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7 Types of Feminists That Make Me Cringe

4 Mar

A Recap: 7 Feminists That Make Me Cringe

Generation Next

635981490582110738922929354_feminism

There are several definitions of feminism out here:

  1. The advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes (Google.com)
  2. A range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. (Wikipedia.org)
  3. The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  4. Refers to any ideology that seeks total equality in rights for women and people who self-identify as women, usually through improving the status of females. (RationalWiki.org)
  5. Thedoctrineadvocatingsocial,political,andallotherrightsofwomen equaltothoseofmen. (Dictionary.com)

With the above definitions in clear view, we can conclude that overall the feminist movement is calling for equal rights for women, for anyone who identifies as women to be seen as equals to men, and for women’s “roles” in society to be respected. Some…

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Ask the USA: “How Did Donald Trump Win the Presidency?”

2 Mar

united-globe

Hello readers!

Early in February, I introduced a new series to my blog called “Ask the USA”. In that introduction, I explained the purpose of this series, what inspired this series, and why I feel qualified to answer these questions (to the best of my ability, of course).

With that being said, the first question I’ve been receiving from foreigners all over the internet is:

‘How did Trump Win the Presidency?’

Since Trump has been running for office, he has been a topic all around the world. The news media hasn’t died down yet about him. This question was bound to come up sooner or later.

If you’re an American conservative, the answer is simple; if you’re an American liberal, this question may even baffle you.

However, I’m pretty independent. I try to remain objective and see both sides of this coin.

Here’s the deal.

Much of the media has painted the picture that the majority of America hated Donald Trump, America’s newest president. Many newspapers would reveal the polls back in October and November showing Hillary Clinton in the lead with the popular vote. And there are many Americans that do dislike Trump, including the news media.

But let me inform you about American politics:  during a political campaign, especially very close to election, it is normal to see “political propaganda”, propaganda that’s usually meant to discredit one candidate in favor of another. Hillary’s team was very effective in painting a negative picture of Trump by pulling out his dirt. She didn’t have to try. It was no secret that Trump “distrusted” most news sources, so of course most of them would help Hillary. Trump dug his own name in the ground with his careless statements. Trump gave the media many reasons to discredit him and he left a bad history of carelessness that allowed the media to take advantage of it.

So Trump ended up looking like the villain. After observing the things he’s said, most foreigners can’t understand how he could have any fans. Don’t get it twisted. Trump has insulted and offended many people across the board, and it was once considered a joke to even consider him the president of the USA.

But let’s also remember that what we see in the media isn’t always going to reflect the opinions of all the people in the nation. Despite his rhetoric, there are many people who actually agree with his ideas. Most people are just quiet about it.

trump-as-president

I don’t think most of us took him seriously like we should have. People felt there was no way this guy could be a president. He’s not diplomatic, he’s not well-spoken, he’s a rich guy who cares nothing about the “little man”. He was underestimated. This allowed him to make an impact on politics and maneuver things in his favor. There are many ways he managed to take the presidency from his last opponent, Hillary, despite what was fed to the media.

For the past decade, despite the positive reception Obama and his family have received, the average American did not reap many benefits from Obama’s presidency. He seemed more like a celebrity than a president; a positive figure rather than a man of action. He was famous for being the “first president of color”. He was diplomatic with many nations, giving the USA a good name to even our enemies.

However, he didn’t do anything impactful for his own nation (as far as we could see). He didn’t make any strong changes to the economy, he didn’t make many efforts to improve our overall security, and he seemed to sleep on many other matters that many Americans felt required urgency. Of course, none of us can pretend to know what it takes to do the job of president. Even the current president Trump is starting to see the challenges that come with it.

Still, Trump has things very few other candidates before him had.

Trump, the Business Man, Not the Politician

Trump may be blunt, rude, ignorant, and bigoted. But guess what? In a country that has honored and upheld the “freedom of speech” portion of the Bill of Rights (the rights in the USA that make up the first ten amendments to the constitution, the nation or state’s fundamental set of laws), in a country that has come to distrust government, Trump seemed to be the Honest John some Americans were looking for. He didn’t sugarcoat or take back his opinions. In fact, he is the first president to be truly active on social media, connecting with a wide range of people. With social media becoming a major form of communication, Trump is better able to get his ideas across on many different platforms.

When did America become so leery of their government, enough to trust a man who has spoken badly of so many people, people he’s supposed to help and protect? I would say since the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, people have been looking for an honest man in office. Watergate refers to the incident where someone broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters, which was at the Watergate office complex. Richard Nixon, who was actually voted into office, tried to cover it up. An investigation exposed this and it lead to Nixon’s impeachment. Since then, most Americans have questioned their leaders, how their leaders are getting into office, and it even lead to people being more critical of the Republican party (the party Nixon was a part of).

But scandal from the Democratic president Bill Clinton in the 1990s, and little action during the Obama administration, has lead to a complete turnaround for the Republican party.

Trump has been super different from the “lying” politicians we’ve had before. Everyone doesn’t like what he has to say, but he says it anyway. I guess people figure if he was this honest about people as a candidate, what does he have to lie about as president?

Trump also became the hero or spokesperson for the “white, middle class, aged man” who has come under fire thanks to the “politically correct”. The politically correct far left have taken over media, politics in the last decade, and daily life. People have been slinging the word “privileged” around, which often refers to the white, middle class men in the USA, the people most assume never had to face prejudice and oppression, and the people who are assumed to actually have been and continue to be the oppressors. Our country has had a history of severe oppression, despite our “free” laws. This has been the reason many people are speaking out. I will go into more detail about America’s race and gender relations in future articles…

But people have been speaking out so fiercely in the last decade, white, middle class men have been fed up with being blamed for everything. They were tired for having to be apologetic to every sensitivity. Trump seemed to be the answer.

Before people began to really take Trump seriously, he was mostly funny, a celebrity, and a rich business man. His personality was definitely strong. But as propaganda began to reveal his derogatory statements, the media and the far left fought hard to keep him out of the white house.

It obviously didn’t work.

Trump is just too good of a salesman. Maybe it came from being a businessman for all of these years. Maybe he paid his way into the seat. Regardless, he was very clever throughout it all.

Speaking of businessman, because he was already a very rich man, he didn’t really need the charity of anyone to boost his campaign. Maybe that’s one of the reasons he had no reason to be so nice. He could pay off anyone he wanted, he could pay to run his own ads, and his name alone was promotion. He has had a book published, he’s spoken on several shows about the things he believes in, and he’s been a familiar figure in the entertainment world (and entertainment in the USA is a major industry). Really, there was nothing stopping him from being successful in this.

Hillary, on the other hand, was Clinton’s wife, and most people were done with the Clinton administration in the 1990s. Clinton seemed to be the same oily politician we’ve been seeing for years, the ones who lie and say nice things just to get the vote, just to let us all down by doing nothing remotely different. The only difference is she was trying to make history by being the first female president. But we learned that “different” doesn’t always make it better. Obama was a president that made history, but it didn’t make him a great president. He wasn’t bad, just not good enough. I think after Obama, we learned to pay closer attention to the campaigns. And frankly, Hillary’s campaign was weak.

Bernie Sanders, one of the original candidates during the early race, probably had a stronger chance with his campaign, but he doesn’t have a big name like Clinton or Trump. Most of the votes went to familiar names.

A Strong Campaign

That’s another thing. Trump had a really strong campaign. No, his ideas weren’t popular across the board. This is possibly why he didn’t quite take home the popular vote (though some argue he did, but if he had, it was definitely by a landslide). But he actually had ideas of his own. He wasn’t just mimicking politicians before him, like his opponent. He had real beliefs that he stood for, real solutions to these issues (even if they proved more difficult to implement than he planned), and the will to get there and make those changes.

In one interview, he said if he lost, all of this would’ve been a “waste of time”. You could say that he had a bad attitude about running for president, or you can say that shows how bad he really wanted it.  But it’s this will to win that has gotten him to the top every time.

He played into the sympathies of people. He reached out to those who felt victimized by terrorism. Since 9/11, many families of the victims’ of major attacks in the USA haven’t felt safe. They didn’t feel that true justice was served, not with the Bush or Obama administration. Media did have a hand in sensitizing these events, causing a “scare”. But the victims’ families, friends, and associates obviously didn’t need the media to feel angry, grief, or fear. And Trump offered strong solutions to this problem. It was a sure-fire way to gain the vote from those who would’ve otherwise voted for Hillary.

On the other hand, despite a need for stronger national security from terrorism, many of these people didn’t want their gun rights taken from them. I think I explained how loyal most Americans are to their Bill of Rights, correct? After the recent mass shootings in the USA, many in the far left wing of politics offered a solution: stricter gun laws. This was a threat to gun owners. Those same people who wanted to better screen immigrants did not want to better screen guns. Most were fearing a ban. Trump seems like a free-spirited man. He doesn’t seem likely to ban guns. Hillary, on the other hand, openly promoted stricter gun control, which wasn’t really popular among moderate liberals or conservatives. Trump hasn’t really addressed the gun culture in America…

However, he has offered to send martial law in Chicago and other cities to rid it of gangs, guns, drugs, and violence in general. Possibly, this is his solution to America’s “violent” culture?

Last, Trump offered to bring and keep jobs in America, something many politicians have been promising but haven’t yet pulled through. Since the recession in the early 21st century, people have been concerned about the shortage of lucrative jobs. Trump seemed like the man to fix the problem. He is a businessman, after all. He seemed to many Americans to be the most qualified to handle the economy.

Despite Trump’s unpopular ideas, and his spontaneous actions, he actually has beliefs and stands by them. Though most people dislike the way he goes about his plans, he actually does go about them. And if there’s nothing left to respect about him, people can respect the fact that he has taken action the moment he was ushered in.

Clinton, on the other hand, has changed and rearranged her ideas, ping-ponging when it came to gay marriage, national security, and many other issues. This made her seem weaker and more motivated by the public pulse. She seemed to side with whoever would give her the vote, and she didn’t seem trustworthy. Most people knew what they were in for with Trump. With Hillary, it was difficult to know. She changed her mind too often, and that left some Americans insecure.

There are many other ideas Trump gave, many other ways his campaign was strong, but those were the most popular ideas. Though most people were skeptical about how these ideas would be tackled, many people were ready to take risks and give new, more direct, more assertive suggestions a try. The passive-aggressive manner of tackling issues haven’t worked in years. People wanted someone who could make America “strong” and “sure”. Trump seemed to represent a stronger and bolder American identity.

Some democratic supporters that voted for Bernie Sanders didn’t vote for Hillary, and that left a divide on the democratic side. This brought strength to Trump’s campaign.

Electoral College

The final thing I want the world to know about American politics is the system.

I already kind of touched on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution (I will go further into it in the future).

But our voting system can be a little confusing.

Americans pride themselves on their right to vote. It’s one of the most important forms of “freedom of speech”. But our election isn’t completely influenced by our individual votes.

In fact, the popular vote (the votes cast by the people) only makes up 1/3 of the overall “vote”. The other votes are based on Congress (our body of people who govern the land) and the Electoral College. Of the three, the Electoral College tends to have the most influence.

The Electoral College was designed to be a buffer between the people and Congress. They are supposed to be unbiased people who hardly meet with one another enough to influence each other. The Electoral College also gives power to the smaller states.

usa-map

America is divided by 50 states. Each state has its own governors, laws, representatives in Congress. If the popular vote had that much power over the vote, the smaller states’ views wouldn’t really matter. Bigger states, like California, obviously have a larger population. Their votes would make the biggest difference in the popular vote method (unless the people were divided). In this case, most of our laws would be influenced by California, California’s laws, and California’s culture. This wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the United States, especially to the smaller states whose opinions would matter the least. The popular vote is influenced by the population.

History Central explains that “the founding fathers were afraid of direct election to the Presidency. They feared a tyrant could manipulate public opinion and come to power.”

Hamilton and the other founders believed that the electors would be able to insure that only a qualified person becomes President. They believed that with the Electoral College no one would be able to manipulate the citizenry. It would act as check on an electorate that might be duped. Hamilton and the other founders did not trust the population to make the right choice. The founders also believed that the Electoral College had the advantage of being a group that met only once and thus could not be manipulated over time by foreign governments or others.

The electoral college is also part of compromises made at the convention to satisfy the small states. Under the system of the Electoral College each state had the same number of electoral votes as they have representative in Congress, thus no state could have less then 3. The result of this system is that in this election the state of Wyoming cast about 210,000 votes, and thus each elector represented 70,000 votes, while in California approximately 9,700,000 votes were cast for 54 votes, thus representing 179,000 votes per electorate. Obviously this creates an unfair advantage to voters in the small states whose votes actually count more then those people living in medium and large states.

One aspect of the electoral system that is not mandated in the constitution is the fact that the winner takes all the votes in the state. Therefore it makes no difference if you win a state by 50.1% or by 80% of the vote you receive the same number of electoral votes. This can be a recipe for one individual to win some states by large pluralities and lose others by small number of votes, and thus this is an easy scenario for one candidate winning the popular vote while another winning the electoral vote. This winner take all methods used in picking electors has been decided by the states themselves. This trend took place over the course of the 19th century.

While there are clear problems with the Electoral College and there are some advantages to it, changing it is very unlikely. It would take a constitutional amendment ratified by 3/4 of states to change the system. It is hard to imagine the smaller states agreeing. One way of modifying the system s to eliminate the winner take all part of it. The method that the states vote for the electoral college is not mandated by the constitution but is decided by the states. Two states do not use the winner take all system, Maine and Nebraska. It would be difficult but not impossible to get other states to change their systems, unfortunately the party that has the advantage in the state is unlikely to agree to a unilateral change.

Trump has openly spoken against the Electoral College until it ruled in his favor. Despite him reaping the benefits of it, it has become pretty clear that the system isn’t perfect.

Even though Hillary may have gotten the popular vote, she couldn’t win over the “buffer” votes. Those votes added to the overall vote. So, for example, if Hillary was winning the popular vote because most of California and the rest of the west coast voted for her, a smaller state with the majority of Trump supporters wouldn’t stand a chance unless the Electoral College stepped in to supply them enough votes. These votes put all states, despite the population, on equal footing.

After the votes of the Electoral College, Trump won the vote. But this means he had to have been pretty popular to begin with as well in order for him to gain a complete win.

Should this system change? 3/4 of the states have to agree with the change and the amendment has to be ratified. Would Americans be so willing to change that?

I think at this point, times have changed since the days of our founding fathers. Because of all of these changes, it has become difficult for Americans to know which amendments should be analyzed, which amendments actually need amendments, and which should be left alone. Some people feel our constitution is outdated. Some people feel that the constitution was built to stand the test of time.

Throughout the decade, throughout the election race, and Trump’s new presidency, people have been paying close attention to the Bill of Rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of the press (1st Amendment), the right to bear arms (2nd Amendment), and even questioning whether cruel or unusual punishments should be inflicted, especially regarding those who commit horrible felonies (8th Amendment). People have also been observing the constitution in general, our laws.

With the temporary immigration ban set up according to religion, it has brought up serious questions regarding our 1st Amendment. Is the ban against that Amendment? Or is this just one of the loopholes?

Trump has attacked the news press time and again. Many Trump supporters feel there needs to be restrictions regarding what comes out of media. This calls the 1st Amendment to question as well.

Since people have been victims of mass shootings in the last couple of years, the right to bear arms has come under fire.

And since we have some of those mass shooters and terrorists in custody, avoiding cruel punishments for these crimes is definitely coming under scrutiny (since it could conflict with the 8th Amendment).

People are also really skeptical about the Electoral College.

In our country, the minimum amount of years they can stay in office is four years per term. A president can get up to only two terms. We don’t know what kind of president Trump will be within the next four years (or up to eight years should he be reelected). We only know how his campaign went. So far, we see that he is assertive, but very rash. Hopefully, though, something good comes out of his presidency for everyone in unexpected ways.

If not, there’s always impeachment.

Leave me a comment and let me know if this answered any questions for you! Americans, if you have more to add, please feel free to add!

I hope it was answered as simply and as down-to-earth as possible.

7 Types of Feminists That Make Me Cringe

5 Feb

 

635981490582110738922929354_feminism

There are several definitions of feminism out here:

  1. The advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of the sexes (Google.com)
  2. A range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women. (Wikipedia.org)
  3. The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
  4. Refers to any ideology that seeks total equality in rights for women and people who self-identify as women, usually through improving the status of females. (RationalWiki.org)
  5. The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. (Dictionary.com)

With the above definitions in clear view, we can conclude that overall the feminist movement is calling for equal rights for women, for anyone who identifies as women to be seen as equals to men, and for women’s “roles” in society to be respected. Some feminists even define feminism as something that helps both sexes achieve equal rights.

I feel that all women can and have benefited from feminism in their own ways. We can’t deny that. Feminism has been a movement that has existed since the 1800s (when the first suffragists rounded up and organized their movement to push for the right to vote). And these movements have shaped the “feminine” identity to this very day.

All women who work, go to school, have sexual relations freely, chose their partners, wear short skirts, pants, and shorts, speak their minds on the internet, and vote should thank the efforts of both peaceful and radical feminists. Women today can’t help but be feminists. As Oprah Winfrey put it, “I don’t think you can really be a woman in this world and not be.” I completely agree with this statement.

I myself, as an African American woman, continue to benefit from the movement. I work, I’ve graduated from college, I have assumed a leadership role, I write this blog to speak my mind publicly, I’m single and love it, I adore androgynous clothing, and I have interests not assumed by most women (such as loving to play video games).

However, I believe it is possible to benefit from feminism, to support equal rights, without agreeing with what every feminist says or thinks. Not all feminists have the same intentions regarding feminism, and it is safe to say that “Third-wave” feminism (modern feminism), the feminism that exists today, has taken a completely different turn.

Julienne Davis, a feminist writer, spoke out about the “third-wave” of feminists in her article “How Did Feminism Get Hijacked By Man-Haters”. Her article inspired me to write this one.

Many feminists are very effective when it comes to pushing women towards a more “inclusive” future. This article is not for those women who really and truly want to help all women.

I want to assume that most feminists have good intentions, but based on some articles and comments I’ve read on the internet, in books, and in essays written by those who were associated or identified as feminists, I can definitely see why some people are no longer taking the feminist movement as seriously and why some women don’t even want to be associated with the movement.

After searching around, I’ve discovered 7 Types of feminists that not only irritate me, and others, but make us all literally sick. In no particular order, I will discuss what is so irritating about them.

The Slut Shamers

The Body Shamers

Ms. Double Standards

Lady Feminine and Lady Masculine

The User and Abuser

Feminazi

Transfeminist Dictators

1. The “Slut-Shamers” (SWERFS)

slut-shaming

I felt this was important to talk about first because it has increasingly been affecting movies, music, music videos, video games, and even TOYS.

There are two reasons why the “slut-shamers” make me sick:

  1. They fail to understand the historical sexual restriction placed on women and how that continues to impact women.
  2. Their nit-picking to producers has been effective in limiting female artistic expression and creative female representation in media and other entertainment avenues.

Many feminists are against the exploitation, objectification, and over-sexualization of women, particularly when done by men. I can understand this well. Obviously, women don’t want to be looked at as “objects”, as tools of men, and want to be respected beyond their appearances. Mutual consent is an important topic as well as how sexuality in media influences young girls, who normally aren’t ready to handle the consequences that come with a sexual identity and sexual experience. Of course, mothers don’t want to encourage their daughters to sexually exploit themselves and they want to get a hold of teen pregnancies (which is said to claim over 700,000 teen girls a year). Teen pregnancy affects a female’s body and socioeconomic conditions severely. I get this.

But I can see why the “Feminist Sex Wars” ensued. There has to be some sort of balance, where women are both in control of their sexuality as well as free to express it.

These Feminists Set Us Back to the 19th Century

For centuries before the 1920s, sexuality was considered strictly for men. In fact, doctors in the 19th century believed that women felt “little or no sexual desire, and that only abnormal or ‘pathological’ women felt strong sexual desire” (“Women in Literature”, Kimberly M. Radek-Hall, 2001).

However, once women began to openly speak about their own sexualities, their right to choose their own sexual partners, and their right to express their sexuality “creatively” or in entertainment, men apparently seemed too “on-board” with this transition, to the point women became looked at as sexual objects by some men. That’s when the new wave of feminists began to debate whether women should be “sex-positive” or “anti-pornographic”.

I personally feel that the feminist movement should support all women. With that being said, I believe that women should have the right to express themselves in any way they like IF they are at a responsible age to handle the consequences. Each woman should be in charge of her “image” towards men or anyone else. If she wants to be looked at as an “object” by men or admired for her body, who are we to tell her she can’t? Or if she just wants to wear less clothing because she lives in a warm climate or because she wants to show off the latest fashion artistically, who are we to tell her she’s wrong? If we are at a point where we believe women should be on the same social plane as men, we should extend those rights we give to men that we give to women.

In fact, I feel we slut-shame women more than we do men, when statistics show that there are more teen dads out here than teen moms, and with more than one child! So much more so, in fact, that they can’t even keep a consistent count! And men are not shamed or protected by their families. I feel it would be more useful to try to get control of these young men because apparently they have the issue here! But if we are not going to say or do anything about our sons, why even try with our daughters? We can’t limit one side of the spectrum without limiting the other.

I especially find it to be super judgmental and contradictory to try to control what a female wears by shaming her into fitting another woman’s standards of beauty and decency. For many slut-shaming feminists, acting sexually isn’t the worst part. Dressing “sexually” is condemned by these feminists as well.

I can understand if someone wants to restrict a child from wearing revealing, see-through clothing and walking around as if she wants male attention. Obviously, a child is not mature enough to advertise herself in that manner. But a grown woman, with her own job, house, and car is old enough to do what she wants with herself. She’s fully prepared to handle the consequences, and no one should stop her from doing what she wants.

And some of these feminists define “sexualized fashion” as a tank top and shorts. These are the feminists that won’t let up on females even if it was 100 degrees outside!

They fail to understand that what one person finds “modest” and “beautiful” is not going to be the same for another person. They fail to understand that climate and weather impacts the way a woman dresses. And they fail to understand that styles always change. Before the 1920s, a one-piece bathing suit was considered indecent. Now, these slut-shaming feminists have suddenly become accepting of it. Why? Women show more skin in a bathing suit than they do in shorts and a tank top! But a mini skirt is worse than a one-piece bathing suit?

There are women in warm climates around the world who live and work in villages and move about their day-to-day life topless. And only western feminists will garble about how these women are “objectifying us all”.

Then, there’s the issue with their “attack” on makeup. I can understand that in our culture, women have too many expectations on them to look beautiful. I understand that feminists should push for women to be more natural. And for those women who want to be all-natural, I think it’s a great stand.

However, we shouldn’t condemn a woman who likes to wear makeup, and we especially shouldn’t assume they want male attention and that they are “sluts”.

Makeup has been worn by people (not just women) for centuries, even in the Egyptian empire. Men and women in Korea wear makeup. It is an art form. Makeup can express many different feelings at one time. People who enjoy art enjoy makeup. But slut-shaming feminists often lack an appreciation for art. Makeup is just associated with “sexualization” and “the search for male attention”.

It’s worse when these women are guilty of the same things they condemn other women for.

Instead of focusing on how women are dressing or how much makeup they’re wearing, maybe we should be focusing on the men who only see these women as sex objects and work on getting them some mental help instead.

Next, I want to talk about pole dancing, prostitution, and erotic dancing.. I do understand that coerced or forced prostitution (prostitution for money as a result of poverty, rape, pimp rings, etc) and sex trafficking are both dangerous and horrible ways for women to live. These issues should be addressed. But if a woman decides she wants to become a prostitute, and use her tricks to create a business, why shouldn’t she? I don’t think this should be illegal and I don’t think we should judge these women or men. They aren’t harming anyone, they’re just trying to make money using the only resource they can at the moment (even if that “resource” is their body). I mean, it’s their body and no one else’s.

The SWERFS believe that prostitution came from an “oppressive patriarchal” society. They believe it emerged at a time when women couldn’t make enough money to feed themselves and so resulted to giving up their bodies and being sex objects to get paid. But if we really think about it, just about everything a modern woman does and wants to do came out of a “patriarchal” society. Jobs like being a secretary, homemaker (stay-at-home moms), and maids came out of an oppressive patriarchal society, and yet we don’t suddenly condemn them or exclude them, even though those jobs put women in submissive roles. So why condemn porn stars or prostitutes just because they have jobs that came out of an oppressive patriarchal society? And if the women enjoy doing it, why comment at all?

Slut-Shaming Feminists Have Destroyed Artistic Expression

Though both sides are in the war, the “anti-pornographic” feminists have mostly dominated in the 21st century, influencing movies, tv shows (like the Powerpuff Girls), music videos (like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj), video games (like Tomb Raider), and even toys (like Bratz, Barbie, Betty Spaghetty, and even Monster High).

In most cases, too, these kinds of feminists take their criticisms too far. As a major toy and animation fan, I have personally witnessed how slut-shaming feminists have destroyed amazing, creative, and empowering doll lines, fun video games with iconic characters, and lovable cartoons with their nit-picking.

While I admit that Tomb Raider‘s Lara Croft gives an above-average body portrayal (more on this later), she’s also pretty daring and edgy, really showing that women are capable of anything. It’s no different from the body portrayals of Captain America, Superman, or Thor (which women ironically support and “eat” up). Yet, the feminists picked at Tomb Raider video game so long and so hard, the producers had to alter this iconic character. Many people claim that it had nothing to do with feminists, but we all know feminists have been complaining about that game (and many others) for years now. I don’t understand. What’s wrong with a woman who has a big chest? Some women have it, some don’t. So what? She’s not meant to look real, just like Superman and Thor.

Next…

While the Bratz dolls have been known to wear some of the most outrageous fashions and makeup, they have broken many fashion molds for a doll line. While most girls are expected to look “cute” and “modest”, the Bratz dolls have proven that a passion for fashion and breaking molds can be just as empowering. They were targeted for a tween to teen audience, and didn’t mind dressing like rock stars, jungle queens, Tokyo tourists, you name it. Makeup was used as an art form on the dolls. The Bratz never cared about the social rules. They never let these restrictive “standards” define them. Until the slut-shaming feminists got a hold of them.

Ironically, Bratz dolls have been one of few that have been respected by a male audience. While most of the males did focus on the “fashion” that the Bratz wore, most never looked at them as “sex icons”. They had big heads and big feet; they looked too much like cartoon characters to have been taken as the same sexual models we see in Playboy or Sports Illustrated magazines. Many males have stated that they liked the Bratz dolls because “they [were] unique and appealing”, “unique, cute, adorable, and wonderful”, “the look, the fashion, and the movies and episodes”, and the “high-quality clothes”. To most males, the Bratz are “unique”, well-dressed, with good movies and shows, not overtly “feminine” and “girl-centered” like other doll lines. None of the guys think these dolls are “hot” or “sexy”, but rather bold and original. So, the only ones seeing the “sexualization” of these dolls are feminists. The rest of us are seeing the sass, the boldness, and their girl power.

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From what angle do these feminists draw their conclusion? I grew up with Bratz. Am I a prostitute? No. Was I a teen mom? No. And my vision of the Bratz as a tween was that they were strong, bold, and passionate young teens, ready to take the world by storm (similar to how I saw the Spice Girls). It would’ve been different if they were designed as sexy, attractive girlfriends for a line of male dolls. But the Bratz never portrayed themselves nor never have been portrayed as sex icons, not by males, not by fans, not by anybody. I see more sexual innuendos out there for My Little Pony than I do the Bratz. And what is wrong with having a passion for fashion? Didn’t anyone get the memo that the fashion industry is dominated by male designers? We need to encourage our ladies to think outside of the box, to be the inventors, the designers, the inspiration behind everything. We should be encouraging girls to push the envelope, to explore their passions.

Even young ladies today (the ladies who haven’t been brainwashed by these feminists’ propaganda) can clearly understand that the Bratz are an example of “self-expression” through fashion, and these dolls boldly announce that women can show skin (artistically) without necessarily trying to be attractive to a MAN. I have yet to speak with any tweens or teens that referred to the Bratz as “sexy”. You can see this from some of the comments on Youtube and other SNS websites dedicated to the Bratz. The only people who don’t seem to understand that are the slut-shaming feminists. They want to believe there’s some deep-seated misogynistic feelings these young ladies are “inheriting”… I hardly call the Bratz a form of “male hate” or “male supremacy”, but imagine whatever unicorns you want, my dear.

Moving along…

I want to talk about the new re-vamped Powerpuff Girls cartoon and the controversy regarding Ms. Bellum. I understand that Ms. Bellum’s design was just a body in a sexy suit without a face. But she actually had more of a role than these feminists think. She was the power behind the mayor’s incompetence, she was a confidante for the kindergarten superheroes and a female figure in these girls’ lives, and she was a single, hard-working lady, strong, sexy, and beautiful. Her role had many other messages and undertones. Without her in the series, something is missing.

But apparently, slut-shaming feminists don’t want to leave room for a diverse range of female representations. They would rather all women be the same dry, covered up, stiff women they’ve been since the 1800’s.

I don’t hear these feminists attacking Twilight for having an above-average, full-figured teen male in the story (Jacob Black). I don’t hear the feminists come with the pitchforks against Shoujo anime with these “cardboard box”, super tall, crazy athletic males. Whenever a woman objectifies a male in a written story or movie production, I don’t hear a peep from the slut-shamers.

This extends beyond the realm of toys and cartoons, and even affects famous movie stars and music artists. While many artists want to be respected as artists regardless of what they wear or how sexual they are, many have found a way to balance both an appealing look with a powerful message (like Beyonce).

But the slut-shaming feminists have fired at artists like Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Salt N’ Pepa, you name it. If they aren’t covered up like old grannies, like Adele, they are a “bad influence”.

Ironically, these same feminists don’t go after male artists like Nick Jonas, Jason Derulo, and others who actually DO the objectifying and talk more about sex than any other artists.

I seldom find young women who get interested in sex because their favorite female artists are into it, and I’ve been working with kids and teens for five years now. Honestly, how many teens can say they did it because Nicki Minaj said it was okay? But when teen girls’ favorite MALE artists are into it, teen girls seem more influenced to explore sex and sexuality. Or better yet, when some guy at their high school tells them how special they are, they are more than likely to do it no matter who is on a movie or music video screen.

