When Will We Start Seeing Black Chicks In K-pop Culture?

K-Pop needs more Jimmy Rays

And no, I don’t mean just as background fillers, but STARRING as the Kpop artists’ love interest or date! No disrepect to women who are not black, but they are often included in Korean tv shows, movies and videos as “global beauties”. Since when does the word “global” exclude anyone of African descent?? Yes, I’m a little ticked. It’s almost like: our music is good enough for you (the K-pop industry in general) to base a whole musical and cultural movement on, but our women aren’t?! Boggles the mind!

"Global Beauties" from Russia, America and Brazil stun the 2PM boys on an episode of Idol Army, but where were the sistas?"

I know the reasons why things may be this way, but I keep wanting to NOT believe those things, because it’s hard for me to understand. I don’t want to go down the “well, Asian people haven’t been exposed to black people in a positive light”, and “well, Asian people revere milky-white skin and anything darker is considered low-class and undesirable” roads. I really don’t want to go there. But I think it really is that simple (and stupid). All too often, African-American culture is quartered, much like a just-slaughtered cow, and only the choice portions (mostly musical and sports talent) of our culture are taken and “served” to the world; but the rest is discarded. And I’m sick of it. Grrr…where are the Jimmy Rays when you need them??

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91 thoughts on “When Will We Start Seeing Black Chicks In K-pop Culture?

  1. It’s funny….I was just having this exact same conversation with someone earlier this morning. The main thing I try to remember is that not all Asian people view African-Americans negatively. At least not open-minded and informed Asian people do. I’m sure there are quite a few of those K-pop singers who would love to have a beautiful black girl in their videos and shows but they’re not in charge of things so they can’t make those kind of executive decisions.

    As Korea becomes more of a multi-cultural society, I’m sure more black women will be featured in K-pop videos…….its just not going to happen as quickly as we’d like it to.

  2. Hmm, I dont think its that serious actually. It’s just their standard of beauty that not even most Korean women can attain. Its a cultural thing also; other “global beauties” dont star in videos either.If you notice in Dramas whenever they use an “American” its not an actual American.

    I think we tend to forget that they are actually in many ways different from us. We sit and watch all their videos and shows in subtitles and connect with them but lets be real, thats all entertainment not made or marketed for FOREIGNERS. Its made to entertain Koreans and other Asian cultures. KPOP has been around but its only in the last few years or so thats its starting to be noticed globally. They are using whats appealing to THEIR culture.

    I think when KPOP seriously blows up and America seriously begins to acknowledge them they will begin marketing to a wider diverse audience; but for now they market everything for the Asian market and I honestly think thats fine. Its all about marketing to a target audience which we, Americans, black etc are not at the moment.

    But on a side note we ALL know they like us! Example: Big Bang and the Janet Jackson obsession, Kim Hyun Joong and his adoration for Jessica Alba ^_^

    • @KrisE: true..but have you ever noticed that whenever they DO venture out and place foreign women in their tv shows, videos and movies, its almost always usually non-black women? I can understand and agree that we are not their target market…but we are conveniently left out of shows and videos where non-black, non-Asian women have conveniently been inserted. So if Kpop is being marketed to Asian people, that means that Asian people favor non-black women foreigners over black women foreigners. That’s the point I’m trying to make…it shows that there is a misconception about black people in the Asian communities, otherwise, we’d be all over their shows and videos, regardless of whether or not the music was actually marketed to us…

  3. Yes, it really is that simple (and stupid), as you say. I also don’t buy into the “Asian people not being exposed to Black people” thing. It’s time out for that stupidness. That’s (bs)…..they have televisions and the internet. Try that one again. Honestly, it’s history….and the racist drivel that has been “spewed” and entrenched into the pysche of just about every ethnic culture that has tinted skin. That mentality has “claws” and has dug in Deep. When will K-Pop singers have Black girls as love interests? Who knows? How they are with Black people, just in general would have to change. It would be an even bigger leap for them to even contemplate having a Black woman as a love interest in a video. (IMHO)

  4. We need to realize that in Korea, and other Asian countries don’t have black people living in their Countries. They don’t know anything about us. If they do know anything about us it would be negative things about us especially America Medias portraits us as bad people and low class. That’s why you will never see black people in anything positive in Asian culture. It’s sad but we need to change that! Not all black people are bad or low class. I’m sick in tried being judge by my color!

    • Not trying to outright contradict you; but to say that there are no Black people living in Asian countries is a fallacy. On top of the military bases we have in Japan, Korea, Guam, etc., there are also the Black (African, American, and other nationalities) business people that migrate there every year. I just read recently that there are 20,000+ Africans (and that’s not counting the Black population from other continents) living legally in China. While they may be there, they are not necessarily wanted. Many feel that there are racial tensions caused not by the fact that because their skin is darker they are not considered beautiful, but by the fact that they are Black and racism tints the views of many (not all) Asian people. Now this could be from the fact that before globalization, most Asian countries were very homogenous, or it could stem from the fact that western racism–or racism in general–is a disease that spreads very easily. Who knows. Anyway, that was so besides the point of the original post. MORE BROWN GIRLS IN K-POP!!! 🙂

