K-Pop idols have a number of stereotypes that each artist face when navigating through their career. Of these stereotypes, idols are often times generalized based on how they look, what position they hold in the group, or based on their talent and ability. Most of the time, idols are far more dimensional than how they are presented to us by their labels, so here are 10 idol stereotypes that get on our nerves:
10. The leader is the oldest.
Though this is one way for companies to choose the leader, there are also a number of other ways and permutations in which the leader is selected. A good example is BTS RM who is actually in the middle of the age range of the group rather than the oldest. Sometimes leaders are chosen depending on seniority or ability rather than age.
9. The rapper can't sing.
Oftentimes rappers do possess the ability to sing but are multi-talented enough to take on a position that doesn't just include singing. A great example of this is EXO Chanyeol, who began his career primarily rapping, but started doing guitar covers on SoundCloud to showcase his vocal ability.
8. There is only one visual.
Most of the time there is at least one ulzzang in the group that just blows the cap off the gauge for good looks, but it's a commonly assumed mistake that there is only one visual in a group at a time. In fact, many fans would argue that entire groups function as visuals sometimes!
7. K-Pop is entirely manufactured.
When K-Pop was at its bubblegum prime, this statement was likely to be truer, but nowadays many artists have the ability to take part in their songwriting process and even lend out the musical ability to other creative projects outside of their own. A great example is BTS Yoongi taking part in Epik High's latest album.
6. The girl with the short hair is the rapper.
Many assume that the girl who is less feminine or more butch is the rapper of the group, however, this is very much a sweeping generalization of girl groups. Yes, in some cases, we do have the short-haired female as the rapper (Amber in f(x)), but in others, we see that the long-haired beauty can function as the rapper too! Bora from SISTAR and Irene from Red Velvet are both great examples of beauties that serve as feminine, but powerful rappers.
5. K-Pop has no business in international markets.
K-Pop has proven many critics and non-believers wrong over the course of the last few years by showing that it's meteoric rise is not to be questioned. In fact, K-Pop has had a phenomenally humongous year with groups like BTS, IKON, MONSTA X, BLACKPINK, and more garner international recognition.
4. Bigger Sales = Better Music.
This isn't always true! Music is subjective and K-Pop releases are no different. In fact, bigger sales do not always amount to a better album but are instead indicative of a better marketing strategy. Most of the highly successful and high-charting albums are a result of hard work from the label and the fans.
3. The boys look like girls.
This is, unfortunately, a very common generalization on K-Pop. Because the male idols do wear makeup and at times very ornate outfits to perform in, many criticize them based on how they look. Fans of K-Pop would argue otherwise as they think that the sex appeal and risque shirtlessness would very much negate any effeminate assumptions.
2. MR removed videos prove talent.
There is an assumption that MR removed videos show the true talent behind a group, however with the music instrumentals stripped, this doesn't necessarily showcase the actual vocal ability because certain levels of sound and noise are taken away from the original sound quality and are not heard in the MR removed version.
1. I can only bias one member or group.
Probably the biggest and most painful stereotype of K-Pop is thinking that you can only bias one person or one group at a time. Longtime K-Pop fans can attest to just how easy it is to fall into the hands of another group or member. International fans everywhere have claimed that they are multi-fandom or do have bias wreckers.