I doubt Nicki Minaj got girls more interested in sex than One Direction did or Justin Bieber or Nick Jonas. So, should we shut down all the “heartthrobs” that come onto the music scene just because they express their sexuality and turn teen girls on? We are so quick to attack a female, we hardly think to look at the male stars that influence young girls way more than female stars, who have actually done the opposite!

If you don’t want your kids to be exposed to certain things, fine. As a parent, you have that right. But I don’t agree with taking someone else’s right to expression as the solution to raising individual children. Censor what you expose your kids to in your own homes, and give the rest of us a choice to enjoy what we enjoy.

This is not to say that I feel women should always be about their bodies and their appearances. I’m not that into mine. I do feel that it’s best for me to be natural and I would like my kind to be seen as beautiful, too. But to me, it’s perfectly fine if other women feel that their expression and confidence comes from a different avenue than mine. I feel that is what makes us all amazing; our diversity is what make us great.

Therefore, I can’t hang with the slut-shaming feminists. They make me sick.

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2. The Body-shamers

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These types of feminists make me feel sicker than the first one I mentioned.

Feminists all around have been advocating the #loveyourself campaign. Feminists have been speaking out about the media and how it pressures women into thinking they have to fit a “mold” to be beautiful, to feel feminine, or to be looked at as a “real” woman. This goes hand-in-hand with the women’s “strike” against makeup and plastic surgery.

Even music artists like Alessia Cara have been singing out about the entertainment industry and how women have been trying to fit this ideal to feel worth.

Of course, the world-wide standard has always been “the skinnier, the better”, which has caused millions of girls to basically starve themselves or get plastic surgery in order to reach this ideal. So, feminists have mostly been encouraging women to enjoy having a little “weight”. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I’m on-board with this. My whole life I was sized up by people based on my physical appearance. In the African American community I grew up in, looks mattered a lot as regards to femininity and womanhood, so I understand this campaign as a whole.

However, I feel that some feminists have transferred the shame from those who are thicker to those who are thin, and that isn’t right either.

Again, feminists should support all women, thick or thin, and it isn’t right to go against a thin female just because she is thin. As a thin female myself, this always triggered me.

Growing up, being skinny hasn’t been a good experience for me. In the black community, being thicker is prized. A woman like Nicki Minaj is more than likely to be considered “sexy” than a woman with a tiny butt, tiny waist, and small breasts. Constantly, I was told I looked sick and that I was ugly. Aside from the fact that I enjoyed baggy t-shirts and jeans, which probably made me look “ugly” to certain people, I never really cared about my weight that much either. I stayed as active as I always have been. Still, the comments hurt at times, especially when I was a teenager.

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As a young woman, I once looked to the feminist movement for support. I wanted to love my body and the way I am, just like all the other ladies. But I often ran into feminists like “Ms. Body-Shame”.

I have spoken out on my blog about being skinny and how other people considered me unattractive. And what did I get as a comment? “Backhanded compliments are not attractive, dear.” Like my experience, my life, isn’t worth fighting for or worth acknowledging because I fit a perceived “standard”. This was the beginning of my disconnection with the modern woman and the feminists that shame bodies like mine.

I read the comments (from men and women) on Ariana Grande’s and Miley Cyrus’s videos about their bodies being skinny and ugly, about how they look like 10 year olds, and how only thick women can look sexy twerking. While some “anti-porno” feminists may feel that is an insult to thicker women, because it may sound as if men are objectifying thicker women, it’s an insult to the skinny girls as well, the girls who aren’t truly considered sexy without some “Hollywood” magic.

I had one person tell me that my physique was considered attractive in the 1920s, but is no longer what men are looking for. I was fine with the comment, because I am not looking for a mate. Still, this just proves my point. Feminists need to understand that body-shaming takes a broader form in today’s society. You can’t support one group of women but ignore other women, and then call yourself a feminist.

If most body-shaming feminists actually stopped and researched what men actually wanted from women, they would come to find that the ideal is NOT skinny or thick. Men want that “girl in the middle” with fat in “all the right places”. And the media ideal is dependent on the male’s opinion (if sex does indeed sell). Check these out:

Men Prefer Curves, Not Skinny

Perceptions Of Perfection: What The ‘Ideal’ Female Body Looks Like Across 18 Countries

What the Ideal Woman’s Body Looks Like in 18 Countries

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Maybe I fit the women’s ideal, but men most definitely wouldn’t find me to be the ideal. So why hate on me for being skinny?

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“Feminist” comedian Julie Klausner is one of the “feminists” that make me doubly sick. If I wasn’t skinny before, she’s gonna make my skinnier because reading her comments make me vomit. That’s how I know her acts towards “feminism” are not helping and she is definitely harmful to my very nature. Her biggest attack was on Disney Channel star Zendaya. She made some nasty comments, those same bullying comments that made me want to literally hurt somebody at one time, and then she gets called a “feminist”?

Comments like, “And thinspo model for your impressionable tweens”, “Zendaya’s ultimate retort to Giuliana Rancic is starving herself down to the size of one of her elbowz”, “You don’t have to have an eating disorder to attend the Kids’ Choice Awards….but it helps!”, did more than just irk me.

Ironically, where was her behind when Adele was winning Grammy’s? An unhealthy body weight can exist in both extremes, and if you don’t think a skinny girl can be a good “role model”, I don’t understand how staying silent about obese musicians/actors and discouraging exercising does the job any better.

It’s as if she feels all skinny girls are skinny because they starved themselves…She doesn’t realize that some of us eat only three meals a day, have a fast metabolism, and EXERCISE.

If we’re trying to get women to be seen differently in an “image-conscious” world, shouldn’t the woman’s merits matter more than her appearance, thick or thin, to women? If “body-shaming” feminists are so concerned with a woman’s image, they aren’t any better than society as a whole. In fact, they are a part of the problem and will produce an opposite extreme.

Pharrell Williams is a skinny man. But nobody makes a peep about him when he wins awards. That just shows the double standards (which I will discuss more about later). These feminists make it more and more difficult for women to be seen as equal to men. You might as well not call them feminists.

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I also want to talk about Lynn Cloud and her petition to remove Eugenia Cooney from Youtube. Clearly, the body-shaming feminists have gotten to this young lady, too. I understand that Eugenia looks sick (she’s skinnier than normal), but I have seen several men on Youtube that look just as sick. So why are we so focused on Eugenia’s image? Because she’s a girl? This never happens with men.

If you are sick, or have a sickness like Cancer or Sickle-cell Anemia, and you happen to be skinny, are you not allowed to make Youtube videos? Last I heard, anybody is allowed to post videos, no matter their appearance. She could be a spokesperson for all the other people who are sick and can’t gain weight. Is that a crime? We don’t know her personal circumstances or why she’s skinny. But who are we to silence her? Is she supposed to stay miserable her whole life and never try to adorn her body? She might have a disease that eats away at her flesh. So, she can’t post a video about herself? You people must think teen girls are so stupidly impressionable that they can’t obviously recognize that she’s sick. If anything, I’m sure her fans feel sorry for her.

Instead of trying to get this girl removed from Youtube, maybe she should be helped by people. The petition should say, “Petition to Help Eugenia Cooney”. Women should be trying to get to the root of her body weight issues and should try to get this girl some help. But banning her from Youtube will just result in her starving herself more and making her feel unwanted. The outcome could be even worse. It also limits this individual’s right to free speech. This petition will definitely create adverse effects.

And why hasn’t Ms.Cloud attacked the number of obese people on Youtube? They may not influence girls to starve themselves to look like them, but they do discourage girls who are already obese from getting active, exercising, and staying fit. Both images are damaging, but these body-shaming feminists are obviously walking contradictions.

And what about the skinny girls who have to watch a curvy woman with big boobs get all the attention from the males in the comments’ section on Youtube? I don’t see a petition to ban these women. You don’t think curvy women are influencing these girls to eat more and more fatty foods and get plastic surgery? No one gets plastic surgery on their breasts and butt to be skinny, do they?  As a teenager, watching other teens with curves get all the attention made me want to stuff my face with all kinds of foods, get plastic surgery, and wear pads to make myself look thicker. I can imagine it has the same effect on other skinny girls. But if no one is out there to make them feel beautiful, if we have body-shaming feminists influencing the average feminist, who is supporting them?

And I’m not hating on a curvy, bodacious woman. That’s her body. The point is we should love all body types and stop the concealed jealousy.

That’s why I don’t have time; there is no room in my life for the body-shaming feminists. Good thing I learned to love myself without the help of these feminists.

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3. Ms. Double Standards

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If you thought the first two were bad, just wait until you hear about Ms. Double Standards.

There is nothing that irks me more than a woman who calls herself a feminist or benefits from feminism but places “masculine” standards on men. Nothing irks me more than a woman who believes she’s free to do whatever she wants but a man is not allowed those same freedoms. I don’t like when men have double standards either, but feminists with double standards irk me more because they put on the “face” of equality when really their own self-interests are a priority.

I could go so far as to call these women “misandrists”, but not all of them hate men. Some of them just want the perks of living and working in a “man’s” world while maintaining certain traditional boundaries. I’m here to tell you ladies, that’s almost impossible in this world.

There are several double standards that have come up and out of women’s mouths, from both feminists and those benefitting from feminism, that irk me:

His Role is Provider?

There are many women who consider a father without a job a “bum”. In my personal life, most women never consider a stay-at-home father as a hard-working man or the one “taking care of his family”. He is simply referred to as the “bum” by most women, including some so-called feminists.

Did it ever occur to some of these women that he may be the one cooking and cleaning for his family while his wife works? But oh no, that makes him a moocher. That means he’s not fulfilling his role as a “man”.

But who are women to decide what a man’s role is? You are not a man! And women would be up in arms if a man decided her role in life!

Why do these feminists believe that a man should be the one to work, but they have the option to work and/or stay-at-home? If a man is a bum for being a stay-at-home dad, guess what that makes a stay-at-home mom? A BUM. And don’t come and tell me that all stay-at-home moms always have a 24 hour job cooking and cleaning. Some of these “homemakers” are reading a book and watching daytime television all day…And dinner is from a fast-food restaurant.

I can’t stand a woman who gets upset when someone attacks her contribution to society, but has all of these expectations of men. If you’re going to question a man’s role in life, you’d best be contributing something too, instead of waiting on someone else to take care of you. Especially if you call yourself a feminist, the one who is supposed to be fighting for the same “social rights” as men.

And don’t come to me with the “men are supposed to take the lead” crap. If you’re the boss of your own company, ladies, you aren’t letting the man take the lead, now are you? If you are running for president, ladies, you aren’t letting the man take the lead, are you? If you are the superintendent of your schools, manager of your store, General in your army, you aren’t letting the man take the lead, are you? If women feel they can do all that, without a man’s leadership, women shouldn’t be whining and complaining about who takes the lead in their own households.

How about this…You and your spouse both be the adults and WORK TOGETHER. There’s no sense in preaching that women should have equal rights if you aren’t a practicer of what you preach.

Who Proposes to Who?

I can’t stand a woman who calls herself a feminist, but waits around for a man to make the first move in her relationship.

Readers, I listen to a lot of early morning radio shows before I go to work. Most of the people calling in are women. One particular woman called herself a strong, empowering feminist who intimidated men. She claimed her biggest dilemma was getting her boyfriend, who she had been dating for 10 years, to marry her. She believed he felt intimidated by her because she made a lot of money and had a leadership position in life.

And all of the radio djs were just like, “Ugh, what’s taking him so long? Tell him how you feel and get him to propose!” No, woman. You propose! Maybe he’s not proposing because you can’t make up your mind as to whether you’re a strong, empowering woman or a wannabe timid mouse.

Yes, I believe that if YOU, the female, are the one who is ready to get married, YOU, the female, should be the one doing the proposing. You’re a grown woman, right? You call yourself a feminist, right? Well, if you want the same equal rights, to speak your mind, to choose your own partners, speak up! YOU go out and buy a ring. You plan the date and pay for the dinner. Why have we settled with the submissive role when it comes to relationships, when we women feel we can march on Washington for equal rights, become the bosses of our own companies, and fight hard to be president of the USA? But you’re not “equal” enough to actually do the proposing? Why not? That would be the perfect way to get the answer out of him; you’d finally figure out whether he’s ready or not, instead of twiddling your thumbs while you wait for him to make a move. Passively-aggressively whining and complaining isn’t going to get the results you want. It never works.

Some of these women cry “equal rights” when it benefits them. But when they actually have to take on a “leadership role”, they suddenly succumb to the submissive role. I’ll talk more about this later.

I also have heard on the radio about some so-called feminists who have asked a man out to dinner, but then expected him to pay the bill. That tradition has phased out. It worked back in the past, when women didn’t ask men out and didn’t really have decent jobs. In this modern world, women are making a pretty penny. In this modern world, women are taking more of the initiative. And if YOU are the one asking him out, don’t choose the most expensive place and expect HIM to pay. YOU asked HIM! You should be trying to impress him in that instance. He didn’t even have to say “yes” to you. That’s like asking your parents out to dinner, but then leaving them to pay the bill. That’s like asking your colleagues out to dinner, but then leaving them to pay the bill. It’s shady.

A woman who is like that is showing she is self-entitled. And when the feminist title is placed behind her, it just makes her seem more about “herself”.

A Boy’s Not Allowed to Like…

It sickens me how some women, who claim to be feminists, attack a man for liking something directed to “girls”. I ran into such a feminist on Youtube. She attacked a teen male for liking My Little Pony the tv series.

And yet, she praised a teen woman for being interested in Spiderman, Power Rangers, Clarence, and Naruto… So, again, why is it okay for a woman to like Power Rangers, but not for a man to like My Little Pony? In this “patriarchal” world, it’s alright for a woman to be interested in male-directed tv shows/cartoons/anime, but men are not allowed to enjoy or respect female-directed tv shows/cartoons/anime? He will be called a pedo, but she…is empowering? He has “Peter Pan syndrome” and is a “loser”, but she’s…empowering?…. He’s gay, but she’s…empowering?

It sickens me when women, who claim to be feminists or benefit from feminism, allow their daughters to buy video games, trucks, and footballs, but won’t buy their sons a doll…

I Like My Men Masculine/I Believe A Man Should Be a Man (or Masculine)

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As I said before, I listen to public radio early in the morning before work, and I hear a lot of crap from these wannabe feminists. There is one popular segment of most radio shows that allows someone to try to reach another person after a date that supposedly went “well”, but fell off. The radio dj will try to reach out to the partner that went “silent” and try to reunite the two, hopefully paying for a second date.

What normally happens is that we, the djs and the listeners, discover that the date was awful from the other person’s perspective.

Keeping that in mind, one guy was trying to reach a woman he’d been on a date with. He said he had a blast with her. When the djs reach her, she says she cut him off because his side job was “embarrassing”. His side job was to be an elf for Christmas and hand out presents to little children. I thought this was the sweetest thing.

But so many women called in, women who said they were lawyers, mechanics, CEOs, saying they would be embarrassed by him and said it just wasn’t a “masculine” job. Fine, you are welcome to expect all of this masculinity from him, because women should have the right to their standards, right? But don’t get angry when a man becomes “intimidated” by you and doesn’t want to marry you because you’re in a “not-so-feminine” role.

What made this segment so sickening was that the female radio dj host was the MAIN ONE saying his job wasn’t masculine enough. Honey, you’re in a male-dominated field! And this dj has preached, and preached, and preached about how she is the only one in her field and how males don’t respect her in the industry. She is often the main one saying that a woman can be a radio dj and still be feminine. She is often THE MAIN ONE saying that a man can’t define her femininity. But suddenly, he’s not man enough because he defies the gender stereotype?

So I ask you, ladies, who are you to define a man’s masculinity? Who are you to judge a man who is trying to spread happiness and cheer during the holidays? Women preach that they want a nice, sensitive man who cares about the family and children. But then reject that man. I can’t stand it.

I can’t stand when a woman goes around saying, “I believe a man should be a man”, but she works a 9-to-5 job, is speaking her mind on the internet or radio, and votes. Don’t these ignorant women realize that at one time, these things were considered masculine? If you aren’t willing to fit your feminine role in society, why can’t we start to see masculinity and manhood differently? It’s as if these women want the best of both worlds, and see men as a threat in BOTH roles. It’s only fair to let men define their own masculinity just as you expect to define yours.

And if you’re going to have these double standards, don’t go around calling yourself a “strong empowering” feminist. Really, you’re not one.

Want to Read a Really Ridiculous article written by a “wannabe” feminist? 10 Things Women (Still) Expect Men to Know How to Do

I can’t wait to see how triggered she’ll be when the “female” equivalent of this article comes out…

Men Shouldn’t Care About A Woman’s Appearance or Occupation

This is the subject feminists preach high and low. I understand why feminists believe we should be beyond appearances, especially when it comes to the workforce. Not everyone was born beautiful, but good people can always do good things. I do believe people should let their merits shine.

Still, in relationships, people have the right to decide what they like, both man and woman.

Feminists are not so lenient when it comes to men in this regard. As soon as a man expresses his desire for a bombshell woman who is a stay-at-home mom, these feminists are on the prowl. I can understand…unless this feminist gives the pass to a woman who expects a bombshell man with a well-paying job.

So often, I’ve heard women complaining about the kind of “job” their boyfriends/spouses have, or what their man wears or what they don’t like men wearing (the man bun, socks with sandals, etc). And that’s fine if you have standards. But he’s entitled to standards as well. If you don’t want him judging the way you look or your occupation, why are you doing it?

This is made worse when it’s coming out of the mouth of a so-called feminist or a “perceived” feminist.

These feminists get angry when men are talking about how hot a female celebrity is, but have no qualms with talking about how hot a male celebrity is. Really?

This is especially common in the Kpop industry. There are many articles about the objectification of women in the industry, which is noticeably true, but the industry’s fans are dominated by females…making the male idols ten times more popular. And it’s not because these guys are the most talented guys in the world. It’s mostly because they look good. Thus, the male “idols” are ten times more objectified than their female counterparts. They are literally just pretty “ideals” to most of these teen girls and young women (2030 crowd). It’s gotten to the point the Kpop male stars wear makeup and get plastic surgery just to appeal to these fans!

And yet, all anyone wants to talk about are the females wearing makeup and getting plastic surgery…

If we’re going to stop objectification, we need to stop it everywhere. But if you still want some hot guys to look at in the entertainment industry, why not let men have the same pleasure?

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Men Can’t Hit a Girl, But a Woman Can hit a boy

I’ve run across many feminists who abhor physical abuse, and I don’t blame them.

However, it’s oddly silent when women are doing the abusing. Most feminists assume that women have good “reasons” for being physically aggressive to their spouses/boyfriends.

In my honest opinion, physical aggression and violence is physical aggression and violence, and it’s never right.

Consider the Chris Brown and Rihanna issue. We don’t know who started that fight, but we know Rihanna was left with bruises and had to be hospitalized. Chris Brown went down for that, and rightfully so.

Solange attacks Jay-Z in an elevator, got caught on camera, with Jay-Z not hitting back, but she gets cheers from feminists…not criticism.

Anna from Frozen punched Hans in the face, when he never touched her once throughout the film, and yet this movie is for feminists? Let’s reverse those roles and see how fast the feminists come marching in front of the cinemas…

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So many times while I’m working with my children, the girls will hit, push, and shove the boys, and get away with it, causing the young men to get angry and cry about the injustice. And remember, when boys and girls are children and adolescents, the girls are usually taller and stronger than the boys. Why do we condone physical abuse from women, but pull out the pitchforks exclusively for men?

We need to stop physical aggression across the board. It’s never right.

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4. Lady Feminine and Lady Masculine

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Next, I want to talk about Lady Feminine and Lady Masculine. I will start with Lady Feminine.

This is the kind of feminist that believes a “real” feminist is a woman who honors femininity and doesn’t “act like a boy”. She never truly knows how to define what she means by “boy”, she just knows a girl shouldn’t act like one. Yes, I know, surprising, right? There are self-proclaimed “feminists” out in the world who use these kinds of derogatory statements, statements often used by male chauvinists.

But she calls herself a feminist…

This is the feminist that took on the title because it gives her status in the female community. She never really researched the term, it just makes her look good to call herself that.

I ran into such a feminist once. We were on the subject of Frozen Versus Mulan. I spoke about how Mulan was just as empowering as Anna and Elsa, if not more so, how Mulan saved all of China basically by herself, how she saved her own love interest, how her dreams consisted of bringing her family honor, and how she took initiative in her relationship. I felt that Anna and Elsa did nothing by themselves, I spoke about how Elsa ran away from her responsibilities, how Elsa acted like a victim, how Anna received help to get up a mountain (but Hans and his men found it only having been in the land a short while), how Anna’s dream consisted of dancing at a ball and meeting a prince, and how neither saved the day in any way (without destroying it in the first place). You know, similar to a topic I’ve written on this blog. And you know what she said? “Well, at least they didn’t have to dress like a man to prove how strong they were.”

Dress like a man? I asked her, “What do you define as dressing like a man? Last time I watched, Mulan was wearing armor and her hair up in a bun. Who said that a woman can’t dress like that and still be considered ‘dressing like a woman’?” No reply. Maybe she felt I was trying to strawman her, but the statement still stands. Clearly, she felt that to be a truly empowering, strong, “feminist”, you had to look like a “woman” (i.e. wear a dress) and represent everything girly.

This poster had several supporters, those who felt that womanhood should be honored and that women should stop trying to be more and more like men, and should try convincing men to be more like “women”. And I’m assuming their definition of woman was “wearing skirts and dresses and dreaming of romance”.

I understand their point, but again, how do we define this “womanhood”? Because my “female” experience never consists of dresses, hardly consists of makeup, and is hardly domestic. I truly enjoy being able to speak my mind on the internet, hold leadership positions, and I enjoy being single, without man or children.

And if these women wanted to step away from being more and more like men, maybe we should revert this society and take it all the way back to the 19th century. Perhaps these women should leave the internet and stop speaking their minds. That was once a male role. Maybe they should quit their well-paying jobs and stay at home, waiting for their fathers to take care of them or a good (or bad) husband. Maybe these women should stop wearing pants, shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers…

Oh, but they won’t. Somehow, now these things have become a part of being feminine.

If feminine qualities have evolved and changed over the last century, there is no way femininity is that limited.

Feminism is advocating that women receive the same “social and political rights” as men. I’m sorry, but these women are doing the opposite by claiming that a “woman” can’t wear armor without being labeled as “looking like a man”.

Despite that some cases like the one above exist, however, there are actually far more feminists against the traditional “feminine” values. I don’t think it’s any more progressive to be Ms. Masculine and assume that a woman that upholds traditional feminine values can’t equally want other social and political rights equal to men. These women tend to just want a balance for everybody, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are things she likes about the patriarchy and things she doesn’t.

If feminism is supposed to allow women to have more choices in the world, why are we trying to limit any woman’s self-expression? And if we want a woman to wear armor and still be labeled as “looking like a woman”, we equally shouldn’t consider “dresses” a “woman” thing, but a human thing, right? We should just look at these things as clothing styles, tastes, and interests. The sooner we start accepting that clothing varies by culture and taste, the sooner we realize that clothing doesn’t define gender or sex, the sooner we all can move along happier in our lives.

The sad part is, though, men aren’t lucky enough to have the same “social rights” as women regarding femininity in today’s society. So I guess that would give women more rights than the ones men have. And thanks to Ms. Double Standards, it enables men to continue to see these roles as separate (since they are stigmatized by these women from entering into the feminine world). Since all they have is what is deemed “masculine”, men will hold onto it, even barring women from it, just as they have been “barred” from what is deemed “femininity”. This means we really need to get pass the gender stereotyping.

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5. The User and Abuser

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The title refers to women who use the feminist title just for gain, perks, to get back at people, or to get out of sticky situations, but have no real interest in issues that affect women. Thus, she ends up abusing the title of “feminist”. This title could also refer to a woman who uses feminism as a title when convenient, but drops it when she has to do physical or laborious work, work actually considered “for men”.

She’s different from Ms. Double Standards in the fact that she may not actually have double standards. However, she recognizes that feminism gives her a certain power that it doesn’t give men, and she’s willing to fall back on it when she makes a “mistake”. She also knows when to play the “feminism” card and when to play the “traditional” card, making her a walking contradiction.

If you’re not following me, let me start giving examples. I knew of one young lady in college who liked the attention and company of many men. She slept around with most of the guys on her campus. In high school, her parents allowed her to get plastic surgery on her chest and butt. She definitely took advantage of the male attention.

Of course, she ended up pregnant. The moment she ended up pregnant, she claimed the man who impregnated her actually “raped” her and she filed a claim to get him kicked out of college. When the school refused to do this, she gathered some feminists from her school, rallied against the board, claiming they ignored serious issues that affect women.

Now, sure, she may have been raped. We don’t know what happened behind closed doors. But there was no real way of knowing whether she was lying or telling the truth, either. There was no physical evidence that she was raped. And the feminists that supported her only supported her because she was a woman who used the magic words.

The real problem is the fact that the young woman may have felt she had to lie. Our society has made it so a woman feels like a slut when she makes a “consensual” mistake. It is easier to catch a woman who made a mistake than a man (women get pregnant), so she often gets called the “stupid” one. And the physical consequences are more severe for a woman than a man (though a man may experience social/financial consequences), so women often try to find any support they can.

But lying and tearing someone down because of a mistake you made? That’s not only irresponsible, that is anti-feminist. It makes women seem like manipulative and fickle creatures who aren’t capable of making their own responsible decisions. It should not be supported by other feminists. I think more investigations should go into these “rape” outcries.

Anyway…

There are other incidents of the “users and abusers” I’ve encountered when working with children. Yes, it starts as early as five years old. I think I’ve mentioned how girls will often hit and shove the boys without consequence, right? Well, often times, I run across girls who are vicious bullies, but as soon as their parents are called, they turn on the tears and blame the male for “provoking them”. The manipulation works, with the male often being blamed as the bully, even when facts prove otherwise. I don’t blame the girls, who are just children. However, I blame society for enabling this manipulation, the feminists who support this destructive behavior or choose to ignore it, and the parents who just don’t have a clue.

Another example of this kind of feminist is one who has failed at a sport, job, debate, or anything else, provided that the “rules” were just and fair, but complains that she was discriminated against because she “is a woman”. Feminism does promote women receiving the same equal opportunities as men to go for the same jobs, play the same sports, and enter the same mental competitions. However, there is a difference between opportunity and success. Sometimes, some women just can’t do the job. Sometimes, a woman may lose a debate or a chess match. It’s not always the system setting up the women to fail (though it can happen and has happened at times). Many times, some women just can’t do the job as well as another person, and that is okay. We can’t blame the system when it is convenient and march our way into all the colleges we don’t get accepted to or into all the sports teams we’ve been rejected from. Sometimes, we have to be objective and analyze whether we were denied based on gender/sex or based on our actual skills (or lack thereof).

There is another type under this User and Abuser label. She’s the woman who is always strong, powerful, and in control until she really has to do a “man’s” job. What do I mean by that? I mean the one that has to serve in the military.

Luckily, in the USA, many women don’t have to experience being drafted into military service. But in many other countries, the draft is a very real part of life. Often times, women are exempt from military service because they are deemed too “weak” to do the rigorous training the men do.

Most feminists have been offended by this, but I recently ran across a self-proclaimed feminist who said she did feel women were “too weak” to be drafted in the military. In one conversation, she mentioned how women should be allowed in male-dominated fields, how women were strong, and how they were capable of having children and then going back to work. But when the topic of military service came up, she mentioned how her “menstrual” would hold her back and how she wouldn’t be able to take having to exert herself physically because of cramps.

Well, no one said military service was easy. Even men struggle through it. But there are many ways women could serve in the military, offering their intellect, their agility, hands or anything else. I presented this idea to the “feminist”, and her response was “That’s just not for women”. This was coming from a woman who claimed women were “strong” and capable of handling male-dominated fields. But as soon as the idea of mandatory military service came up, she was suddenly the docile mouse. This showed me that she was ready to use feminism when she wanted to use it, but not ready to assume the responsibilities that came with feminism. If we advocate that women be treated equally to men, we should expect the same things of women that we do men. They should have the same responsibilities. They should take responsibility for what they’re advocating.

Apparently, some women just aren’t ready for true feminism-the kind that doesn’t make their life more cushy, that is.

These kinds of feminists confuse the heck out of everybody, which sets the feminist movement back. What do you want? Do you want equal rights or not?

All of these gray/grey areas leave room for anti-feminists to poke holes.

Did I mention that some of these women get paid off of feminist propaganda? It’s more of a business for them, nothing personal.

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6. Feminazi

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Yes, I used it. I used one of the worst insults to describe a feminist. I don’t always like to throw this word around, but if you’re acting like one, you are. Many people throw this word around unjustly, but there are a group of “feminists” that this word applies to.

Before I lay it thick on them, I do want to admit that I respect the feminazis more than all of the above feminists. No great movement is good without radicals, right? A radical movement can be an effective movement. For starters, at least most of them know what they stand for and aren’t full of the major contradictions other feminists are known for (unless they also fall into the other above categories). These women have gone beyond just fighting for equal rights; they are ready to destroy any “male-dominated” society. These are the women that are strictly focusing on the “patriarchy” and nothing else.

While I applaud them for getting down to the gritty business, sometimes these women seem to be trying to create their own little strict feminist regime. They are “puritanical” in a way, insisting that everything caters to women, the female sex, and her issues and needs, whether it be in a movie, music video, song, or book (like Nazi Germany). In fact, she may insist that there not be a male present AT ALL when the story is directed to a female audience. Romance is misogynistic to most of these women.

This is the woman that gets angry if she goes into a movie and sees one or less lead female characters. This is the woman that can analyze and find all the misogynistic undertones of everything, intentional or not. She can see the misogyny of video game characters wearing pink, the misogyny of a female character crying, the misogyny of women talking about their relationships, the misogyny of reality show fights… I have to admit she does her homework.

Despite her “intelligence”, she can be very annoying. I can’t understand how these women can enjoy anything when they are constantly worrying about how men are perceiving them or representing them all the time. If these feminists were really so tired of the misogynistic undertones, wouldn’t they have made their own little collection of cult films, books, and music exclusively for women, by women, with female leads by now? That would work better than trying to boycott or protest every little bit of entertainment because of some “misogynistic undertones” they’ve discovered. And it’s easy for them to find, too. They can read misogyny in the different ways we perceive the color of the sky. That’s how obsessed they are.

These women are also very particular about who should benefit from the movement and who should be supporting the movement. Oh yeah, some of them want to control who supports the movement. I’m sure most of us are aware that men can be feminists, right? Not the feminazi.

