Sasaengs, Ulzzangs and Mukbangs? If all these new fangled terms have you culture or generation gapped or – let’s face it: you’re just a sucker for interesting popcultural phenomena, the latest installement of Strange Kpop is just for you!
If you think that the Japanese have a peculiar and intense relationship to cute things and cuteness the Koreans may well have the Japanese beat – If being “gyo”, ie cute has a special place in the hierarchical and confucianistic Korean society, then “aegyo” is the act of being cute. In its hardest to digest form, aegyo is both artificial, a part of the both the age and gender oriented social system and blatantly incentivised by gaining the performing individual something from someone else. For all intents and purposes aegyo has a lot of potential to culture-gap you to the point of being nauseous. Don’t let that deter you though – read on to enjoy all the intricacies of Aegyo!
As an unapologetic fan of Apink the past month of May has been tumultuous. The girl group guilty of hooking me on Kpop have gone through major changes to say the least. And everything that’s been happening connected to the recurring process of resigning contracts with their agency Play M entertainment with a prominent and well known member, for all we know, dropping out.
Mentally I wasn’t on a slippery slope, I was in a free fall only minimally slowed by the near vertical walls of a sinkhole with nothing to grab hold of to slow my fall. The video started with a sprinkling of lounge piano playing with the familiar rasp of vinyl over it. Then the intriguing spoken lines of “I’m so sick of lying, you gotta know that…”
Are the fans going crazy? Constipated from eating a double serving of spicy rice cakes? Are they going to invade the stage and rip the performers to neat but bloody pieces because of some complicated Korean societal infraction? Has “netizens” infiltrated the audience and are preparing to collectively shun the artists?