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“Ask the USA”

11 Feb

united-globe

Hello readers, this is Gen Next talking to you straight.

I want to start a new series on this blog called ‘Ask the USA‘. This series will tackle questions about the USA asked by people from outside of the USA, questions coming from Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and on this blog.

What inspired this series? Much of American entertainment and news are available around the world thanks to the internet. The news media and internet have turned American issues into global ones. American topics are beginning to affect people around the globe. Because of that, many foreigners are watching and wondering about some of the things going on in the USA. American issues also affect the responses people of the world get from Americans on social media websites, chat rooms, news websites, and other places that provide an opportunity for comments.

As a result, I’ve heard so many different questions about the USA. I’ve heard some of the same questions about the USA so often, I feel compelled to respond.

It’s natural for people to be curious about other nations, especially if people plan to travel one day. I’m naturally curious about issues going on in other countries as well. With that being said, I think a lot of people around the world would benefit from reading the articles in this series.

People from the USA may find these articles interesting as well. Other Americans may even want to add to these articles in the “comment” section.

I felt the need to write these articles because I’ve been in discussions with people from different countries and they’ve come to me about many things they’ve heard or experienced in the country and online with the citizens.

As a natural-born citizen, an African American woman, an adult working citizen (I pay my taxes), I think I am fully qualified to answer some of the questions people around the world have. I also think I’ve improved on my writing well enough for most people to understand. Hopefully, my humor has improved as well. Forgive me if it hasn’t. XD I’m working on shortening my articles as well.

I planned on starting this series in January, but so much has been going on in my life and in the world, I just couldn’t start this series that soon. Hopefully, I can start the series sometime this month or next month.

If you’re from outside of the USA, and you have questions, you can leave me a comment with your question and I will try to answer it in this series. Of course, the priority questions will be the questions that more than one person asks. Please be patient for all other questions. I will try to get to everyone’s questions.

So far, the topics that have been of interest include:

  • Donald Trump’s presidency
  • Racism and Race relations in the USA
  • Native Americans
  • The Constitution and the Bill of Rights
  • American English versus British English
  • Americans’ Views on Women and Sexualization

These topics are just a starting point.

I am really excited about this series and I hope that I can answer everyone’s questions. Don’t be afraid to ask!

~From Generation Next

 

Are You Getting A “Page Not Found” or “Sorry, No Posts Match Your Criteria” Message?

24 Jan

I regrettably have some bad news for those people who were hoping to read certain articles only to find that some articles are not working. I accidentally deleted a whole slew of interesting articles. And yes, I am sick! All of that hard work, gone down the drain.

I will try to make up for some of the articles, such as the

GOT7 Ideal Types

Which I had just promised two Got7 fans, fadebubble and pearlgem

f(x) Ideal Types and Charms

Unfortunately, I may not be able to write it exactly like I once did. 😦 But I will try my best to make an article that is similar to the ones that I lost.

The others are not replaceable as they were written so long ago, I no longer even have the draft for them.

Yes, this makes maneuvering difficult. I apologize for the let down and I will try to restore whatever I can.

There are still plenty of other articles that may appease your interests. If not, I’m weally, weally, sowy. 😦

-From the Writer, GenerationNext

Got7, The Korean “New Kids On the Block” + Jackson Wang in the Spotlight

16 Jan

got7 3

Last year, f(x) pulled me into the “Hallyu Wave”, the Korean “wave” of interest from countries all over the world. The “wave” introduced many nations to Korean dramas, music, and culture. It’s literally a modern trend. Last year, I found a new obsession with Korean culture.

I was seriously obsessed with that K-pop group, f(x), in the year 2014. I had an f(x) month, an f(x) summer, and too many f(x) articles to count.

Click to find out more about it here: f(x), the Korean “Spice Girls” +Amber Liu in the Spotlight

This year, my latest fascination is with the all-boy band, Got7.

Usually, I dislike boy bands, with a passion. Check my archives-You won’t find me talking too much about boy bands. Don’t we have enough of them in the world? I guess, I don’t hate the boy bands themselves so much as the concept or “idea” behind boy bands. Even though I’m a female, and I like attractive and talented men, I just have a hard time being drawn to the phony “glitz and glam” of boy bands. I just couldn’t believe that men in boy bands hardly had any creative freedom, so I disliked the fact that many were made to be something they weren’t. Those expectations are hard to live up to for imperfect humans. It just always felt like I was being deceived, and it felt that the men were being drained by the constant…well, objectification. And I just didn’t want to be one of those girls who liked boy bands just because of their looks. In my heart, I WANT to see a man for who he is and his abilities. Though, honestly, I’m just always trying too hard to be different. 😛 I would appreciate them more if fan girls didn’t act like maniacs over them. Screaming over them and supporting them is one thing, but death threats when their “idols/favorite celebrities” are dating someone else? Ridiculous.

EXO fans stop supporting member after he dates

I also dislike the fact that boy bands in Korea get so much more attention than girl bands. I want to promote more female acts in Korea, especially the unique female groups.

It’s also hard to find unique boy bands, too. Again, there are too many around the world.

But Got7…I honestly couldn’t ignore them for too long. Got7 celebrated the anniversary of their debut on January 17, 2015 KST, so I thought this would be the perfect time to create an article about this group. So, here goes!

Got7 is a seven-member, multinational group, brought together by the label JYP Entertainment. JYP is known to be one of the more well-known labels. Got7 got much attention for their amazing flips and cartwheels onstage, as well as their handsome individuality, diversity, and strong charisma. As a group, they each work well in a team effort and support one another, giving dynamic impressions on any audience.

Their CEO, Park Jin-Young, also known as J.Y. Park, was the first Asian producer to cross over into America successfully. He did music for Cassie, Will Smith, and even Mase. He was the first Asian song-writer to hit the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. His resume gives the label a good reputation. He is also known to be the more “ethical” boss among all the CEOs in charge of the other Korean labels, as he is often seen showing more concern for his artists. Part of the reason he’s so kind to his artists, and so personal, is because he was once a back-up dancer and in an idol group himself. Park met rough spots during his time as an idol, so he understands his idols in ways other K-pop label CEOs would not.

Just like with f(x), the title of this article was meant to compare Got7 to a popular 1990’s group that was similar called New Kids on the Block. I will tell you, just as I told readers last year when it came to f(x), this comparison is in no way meant to be offensive. New Kids on the Block were one of the few boy groups of the 1990s that I actually liked. Got7 reminds me of them in many ways. I love the fact that they do. The same things I loved about NKOTB are the same things I love about Got7.

New Kids on the Block was an R&B, Pop, and Hip-hop group with an urban style. They were the first Caucasian American boys to be recognized with this image and style, and they were the first to gain fame from it. They were the first Caucasian males designed to have the appeal of “boyfriends” and designed to show their “visual appeal”. Like New Kids on the Block, Got7 exudes that same urban, “boyfriend” charm. New Kids on the Block had a boyishness about them that made them appealing to youth. They were meant to be the “white” version of New Edition. Got7 is also similar to New Edition as well. Got7 presents themselves as “normal city boys”.

It’s also a bit clever to call them the “New Kids on the Block”, don’t you think? 😉 Many of you probably thought this is what I meant when I put it in the title…Got7 just debuted in January 2014, so they are still a “rookie” group. They are sort of the “new kids on the block” in Korea…Honestly, though, they are so talented and natural, they hardly seem like rookies.

Got7 is a group that was designed to convey an urban style. They are known for their Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop genres, just like New Kids on the Block. Their name reflects their members and the “appeal” they want to have with women. Many of their sayings reveal this image. For instance, “instead of having one handsome guy for a boyfriend, she’s ‘got 7’.” Their fan club name is IGOT7.

got7 2

Though the group reminds me of NKOTB, Got7 has quite a few differences that make this group individual and helps them stand out. Some of these differences create challenges that New Kids on the Block never had to deal with.

Got7 has to deal with huge cultural differences. In fact, Got7 has to deal with the cultural boundaries that most groups around the world would never have to deal with…Not even K-pop groups EXO-M and Super Junior-M (because their Chinese groups are distinctly separated from their Korean groups, so they speak the same language among their own peers). f(x) is probably one of the only groups that go through the same thing.

