famous people too. Well, I would love to go to the SM Town concert in NY but money is a little tight right now. Yes, I know the concert is free but there’s the expense of getting to and from there and since it’s free, I’m not guaranteed a good seat. With SHINee and Super Junior being there, I would need to be front and center to be able to behold all that beauty. Anyway, I do hope the concert goes well so perhaps they’ll want to come back and cater to the Korean population here in Atlanta and have a concert here at Phillips Arena.

      • Hi Lei,

        The Sm Town Concert is not free. If I can recall correctly, I believe that we paid something like $180 per ticket for SM Town in LA. These were the highest priced tickets offered which in my opinion isn’t too bad considering the number of acts who performed. We had floor seats and were a few rows from the stage. I think the lowest priced tickets were like $40.00.

        Take care : )

    • Thanks AngelFace. You are right that isn’t a bad price for the seats you got and all of the artists involved. I most likely will be skipping that one. Don’t have the funds to do that and stay in hotel for the free concert. Too much too close. Thankfully most of my favorites minus MBLAQ, BIGBANG and Rain(ofcourse) are going to be at the free concert.

      Also as far as getting there. You just need to catch the M35 bus and it takes you directly there. I believe you can catch it right out of Manhattan. Or if taking Metro North get off at the Harlem and 125th St stop and catch it from there.

      • Lei,

        As far as we are concerned, the free concert is still a “maybe” on whether we are going. If the rumor mill is correct, SM Town Live will be on 10/22/11. That would mean us flying out for the free concert on October 9th, flying back home, and then coming back again the following week for SM Town concert. Otherwise, we would need to keep our kids plus their friends out of school for 2 weeks, which just isn’t happening. I told my daughter Mika and her friends that if/when they announce the SM Town live show, if it is on October 22nd, they will have to give up the free show. Or, they can opt to go to the free show and wait until SM Town comes back to LA next summer. My daughter really wants to see Beast, so who knows. Personally, I would rather to the concert than the free show. Knowing that we have tix and can actually get into the show, vs having the kids and my hubby (not me), camp out early in the morning to ensure that they get tix for the free show. It’s just too much.

        Take care 🙂

  19. fleurdelis18 says:

    “AngelFace, I understand how you children feel about being multiracial. I have been asked the same questions many times, “What are you?” or “What are you mixed with?” and it does get quite tiresome. Maybe some day people will stop worrying about someone’s race and focus on that person’s character (hopefully anyway)”.

    Fleurdelis18,

    Totally agree. I think that we have a very looong way to go with race relations in our country but I am always hopeful.

    Take care 🙂

    lei says:

    “She should accept all of her family’s bloodlines. That is great. Your son will find his “own” eventually. I wish people wouldn’t be so hung up on what nationality people are and focus on just who the person is. I also am not a fan when mulit-national people choose a race. I feel you are denying a part of your heritage. Embrace it all”.

    Lei,

    I too wish that people weren’t so hung up on a person’s ethnicity. I think being bi-racial, it was an easier road for my brother and I. Looking at me, it is pretty clear what my “race” is, so I never had an issue. If people wanted to call me African American or Spanish or both, I was cool with it. I know what I am and can honestly care less about what people think. LOL! My husband is the same way. Being multi-racial can be a little tricky for kids especially when you have a “different look”. My daugher Mika, has always been very self-aware even at her young age, so I never worry about her.

    On a side note, now my son has begun “embracing” his Japanense side. Seems like some girl that he is secretly crushing on, told him that he looks just like Woohyun from the group Infinite (who I had never heard of and had too google his picture). So now, he is LOVING his Asian side. LOL! Ahh, the joys of raising teenagers 🙂

    Take care 🙂

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