edit: I know a lot of you guys are visiting from Twitter, via @TaeminMoments, and this is what I wrote back to her tweet which said that “THIS ARTICLE CRITICIZES HELLO,RIGHT?”– my reply from @mmichlle:
it might seem to you that it is a critique of Hello, but just because I’m a SHINee fangirl doesn’t mean I have to like everything that SHINee does. Moreover, the article deals with more of the kpop industry’s practices about fantasizing men rather than specifically targeted at SHINee. sadly, SHINee is one of the boy groups that is affected by this practice :( personally, I believe if they shed their idol image, they would be much stronger artists instead of a forgettable boy band, and I want them to do the best they can.
So. Suck it. Jonghyun is already taken, so stop being pathetic and eat an eggroll.
I rushed back from Italian so I could change into interview clothes (I got the job!) and then I saw that SHINee’s Hello full music video, so I downloaded it and watched it as I walked downstairs to lunch.
Several things immediately struck me:
- Key and Taemin being blowfish in the opening
- Jonghyun’s random scene with girl blowing bubbles
- The superfluity of peace signs
- Minho wearing an Abercrombie sweater while rapping
- All of the ‘characters’ being bashful and sweet and shy when finally approaching the girl in the end
Let’s face it. SHINee is starting to get old, and cute doesn’t quite work for them anymore, no matter how many girls with bubbles you bring in. Or peace signs you flash. Or how many times you imitate blowfish. Which brings me to another point, why was only Jonghyun graced with such a scene? Maybe it’s because Jonghyun is in need of an image softening, because he’s often seen as the ‘player.’
The reason why I say ‘characters’ is because none of SHINee are like this in real life (Taemin is definitely a player, isn’t it obvious?), they’re figments of imaginations created to sate the fangirl. This is why this music video scares me.
Hello was created for the fangirls who dream about these men approaching them, completely struck with love, bashful. With a ring. A gigantic bear. Sensitive and thoughtful and sweet and shy. Best of all, metrosexual and handsome. The ideal.
At times, I only hesitantly call myself a fangirl because I do not fantasize about them. I just really like their music and their personalities portrayed in the media– I never will be this way:
I will never wish Onew is my boyfriend or Key will propose to me. However, this music video allows for me to easily do that. Because there is no clear girl protagonist in this music video, any fangirl (or fanboy!) can insert themselves into the situation, and continue to elaborate and intensify their fantasies.
This I have a problem with. This is what I’m scared of. The fan culture is already intense, and the Korean entertainment industry chooses to exploit this rather than innovating the music. Though Hello was not a cover, it was not original to SHINee. For every few steps forward that SHINee took for Lucifer— developing their manly image, and staying on the cutting edge of music and fashion– Hello moves them back one, hearkening back to the cute, but novice, Replay days.
Lastly, leopard print and Abercrombie? The stylists really must be stuck in a rut.