Out of the seven members in Got7, three of the members are from different countries. Between these members, there is an exchange of, at least, SEVEN languages! Two of the seven members can speak a different dialect. Many Asian languages have several dialects that sometimes reflect the unique region they come from within their own country. It’s the same language, just a different style of speaking it. Usually, the words are spoken with a different term, wording, or sound than what is commonly heard in the language.

The seven members in the group are: JB, the leader, from Seoul, South Korea. He is known for his vocals. He and Jr. were originally a part of the JJ Project, a pop duo. Both ended up in Got7. Jr. is also from Seoul, South Korea. He speaks a different Korean dialect. Yugyeom, the “maknae” or youngest member in the group, though he doesn’t look it, is also from Seoul, Korea. He is of high school age. Youngjae, the fun-loving member, is from South Korea and also speaks a different dialect of Korean. He was the last member to join, and only trained for seven months before debut! Mark, Jackson, and Bam Bam are from different countries. Mark is the oldest (though he doesn’t look it) and one of the most handsome members. He was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. He lived in Brazil for two years. He speaks English, Chinese, and Korean. Jackson is one of the oldest, and is considered the “vitamin” of the group. He is from British Hong Kong. He attended an international school, which is why his English is impeccable. He also speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and French! Bam Bam, the cutie who looks like the “maknae”, is from Thailand and speaks Chinese, Thai, some English, and Korean! There really are many languages flowing through this group. This is why they reach a diverse group of fans. Their communicative abilities make them a gem in K-pop.

Jackson

Mark

Bam Bam

Youngjae

@17:20

Jr.

Of course, all of these languages make it hard to be understood. Misunderstandings may have come up all the time. The group has a hard time relating to a Korean audience, as a result. Cultural mannerisms probably clash. Many of the international members suffer from loneliness, as some are far away from their friends and family. Their personalities are different, too, even among members from the same nation.

Still, despite the challenges, Got7 has received significant popularity in less than a year! Last year, they were considered the biggest rookie group to debut according to many polls online. They are probably one of the most successful multinational boy groups in the world. I mean, multinational groups are hard to find, but they are even harder to find among males….

FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD LOVE GOT7:

got7

1) Got7 has a diverse mix of abilities and talents

Got7 has many members who can sing and dance well. JB has amazing vocal abilities, and never misses a chance to use them, on or off stage.  Youngjae plays piano and writes his own songs. In fact, many members have said they like to write their own music. Jackson has expressed interest in producing music. Some of the members also have some awesome rapping abilities. Mark, Jackson, and Bam Bam are known for their rapping abilities.

New Kids on the Block was like this. They were probably the first pop group to have a “rapper”. Each member had a role. Got7 is very similar.

Their most distinct talent is their martial arts contribution. In their performances, Mark and Jackson are in charge of providing the martial arts, but lately JB and Bam Bam have jumped in with the music video “Around the World”. They do cartwheels and back-flips on stage and in MVs flawlessly. This obviously enthuses the crowd and draws new interest in the group. There are no other K-pop boy bands that do this.

2) Got7 can speak so many languages

Again, Got7, as a group, speak over 7 languages. This helps them bring their charm to many fans all over the world. As an English-speaker myself, this is also why I’ve shown interest in the group. They can seriously bring their music to more than one nation, which could expand their popularity. Multilingual abilities are seriously an asset to any business venture.

Kpopstarz Korean news outlet and blogging website made this interesting statement about the group:

“Global fans are able to engage with the group in unique ways because of this.”

http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/148372/20141215/3-reasons-why-got7-deserves-the-hallyu-special-award-at-the-2015-seoul-music-awards.htm

“This” was in regards to the fact that they speak so many languages.

3) Got7 has many experiences, backgrounds, and personality traits

Got7 is very diverse in background as a result of being a multinational group. Many of them have resumes that are inspiring, such as Jackson’s fencing abilities. Because of their individual backgrounds, you can imagine that they have some of the most colorful personalities. Even the Korean members are very diverse in personality and characteristics.

4) Got7 is physically attractive

Let’s face it. Got7 is attractive. The moment I laid my eyes on Mark and Jackson, I recognized that this boy band had some eye-candy that would please the hearts of many fan girls. As much as I hate to objectify anyone, I have eyes, too. After watching Real Got7, I’ve gotten to know the members really well. They definitely know how to entertain a crowd, and this makes them attractive as well.

5) The group has SWAG

There are a lot of K-pop groups that try to exude “swag” or a hip-hop image. But Got7 is one of the few that successfully translates that energy in a charming way on stage. B.A.P. and Big Bang are two other groups that have successfully exuded a significant “swag” factor. However, those other two groups are missing the nice combination of “swag” and “charm”, which helps Got7 relate to those who like both a tough energy and a soft energy.

There really should be a 6th reason. The 6th reason you should love this group is because of member, Jackson Wang. That’s right. I’m about to put Jackson on BLAST.

Jackson Wang IN the SPOTLIGHT

Jackson muscle shirt

All About Jackson

Jackson is the “vitamin” of the Got7 group. He is called the “vitamin” of the group because of his high-spirited energy and “wild and sexy” presentation. He literally brings “health” or “life” to the group. When he’s not around, something seems very strange. In fact, when he’s not around the group, it feels too quiet. Jackson adds the “fun” aspect to the group. Jackson is not afraid to be himself. Jackson shows an “alpha” personality at times, but there are other times he shows a charming, cute, and sweet side to him.

Many have noticed that Jackson shows the most interest in his fellow members. In Season 2 of Real Got7, Jackson won the challenge of showing “secret care” for one of his fellow members frequently during their promotion of the song “A”. Jackson never expected to win, but Jackson was always there when one of his members needed him.

Jackson has a high-pitched laugh that reaches the ends of the room he is laughing in. His laugh is distinct, and his fellow members didn’t hold back from imitating him in Real Got7.

5:00-5:01

Jackson’s boss, J.Y.Park, described Jackson as someone who “tries too hard”, but is “affectionate” and easily “attaches himself to people”. Out of all of his members, Jackson gets the most frustrated when he can’t get something right the first time. Jackson has the hardest time practicing for long hours. J.Y.Park is very hard on Jackson because of it.

all about Jackson

As you can tell, he enjoys dancing, rapping, and beatboxing. Basically, he loves music. He’s also quite athletic, and has an Olympic and Martial Arts fencing background. His mother was a gold medalist at the 1982 World Gymnastics Championships. His father was a former coach in a Hong Kong fencing team. He also once won the Asian games in 1978. So, he comes from a pretty accomplished family.

Jackson has an older brother, who is also athletic. He and his brother won the men’s pair category at the Acrobatic Gymnastics Championship. Jackson was only 9 years old! It’s no wonder he’s such an excellent acrobat.

Jackson mentions that his specialty is “fencing”, and most know him from his Junior Fencing team, though he is also a good gymnast as well.

Jackson was born in British Hong Kong. He attended American International School, which is why he speaks English so well. While in fencing matches, he often had French partners, so he learned some French as well. He’s a pretty “international” guy.

Jackson loves his family and worries about them often since he’s so far away in Korea.

At first his parents did not want Jackson to start training to be an idol. His father cut him a deal. He told Jackson he would only let Jackson go to Korea if he became the best fencer in Asia. Jackson eventually won 1st place at the Asian Junior and Cadet Fencing Championship.

Jackson likes to skateboard and also plays basketball.

He also likes animals.

got7 jackson and dog

Got7 is still new, so we may learn more about Jackson in the future.

 Jackson, A K-pop Star

Jackson is a normal guy usually, but he is a K-pop star, too. As a K-pop star, as was mentioned before, Jackson presents himself as “Wild and Sexy”.

Jackson wild and sexy

Jackson lives up to this presentation. He is known as the loud, competitive one. He has an extroverted personality, and brings a lot of boyish charm to Got7. And it’s pretty evident he has most of the “swag”.

Jackson presents himself as an “alpha male” type, but he has a sensitive side that makes him appealing.

The guy is absolute scrumptiousness. You can’t deny it. I’m about to Jacksify you:

Jackson bites lip

Jackson flexing

portrait of Jackson

Someone is talented!