These are the women that aren’t just looking at feminism as a movement for equal rights. They include all the issues women face in the world, no matter how crazy or petty, like fights with their families and friends and women-on-women crime, among others.

You will certainly find some man-haters among them somewhere, too. They aren’t too friendly with men. In relationships, they are very particular about the men they like, if they like men at all. But these women are often so sensitive, even lesbian women have a hard time dealing with them (since they like to point out how we are all so conditioned by the patriarchy every 5 minutes).

All cynicism and sarcasm aside, I understand their need to bring “light” on issues that truly affect women. I appreciate the points they bring out regarding the social restrictions, expectations, and labels that have been placed on women. However, the feminazis need to step back and look at the forest sometimes. They are too caught up in these ridiculous, petty, and really unimportant details. After reading their propaganda, it’s hard to enjoy anything anymore.

Most of the feminazis are so caught up in getting rid of the “patriarchy”, which is riddled with some things that limit women and which do encourage women to be more “like men”, they forget that there are also good things that have come out of patriarchy that we can and have benefitted from. GASP. I don’t think the feminazis can handle that sentence. But it’s true. We all enjoy male inventions, like Apple, internet, cars, and much more. Sure, they were created in eras where women were limited, and yes the efforts of women to bring those inventions out there have been ignored, but they are still good inventions. If you don’t want a patriarchal society, move out to a remotely isolated place and create your own town full of women. That’s what a few Kenyan women did. See? Women of action, not talk.

And there are privileges, especially in western societies, that women have enjoyed as a result of this “oppression”. Women have never had to be drafted, they’ve been able to mostly stay at home instead of slaving in the outside world, and men have been expected to show chivalry towards women (even if some didn’t) by opening doors, pulling out chairs, and giving jackets to women when they’re cold.

Some of the women from the good ole’ days would hardly agree that they were actually oppressed. Many agreed with their set “roles”. Of course, some women didn’t, because we’re all individual. But neither did some men. We have had very defined separate roles in society, and much of the “rules” were written by both men and women. These “roles” were always decided by the lifestyle lived by both the men and women. If a woman lived an agricultural life, she wasn’t expected to work in the home. If a woman lived in an urban area, she was expected to do housework. And some women took pride in being homemakers. I hardly call that oppression, considering the term refers to prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. There may have been more boundaries, but that was for both men and women. Some women in the west were not treated cruelly, unjustly, or controlled at all. Many women decided the roles they wanted and lived comfortable lives.

As long as men exist, patriarchal thinking will exist, and as long as women exist, matriarchal thinking will exist. Each gender thinks about their own self-interests, first and foremost. We can’t get rid of one to uphold another. The only way to live peacefully with one another is to work out our ideas together, to remove the ideas from both systems that just don’t work or don’t lead to a comfortable life, and keep the things that enhance the quality of all of our lives. As an African American, even though White Supremacy exists, it’s not realistic to try to remove white people from positions of power. It’s best to rise in that system and then implement our ideas, causing a blend. I feel the same way about Male Supremacy.

While most women want to be seen as strong and independent heroes, we are also very individual and don’t mind seeing romance here and there. There is nothing wrong with marriage or relationships. It’s how we continue our human race. There’s also nothing wrong with a man saving a woman, as long as we know that the feeling is mutual. Women can’t always do the saving. That’s just not realistic. While we do want to focus on shedding stereotypes, it’s not always bad to enjoy or even fall into some of them every once in a while.

There are women out here who really do need to fight their patriarchal systems. They are in countries that truly oppress women. We should observe how their patriarchy is destroying them, especially if there is nothing good coming out of it. But some of us are actually living in a society where it’s really not fair for either side, men or women.

The feminazis have to ease up a little. That’s all I’m saying.

The following videos are not by a feminist, however, I think she makes some interesting points:

Food for thought…

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7.  Transfeminist Dictators

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For those who are unaware, Trans people are people who are labeled a certain sex at birth, but identify as the opposite gender.  There are many transmen and transwomen who also identify as feminists, and often times stand with other kinds of women against rape, sexism, and misogyny.

Despite this, however, there are some trans feminists who criticize other feminists in an effort to protect their identity.  This is what makes some of them the most cringeworthy feminists of all.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with being a trans feminist, especially if you are a transwoman.  After all, feminism is for them as well, supposedly, right? However, I do have a problem with trans people trying to “censor” certain topics, and I do have a problem with trans people dictating the way other women in the movement address their own anatomy biologically.

I get that trans women want to feel included in the movement, and certainly there are certain aspects of the movement that apply to trans women.  However, not everything in the movement has to apply to trans women and women should not be forced to censor themselves when talking about issues that affect their everyday life. What they fail to understand is that many feminists experience oppression based on their biology and not just because of social gender representation. Trans women must respect this.

Examples of topics that trans people have tried to censor include:  pregnancy, abortion, menstruation, breast cancer, vaginal disrespect, and/or Uterine diseases or conditions, along with other biologically “female” issues.  Many trans women are sensitive about these topics because most of these topics do not concern them and their own biological make up.  As a result some trans women have even said that women should not talk about these issues at all in order to avoid “excluding” trans women.  One example of this involved the latest Women’s March On Washington, when women dressed as vaginas in order to make a political statement.  Transwomen criticized the movement, and it was not because the costumes were ridiculous, not because women were representing genitals in front of thousands of children, but because they felt the march was “transphobic” and “cissexist” and exclusive.  Yes.  They did not like the idea of women wearing what they referred to as “pussy” hats or vagina costumes, making the trans women feel somehow like they are less than women.

Apparently, the trans women did not get why the women were marching with vagina hats and costumes in the first place.  This was a political statement, a statement to a man they felt offended the vagina or “pussy”, a genital that the majority of women have in the world.  So why should they not wear vagina hats and costumes? I understand that some trans women have different genitalia, but that does not mean the feminists should not speak up when they feel vaginal disrespect.  Just because you’re the kind of woman that doesn’t go through this, doesn’t mean majority of other women don’t.  Feminists should be able to address all issues that affect all kinds of women without feeling guilt. A woman should be allowed to talk about her body and her own anatomy. After all, that was one major issue throughout history. The vaginal anatomy has been the root reason why women have always been considered sexually inferior, considered unclean, and receptive, not assertive. Their genitals affect them as women, so these women should be able to speak on it. Walking around with “vagina” hats wasn’t the best way to get the idea across, it was a little extreme, and it doesn’t actually define a woman totally, but regardless of my personal opinions about the costume, they should be allowed to try to get their points across without being labeled “cissexist” or “transphobic”. It is not “cissexist” or “transphobic” if they talk about their biological bodies, especially if it has something to do with the way they are treated in society.

Historical “science” used to distort all kinds of “facts” about women based on the “uterine” genitals. Therefore, it is not right to repress their voices just because it makes you, as a trans woman, feel “uncomfortable”.

There are issues trans women go through that other women do not experience, and that is okay. Would it be right for other women to try to censor a trans woman’s voice because other women do not experience the same things? No, it would not, because those issues are serious and need to be resolved for the mental, emotional, social, and physical health of society. It is the same thing when it comes down to women with vaginas.

These kinds of trans feminists also try to “censor” other feminist causes, too.  They even try to censor the feminists’ use of words.  They insist that feminists not refer to their own anatomy as “female”, despite the fact that scientifically the definition of female involves a certain kind of anatomy and function.

The hypocritical part about these trans feminists is that they will be the first to tell you that you cannot define them; they insist they can only define themselves. So why is it their job to dictate what another feminist defines as female?

Oh, and by the way, not all feminists like the word cis either, though most trans women insist that women who are not trans refer to themselves as such. A cis woman is a woman that identifies as the gender aligned with her sex. What about the feminists that don’t honestly believe in gender?  This is what I mean; trans women cannot tell other women how and in what manner they should identify themselves and their anatomy.  It would be best if these types of trans women stopped insisting that every issue in the movement be about them. I get the feeling that some of the feminist trans women are just too sensitive to be in any movement.  They are apparently sensitive to almost everything in every movement.

And this is not all transfeminist, mind you. I have run into some very supportive trans feminists, women who talk about their own issues as well as the issues others face. Those women are helping us all move forward. But those women that get whiny over every little thing in the movement? Just have several seats.

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feminism-definition

At this point, I want to wrap this up by re-emphasising my appreciation for most feminists and their efforts to try and push us toward a more inclusive and progressive society. However, I just had to bring this issue out. There are certain feminists that have been evolving out of the movement and I think it’s time someone warned others about them. They are mostly holding women back.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about my list. Do you agree with my list, that these feminists are cringe-worthy? Are there any others

you would like to add? I’m open to discussion.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura and Syaoran’s Natal Profiles

19 Dec

Ever since I heard about the Cardcaptor Sakura sequel, the Clear Card arc, I’ve been binge watching the Cardcaptor Sakura anime and re-reading the original manga to refresh my memory while I tackle the new Chapter in Sakura’s life.

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As I’ve been going through the manga and anime, I’ve been interested in the birthday profiles of Sakura Kinomoto and Syaoran Li. Their relationships with other characters (as well as with one another) have always been of interest to me (especially after reading Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles and xxxHolic), but after analyzing their birthdays, I’ve come to realize even more details about these two characters and their relationships with others.

This is an astrological reading. To learn about their planets and signs, I had to retrieve a natal chart or birth chart. To learn more: How Can I Learn More About Zodiac Signs and Aspects?

How did I deduce the year they were born? Well, I started with Toya Kinomoto, Sakura’s older brother, as I’ve seen many fans online do to calculate the year. He is said to have been born on a leap year day: February 29. The only way it would be possible to have been born on a leap year day, and still be in his late teens in the 1990s, he would have to have been born in 1980. Sakura is 7 years younger than him; her year must be 1987. It is implied that Syaoran is a year older than Sakura; his year must be 1986.

Keeping this in mind, it makes perfect sense why certain events unfolded the way they did.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a birth time for either character. But a rectification isn’t totally impossible, considering there are plenty of events to analyze. Still, rectifications are less accurate. I will be updating this article as more information is revealed. * So far, what I have are their birthdates and years, which is enough to interpret planets in signs and aspects.

The following interpretations may contain spoilers. Most of the interpretations will make sense only to CCS fans anyway.

Dark Pixie, AstrologyclubInsightful astrology, Completehoroscope, and AlwaysAstrology are the sources where I got the information. Check out their websites for more info!

Sun-vitality, life, ego, creativity, expression, identity, self, main concerns, the father, consciousness, the will, power, masculine yang, the basic drive for significance, psychic and physical energy, stamina, rulers and authority figures, integrity, individuality

Moon-emotions, intuition, moods, mothers, children, instincts, the unconscious, material substance, female yin, receptivity, heredity, past, nurture, family, domestic life, wife, change, habits, feelings of belonging or alienation, the masses, containment

Mercury-intellect, logic, perception, thinking, communication, mentality, siblings, travel, reason, the rational mind, language, writing, memory, creating associations, symbolization, skills, movement, transportation, versatility

Venus-love, beauty, art, romance, partnership, values, women, pleasure, femininity, relatedness, social urges, creation, attraction, luck, personal magnetism, money, nurturing mother love, sensuality, bonding energy, harmony and merging

Mars-aggression, drive, power, instincts, masculinity, sexuality, men, brothers, desire, action, ego, individuality, survival, yang, passion, courage, competition, sports, war, stamina, independent in relationships, conflict, force, vigor, mechanical ability

Jupiter-expansion, optimism, abundance, wisdom, vision, convictions, space, growth, luck, higher learning, travel, religion, philosophy, material abundance vs waste and extravagance, understanding vs wanderer and dilettante, integration into society

Saturn-structure, restrictions, time, authority, discipline, limitations, challenge, concentration, pessimism, fear, karma, consolidation, delays but not denial, the father, old age, tests, collective law/reality, school, teachers, contraction, responsibility, obligation, ambition

Uranus-rebellion, eccentricity, upheaval, originality, renewal, revolution, individualism, humanitarianism, science, inventions, unpredictable change, intuition, genius, independence, freedom, social reform, rebels, electricity, joining the collective consciousness and the group mind

Neptune-dreams, illusion, delusion, spirituality, oneness, addictions, transcendence, suffering, imagination, sensitivity, psychic and mystical capability, deception, drugs, alcohol, obligation, bondage, fog

Pluto-power, transformation, obsession, alchemy, healing, life, death, humiliation, underworld, sex, the breakdown of psychological blocks preventing evolutionary growth, regeneration, phoenix

Aries –adventurous, energetic, pioneering, courageous, selfish, quick tempered, impulsive, impatient, brave, independent, assertive, hates to be restricted. I am

Taurus-patient, reliable, warmhearted, loving, jealous, possessive, resentful, inflexible, good taste, sensual, down to earth, pleasure-seeking, stubborn. I have

Gemini-adaptable, versatile, communicative, witty, nervous, tense, superficial, inconsistent, dynamic, many talents, likes games, two faced, mischievous. I think

Cancer-emotional, loving, intuitive, imaginative, changeable, moody, over emotional, touchy, sensitive, friend-oriented, practical, hates to argue, forgives but doesn’t forget. I feel

Leo-generous, warm hearted, creative, enthusiastic, pompous, patronizing, bossy, interfering, popular, faithful, dominating, too much pride. I will

Virgo-modest, shy, meticulous, reliable, fussy, worrier, overcritical, harsh, successful, creative, likes to please, clever, can lead others on. I analyze

Libra-diplomatic, urbane, romantic, charming, indecisive, changeable, gullible, easily influenced, irresistible, adventurous, lavish, complicated love life. I balance

Scorpio-determined, forceful, emotional, intuitive, jealous, resentful, compulsive, obsessive, self-reliant, powerful, wise, dominant, secretive. I desire

Sagittarius-optimistic, freedom-loving, jovial, good-humored, blindly optimistic, careless, irresponsible, superficial, open-minded, achiever, loving, insensitive, cold. I see

Capricorn-practical, prudent, ambitious, disciplined, pessimistic, fatalistic, miserly, grudging, hard-working, straightforward, loyal, stubborn, uncontent until at the top. I use

Aquarius-friendly, humanitarian, honest, loyal, intractable, contrary, perverse, unpredictable, sets trends, innovative, admired, distant, eccentric. I know

Pisces-imaginative, sensitive, compassionate, kind, escapist, idealistic, secretive, vague, alluring, free, sensual, sensitive, can’t function alone. I believe

When a planet is exalted, it is an “honored guest” within the sign, bringing benefits easily from the planetary energy to the person, but only if they work hard and take full advantage of their opportunities, not taking any of it for granted. The planet receives strength and energy when in the sign of its exaltation. This often creates an exaggerated expression. (Example: When someone has Venus in Pisces, Venus is exalted. The person has a naturally charming, sweet, and loving personality, so they easily draw admirers and lovers to them. They have to work hard to maintain a stable relationship and figure out who is “the right one” among all their suitors. Pisces’s sweet and dreamy nature makes these individuals the ultimate romantics and appreciators of beauty. This gives Venus strength. These individuals have a natural quiet spirit, which creates the peace that Venus wants, and their ability to go with the flow allows them to enjoy pleasures without limit. There are enough resources for Venus to borrow from.)

When a planet is in domicile, it is at home. It is in its strongest and safest position here. The person can fully utilize the planetary power, easily expressing and understanding the nature of the planetary energy without hesitation or question. They must be cautious when using their power. They must never overuse or abuse this power. (Example: When someone has Venus in Libra, Venus is at home. That person will fully understand the mental power of love and know how to use their own charms to get what they desire. They never hesitate to express love and fully understand their own feelings without being told by someone else how they feel. They also understand others’ feelings of love. If they want to, they can abuse this power by being deceitful and manipulative. They must be careful not to do this. When Venus is in Libra, Venus is safe enough to express love freely. Libra is a partner oriented, peace-loving, and sensual sign. Venus has plenty of resources to borrow from. If these individuals want to, they can easily tap into these energies. They have no problem or shame feeling like they need a lover in their lives, lazing around with nothing better to do, and accommodating to others.)

When a planet is in a falling state, the people with this often have a hard time getting what they want from the planet in usual terms. They often have to work harder than most to overcome fear and insecurity to get what they want. The planet loses its strength and influence in the sign of its fall. This is often looked at as the planet entering a “foreign country”. (Example: When Venus is in Virgo, Venus is in a falling state. The people with this placement have a hard time finding the right lovers to appease their exacting taste. They do not easily fall in love. This sets the standards high for others, but it also means Venus in Virgo people will have to put in overtime if they ever expect to find someone suitable. They must overcome a simple distrust with love. Virgo’s exacting and practical nature takes away Venus’s strength and influence. There aren’t enough resources in Virgo, a critical and analytical sign, for Venus to spread love and pleasure.  Venus has to make it work. The individuals with this placement have to set aside their “critical” thoughts, and tap into their natural earthy senses a little more. They may need help from others so that they can just relax and take it easy.)

When a planet is in a detrimental state, the people with this position have to find unique ways to harness the planetary energy. They often have a unique point of view regarding the planetary energy, bringing new strengths but plenty of challenges in their lives because their expression doesn’t align with convention and makes others uncomfortable. They are often misunderstood. This is often looked at as the planet being in an “enemy’s” home. (Example: Venus is in detriment in Aries. When someone has this placement, they don’t see love the same way most people do. In fact, they often can’t separate love, passion, admiration, and lust from one another. Thus, they seem to fall in love with the first nice and attractive figure in their lives. These people have learned to get along without a whole lot of love in their lives, thus they are quite independent. Merging with another is a very challenging task for them and settling down may be the scariest thing for them to do. They often worry so much about being liked they don’t consider their partner’s feelings. Their feelings are often misunderstood as a result. Aries is ruled by Mars, Venus’s natural opposite. Venus is the planet of peace; Mars is the planet of war. Venus is a feminine planet; Mars is a masculine planet. Venus is sensual and lazy; Mars is rough and active. They don’t mix easily. There are few resources Venus can use to spread love and pleasure when in the sign of detriment. The individuals with this placement have to fight to remain committed in relationships, to accommodate to others, and to keep the peace at all costs without letting selfishness or impatience get in the way.)

Conjunct aspect is powerful. It is usually when two planets blend. They are usually in the same sign because it means the two planets are near one another on a natal chart.

Trine aspect is usually when two planets flow easily together. They are usually two planets in signs of the same element (fire, earth, water, air) because they usually form an exact “triangle” on a natal chart.

Sextile aspect is usually when one planet mildly supports the other. They are usually two planets in signs that share the same energy (introverted/extroverted, yin/yang, feminine/masculine, etc) but are NOT in opposite signs on the natal wheel. Earth and Water signs share the same energy, and fire and air signs share the same energy. The sextile planets are normally two houses apart on the natal chart (Houses are something I can’t introduce just yet, without a birth time).

Square aspect is usually when when planet produces conflict for another and vice versa. They are usually two planets in signs of the same mode (cardinal, fixed, mutable) but have opposite energies (earth and water (yin) have opposite energies from fire and air (yang)). In this case, they may have a similar style of achieving goals, but their goals differ. On a natal chart, when two planets form the aspect, it usually shows the beginning of a square. If all four signs of the same mode form this aspect, it will make the shape of a solid red square on the natal chart.

Opposition is powerful. It is usually when two planets are in opposite signs on the natal wheel (or very close to it). One planet is pulling the individual away from the other. Opposite signs are normally the same mode (cardinal, fixed, mutable), with the same energy (Yin/Yang), but opposite elements (fire and air are opposite elements, earth and water are opposite elements). In this case, they are just alike in behavior, but have different goals. On the natal chart, one line forms from one end of the natal chart directly to the other (North to south, east to west).

Sakura Kinomoto

sakura

Sun in Aries (Exalted)

Your entourage (Note: Sakura’s entourage is none other than Tomoyo, Kero, and Syaoran. 😛 ) is amazed by your energy, your courage and your boldness. Your reactions are quick, even instantaneous. Your enthusiasm prompts you to follow your natural impulses, even though you are not aware of all the consequences of your actions. Above all, you want to live each moment intensely, without fearing the future. Your enterprising spirit is supported by an acute sense of confrontation. Present! This is Aries answering the call. Any call, provided that there is some degree of new-ness or some challenge. If Aries’ dynamism and enterprising spirit are underlined, it is because the sign is more inclined to commit itself in the present and to start from scratch. This ability to take action on the spot in response to any stimulation also applies to the area of your relationships: you say outloud what you deem necessary to say, even if it means foolishly upsetting several persons. It is black or white, yes or no… often without balance! Beginning and undertaking are situations where you feel that you are in your element. Your qualities can also be expressed when you are bogged down in inextricable and complicated relationships: you know how to simplify things but you should beware not to do so in a caricatured manner.

AlwaysAstrology

Aries, you’re the first sign in the zodiac, the astrological newborn. As the first sign, you don’t have any of the baggage that the other signs carry, allowing you to approach everything in life with enthusiasm. You’re attracted to anything new, and you’re constantly pursuing things, always excited about whatever new trail you’re blazing, and you bring your enthusiasm with you. Not jaded like the other signs can be, your positive outlook keeps your from getting stuck in any bad moods for very long. You love to smile, laugh, and enjoy yourself, and you value your independence. You don’t want to rely on anyone else to get things done or make you happy. You’re perfectly capable of doing that on your own, and you want to. Once you decide to do something, you get to it quickly without much thought or planning, and since you really only like the adrenaline rush of the beginning, you get bored easily, becoming impatient when things don’t happen the way you want right away, and you have trouble seeing things through. You’re the type who starts a million projects but never finishes any of them. If you could learn a little discipline, it would take you far. You have plenty of energy to do whatever you want to do, so you don’t have to worry about that, but if you don’t have enough to do, you get restless, agitated, and prone to accidents, so it’s important for you to be physically active and keep a busy schedule. Most others might suffer a total collapse from the kind of schedule you need, but they don’t have the abundant energy that you have. Harness your energy so it’s not all over the place with no direction. When it has something to focus on, you’ll be able to do incredible things. You’re the pioneer of the zodiac, Aries, the one who can go where no one else has gone before, and you do so with a smile on your face and excitement in your soul that’s hard to match, squash, or not be in awe of.

Dark Pixie

Aries Sun (Dominant Parental Figures in Life-Father, Older Siblings, Guidance Counselors, Teachers, Female Leaders of Family, etc):If your Sun is in Aries, then your Sun parent (could also be the female head of the household) may have appeared to be in constant motion to you. He/she most likely enjoyed sports and could even have coached you in Little League or soccer if you showed an interest and aptitude in these activities. He/she probably seemed to be more interested in an active relationship than in long discussions on the origins of man. He/she might have been impatient with you and sometimes a little short-tempered. Tagging along with him/her on errands or bike rides would probably have been the best way of getting his/her attention.  If you have the sun in Aries, your relation to your Sun parent is active and impatient. It’s probably mutual. You may not talk much, but you enjoy doing things together – and challenging each other. When you talk, it’s often in an argument, but you rarely stay angry with each other for long.

Sakura is mostly described as cheerful and energetic, very descriptive of her sun sign energy. Sun in Aries are also known to be active and athletic. They are outgoing, enthusiastic, positive people. Sakura fits the bill. The Sun is exalted in Aries because the star is able to shine in a positive way in the fiery sign. This is probably why Sakura’s personal power is that of the “stars”. Even though it’s a faint light at first (and she has to work hard to grow her strength), she is able to be most effective with the power of the stars. She is a good leader, courageous, and somewhat impulsive (which is why she’s clumsy).

Unfortunately, Sakura can be a little preoccupied with herself and often forgets to analyze the feelings and thoughts of those around her. This is usual of someone with Sun in Aries.

With Sun in Aries, males are usually the most dominant figure in the child’s life (Mars, the ruler of Aries, being the other masculine planet). It’s not surprising that Sakura lives in a house full of males. It’s also not surprising that Sakura gets her athletic abilities from her father. All of of the males in her household are athletic.

With your natal Sun conjunct your natal Jupiter in Aries, you tend to be a positive person with energy and enthusiasm. You try to see the upside of situations and people, and you believe that everything will always work out for you. That might actually be true, with it seeming like you have great luck, and someone is always there to clean up your mess, but eventually, the gambling with life catches up with you if you’re not careful. If you can be more careful, you can accomplish a great deal in your life.

This is probably the reason for Sakura’s invincible spell “I will surely be alright”. And Sakura does seem pretty lucky most of the time, just relying on that spell alone. She certainly got lucky during the Final Judgment. This aspect intensifies her positivity.

With your natal Sun square or opposite your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you want to feel or experience something extraordinary. Your early life lacked a father or father figure, lacked rules or support, or didn’t help you form your own identity. You have to watch for being attracted to all of the wrong people. You can be self-destructive or escapist. You’re sensitive and bruise like a peach, and need to forge a stronger connection to reality.

Her sense of a “father figure” is probably because her own father decided to take on a nurturing role in her life. All of the things regarding her father is also a great mystery, so she doesn’t feel she really knows him. This aspect can also signify a father figure who doesn’t know much about himself. In Sakura’s case, this is true. Fujitaka has expressed that he didn’t know his own family (manga) or even where he was born.

Clearly, there are very few rules in Sakura’s household. She doesn’t get punished very often by her father, either.

It’s easy to see that Sakura can be attracted to all sorts of people, even people that Syaoran or others’ around her distrust. It’s not hard to see her being attracted to the wrong people.

Analyzing Mars’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

sakura-aries

Sun in Aries is energetic and enthusiastic (and often athletic)

Moon in Taurus (Exalted)

On the day and at the time of your birth, the Moon was in the sign of Taurus. Traditionally, the Moon is in exaltation in this sign: lunar values (quietness, rest, trust) find their complementary landmarks in Taurus… self-defense, need for stability and selectiveness. Your sensuality is strong and expresses itself in all life areas. You equally enjoy the pleasures of the senses and those of the mind and you never waste a single bit of a sensation. You take the time to enjoy life, to dream and to follow your imagination. You do not allow anything to disturb these moments of relaxation and calm. Your basic balance stems from these privileged moments where you can daydream at will and “have your head in the clouds”. Nothing bothers you, no external element disrupts the quiet course of your rest. Should anyone dare to break the charm, you become very upset…

Having your Moon in Taurus can make you very emotionally stable, and you’re not one to swing from mood to mood quickly, easily, or routinely. You tend to believe in the “happy medium” thing (XD). The downfall can be a lack of intensity when the moment requires it, especially in situations where you need to react quickly. You try to make situations work for you by squeezing as much time as you can to allow yourself to slowly and deliberately go over things. You don’t take anything too lightly, or too seriously. You’re very sensual, and you love to get in touch with your senses, stimulating each one to allow yourself to feel most in tune with yourself and the earth. You probably like nature (even if you aren’t the camping type, perhaps you like awesome views or are an environmentalist). When you don’t feel so great, you may be prone to overindulging in your senses, usually with food.. If you find yourself swaying one way emotionally, you can get stuck there, so often Taurus Moon natives who suffer from emotional/psychological problems will get stuck in them for much longer periods of time than most (especially if you have other indicators in your chart, like a lot of Virgo or water).

Dark Pixie

Nurturing Parental Figures in Life (Mother, Female Influences, Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Father, Grandparents, Older Siblings): Consistency could be your Moon in Taurus parent’s middle name. You sometimes feel that this parent was predictable to the point of being dull. You could guess what supper would be by the day of the week, and you could count on having the house cleaning and laundry done on schedule. Just when you were sure you had this parent figured out, he or she would throw you a curve, forcing you to rethink your relationship. The rules that seemed comfortable and flexible suddenly became rigid when you crossed the line. The Taurus Moon person didn’t intentionally spring new things on you, far from it. You knew the rules all along. You just didn’t know that your normally appreciative parent would crack down so hard. Your Taurus Moon parent appreciates value. This means that clothing had to be durable first, then attractive. You were not encouraged to wear frills, and probably everything tended to coordinate, except for dress up attire, which may have been distinguished. Whether father or mother, your Taurus Moon parent helped you through the toughest crises, and still does. This parent may experience serious ups and downs in life, not only financial, but also regarding career, health, or other matters. He or she knows how to handle difficult turns of events, and can teach you a lot about managing your life. You perceived your Moon parent (or father, if he played a nurturing role in the home) as emotionally strong and devoted. The parent was practical, calm, and security conscious.

Sakura’s life experience is filled with sensuality. From beautiful clothing, sweets, to a warm cozy home, she experiences nothing but positive memories from those she cares about. This is what happens when the Moon is exalted in Taurus. She’s pretty sheltered from negative memories, especially regarding her birth mother. This is probably why she hardly experiences negative emotions and harsh mood swings. Her life is stable; she’s mentally and emotionally stable.

Moon rules the mother and the mother’s side of the family. Very material, the Moon in Taurus often refers to a very comfortable living background, and in some cases even wealth! It’s not surprising that Sakura’s mother was the daughter of a wealthy man. Taurus is also ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, and Sakura’s mother wasn’t just a loving and sweet figure, but also a beautiful model. Of course, the moon rules our perception of our mother. And again, Sakura is told mostly the beautiful memories regarding her mother.

Sakura has other “mother” figures that reflect her moon sign. Tomoyo, her best friend, acts as a mother figure, protecting Sakura, providing sensual glories such as sweets and fashionable (but gaudy) costumes. She’s also wealthy and beautiful. Mizuki Sensei also is beautiful and caring, providing assistance to Sakura. Most of the women in Sakura’s life are wealthy and opulent.

Sakura’s father plays a very nurturing Moon in Taurus role in Sakura’s life as well. He provides a warm, comfortable home for his family, as well as good cooking and more sweets!

Unfortunately, while these people are all very caring and loving to Sakura, they prefer to hide her from the ugly truths in life, which makes her naive and lack understanding of those with a deeper history.

With your natal Moon square or opposite natal Pluto, when you get hurt, it hurts deep. You’re terrified of being hurt, yet you crave intimacy. You can find yourself alone a lot because you’re too scared to be close to people, but you’re not satisfied alone either. You can be an intimidating person, overly controlling, and downright scary to others with your powerful personality. When angry, you can become enraged. You hold grudges for far too long, and have a hard time forgiving anyone for even the slightest of things. If you could learn to control your emotions and learn how to use them productively, you can be a force.

I think the Snow Card and Kero have realized this about Sakura. 😄 Her temper can be ferocious once activated. Fortunately, her Moon is in Taurus, so she’s likely not to get into that mode very often. But when she does…

Moon opposition Pluto could also signify the death of a mother or mother figure in certain charts as well.