  5. I believe you are correct in your article… I remember reading something about Rain in ‘Ninja Assasin’ and how some people were upset that he was starring with a Black woman.. At first I was appalled and didnt understand it because to black people he was the unknown Asian man and she was the famous Naomie Harris.. But only upon research, did I remember there is a whole other world that I will never see just like many people.. But I believe media outlets like Youtube and Twitter are changing that, and hopefully we will be seen in a more positve light..Also, I was so happy to see a black girl in the 2pm video, I thought they would do more with her but they just kept glazing over her and that was the one and only time i seen a black girl in any Asian music video.. Lets hope for more in the future!! Fighting.. LOL

  6. @KrisE Hmmm…. That’s a good point about their music and shows being marketed towards Asian audiences. It may feel like they’re not thinking of “us” and that’s because ….they’re not really. It seems the main objective for every K-pop singer nowadays is to be successful in Japan ..

  7. I’m guessing population plays a role. What is the population of black women in Korea that actually have the interest and time to do such things? I have friends in Korea that don’t have much of an interest in K-pop or being on TV, let alone being in a music video. They work full-time and/or are living in cities that aren’t populated with TV stations anyway. I think you probably need to have an agent or a certain level of Korean to do the work to compared to just a quick appearance on a variety show. For variety shows, if it’s like Japan, they probably find people by walking around large cities with a TV camera and run up to any foreign person they see, and I’m sure the population of white women is much larger there. I’m sure race does play a role in it as well because the majority of Asia has their heads far up the asses of white people, but you can’t learn much about people you don’t have enough access to.

  8. This is one of the major issues I have with K Pop and the Korean Entertainment industry in general. Its offensive on certain levels because I feel that if I take the time to embrace and learn about a culture, then why can’t they? I mean, for all intents and purposes they’re emulating black culture… music, style, dance, and slang. And yes, as a black woman I get irritated when I do not glimpse any representation in music videos. Especially with the amount of black fans they have.

    I can’t even begin to fathom how YoonMirae deals with it on a personal level.

    • @seli: yes, that is my point…..the music and dance that originated in our culture has been taken and imitated (quite well I might add) by Kpop artists, but any respect and love for our culture beyond that seems non-existent. Actually, I felt the same way about white boybands like Nsync and BSB, but I loved them so much that it didn’t consume me. But I think with Kpop it hurts even more…they are a minority and have had really tought struggles as a minority, so it seems they would see things differently and would understand..

  9. I agree with most of the other posts. There are a few black people living and working in Korea and from what I’ve seen on youtube, they, especially the black women, say that they get stared at because they are not the norm there. So I know that many Koreans that live in Korea haven’t been exposed to people of color. HAving said that, the fact that Kpop groups don’t have women of color in their videos…I’d like to believe it has more to do with there not being a lot of women for them to choose from. I’d like to believe that their companies are more in charge of video concepts then the actual idol themself. It’s a shame that women of color aren’t shown at all in videos that you know should have them (ie GD &TOPs Knockout, you know at least one of those bunnies should have been black). I hope I’m around long enough to see it change but honestly I’m not that optimistic about it.

    • @Sara, I would imagine that there are more black women living in Korea than most are aware of. I’ve known lots of black women who have studied abroad or taught English in Japan and Korea…myself included!!

  10. @BOB81,

    You are also right, when you say that “portions” of our culture are “served” up and discarded. Exactly, this is why I don’t buy into the they don’t see Black people, therefore they don’t know we have beautiful girls too….bs! Korean culture knows enough about Black culture to know our music is damned good….good enough to mimic and fashion it to their culture true enough. I would argue that if you know enough to Seek Out good music from Black culture, well somebody would have to have Learned about that culture from somewhere at some point in time, First. That’s before they even knew there was good music there to be had (mimicked). So they Know Black culture. I agree with KrisE on the point she makes that they’re specifically marketing to their still homogeneous culture, so Black girls probably won’t be seen as love interests in their videos. However as the K-Pop music continues to grow and spread and reach wider audiences (American in particular) I wonder how the dynamic will change? Because it will change, unless they stay in Asia.

    • @BiAlamode: that’s right…since Kpop hasn’t officially tried to conquer the Western market, we can’t blame them too much at this point. But if and when they do, there should be no excuse then!

  11. I agree with your post and the other opinions. I do hope that one day the media will show the beauty of black women more. I’m tired of us being the token, the booty shaker, the f**k partner, and the materialistic rapper’s girl. I know there are some classy views of us but unfortunately the bad images are stealing the classy beautiful black women’s thunder. I’m keeping hope though that we’ll appear more as the main girl in Kpop vids thanks to Monsieur Nov’s vid Trop Fresh. If you haven’t heard of him check him out. He’s not Kpop. He’s more neo-soul and he speaks french.

    • @Burg,

      Wow. High five on the introduction to Monsieur Nov and I Loved that video. He had another video with a Black girl too. Yeah, hopefully K-Pop can take a page from his book regarding Black women being love interests in their videos. That was one Sexy video!……Smiles…………

    • @Burg, I also THANK YOU for the introduction to Monsier Nov, i just checked out his stuff and WHOOOOOOOOO! What a way to potray the Black woman, Sexy, beautiful and classy, all in one!!!!