Jackson in redJackson in marine hoodieJackson kisses the cameraJackson cute peace signJackson posingFans-and-netizens-are-amazed-at-GOT7-Jacksons-WangJackson with glassessophisticated jacksonstage performance

Scrumptious, doe. It’s hard to deny this man’s sex appeal. He surely lives up to his label.

But just how “wild and sexy” is Jackson?

Looking at many videos with Jackson, he seems to love attention. This gives him the “wild” streak we know and love. Jackson is not afraid to “strut his stuff”, so that makes him sexy as well.

Watching Jackson, you probably wouldn’t be able to see him as anything but confident. But fans know better. Fans who have been following Jackson’s work can see right through his actions.

Actually, Jackson is also known by fans as sensitive and a bit shy, especially when he’s around a girl he likes and respects. Jackson has stated that he likes “healthy, athletic girls, with a tan and charm”. When Jackson was around Ga Yeon in the Korean reality show Roomate, a girl who fit his ideal, he revealed another side to himself. He was very nervous, shy, and extremely polite.

Then, there are those other times when he gets competitive around a girl that he likes. He has mentioned that one of the girls he is most close to is Amber Liu from f(x). He showed an intensified competitive spirit on We Got Married Global when Amber was posed with a question that made her choose between him and fellow members Bam Bam and Mark. And even when Amber rejected him, he continued to fight to win!

We Got Married Global: Bam Bam or Jackson?

Jackson also shows himself to be very protective and nurturing.

Jackson is generally known to be competitive. I would say he likes to challenge himself. He is always “involved” and tries to put his heart into everything he does. He is enthusiastic and colorful.

But Jackson isn’t the bravest member, though many would be shocked to know it. Aside from Jackson being completely terrified around his favorite female idol, he also showed slight fear of an amusement park ride in Real Got7 Season 2.

Jackson really has many layers to him, which is why he grabs so much interest from K-poppers. He’s really not afraid to be himself, and is often being bluntly honest to a fault. But there are many things in him that he probably doesn’t notice. If one looks hard enough, they could find those hidden gems in Jackson.

Jackson’s Talents

It’s time to get to the main deal. After all, he is an artist. Jackson has many talents, both well-known and hidden, even from himself.

Jackson is the rapper of the group. He likes the rap group G-Unit and Dr. Dre. Rap is one of his favorite genres, and it’s the genre he is most comfortable with.

But Jackson is also a pretty good singer, even if he doesn’t feel as confident with singing as he does rapping. He once sang a lullaby to JB, and it was really nice. According to his boss, J.Y.Park, Jackson is very good at breathing even though he has not trained his voice to sing just yet. Perhaps, in the future, he will get more moments to sing.

Jackson is also good at beatboxing. He did say it was one of his hobbies, so I’m sure he practices all the time. He’s really good at it.

And it’s pretty obvious Jackson is an excellent dancer. Jackson adds martial arts to his dancing abilities, making his dance routines even more powerful. Jackson also gives facial expressions when he dances, adding character to every performance. He is a very charismatic performer, both in a group and solo.

Jackson may not be aware of this talent, but Jackson is a good television personality and excellent with comic timing. This is probably why he is a favorite among fans and why he won the Newcomer of the Year award.

Jackson’s Personal Challenges

Jackson may seem all smiles and confidence, but as an international star, there will always be challenges in a foreign nation. Jackson is far away from family and friends. His mannerisms are different, and often times it clashes with the more reserve mannerisms of Korea. Jackson just doesn’t fit that small box.

Jackson Misses His Family

Jackson has been away from his family ever since he began training. Even though he and his group debuted in 2014, he’d been training with JYP years before his debut. Jackson left everything he knew and loved in order to become a K-pop star. He sacrificed a lot, even if he didn’t initially realize the sacrifices he would have to make at the time he decided to train.

I know. Many people will say, “But he chose to be an idol. He’s sad but he made the choice”. Many people get jobs that are not in their own countries, especially when the opportunities are lower in your area. Sometimes, people have to travel for work. It doesn’t mean he won’t miss his family.

Jackson showed how much he missed his family on an episode of Roommate. J.Y.Park, his boss, surprised Jackson with the best Christmas present ever: Jackson’s parents. He arranged for Jackson’s parents to fly all the way from Hong Kong, just so they could spend Christmas with their son. (Talk about a kind boss!) The scene was quite emotional.

Jackson is often worried about his mom. His father often works overseas which leaves his mother at home alone and lonely. This is Jackson’s sensitive spot and one of his greatest challenges.

I think he is pretty strong to leave his old life to start a whole new one in Korea. Could I have done it? Probably not…Unless I could bring my loved ones with me. He has to be strong in order to deal with a different culture and language.

Controversy

Yep, a bold and flamboyant man like him won’t always come across easy to deal with to people. It’s never easy to be a foreigner, but it’s even harder when your personality is so strong and dominant.

“Jackson is so rude. He gets on my nerves.”

I hear this comment at least once on almost every Youtube video that deals with Jackson (excluding the episode with his parents).

True, Jackson likes a LOT of attention. True, Jackson often interrupts people when they talk. True, Jackson is competitive when someone else gets more attention than himself. True, he appears to think too much about himself. And sure, Jackson is blunt.

But aren’t these what make him stand out among, not just his fellow members, but ALL OF THE OTHER boys in other groups? Korea likes to put a lot of emphasis on “aeygo”, or “cuteness” in the public media. It’s a “selling tool”. Korea also designs it’s boy bands to have some of the most chivalrous personalities. Korea encourages a reserve disposition.

Jackson is one of the rare gems that doesn’t fit that perfect “Korean” mold people like to place on idols.

I’m sure these comments must offend and hurt him. In We Got Married Global, Jackson gave kudos to one fan who actually described Jackson as sensitive and caring, qualities he feels people don’t often recognize in him.

Koreans can be very detached, or are expected to be. Jackson is easily attached, as was mentioned before, very friendly, and assertive. It’s not hard for him to hold out his hand in friendship. To some people, especially Koreans, Jackson comes on a little strong.

Yet, despite what anyone says about Jackson, he makes the whole group stand out in his own special way. He gives the right spice. His presence makes him feel like a leader, even though he is not the leader of the group. People will always have their perceptions of other people, but as they always say, “It doesn’t matter what they say, as long as they know my name”. Jackson brings a lot of promotion to the group. His distinct mannerisms are what make Got7 likable to nations who are not so reserved, or to more extroverted personalities. I’m sure there are some Koreans who are not so stereo-typically reserved.

Well, it doesn’t matter who hates Jackson. Jackson is making his mark as a K-pop star, even winning the Newcomer Award this year.

Well, that’s my spin on Got7 and the amazing Jackson Wang!

Check out their latest albums on Youtube!

You can also watch Got7’s Jackson on Roommate Season 2!

Check out my other articles featuring Got7:

Got7’s Mark, BamBam, Jackson on We Got Married Global

Generation Next’s Top 20 Asian Artists; Got7 made it among the 10

Do American Girl dolls of Color Sell Poorly?

27 Oct

2015pic

Every year, American Girl fans anticipate the next American Girl Girl of the Year, the new annual modern doll that has come out since the beginning of the 21st Century. She usually comes with her own collection and set of books. What makes these dolls different from the historical dolls are that they reflect modern girls. The modern stories tend to lack the depth and length that the historical stories have.

goty

In January 2014, American Girl disappointed many fans with Isabelle, an inspiring dancer. She was very uninteresting to most folks. 1) Girl of the year 2005 was a dancer. 2) Isabelle was another boring blonde in pink. It’s not that American Girl is crawling with blondes. It was just too predictable. Fans were hoping for something a little more original. To add, her features weren’t very unique. She didn’t have short hair or a ponytail or pigtails. She was marketed in an unoriginal way. Everything about her reminded everyone of another doll released in American Girl. I’ve heard comparisons to Kailey, Julie, Lanie…Which can’t be helped. Sometimes, American Girl has to repeat itself. But did she have to wear pink and dance? No.

Read my article: Do Blonde dolls sell better?

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Many people are pushing for variety in the Girl of the Year line. A lot of people asked for an African American character. American Girl just now decided to create one in 2017.

