MAMAMOO have, oddly enough, played around with the theme of sexual assault as a concept in their MVs on numerous occasions such as in "Um Oh Ah Yeh" and now with their latest release. While "Um Oh Ah Yeh" may have been a hilarious MV with a plethora of jaw-dropping scenes, it was no better acting out these scenes among the members, such as Hwa Sa getting too touchy feely with Solar and Solar forcing herself onto an unconscious Moon Byul, and it is now horribly romanticized in "Décalcomanie."
Whether it be for humor or not, the display of sexual assault in their music videos, alongside their carefree attitudes regarding it, has become bothersome and will be addressed in this OP:ED.
Being a MAMAMOO fan, I find their music delightful and fun, but I am against scenes such as the one in their MVs above for many reasons.
First off, MAMAMOO's attitude regarding the elevator kiss scene is a bit shocking and offensive. In an interview Solar stated, "I tried a kiss scene in the MV this time. I didn't actually do it but pretended. I was so embarrassed and abashed at it, I was going crazy. I wanted to hide." Seems innocent enough, right? Wrong. What bothered me is her statement about how Eric Nam would react to it: "I have to do it because it's my work, isn't it? I think he'd be able to understand once he sees my bank book."
The fact that she was so quick to mention the money as her motive is another upsetting aspect. If MAMAMOO is such a popular group, which they are nowadays, wouldn't their image be more important to them than the couple hundreds more they can make shooting racy scenes? To put it bluntly, this is the mentality of an adult video star, not an idol.
I cannot stress enough to women, and Solar, that you don't have to do anything you don't want to, especially if it is uncomfortable for you. The fact is, as an idol, Solar has an image and integrity to uphold and by acting out sexual assault she is simply giving in and glorifying this behavior that men have control over women sexually. But after releasing this statement at their 'Memory' album showcase, it appears Solar was all for this obscene vision from the get-go.
During a press conference Solar stated, "Out of the four kiss scenes, three of the members led the kiss. We wondered what it would be like if one kiss scene was different, so I went with a different concept." She even remarked being aware of people "viewing it from a different lens" but was still "proud" of her scene.
The girls may be going for a femme fatale concept but this "mature lady-like" MV doesn't cut it for me. Where is the empowerment and accomplishment of giving into such a lewd act? If MAMAMOO were trying to convey the indulgence of sex and all its silver linings, something similar to Ga In's "Bloom" would have hit the nail on the head - not this.
While some may see a passion or "art" behind her performance, this time around, it was unnerving.
Second, the fact that sexual assault was even considered to be romanticized is insulting. Sexual assault is not a joke or some sort of concept you can try on for size. It is a traumatic experience disturbing enough that MAMAMOO's acting can trigger something for viewers that may have experienced this in their life.
But it isn't simply about victimizing either - this can convince men, or people in general, that it is OK to be forceful because this is what someone wants or expects. This kind of abrupt kiss between Solar and the actor tries to come off as romantic when, in fact, it is not the way to treat someone.
K-Dramas have been portraying the "forceful kiss" scenes for years but does it make it right or any better? Numerous dramas had moments of going way out of line and Solar's elevator scene in "Décalcomanie" is another fine example of just that. What's worse is how the public opinion going around is that the idea of the male actor being "hot" makes it acceptable. This is the exact negative effect MVs and dramas containing scenes like this have on people's minds.
People who found the scene to be OK stated, "The plot fits with that 'forceful kiss,'" "They do that in movies and shows... why can't they do it in music videos," and "A story needs to have its limits?" Fans further suggested it all boils down to Solar simply acting and questioned if she is really influencing people to behave this way?
To some extent, I still say yes, it is. Acting or not, Solar is still willingly romanticizing sexual misconduct. Being forcibly grabbed, turned around, pinned against the wall and forcibly kissed and then giving in to it can possibly lead people to believe that if someone (Solar) seems interested, forcing yourself upon that person is the next step. If a movie is portraying this concept so that you pity the victim or feel emotional turmoil, that is when it is effectively done to tell a story.
The whole scene MAMAMOO created was perturbing and they know it, hence why they deleted it and reuploaded it as the "clean" version. Hopefully, this scene wasn't another petty attempt at media attention. Speaking of media, today's media and entertainment is a bit misconstrued to the point it has desensitized viewers.
This isn't MAMAMOO or Solar's fault completely, no, but they did participate in adding fuel to the fire. As Solar said, she wanted to do something "different" with her kiss scene. Couldn't he charmingly whisper in her ear "Can I kiss you?" or couldn't she be the one to be ambitious and make the first move in a different way from the other three? There is a way to make the scene unique without being radical.
Overall, viewers were disturbed enough that the original MV was taken down and reuploaded as a "clean version" of "Décalcomanie." Did they realize the problem and fix it? Yes. Does it make them any less wrong? No. We do have to remember idols are, to some degree, actors and must play their parts, but Solar did cross a line when she suggested doing this elevator kiss. Hopefully, MAMAMOO will drop their pushy act and start acting like ladies instead of just dressing the part.