  12. I seriously think everyone is going over board here. Yes they are inspired by music that represents black culture, they are also inspired by Rock and other genres of music. I dont feel its right to say because they are inspired they need to toss the black chick in the main role. KPOP is not created or marketed for us its KOREAN.Its marketed to Koreans and other Asian markets.
    When they hit American hard then you will see the use of other women outside the Asian race in order to identify and appeal to the U.S market. Just because we all know about them and have found pools of others who do doesnt mean the MAJORITY does.
    Besides I’m more interested in who takes the lead role in real life not a music video BOO YA!

    • @KrisE lol “toss in the black chick”

      I see what you’re saying. And yeah, I’m like you…. I’d like to see some changes but I’m not too concerned who is in the videos. Those are fantasy. It’s who he has at home that really matters.

      • @Choi Min Jung: sooooo true!! Yes, videos and tv etc are all fantasy…so true. I certainly do hope the likelihood of these guys being with black women in real life is more probable than black women’s inclusion in music videos…most definitely…

    • @KrisE: I don’t think anyone here disagrees that Kpop is not marketed to black Americans, but there is still a choice/stand Kpop in general has taken to exclude brown-skinned girls in shows and videos. I don’t want to believe it…but this is the way it seems. Perhaps I wasn’t very clear in my initial post, but I am not implying that we should be the first and foremost woman featured in every Kpop video..I am only asking for EQUALITY. Yes…EQUAL opportunity. We should be included like everyone else…

      • Sure equality I get it and its a good thing but arent we asking too much? I mean change takes time but be realistic. The standard of beauty is to look as white as possible in Korea. Freakin Lee Hyori at one point was really tanned and they werent really feeling it sooooo if I’m gonna look at it from a marketing stand point I’m not going to use the brown skinned girls either regardless of how I personally feel.

      • @KrisE: yes exactly that’s my point!!! These entertainment companies have done their due dilligence in extensive market research into the young Korean and/or Asian person’s mind, and found that, most likely, the majority of Asians still living in Asia probably do not respond positively to dark-skinned people….you totally made my point for me 😉 In a perfect world, YES, everyone should be included. I’m not so naive as to believe that just because I want it and complain about it not happening, it will actually happen any time soon or in my lifetime. But I can still complain about it 🙂

      • You know what though? Last night while I was having a youtube variety binge I was watching Strong Heart with Rain and he was talking about being named one of the most influential people. He said at the dinner he was sitting next to JLO and I found it interesting how of ALL people on that list they were excited he was grouped in with JLO, Beyonce, Pres Obama , Oprah and Diddy. All people of color and that to me was a small sign that change is happening.

      • @KrisE: that is very true…things are definitely alot better than they used to be, and they are improving! I saw that vid of Bi. So yes, change is happening, slow but sure…

  13. I agree with Seli, asian people know all about us, they have seen enough black women because their style of singing, dancing and dressing is mimicked from black culture which means asians sit, watch and study our videos. But like any culture they have to use their own women to please their fans because their fans support them financially. But if asians are going to use nonblack women in their videos then they need to use black women who are, in my opinion, the best looking and can dance the best. As mentioned before, asian musicians do have black fans and should consider having us in their videos.

  14. I agree with krisE in that its slowly changing but mabey not as serious and that everything we see in kdramas aren’t reale. Just like in American sows and any where else, not everything on tv is real. When kpop does go global I’m sure that black women are not going to be the only wondering why there arnt girls that are not Asian. So we won’t. Be the only ones.

  15. Sorry, I didn’t read through all your comments but there is one Black (although half Korean as well) named Tasha (she’s really pretty, btw) and she’s a rapper!! I heard from a friend of mine that the industry wouldn’t let her come out as bi-racial when she first started. Now she has a super cute kid with this other Korean rapper. And holy crap are they cute together. But yeaaaaaaaa. What about Telisu?? Isn’t she gonna debut in Korea?? Or has she??

  16. Agree with you to the fullest!

    Years ago, My father was talking about his military stint in Korea. he said that while he was ok being there, he would tell me that while both mixed race Black, or mixed race White Korean was considered to be a problem there, the ones that were mixed White got it far better than the black/darker skinned ones. Like you, I didn’t want to believe that to,but it 2011 and it still exists.I mean if they want to be considered to be a “global” country then they will have to do things on a global level..which includes their entertainment. I mean, you don’t see too many Black people on their show.

    It was said that Rain(from the Blasiannarrative) performed a kissing act with on of his former Black dancers and from there, White dancers were added. I have nothing against that,but it’s not fair that you don’t see Black, Latino, Arab or other women of color being in their videos.

    I look at countries like Japan. Yes, there may be a lot of Japanese who believes in homogeneity,but when it comes to business, give those guys credit when it is due, they are good marketers and business people. Even in a communist conservative country like China, they even feature some Blacks on some of their adds and news programs! How come Korea cannot?I read a Korean news article that was talking about this very issue. You will see people like Tasha and Insoomi and other mixed race Black Korean stars in the music industry,but not in their K-dramas or any public shows like that. As a Black person that bugs me.