With your natal Moon sextile or trine natal Mercury in Pisces, you don’t have any problem conversing with people, saying what you need to say, or giving advice. You’re a good listener and try to be nonjudgmental. You can merge your head and heart more easily than the rest of us, and you want to know what people have to tell you.

With your natal Moon sextile or trine natal Neptune in Capricorn, you’re a compassionate person who wants to help others however you can, and always seem to know what other people are feeling. Your imagination is active and you need a certain amount of time away from the real world. You have excellent intuition. You may have a hard time actively pursuing your goals, and have to cultivate that trait.

Analyzing Venus’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

sakura-taurus

Moon in Taurus needs the simple luxuries, especially good food.

Mercury in Pisces (Fall and Detriment)

In your chart, Mercury is in Pisces. You are connected to the world through your intuition. Contacts are established, and broken up, according to your sensitivity (Note: Yeah, like how she dreams about everyone before she meets them…). Your perceptiveness is amazing. You soak into your environment in order to grasp its subtle games and you feel that you know things without learning them. You assimilate them unconsciously and you very sharply pick up hints and unformulated thoughts. Some sort of sixth sense.

With your natal Mercury in Pisces, you’re more of a listener than a talker. You don’t mind having a conversation with someone, but it all depends on whether you’re in the mood for it or not. You can be a people pleaser and say what you think people want you to say. You have an active imagination, and love to daydream. You take in information from the world around you through feelings and emotions. This allows you to see things in a way that’s different from everyone else. You’re open, and listen to your gut, but can have a hard time expressing yourself directly. You need to learn to not worry about what other people want to hear so much.

Mercury in Pisces is revealing that Sakura will have many moments dreaming. Many of these dreams are premonitions that tell of the future. Unfortunately, Mercury is falling and in detriment in Pisces. This means that she can’t always share her visions and intuitions with everyone. Most of it hardly makes sense, even to herself. And most of the times, it will make her appear ditzy and cloudy. But she’s probably much more aware than others think. She is aware of things others’ can’t see (like Clow cards, spirits, ghosts, magic, etc). On the other hand, as a result of being so in touch with the spiritual world, she misses what’s going on around her in the everyday world (Syaoran’s feelings, her baton practice, classroom literature, etc)

Mercury in Pisces makes the mind cloudy. It’s hard for them to process information in a logical fashion and then express it to others. This is because they can’t always explain how they know something; they just do (such as her instant love of Mizuki Sensei). Their way of gathering information is not always just from reading books, but from experiencing and observing the world around them. Sure, this makes them appear like they’re not paying attention, but they are paying attention, just to the information that isn’t before them.

This cloudiness is also the reason Sakura isn’t so good at math. Math is a logical subject. You would have to pay close attention to remember the steps. Most times, there is one concrete answer. Mercury in Pisces have a hard time paying attention to each step, and they don’t like subjects that aren’t abstract, that don’t offer many different answers for all questions. Being a Mercury in Pisces is probably why her other favorite subject is music. Mercury in Pisces learn best with music and art, tapping into their imagination.

With your natal Mercury sextile or trine your natal Pluto in Scorpio, you can come up with solutions to almost any problem because you try to get to the heart of the matter right away. There’s a magnetic power to your communications. You’re good at analyzing information, and once you figure yourself out, you won’t feel the need to be mysterious.

With your natal Mercury conjunct natal Venus in Pisces, you have a charming way of expressing yourself. You come across well, always trying to say the right thing, being graceful and gracious, and trying to get people to get along. You crave balance and fairness, and are a good communicator. You may be too rational in your approach to love, or are drawn to intellectual people.

With your natal Mercury square or opposite your natal Saturn in Sagittarius, you seem harsh in your communications. You can be overly negative and can push people away. There can be a sense of not being worthy of goodness, and you can be incredibly insecure. You can be a hard worker in school and professionally because you fear not being good enough. You have to be easier on yourself.

I think Sakura works really hard to develop the mental discipline for the Clow Cards. Mercury being in Pisces, this discipline wouldn’t necessarily apply to factual or analytical pursuits, like school. In fact, the square could also indicate that she finds it challenging to develop the discipline necessary for subjects she’s not interested in.

With your natal Mercury sextile or trine your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you can sense what people are thinking and feeling, and this helps you to know how to react to them. You’re sensitive to others, charismatic in your communications, and appreciate the arts. You can be spiritual and drawn to the metaphysical.

This is probably the essence of the whole story. This softens her Mercury aspect to Saturn.

Analyzing Jupiter’s and Neptune’s signs would give more clarity to this interpretation.

sakura-pisces

Mercury in Pisces often listens to their gut and rely on their perceptive sense to get through life.

Venus in Pisces (Exalted)

Venus describes your affective life. On the day of your birth, she is found in Pisces. Your emotionalism is very strong and very unusual. You have your own manner to experience your emotions and your sensations, in an atmosphere that may be odd, you complicate your amorous life (Note: 😄 )… and this is part of your charm, at the same time. On the chessboard of your sentimental life, quite strange games enfold. Your affectivity is subtle, fabulous and unusual: love reinvents everything and anything becomes possible when your heart is sincere. You dream of a complete fusion and of giving yourself totally. No rules, no moral or social code is more important than the feeling of shared passion and than living for your partner. Your affective life is complex, sometimes mysterious: you don’t know why you love, or why you don’t love any more… Your sentimental life obeys a different logic than that of the external world. Love is elusive and fragile. Nothing is easier than to destroy a feeling and to forget a passion. Your sensitivity responds to an unknown call, a strange signal. Therefore, you may shift from intense and absolute feelings to cruel indifference. Although you don’t know why, you are being transformed. The most difficult thing is to love a real being and not a shadow (Note: I think Yukito was that “shadow”). You give yourself to persons who can understand and respect the fragile realm of your affectivity.

With your natal Venus in Pisces, you’re the ultimate romantic. You’re sensitive in love, and with everyone else. You can be attracted to people who need to be saved, or who want to save you, and it can lead you to be in bad relationships with people who cause more harm than good. You see the good in everyone, even the people that are the worst of the worst, and need to be more discriminating in love. You can be unreliable at times, having a hard time being dedicated to anything with your partner, despite how much you may love them. It can be hard for you to commit as you have a hard time sifting through your feelings or figuring out where you should be going together. You accept people for who they are, and are understanding and loving.

Venus is exalted in Pisces, blessing Sakura with charm, a sweet demeanor, cuteness, and compassion. Everybody loves Sakura; the exaltation reveals this. One of the main reasons everybody loves this girl is because she loves everybody. That is the Venus in Pisces secret. They never start off hating or being irritated by anyone. They assume the best in everyone they meet. It is only when they are seriously hurt do they act cold and cruel. Most of the time, though, they put a lot of faith in the ones they love and in love itself.

Unfortunately, this can make them seem a little idealistic and naive when it comes to affections. They even have a difficult time rummaging through their own feelings. Sakura experienced this in her own story. Because Venus in Pisces love everybody, and everybody loves them, it’s hard for them to know who they really are in love with romantically.

Most Venus in Pisces like the “idea” of love more than being in love, and they like being in love with distant figures. Truly, they don’t often understand real love. The real thing can often be scary for them. Real love requires a certain level of commitment and it pushes them to face reality. I think Sakura felt that when she received a confession from an unexpected friend, a friend she didn’t necessarily “idealize”, but someone she had to admit was there for her whenever she needed him.

Venus is also the planet of beauty and Sakura is said to look good in anything (by Tomoyo’s standard). With Venus in Pisces, style is translucent. The people are able to translate anything into art and style. Generally, they aren’t too particular about what they will or won’t wear.

With your natal Venus sextile or trine natal Pluto in Scorpio, you can see right through people and situations. You know how to use resources well, and gravitate towards relationships that allow you to transform yourself. You’re passionate without being overwhelming, and know how to sway people to your side.

With your natal Venus sextile or trine your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you have a gentleness to you, are charming, and can express yourself creatively. You have an active imagination and want everything in the world to be beautiful. You’re a generous person, though you may give too much at times.

Analyzing Jupiter’s and Neptune’s signs would give more clarity to this interpretation.

sakura-pisces-2

Venus in Pisces often has a hard time sorting through their feelings, but they are kind to everyone

Mars in Taurus (Detriment)

The planet Mars indicates how you react to life concrete stimulations. It also describes your fighting spirit, your abilities to stand for yourself and to take action. With Mars in Taurus, your will is strong and you are a very efficient person, persevering and tenacious. When you are prompted by your instinct to undertake any given step, no obstacle can put you off. However, your reactions are not unconsidered: you thoroughly ponder over and over before taking action. But it is hard for you to let go. This planetary configuration endows you with an extraordinary steadfastness. The other side of the coin: tenacity may turn into stubbornness. It is important that you control this strength and that you display more flexibility. It is good to persevere in one’s efforts, but not in one’s errors.

With your natal Mars in Taurus, you take your time with everything, and no one can get you to hurry. You don’t see the point in rushing anything, and feel that everything will happen in its own time. If that’s not fast, that’s fine with you. You can formulate goals and work hard at achieving them, and you’ll stick with them no matter what happens. You don’t give up easily once you’ve decided on what you want. (Note: I think the Snow Card found this out the hard way…) You’re loyal, stable, and crave security in your life, and may buy a lot of nice things to surround yourself with items of value. You can be stubborn once you make up your mind, and there’s no convincing you to change your mind, even if deep down you know that you should. You do things in your own time, and won’t change for anyone.

Mars in Taurus is considered in detriment. This is not because they are weak or because they are not brave. It is mostly because Mars in Taurus is a sign of security and is ruled by Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and peace. They don’t like to fight aggressively without a purpose. This means nothing makes them more courageous than fighting for the people and things they love. In this case, they are mostly possessive.

Mars in Taurus, being in the sign of security, just don’t blindly jump in the fire. They carefully consider all at stake. To many, they don’t seem to act when they should, but many times they act right when they should because they are careful. Sakura hesitated to take on the Clow Card deal considering her own limitations and the risks. This didn’t necessarily make her a coward, but it made her cautious. When Mars in Taurus does get going, however, there is no convincing them otherwise. Once they have decided on a course of action, it will only anger them to try and stand in their way.

Mars in Taurus is also famous for procrastination. This can be altered with aspects, but in Sakura’s case, it’s true (especially because she has no aspects that alter this). This is probably why she always waits until the end of summer to finish her summer homework. 😄 Mars in Taurus take their time mostly with things they don’t enjoy or activities that seem to threaten their security. They mostly have energy for pleasurable pursuits and get grouchy when they have to do something they don’t like for long periods of time. With Sun in Aries, Sakura might be active and energetic, but with her ruling planet Mars in Taurus without aspects, not always proactive. 😄

Analyzing Venus’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Mars in Taurus never give up once they get started

Mars in Taurus never gives up once they get started

Jupiter in Aries

Jupiter in Aries amplifies your tendency to charge ahead and your self-assertiveness. You have leadership qualities, you are optimistic and you can mix the boldness with the will to succeed that are specific to Aries. Management ability, leadership and independence: your enthusiasm is a real asset for your life and for your charm!

With your natal Jupiter in Aries, you can make what you want happen in life with a positive attitude. You relish competition and don’t like to wait for things to happen. You like doing things on your own, and that can be when you produce the best results. You can do well as a leader and when you’re being daring and courageous.

Sakura exemplifies Jupiter in Aries by being a cardcaptor. In every situation, Sakura has conquered both her opponents and rivals simply with positivity. Jupiter in Aries makes their own doors open through sheer faith in themselves. Sakura tries to believe in herself, and every time she does, she wins.

Most people born the same year have the same Jupiter.

With your natal Jupiter square or opposite your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you can have a hard time seeing reality, and find yourself confused or mislead. You can go overboard with excess, and that prevents you from getting what you want. Discipline is something you need to learn. You’re giving, but you don’t take the time to figure out who deserves it, and can be taken advantage of.

Analyzing Mars’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

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Jupiter in Aries always has a positive attitude, so their belief in themselves is very strong.

Saturn in Sagittarius

Saturn in Sagittarius limits your taste for exoticism and for rebellion. On the other hand, he strengthens your sense of responsibilities and your authority. You focus on what is concrete and real and you avoid venturing into unknown territories.

With your natal Saturn in Sagittarius, you take your beliefs seriously. You believe in them strongly, and can have a hard time being open-minded and accepting of other views, yet you try hard to appear to be open. You may have had a hard time with school early in life, and had to teach yourself.

Sakura is a little more open than her friends when it comes to foreigners. However, noticeably, she rarely travels outside of her own country. Saturn in Sagittarius, in the sign of expansion, often places a limitation there. She only was shown traveling in the Cardcaptor Sakura movie. However, she never traveled in the manga. There’s a certain limitation when it comes to her venturing outside of her usual territory. And when she does, she is often met with obstacles (like in the movie).

Most of her peers may experience this barrier and limitation. As they grow older and wiser, they will seek to experience more of the world.

Saturn rules the elderly. It can describe our grandparents or other wise relatives, as well as teachers and authority figures. Sakura’s great-grandfather is described by Saturn in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is the sign of expansion and can often represent foreign relations. Sakura’s great-grandfather is of foreign descent.

Saturn also rules over the father and Saturn in Sagittarius says something about Sakura’s dad. His archaeological interests seem to be influenced by this. Saturn is the planet of time and limitation. His travels probably consume much of his time. Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius, and it represents the higher mind. This could mean higher education, like college or university education, where people can study one specific study thoroughly. Saturn in Sagittarius can represent a father who is interested in philosophy or someone who is a scholar and has connections with a university. Sakura’s father is also a university professor. Saturn makes everything “important”, so I’m certain Sakura’s father makes sure Sakura learns the importance of a higher education.

With your natal Saturn conjunct your natal Uranus in Sagittarius, you try to mesh together creativity and innovation with tradition and convention. You find a way to bring the two together that other people wouldn’t be capable of. At times, you may feel pushed or pulled in one direction or the other, but you should try not to give in to choosing one over the other. Both are important for you, and you need to bring both into your life.

Analyzing Jupiter’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

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Saturn in Sagittarius take their beliefs seriously.

Generational Influences

Uranus in Sagittarius

Uranus in Sagittarius gives you the taste for feats and extraordinary adventures: as you are caught in the desire to discover, at any cost, you may become a hero, a conqueror, an explorer or, on the symbolic plane, a pioneer in such matters as philosophy, politics, economy or spirituality.

With your natal Uranus in Sagittarius, you’re an intuitive person and drawn to alternative beliefs. You want to help people, but you may not be reliable. You can be brutally honest at times, and don’t care if it gets you in trouble. You want to push through boundaries, are unconventional, and independent.

Sakura has experienced adventure after adventure and seems fascinated with them, too (considering her interest in Alice in Wonderland). Thus, she becomes the hero of the story.

She has become a pioneer in spirituality, creating her own “Sakura cards” and giving birth to “Star power”.

Analyzing Jupiter’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

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Uranus in Sagittarius is a pioneer when it comes to philosophy and spirituality.

Neptune in Capricorn

 Neptune in Capricorn brings a touch of humanity and emotion into your ambition made of cold and calculated vision. Or, on the contrary, it may disrupt your precise and clear vision of your professional future.

With your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you want to achieve something in your life, and can be practical with your creative ideas. When it comes to your beliefs, you can go for traditional views, or find inspiration through the arts. You may wish life was more fair and rewarded hard work more than it does, and have to learn to accept life as it is.

I do feel that the future of Sakura’s life seems cloudy. What are her ambitions for the future? And honestly, it’s hard to tell what any of the characters in the same generation plan on doing in the future. Neptune is definitely disrupting their clear visions for the future. It all seems unpredictable.

At the same time, Sakura approaches her current vocation (Cardcaptor and Master) with compassion. She treats the cards well and all those involved with it.

With your natal Neptune sextile or trine your natal Pluto in Scorpio, you have an active imagination, and are an intuitive person. You can follow your dreams and make them real, and it happens more smoothly.

Analyzing Saturn’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Neptune in Capricorn wants everyone to get rewards for working hard.

Neptune in Capricorn wants everyone to get rewards for working hard.

Pluto in Scorpio

Pluto in Scorpio is in his own sign, and according to the Tradition, he is most potent and at his best; fantasies, powerful instincts, strong domineering tendencies, outbursts of passions…

With your natal Pluto in Scorpio, you can be intense, but you fight hard for what you believe is right. You’re determined and can deal with your inner issues. You don’t care for the rules, are willful, and desire intense experiences.

This generation is a powerful one. There are probably many early anime characters from this generation because there was a burst of magical girls and martial arts animes throughout the 1990s (XD). Their intense will, their transformative power, and fixed passions have helped them succeed in areas unheard of. When Sakura and all of her comrades focus this will, they are all unbeatable. It is not shocking that Sakura’s power continued to increase throughout the series. Pluto in Scorpio individuals mostly want the power to control their own lives and they will do whatever it takes to achieve that.

Analyzing Mars’s and Pluto’s signs would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Pluto in Scorpio is passionate and powerful.

Pluto in Scorpio is passionate and powerful.

Syaoran Li

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Sun in Cancer

Your nature is impressionable. Your sensitivity is very developed and allows you to feel the influences of your environment and to draw your sensations and your feelings from surrounding ambiances. You are very receptive to your family roots, to your past and sometimes, to history. Your imagination is the refuge where you enjoy diving, on your own. The subtleness of your emotions is difficult to render. It is impossible for a cell – family, social, professional – to function by itself without homogenous references, without a “family likeness”(Note: The Li Clan is his life). You are able to convince your close friends to digest their differences and their specificities and to create an intimate relationship in which you can happily show your worth. Should an agent for cohesion be missing, and should everything seem too diverse or scattered, you are probably the most capable to unify the whole group: one after the other, you digest your surrounding characteristics and, as time goes by, you turn into the most perfect representative of your environment. You may need to handle hostility without shutting down the lines of dialogue. You must also learn to develop the fighting spirit that your sign lacks, so that your receptivity can be fully expressed.

Cancer, you are the fourth sign in the zodiac, and are a sensitive and emotional sign. You feel everything deeply, and are easily wounded as a result. When you get wounded, you hide in your shell, not wanting anyone to have the chance to hurt you again. You need to work on developing thicker skin so you don’t keep yourself locked away from people so much. Opening up emotionally would be good for you because it’ll help you have more closer relationships with people that will support you, and you need plenty of support if you’re going to feel safe in this dangerous world. You like to be comfortable, which tends to make your home your most favorite place on Earth. You’ll make it a cozy, inviting place that everyone loves, and it’s a good place for you to relax. Because you can relax at home, you tend to come across differently there, more like your true self, so if you come across as loud and flashy, you’ll be quiet and shy at home, and vice versa. At times, you can be quite ambitious, whether it’s with your work or your personal life, and you want to have some success in your life to create stability. You’re not someone who goes against tradition, and you prefer to go with conventional methods. Being daring or adventurous usually isn’t something you strive for, and you don’t understand why people can’t be happy with the way things have always been. It could be good for you to open up your mind though. You tend to experience life through your emotions, and you neglect your mind and body to a degree. If you want to gain more control over your emotions, you should try to form stronger connections to your mind and body. If you can do that, there wouldn’t be much that you couldn’t do, and you’d always feel secure, safe, and comfortable, no matter where you are.

Cancer Sun (Dominant Parental Figures in Life-Father, Older Siblings, Guidance Counselors, Teachers, Female Leaders of Family, etc ): If your Sun is in Cancer, then your Sun parents probably appeared to you to be very nurturing. Your earliest memories might be of your Sun parent reading you a story and tucking you in at night. If you had a boo-boo, the sun parent would clean it, put a band-aid on and seal it with a kiss (even if it were an imaginary cut). Going to the zoo, grocery shopping, or even cooking a meal together was always fun with your sun parent! If you have the sun in Cancer, your relation to your sun parent is one of deep affection, where both of you feel very committed to each other. You are also both quite protective, sometimes in ways that lead to frustration, because you both feel that you know what’s best for the other. Still, your bonds are unlikely to ever break, and you cherish each other’s company, without the need to either speak or do anything in particular.

His sun is clearly evident from the beginning. Sun in Cancer individuals have a strong tie to their family history and lineage. In fact, they are proud of where they come from. From the beginning, Syaoran has shown pride in his family, the Li Clan, and the fact that he is a descendant of the all-powerful sorcerer Clow Reed. The fact that he wears his robes in almost every combat scene shows that he’s not afraid to wear his pride on his sleeve. Syaoran has also shown that he’s generally interested in all history, especially when Sakura’s dad (an archeologist and university professor) visited their school.

The Sun even shows what makes us confident and happy. Syaoran may have been a little grumpy throughout the story because he had to leave his loved ones behind in Hong Kong. Sun in Cancer denotes an individual who is happy when surrounded by people they care about. In the anime, Sakura noted that Syaoran seemed “happier” when Wei (his Butler and martial arts trainer) moved to Japan to live with him.

He’s moody (Cancer being influenced by the tides of the moon) and often lets his emotions get the best of him (regarding Yukito and Sakura XD). But his sensitivity also hides a caring and compassionate side.

Can I also add that he’s domestic? Sun in Cancer men know how to take care of themselves fully, being both businessmen and great cooks and cleaners at the same time. Syaoran has shown several times that he is capable of performing tasks that are deemed more domestic, like cooking and sewing.

There is one thing that is super common among Sun in Cancer males: Their mother and sisters rule the roost in some fashion. It’s not uncommon to find Sun in Cancers in single parent homes where mother is both father and mother to the children. Older sisters and grandmothers may live in the home as well. Cancer is ruled by the moon, the planet associated with “mothers” and “women” in general, and often this means her influence is dominant in the child’s life, for better or worse. Syaoran’s mother is a single parent and is in charge of their family. In this case, Syaoran will often have to submit to women in his life if he expects to be respected. 😄 This even happened in his relationship with Sakura.

Still, Syaoran isn’t an uber dominant person unless he feels he needs to protect something. In his case, he was determined to make sure the Clow Cards, a precious family heirloom, got into the right hands. That is mostly when he exercises his will. For most males, the Sun’s energy is very important and usually defines their manhood.

Sun in cancers normally have keen intuition. Syaoran’s senses are sharp and he recognizes the importance of listening to his gut instincts.

The Sun is most evident in males, being one of the masculine planets. Many of Syaoran’s heros or those men he admires may have association with the moon, like Yukito.

With your natal Sun sextile or trine your natal Jupiter in Pisces, you don’t stay down for very long about things. Good things tend to come your way more easily, and you try to remain positive and generous no matter what you’re going through. You’re easy to get along with, and have a good heart. You have a good sense of humor and love to laugh.

Being an introverted sign, this aspect will probably come out more when he’s alone, at home, with close friends, or in intimate settings, rather than with a group of associates. But Syaoran definitely doesn’t stay down for long. Despite his initial harsh nature, he seemed to quickly get over the Final Judgment with the Clow cards (unless of course you count the WB dub).

With your natal Sun square or opposite your natal Mars in Capricorn, your energy is abundant and it’s hard to control, especially in your younger years. You were the kid bouncing off of the walls and always getting injured. You need to learn how to focus your energy into something productive, have an outlet for it, otherwise it drives you mad. You have the drive to get things done, and can act impulsively. Your temper can get the better of you at times. You’re not someone who avoids problems, but rather goes right at them, so you can get through difficulties and use the experience to your advantage.

With his Mars, his focus is better than the average person with this aspect. However, Sun in Cancer has knocked his focus out of whack, especially when he felt strong feelings of love. Eriol has had to constantly remind him to calm down and focus better. 😄

Syaoran definitely has quite the temper, but he tackles problems head on. He never hesitates to go after Clow Cards when he first senses them.

Analyzing the Moon’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

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Sun in Cancer is very receptive to their family roots, to their past, and to history.

Moon in Vir* (Moon is near Libra)

On the day and at the time of your birth, the Moon was in the sign of Virgo. You have a strong need for security and your constant concern is to keep your intimate environment under control. You treasure and you protect all the things that make you feel comfortable. You have no exaggerated ambitions, no grandiose and boundless dreams. You only strive to organize all the elements of your everyday life, to find a place for each thing and to improve yourself. You can relax only if your habits are not disturbed by external events. You are selective in your intimate sphere and with your attachments, you are perfectly organized and in line with the self-set rules you establish as time goes by. For you, life is a puzzle composed of human pieces, a chessboard where you move according to an obvious logic. Daily landmarks and well-known items are important to you. You have the soul of a collector.

A master of the details, that’s Virgo Moons. You like having things to do and feeling like you’re needed, and don’t mind doing the kinds of things most of us find boring if people show you proper appreciation for it. Depending on other factors, you might be more than happy just living a normal life, which other people may not understand (since most of us are pretty unrealistic!). You like structure and organization, and you might be one of those people who cleans when they’re stressed out. Others may think you’re too predictable, but you’re likely okay with that (unless you’re an Aquarius!), and you’re pretty dependable. When you’re unhappy or stressed, you’re probably a nag and can whine with the best of them. You can be overly analytical and have problems with your nerves. You need to learn how to relax and let yourself just be. You can be too hard on yourself sometimes, and if not handled well, an excessive perfectionist (Note: It must have sucked when he lost the Clow Cards to Sakura… ). Hey, we all have flaws, it’s okay! If you’ve got a good sense of humor, then you’re probably self-deprecating (in a good-natured way). In relationships, you’re usually not one for grand gestures, but do a lot of little, everyday things. You like being of service to people and feel you have a purpose.

Nurturing Parental Figures in Life (Mother, Female Influences, Teachers, Guidance Counselors, Father, Grandparents, Older Siblings): Your Virgo Moon parent is mentally thorough and methodical. You get the sense that he or she has given substantial thought to any project before ever making the first move. When you ask a question, this parent doesn’t just toss back an instant response. Instead, you may hear several questions to clarify and explore the situation. In the process, you often come to your own conclusion. This parent teaches you how to approach problem solving by helping you to develop choices and make decisions. Sometimes it seems like this parent misses good opportunities by holding back a bit too long. You may want to jump in, metaphorically speaking, whereas your parent explores the depth and temperature of the water first. Generally you discover that your parent has been ahead of the curve all along. He or she has held back to allow a situation to play out before committing to a specific course of action, not because of hesitation, but because foresight suggests that shifts will occur in the playing field. While this approach may not work for you, this parent pulls it off time and time again. You sometimes feel that this parent is super critical of your behavior. You may feel that your schoolwork brings nothing but criticism, or your appearance is scrutinized constantly. Even your feeling life is open to criticism. Unfortunately, this kind of criticism is remembered long after any praise is forgotten. Your Virgo Moon parent has the capacity to study any subject deeply. If you share an interest, expect to delve deeply into the subject. Years later, your parent may continue to come up with adaptations or considerations relating to the subject. From this person you learn how to get a broad overview and then gather data to flesh out every area of the subject. You probably saw your moon parent as a bit critical and nagging at times. Proper and conservative, with a strong desire to care for the family, she may have gone unnoticed as one of the most devoted mothers. It would have been ok with her; her satisfaction comes from knowing she raised her children right.

The Moon is in Virgo, ruler of his Sun sign. This is partially why Syaoran is so good at domestic things. Virgo is clean, tidy, and useful at all times. It’s no wonder he was able to live by himself (in the manga only) and fully take care of himself!

The Moon in Virgo is also why he treasures the Clow Cards and seeks to collect them.

Moon in Virgos work hard. They need to work at something, especially at improving themselves. Syaoran, even after the Final Judgment, continued to train and increase his power just to be of use. In fact, he wanted to collect the Clow Cards to increase his power, to improve his power.

Sure, Syaoran can be very critical. But he’s critical because he cares. The Clow Cards were very important to him and he wanted to make sure they were handled efficiently.

Moon in Virgos can be perfectionists. When Syaoran didn’t do well on the flute test, he continued to practice after it was all over. He also dedicates himself to learning Japanese and actually spoke fluently throughout the story.

Moon in Virgos don’t get close to others easily, but when they do they treasure every moment with them. Syaoran didn’t get close to people easily, but to the ones he considered friends, he protected and cared for them.

The Moon rules the mother or nurturing figures. It’s clearly evident that Syaoran’s mother is very hard on him (as we can tell from the movie). She also has high expectations of him, which is why she sent him to help Sakura capture the Clow Cards. It’s probably one of the reasons Syaoran works so hard. He really seeks his mother’s approval.

With your natal Moon square or opposite natal Jupiter in Pisces, you want to help people, but can go too far and hurt yourself in the process, or try to give far more than you’re capable of. You can forgive people too easily when you shouldn’t. Your emotions can go too high or too low at times, and you have to learn to rein yourself in and deal with reality. You can be lazy and indulgent, expecting everyone to do everything for you. Conversely, you can do too much for others.

Analyzing Mercury’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Moon in Virgos are happy with the simple things, just living a normal life.

Moon in Virgo is happy with the simple things, just living a normal life.

Mercury in Leo (Some Consider Falling)

In your chart, Mercury is in Leo. You want to explain and to control complex situations. You express yourself straightforwardly and directly, at the risk of hurting your entourage. Communication means to figure out the character and the specificity of each individual; you need to understand and to define the personality of your interlocutor so as to clarify the relationship. On the human plane, you are sensitive to power struggles and to the power exerted.

With your natal Mercury in Leo, you talk with flair, and you command people’s attention. You express yourself with warmth and this gets people on your side. You’re strongly connected to your beliefs, stubbornly so at times, and can be a little proud. You need to express yourself, and may be a creative person. You can be a great speaker, with passion and flair. You need to watch for believing that your thoughts, opinions, and ideas are better than everyone else’s, and be more open to what other people have to contribute (This was felt at the beginning of the story). If you have a proper outlet for expression, this can be curbed, so make sure you’re not holding anything in and are properly expressing yourself.

In fact, Syaoran thought he knew so much about the Clow Cards, he overlooked the thoughts and opinions of the Guardian Beast of the Seal! This is partially why some people think Mercury is falling in Leo. Their pride is often connected with their thinking, and sometimes they overlook facts and logic to save their dignity.

Fortunately, Mercury in Leos like to appear competent. They often try to learn all they can to become intelligent beings. Most of the time, they have room to be proud of what they know and what they believe.

When Syaoran turned his speaking abilities towards comforting others, he was just as effective.

With your natal Mercury square or opposite your natal Pluto in Scorpio, you can become obsessed easily. It’s difficult to pull yourself back once you get into something. Trusting people is a problem because you always think they have malicious intent, and you’ll keep digging until you find something that proves you’re right, at least in your own head. You can use your determined mind to your advantage through your work, if you can corral it.