Out of all of the dolls that have been released in the last 10 years, not one has been of African American descent. People were hoping that 2015 would be the year. Yet, there were many others who doubted American Girl would even try, including myself.

The question is: Why has Mattel waited so long to create a modern African American character? To put it honestly, black dolls don’t sell as well as the other dolls in the American Girl historical/Beforever collection. Even if you mosey on over to americangirl.com, enter into the “Shop” page, go under the “Bookstore” section, scroll down to “Historical Fiction”, and look at the word “Sort” and scroll down to “Most Popular”, Addy’s books are not even listed on the first two pages. At one time, when the other American Girl dolls were around (Kirsten, Molly, Felicity, Marie-Grace, and the Best Friend dolls), Addy was even further behind. Since those girls have been archived, Addy’s listings are higher in the books section. Still, the American Girl historical dolls sell low as it is. The minorities fall behind.

Go under the “Furniture” section. Addy’s bed is among the last of the Beforever listed. Addy is even among the last when you go under the “Dolls” section on the “Shop” page. Scroll all the way down to the “Dolls for ages 8+” on the bottom left-hand side. Go to “Sort” by “Most Popular”. You can clearly see that all of the Beforever dolls are popular at the moment, BUT the minorities are among the least popular in the collection. Imagine if Molly and Felicity were around!

http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/thumbnail/id/253/uid/143/view/3

Many argue that this just doesn’t apply to African American dolls, but Asian and Hispanic/Latino dolls in the Beforever line as well. None of the minorities are on the first two pages of the “Historical Fiction” section. The first two pages consist of white girls. There are Caucasian girls listed on the back pages, but the only Caucasians on the back pages are the ones that are Archived. All of the minorities are right before them. Kaya, Rebecca, and Josefina sadly have even lower listings than Addy. And this is just for books, which are prices cheaper than the dolls.

American Girl has sold more than 147 million books since 1986. They have only sold a fraction of that number when it comes to dolls, 25 million to be exact, in that same amount of time. And Addy is not topping either list. Being at the bottom of the book list carries a different tone than the doll list, where they’ve sold less. So where does Addy’s world fit into both stats? You do the math.

http://www.americangirl.com/corp/corporate.php?section=about&id=6

Since the Historical/Beforever collection is the “heart” of the brand, it is the main factor when American Girl Company is deciding what will sell or not.

This does not apply to the My American Girl line, where the black girls sell pretty well. More on this later…

The Beforever line seems to have the hardest time.

There could be two reasons for this:

1) American Girl Beforever does not appeal to African American children or households.

2) American Girl Beforever is too expensive, and minority families are less willing to pay the price for dolls.

3) The “majority” doesn’t connect with the minority enough to help support them.

As an African American myself, I have to say that, growing up, the first two points really struck my household as true. I was introduced to American Girl at a young age in the 1990’s. Back then, the prices were lower, but we still didn’t want to invest in these dolls. I got two dolls, and that was it. When I got older, I extended my collection. Most people I talk to that are of my same ethnicity say the same thing: “I am not spending that kind of money for a doll. My child will be fine with a Disney doll”.

Price is one thing, but the appeal of American Girl is not catching on to the African American community, either.

The reasons vary. They are not all related, either.

One reason is that the few American Girls that are black and a part of American Girl have provided stereotypical versions of African Americans for years. While Addy, the 1864 slave girl, exposes young black girls to a real part of African American history, some African Americans took offense during the time when she was the only African American represented (back in the 1990’s when she was the only black doll). Many African Americans wanted to be known for more than being uneducated slaves. They felt it was a hurtful and poor reminder of the oppression and segregation experienced by black people. “Like, why does the black girl have to be the slave?” They were ashamed of this. Other races are afraid to invest in Addy because her stories deal with racial issues so heavily. So, Addy was controversial since debut. Since African Americans didn’t take off with Addy, many didn’t follow the brand through. Many are just now hearing about the new doll, Cecile, the wealthy girl of color, and Melody, the Civil Rights Era doll because they only remember the brand when it had Addy, the slave girl.

I will say this is the same with Kaya. I get so many Native American people telling me they hate Kaya because she falls into stereotypes, though she represents a real part of their history and ACTUAL culture! It was the same with Ivy.

Addy (left, 1864)and Cecile (right, 1853)

Addy (left, 1864)and Cecile (right, 1853)

The truth is, as proud as people are of their personal heritage, many people want to be defined and labeled by something other than their ethnicity. They are struggling to find an American identity in this modern world, where race is no longer something that can define a person’s successes or failures as much as it used to. While people would be offended if their races weren’t represented, people would equally be angry if that doll was stereotypical in nature! And then people would be contradictory and end up offended if the doll wasn’t realistic or true to the culture at all! Even with Cecile, there were still black people who thought Cecile was glossing over the struggles of black people! Addy was too harsh, and Cecile wasn’t harsh enough!

Read More about that here: American Girl Black History Month

With so many divisions, this divides the money as well. Thus, the sale of the doll depends on how well she is executed. Most companies don’t want to take this risk. Thus, they risk less by omitting an ethnicity altogether.

The main reason why divisions occur inside an ethnicity could be because there are not ENOUGH ethnic dolls to represent a diverse group of people. Even black people are multi-faceted. There are millions of white dolls to represent the diverse viewpoints and personalities of various Caucasian people. With only one or two black dolls, black people are forced to connect with one of the two dolls based on skin or culture, even if the dolls are marketed in a way that doesn’t connect necessarily with every black girl’s personality or interests. If there were more black dolls, sales of minority dolls would increase, as people would begin to recognize the company as being diverse in their collection of “black personalities”.

This is very evident when we see the success of the Bratz dolls. The Latin/Hispanic/Jewish dolls sell far more than the blonde and white dolls. There are many diverse Latin/Hispanic characters to choose from, thus the sales of the Hispanic dolls have increased, and they continue to make more. Even Clawdeen and her whole ware-wolf family from Monster High, relatively dark-skinned dolls, are some of the best sold in the line next to the brunette Draculaura. Why hasn’t this success translated to American Girl?

American Girl struggles to connect with the diversity within one ethnicity. For instance, Addy is smart and family-oriented. A black girl who doesn’t like school or isn’t family-oriented would not connect with her. I connect with Addy because her skin is like mine, but as a writer, I can’t help but be drawn to Kit more. Black girls are not marketed in a way that reveals more than the color of their skin. Diversity brings more diverse customers. This goes for all of the other ethnic dolls. In order to find a middle ground, market researchers would have to dig deep and find out just what appeals to most ethnic children. However, many researchers would rather take the easy route. Many people just end up buying a My American Girl doll anyway, where children can make her into anything they want.

A second reason for the poor sales could be the way these ethnic minorities are marketed. The modern dolls sell more than the historical dolls as it is, but even within the historical line, the 20th Century girls sell better than the 18th and 19th Century girls. All of the Caucasian dolls sold within the 18th and 19th Centuries have been discontinued (Felicity, Caroline, Kirsten, Marie-Grace, Elizabeth). But most of the ethnic minorities have dolls that represent the unpopular centuries (Kaya, Josefina, Addy). Though dolls from the 20th Century have been discontinued, one (Samantha) has been brought back, and no one would be shocked if the other ones from the 20th Century came back. Therefore, it would be more advantageous for dolls of color to represent eras that existed in the 20th Century. This is why there was a push for a Civil Rights Era doll of color. Sure, you can argue that Ivy was from the 20th Century, and no, she wasn’t successful. But then again, she was just a “side-kick” doll without a collection all her own or a full book series.

American Girl also needs to take better care of the minority characters they produce. American Girl should give their next wealthy girl of color or their Asian doll a complete collection all to herself. They had the opportunity to make so many glamorous accessories and playsets for their last wealthy girl of color. Did they take advantage of it? No. They had the opportunity to make their 1970’s girl Asian. Did they? No.

In the modern Girl of the Year collection, American Girl just recently added Gabriela McBride. We can’t determine her success until the end of the year. But the ethnic dolls that have existed have been Marisol, Jess, Sonali, and Kanani. Jess and Sonali did not sell well. Marisol and Kanani did. I should say Kanani sold better than Isabelle.