    Rain was bold enough to act with one of his Black dancers on his show and I think he ” paid” for it. Maybe it ‘s their managers to tell them not to or some of their crazy fangirls..I don’t know,but here is the deal. I do not think that rain would be the man that he is today, if he wouldn’t have dared to do something that may have been unpopular to people. I’m quite sure that it is not popular not having Black people on their sports teams and their news stations in China( remember Lou Jing she was seen on an American idol like show)..but THEY DID IT! If those countries were willing to risk it then what’s up with Korea not doing it?

    They want to be considered to be a cool country,but to exclude others who isn’t Korean and /or lighter skin from their entertainment field is far from being cool. I hate to say it,but I cannot take their entertainment seriously when they do it. It’s no more than racial segregation.Some times we may do things that may not be popular and they should do the same. You will get far ahead taking chances. Some of the greatest entertainers in history have done it. If not, then they will only go as far as they let. Can’t get too far being afraid and/or doing what is “popular” for the people of Korea. That is what being cool and international is all about.

    • @ATLSis,

      *Hand Claps*………Amen!

      It’s been said that Koreans dance for and market to their own and while they “borrow” from our culture, it’s fashioned for theirs and Black female leads shouldn’t really be expected in the videos at this point in time. I TOTALLY get that. Even though it’s annoying and insulting to a degree, quite frankly, to our people as a whole not just Black women. However, I agree with you 100%. Korea is taking a leadership “stance” on a global scale in music. They are the ones pushing K-Pop globally or at least they are make a huge effort in that regard. So, if you intend to keep “pushing” your music globally, then you will inevitably have to “tweak” your musical presentation, in order to Appeal to your New Target market(s) in whatever part of the world you are trying to expand your brand into.

      Rain is a pioneer IMO, paving the trail. In order to pave a trail, you have to lead, take chances like you said ATLSis. Go Where No Man Has Gone Before (any Trekkies out there…..SMILES) I have no doubt he caught hell for doing that dance routine with his Black female dancer at the time (I saw that routine on YT), but at least he wasn’t afraid to do it Knowing how his people would react. You mentioned Insooni. She is accepted Now in Korea as a great talent, but she had a rocky road in the beginning of her career for obvious reasons. I have seen Rain openly and without hesitation acknowledge her at his ADIEU concert and his latest The Best Show concert (bringing her on stage). He didn’t have to do that, but he did. I have Much respect for him for doing that. He knows how his countrymen are about Black and mixed race individuals.

      While I don’t sit waiting for K-Pop singers to put Black women as love interests in their videos, I do feel like you can’t just continue to borrow from a culture and then push them aside as if No contribution was made to your “cause” and then turn around and “re-present” that same musical styling back to some of the very people you got it from in the first place. Considering a Black female as a video lead (at least sometimes) is the Least they could do. (IMHO)

  17. This doesn’t really have anything to do with the topic but someone mentioned Telisu and I wanted to ask, will you do a post on Kpop fan girls? I saw a lot of hate mail come her way and I felt terrible about it. Sometimes I think fan girls go a bit too far.

    • Hi Sara,

      BOAB and I actually have a special segment in the works and on the way that has to do with that subject. Sit tight and stay tuned believeee me you wont be dissapointed ^_^

      K-Kisses! KrisE

  18. I don’t normally post comment here, mostly because someone always says what I want to say. I agree wholeheartedly with what everyone is saying, but there have been a good bit of black people being somewhat represented in Korean media. Granted, you have to look for it. I wish I could go through and find all of the instances to show y’all. There is this amazing Korean show called Dream Team, that has had a good bit of POC on. There was even an episode with an african refugee on the opposing team. Lee Junho, of 2PM fame, once remarked about how he was amazed that both white AND BLACK people enjoyed the show. Another instance happened on U-KISS’s variety show, Chef U-KISS. A cute little black girl and her assorted races of friends all went and ate the restaurant. There was even the small moment at the Idol Star Athletics,where they zoomed in on a black girl, who was in attendance. For last ditch example, in a video for DBSK a rather chocolatey girl was talking to Yunho. So you know… IDK

    • @theprettypinksungmin: hello and welcome! Thanks so much for your comment. I wasn’t aware of the shows that you brought out…I would love to see them. Do you have any links to those?

      • I apologize for the amount of time it took me to respond back. I would be glad to give you the links. Granted, I have to dig for the episodes on Dream Team, as well as, this year’s Idol Star Athletics. ^ ^

  19. I’m so glad I found you all. I am also an African-American female fan of k-pop and k-dramas. (I love Kim Hyun Joong, Bi, and Hyun Bin can’t be beat!) I have many of the same feelings about the absence of the Black female presence. I appreciate hearing your perspectives. I really appreciate the respectful discourse. As many of you have aleady stated in so many words, the Korean culture standard of beauty is biased toward a more European look (this is true with other groups as well). It seems that even within the Korean community, lighter skin is preferred; it is often mentioned in their conversations, interviews, and depicted in the dramas. We women of darker hues may have to be content with our own knowledge of our beauty and our value for affirmation is sparse and not coming anytime soon. Still a fan.