😄

With your natal Mercury sextile or trine your natal Saturn, you have mental discipline and can focus when you need to. You’re honest and expect the same in return. You’re a reliable person, someone who’ll always do what they say they will. You’re good at making plans and sticking with them.

Mercury in Leo normally picks and chooses what they want to focus on, but with Saturn easily working with his Mercury, he is able to focus on any subject, even his least favorite subjects. His mental focus is probably why math is his favorite subject. Saturn makes him a good student.

Analyzing the Sun’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Mercury in Leo command people's attention.

Mercury in Leo commands people’s attention.

Venus in Virgo (Falling)

Venus describes your affective life. On the day of your birth, she is found in Virgo. The control of your emotions is essential to you. You need to understand all the aspects of your sentimental life. Therefore, you do not commit your affectivity in tortuous or hazardous paths. This attitude may be interpreted as a form of reserve, of modesty or of shyness (Note: Blush alert 😛 ). You complicate your amorous relationships for fun… Moderation in all things, even and particularly in love! Appearances are misleading: your behaviour may seem cautious, even shy or timid, however, your affectivity is strong… Your heart is discreet and its impulses are controlled and moderate. You do not want your relationship to run out of your control. Your soul is loyal, you are helpful when necessary and you avoid crises, clashes and tragedies in order to not endanger your couple. You are keen to maintain the balance of your unions. But, as you strive too relentlessly to keep your happiness intact, you may lose it. You do not dare to play the games of passion and of love at first sight. You fear burning feelings. In these conditions, it is important that you do not smother your emotions and you take the risk of experiencing a passionate love. Feelings cannot be calculated and they obey very few laws.

With your natal Venus in Virgo, you take a practical approach to love. You may not be the most romantic of people, but you’re incredibly dedicated, and you show how much you care by doing lots of little things for your partner and paying attention to all of the little details of their personality and life. At times, you can point out what they’re doing wrong too much, but in your mind, you’re just trying to help them be the best they can be. You don’t want someone who is too clingy or dishonest. You’re also not fans of people who seem too flashy and want to be the center of attention (Note: Meilin ahem). You don’t need to be in a relationship, and can be a bit insecure in love, so this keeps you from being in many of them, and you take your time getting to know someone first. (Note: Sakura and Syaoran have opposite Venus signs XD)

Syaoran’s Venus is in the falling sign of Virgo. He’s not the most romantic guy around, and it’s hard for him to warm up to people, too. He’s very much a loner. In the anime, Meilin mentioned how he stayed to himself and hardly mingled with others.

Venus in Virgos are really just shy. They also are particular about who they choose for company because they are so shy. Once he’s devoted his life to someone, he’s sweet, caring, and there for those he loves when they need him. Venus in Virgos do subtle things for the ones they love, things people don’t often notice (like he made the teddy bear and hid it for the longest time).

Unlike Sakura, with the exalted Venus, it was hard for others to warm up to him because he was super honest (or critical if you prefer to use that word). But when he does love someone, his feelings are sincere and real (and clear, unlike Sakura’s). In fact, he criticizes those he likes! Venus in Virgos like those who are efficient and perfect, but they always end up falling in love with the “imperfect” ones, those who need them. Tomoyo pointed out in the Sealed Card movie that Syaoran fell in love with the “unsophisticated” part of Sakura. That sums up Venus in Virgo. Many times, no matter how critical they are, they love to be around imperfect people because it helps them insert themselves in their loved ones’ lives.

One thing I always notice about Venus in Virgos is that they never want love to interfere with real life. Yes, many don’t see love as a practical part of life. And they think some people tend to act their most absent-minded when in love, too. They don’t want to be those kind of people. They don’t feel comfortable “losing their mind” just because they are in love. 😄 And feelings of love can release all kinds of emotions that can cloud the mind. They see it more as something they should invest in when they have the time. They try to control their feelings even more when they work alongside someone they love. Syaoran had this problem often. He found that the real solution to having better focus was to release his feelings so that they wouldn’t be a burden to him when he needed to be of use.

With your natal Venus square or opposite your natal Saturn in Sagittarius, you can have a hard time expressing the love you have for someone. Something stands in the way, and you have to confront whatever it is first before you can open yourself up. You may have a better time managing this aspect as you get older, and you learn to lighten up a little.

With your natal Venus sextile or trine your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you have a gentleness to you, are charming, and can express yourself creatively. You have an active imagination and want everything in the world to be beautiful. You’re a generous person, though you may give too much at times.

With your natal Venus sextile or trine natal Pluto in Scorpio, you can see right through people and situations. You know how to use resources well, and gravitate towards relationships that allow you to transform yourself. You’re passionate without being overwhelming, and know how to sway people to your side.

Analyzing Mercury’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

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Venus in Virgo individuals’ appearances are misleading: their behaviour may seem cautious, even shy or timid, however, their affectivity is strong

Mars in Capricorn (Exalted)

The planet Mars indicates how you react to life concrete stimulations. It also describes your fighting spirit, your abilities to stand for yourself and to take action. With Mars in Capricorn, your fortitude is quite exceptional. You strive to control your passions and your instincts and to keep a cool-head under all circumstances (Note: I’m sure his Sun in Cancer, the opposite sign, makes this very difficult). This is probably the reason of your strength. You show firmness with others and with yourself. In the course of an action, you are able to make sustainable, strong and well-structured efforts. You may be criticized for your lack of adaptability. Your first reaction is to immutably remain your true self. This propensity to stability, although it may slow down your initiatives, is very valuable, in many circumstances: your reactions are in line with your own values and you are not destabilized by prevailing trends and fleeting fashions… and by advice given to you!

With your natal Mars in Capricorn, you have control over your energy and focus. You come up with long-term goals and you stick to them easily. You like working hard, and you want to feel as though you’re achieving something in life. Your drive is towards success, and you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. You can hold in too much when you get riled up, and over time, that bottling up of emotion (especially anger) can lead to all sorts of problems. On the surface, you can seem like you’re as cold as stone, despite how grounded you are. You have great self-discipline, and you won’t waste any time on anything that you shouldn’t. You demand the best of yourself, sometimes expecting too much, and dedicate yourself to work even more when you’re upset.

Mars is considered the other masculine planet, and Syaoran’s is exalted. Mars is normally passionate, but impulsive and without control. With his Mars in Capricorn, he has the passion, but the mental focus and drive to put his energy somewhere.

Syaoran is focused and hard-working. He will do all it takes to succeed, letting nothing stop him. Sure, he may come across cold on his climb to success (aspects can alter this), but he will make sure the job gets done. The only thing that takes him off-guard at times is his own emotions (because of his Sun sign and the opposition aspect). But most times he tries to stay in control.

If Sakura hadn’t had loads of support, this boy definitely would’ve become the new master in a heartbeat. His determination to prove his worth was unbeatable and even Kero had to acknowledge (in the anime) when Syaoran deserved a Clow Card. He put a tremendous amount of energy into helping Sakura collect and transform the Clow Cards, even sacrificing his own magic and body in the confrontation against Eriol. This same drive brought him all the way from his hometown, Hong Kong, to Japan so he could work on his mission. He sacrificed the comforts of home and the familiarity of family and friends to accomplish his goal. Since the Sun is what makes us happy, he even sacrificed his own happiness (being around his loved ones) just to collect the cards. That is some serious ambition.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, planet of time and wisdom. Most people with this placement handle their energy in a mature fashion. Syaoran was hard on Sakura, but he was also good motivation and a good coach. He made full use of his energy at all times and was always prepared.

With your natal Mars sextile or trine your natal Jupiter in Pisces, you believe in yourself, and this allows you to do more than most. You can embark on new projects and adventures with enthusiasm and drive. You’re a positive person and try not to be too serious. You’re always trying to see just how much more you can do.

Analyzing Saturn’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

syaoran-capricorn

Mars in Capricorn wants to be successful and will do whatever it takes to get there.

Jupiter in Pisces (Domicile)

Jupiter in Pisces increases your natural generosity and your dedication capacity. Your empathy is strong and you are inclined to offer your strength and your enthusiasm to the most deprived people and to give unlimited assistance to others. Your imagination is powerful and your feelings may flare up easily: with your sensitivity on the alert and your unbridled affectivity, you belong to the category of people who intuitively detect other people’s sufferings and most valuable qualities of the heart, as if you were a human radar.

With your natal Jupiter in Pisces, you’re a compassionate person, and through your compassion, you can accomplish a lot. Help those who can’t help themselves, and be kind to everyone. You have a strong spiritual side, and just want everyone to get along, believing very much in the mantra, make love not war. Let your imagination soar.

Having Jupiter in the traditional domicile, one of the original homes of Jupiter, Syaoran’s faith is powerful. Syaoran understands the full meaning of faith, understanding that through good and bad times, that someone or something will get you through the worst of times.

This is why, in the end, Syaoran was there to remind Sakura of her invincible spell when she almost gave out. Deep down, Syaoran is kind, as Sakura and Tomoyo often point out about him. And when he performs acts of kindness, he will gain more benefits than he can imagine.

Jupiter in Pisces gives a strong spiritual leaning. This touch with the spiritual world was why he was able to master his own magic before he got hold of the Clow Cards and why he was able to channel this energy so well. He understands the nature of things others do not understand. Syaoran is like a “human radar”. He can immediately detect power and intentions. He also knows when someone is suffering and jumps to the rescue. Many times, he does so without acknowledgement (like when dealing with the Power Card).

Jupiter also rules the higher mind and higher learning, particularly with one field of interest in mind. With Jupiter in Pisces, it’s easy to see that Syaoran’s particular field of interest would be something magical, spiritual, or metaphysical.

Analyzing Neptune’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

syaoran-pisces

Jupiter in Pisces’s empathy is strong; they can intuitively detect others’ suffering.

Saturn in Sagittarius

Saturn in Sagittarius limits your taste for exoticism and for rebellion. On the other hand, he strengthens your sense of responsibilities and your authority. You focus on what is concrete and real and you avoid venturing into unknown territories.

With your natal Saturn in Sagittarius, you take your beliefs seriously. You believe in them strongly, and can have a hard time being open-minded and accepting of other views, yet you try hard to appear to be open. You may have had a hard time with school early in life, and had to teach yourself.

Saturn often puts a limitation on expansion when in Sagittarius. For Syaoran, this didn’t stop him from traveling, but it put “necessity” behind his travels. In other words, he only traveled to Japan because it was a necessity for him. Of course, Saturn placed plenty of obstacles in front of him in Japan, but all of these experiences made him wiser and more mature.

Saturn in Sagittarius also reveals that Syaoran takes his academics seriously. Sagittarius rules scholars and higher learning, particularly when it comes to mastering one subject. Syaoran studied and worked hard to master his magic and learn all he could about his family’s magic. He took it seriously.

Analyzing Jupiter’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

syaoran

Saturn in Sagittarius believe in their own beliefs strongly.

Generational Influences

Uranus in Sagittarius

Uranus in Sagittarius gives you the taste for feats and extraordinary adventures: as you are caught in the desire to discover, at any cost, you may become a hero, a conqueror, an explorer or, on the symbolic plane, a pioneer in such matters as philosophy, politics, economy or spirituality.

With your natal Uranus in Sagittarius, you’re an intuitive person and drawn to alternative beliefs. You want to help people, but you may not be reliable. You can be brutally honest at times, and don’t care if it gets you in trouble. You want to push through boundaries, are unconventional, and independent.

Syaoran became one of the heroes and the explorer within the story. You can’t tell me he didn’t feel some spirit of adventure when he left Hong Kong for Japan, right? 😉

Syaoran was interested in new philosophies and magic, which is a part of his generation’s path.

Analyzing Jupiter’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Uranus in Sagittarius is intuitive and drawn to alternative beliefs.

Uranus in Sagittarius is intuitive and drawn to alternative beliefs.

Neptune in Capricorn

 Neptune in Capricorn brings a touch of humanity and emotion into your ambition made of cold and calculated vision. Or, on the contrary, it may disrupt your precise and clear vision of your professional future.

With your natal Neptune in Capricorn, you want to achieve something in your life, and can be practical with your creative ideas. When it comes to your beliefs, you can go for traditional views, or find inspiration through the arts. You may wish life was more fair and rewarded hard work more than it does, and have to learn to accept life as it is.

I think, throughout the story, Syaoran learned how to implement humanity into his calculated vision. He admitted that when he first moved to Japan, all he cared about was collecting the Clow Cards and enhancing his own magic. But after meeting Sakura and the gang, Syaoran learned to do things for others.

Syaoran didn’t fully get what he wanted in the end, and maybe he didn’t feel it was fair, which was more evident in the WB dubbed version. 😦 But Syaoran did win the heart of the one he loved. That’s a victory in itself.

His future is just as unclear as Sakura’s and all the other characters in the series. Anything is possible for them, I suppose.

With your natal Neptune sextile or trine your natal Pluto in Scorpio, you have an active imagination, and are an intuitive person. You can follow your dreams and make them real, and it happens more smoothly.

Analyzing Saturn’s sign would give more clarity to this interpretation.

li-syaoran-capricorn

Neptune in Capricorn can be practical with their creative ideas.

Pluto in Scorpio

Pluto in Scorpio is in his own sign, and according to the Tradition, he is most potent and at his best; fantasies, powerful instincts, strong domineering tendencies, outbursts of passions…

With your natal Pluto in Scorpio, you can be intense, but you fight hard for what you believe is right. You’re determined and can deal with your inner issues. You don’t care for the rules, are willful, and desire intense experiences.

This generation is a powerful one. There are probably many early anime characters from this generation because there was a burst of magical girls and martial arts animes throughout the 1990s (XD). Their intense will, their transformative power, and fixed passions have helped them succeed in areas unheard of. When Syaoran and all of his comrades focus this will, they are all unbeatable. Syaoran came to Japan to increase his own power. This generation is mostly focused on having power over their own lives and will do whatever it takes to achieve that.

Analyzing Mars’s and Pluto’s signs would give more clarity to this interpretation.

Pluto in Scorpio is passionate and powerful.

Pluto in Scorpio is passionate and powerful.

Hope you Cardcaptor Sakura fans (and other readers) enjoyed it! Was it enlightening? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

If you have any extra information, please share!

Monster High dolls’ Reboot: “How Do You Boo?”

21 Nov

‘How Do You Boo?’ This is the new slogan for the new Monster High reboot. It doesn’t make much sense to me now…Let’s see if we can make sense of it later…

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As of summer 2016, following the Welcome To Monster High movie, Mattel (the company that produces Monster High) decided to give the go and have the MH franchise rebranded, rebooted, revamped (however you want to call it).  The new “reboot” also comes with a brand new story retelling the origins of the MH series with a few new characters and some returning ones.  In particular, the main crew, except Ghoulia and Deuce, returned upon launch of the new reboot with new face molds, brand new fashions, and other characterizations.

The biggest question many Monster High fans have is: Why try to reboot an already successful brand after only SIX YEARS? It is the question that plays on my mind as well. It baffles me how Mattel, when the brand is at its height, in such a short time frame, even thought this would be a prosperous business idea. What demographic research have they been studying?

Despite the fact that I couldn’t fathom the idea of a reboot at this point, I still took my time creating this review of the product, thinking maybe I should give this a chance. I gave it a chance, and so far, this reboot fails to impress me.

So, right now, I’m going to let Mattel have a voice. Apparently, Mattel had these things to say:

“A bona fide pop culture phenomenon and a massive global franchise in over 60 countries Monster High is ranked as the third biggest fashion doll brand a $1 billion franchise annually and a top 5 global property for girls! Monster High empowers girls to express their individuality and form friendships that last beyond a lifetime.”

Great, we know this, and this is why we’re confused about the necessity for a reboot…

Now entering its 6th year in the market, in 2016 the brand will embark on an exciting new chapter to maintain its relevance to the ever changing consumer. As an exciting disruptive everygreen brand Monster High will continue to represent via the monster metaphor what it means to be different, unique and empowering girls to be themselves as Mattel leads the way in creating, maintaining and driving strong girl empowerment brands.

“exciting disruptive”…Hey, that sounds just like the Bratz’s producers (MGA) at relaunch….right before they failed to be disruptive…

Apparently, Mattel’s reason for changing the new Monster High dolls was so the brand can be “relevant to the ever-changing consumer”. This could mean two things.

First, it could mean they want to appeal to a new generation. In my opinion, it wouldn’t make much sense to reboot the brand just to appeal to the next generation as the old Monster High is still pretty relevant to kids today…After all, this brand is just six years old…But maybe they see the brand as having a different meaning than it did in 2010 at launch…

Second, it could mean that much of the Monster High fan base have been expressing their boredom with the line and Mattel wants to make it “relevant” to these “ever-changing” consumers.

I’m likened to believe that the real story is that they started Monster High to be a competitor to the Bratz dolls and capture the tween audience when Bratz were removed from shelves. Now that the edgy trend is dying, and Bratz became a thing of the past, Monster High’s old image and story is no longer “relevant”. But that is just my theory…

The key elements that make the brand disruptive will remain but now infused with more play in the product whilst adding renewed focus on the core characters and stories as well as marketing what the brand stands for. The brand will have a fresh new look with new contemporary colours and graphics whilst still incorporating the iconic signatures that make the brand unique and relatable to the core audience of 6-10 year olds.

Supposedly, they said they wanted to keep “key elements that make the brand disruptive”. So far, I don’t understand what they are talking about. Are they talking about the fact that at least they will keep them monsters?…That’s the only thing that makes this brand disruptive anymore.

Monster High was originally designed to capture the tween audience. After all, Garrett Sanders made the doll franchise after observing tweens and teens shopping at Hot Topic. And it has been popular among girls 10 to 14. It’s pretty obvious that Mattel has shifted their demographic focus from the tween audience to the kids with this reboot (the same mistake their competitors at MGA made). This is probably why so many people are complaining. There are many Monster High fans that are over the age of 10! It’s almost as if Mattel forgot who they directed this brand to in the first place. The new reboot looks like it’s made for kids.

They also claimed to focus on the core characters, but they didn’t relaunch Ghoulia as one of the main core characters…In the original, she was one of the core characters. Her name is even in the original theme song.

If they mostly focus on the core characters, it also means they don’t really plan to bring any extra character stories to the table. It’s probably because fans have been complaining about Mattel regurgitating new monsters all the time without focusing on the dolls they already have within unique doll lines…

The brand will also launch an exciting new multiyear brand campaign and new consumer rallying cry “How Do You Boo” encouraging consumers to embrace what makes them unique and share how they Boo. Working with celebrities and brands spokespeople the campaign will communicate what it means to boo, to be yourself and start a movement encourage girls to do the same.

So, Mattel explains that the new slogan “How Do You Boo?” is supposed to encourage us to embrace what makes us all unique and to share that. But Monster High always encouraged people to embrace what made them unique before they changed to this cheesy slogan. So why this slogan? Still no answers. I don’t get what this slogan is supposed to mean..How is “Boo” relevant to embracing what makes us unique? Are they asking how we scare people? Are they asking about our own special “scare”?

Maybe it’s supposed to go over well on Twitter…

So far, you can already tell where this reboot is headed and you probably can guess I’m not a fan of it.

Upon rebooting, the MH look very different from their original counterparts.  The Monster High dolls are no longer the glossy eyed freaks of nature that haunted the shelves of every store…No…They are now doe-eyed little monsters that hardly seem as if they could haunt anything.  In fact, to refer to them as haunting is laughable…

Let me compare the old dolls to the new to show you all the unique differences between them. Let me know if what I’m seeing is just my imagination. In my opinion, the Monster High dolls look more like Elementary School kids now instead of saucy teenagers…

monster-high-new-face

Some people like the cute look better, just like they liked that “anime” that came out.

Let me just be honest: this reboot smells like a failure to me.  I’m pretty sure it’s a failed attempt at competing with the Disney Princess line. With their old Bratz competitors out of the way, I’m sure Mattel is less interested in keeping up with the outdated edgy trend and more interested in keeping up with the Disney Princess/Frozen/Descendants franchise that is getting the attention of consumers these days.  Keeping that in mind, while I find the reboot to be laughable…I’m not at all surprised that the reboot happened this way and so soon.  In fact, I predicted that Mattel would eventually run out of a way to keep MH interesting and would maybe have to reboot the whole thing eventually.

Monster High: The Halloween Trend

And considering how Mattel is not the kind of company that cares about originality, diversity, or anything else unless it is a selling trend (which is also something I had mentioned at this article 14 Ways Mattel Can Screw Up A Doll Line), it also does not surprise me that the Monster High dolls look more like little monster Barbies. After all, the same producers of Barbie created the Monster High. I’m surprised anyone is surprised about the outcome of this reboot, considering this fact.

I want to talk about which parts of the reboot I liked and which part I didn’t…

But I’m going to be honest with you…I haven’t quite found a whole lot of things to like about this reboot.

Monster High’s Doll Features

Monster High’s newest dolls, as I’ve explained before have changed…Honestly to the point that it seems like a totally different line from Monster High.  It is hard to believe they are called Monster High. When I look at these dolls, none of them actually look like Monsters. Seriously, they look like…well…normal little girls.  Seriously, Mattel? The one thing that made MH unique, you take it away? What business sense does that make, exactly?

monster-high-new-dolls

I guess freaky is no longer fabulous…but at least they’re cute right?…(*puke*)

One of the features that are distinctively different (and disgusting) is their eyes. Their new eyes give no sense of personality or attitude. They just look like a bunch of goo-goo-eyed girly girls made only to stand there and look cute. There is no message behind them; no depth or mystery.  Just enlarged eye pupils that scream “we’re kid friendly”.

Other parts of the new features of MH that seem to be lacking are the details and quality.  Let me use Frankie as an example. Frankie had one of the most detailed bodies, with the various stitches made to seem patched to her skin and the bolts aligned with the detailed patch work right on her neck…But now the patchwork that was so nicely constructed on Frankie’s neck looks like someone put a bunch of stickers together. It hardly looks like patch work. And poor Lagoona Blue.  Her old doll had webbed hands to represent her water monster greatness, but now her fingers are just your average fingers with no distinction from any of the other dolls.   Skelita Calaveras’s new look is what troubles me the most. For a skeleton…she seems to have a very fleshly face in comparison to her old look which maintained a bony structure. Observe.

skelita-1

Old Skelita: Absolutely flawless design capturing a skeleton with such style and grace. Too bad, this version no longer exists.

New Skelita: Someone on the design team apparently failed anatomy because last time I checked skeletons do not have noses as noses do not have bones. SMH Be honest, does she seriously look like a skeleton?

New Skelita: Someone on the design team apparently failed anatomy because last time I checked skeletons do not have noses as noses do not have bones. SMH Be honest, does she seriously look like a skeleton?

What really takes away from MH’s monstrous look is the articulation of the dolls; they hardly have the monstrous body articulation the originals had, neither are the articulations distinct from one another.

Maybe this all has to do with budget cuts? Quality sometimes decreases when a company is struggling with a line. But seriously…The big doe-eyes were quite unnecessary.

Can I also mention how all the dolls upon reboot have pink lips now? Thank goodness Deuce is supposed to be a guy who is uninterested in make-up, otherwise he also would have pink lips like all the rest of them.

What message is Monster High trying to send by making the monsters look “normal”? Well considering the slogan is no longer “Be yourself, be unique, be a Monster” or “Freaky Just Got Fabulous”, I guess Mattel no longer cares to promote such values any longer. They care more about how someone “boos”…whatever that means.

I got the hint from reader discontinuedtoylines regarding why they made such drastic changes to these features. And it was just as I feared: the soccer moms have struck again.

Apparently, monster high was too “scary” for children (though the original target demographic should’ve been old enough to understand how harmless these dolls are). Some parents really thought this doll was designed for their 8 year old child, when the original target age was 10 to 14. That being said, Mattel couldn’t risk getting on parents’ bad side, not in this declining market. I guess they had to sacrifice a quality doll line just to stay in parents’ good graces.

Monster High’s Doll Clothing And Accessories

The main appeal of Monster High was their freaky fabulous fashions that were made to accentuate the monsters in various unique ways.  The outfits usually had just as much details as the body, and the accessories are always to die for.  With the reboot, while the outfits are not typically hideous, they are simply uninspired and ordinary compared to the original outfits for most of the lines. There’s no pizzazz and the detail has been downgraded, especially when it comes to the accessories.

Let’s compare the relaunch with the original launch, shall we?

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Original Launch

In the original launch, each of the girls have their own style and flair. They have accessories that simply bring out the best in each outfit. Not one part of their outfit resembles the other, which shows that the monsters are very different from one another both by personality and monster hybrid.  The patterns do a good job in captivating each monster, letting us know which monster they are while still making them look fabulous. Now let’s look at the new monster high reboot.

relaunch

Relaunch

The new monster high dolls for the 1st wave of the reboot have a lack of interesting and diverse clothing accessories in comparison to their original dolls. To add, look at the patterns. They do not give me any indication as to which monster any of them are. For example, Cleo looks like a tree monster to be sure.  Clawdeen looks like a leopard or a cheetah. Seriously, look at her pants. Leopard/Cheetah print? I thought she was a werewolf…or is she now a werecat?  Of all the outfits presented, Draculaura (who usually had one of the most adorable pieces in the line) has the ugliest outfits in this reboot. Compared to her original look which was just spooktacularly vampirous and cute at the same time, the way her outfits are put together now are simply just tacky.  I should also mention that Draculaura and Frankie have basically the same shoes on in different colors with the first wave of the reboot.

Most of the other lines (besides Shriek Wreck) resemble this 1st wave reboot.  Most of them are boring enough to literally make me yawn. I think the most disappointing of all of the MH reboot doll lines was Monster High’s Electrified line. You would think that more would be electrifying about these dolls besides their hair…

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Of course, there was one line that stood out from the rest. Of all the lines set to be released for the MH reboot, Shriek Wrecked has given some good fashion details…

shriek-wrecked

In comparison to MH’s past lines, however, it lacks a lot of sass. The fashions are really girly, lacking the edge that MH’s past lines had.

Compare Skull Shores, a past line, to Shriek Wreck: skull-shores

As you can see in the above Skull Shores line, the original MH looked sassier and more grown up in the past. While in the Shriek Wreck line, they look much younger. And don’t get me started on the quality; painted on gloves for Lagoona is not a good sign.

And for crying out loud, will Mattel just cool it with the pink?! JEEZ! Monster High has gotten so pink, it’s sickening!

Still, Shriek Wreck is the best to date. It’s just not interesting enough to turn my head. I’m just not interested in buying any of the dolls (I would’ve gotten Rochelle had they not given her painted on gloves).

The lack of sassiness and diversity in the new dolls’ appearances could have something to do with the “feminist” movement. On Bit**Media, a feminist website, an article was written by feminist Deb Jannerson about how much she disliked the Monster High’s makeup and clothing, claiming they were “hypersexualized, heavily made-up dolls with über-Barbie proportions”. I’m sure there are more feminists out there who think the same way.

Feminists tend to hate anything that appears to them to be overly “sexualized”.  They don’t often see how an empowering female can appear in diverse ways. It’s gotten to the point they seem to lack an imagination entirely and can’t see how the dolls resemble “cartoons” rather than real humans. And they aren’t even MEANT to be human!

Seriously, hasn’t anyone else noticed how long the skirts are in comparison to the originals? That smells like the feminist agenda written all over it. It’s that “agenda” that encourages doll companies to make their dolls look more like “normal” girls. But for fans, who fell in love with monster high because they were NOT normal, because of their short skirts, the make-up, the glossy eyes, the things these feminists call “hypersexualized” and “heavily made-up”, the details are what made Monster High an edgy and scary cool work of art. With this reboot, all of that has been taken from Monster High, making them look more like scared little girls. I’m not going to say all feminists feel this way. But even a small group of feminists who feel this way have a way of forcing their beliefs on various doll companies, television or movie industries, and book publishers.  Do not underestimate the damage the feminist movement can do.

Now, I know what you guys are thinking. ‘Well, they might give more detailed fashion lines in the future like Shriek Wreck, so let’s not jump to conclusions’, right? You’re probably right. There are other lines that have to be seen. But so far, even some of the other future releases that I have seen after Shriek Wreck left me unimpressed. Nothing has motivated me to want to buy any of the new MH releases this year or next year. Absolutely nothing.

Monster High Story: New Story And Characters

So aside from the doll relaunch, a brand new Monster High story was born.  Meaning the story that was once Monster High is no longer its story.  Remember when Frankie was the new girl at Monster High after being born just a few days before attending the school? Well, yeah, that story no longer exists in this new reboot.  All the movies and TV specials that came out, fleshing out the monster high characters, you might as well toss them because none of the relationships and situations that were in the original stories are relevant now.

In the old story, Monster High was an already established school. Mistress Headmistress was the strong empowering female leader of the school in the original story.  In the original story, it was a normal school like ours, except everyone who attended were monsters. But now that story has been changed. In the new story, it is Draculaura and her father who turn their home into what we know as Monster High. Mistress Headmistress has been replaced with Draculaura’s father, a male figure (How peculiar for Mattel to do this during a modern era for women. And what this also means is that Mistress Headmistress may no longer be a character or doll in the future MH series). Anyway, the school is now a boarding school and all the ghouls live with each other in this school. Yep, no one has unique houses that they go home to. They just all come to this one school and live(I wonder how the playsets will look…).

Also, in this new reboot, Mistress Headmistress is not the only character that has failed to be apart of the new series reboot. In the original series, Clawdeen had two sisters and an older brother (along with a few other siblings). In this reboot, however, she only has little brothers. What does this mean for the future of Clawd, Howleen, and Clawdia (Clawdeen’s siblings in the original story)? It may mean that we may never see these characters or dolls in the future.

And with this reboot, Ghoulia is replaced by a new zombie character known as Moanica D’Kay. Unlike Ghoulia (who speaks zombie language), apparently Moanica speaks like a “normal” person (I guess Mattel really wants to put more emphasis on being “normal” and how great it is).  And with an added touch,  this new character’s signature color is none other than the color PINK…

Also new to the stage of new characters, Spectra is replaced with the character Ari Hauntington (which I’m pretty sure is Ariana Grande in monster form). It’s quite interesting because Spectra’s name was going to be Von Hauntington originally.

