I feel like I need to do a follow up post about the whole Hyorin debacle because…I don’t think I was articulate enough the last time. I’ve seen fans who have been battling each other over this, so I know this is a “hot topic”.
I wrote this post in a very bad, stressed and tired mood so a lot of the original post was me basically cursing and shit. But I got a full night’s rest and my life is on the right path again. So let’s give the edited version of all this.
The issue that I am having with Hyorin as of now, is not the hair. Now I am not going to speak for others, but if you roll your ass onto my blog, understand these feelings I am having are very negative, but are not just directed at her hair. The hair is just a part of the problem I am seeing.
That said problem is the fact that Hyorin, who has never once dressed in a fashion outside of casual street wear off stage, and was a glammed up idol on, is now taking a new direction as a rapper. And instead of actually just leaving all well alone, her ENTIRE image has suddenly been dressed up/down to look like a thug. She is giving off the vibe that she is hard as her image as a rapper. Now here is the thing…she did not have to. Everything in those pictures, from her nonverbal cues, to her clothes, and yes her hair is saying something to me. I’m hardcore gangsta rapper. Starship, her stylist, her did not have to take on this image. She is not about no life.
“But it’s a concept”
Yeah and that’s not the best argument to make in this case. I have the biggest issues with a lot of Hip Hop based concept groups because often times they take on this same exact image. They are dark, brooding, dangerous bad boys (Girl groups tend to not deal with this for…well reasons). They wear clothes that are exaggerated and baggy. Street wear reminiscent of the hood of yesteryear. You want to know why they do that? Because they are saying that in order to be a k pop group doing a hip hop based concept, you are going to be edgy and not the norm (Your Shinees, Infinites, B1A4)…no you gonna look like G-Unit circa 2005.That’s transparent to me. They treat a culture as the bad and dangerous, and everyone secretly wants the bad boys (also note that a lot of their songs tend to be loud and aggressive). And that is in fact a tiny bit racist. Because not only are you picking and choosing from a culture that is not even yours…you are saying that this is how we can be edgy and dangerous and bad boys. That this is not the norm.
That is what Hyorin is doing. It doesn’t feel like Hyorin is just embracing hip hop because she wants to. Now she has actually said she would love to do more hip hop and rap flavored music…I will give her that. I love her sense of adventure musically (Even though Starship does their best to suppress just that). But Hyorin has worked with several rappers who never have dressed like this. She has access to so much in terms of resources and this is what we are getting. The way I see it, she isn’t embracing the culture, but is more or less a job that needs to be done and dressing up as this or that because it is a simple stereotype (which has some racist implications).
Hyorin is less of someone that needs to be condemned (however she is absolutely not above criticism), and more of yet another example of how an entire culture and in some ways Black people are viewed and consumed. Over here in the states there was the whole big thing with Kylie Jenner and them ugly ass cornrows (they were terrible). Or how Zendaya’s faux locs were basically compared to weed and patchouli oil (yet somewhere Kylie was lauded for her locs). I know for a lot of y’all that ain’t from over here don’t understand why this leaves us feeling a way. For us to be condemned for these styles (being called ghetto and hood) only for it to become fashionable in the presence of whiteness (ghetto=urban) is a lot to us.
But I’m not here to give a lesson on racism and how it can actually be more than just calling me slurs, lynching, *apparent* segregation. Y’all obviously don’t care.
Now yes, Hyorin, a young woman from South Korea, has no ties to the Western ideals and the implications can get hazy. However that does not excuse shit. They get their visuals from somewhere. That look didn’t just pop up (no this is not where you get to sit there and try to shift blame onto the west, that’s not the point of this…keep going). They have no obvious ties to that aspect of a culture, yet and still they are consuming it and fashioning themselves after it so they can make a statement/profit.
Now do I think Hyorin is racist? No. Do I think she is the problem? Not really. That’s way too simple logic. It also completely ignores that this is a larger problem in seated in racism (there’s that word y’all don’t like hearing unless convenient or apparent). She is more or less yet another example of how they (media of any form) will simplify aspects of a culture (in this case hip hop) for mass consumption and profit.
I love her to death, but I can’t stand by this.
This look was very much thought out. It takes well over a a good minute to braid hair like that. They didn’t just stumble onto this look. It was thought out for mass consumption because they don’t believe Hyorin was hip hop enough. Instead of just letting her be, they turned her into a caricature as if it was just another “strange” concept.
And that’s it.