    • @kstamps410: hello and welcome! Thanks for your comment! Yes, I am still a fan too….and I think everyone here can agree. There are things that annoy us about Kpop culture, but we are still fans…its just good to discuss these things…nothing wrong with that at all..

  20. Dani,

    I seen this clip on Blasiannarrative.blogspot.com and the clip was dated 9/15/10


    Again , I agree with you all on this. Like you said at least have a lead in it or have them dancing around them like they do in some their videos. I’m happy to see that Insooni has been recognized by our boy. I’m glad that Tasha is getting her due. It angered me what some of those netizens said about her and her beautiful little boy. You can’t get any lower than that. I also love Tiger . He just told them people to shut up. Man , I wish there were more people like Rain and Tiger to make that move..

    Dark skin/being Black may be considered to be disgusting in their country,but in the international world it’s means something totally different. I think that to to some in the Korean entertainment industry , every Black woman looks and act alike. Some of those Kpop entertainers are supposed to be going to African countries like Senegal and Ethiopia and just like MBLAQ going to Brazil and Peru, I’m hoping that they will get it something positive form it. It would also be nice for them to see some stunningly beautiful women from those countries. I’m not saying that just to be saying it but really, it would be nice if the did. Some of those women look like model material. Those ” global beauties” looked average compared to them. My Senegalese friend showed me his trip of going back to his homeland on his DVD and showed me some music videos of famous Senegalese/Cape Verdean entertainers( also stunningly beautiful) and just the people in general.. Those folks looked good no matter what. I’m just hoping that if they go they( if they havent already), they will see that beauty doesn’t mean they always have to be lighter skinned and/or they can be Black people from all over the world.

    It’s funny how netizens/fans complain about their K-pop artists not recognized in the states because of who they are. Now aint that just calling the kettle Black? Racism is wrong no matter who does it,but at least in the states, you do see Blacks on TV. They want to see their favorite kpop stars on TV,but with all of that segregation on Korean TV, they will not have a chance. Why? It’s not the real world, secondly , someone will eventually notice the exclusion of Blacks , which will be seen as racist..I wouldn’t want to support that. We’ve already seen what happened to racists who think they can get away with that..

    Maybe it’s the management who was up to this, I don’t know, but if they want their k pop crew to be more international, their exclusion of people isn’t going to fly..I was thinking about a past Idol Army clip( I could be wrong about it) that I seen . There was one of their famous K-pop groups on the show. One of the questions that the Mc asked the singers was what kind of girls they liked. One of them told the MC about his “his” woman…a Korean woman in the audience. She was a bronze complexion. I could be wrong,but I think that she may have been Blasian or a half-Korean. I’m not going to lie, it surprised me. It was a bold move on his part and they camera was straight on her. It just goes to show that maybe some of those guys may be into Black and other women of color.

    I really would like to see Korea get on top and they are almost there,but that colorism/racism will kill them if they aren’t careful. They have to live in the real world A former international coordinator for a international club at my former school once told me something interesting about true diversity. She said that true diversity should be inclusive to everybody,but if you include everybody and purposely leave out one or more cultures then it’s not diversity. That is how I see the K-pop industry. They may call those young women “global beauties”,but it’s not truly global.They left Black people out from that mix. For me, that is just unacceptable.

    If you ask some netizens who they give Rains popularity to they would probably say Stephen Colbert. Yes, it helps to get noticed on a show like his,but they need to be honest, most of that support came from international fans and Black his Black women fans. I have a strange feeling if this movie was made solely in Korea, Rain would be as famous as he is in Korea. Some of them just don’t get it. They really need to take cues from him or they can kiss their wanting to look like a hip country down the toilet.

    • ATLSis says,
      “It’s funny how netizens/fans complain about their K-pop artists not recognized in the states because of who they are. Now aint that just calling the kettle Black?”

      Exactly. You know I have to believe (or at least I hope) that as K-Pop singers keep pushing to become more globally recognized, they will come to really SEE just how Exclusive their country really is. I also hope they will SEE your point that they will never reach their goals of truly becoming global entertainers UNTIL and UNLESS they Do recognize theirs is not the only beauty ideal in the world. Bottom line, there are brown/tan people All Over the world and until artists from Asian countries truly recognize that we brown people are apart of this world and our dollars are just as Green as the next person’s then they may as well stay in Asia and call it a day.

      Through his travels Rain recognized this, but more importantly I think Rain has a “hunger” to want to branch out from just being in Korea in a way more so than the other K-Pop singers. He saw early on that in order to get where he needs to go in his career he Must Embrace others, specifically Black people (at least musically) in order to do that. It’s been said one of his vocal coaches is Black. Also, in looking at many of his videos, etc. on YT I came across one that was him in Los Angeles working on his dance routine to the Rainism video. While the dance steps were choreographed by Rain, a Black Brotha (sho nuff) helped him perfect the routine. He was being interviewed by a Korean show during this time period, Rain went on to say that he has worked with this man many times and the two have become friends. See Bi GETS it, you can’t truly do all this Black song styling and dancing Without going to The SOURCE to get some true Authentication. REAL TALK. This is why Bi’s career is going to be even bigger when he gets out of MS. When the other K-Pop singers truly begin to recognize that you can’t completely push aside the SOURCE of your wares, but instead they must Embrace the Source. That is when and only when we will see a change in personnel in their video presentations.