Check it out: Spectra-Von Hauntington

Ari is a typical Mattel character. She’s girly, shy, and she sings.  Typical recipe for selling points, right? Not to mention she can also solidify herself into a popstar named Tash. And let me say that her other form looks just like Barbie.  (I predict that Ari Hauntington’s human form may also have a doll…she looks like a “seller”).  There are also some new characters that were introduced in the Welcome To Monster High movie such as Raythe and the Skeleton Boys, Skelly and Bonesy.

ariariari

“She’s a Barbie girl, in a Barbie wooorrrlldd”…That should definitely be her theme song.

So, what do I think of the story change? I personally don’t see why it was necessary.  Sure the movie animation was nice, but the new story feels less relatable compared to the original story.  To add, I hate how the story butchered Clawdeen’s family…

Did anyone else notice that the males in this series seem even less relevant than they did before?

And it isn’t just the story, but the look of the webisodes that have had a change.  Normally, I typically like stop motion and Monster High’s stop motion would actually be pretty good. However, only the characters had their original face molds.  To add, when I compare stop motion webisodes with MH’s cartoon web series, I honestly like the cartoon web series better.

One reason I prefer the animated web series is because the stop motions only make use of the characters that have dolls.  Therefore, there is limited characterization within the web series. That also means most of the characters will be females (because naturally most of MH dolls are female), most of them will consist of the main characters without showing their interactions with other characters, and there may not be much story in each episode in comparison to the former webisodes.

So, the new webisodes will not do much as far as fleshing out the characters’ personalities and relationships.  This bothers me a bit because the webisodes were originally really good at showcasing Monster High’s diversity. Even though not all of the characters had dolls from the web series, they were still very entertaining to watch.  After the first few watches of the stop motion series, I honestly lost interest in watching anymore. Its only entertainment value lies in the fact that it is stop-motion, a cool way to bring animation to inanimate objects. But it is not something I would enjoy following for the next few years to come.

What bugs me even more is the change they made to the webisode animation style caused Mattel to cancel “The Lost Movie”, the movie that was supposed to be an animated crossover between the Monster High Characters and the Ever After High characters.

To see what “The Lost Movie” looked like in its early stages:

It’s ironic that they used the same marketing tools that competitors MGA used for the relaunched Bratz. The Bratz flopped after such awful marketing strategies. Mattel is following them right into the fire.

Overall, the new Monster High reboot may be perfect for children 8 years and younger. After all, the girls look like cute little 7 year olds, the clothing is age-appropriate, and the web series totally relates to little kids (including a webisode in which the girls in stop motion learn how to ride a bike for the first time. EVERY kid can relate to that)! Best of all, none of the girls have icky boyfriends (little kids hate that stuff, right?). And at last, parents may be pleased to see that Monster High looks “normal” and feminists will be pleased to see that MH dolls no longer objectify them by wearing too much make-up and almost all the skirts go to the knees…There is absolutely nothing daring about what they wear, which is a win for both parents and feminists alike, right?

But for some people who are tweens, teenagers, and adult collectors(the actual consumers), this reboot may be seen as a serious joke. I’m one of those collectors who find this reboot to be one of the most laughable doll reboots in history.

Leave a comment in the comments’ section below and let me know what YOU think about the new Monster High reboot. Do you love it or is it going in your failed reboot archives, like it is going in mine?

 

5 Reasons To Love Cardcaptor Sakura

18 Oct

For the past three weeks, I’ve been binge watching an old Japanese anime from my childhood: Cardcaptor Sakura. This year marks Cardcaptor Sakura‘s 20th year anniversary, and it looks like CLAMP has added a new arc to the Cardcaptor Sakura series to celebrate: The Clear Card Arc. There is also an anime project in the works. ❤ I did happen to read the first five chapters of the new arc. So far…Regrettably…I’m once again addicted. 😄

Recently, I got wind that Cardcaptor Sakura had also been re-dubbed by Animax. As an anime fan, I couldn’t pass the opportunity to watch it up.

A little bit of nostalgia and a little bit of a fascination with mysteries and wonders in the world brought me into Cardcaptor Sakura in the first place. Re-watching it again, no matter how bad the dub sounds, how bad I have to focus to read subtitles, or how poor my Japanese skills are, I can’t help but want to watch and read the whole thing over and over again.

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No matter how many times I’ve watched this anime, I never get bored or tired of it. I couldn’t put my finger on it for the longest time. Why can’t I ever get tired of this anime? What about this anime draws me in every time?

Sure, there are plenty of great Shoujo animes out there. I’ve watched my share. But this one always seems to capture my heart every time I watch it. I usually consider myself tomboyish…But this anime brings out my “girlish” side (?). It’s just so darn sweet and cute. ❤

With that being said, I gathered 5 things I love about this anime and I would like to share them with you, readers, and maybe you might find you like these things about the anime too! For all of you newcomers to Cardcaptor Sakura, I recommend you give this manga/anime a try.

1 .Love Has No Definition

In the Cardcaptor Sakura universe, and fans know this, love isn’t clearly defined, isn’t one-dimensional, and it evolves. Truly, CLAMP, the writers of the source material, had no qualms with inculcating relationships that defy the traditional. In many respects, it was ahead of its time (since it did come out in the 1990s).

For instance, there is one couple in the series that consist of two teenage boys (though technically one isn’t human, but whatever). However you take their relationship, the material doesn’t hesitate to express that these two individuals love one another the most. They don’t turn this into something perverted or unaccepted. It seems to flow naturally in the story, is accepted, and is very romantic. It still carried a level of innocence that is not common with this kind of relationship. All of the relationships could be taken any way according to the reader. There are relationships between family that are highlighted to be stronger than relationships between lovers within this story. However you want to see love and romance, this story has a lot to offer.

Other relationships expressed in the story are still not considered acceptable. However, I applaud CLAMP’s bold approach to the romance genre and their ability to look outside of the box. Even with their canon romance, throughout everything, it was anything but boring.

I usually hate the romance genre. In anime especially, the love interest is usually super obvious and is developed long before the story takes off. It makes the following episodes boring. But I am completely obsessed with this story’s romance story.

2. Everything is Mysterious

I love anything mysterious and unexpected. Cardcaptor Sakura is full of magic and mystery. There was always a suspicious new character being introduced, always a mysterious card lying around, and the story behind most all of the characters are very peculiar and interesting. All of the characters could have their own spin-off series and it would be interesting. Though there was a lot of information left out, it didn’t stop the characters from growing,learning, and changing.

3. The Characters Are Layered And Evolve

Adding on from the last point, the characters are very individual, unique, and evolve. Even the characters one would think is the most stereotypical has something different happen to them that changes the character’s whole perspective on life, thus changing the reader’s opinion of them. The main character is an example of that. One would think that everyone would be in love with the main character. Isn’t that how it is in most Shoujo (directed to girls) anime? But not in this one. Though sure, everybody likes her, this character is not immune to heartbreak. And her idea of a love interest…certainly not someone people would initially think of as “love interest” material. In most shoujo anime, the main love interest is a handsome, tsundere/cheerful guy, who is usually older than the lead character. While this anime starts typically, it evolves into something entirely different…

All characters have strengths and weaknesses, annoying traits and charms. I can’t really say I hate any characters in the story.

4. The Music

This is particularly a point about the anime. The music is mystical and soothing at the same time. The scores are epic.

5. CLAMP-The Creators

What isn’t cool about an all female manga group? I’d say that’s pretty empowering. The four businesswomen who came together to make this project have managed to create a “stamp” for all of their creations. In many of their stories, there is always an element of mystery and intrigue. However, the most notably intriguing part of their animation is how similar all of their characters look. Many times, references are made regarding the similarities throughout most of their other anime and manga work. It almost seems like all of their characters are a part of one big universe and are all connected somehow.

There are four ways to get into the Cardcaptor Sakura story if you’re an English speaker: the translated manga, the Japanese anime subbed, the Nelvana dubbed version, and the Animax dubbed Version…

There are typically two arcs: The Clow Card arc and the Sakura Card arc. But, in the anime, they are covered by 3 seasons with 70 episodes in total. With the new Clear Card arc, there may be more. There are also two movies for the anime series.

The manga is the original source material. NONE of the animes are super close to the original story in the manga, not even the Japanese anime, aside from certain key events and characters. In the anime adaptations, there were many new scenes, extra cards collected, and new characters that weren’t in the manga. At the same time, the animes equally left out other interesting scenes you can only find in the manga. Still, the animes added all the main characters and the most important card scenes.

The Japanese anime was the first adaptation of the manga. You can watch this version with subtitles now.

The Nelvana dub changed the feeling and tone from the original Japanese anime. The cast sounded more “American” (with popular American names and customs replacing Japanese names and customs) and there are hardly any Japanese undertones. Many scenes were edited and chopped up, the opening and ending songs were changed, and the title was changed to Cardcaptors. Season 3 never aired on tv in some countries, so it may all be new to some Cardcaptors fans. They can be found online and in DVD sets. This anime was meant to appeal more to boys as well as girls. I enjoy the dubbing and music on this version. It feels more natural to me (and less cutesy 😉 ). It may be because I’m American and I started with this version. 😄

The Animax version was meant to be the direct dub of the original Japanese anime. It does a decent job, but some parts aren’t completely dubbed, for whatever reason…

My advice is to read and watch whichever suits your fancy. I’ve found charms in all versions. ❤

Fans can also look forward to a new chapter in the story! I’m both excited and exasperated. I do love this anime and used to want to know what happened next. But I’m afraid that the anime will outwear its beautiful simplicity. I really liked where the manga and anime ended and I’m afraid things may be ruined or may turn sour with more added to the story. One thing that has ruined other anime and manga was having too many episodes and volumes. Everything must find an ending. I feel that this anime will be more of a gem where it’s at. At the same time, I wasn’t satisfied not seeing the rest. So maybe just one more arc would be fine…

I’ll tell you this…I don’t want to wait two more years before the anime is released. I hope the manga and anime are released simultaneously. I’m too excited! 😄

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Have you watched this anime before? Do you agree with my reasons? If you love this story, what are your reasons for loving Cardcaptor Sakura? Do you plan to watch and have any more questions? I’m open to any discussions.

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[NEWS] f(x) to Release Japanese Single ‘Cowboy’ on November 2nd

12 Sep

f(x) is RETURNING TO JAPAN with their comeback ‘COWBOY’. Sounds hot!

f(♥)

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Betty Spaghetty Makes A Return in 2016

18 Jul
Artwork by Jordanswintart @ deviantart

Artwork by Jordanswintart @ deviantart

Betty Spaghetty is due to return this August, just in time for the fall quarter. The newer, re-vamped version has appeared at the Toy Fair and it seems a few people were able to share their findings on Youtube.

For those of you who don’t know who (or rather what) Betty Spaghetty is (probably those of you who were not ’90s kids), Betty Spaghetty was a line of bendable, stretchy dolls meant to look spaghetti-like, only with funky, colorful clothes and various facial expressions. It was a way to play on the fact that kids often ‘play with their food’. You know how kids add “faces” with different food items onto their sandwiches? Or maybe play “Godzilla” with their dinosaur crackers? Yeah, same concept, only this time manufactured into a toy line.

Elonne Dantzer was the genius who brought these dolls to life. Her real inspiration behind Betty Spaghetty was Lego toys. She wanted to create a “girls’ Lego” (before Lego Friends came to stores), playing on the fact that you can put Legos together and take them apart to create things. The character was meant to be “cartoonish” in style, with a very expressive face and bendable body, something little kids could really enjoy. She was originally supposed to be “Bendy Boop”, but after a test session with a little girl, she became who we know today.

Ms. Dantzer explains more about it at The Blade.

The Ohio Art Company, the company who took on the idea, first brought these dolls to stores in 1998. The main ‘Betty Spaghetty’ character was a blonde, perky teenager who loved fashion (Hey, this was the 1990’s, okay? You can only expect the stereotype), but she came with friends and a little sister. The dolls were rubbery, including the hair, which was fun for kids who loved to style hair. The hands and feet were removable. They had various accessories as well. In each box, Betty had a new facial expression, which was always my favorite part of the doll line.

Betty Spaghetty was discontinued in 2004. Back then, there was strong competition in the doll market (With a strong push by most toy manufacturers to appeal to the tween market at this time, Betty, targeted to kids as young as four, didn’t stand a chance).

Betty tried to make a comeback in 2007, but she had no luck with sales. I guess the world wasn’t ready for her return just yet. And of course, the internet didn’t create much of the sensations it does today.

Now, the dolls are slated to make another return. Let’s see what’s happening now.

My first thought was…Lalaloopsy Girls anyone?

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I watched the Toy Fair video, saw pictures of the dolls, watched the commercial, and visited the official website. I’m still certain that this revamp is a new product with the Betty Spaghetty brand stamped on it for press coverage.

First off, the new dolls are no longer created by Ohio Art. Moose Toys is now in charge. They created the Shopkins and there is a striking resemblance between the Shopkins and the new Betty dolls. I guess that’s why they took over the Spaghetty dolls. They’re a company known for putting “faces” on normal grocery items…

Now that there’s a new company involved, there are several differences between the original Betty Spaghetty and the newer dolls. The differences I see really take away the charm the brand once had. I have a problem with companies that try to revive something without really understanding the essence of what they are bringing back into the world.

There is only one pro that I see: Betty is more diverse in her presentation. And it’s not like the original Betty Spaghetty didn’t have many friends with different ethnic backgrounds and shades. But they were clearly sidekicks. Originally, blonde “Betty” got all the attention. Now, Betty is mostly customizable and she often has different hair colors, like blue hair. This relates to a wider audience.

Of course, I’m only looking from an early perspective. When they arrive on shelves, I may have better opinions about them.

The real problem is that not only am I unimpressed, I’m simply not feeling nostalgic with this release, either. So, who are they literally trying to appeal to here? I don’t understand who would want these dolls with so many other more interesting ones floating around and with the original Betty Spaghetty floating around on the second market.

These dolls just don’t feel “Betty” enough. They literally seem to be reaching with this comeback. Let me just run down the significant differences for you.

1) She’s Not Truly Bendable Anymore

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Yes, these dolls are not truly bendable. Even in the video above, the commercial, and several pictures, it seems like the presenters struggle to bend their arms and legs for an easy bendable pose. Betty Spaghetty is supposed to be tall and lanky and spaghetti-like. She’s supposed to be noodle-skinny. She was so thin, you could add beads to her arms and legs. These girls are short, with big heads and a body proportion that rivals Monster High, Ever After High, or the re-vamped Bratz dolls.

Really, the presenter showed no effort in demonstrating Betty’s bendable poses. It’s probably because that was the last thing considered when making this doll. They clearly wanted to emphasize the fact that these dolls have a ‘mix-and-match’ function. The only thing noodly about these girls is their rubber hair. Whoopie.

The arms and legs on these dolls only manage simple poses. The only thing familiar about the body is the rubbery feeling.

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 2) The Doll Clothing Lacks Funk

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Update: Originally, I wasn’t fond of the clothes because I thought they were boring. I mean, can you blame me? That Toy Fair did nothing to boost Betty’s reputation.

However, I’m not excited about the new dolls either. They aren’t as boring as they once looked, but they are still more boring than Betty originally was. They just lack funk.

The 1990s is over, I know. But I think the funky style suited Betty well. Betty Spaghetty dolls are supposed to be teenagers. These new dolls’ outfits look made for little girls. They’re colorful, but not cool. I absolutely dislike blonde Betty in a “princess” costume. Ugh.

These outfits are just too typical.

On the main website, it looks like they have 12 dolls released so far: Chef Betty, Cupcake Betty, Princess Betty, Fairy Betty, Popstar Betty, Cafe Lucy, Skate Lucy, Beach Zoey, Hula Zoey, Ballet Betty, Pink Ski Betty, and Blue Ski Betty.

A sister brand to the Shopkins for sure…

Though they revamped some of Betty’s older lines, like the ski line, it lacks all the flavor of the original. Blonde Betty herself is super “feminine” and is not the fashionista she once was.

They still don’t have tons of jewelry or the make-up that Betty had, which made all of her clothes pop, made her colorful, and even more FUNKY.

Betty always reminded me of Claudia from the Babysitters Club, if any of you all remember the series…Her style was just so original and cool.

The new Betty Spaghetty dolls aren’t ugly, just too sweet and childish for my tastes.

 

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Even the first revamp had a better selection. I’m sick that it didn’t take off the ground like it should’ve…Especially after seeing these new dolls.

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3) Their Faces Lack Expression

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Betty Spaghetty had many different facial expressions in every release. Sometimes she would look surprised or excited or happy, and other times she would look solemn or even scared. She seemed to have a little personality all her own. Her lips weren’t the only things that GAVE her personality. Her EYES even gave her personality.

The new dolls? Not so much. First off, they have noses. The original Betty was cartoonish, as intended, and didn’t have a nose on her roundish, shiny face. The new “Betty” seems like an attempt at a CGI cartoon.

The new dolls’ expressions are all pretty much the SAME. There seem to mostly be three types of faces: solemn smile, regular smile or chipper wide grin. The eyes are all the SAME. They lack color as well. Betty and her friends used to have individual expressions and often those expressions were related to the line they were released in. The new Betty dolls all look…the same.

They’re not wearing make-up, so they don’t have any extra art or color to their faces, aside from some blush to make their cheeks rosy. And it’s not bad to be fresh-faced, but the new dolls don’t look as funky, colorful, or creative as the original Betty.

Panda17188 @deviantart.com

Panda17188 @deviantart.com

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4) They Don’t Look Like Teenagers

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Betty Spaghetty was tall, wore makeup, and shopped. She looked like a teenager. Her clothing lines reflected a teenager. The new Betty Spaghetty dolls look like kids. I’m not going to say all teenagers should be tall and lanky, but the clothing and lines for the new Betty dolls (like the hula outfit, the inline skating one, etc) look like something a child would wear. At least bring back Betty’s essence. Being a teenager is far more glamorous for kids. Why? Because it’s something they can…IMAGINE. They can’t imagine being who they already are. That’s the problem with toys like this. They lack imagination. They lack vision. They lack creativity.

Do you really expect me to believe that “ballet-princess-fairy” Betty is a teenager? 😄 I don’t think so.

I know Betty Spaghetty was always directed to children 4 years old and older, but these dolls don’t seem ready for playtime no matter the age. The only things kids can do with these dolls are braid the hair and change the clothes. The accessories are not ugly, but most of them are common in any toy line. The bodies aren’t even bendable. It’s not like you can put beads on the arms. They are too thick and don’t bend. Boring. I can’t see any kids wanting to play with these toys for long.

5) Betty is not Really Blonde Anymore

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It looks like one blonde doll is still in the line as Betty, but according to the main website, there are TWO types of “Bettys”. One has blonde hair, the other has blue hair.

This is kind of confusing and I think this is bad. People will be looking for blonde Betty which will take away sales from the blue-haired doll. Why didn’t they give her a new name instead of making two Betty dolls? They have Lucy and Zoey. I just don’t understand why there needs to be two dolls named Betty.

The sad part is blue-haired Betty has better clothes than “princess-ballet-cupcake-chef” Betty. The new blonde Betty is girlish and childish, while blue-haired Betty is a “popstar” (though gag me with the fairy one) and takes on Betty’s “ski line”.

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I understand the diversity thing, but Betty was known as blonde. Even in the commercial, I saw blonde Betty getting the shine among the other dolls, but then at the end, I see the blue-haired doll…

Maybe they want Betty to have diverse hair colors? Which is cool and all, but the problem is the dolls’ facial expressions and skin are not that diverse. Most people will decifer the differences by hair color, and most people assume blonde Betty is Betty…

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It seems like companies are out to revive the 1990’s. Companies are out to revive old products in general because lately only popular brands sell well in the toy market (and just about every market today). But I feel if these companies lose the heart of the brand, there’s no way they can truly revive a product the way they wish.

Perhaps Moose recognized that Ohio Art had been unsuccessful with the original re-vamp and felt that they should try to design and market Betty dolls differently. But I doubt these will do any better.

I’m also considering the fact that Moose couldn’t make their new dolls like the original Betty. If Ohio Art still kept the copyrights to the original design or the original creator pulled the original designs, that would mean Moose had to start their designs from scratch and would have to make their Betty dolls look different. I feel that if they couldn’t get hold of the original designs, why make these dolls?

I think it’s just time to hang up on Betty Spaghetty. The new generation hardly plays with dolls, but the dolls they do enjoy have an even bigger brand name in the toy market with the proper marketing tools. If Moose Toys make Youtube videos for Betty like they do for Shopkins, maybe they will reap some success. It already seems set up for a CGI release or something like that. But I doubt it will stay popular for long.

Visit their website www.bettyspaghetty.com

As more information is revealed, I will be updating this article.

What are your thoughts readers? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

What Do Your Zodiac Signs’ Colors Say About YOU?

22 Jun

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Many of you have probably heard of your “astrological” or “zodiac” sign before. You probably know whether you’re an Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, or Pisces, right?

But many of you may not know that the signs we’re most familiar with are our “star” signs or Sun signs and that we have 9 other important “planetary” signs in our astrological natal charts.

For those who don’t know this, this article may be too confusing for you.

To Learn more about this, move on over to this article first: Introduction to the Planets, Signs, and Aspects

For those who are aware, this will be a good, simple read.

We’ve all heard that certain colors are associated with certain Sun signs. Well, those colors are not just for the Sun. We could exude other planetary energies if we wear the colors associated with our other signs. This could bring balance to our wardrobes and allow us to have some variety.

I created this color guide so that everyone can bring out the best of their natal charts and so people won’t feel so consumed by the colors of their Sun signs.

First, let’s start off with the colors associated with the 12 signs:

Aries, vibrant and bold 
Main-Red
Other: violet, blue, black, and white, gold

Taurus, calm and sensual 
Main-pale Pink, Green
Other: pale Yellow, pale blue, pale purple, white, brown, black

Gemini, bright and social
Main-Yellow
Other: bright green, burnt orange, blue, pink

Cancer, caring and dreamy 
Main-Silver, Grey, white
Other: purple, green, blue

Leo, dramatic and dignified
Main-gold, orange
Other: purple, red, copper, baige, rose pink, yellow

Virgo, intelligent and down-to-earth 
Main-brown, green
Other: dark blue, grey, white, rust purple

Libra, classy and easy-going 
Main-Blue
Other: pale green, purple, white, pink, white, pastels

Scorpio, magnetic and powerful
Main-shades of red, black
Other: dark Purple, dark gray, seaweed green, dark blue

Sagittarius, adventurous and wise
Main-Purple,light and dark shades, dark blue
Other: blue, green, dark brown, black, red, yellow

Capricorn, cool and goal-oriented
Main-Black, dark brown, dark gray
Other: indigo, dark purple, navy, dark red, brown, white, dark green

Aquarius, spontaneous and altruistic
Main-Electric blue, turquoise,aquamarine
Other: blue, green, purple, neon pink, red, electric colors, strange colors

Pisces, imaginative and perceptive
Main-Sea green, shades of purple
Other: mauve, silver, white, blue, violet, all decided by their moods

If we combine the colors of the signs with the planetary meanings, we will begin to understand how we can bring out the best in our outfits and ourselves.

Next is how planetary meanings can resonate with the colors in your clothes:

The Sun-Rules the ego and the basic self, the inner identity. Wearing the colors of our Sun sign will feel the most natural. To the world, it will seem to fit with your general identity. Reflecting who you “are”, you are likely to attract the right opportunities to yourself that will make you content, happy, and confident in your skin. People have developed their identities since they were children, so wearing the colors will seem to bring you back to your youth. At the same time, because you are one with yourself, you will have more confidence, which will make you seem like an authority figure to others. These colors would be perfect to wear for any occasion, especially when you need a confidence boost.

Example: When Sun is in its rulership sign of Leo, wearing bright and bold colors like orange or gold will fit well with their natural dramatic identity. They will definitely be able to attract attention and adoration, which makes them happy and confident!

J-Lo looks naturally aglow in orange! It suits her regal personality!

J-Lo looks naturally aglow in orange! It suits her regal personality! It won’t be hard for this Leo to get attention!

The Moon-Rules the home, moods, feelings. When we wear the colors of our Moon sign, we may be conveying several energies depending on our feelings and mood. The moon is the innermost part of us. It’s very personal. If we wear the colors of our moon, it’s almost like a mood ring reflecting our general moods and feelings. At the same time, these colors could attract circumstances that could improve our overall mood and feelings. We may also feel more connected with our family, culture, and home environment when we wear these colors. The colors could go well with our home décor to improve the overall mood of our homes. These colors would be perfect to wear when feeling down or feeling inspired.

Example: When the Moon is in Scorpio, its falling sign, the people influenced tend to have brooding or deep feelings all the time. Their feelings are extreme and overwhelming at times. Dark colors reflect this brooding mood and depth of mind. But it can also be healing and powerful for them to wear such dark colors. These colors may remind them of darker memories, but these private individuals may still find comfort in black or dark red for home décor and fashion styles. It keeps the busy-bodies away.

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Beyonce expresses her inner fierceness in this dark red leather coat! Moon in Scorpio at its finest!

Mercury-Rules communication and the conscious mind (thoughts). When we wear the colors of Mercury, we’re revealing the natures of our thoughts and helping ourselves communicate better. Any creative ideas will be expressed easier through the colors that resonate well with our thinking patterns. We would also attract the right circumstances and people for easier communication and mental stimulation. These colors would be perfect to wear when giving a speech, going to work or school, going to a party, or roaming about the neighborhood.

Example:  When Mercury is in Libra, light pastel colors reflect their cool and diplomatic thoughts on matters. They can better present diplomatic ideas when wearing colors that are soft on the eyes. Most people will be able to listen to them when they aren’t loud or flamboyant in their color choices. They will also attract diplomatic and easy-going people, the perfect types for socializing and helping to create a scene of harmony.

Leonardo is showing off his cool Mercury in Libra side. Doesn't this outfit scream "laid-back"?

Leonardo is showing off his cool Mercury in Libra side. Doesn’t this outfit scream “laid-back”?

Venus-Rules Beauty, love, art, affection, aesthetic sense, values, harmony. Venus rules over the color scheme, taste, and style. When we wear the colors of our Venus sign, we are introducing to the world our own individual style and taste!  As a result, we are also sharing our own unique charms and physical beauty. Venus refines us all. When wearing these colors, we tend to look more refined and elegant to the outside world. Venus softens any rough edges and adds an appealing glow to us. These colors would be best to wear on a first date or a night out with friends. If you want to look fabulous all the time, wear a hint of it every day! With Venus colors, we can look quite sexy in a subtle way.

Example: When Venus is in Aries, her detrimental sign, bold red could bring out this individual’s beauty, charms, and graces. They just really look good in red! These people usually like the color red, along with blue, purple, black, and white.

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Lily James looks both natural and lovely in red! (Sun and Venus in Aries)

Mars-Rules energy, ambition, drive, aggression, and sex. As a malefic planet, Mars can be tricky. It can be intense or cruel and yet powerful. When we wear the colors of Mars, we are bringing out our own fierce energy and ambition. We will be attracting the right situations to us to help us reach our goals! Unfortunately, we’ll attract competition and enemies, too. Yet, this intensity can make us appear strong and sexy, and not the subtle kind of sexy. Steamy hot! Our greatest passions come out in the colors represented by our Mars signs.

Example: When Mars is in Gemini, these individuals will show their fun but scattered energy and drive when they sport bright and vibrant colors like yellow. They will certainly attract plenty of people who are interesting, and it will be because they look bold and interesting! They will be able to ease any sort of boredom when they wear vibrant colors. Situations will come towards them that promise a good time. Who wouldn’t want to hang with someone in bright yellow? Seems like a fun person! Of course, these people are taking a chance when they sport such a bold color. There will be people who think this color is too loud. But they still manage to blow off some steamy sex appeal in bright colors.

US actress Uma Thurman poses as she arrives for the screening of the film "Sils Maria" at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 23, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Uma Thurman definitely looks interesting and bold in yellow! She really brings out her Mars in Gemini energy. Doesn’t she seem more approachable?

Jupiter-Rules luck, expansion, beliefs. This is the greatest benefic. When we wear the colors of our Jupiter signs, we attract all sorts of fortune! We attract the right opportunities to expand our horizons when we step into these colors. Anything that does some good in our lives could ultimately make us happy. Therefore, wearing these colors will bring smiles to our faces and give us a boost of energy. These colors may also put us in touch with our beliefs. Our beliefs will be taken seriously if we reflect what we believe.

Example: When Jupiter is in Scorpio, these people attract the opportunity to get involved in some deep and intense experiences that will change their world forever when they sport dark colors like black, dark red, and purple. They also reflect their deep beliefs when they wear these colors. I mean, anyone looking as intense as a Scorpio must have some deep thoughts, right? These people enjoy shaking things up and living life on the edge. A dark color like black and dark red is enough to make them smile!

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Britney shows us sexy and edgy in this hot dark red sequined stage ensemble! It’s no surprise she’s Jupiter in Scorpio

Saturn-Rules structure, form, limitation, and responsibility. When we wear the colors of our Saturn, it may take a while for us to warm up to it. But we won’t regret it! We will bring out our professional talents when we wear these colors and will attract success. These colors will thus make us look more mature. If you want to look wiser, wear the colors of your Saturn.

Example: When Saturn is in Sagittarius, wearing the color purple would put them in touch with their more mature and wise side. These people want to learn from the world and teach others or inspire others. In purple, the combination of passionate red and subtle blue will help them find experiences and students to teach.

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Madonna gives us the adventure but still carries her “diva” wisdom in purple. Saturn in Sagittarius can make even the most outrageous outfit seem sophisticated.

Uranus-Generational Planet. Rules change, spontaneity, and innovation. When we wear the colors of our Uranus signs, we reflect the changing attitudes of our generation and our sense of rebellion against the norm. These colors could bring us closer to inspired thought. Free your inner rebel in these colors! There’s probably more that we can do with this color than ever before. Now is your time to get innovative and start integrating these colors in spontaneous ways!

Example: When Uranus is in Aquarius, its rulership, these individuals are growing up at a time when anything is possible! They want to be seen as unique and original, so bold electric colors best help them get in touch with their generation’s message. These are the times to dip into some new unusual colors that have probably never been heard before and start trying new things with them!

Definitely representing the Uranus in Aquarius generation!

Definitely representing the Uranus in Aquarius generation! Kylie Jenner made a bold fashion statement with turquoise blue hair!

Neptune-Generational Planet. Rules imagination, artistry, illusion, fantasy. Most of these things are found in books, movies, magazines, tv shows, the internet, and in stores. We are all influenced by entertainment and other art forms, even if we don’t realize it. That’s how subtle influence can be. Neptune could rule over the fashion worn by our favorite celebrities in our favorite movies or music videos. It also inspires fashion designers and what they put out in stores. When we wear the colors of our Neptune, we may very well be wearing the colors most popular among the celebrities! We are recreating our generation by wearing these colors and inspiring others in later generations.

