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The Wondergirls Phenomenon

Jan. 14th, 2009 | 11:18 pm
mood: indescribable

There is a Korean female group whose popularity is currently through the roof. The 5 member singing (if you can call that singing) group consists of 16-20 year old girls who are reliably Korean-star-skinny and whose level of beauty ranges from rather pretty to painfully average. With the exception of maybe one of the five girls, they would definitely not be able to save themselves by singing if their lives depended on it. In fact, trying to sing would surely be the way to seal their fate of untimely death.

Guys drool over them--only over the ones that are of age of course.. or so they say--and girls squeal and bust out ridiculous dance moves from the choreography whenever one of their songs begins to play at Korean karaoke rooms, also known as noraebangs.

This group is tastefully called, 'Wondergirls'.

They sing two of my worst nightmares: Tell Me, and So Hot.

The songs are terrifying, and have the type of indecent repetition that makes me want to pull my hair out and send to them as gifts...  You know the chorus of Rihanna's song, "Umbrella" that goes 'umBRELLA ELLA ELLA ELLA EHHHHH'?  Yea.  Imagine that.  Similarly, the 'Tell Me' song goes, 'TELL~ me, TELL~ me, TE, TE, TE, TE, TE, TELL~ me'.  Fucking annoying.  If you must know what 'tell me' means, basically the girls are singing 'tell me you love me', only in the most horrifyingly annoying and ridiculous way possible.

So.. they're not beautiful, they can't sing for shit, not to mention they sing awful dumb songs, and they are obviously not great dancers.  Then what the hell?  I was so disturbed by their popularity that I decided to bite the bullet and investigate their music videos, articles, photos, press releases, etc.  And now, I have come to terms with it. 

This group has an amazing marketing team or something.  I mean, I can't imagine anyone thinks they are good singers, even if they are singing entertainers by profession.  People just like them, and I think I understand why:

They are not intimidating.
-This is sort of like 'the girl next door' thing.  These girls don't have to be the most beautiful creatures you've ever seen.  They're better looking than average but could just as well be a cute (but very skinny) girl who lives just across the street.  By having them be a little more 'normal' than a lot of Korean celebrities, there is potential for more connection between you the consumer and the 'Wondergirl'.  Hence more likeability.

They are not intimidating.
-Unlike someone like BoA, who always tries to bust out difficult dance moves and is always trying to reinvent and develop choreography and whatnot, these girls can't dance.  They almost dance like overgrown babies, with none of the finesse, power, or technical prowess of someone like BoA.  Again, more likeability, especially since the average person can successfully imitate the choreography.  You can even feel like you're one of them, since you can dance like them!

They are not intimidating.
-Not sure if I already mentioned this... For being singers, they can't sing for shit.  Again, less intimidation.  Less of the celebrity worship, more of the likeability of a friend that knows how to enjoy a karaoke room and that can sing without making you want to cut the power.

They have 'personality'.
-These girls are entertainers by nature.  They've been recruited in their early teens and apparently have been training for several years.  The Korean entertainment industry has no need for people who can't make the audience laugh.  Some of the most famous and well-liked people in the industry are comedians.  These girls are pretty good at making people laugh with their cutesy antics, even in their music videos.  The MVs of these juvenile love songs have very little to do with love and have nonsensical (but humorous) plots.  For example, the 'Tell Me' video has a scene where one of the school girls (a girl from the Wondergirls group of course) suddenly becomes Wondergirl (yes, dressed like the cartoon character; but with a VERY VERY young looking face) and 'beats up' a creepy man in a coat that flaps his coat like wings while flashing girls in the locker room.  Basically most of the music video is about this reappearing Wondergirl.  I don't know about you, but I believe that has nothing to do with the song: a young girl who thinks she is all grown up and falling in love with a guy and wanting the guy to tell her that he loves her.  Humor is key in their other music videos as well.
'Tell Me': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSb2CMurG7A
'Nobody': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMfWyWAtF7k (it's pretty smart, not only did they avoid portraying the subject of the song, they managed to make oblique references to Dreamgirls)
'So Hot': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOavolYnrcU
..Jesus Christ.

And, they are not intimidating.
-Through this type of humor that obviously show that these girls don't take themselves too seriously, they are harmless and far from Korean-celebrity-divine.  They are... adorable.

So there you go.  My theory and conclusion for explaining this phenomenon. 

Make no mistake, I still maintain great disdain for this group and their terrible songs, but I won't judge you for singing and dancing to their songs. 

..Well.. maybe "won't" is not the right word... but I am MUCH more understanding.

Live mincing or incineration is not an option. Sad.

Aug. 22nd, 2008 | 02:16 pm
mood: nauseated nauseated

Reading this article about a convicted psychopathic pedophile and murderer almost made me heave: http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/08/22/duncan.verdict.ap/index.html

It makes me wonder how on earth sickos like this even come to exist.  Terribly disturbing.

(no subject)

May. 15th, 2008 | 08:49 pm

Thank you Keith Olbermann: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-QHebu2_ac

(no subject)

Dec. 22nd, 2007 | 02:18 am
mood: irate irate

FuCK. I spilled some wine on my new keyboard and a few of my keys are starting to fail on me.  I'm just going to order a new one right now.  IT told me the thing may work for about 24 hours, but that any moisture left inside the keyboard will eventually kill it. WHY AM I SUCH A RETARD!!!!!


Taiwan: Women employees work in their undergarments

Nov. 29th, 2007 | 11:50 am
mood: amused amused

I don't know how this does much good in the workplace--except in ways I prefer not to elaborate--but one Taiwanese company asked its female workers to come to work in their underwear.  They also went ahead and created a monthly work-in-your-undies day. 

What's more, over 90% of the female workers actually participated in the undies work day.

Here's a link: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/taiwan-women-asked-to-work-in-their-underwear

Assimilating, still.

Nov. 16th, 2007 | 06:14 pm
mood: okay okay

Until not so long ago, even in college, I had consciously/unconsciously stopped myself from picking up the typical 'American' mannerisms most often found in the average Caucasian..  Talking about the weather, inane small talks of nothing in particular, the intonations of particular types of conversations, etc.  I don't know why, but I seemed to have had a difficult time embracing the American culture with open arms.  And as a consequence there were, I'm sure, people who were turned away from me because not everyone is open to diversity stemming from cultural differences.
But suddenly I somehow find myself showing behavior that I had never thought I would display.  And I'm a bit surprised with myself, for betraying my so-called principles of protecting my cultural heritage without even realizing it.  In other words, I can talk like a white person now at will.  *gasp*