      • You are correct, and that’s why I think 2NE1 , Big Bang, and Jay Park , just like BI will succeed further here in the states than other KPOP artists!! These particular artists continually recognize and acknowledge in interviews and thru their songs Black artists. GD continually acknowledges the Wu Tang Klan, and When I saw Taeyang singing with Brian Mcnight, I knew I loved me some Big Bang.. 2NE1 is working with WI LL I AM and Minzy loves Usher and Bom loves JAY Z.. Teddy Riley wrote one of Jay Parks songs, Worked with Snoop Dog, TPain,and one of my all time favorite Musiq Soulchild, and he is going on a world tour with B2K!!!

  21. Actually I remember a clip of Onew of Shinee on the KBS global beauties show/Misuda. They asked which one of the girls he noticed/caught his eye and he chose an African girl on the show.

    I had saved the vid and since it’s not on youtube, I uploaded it

  22. “KrisE said:

    Onew Condition!!! That was so cute! See this is why the artists with the 4D personalities are the best because they come right out and say whatever they want”.

    And this is why I love Onew but it really doesn’t surprise me that he picked the black Noona as the one he was the most attracted to. I’ve always had my suspicions about him being attracted to women of color, so yeah, not a surprise :).

  23. Dani,

    I didn’t know this about Mr.Onew… What a sweetheart! I can’t wait for the day where one of them will say that there is their first love… yeah right..soon as their contracts expire in the next 5-10 years.( shame how they aren’t permitted to have girlfriends) Initially, I thought that this was the clip of the Blasian Korean girl,but it’s another( still trying to find it) one. Very encouraging I must say.

    Honestly. I’m not expecting Korea to be the US, England or Canada since it’s a predominately Asian country,but it’s showing non-Koreans/Asians sensitivity and respect. Korea has an increasing multicultural/racial expat community. as long as you have these people, they should be more sensitive to them.It doesn’t mean they they will lose their identity and/or culture.

  24. Proper presentation in any form, music videos, commercials, etc. would be nice. I remember watching IRIS and noticing that the only time I saw any black people it was these 2 huge black guys and they were henchman that didn’t say anything. Suffice to say their were other nationalities represented in the henchman group, but it would’ve been nice to just see one walking down the street or in a restaurant. I don’t mind the splatter, because that is how it might have to start. Other nationalities shown doing every day stuff and then maybe they can move them to the front.

  25. BOAB,

    I love this blog, I always enjoy reading your posts and your views on the subjects you write about. This one especially hit home for me, I am bi-racial (black father-white mother) and am currently in an interracial marriage. Although we do not have any children of our own, my husband and I have been involved in hosting foreign exchange students for the past few years. Our current student is from Hong Kong, although he is more interested in j-pop than k-pop, I still make sure he gets a healthy dose of it thanks to our previous exchange student from Taiwan who introduced me to it. Funny enough he refuses to claim any responsibility for introducing me to Rain 😉 I have found that k-pop has become a great catalyst for discussing race discrimination and racial tolerance with our exchange students. We can only hope that it not only initiates a change in their point of view, but also in that of their friends and family too.

    As for the issues with the k-pop industry I really believe that the idols don’t have much of a say as to how they are portrayed or who they are portrayed with. However, I agree with a previous comment that at this time they are marketed to other Asians and until that changes I don’t think we are going to see a black or bi-racial woman as a love interest. But remember takes a very strong person to deal with the prejudices of this world and that’s why we love Rain so much because he doesn’t shy away from it which is what makes him a great role model, not only for the youth, but for everyone, including those in the k-pop industry. The changes we are looking for will come eventually, no doubt it will be a long and frustrating road, but we will get there and with the like of Rain on our side, honestly how can we fail.

  26. Okay I have to jump in!

    Right now I live in Korea so I feel like I have a better understanding (than I did when I lived in America) of the under representation of black woman in Kpop.

    1) When kpop companies want to show a foreign beauty they usually just emulate what the American media is doing/showing. Look at ur TV’s in America. Who’s all over the screen right now? White people. So that’s number one. They feel like “hey America has this kind of look of people as their ideal beauties so lets immulate that.”

    2) Koreans think all foreigners are beautiful. Especially because of our eyes. No matter what the skin color. I have been told I’m beautiful, have a small face, big eyes ect many times being out here. If a woman is attractive they will get noticed. Any man with eyes is going to be attracted to a sexy woman no matter if shes a foreigner or not.

    3) Exposure: I have not ran into many blacks out here at all. Neither many young white woman. The expats are usually older white men and woman. The young folks usually are foreign exchange students. Ive gotten a few times that people were surprised I was teaching with me only being 23. SO with that being said there arent a lot of black woman out here for them to see. If we continue to increase our exposure out here we WILL DEFINITELY GET NOTICED. We just have to represent ourselves even if the media is not.