Let’s observe the two dolls that didn’t sell well versus the ones who did.

Jess was not marketed in girlish, glittery colors like Marisol and Kanani, neither was Jess’s story appealing to little girls, though it was my favorite. It was also not a huge collection. But for once, Jess was recognized as the daughter of archaeologists, not the Japanese girl (though she is bi-racial)! And yet, people were still disappointed she didn’t have any items representing her heritage…

Sonali was a best friend doll. She represented a girl who was originally a snob and became a friend. Of course she wouldn’t be appealing! She had no story collection and was not the main character of the movie. She was also a side-kick doll, like Ivy. She only came with one outfit.

So, those two dolls didn’t sell well. But the other two dolls did…

Marisol was a dancer, which is appealing to little girls, and ballet is especially appealing. That’s why American Girl thought they could do it again.

Kanani was just stylish overall. She also had a summertime collection that could bust out the lively colors and outdoor accessories and playsets.

Four dolls, four different results, and different marketing approaches. But one thing is certain: We can’t determine the outcome of the sale of a doll that hasn’t been tried yet. We can only deduce how the company will handle it based on the execution of their other dolls. So far, the chances of success are there if the company tries hard enough. It’s difficult, but not impossible. They have had at least two dolls of color fair well in GOTY.

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There are other examples of American Girl’s success with dolls of color. If we go on American Girl.com, mosey on over to the “Shop” section, click the “My American Girl” link, “search the dolls by item” number, which is the same as pressing the “Start the Fun” button, you will see a list of dolls. At the top, you can sort that list in any way you want, but one selection is by popularity. The top three most popular dolls include a dark-skinned doll! In fact, the first page has two dark-skinned dolls and one medium-skinned doll listed! These three dolls are very popular, so American Girl is selling some darker dolls very well. They are modern. If they do what they did for these dolls, perhaps they could sell more.

If they gave the ethnic minority girls more appealing collections, lovable personalities, a movie wouldn’t hurt, and friendlier stories, girls (and their parents) would cave and buy them, just like they did with Marisol and Kanani.

On the same token, if the people themselves accept the doll, and she represents both the historical aspect and a modern aspect, perhaps both sides of an ethnic division could easily support the doll.

The newest Girl of the Year 2017, Gabriela McBride, may be just the doll to bring that flavor.

I still think American Girl should at least try its hand at producing more African American characters. If it doesn’t work, at least they will have the satisfaction of knowing they tried. Really, it doesn’t seem to improve much from having a blonde character. American Girl’s market share spiraled down 10% in 2014. Isabelle is the least sold GOTY, and she is blonde and pink! People are looking for change, and I think now is the time to give it. Even Lea couldn’t sell out in 2016.

My overall conclusion: The only reason the Beforever dolls sell poorly is because of representation, execution, and poor marketing. The black dolls in the My American Girl line sell better than the black dolls in the Beforever line.Therefore, the likelihood that a modern black girl could sell well is higher than if she’s in the Beforever line.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think? What are your predictions for future GOTYs?

Read my other article: Do blonde dolls sell better?

BoA’s Japanese and Korean Comeback: BoA “Double” Challenge

12 Sep

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In case you couldn’t tell, this month is BoA month in honor of BoA’s first Japanese comeback in FOUR years and her Korean album in THREE years! So, this article is to spread the word!

Her Japanese album was released September 3, 2014 titled, Who’s Back?.

Her Korean album, Kiss My Lips, was released May 12, 2015.

Own it, it’s awesome!

For today, I have a challenge for BoA fans and readers.

BoA has debuted in THREE countries: Korea (2000), Japan (2001), and the USA (2008). She has around 94 music videos and still counting!

Between her Korean music videos and her Japanese videos, BoA has brought over some of her Korean stuff into the Japanese nation. Many times, she has done music videos TWICE for both countries. She translated many of her Korean songs in Japanese.

She did the same thing in America (She translated Girls on Top, her Korean hit, in English).

The music videos between Korea and Japan may look like identical twins, but just like identical twins, there are differences.

The inspiration behind the title comes from a BoA song called “Double”. In the video, she has two mirror versions of herself as she dances.

My challenge for you readers: Can you find the differences?

Ready? Begin!

BoA Double

First, we’ll start with the inspiration behind the title: “Double”. Released in 2003.

Korean Mv

AND

Japanese Pv

I notice there are a lot of differences in editing. Can you spot any differences?

The Shadow

Next, we’ll do The Shadow. Shadow always reminds me of “Double”. BoA has three versions of herself that meet each other at one point. There is an emphasis of BoA mirroring herself, much like in “Double”. Released in 2012.

Korean MV

or

Japanese PV

http://www.jpopsuki.tv/video/BoA—The-Shadow-%2528Japanese-Version%2529/e88dc86aa9b209013b0bf12b81b5bf13 <—-Click

Can you spot the differences? Japan has a dreamier feeling, while I feel Korea’s shows BoA’s tougher and sexier side.

BoA Shine We Are

Released in 2003.

It’s even harder to find the differences in these music videos. But they exist! Can you find them?

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Pv

Rock With You

Released in 2004.

These are VERY identical. Can you spot the differences? I did! There are very few, but they exist.

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Pv

Valenti

Released in 2002.

The differences become very obvious here. Can you spot them?

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Pv

Jewel Song

Released in 2003.

Something this beautiful can hide hidden surprises, including differences. Can you find them?

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Pv

Destiny (Miracle)/Kiseki

Released in 2002.

So many lovely scenes. BoA wears the same outfits, and sings the songs pretty similar, but there are still differences. Can you find them?

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Pv

Meri Churi

Released in 2004.

A Beautiful Christmas ballad, but with different angles. Can you find them all?

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Pv

http://serviceapi.nmv.naver.com/flash/convertIframeTag.nhn?vid=347039E7C5A88762B06C6F850D20745D59CD&outKey=V125b85e0bd7ecd99f54e4d2849af75299176e91baa587952a2494d2849af75299176&width=720&height=438

Everlasting

Released in 2006.

You never notice certain things in a music video until you see its twin! What differences can you spot?

Korean Mv

or

Japanese Mv

I hope you enjoyed the BoA “Double” challenge! It was a lot of fun for me!

Leave me a comment and let me know one difference you found in at least one music video!

And don’t forget to get BoA’s albums on sale now!

http://www.yesasia.com

Just How Talented is F(x)’s Park Sun-Young “Luna”?

5 May

By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been f(x) crazy for the last two months, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It won’t slow down until my big “promotional move” I have planned this summer. But that will be kept under my hat until then…

Just remember to #bfx2us and put your town behind it to show where your love for f(x) is coming from, if of course, you’ve fallen in love with this group as much as I have.

Well, this article is a part of that promotion. My goal is to push for an f(x) tour for, at least, next year.

To learn more about K-pop group f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Red Light Review

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

To all of you who have watched the music videos, and who doubt the talent of the f(x) members, I will be doing something similar to an artist “portfolio”. In this case, I will be showcasing the musical background and skills of each f(x) artist. This resume “portfolio” of sorts will show all readers why I think these girls qualify to be a part of f(x), why I believe them to be SM’s major female multi-national group, and why I think f(x) has what it takes to make it internationally.

Basically, this is why I think you newcomers should hire them as one of your new favorite K-pop groups. 😉

Drum roll please…

Today, Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be introducing the power vocalist, the amazing dancer: LUNA!

Park Sun-Young “Luna”

f(x) Luna

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f(x) pinocchio mv pictures (21)

Luna is the sweet, compassionate, and extremely talented member of f(x). There is no denying how talented this girl is. This girl has some seriously powerful vocals! She’s been compared to BoA, Queen of K-pop and SM Town’s first major international star.

Luna has a lot of “soul”. Her inspirations include Whitney Houston and Jennifer Hudson. She is very fascinated with African American culture and music. She often mentions her fascination with African American dances and R&B sounds.

Luna is, by far, the kindest. She has shown the most compassion out of all the other f(x) members.

She is also the most hard-working, as one psychologist in a radio interview pointed out. She LOVES music, anyone can tell, because all she does is sing!

Luna is a bit dorky and funny, too!