Example: When Neptune is in Leo, bright and bold colors like orange, gold, and yellow reflect the glamor of the time period.

Marilyn Monroe perfectly captured the glam of Neptune in Leo! She was everyone's "dream" girl!

Marilyn Monroe perfectly captured the glam of Neptune in Leo! She was everyone’s “dream” girl!

Pluto-Generational Planet. Rules power, obsession, transformation. When we wear the colors of Pluto, we are revealing the deepest part of our generation. We will be able to attract powerful positions and transformative situations when we embrace the colors of our Pluto. Pluto can make us all intensely sexy in a mysterious and magnetic way. We may reflect our deepest secrets and obsessions. Not too many people may feel comfortable when wearing colors that reflect their “dark side”, but it may lead to healing if we come to terms with our deepest fears and bring it to light. Then we show we don’t fear it anymore.

Example:  When Pluto is in Sagittarius, the color purple shows the generation’s obsession with travel , foreign cultures, and wisdom. They show that they want to combine passionate adventure and cool intelligence together in their lives when they wear purple.

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Zendaya manages to look cool and empowering in purple!

So try and combine your planetary energy with your sign energy and see what magic you can create!

Leave me a comment and let me know what combinations have brought out the best in you!

KPOP: 24 Things New or Casual Fans May Not Know About the ‘Crazy Popular’ Kpop Industry

20 Jun

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Kpop has become a huge phenomenon within the last decade and is still popular now. It is considered the “secret music society” of this generation. It has its own close-knit community and is prized because it seems to reflect pure South Korean culture in a modern way. South Korean officials call it Korea’s “soft power”.

This is all a result of the Hallyu Wave. <—Read More About It Here

Most international Kpop fans get into the genre because of the catchy songs, the perfect dance moves, and the myriads of attractive men and women involved. They may also like the innocence and “purity” of the music and music videos. After all, you will hardly see or hear outright violence and/or explicit sex in their songs or videos. To outsiders, these groups seem like the perfect packaged artists. For those people looking for more substance, Kpop groups may turn you away. For those interested in quality and wholesome music, Kpop is the way to go.

Kpop does for Asian artists what the other nations around the world have a hard time doing: promoting Asian talent.

From the beginning, you already can understand that there is something special about Kpop that makes it stand out from any pop music around the world. Like any pop stars around the world, Kpop artists invest a lot in promotion. But unlike other pop artists, these figures don’t just entertain; they are packaged to fulfill the desires of their audience. Thus, they are worshipped.

For those of you just getting into the genre and into the Kpop community, you may find yourself embraced by a culture all its own: the kpop culture. It comes with its set of friends, fun, and celebrations. Still, several things may confuse you, anger you, and turn you off (even if you like the music). There are many things newcomers don’t really know or understand when they first get involved with this genre.

I’ve been a Kpop fan since the beginning of the Hallyu wave in late 2003 to 2004. My first favorite Kpop artist was BoA. I then went on to liking S.E.S., DBSK (now TVXQ), Lee Hyori, and Se7en. I’m still a Jumping BoA for life though. Even though I was a Kpop fan then, I didn’t see it the way I do know. Much of the fan base has changed over the years. I feel like a newcomer with this “new wave” of fans even though I’ve loved the genre for more than 10 years! There are still some things I’m learning as times change, especially as everything is being shared on the internet. Many of the things I’ve learned confused me, especially regarding the culture. Some things disappointed me before I really understood the culture. But I don’t want any newcomers to come in confused, with unrealistic expectations, or unprepared. I’ve created a list of 24 things newcomers should understand while jumping into Kpop. This list will help you deal with certain trends, habits, joys, and disappointments in the Kpop universe.

Kpop has a surface side and a hidden side. I want to address both sides: 1) what all Kpop fans know about the genre from a surface level and 2) what you newcomers may not see right off, but some hardcore Kpop fans may know.

This article may not sound too culturally sensitive, but it is meant to be down-to-earth and show international fans (especially western fans) what they may be getting into. After all, it’s important to cover all bases, right?

WARNING: The following sections may be long for some readers, but there were a lot of things I felt needed to addressed.

This will not be in any particular order.

What You May See…what you may see

  • Labels Are Just As Big As Artists
  • Debuts And Comebacks Are A Big Deal
  • Labels Want Global Attention
  • Fans Are Monstrous
  • Korean Music Shows Decide Success
  • International Fans Should Buy Hard copies
  • Variety shows, Talk shows, K-dramas, Fashion ads, And Magazines Promote Kpop artists
  • Check Time Zone Differences
  • Be On The Lookout For International Tours
  • Groups Are Bigger Than Solo Artists
  • Kpop Labels Follow The Trends

Behind the Scenes…behind the scenes

    • Labels Are Blamed For Everything
    • Many Kpop Idols Aren’t Korean
    • Kpop Idols Don’t Last Long
    • Idols Can’t Date
    • Duty And Hard Work Is prized
    • Male Idols Must Serve In The Military
    • Boy Groups Are More Popular Than Girl Groups
    • Kpop Is Not Extremely Diverse
    • Looks Are Just As Important As Talent
    • Standing Out Is Difficult In Kpop
    • Kpop Idols Are Very Traditional At The Core
    • Kpop Doesn’t Always Reflect Everything in Korea
    • Kpop Is Always Changing

What You May See…

The “What You May See” section deals with anything that most Kpop fans know from a surface level. There are casual Kpoppers who can even understand what goes under this section if they are curious enough. Most fans may gather information like this from reading the comments sections on Youtube. Still, for those of you who are lost when it comes to the goings-ons of the Kpop universe, I’m here to help.

1) Labels Are Just As Big As Artists

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I want to start with this. Believe it or not, labels mean everything in Kpop nowadays. I don’t know what has happened in the last few years that I’ve been into Kpop, but I’ve never seen so many labels pop out with groups the way Korean labels have been doing recently. When I first got into Kpop, I never once heard people talking about supporting LABELS. Maybe it was around, but mostly people talked about their favorite artists like they did in any country around the world. Now, it’s so different…

The labels in Korea decide everything. This is not just from behind the scenes (they do bind their artists in strict contracts), but from the fan perspective, too. Fans of Kpop usually support artists under the same label as their favorite group. This is important to note. You may be surprised to find the most famous groups or solo artists in Kpop are no different from the least famous, but because they are backed by a bigger label, they will get more attention.

You may have heard fans say, “I stan SM” or “I stan JYP”. This shows that the labels are the ones REALLY running the show.

The three “powerhouse” labels are SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Nation at the moment. These labels have contributed to the Hallyu Wave and have helped in putting Kpop on the map. SM Entertainment was the first to market their artists in countries outside of Korea. This brought international attention to Kpop. YG Entertainment has had many of their artists go viral overseas (particularly in America) due to their artists’ “westernized” style of music. JYP’s CEO is infamous himself. He is a Kpop idol and has a lot of influence in Korea. He was a direct contributor to the Hallyu Wave. These three labels have all started many Kpop trends known in the genre today. Even when visiting them in Seoul, Korea, around the area they reside, you will notice how popular these labels are. YG’s building is particularly spectacular and as amazing as entering an art museum. They are tourist attractions all their own.

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These labels have gotten so big because they have developed a “brand” just with their name alone. On all of their music videos, their names are stamped on it somehow.

The artists from these labels often support other artists from the same label, which helps the popularity of other groups. They look out for each other. Still, competition can be fierce even from one label, especially if fans think the labels are “playing favorites” with the artists. Labels do rely on the bigger artists to maintain the company. Honestly, they need the bigger artists to maintain and support the lesser-known artists. Some labels do “play favorites” and pour out more promotion for the highly anticipated groups and soloists.

When fans bring so much attention to artists from the same label, they are indirectly bringing fame and longevity (and more money) to the label itself (and making it difficult for other labels to shine). This makes the labels’ brand itself of “idol” status. This can be annoying at times. The real clincher is that there are tons of other amazing artists that are from lesser-known labels. Sometimes, the bigger labels will produce mediocre work in comparison to a lesser known label. But because one piece of work was done by a bigger label, the more infamous song will get more attention, even if it’s not so good. The saddest part is that some fans blindly support a “label” rather than individual artists themselves. This gives more power to the label and less power to the artists.

The real questions you may have: Why do fans only support idols under the same label? How did it get this way?

Well, labels tend to produce the same kind of music amongst their artists. If fans liked the original sound and they mass produce it by many artists, what’s stopping fans from liking it? Their love just travels to other artists. Labels usually use the same recording studios, choreographers, and songwriters for all of the artists. All of the artists seem to have a “connection” when produced by the same label. This is a good marketing strategy. So, when people like a song by one group or soloist from the label, the label will hire the same team for newer groups so they will get attention for having the same “magnetic” sound. This is how the Kpop craze began. After a while, fans get used to associating the artists together under the same label and no longer care if they all sound the same or not, as long as they’re all under the same label.

The second reason fans support artists under the same label is because the money all goes in the same pot. If you support one group, the money will be used by the label to support other artists under that label, especially new artists who start off with nothing. If your favorite group is struggling, it’s refreshing to know that other fandoms will support the efforts of your favorite group. There’s also a sense of family among the fans who stan the same label.

Still, there is back-biting and hating even within the same label’s fandoms. Nowadays, it’s more common to find trolls on the internet who love to pick on less popular groups.

There are more fan wars between the competing labels, though. Every fandom wants to put their label on the map and have it conquer the music industry. I think fans are hoping that if they make the loudest noise, people will pay attention to their favorites. One thing is for certain: The bigger labels always have enough money to do world tours.

With Kpop going international, fans are even more adamant about supporting their favorite idols because they want the chance to see their idols live. If their idols are barely popular in Korea, it will be a slim chance international fans will get to see their idols live.

My advice is not to fall into the trap of the “label game”. Support the artists you like. Reward artists who truly deserve it.

2) Debuts And Comebacks Are A BIG Deal

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When you first get into a Kpop fandom, you will notice that all Kpop fans are eager for debuts and comebacks. As mentioned before, fans support the artists from their favorite labels mostly, but neutral people get excited when any interesting groups show up.

Usually, comebacks and debuts are major events, almost holidays, in the Kpop universe. Teasers are usually dropped right before the reveal of the music video and then the album. Some idols may have extra promotion, like f(x)’s art museum exhibit.

Fans in Korea and abroad support their favorites in more ways than just buying albums. Many fans organize fan meetings, create and supply merchandise, come together on “cafes” to strategize how to help their favorites win on music shows, chant their fan “name”, wear the fan “color”, and so much more. If a comeback drops unexpectedly, fans really can’t give it the utmost support they would usually. Some companies are aware of this and will announce comebacks months in advance.

At this time, fans are usually in “rush mode”. In order to get their idols on the charts, they have to purchase albums and stream songs. This helps their favorite idols win on music shows and boosts the egos of all involved. After all, they aren’t doing all of this to just support their idols and keep them around. They also hope to beat the competition.

At this time, fans are also desperately trying to find ways to boost views on Youtube, which also helps their idols win on music shows.

They also try to search on Korea’s biggest search engines, the biggest being Naver. It is a search engine that caters exclusively to Koreans and their country. Google can’t even dominate it.

Korean fans have more advantages than international fans.  They have access to all the Korean websites and live closer to idols. International fans have to find clever ways to reach out to Kpop idols.

Sometimes, fans will do all of these “support” tactics even if the comeback or debut is a bust. They may not like the song or the concept, but will still support it anyway, just because they’ve invested their own identities in these artists and the labels involved. They still will try to promote the artists and just have a “better luck next time”attitude about it. After all, they want to keep these idols around longer.

Still, most Kpop artists and their labels try to be the first to bring out their most interesting, attractive, and polished concepts so that everyone will like it. If a group already has a strong identity, it doesn’t matter what the concept, it will still be eaten up. Those groups will have it easier. They could get away with less effort. Lesser-known groups try to come out with something original, but not too different or unusual. They try to strike that balance so they can attract their usual fan base once again as well as attract new fans to the group.

What may be attractive to international fans may not be attractive to Korean fans. International fans do matter, but Korean fans have more power when it comes to influencing Kpop charts like Melon, Hanteo, Gaon, and others. I’ll talk more about this later…

3) Labels Want Global Attention

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This can go under both what is noticeable and unseen by the casual listener.

Many international fans may notice that Kpop seems to have a lot of western influences. For starters, the genre of pop is familiar to Westerners (as it took off the ground in America). But hip-hop, rap, and other once-exclusive genres seem to permeate Kpop. English words are sprinkled throughout the songs, even in the chorus. It may have you wondering, “Is this really Korean pop music?” And many music videos nowadays have English captions so that western fans can follow along.

There are even some variety shows, like After School Club, that cater to English speakers. Labels scout out foreigners from the west to bring to their labels.

People also may notice that world tours seem to be huge in Japan and China. Foreign artists from both nations are present in Kpop groups. Chinese versions of Korean songs (like EXO’s Monster) are also recognizably present. I’m sure they are also wondering, “Is this Kpop?”

Kpop labels are also interested in other eastern countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and many more. But they mostly want the attention of America, China, and Japan.

On the one hand, you could just attribute it to the fact that Korea has become more globalized and is interested or just inspired by American, Chinese, and Japanese cultures. You might not think this means labels are really interested in these countries, especially not America.

Why would Kpop labels and their idols be so interested in America? One user of Reddit opened an interesting discussion about this topic. I want to borrow these comments because I think they deserve to be read by others (sorry for those I borrowed from, but I will give you credit 😉 )

The poster, Ashyne, starts by listing all of the recognizable differences between the Kpop market and the American market and why it doesn’t seem reasonable for Asian labels to try and break into the Western American market.

1) Language-Most Americans who are not Asian would prefer to listen to music in their language, although music itself can be enjoyed regardless of whether one understands the lyrics or not.

2) Culture-The culture of South Korea is the complete opposite of America’s. The formalities and etiquette inherent in the basic Korean lifestyle cannot be compared to the more informal and individualistic culture of America. Cultural differences create a “me vs you” prejudice that make it hard for those unaccustomed to the foreign culture to accept, appreciate and understand it.

3) Beauty Ideals-This is easily the most visually apparent. Where the American ideal of beauty features and encourages an adult, sensual and seductive look with thick make-up, arched eyebrows and tan skin, South Korea idealizes the pure and innocent appearance with natural-looking and light makeup, pale skin, straight eyebrows and a youthful child-like demeanor.

4) Fashion Styles-For the sake of easily-identifiable differentiation, I will refer to female idols. South Korean popular fashion, driven by K-Pop trends and fads, is mainly about looking girly, delicate and youthful. Soft fabrics with pastel colors for the feminine and child-like look on one end of the spectrum (e.g. Apink/Lovelyz) or vibrant eye-catching styles combining a contrast of elements for the more teenage-chic appearance on the other (e.g. 2NE1/T-ara).

The clothes worn by female American soloists or girl groups are inherently revealing, provocative and deliberately meant to portray an adult look permeated with overt sensuality and sexuality.

5) Choreography-K-Pop choreography for male idol groups features a more artistic, eye-catching performance with very complex and rapid dance routines than American boy groups, who usually value vocal talent over excessively prominent choreographies.

For female K-Pop idols, choreography is light-hearted and dainty on one end of the spectrum for the cutesy groups, or more sexual and provocative on the other end of the spectrum for groups that feature a sexier concept. This is the only kind of choreography that is similar to, but still easily distinguishable from American female singer-dancers, whose choreography are much more sexually-explicit and vulgar.

6) Music-The music between Korean and American idol groups are more similar than the other factors listed above. K-pop idol groups, both male and female, usually sing about innocent romances, first loves, breaking up or love at first sight (teenage topics); while Americans sing about these topics too, they also sing about addictions and more adult topics.

The aforementioned factors are not all, but the main ones that become easily apparent when trying to consider the reasons that K-pop idols will have a difficult time being successful in America.

Let’s now look at simplified statistics:

America has a population of around 320 million. Combining the 6 factors listed above and considering that Asians, to whom Asian music (e.g. K-pop) appeal the most, are the minority of the population, we have a tiny fraction of the American demographic that are a potential source for interest in K-pop music.

Now, on the other hand, K-pop is vastly more popular in East and Southeast Asia also due to the similarities I pointed out above. Besides popularity, K-pop has been a part of popular Asian music scene for decades starting with the earliest K-pop pioneers that received attention outside South Korea.

Also consider that East Asia already contains China, Japan and South Korea who are the 3 largest consumer nations of K-pop. The overall population of East Asia is 1.6 billion people.

K-pop is also highly popular in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia with massive fanbases. There are around 600 million people in this region.

So we have a simple statistic comparison of 320 million Americans (of whom only a minority are potential fans) versus 2200 million Asians (of whom a significantly larger majority are potential fans) and from this we can see that in Asia, there is a vastly larger potential fanbase than America could ever hope to achieve.

With these facts, it is reasonable to conclude that “cracking America” would be a waste of time. This is the question many Kpop fans have, even in Korea. Many posters gave very good responses, but one poster has a real clue what’s going on and how the labels really see it, even if it doesn’t sound too culturally “sensitive”.

affabillyty gives this response:

  1. America is the global cultural beacon: For better or worse, what gets produced in Hollywood has the best chance of becoming international culture. Kpop has certainly upended Japan’s regional influence in becoming a top-tier cultural beacon in East Asia and SE Asia, but music and film made in Hollywood has the potential to transcend Continental Europe, East Asia, Latin America and, of course, the rest of the English speaking world (UK, Canada, Australia, Oceania). Though it’s almost a non-starter if the music isn’t in English…
  2. Artistic liberation: as you mentioned in your post, the stereotypical Korean aesthetic is youthful, chaste and pure. American pop culture is sexualized, provocative and mature. I think in the past 1-2 years, the Kpop aesthetic has drastically shifted towards the American norm. Hip-hop is pretty dominant, videos are increasingly sexualized, and both Korean and American artists are being styled in converging “streetwear” clothing. There are even smaller anecdotal signs like BESTie showcasing a gay storyline in “Excuse Me” or Hyorin very blatantly rejecting the “white is right” skin tone every other artist spends so much money on preserving (and enhancing). I think the American market, and by extension American pop-culture, is a counterbalancing force for Kpop artists (and labels) who want to eschew the “Gee” archetype.
  3. Pride: There is an immense sense of pride among Asian countries to overcome colonial history and reemerge as global economic and culture forces, particularly from a corporate perspective. Japan was first to go through this process and produce companies like Sony, which dominate in multiple industries – including music. SMTOWN, if you’ve noticed, has been not-so-quietly pushing its brand. They built that SM culture center in Seoul, and I believe Lee Soo Man has openly said he wants SM to become Korea’s first ‘global’ music label (sorry, I don’t have a source). Every video released this year by SM also has a very conspicuous SM log in the letterbox. In the same way that PSY was celebrated as a national hero for peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, I think the labels feel equally motivated to achieve corporate dominance – especially SM.

I want to further add to these points. I don’t think these points are just exclusive to America alone. It also applies to why South Korea wants Japan’s attention, too. Though #1 Global Cultural Beacon may sound a little haughty, stats support this. America and Japan are entertainment giants. America’s music industry alone dominates (not even thinking of film, gaming, and technology), with Japan as a super close second (2010 was the year Japan beat America’s music industry market). Before 2011, Americans bought physical albums in millions. When the digital boom occurred, Japan slipped in because they were still buying those physical copies while America mostly downloaded online. Eventually, as the world went digital, America was leading the way, with Japan still a close second (and fighting). The difference between the two is that America is a fresh market for Asian entertainment. Hardly any Asians have made their mark in America YET. Every label wants the honor of cracking one of the biggest barriers to their global success. It would certainly give that label bragging rights.

And as the poster said, if you make it in America, you can also influence the other western nations, unlike if you make it in Japan. If South Korea can dominate both the east and west, they can slowly take over the music market (and slowly take over the minds and hearts of the people with their cultural values and ideas). As well as make a whole lot of money. This will not only add to the labels’ pot, but it can boost the overall South Korean economy. By appealing to these countries, tourism will increase, giving even more to the economy. Last, Kpop helps spread ideas, allowing Korea to dominate both politically and socially.

In 2004, when I first got into Kpop, South Korea was the 28th biggest music industry in the world. But look at it now! It is now among the top 10! This was all due to South Korean labels’ clever strategies. When it comes to reaching out to Americans, they have used the internet as a tool to promote their artists, they’ve included foreigners in their Kpop idol line-ups, they’ve gotten some American songwriters, producers, and choreographers on the team, they have purchased songs from both America and other European countries, they’ve inculcated “Americanized” styles of music, and they’ve sent Kpop idols to America to act as “ambassadors”.

They don’t have to go to such great lengths to appeal to Asian countries as they are more similar in culture, but they still have to try to keep their interest as well. In fact, much of the “Hallyu” wave is owed to Japan. SM’s success as a label skyrocketed as soon as they began working with Japan’s powerhouse label Avex and began releasing their artists through the label. Many Kdramas have also been adaptations of Japanese manga and anime, like Boys Over Flowers and To the Beautiful You (Hana Kimi). Many labels laced Kpop songs in these drama adaptations, which further helped the success of Kpop.

China may not have a huge music industry (mostly because they don’t play the export-import game too often), but they have a LARGE population and they have a lot of influence over the other East Asian countries. There are many Chinese speakers in the countries surrounding China (such as in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia). Getting rich off of the Chinese is nothing if a label can convince them that it is worth it. SM’s boyband H.O.T was the first kpop group to tour in China. Kpop is now a big thing in China.

I want to address #2 next: Artistic Liberation. This is more common in the major industries like the USA and Japan. In Japan, artists like Utada Hikaru (who was actually born in the USA, but debuted in Japan) and Ayumi Hamasaki have been pioneers in the Japanese industry when it came to fighting for the artists’ rights to their music. Ayumi Hamasaki has especially been triumphant in pulling herself from a binding contract and stepping out to make the masterpiece, I AM.

America has always been a diverse industry. We’ve had our share of manufactured artists, but we’ve had equally popular multi-talented artists, like Bob Dylan and Prince, who had creative control over their music.

In these countries, Kpop artists hope that they will be able to get more musical freedom and will get the chance to be seen as true “artists” and not “products”. In these countries, artists don’t have to debut in “manufactured” groups in order to be successful. They can debut individually, with their own sound, or in any group they choose. Contracts aren’t as binding because they don’t monitor the personal lives of artists, just the business side. Pop and hip-hop music are popular in these countries, but many other genres are, too. If someone wants to try country, edm, rock, or any other genre, they could thrive with the right promotion and the perfect sound.

America is more appealing than Japan in this regard because America is perceived as more individualistic (meaning we seem to care about the individual’s right to “be”) and seems to be even less about following one code or system of rules. Though each of us have our own morals, Americans will set aside their beliefs and opinions to objectively enjoy the music. Michael Jackson and Miley Cyrus both had very poor reputations at their prime, but both managed to still pull success from their albums. Why? Because they just made unique and authentic music. Americans especially like artists that are natural or “themselves”. Freedom and independence is prized. Many Kpop idols like the idea that they can take a few risks but still earn respect through their music. It seems appealing from across the globe (just like Kpop seems appealing to the west).

In Korea, kpop idols’ personal lives are monitored closely. Kpop idols who suffer from Korea’s scandals may find the USA to be freer. Those who want to date and start a family while still making music may find America to be freer. Last, those who want their popularity to last more than a few years may be tempted to break into the American market, hoping they achieve huge success. In Korea, kpop idols are lucky to last after reaching 30 years old. In America, artists continue to make successful music well into their 60s, as long as they’re alive!

In Korea, many 20 year olds perform “youthful” concepts. I’m sure there are many of them that prefer to try more “adult” or controversial concepts, like the ones seen in America.

Then there’s Pride. Labels want to give Asians the respect that is long over-do in the west.

All of these things will help Kpop labels get more money in the long run.

The problem with this is that the American industries don’t cater to pop singers with variety shows and dramas. Kpop artists have to promote themselves differently in the US than they do in Korea. The internet is the perfect way for Kpop labels to reach out to America and promote their artists.

4) Fans Are Monstrous

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Kpop fandoms are monstrous in two different ways: They can be an idol’s biggest supporters or their worst enemies. When it comes to supporting idols, fans pour out a lot of money into the genre. For international fans, shipping costs for purchasing albums can be very expensive. Merchandise is expensive, too. Korean fans have up-front access to merch and do a lot to include outside fandoms when it comes to organizing events. They pour a lot of money into their artists even in Korea! It seems like a lot of work for some music, but fans do this so that their favorite idols can keep making music. Idols are also very gracious and show a lot of love and thankfulness to fans.

Having a fandom name and fan color are common traits of Kpop groups. Korean internet cafes (such as Daum) and other fan websites helped in promoting the idea that each idol should have a name to call their followers and a color for all of them to wear. Got7‘s fan name, for example, is IGot7. f(x)’s fan color is periwinkle (which is purplish-lavender).

Being humble and gracious is very important in Korea. This is one of the reasons international fans have fallen in love with the genre. Everyone seems to be trying to be polite even as they perform.

Fans really do seem to worship idols on the surface. Still, fans can also be the worst people in the world. Other fans may call the worst “fans” antis or even trolls. Still, they influence the course of Kpop and the longevity of idols.

Idols can’t function without support. This is why they try hard to appeal to as many people as possible. Still, idols are imperfect humans that have personal lives.

Some fans live in such a Kpop bubble, they often forget that their idols have personal lives and are humans. When idols are struggling, some of the time it can be because of the rigorous schedules or the labels they’re under, but other times it’s because of the demand of the fans. The idols don’t say anything because they rely on the fans’ support for income. But sometimes the fans can be a little extreme. Many “fans” feel that idols should be able to take abuse just because they have chosen a career in the spotlight. It’s also important to note that idols take the opinions of others seriously because it really does affect their reputation and career in Korea. Their goal is to get as many followers and fans as possible.

Fans are very critical and hard on idols because they do expect the best, almost perfection. These idols do often look really polished and perfect on stage. I guess they give the false impression that they are perfect. Some fans have also invested their egos and money in these groups and want their favorites to tromp out competition. When their favorite idols aren’t “reaching” for more or not “attending” events, fans quickly get antsy and critical. Some even expect idols to perform sick! Having a vacation is associated with laziness. This “demanding” streak is when fandoms get monstrous in a negative way. It’s supposed to be entertainment and fun, but some fans can suck the joy out of things.

Fan-idol abusive relationships are common and fans hardly feel like they are wrong in this regard. There is a sense of “ownership” regarding fan-to-idol relationships. I guess because so many fans buy heavily into the industry, they expect their biases to pay exclusive attention to them and fulfill every wish fans desire.

And with so much attention, the bigger you are, the more people you have to criticize you. Kpop has more fans now; that means more haters, too.

You may hear the words “bias”, “stan”, and “Knetizens” or “Knetz” floating around.

In Kpop, again, people support their favorite groups HEAVY and they do develop a bias towards these groups. This means they will like this group no matter what that group releases (just because they may be in love with many other releases or attributes). Sometimes, these same fans will refuse to support other groups, no matter how talented they are.

Even within the group itself, people select their favorite members or “biases”. Usually, each member of a group gets their own fandom ( A fandom name may not be present unless an artist goes solo). Sometimes, the “visuals” (the most attractive members) get the most fans. This makes it harder on other members of the group who have a hard time shining. Still, fans will usually support the whole group despite their favorites.

The word “stan” is common everywhere, even for international artists, so I don’t even have to explain. For those who don’t know what it means, it combines “stalker” with “fan”.

Fans of Kpop aren’t always realistic about idols. The fact that they aren’t looked at as celebrities but as “idols” shows that people really do worship these artists. International fans even make fanfictions based on their favorite idols, almost like they aren’t human and like they belong in some Kdrama. In Korea, they aren’t big on the fanfiction game, but they also fantasize about possibly dating their favorite “oppas” and “unnis” (as they call them often). Fans have a very “pure” depiction of Kpop idols. Most Kpop idols are presented that way by their labels and management team. They are all marketed as cute and dorky, even the male idols at times. Romantic songs really bring in the ladies. And Kpop idols are almost always extremely attractive. This is the main marketing strategy of most labels.

Knetizens, netizens, or Knetz is the slang word used to describe Korean citizens who use the internet and Korean internet community websites to build or break idols. Korean fans obviously have a lot of power over K-idols. First off, they are closer to Kpop in proximity. Second, their culture and opinions more directly influence idols because idols have the same values as most all Koreans. If Knetz like an idol, the idol will stay afloat in their groups. If Knetz dislike an idol, expect that idol to be dropped from the group, no matter how many international fans still exist.

Many Knetizens don’t see eye-to-eye with international fans and vice versa. Some get along great; others are very hard on one another. Much of it has to do with culture clash. Though many international fans like Kpop, their tastes may be different from Knetz based on culture. What westerners will support, for example, may not be supported by Koreans, which affects sales and chart rankings within the country. Many westerners also don’t really understand Korean culture and their codes of “honor” and “loyalty”. Some are so dazzled by Korean pop that they forget that Korea is a country all its own with its own laws and ways of living. International fans may find them to be petty in comparison to other fandoms around the world. Mutually, some netizens dislike when international fans criticize their culture and wish they would respect the fact that Kpop is a Korean art first and foremost.

Knetz Explain Why They Dislike International Fans

Some Knetz are so hard on international fans that they make it difficult for them to get invited on music shows (the shows that usually promote the artists, more on this later). Some can be clique-ish and may exclude anyone who isn’t apart of the main “cafes” (fan websites that make it difficult for international fans to sign up for and get into). Of course, the music shows themselves are selective when it comes to who they choose…

International fans are equally hard on Knetz. Whenever there is a scandal or whenever a song bombs on the charts, international fans are quick to criticize fans who live in Korea. They often don’t recognize their own hand in the problem. International fans don’t always feel that Korean fans appreciate all the talented people they have and wish for some of the artists to debut internationally instead. But Korean fans feel that international fans always try to decide what is right for their industries, when their industries have been doing fine without international inclusion.

Knetizen is a word hardly used positively by international fans when describing Korean fans.