    A second part of exposure is when a producer or such is looking for a lead girl for a kpop video its usually only white woman that are refered because no one knows of any black woman interested. I say this because Craigslist frequently has listings for a “black female or male” for a kpop video and such. I feel if a sista got out there in the publics eye, more opportunites and attention would be brought to black woman as a whole. (And trust me I have wanted to reply to those listings but its usually on a weekday in seoul and I live 3 hours away and can only do weekends.) But im trying!

    4) Really most Korean men at the moment are only attracted to Korean women because thats all they know. The “aegyo” “oppa” cute thing is huge out here. Showing their legs is the #1 way to get a man out here (ima try it this weekend in seoul and see how it goes lol) Now internationally attracting the opposite sex as a woman is all about being sexy not cute and adorable. Its just a major culture difference.

    Also I dont know if anyones seen the videos of Telisu and Junsu at the JYJ US concerts. He OBVIOUSLY was feeling her (and they might have even slept together hmmm) anywho so it shows that the Korean men are/can be attracted to black women. We just have to get out there and get notice. REally they only black sexy woman they know of is Beyonce. Thats it.

    Just trust me: In a few years we will be exposed and kpop will see our beauty.

    • @pinkfashionninja: hello and welcome! Thanks so much for your comments! Its really good to hear this from a sista living in South Korea 🙂 One thing is for sure; a beautiful woman attracts me no matter what her color. When I was in Japan I had no problem attracting men…I was actually pretty surprised. Didn’t know that they had a “leg” thing….but I will take note if I ever get to visit South Korea in the future! I am hoping that you will be able to answer one those Craigslist ads and show up in a Kpop video alongside Taeyang or even a Bi (although I will be just a TAD jealous) 😉 But thanks sooooo much for your comments! They are very refreshing and I’m sure the other ladies here will really appreciate them! ^^

      • Thank you so much and hello to you!

        Yes the leg thing I just recently realized while living here. I visit seoul every weekend and I’m really into fashion so I’ve been observing the “Seoul girl” look and what exactly is it that attracts Korean men to a woman. It’s DEFINITELY legs legs legs legs legs. No matter how tall or short. I walked to the downtown area where I live (i live 3 hours from seoul) and it was probably 45 degrees outside and chicks had on a pair of tights hot shorts and heels. OR no tights and hot shorts. Korean men seem to love to look at legs.

        I mean just look at Girls Generation or any other kpop girl group. Legs for days. (So Im going to experiment with it this weekend when I go to Incheon and Lotte World. They better watch out to because a Sista in tights and shorts is a whole notha site to see lololol) I’ve been asked by too many ppl out here if I have a Korean boyfriend yet or if Id like mixed babies n blah blah blah so I’m going to put the “legs” thing to the test and report back with my findings. lol Because Korean winters can get pretty cold and lonely. 😉

        I also run my blog http://pinkfashionninja.blogspot.com/ where I write about my experiences here in Korea. Its always an adventure lol

        And YES Oh Lord if I had the chance to be in Bi’s video, there would be NO WAY I’d be leaving that set without a phone number and date for the next day and day after that lol. My mama always told me ya gota go after what ya cha want so I must start now!

        But you know now that I think about it, I feel Taeyang would definitely be a Korean Idol who would have no problem putting a sista as a lead in his video. It wouldn’t surprise me from him one bit. He’s got that swag….

      • @pinkfashionninja: thanks for giving your blog info…I will check it out pronto! About the legs thing…I’ve noticed in several K-dramas the lead women always wear crazy short skirts/hotpants with stiletto heels! So you’re right! It is a “Seoul Girl” thing!

    • @pinkfashionninja

      Thank you so much for your comments and insights on this.

      Even though I’m African-American, I’m not offended by the lack of representation of black women in K-Pop videos because I figured there were reasons for this happening, much of which have to do with money and what sells. Just because the video directors and record companies stick white girls in the videos, that doesn’t necessarily reflect the feelings or views of the the K-pop artists in those videos. They’re just doing their jobs. And I’m not surprised at all that Korean men would be attracted to black women. Knowing that we exists through the media and social media is one thing but having the opportunity to actually have physical access to us is another thing. I’m sure quite a few Korean guys would love to have those opportunities.

      This makes a lot more sense now. Thanks again!

      • @Choi Min Jung: if anything, its really important to talk about these sorts of things. I really appreciate everyone’s different perspectives…and I hope that assumptions are false and unfounded. I truly do!

    • Thanks, You also gave me a new song and video to love!! LOL// I saw two main women and some background fillers, and they looked like they were having a good time!!

    • This is the one I was talking about I think. See I got this cheap DVD in Chinatown, with a bunch of DBSK videos on it. This video was on it, but the song playing was Yunho’s Honey Funny Bunny. I asked my Cassie friend, but she didn’t help me find it. THANK YOU SO MUCH, @bitofabelly81

  27. I feel like this, if the Korea mainstream media is exluding black women from their videos, fine. Don’t spend one red cent supporting them. Besides, you can watch Korean Drama and watch their videos on the internet for free, so there you go. I also like some Jrock, so check out my man Atasushi from Buck Tick with a black woman in the front. And yes, she’s all the way black!