Speaking of music, it’s time to review Luna-Bear’s credentials! This should be good.

Luna Can Sing

Really? Do I have to explain? If I do, that’s a shame, because this girl…she’s A-MAZING! If you have never heard her vocals, I suggest you do an about-face and head back to youtube to listen to more f(x) music. Luna is the lead vocalist for a very good reason. She loves to sing and music has a lot of meaning to her. You can tell. She’s not just a great singer, but she feels the music, which is why she’s so good.

I honestly feel she is the best singer in SM Entertainment.

Luna sang “And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)” at the Samsung-deong F(x) Showcase performance.

Luna sang “One Thousand Days” on Immortal Song 2.

Luna sang on Immortal Song 2 featuring f(x) mate Amber.

Luna sang Michael Jackson-inspired “I Don’t Know” on Immortal Song 2.

Luna sang “Stupid” on Immortal Song 2.

Luna performed quite a musical number called “Travel Companion” for Immortal Song 2.

Luna singing “Don’t Forget”.

Luna singing “Calling Out”.

Luna singing with Onew the song “Beauty and the Beast”.

Luna sings to the Rumba dance in Girls’ Generation Live.

Luna unveiled herself as the “masked singer” in King of Masked Singer. She sang “Sad Fate” as her final performance.

Luna sang with top vocalists Ailee, Eunji from Apink, and Solar from Mamamoo!

Luna Can Dance

As if that wasn’t enough, Luna can DANCE. The girl was a hip-hop star as a kid. She can REALLY dance.

Luna dancing to “Maybe”.

Luna dancing as a child on Truth Game.

A compilation of Luna’s dancing.

Luna dancing pre-debut.

 

Luna dances in her new solo music video “Free Somebody”!

Luna Can play the Keyboard and Speak Sign

Yep, we have to add this talent to that list: She can play the keyboard!

Luna signs her song in sign language, and shows off her keyboard skills in “The Day the Sun Rises” on Immortal Song 2.

Luna Writes Her Own Music

For Luna’s recent solo mini album, Free Somebody, Luna has written two songs! Apparently, she has come out of the box with song-writing talent!

Luna wrote the songs “I Wish” and “My Medicine”.

Isn’t Luna amazingly talented?! And Luna is all about the music! She may not get as much attention and promotion as the other girls, but she doesn’t need it. She DESERVES to be called Queen!

Luna has acting experience as well. She acted in Saving Mrs. Go Bongshil and the Broadway musical High School Musical in Korea.

Luna always struck me as dramatic, so it’s no surprise she’s a pretty good actress!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

Just How Talented is F(x)’s Chrystal Soo Jung “Krystal”?

5 May

By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been f(x) crazy for the last two months, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It won’t slow down until my big “promotional move” I have planned this summer. But that will be kept under my hat until then…

Just remember to #bfx2us and put your town behind it to show where your love for f(x) is coming from, if of course, you’ve fallen in love with this group as much as I have.

Well, this article is a part of that promotion. My goal is to push for an f(x) tour for, at least, next year.

To learn more about K-pop group f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Red Light Review

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how Talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna? 

To all of you who have watched the music videos, and who doubt the talent of the f(x) members, I will be doing something similar to an artist “portfolio”. In this case, I will be showcasing the musical background and skills of each f(x) artist. This resume “portfolio” of sorts will show all readers why I think these girls qualify to be a part of f(x), why I believe them to be SM’s major female multi-national group, and why I think f(x) has what it takes to make it internationally.

Basically, this is why I think you newcomers should hire them as one of your new favorite K-pop groups. 😉

Today, this article will focus on the lovely, ever-popular Krystal Jung!

Chrystal Soo Jung “Krystal”

Krystal is the beautiful “maknae” of the group, which simply means she’s the youngest. She’s always envied for her striking looks. Many people deem her the prettiest member, and she was even on a poll for “Most Enviable Body”.

Krystal is easily recognized as Girls’ Generation (SNSD) Jessica’s sister. But she has formed her own identity.

Krystal is often called “Ice Princess” because she’s a good ice skater and…because some people think she has a hard time appearing sweet and kind, so they might take her as “cold”. She was said to “struggle with an aeygo” on a radio interview, which means she struggles to have a cute and charming personality, even if she appears cute and charming.

I like that about Krystal. It means she’s not phony. She seems like a very honest and straightforward person. Her humor is very cynical and she quickly cuts her eyes.

She has an edge about her, but I like it.

Most people think Krystal is the most stylish out of everyone in f(x). But that depends on your taste.

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Isn’t she gorgeous! I especially like when she smiles, I mean when she has one of her genuine smiles…which is rare to find, but like finding a hidden treasure.

Oh, but enough about Krystal’s lovely edge. Let’s get right to her credentials as a K-pop star!

Krystal Can Sing

Just about everybody knows Krystal can sing. She is often compared vocally to her sister Jessica and to group mate Luna. But her voice is unique and powerful in its own right. She and Luna do many duets together.

Even Amber said she is a fan of Luna and Krystal’s duets, which is probably why she let them take over her song “Good-bye Summer”…

Krystal is apart of SM’s The Ballad

This is a solo song Krystal sang called “Because of Me”

Krystal sang a duet called “Dear Daddy” with Luna for the Nu Abo EP

Krystal sang a duet called “You are my Destiny” with Luna for the single Chu

Krystal sang “Be My Baby” in the drama High Kick 3

Krystal Can Dance

Krystal isn’t given credit as lead dancer or anything like that, but Krystal is a polished dancer! Many people have to recognize that she is a powerful dancer. It just adds to her list of talents. But Krystal is one of the f(x) members who gets the most attention, so…many probably wouldn’t be surprised.

Krystal’s skating helps her to be a graceful dancer!

Krystal danced with Victoria during SMTown Week

Krystal danced pre-debut

Luna and Krystal dance together

Krystal and Luna Dance to Lady Gaga

F(x) had a dynamite dance intro to “The Jump Off” and “Freeze”. Krystal, of course, shined.

Krystal Can play Piano

Unless you are a fan of Krystal or her sister, you probably didn’t know Krystal could play piano. Why? Because SM doesn’t show this talented side of hers very often. That’s why. And it’s such a shame, because Krystal has amazing piano skills.

Please, have a listen. Hopefully, somehow, someway, SM will open their ears, too.

Krystal featured with sister Jessica from Girls’ Generation and showed off her piano skills

Krystal plays a piece on the piano and on the harmonica in the drama High Kick 3

Krystal Catches on to Languages Quickly

Krystal is the best member when it comes to catching on to new languages. She was born in the USA, but was basically raised in Korea. This means she speaks fluent English and Korean. But she caught on to Japanese and the Thai language pretty quickly, too!

Krystal and Amber English compilation

Krystal and Victoria change between Korean and their own native languages

Krystal caught on to Thai quickly

Krystal speaks the best Japanese out of all of the f(x) members, which is why she was asked to sing for The Ballad

Krystal is really talented, isn’t she? WOW. Simply stunning! Beauty and talent! Very hard to find both in one body sometimes…

Krystal is also an amazing ice skater!

Krystal is also quite the actress as well. She’s a very talented person!

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

Just How Talented is F(x)’s Song Qian “Victoria”?

4 May

By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been f(x) crazy for the last two months, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It won’t slow down until my big “promotional move” I have planned this summer. But that will be kept under my hat until then…

Just remember to #bfx2us and put your town behind it to show where your love for f(x) is coming from, if of course, you’ve fallen in love with this group as much as I have.

Well, this article is a part of that promotion. My goal is to push for an f(x) tour for, at least, next year.

To learn more about K-pop group f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Red Light Review

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

To all of you who have watched the music videos, and who doubt the talent of the f(x) members, I will be doing something similar to an artist “portfolio”. In this case, I will be showcasing the musical background and skills of each f(x) artist. This resume “portfolio” of sorts will show all readers why I think these girls qualify to be a part of f(x), why I believe them to be SM’s major female multi-national group, and why I think f(x) has what it takes to make it internationally.

Basically, this is why I think you newcomers should hire them as one of your new favorite K-pop groups. 😉

This article will be about the flexible Victoria!

Song Qian “Victoria”

Victoria is f(x)’s oldest member, but most youthful member. She is the leader of f(x). She is also the lead dancer. Many people are aware of her flexibility. Victoria has a lot of personality, as was evident in the American online show Funny or Die with Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect).

Victoria has a mature beauty that is hard to deny. She has the most mature-looking body in f(x). She has a full chest, full butt, and just not SUPER SKINNY or scrawny. And she’s not always eager to flaunt it like some other girls in K-pop.

She’s always “everyone’s girl”. She was in Bi-Rain’s video, she was Shinee’s girl in their video “Replay”, and she “married” 2 PM’s Nichkhun in We Got Married.

She has this girly, yet classy, look about her.

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Victorias-featured-image

Victoria is well-known for her flexibility and her acting abilities, but many have never heard her vocally.

So, let’s review her credentials!

Victoria is a Flexible Dancer

Everybody knows Victoria can dance. She learned to dance at the Beijing Dance Academy!

Victoria is an amazing performer, and never ceases to amaze the crowd.

Victoria danced with Bi-Rain in the Samsung video “AnyDream”.

Victoria is challenged by Miss A’s Jia to a battle of “flexibility”.

A Compilation of Victoria’s flexibility.

Victoria and Exo’s Tao perform together, showing off their flexibility.

Victoria dances to “Love, Sex, Magic”.

Victoria dances with Super Junior.

Victoria and 2 PM’s Nichkhun performed a steamy dance together during their time “married”.

Victoria danced solo for “Telephone”.

Victoria danced solo on Happy Camp.

Victoria…SINGING? WHAT?

You know why Victoria doesn’t sing often? Because her Korean isn’t as good as her Chinese. And she shines in Chinese! Wow! I was quite impressed.

I’ve also heard some negative things about her vocals (just like Sulli), and she doesn’t sing much. But when I heard her sing in Chinese, I was quite impressed! That is her first language, so…please give her a chance. She actually can sing!

Why doesn’t SM give her more lines? I don’t get it…

Victoria sang with Super Junior-M’s Zhou Mi at SM Town in Beijing…Wow.

Victoria sings with Kyuhyun.

If you can hear above the crowd, this is Victoria singing live in Bangkok.

Victoria sang “Tian Mi Mi” in Chinese, along with her fellow members.

Victoria Speaks Chinese and Korean

Victoria was born in Shandong, China, so she speaks Chinese Mandarin. She also speaks Korean, as she is a Korean pop star. She is more popular in China than in Korea, which can’t be helped. That IS her hometown after all, and apparently, she shines most in China. I really hope Victoria gets a Chinese song for f(x)’s next comeback., at least as a bonus track…if they do that in SM…

Victoria and Krystal speak Chinese, English, and Korean.

Victoria at the Sina interview.

So, I hope you all have learned a bit about Victoria. I know I learned A LOT from the research I’ve done.

Hopefully, now you might fall in love with Victoria and the rest of f(x)…right? 😉

Victoria is also quite the actress and has acted on several dramas.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

Just How Talented is F(x)’s Choi Jinri “Sulli”?

1 May

By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’ve been f(x) crazy for the last two months, and my obsession doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. It won’t slow down until my big “promotional move” I have planned this summer. But that will be kept under my hat until then…

Just remember to #bfx2us and put your town behind it to show where your love for f(x) is coming from, if of course, you’ve fallen in love with this group as much as I have.

Well, this article is a part of that promotion. My goal is to push for an f(x) tour for, at least, next year.

To learn more about K-pop group f(x):

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Red Light Review

Just how talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

To all of you who have watched the music videos, and who doubt the talent of the f(x) members, I will be doing something similar to an artist “portfolio”. In this case, I will be showcasing the musical background and skills of each f(x) artist. This resume “portfolio” of sorts will show all readers why I think these girls qualify to be a part of f(x), why I believe them to be SM’s major female multi-national group, and why I think f(x) has what it takes to make it internationally.

Basically, this is why I think you newcomers should hire them as one of your new favorite K-pop groups. 😉

This article will be about the cutie Sulli!

Choi Jinri “Sulli”

Sulli is f(x)’s “Giant baby” because she looks the youngest, is one of the youngest, has a baby face, but is SUPER tall. Okay, maybe not super, but she’s pretty tall.

Sulli is so pretty that IU was inspired to write the song “Peach” based on her beauty! She is often praised for her unique features. She has “kiss kiss” lips.

There are many beautiful girls in Korea and in f(x), but Sulli’s beauty is strikingly unique. Her face is so different.

Sulli is very cute. She’s always wearing loose clothing, particularly skirts and t-shirts, and often sneakers.

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Sulli is very well-known for her acting skills (To the Beautiful You), but many people misjudge her when it comes to music.

So, let’s review her credentials, shall we?

Sulli can Sing

I’m here to tell you that Sulli isn’t all beauty. She actually has a pretty voice!

I used to hear a lot of negative things about her, so I wondered: Can she really sing or dance?

SO, like I usually do, I decided to do deeper research, since I like to go beyond the surface. I happened to find some clips of Sulli singing, and she’s actually pretty good.

Now, comparing her voice to her fellow members, I wouldn’t say she has the strongest voice. But she can sing. I expected to hear screeching and forcefulness…

Sulli sang the song “Nagging” in To the Beautiful You

Sulli also sang “Peach” in To the Beautiful You. The song was originally written and sung by IU, but the lyrics were about Sulli, who is IU’s best friend.

Sulli sang “White” on Music Bank with f(x) Krystal, 4Minute’s Sohyun, Miss A’s Suzy, and Kara’s Jiyoung

Sulli sang “Circus” in English in a “Maknae” performance

Sulli sang “The Way Idols Break Up” with Heechul from Super Junior

Sulli sang “7989” with Kangta

Sulli Can play piano and guitar

Yea, isn’t it shocking? I hate that SM hides such talent. Sulli is actually really good at this! But she showed more of it as a child.

This is what I notice about women: They show most of their talents as children, and then grow up to just show mostly their beauty. Which isn’t bad, but it dampens the quality of the music, ya know? I wish she would show people this side more often.

Sulli can dance

Sulli is always attacked as being the “weakest” dancer. Well, maybe it’s because F(x)’s choreography doesn’t bring out the best of her abilities. Sulli is very good at dancing the Rumba.

Sulli dancing the Rumba.

Sulli had a medley of dances.

Sulli dance cut with Taemin and in a commercial.

Sulli has rap experience

I’m not going to call Sulli 2Pac here, but she has pretty good flow considering her experience is limited. Not bad.

Sulli rapping on the radio

This is proof of Sulli’s musical experience and why I feel she is worthy to be a K-pop idol and a member of f(x). She is very misjudged.

Sulli is also an amazing actress, as many saw in To the Beautiful You and Ballad of Seo Dong.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

f(x) the Korean “Spice Girls” + Amber Liu in the Spotlight

f(x) Red light Review

f(x) Pink Tape Review

f(x) Summer on GN!

Which f(x) member are you? quiz

f(x)’s charm and Venus

f(x)’s Ideal Types by Sun and Mars

f(x) Around the World

f(x) in the USA

f(x) on Olleh: Korea’s most Unique Girl Group

Just how Talented is f(x) Sulli?

Just how Talented is f(x) Victoria?

Just how talented is f(x) Amber?

Just how talented is f(x) Krystal?

Just how talented is f(x) Luna?

GN’s Top 10 F(x) songs (so far)

Girls’ Generation vs F(x): Chocolate Love

Why does GN love f(x) so much?

Who is your f(x) bias?

Funny Reaction videos to f(x) “Red Light”

GN’s LEAST FAVORITE f(x) album?

EXTRAS

USA’s Nylon writes about Girls’ Generation’s Jessica and F(x)’s Krystal, Jungsis!

F(x) Amber and Got7 on We Got Married Global! Which man wins Amber’s heart (Natal chart reading)?

F(x) Gets treated unfair by SM? And EXO is treated better?

Make Your Move, SM’s first American movie has songs from F(x) and Girls’ Generation in it!

F(x) Amber, a part of androgynous inspiration!