  28. I completely agree with this article. I’ve wondered this as well and its unfortunate that other races view Black women negatively. Society has stereotyped us as sexual, thick, ghetto, hoe-ish, multiple babies w/ different “baby daddy”, welfare holding tramps. That IS NOT ME nor is it the characteristics of my friends! Its sad! I wish the Asian culture would embrace black women more b/c I find there cuLture intriguing.

    • @BiFan: hello and welcome! yeah, we are constantly trying to understand, but the most important thing is discussing these issues…it is the first step to making change. Thanks so much for your comment!

  29. I can’t believe I missed this article. I still haven’t read everything yet. Choosey lover is my fave song by TVXQ its what ultimately made me a fan. It doesn’t bother me to not see black females within their entertainment because to be quite honest, hollyweird (hollywood) hasn’t fully recognized people of color like they should. So until America can get it together, other countries will continue to do their own thing.

    • Drea,

      “Hollyweird”? lol

      That’s a good point about countries doing their own thing. I’m with you, I’m not bothered by any of this either and I really never thought twice about this subject until it was brought to my attention. I guess I was too busy listening to the music.

  30. well, it bothers me…imho, just because they can and are doing it (over here and over there) does not mean it should be that way and not matter to anyone else…

    i’m hoping things will change…in the meantime, i’m not ready to trash my kpop/kceleb collection…

  31. The commentary is interesting. TBH I don’t know how long K-Pop will last. Idk I don’t see it being like 30 years from now still around at least in the form it is now. (If it goes global its a different story) So I’m not sure black women will ever get exposure in K-Pop. Also black women’s bodies have been hypersexualized and demonized. Hence the whole Telisu issue, she was suddenly deemed a threat even though black women are thought to be undesirable.

  32. It’s at part 7:59. This is very recent clip from Let’s Go Dream Team. This is the whole reason I love this show. Well, that and the eye candy that roams through every now and then.

    This clip is courtesy of boosaysharingiscaring.com

  33. Ollie,

    Much as it would be for Korea to shine to world, at least for the time being, I don’t see them or Kpop lasting for many years.Other than places like England, Canada, the states and obviously with Africa and the Caribbean, you’re not going to see a lot of Black people and/or darker skinned people on world TV and Korea isn’t that much different from those countries.

    I get that Korea and many parts of Asia are homogeneous countries,but I struggle that Black women are not included in their music /drama as lets say, a lighter skinned and/or White person. If Korea is supposed a homogenous country, why are non-Blacks are more featured in these programs. Yes, lighter skin may be the thing there,but still 100 percent is 100 percent. I would have nothing but 100 percent Korean born and bred women in those videos. I mean, as I’ve mentioned before, I have seen lots of TV from around the world and if you look at many of them, they do not feature us on them and if they do, were put in stereoptypical positions.

    I share and I understand the pain. We’re good enough for people to use our music, style ,sex,but where not good enough to be respected as Black people and as human beings. Here is another thing I find sooo funny when it comes to us. Lately, the topic of Black face have been popping up on various sites. Ok, the world are accepting of hurting us with that derogatory piece of crap, yet they struggle to put a real Black person on their programs… What’s up with that?!’m not expecting for Korea to be us. It’s their culture and I sure wouldn’t want for them to feel that something is wrong with it,but I would like to be respected.It’s ironic, Japan is a homogeneous country and they believe in pure blood, yet they are truly international and they have more Blacks in their entertainment industry. I’m quite sure some Japanese who may have opposed it ..and still do as of this day,but they did it.

    Sometimes I listen to Kpop. I’ve actually wondered should I stop supporting the industry? I can’t fault the entertainers for this,but I’m not a person who would want to support racism and that is what this is.Maybe the management is afraid of their fans or they could agree with it..I don’t know,but I say this: They need to step up their game like their most famous actor have. No it will not be easy,but if they want to be global they must do things that are..and one of them to make their country seems inclusive to everybody,not just a few people.

    There was a tourism commercial about China. It not only discussed about the culture of their country,but the commercial contained a diverse range of potential ” tourists” that contained Black faces in it.Do I buy into China’s diversity? Yes and no. Yes I know that lots of Black people live there,but I do not feel that the country is as open minded in comparison to Korea. If you’re trying to bring in the money, you’re going to do what you can to bring in the people, which is what China did with their advertisements as well as their government opening the doors to African students( in the old days) It seems to be working for them for the last god knows how many years.This is why China probably have more Black people living there more than Korea.

    A couple of minutes ago, I was listening to a program about how a guy took a gamble quitting his old job( That was before the economy went south) for his new one and how it was much better than his old one( he’s now retired). When I was listening about this guy, I thought about Rain.Thanks to Rain, Korea has been uplifted to whole new level. I admire him for taking chances. I’m quite sure he knew how some people may not have liked him playing a movie with a Black woman,but he took that chance and because he have opened the doors to new bigger possibilities for himself and his people. I think that some of those netizens take this for granted.I will support Rain no matter what,but my biggest fears about this is as you said, if their racism( along with other craziness)continues , Kpop as we know it will surely die.

  34. Pingback: [M/V] Jay Park – Know Your Name | Black Women Love 비

  35. Pingback: [M/V] Jay Park – Know Your Name

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