The Korean Wave

Venus signs and Love Stories, F(x) Amber Liu is mentioned

Music Core, f(x) mentioned

Jackie Liu, Amber Liu’s Sister, Gets Hurt by Fan

f(x)’s Amber in a parody Korean drama for A Song for you!

SM TOWN WORLD TOUR 2014! f(x) will perform!

“Make Your Move” Movie Review–SM Entertainment’s first U.S. film

19 Apr

 

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Make Your Move was definitely an SM Entertainment movie, and the first one they released in the USA.

At first, I was a little skeptical. Lionsgate dropped this film, so my thinking was that they probably didn’t think this movie was a good one. So, I didn’t come in expecting too much. But after watching it, I was surprised. It was actually pretty good! It was better than the last two Step Up sequels honestly. It got the same reviews…so I don’t understand why Lionsgate dropped this film. I know they merged with Summit, but Summit is doing Step Up: All In, which is due to come out this summer, and I’m sure they’ll be working the same material. The only difference is this dance was unique. I don’t get it…It’s not like critics will be any easier on that movie, and people would’ve enjoyed this movie.

From the director Duane Adler, we get a movie that follows her resume. This movie is very similar to Save the Last Dance and Step Up. In fact, it’s a combination of the two. Combine a classic dance, racial conflict, and some sexy, hip-hop footwork (along with bumpin’ club music) and you get Make Your Move. So if you’re a fan of those movies, this one won’t disappoint.

Make Your Move is the story of a young woman named Aya (BoA Kwon) and a young man named Donny (Derek Hough) who both love to dance. But they both take on very unique styles of dancing: Donny tap dances, and Aya mixes Taiko drumming with tap dancing.

The two meet at Donny’s brother’s club one day, after Aya sabotages the performance on the stage at the time and takes over. Donny then joins Aya in a hot and sexy bar dance. Donny instantly falls for her.

But there’s a problem in paradise: their brothers own rival clubs, and this rivalry is VERY intense. To add, both clubs are threatened by some Wall-Street, rich-guy, douchebag who is obsessed with Aya.

This makes their relationship almost “forbidden” in a sense. This is aside from their own personal struggles and trials (Donny violates his parole in New Orleans to dance in Brooklyn and Aya has to find the money to extend her Visa so she won’t get deported back to Japan).

Inspired from Romeo and Juliet, this story proved itself to live up to former dance movies by the director.

Like I do often, I will review this movie in sections. I don’t want to give too much away. 😉

Story/Plot: I wouldn’t say this had the most unique and thought-provoking story in the world. It was simple enough for the young 10-year old behind me to understand the movie. This concept has been done before. Because it’s a pretty overtly done story, the outcome is pretty predictable. However, the story WAS engaging. You did wonder what would happen next. You did wonder what the two brothers, the rivals in the movie, would do to screw up everything and make matters more challenging. I wasn’t bored watching the movie, but I didn’t leave the movie in contemplation the whole night.

I also applaud the story for being smooth, and not leaving any plot holes. I could keep up. Things didn’t move too fast, but things also didn’t move too slow. I wasn’t confused.

This movie was like a musical, only instead of breaking out in singing, they broke out in dance, often randomly.

The best part of this movie was the dancing. Both BoA and Derek Hough have some SERIOUS professional skills, and it was evident in this movie. BoA and Donny showed off their strong choreography. But hey, this is a dance movie, that’s what they’re supposed to do…though many movies fail in this regard.

This movie definitely brought a new generation of dancing. I learned about a new dance, and saw something that peaked my interest. So I wasn’t disappointed. I was always eager to see how this dance would play out throughout the movie.

This movie seemed catered to tweens and teens, like most dance movies.

Some may be disappointed that the ending isn’t stomping out an opponent, but I think the final outcome of the movie drifts from the way usual dance movies in this day-and-age end…

But honestly, overall, I went in not expecting too much. But the movie was actually better than I thought it would be. Much better.

Characters: While Derek Hough played a very typical romantic interest (an ex-con, homeless man who dreams of dancing), Aya was somewhat different than what I expected of her. For starters, Aya was sexy in a NON-SLUTTY way. I don’t once remember her wearing skimpy clothing, or the camera focusing on her butt, breasts, belly, or anything below her face, though she had some nice outfits in this movie. In fact, she was quite the tomboy. But she owned that tomboy. She made that tomboy look VERY sexy. A new side to BoA stepped out.

Aya was very “gangster” to me. She stood up for herself. I wouldn’t call her a feminist-though those themes seem prevalent in the film. I connected with Aya. She was confident, smart, funny, and daring. She wasn’t sweet and innocent, like I expected her to be.

On the flip-side, I was at first confused as to why it was so difficult for Aya to “find the money” to pay off her Visa. There were easier ways than dancing, but I think that was the point. Aya wanted to get it by finding a job dancing instead of doing something she hated…well, that’s what I got out of it. Maybe Aya couldn’t get jobs easily because she was foreign…But her brother didn’t think it was such a smart idea either, so…

Surprisingly, BoA’s English has gotten REALLY good! Or maybe, it was just the dialogue that was good. But the script was well-suited to the characters’ personalities, and it wasn’t cheesy. Many times when we think of singers acting in movies, we’re often prepared for some poor acting. But BoA was really natural, I have to give it to her. You could tell she was comfortable with Derek.

There were no random filler characters (you know, the random person put in the story for no other reason than to make it funny). Every character served it’s purpose. I wouldn’t call all of the characters unique. The brothers were very typical rivals. I don’t even remember their names, but they served their purpose: to make the two lovers’ lives miserable. I do remember the douchebag Michael, but he’s kind of the main antagonist. Then there are the two ladies who support the brothers’ roles, and they merely serve as people who move the story along.

This story basically focused ON the story and focused on the point: to show a new side to dancing.

I was a little disappointed that Yuhno from TVXQ only made a small appearance, but he danced well, so I wasn’t too disappointed…

Setting: The setting begins in New Orleans, where Donny lives. I wish we could have seen more of him in this place, but I suppose it wasn’t necessary. We see him do his cool tap dance, and then it’s off to Brooklyn…

There were basically two main scenes: the two rival clubs and the abandoned church. Donny was homeless, so he didn’t have a house we could see. Aya lived with her extended family, so I’m sure she didn’t spend too much time at home. Aya did work in a coffee shop…

Of course, the main focus was on the clubs.

OST: The original soundtrack was AWESOME. Yes, we heard songs from American artists, but we also heard songs from some k-pop artists like  f(x), Girls’ Generation, and a nice collaboration with Krystal from f(x), Jessica (SNSD), and EXO-M’s Kris in the song “Say Yes”. So we heard a few SM artists in the mix.

My only disappointment was that we only heard f(x)’s “Nu Abo” over a computer. 😦 I was so hoping they would play it at the end or in a club scene. That song is too smokin’ to just be hiding behind a computer!…

But overall, the OST is fabulous for fans of K-pop and pop or hip-hop music in general.

Overall, on a scale from 1 to 5, I give this movie a 3/5. 1 awful 2  Ok  3 Good 4 Very Good 5 Excellent

On a scale from 1 to 10, I give this movie an 8/10. 1 DON’T WATCH 2 Bad movie, but should watch for laughs 3 had a few good moments 4 I liked just one part of the movie 5 ok 6 It was different and unique 7 Interesting 8 Pretty Good 9 Really Good 10 Go WATCH NOW

This movie was good, it wasn’t boring. It wasn’t the most unique story told, but it wasn’t utter garbage. It was a good movie that I would watch again. Mostly, this movie is good for a DVD release. I wasn’t disappointed, in fact, the movie was better than I thought it would be. The dancing was killer, the story kept my interest, the characters didn’t suck terribly, though many weren’t extremely developed. BoA shined in this movie. This dialogue was to-the-point and not stuffed with crude humor. Every scene was necessary, every character moved the story along. This movie was just like the usual Duane Adler movie.

So, all you lovers of K-pop and dance, this movie is one of the best. I rarely see a good film staring a foreign actor/actress. But this one isn’t disappointing.

Because this is an indie film, I was informed that this movie is NOT showing everywhere. So, check the listings in your surrounding area, particularly, major cities. I had to drive 30 minutes away to see this movie. But that’s better than what others may have to endure to catch this flick…

Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!

 

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