Soompi has a really interesting article on the differences in the fans’ reactions to certain scandals. Actually, some of these things wouldn’t even be newsworthy in the USA, where I come from. But in Korea, these matters are taken seriously. Check it out –> International Fans Reaction VS Korean Fans Reaction

There is only one way to get these fans to unite and that’s when an outsider attacks their favorite group. Suddenly, Knetz and international fans will unite against that individual. Fans hate when anyone tries to criticize their “bias” groups, I don’t care what country they’re from. Some fans don’t like when anyone criticizes their biases, even when it’s constructive. However, there are those individual “trolls” who are really destructive with what they say. Nowadays, people are not held accountable for their “opinions” and they are not prepared for the consequences.

Let’s shift gears and talk about the age range of the fandoms…

Keep in mind that while many Kpop fans are tweens and teens, especially in Korea, many fans are actually  in their TWENTIES (20s) and THIRTIES (30s). Yes, studies have shown that many Kpop fans are of college age and up. They call them “2030”. This is why many labels are now starting to debut their groups much later and this helps older groups continue their success even after 30! As Kpopstarz pointed out: Adult fans have “high purchasing power”. Though most of the material was originally marketed to tweens and teens, the last generation that fell in love with Kpop have grown up with their favorite idols and have gotten into the newer idols. The difference is now they have more money…Much of Kpop’s newest material caters to adult audiences now.

Most of the fanbase consists of females. The content of Kpop is usually created to appeal to them. Males make up a smaller portion, but they exist. One of my favorite male fans of Kpop is Youtuber JREKML. The girl groups have attracted a large number of males overseas.

The differences in the way Korean fans support their favorite artists and the way international fans support them comes down to how each fandom looks at Kpop. In Korea, Kpop is looked at as regular pop music, not some exclusive “secret” genre. To most international fandoms, it’s a unique, “exclusive” genre, even a subculture, that brings together like-minded individuals looking for classy but catchy music. These differing views affect the way artists are supported.

Because international fans see ALL of Kpop as one big COMMUNITY, it’s not uncommon to find them in multi-fandoms. International fans don’t have a problem supporting two groups from different labels or even supporting all Kpop idols that come out! As long as it’s from the genre of Kpop, international fans will give it a shot. They appreciate it and marvel at it more, I guess, because it’s not accessible in their countries like it is in Korea.

It’s different with Korean fans. They tend to be very selective about who they like and support and cling favorably to artists that they’ve always liked or artists who have a huge popularity. Korean variety shows can make artists even bigger and Korean fans watch these shows firsthand. They know that whoever they support in their country will become a major idol and they know competition is fierce to get into the Kpop world. They don’t just hand over that attention to just anybody. Still, who is worthy of that attention may be baffling to international fans at times…More on this subject will come in the following sections.

Despite the differences, fans can come together when it matters most. While both fandoms can be monstrous, they all help in keeping Kpop a global deal.

5) Korean Music Shows Decide Success

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When an album first drops, expect Kpop idols to start weeks of promotion. Usually, this promotion begins when idols start performing on Korea’s biggest music shows. The biggest music programs are not to be confused with variety shows or other music programs that promote artists. No, these music shows are a much bigger deal. First off, most of them have voting ceremonies. These voting ceremonies contribute to the overall prestige of an idol group or soloist. These music shows mostly show performances, are hosted by other idols, and, at the end, give out trophies and other rewards for winners. The performances on these shows are really just for show. They don’t really influence who wins at the end of the show. The winners are decided by a number of things that show idols’ success: Music chart rankings, physical albums sales, digital album sales, search engine results, Youtube views, overall popularity based on previous albums or promotions, broadcasting views, votes both online and on music shows, among other things. You see why they are a big deal? No matter what fans say, these shows decide the success of debuts and comebacks. They mean a lot to the idols as well as the fans.

The main music shows are M!Countdown, Inkigayo, Music Bank, Show! Music Core, and Show Champion. The Show is also climbing up there. Some of these shows are bigger than major awards shows (though the Melon awards are known to be a big deal)! Having an “all-kill” (which means winning 1st place on every single one of these shows) is every idol and fan’s goal. This is why fans invest so much in the promotion of their favorite idols.

Each of these shows have their own ranking:

M!Countdown: Digital Single Sales (50%), Album Sales(15%), Social Media Points (YouTube official music video views + SNS buzz) (15%), Preference Points (global fan votes through Mwave, Mnet Japan and Mnet America + age range preference) (10%), Mnet Broadcast Points (10%) and SMS Votes (10%).

Inkigayo: Being one of the older shows, they have changed their criteria over the years. Just in the past four years, they have been changing. (55%) Digital Sales Based on Gaon DA/Singles Chart (Top 150), (35%) SNS Score Official MV Youtube Views, (5%) Physical Sales via Weekly Gaon Album Chart, (5%) Advanced Viewer Votes via Melon App, (10%) Live Viewer Votes- SMS (paid text vote) and Melon App (free)

Music Bank: Digital Music Charts (65%), Album Sales (5%), Number of times broadcast on KBS TV only (20%), and Viewers Choice Charts (10%).

Show!Music Core: They go back and forth with their ranking system. Sometimes, they have one, sometimes they don’t. Here is what it last looked like: Physical Album + Digital Sales (60%), Music Video Views (10%),Viewers Committee Pre-voting (by 2000 people) (15%), Live Voting (15%)

Show Champion: (50%) Digital Sales streaming + downloads, (15%) Online Voting on MelOn, (20%) Physical Sales from Hanteo, (15%) Ranking from Professionals & Expert Judges from MBC Music

The Show: Prescore-Total (70%) [[Album sales+Digital sales+SNS (Korea) (35%) + Tudou music video views+pay vote items (China) (35%)]], Live voting- Total (30%) [[Text votes (Korea)(15%)+Tudou votes (China)(15%)]]

To watch some of these shows, you can find live streams directly from the Broadcasting stations’ Youtube channels and other places they stream or wait until the websites post some of the older episodes on their channels. It’s best to watch streams so you can contribute to the overall view count.

As you can tell, most of the rankings are predetermined before the shows even begin. On some of these shows, international fans can’t even fully participate in voting, such as on Inkigayo or Music Bank. That might be part of the reason rankings have changed or shows have completely gotten rid of the ranking system…

These music shows have come under fire on several occasions. There is a lot of controversy regarding them. It got so bad, Inkigayo got rid of their ranking system in 2012 (only to bring it back the following year). Show!Music Core has also been back and forth with their ranking system, taking it out and bringing it back in again.

Back when I first got into Kpop, this wasn’t as big of a deal as it is now. Kpop artists made tons more money back then than they do now. In fact, all pop artists made more money around the world because people actually bought hard copy albums. Kpop didn’t have as large of a fandom with so many demands, so labels didn’t barf out new groups and artists as often. They capitalized and promoted the ones they already had. Some of these music shows didn’t even exist yet! Music Bank and Inkigayo were the only two that really existed back in 2003! M!Countdown came in 2004 when I really got into the genre. It was still relatively new and didn’t have the reputation it has now.

Before these shows, there weren’t as many fan wars and there weren’t as many comparisons made between artists. The shows are basically a popularity contest. On the flip side, the shows make kpop more exciting and the joy from all the “wins” make it all worth it. Idols know where they stand at these shows and reap immediate “fruits” from their efforts. There is a certain pride that comes from winning these awards, even if the idols remain humble about it.

These music shows are respected and regarded as the “tell-all” of Kpop talent (though talent is a minor factor in the voting process). This is because these shows have very specific ways they rank artists and also because any fans who wish to attend must be invited by a special “lottery” ticket.

They filter out these tickets the way they do because most of the venues are small broadcasting studios that can’t hold too many people. What it ends up doing is “ranking” fans as well.

The system is political. First off, being a part of a fanclub gives you automatic prestige with these shows. This is the one thing that bothers me about these shows.

Trying to get into these music shows to see your favorite idols is very difficult. You can’t just purchase your way through, like with other venues around the world. To get a ticket faster, you must be a fanclub member. And you can’t just be any fanclub member. Tickets are distributed to fanclub members who have the most merchandise. What does this mean? Those with the most money to buy all the stuff of their favorite idols are on the “priority” list. This is another reason why adult fans have more power and influence in the Kpop world, as well as rich little princes and princesses. Money is power in this case. This also means that the same people who have always gotten tickets will more than likely continue to get tickets (unless they stop supporting the group, meet their match with someone who can hurry and purchase as many items, or lose their income). Everyone else will basically feel rejected from these shows unless they know how to get around this filter. Seoulrhythm.com has created a pretty good “How To” for getting into these music shows.

They choose fans with the most merchandise because during broadcasting they want to show the fans with the products on live television.

This is why fans pour so much money into these idols and also why pride has been invested in it as well. These shows basically put a rank on what it means to be a fan and make other fans feel “less than”. On the flip side, they are rewarding those who show the most support. After all, I’m sure the idols are grateful that there are people willing to buy everything their idols dish out. It is good for business because it encourages fans to buy things. This is why hard copies are still relatively sold in Korea (though streaming may also be important for getting in these shows).

International fans will have an even harder time getting into these music shows. First off, many of us can’t download on Korea’s biggest streaming sites because they require a login username and password. Sometimes, they require “Korean-citizen” information to sign up for these websites (sometimes even credit or debit card information). Everything is in Korean, so reading everything could be a challenge. Brush up on your Korean! The one site that used to allow foreigners to download Kpop shut down. Some fanclubs require fans to have both the physical copy and proof of downloading in order to get invited to the music shows. After all, these music programs rank idols based on these sales. So, most times, international fans are left out of the loop.

Many fans can purchase hard copies and merchandise, but the expenses are ten times more for international fans than for Korean fans. Shipping and taxes eat international fans alive. Still, some international fans try to buy what they can. They especially look forward to global tours where they can buy merchandise in their own backyards!

But this makes music shows very exclusive to well-paid Koreans. That means there is usually one demographic representing everyone’s favorite idols.

After they get in all the Kpop fans who have purchased merch, they bring in those who are a part of the fanclub (which is verified with a membership card).

After that, everyone else is welcome to stand in line after the main tickets have been distributed. That means “first come, first served”. If the fanclub members take up all the space, you’re out of luck, and they will turn you away. The plus side, though, is that the rest of the tickets are free. Get there extremely early and you might get lucky.

There is always a chance, too, that no matter how much you pour into these music shows, your favorites won’t always win. So, you may have sacrificed a lot only for your favorites to come out empty-handed. What would be worse is if your idol was pulled from the show for any reason or if the wrong “winners” were announced by the music show.

CriticalKpop.com has a whole series on why they hate Kpop Music Shows, and I think they make some legitamate points about the policies and “etiquette” that go along with these shows:

Part 1: Meaningless Competition

Part 2: System of Judgment

Part 3: The Format

Part 4: The Ugly Hierarchy of Fandoms

6) International Fans Should Buy Hard Copies

BtoB Press Play

BtoB Press Play

Now that you know about music shows, you know that international fans have less power in influencing music shows than Korean fans. Of course, that should be obvious, considering this is Kpop, but it just doesn’t happen this way in every country.

So how can international fans make a difference? By buying albums hard copy.

Most of us can’t stream or download songs easily from Korean digital download websites, so the next best thing to support our artists, and get them on the charts, is to buy their physical albums.

And the price will be worth it.

Sure, the albums usually cost an arm and a leg. Shipping and taxes can be horrifying if you pre-order for two-day shipping. Buying in bulk may give you a heart attack. But trust me fellow Kpop friend, you will not regret it.

Kpop albums don’t look like other crappy albums out in the world. Their albums are very creative both from the outside cover and design to the beautiful photos taken of each Kpop member in the booklets the CDs come in. For years, I’ve been buying music online. Kpop brought me back to hard copy albums. When Koreans produce something, it is usually of the highest quality.

The outside covers are usually very artistic. There might be a very artistic design on the front, like 2ne1’s animation style on I Am the Best. Or possibly clever words written across BtoB’s album seducing fans to Press Play. And I really can’t forget f(x)’s album Pink Tape which was literally shaped like a videotape (if you all remember them from back in the ’90s).

2ne1 I Am the Best

2ne1 I Am the Best

Fx-PinkTape

f(x) Pink Tape

The CDs are usually carefully placed in a folder inside the booklets rather than in cheap plastic. The CD albums are designed to be carefully placed within a home so that they can be shown off. Flipping through the books alone can give fans a lot of pleasure before they even pop in that CD and give it a listen.

Most albums also come with collectible fan photo cards, signed by the members. You never know which one you’ll get. I guess that’s a good strategy for getting fans to buy in bulk. Some of the albums also come with posters.

For these purchases to count towards the charts and music shows, however, you must have purchased an album the week the artist starts performing on the music shows. The rankings are very specific. If you purchase too late, it won’t count. Usually, they are gathering stats the first week an artist performs. The second week artists are ranked and those shows use the tallies of the last week along with the live broadcasting votes to rank them. By the end of the week, they check the major charts like Hanteo, Gaon, and Melon before the next week rolls around.

International fans have to be clever and keep up to date with idols if they wish to support them at these events.

Not all websites support the major Korean charts. Itunes, Ebay, and Amazon are not good options though you may see Kpop albums for sale. The music shows don’t count them.

Here is a list of some of the best websites I’ve used, in order from my favorite to least favorite:

Kpoptown

KpopMart 

YesAsia

Kpoppulus

7) Variety Shows, Reality Shows, Talk Shows, K-Dramas, Fashion Ads, And Magazines Promote K-pop Artists

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Variety Shows, talk Shows, K-Dramas, fashion ads, and magazines all help promote Kpop artists and vice versa. In fact, a fan’s participation in watching the shows or purchasing these magazines could even affect music show rankings! Usually, this would be the case if people are searching for ads and magazines through search engines.

All celebrities get promotion through magazines and fashion ads around the world. Talk Shows are still big the world over. My favorite is After School Club and Global Request: A Song For You. They cater to international audiences.

Variety shows are a little bit more special. In Variety shows, fans get the chance to watch their favorite idols participate in games, conversation, and challenges. The shows are designed to make the idols feel a little more real, individual, and personable, almost like a reality show, only with other additions such as interviews and even performances.

Some variety shows could host a number of games and challenges in them, like the popular Running Man. Running Man is one of my favorites. It sets up scenarios and has popular Kpop idols and K-drama idols complete missions within the story. Almost like a live game of Clue.

Other variety shows can pitch idols in long-term circumstances that help them understand an alternate life style. We Got Married puts together two popular idols and arranges a marriage for them. They usually have a “wedding” and “live” in the house together. It’s all staged but interesting fun to see idols pitched together.

YG and JYP, the two major label founders, are known for creating reality shows to scout out new talent. YG came out with Who Is Next: WIN (Which produced Kpop groups Winner and iKon) and JYP launched Sixteen16 (Which produced Kpop group Twice)

Real Men helps idols understand the military life. This has particularly been popular for foreign male idols to try because most aren’t obligated to do military service (more on this later) and don’t usually understand the pressure to perform such duties. Women also have tried it. Most women are not required for service but this helps them understand the men serving their country a little more. Foreign idols have it hard on this show. Most can’t speak the language as fluently as natural-born Koreans and even those who can don’t understand the military dialogue.

These are all just examples.

Now on to KDRAMAS.

Kdramas are just as big as Kpop. In fact, the Hallyu wave began because of Kdramas. People who may not be into Kpop may alternatively say they love Kdramas. In their spare time, Kpop idols usually sign on to do Kdramas. Kdramas help promote their groups and can be a good source of extra income for the individual idol (especially during hiatus). Kdramas also give idols a chance to be someone else besides a singer and performer. Many Kpop idols leave their professions as pop idols for a career in acting!

Kdramas also help idols establish themselves as individuals and they help them develop their own fanbase.

The biggest problem many international fans face with watching the shows and dramas is the language barrier. If you don’t understand Korean, you may not gravitate towards the shows (because shows don’t have catchy tunes like music). Still, there are some kind fans out there who will gladly make subtitles in the languages most in demand. Some broadcasting stations are starting to provide subtitles for languages in demand for online streams so that international fans can watch their favorite dramas.

When I say ‘in demand’, that doesn’t mean fans should go and demand these people to make subs. Making subs is hard work, especially getting them to match up right. Some streams already have subs, but some don’t. And guess what? They aren’t required to. This is KOREAN entertainment.

This may be an unusual concept to foreigners. Everything we have comes in various different languages besides English. In the USA, it’s not uncommon to find both English and Spanish channels. Americans also have access to various versions of Amazon.com and Google. If we wanted to, we could change from language to language. In America, it’s important to cater to many different audiences. In Korea, it’s important to uphold Korean standards and values. We are all just along for the ride. So let’s respect them by being patient with subs and maybe try to learn the language.

How can international fans watch these shows? There are live streams online, just like for music shows. Kdramas come out on DVD and Korea just opened Netflix. You can buy them like you do your favorite CDs. Yesasia is good for that, too.

8) Check Time Zone Differences

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When thinking about what to watch or even when thinking about waiting for any comebacks, it’s important to remember time zone differences. International fans may get confused and frazzled trying to figure out when their favorite group’s comeback will OFFICIALLY happen. I’m here to tell you, just because it said July 1, 2016 doesn’t mean that’s the date it will drop in your country. The East is a day ahead of countries way in the West.

If you really want to support your favorite idols regarding music videos, variety shows, or music shows, you might have to stay up really late at times or even watch the shows in between breaks at school or work. 😄 This has happened on several occasions for me.

Or you could just wait a day later, but your views won’t count towards anything,

9) Be on the look-out for international tours

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It can be a little sad and disheartening to only be able to see your favorite idols from music videos, variety shows, kdramas, and fancams but never in person. After all, most international fans don’t get to see their idols every comeback, live in concert, or during fan signing events (unless those fans have the money). Most fans are happy to be able to buy the products online. Still, it’s exciting when idols organize a world tour.

Usually, only the most popular groups are able to organize a world tour. This is another reason why international fans want to try and support their favorite idols no matter the cost. Most fans hope their favorites will be able to come to their home countries!

If you follow some of the bigger Kpop groups, the ones that have an international following, you might be in luck! There are times when Kpop groups plan their tours in cities outside of Korea. I saw Got7 when they came to the USA last year. I never thought that would happen! But it did.

Just keep supporting your favorite group and try to increase their popularity in your area. Be on the lookout for tours and purchase your tickets early because they do sell out. They are actually cheaper in your own country than if you were purchasing the tickets in Korea!

10) Groups are Bigger than Solo Artists

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Based on stats dealing with the major charts in Kpop, it’s clear that Kpop groups are bigger than solo artists. Solo artists are lucky to get one song dominating the chart (and usually it’s because of a Kdrama), let alone win an award on one of the major music shows.

When solo artists make a comeback, their own fans love them, sure. But groups have more people involved; that means more fans for each individual member. These groups can have 5 to 13 individual members and all of their fandoms combined! That creates a large fandom. This largely contributed to the successes of major groups like Girls Generation, EXO, and Twice. If any of these members chose to go solo, it would reveal their real individual popularity as well as exposing true talent. The “group” strategy gives labels the opportunity to debut many kpop artists all at once. There are so many people auditioning for these groups. Sometimes, it can be hard for labels to choose the right one. So, why not debut them all?

Solo artists have to debut and be promoted at the right time, which is hard to predict. The success of a solo artist depends on the label’s promotion and the talents of the artist. SM, YG, and JYP have an easier time promoting their solo artists a little bit more than other labels. Still, even their solo artists flop sometimes.

If you still don’t believe that Kpop fans are obsessed with groups, watch those music shows long enough. They are infested with boy and girl groups. You might see one or two solo artists on these shows. But everyone else is riding on the backs of one another in the industry. Chances are, if you’re a new Kpop fan, it’s because of a group you liked.

There are several reasons why groups are more popular than solo artists. For starters, it’s cool to see so many people singing in harmony and dancing in sync. It feels more challenging than a solo artist doing it by themselves. Of course, solo artists can throw in some back up dancers, right? But for some people it’s still more interesting when all of the main members are doing it. People also like group interactions. It makes the artists seem less lonely. They seem more upbeat onstage.

There are fans who just like Kpop for the attractive figures. Why enjoy just one attractive figure when you can enjoy several? That’s the master plan behind the infamous Kpop groups.

Kpopstarz made a few other points as well:

The reason why there are so many idol groups is because there really is no alternative. Idol groups are able to bring in international revenue, which is necessary in the Korean market, where music revenue has decreased. Idol groups are easy to market, and are “weapons” to quickly get a return on investments.

Labels pour thousands of dollars into these groups to house, maintain, create their music, pay off music video producers and choreographers, hair stylists, fashion designers, advertise, promote, and much more. As smooth as it seems, debuts and comebacks take months of preparation. And yet, groups pull these concepts off flawlessly.

11) Kpop Labels Follow the Trends

This kind of goes along with the last point but there are other things I feel need to be addressed under this heading. As I mentioned before, Kpop is infested with groups. I listed some reasons why, but the broader reason why you may see so many groups is because labels tend to follow the latest trends.

If one label strikes it big with a particular Kpop concept, other labels apparently think imitating the concept will put their idol groups on the map. It actually has worked. When all groups or solo artists do the same thing, it helps the Kpop genre form an identity all its own. When Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” dropped, just about every girl group came out with cute concepts just like it.

The cute, bubblegum trend has continued to take over Kpop ever since. Though other artists have promoted different styles throughout the years, the cute style trend has been stamped on Kpop.

The boy groups just tend to follow BTS, EXO, and Big Bang’s lead.

Again, outfits, music albums, and music videos aren’t too far away from the latest trends in Kpop. To add, they are all the same nationality and they are all speaking Korean. If you’ve grown up in the west, where the celebrities are more diverse, this may confuse you. It’s sometimes hard to know which group is what. But eventually, you’ll be able to see the individual styles. Groups always try to add that one flavor of originality. Of course, the more original groups like f(x) and 2ne1 always stand out because they don’t follow the trends too much.

Why do Kpop labels do this? Well, in Korea, the fans of the genre value conformity, appearances, and charm more than anything. It was what attracted fans in the first place. Certain genres bring out those right appearances and charms more than other genres. Korean fans are also a bit slow to warm up to new and experimental sounds. Mostly, pop consists of “public-friendly” songs. Anyone who steps outside of the norm will be bullied or shamed into conformity by “Naver” trolls or other people who just don’t “get it”. Thus, Korea doesn’t adapt easily to new trends.

“Public-friendly” songs are usually of a pseudo rap and hip-hop style (though mostly pop), catchy bubblegum pop with a positive message, and/or ballads which can then be on the OST (soundtracks) of Kdramas. The rap and hip-hop makes the boys seem fierce and handsome. It can also make the girls seem strong. Bubblegum makes the girls more appealing to men and teens.

There are other genres in Korea like indie, jazz, and even rock. My personal favorite indie band would have to be Love x Stereo. But those genres are hardly recognized in Korean music shows or on the charts. While many nations of the world have adapted to garage-house-edm sounds, Korea is still skeptical about the genre.

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Behind the Scenes…

This next section deals with the shadow side of Kpop, the things that many casual Kpop fans may not know or understand. If you have never followed news articles in Korea (like on Naver) or the Kpop news media outlets for international fans (like Hellokpop, Allkpop, Soompi, and Kpopstarz), you’d probably never know the shadow side of Kpop and would therefore be swept up in the happiness and celebrations involved. Which is cool. But there will be times when your “bias” group meets some rough bumps in the road. Some of these things may seem confusing to international fans, even disappointing or annoying. The culture differences become more realized when our favorite groups come under scrutiny or when Kpop takes a different turn than we expected. Well, I’m here to give you the different, the beautiful, and/or the ugly.

Keep in mind that my goal is not to throw too much shade on Kpop or Korean culture. I love all cultures and all kinds of world music. However, I know that as a foreigner, there were some things that were more foreign than I expected. The glam and glitz of Kpop can create an illusion that makes the genre seem so “perfect”. It can make Korea seem like a perfect place, full of beautiful and well-mannered people. Well, if you’ve been paying attention to some segments above, you could probably see how this isn’t true. Let’s get into this, shall we?

12) Labels Are Blamed For Everything

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When everyone’s favorite Kpop group flops on the charts, you might hear them say, “It’s the label’s fault for not promoting them enough”. You might also hear, “The label gave them a mediocre song”. If you remember my first segment about labels, you know they have a lot of power over artists. This can be a good thing and a bad thing.

Because most artists, especially groups in Korea are “pre-packaged” or “manufactured” by these labels, most fans believe that labels create every concept, are in charge of every song that is released, and are responsible for managing the artists in every area of life. When an idol seems to be jeopardizing their careers, some may criticize the artists, but most will blame the label.

International fans more quickly attack the labels, while Korean fans are more supportive. International fans have it in for any one in power who misuses it to bar people from their freedom. Many Korean fans, on the other hand, respect and honor the labels’ attempt at helping the idols make it in a difficult industry.

Where did the “blame game” begin? It began when some of our favorite Kpop idols left their groups and SUED their labels because of strict and binding contracts. This made many Kpop fans question the labels that are controlling everything. Of course, for Koreans, these labels aren’t just labels. They have created tourist attractions for the major cities. They show Korean prosperity. They feel these labels have made Kpop artists as famous as they are and that idols should be grateful that someone even took the time out to mold who they are. To international fans, however, these labels are nothing more than power-hungry monsters trying to get fat rich off of young, naive idols. It’s the same fight that most pop artists around the world have fought (Prince from the USA, Ayumi Hamasaki from Japan).

I say both are right and both are wrong.

It’s true that many labels have binding contracts, like any business. Back in the past, when I first got into Kpop, these contracts lasted for 13 years for most idols! And this is from debut; it doesn’t even include pre-debut and training.

But they do have a good reason for some of these contracts, even if they are stifling. For one, these contracts ensure that the label is able to properly and fully promote their artists with enough time to build their artists. Second, these contracts ensure that the label gets paid in FULL once the groups become big enough (after all, the workers and management team have to eat too, right?). Third, the contracts protect the label in many respects from scandals that could give them a bad name and bring destruction to the label. After all, a label will close down when enough people refuse to support its artists. That would put a lot of people out of work…Last, the labels make sure that they are not used up and dropped for other opportunities. After all, they don’t want someone using them until they get famous and then dropping them. That damages the label and makes them feel like they put money behind someone for nothing. Money is a precious thing.

On the other hand, this puts artists in a bind. What are their rights, you ask? Few rights.

Some contracts allow artists to “own” 1/3 of their music for the first few years of their contract. After that, they have more freedom and ownership of their art, especially if they are famous enough. BoA is one such artist that has so much seniority, she’s been there longer than SM’s current CEO! Her seniority gives her power in her label. She has more freedom than other Kpop idols. Newer idols, especially the really young ones, don’t have as much freedom.

Artists are also not allowed to date (more on this later) until they have given some years to the label.

Part of the reason these contracts are set up so tight is because the Korean idols debut so young (I will also address this later). Without some rules, imagine what a young idol teen could get into! They do need some structure. Labels are basically babysitting these idols before they become adults, ready and able to take care of themselves. Also, the Korean public values purity and a good social status. Idols are looked at as role models. Companies want to maintain a good reputation. If they have to monitor their idols to have that reputation, so be it.

Still, there are some shady things going on with these labels. Many labels distribute funds “unfairly” based on popularity. Even though all the members may have put the same kind of hard work in a group, it doesn’t often matter to some labels. This has been the cause of many issues between artists and labels. Some artists may feel that the labels aren’t promoting them as well as other members and may fight to be removed from the label so they can find better opportunities to shine as an individual. In Korea, though, it creates the opposite of “fame”. Koreans don’t often side with idols who leave their label and even call them “traitors” for “abandoning” their group members. This helps the labels stay powerful. However, there are also some Korean fans who are against the labels’ treatment. Because many Koreans were against SM Entertainment’s treatment of idols, they put pressure on the label to change the contracts.

Read About SM Entertainment’s Lawsuits By Clicking Me

Even though there are many shady things going on with these labels, many times the labels put pressure on artists because of the fandom. The “audience” has a lot of power over Kpop idols, whether they rise or fall from grace. This is where fans, especially teenage fans, fail to recognize their hand in the mistreatment of Kpop idols and fail to take responsibility. One of the main reasons Kpop labels restrict artists from dating is because they know most people get into Kpop because the idols seem like “dating” material. The idols are designed by the labels to appeal to the fans’ “fantasies”, true, but this is also because the labels know this is really the ONLY way to sell Kpop to people.

Honestly, if over half of the Kpop idols were “normal” or “unattractive”, how many fans do you think Kpop would have? It can seem like a shallow industry, from the labels to the fans. This is another subject I will talk about more in-depth later.

The bigger a fandom, the more strict labels are regarding the group. When a group blows up big, fan demands start pouring in:

“Please come to my hometown! When is your concert?”

“Oppa/Unni, you’re so attractive”

“This song is so, so good. Their style is not like others”

They also seem like compliments, right? And they are. But they do put a significant amount of pressure on Kpop idols. How so?

When fans demand idols to “come to my hometown”, this means that the idols have to work extra hard to increase their popularity so that they can get the approval of local venues in other nations and sell them out. Labels will overwork them so that they can meet fan demands. They want the idols to be able to reach as many fans as possible. Sometimes, this means they have to do more.

When fans love an idol for their appearance, the respect that artist gets for his/her talents is often lost (even though people, especially international fans, do appreciate their talents, looks mean a lot to the industry). When that idol gets older or something happens where they are no longer as attractive, the artist will suffer. Thus, labels put pressure on artists to appear a certain way to maintain fan interest.

When people really love a song, labels know that in order to maintain a fan’s interest, they have to keep making good songs. This puts pressure on artists to perform better time after time, which can wear them out. As these idols get older, it gets harder for them to perform the way they did in youth.

Some labels nowadays are allowing artists to explore their own artistry. But labels aren’t pouring out a lot of money or promotion for these solo pursuits. This sometimes angers fans. Labels feel that their priorities are group priorities, which are the projects they’ve invested in and are sure will sell. Any other projects are considered “promotional” for their groups. The reason for this is because labels aren’t getting as much from these solo projects.

Despite what you hear, labels aren’t always the bad guys. Sometimes, they are just doing their jobs. There are people, just like in every profession, that do misuse their position. However, there are perfectly decent labels that are just caught in the crossfire. Sure, some may not make the best promotional judgments. Everyone working in a label is imperfect, but that doesn’t always make them monsters. At times, fans can be more monstrous than labels.

Still, it’s best to keep a close eye on everything going on.

13) Many Kpop Idols Aren’t Korean

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I think this should be an interesting one for you newcomers. You might hear Korean on the music video, you might see Korean on the music video, but the eyes and ears are deceiving you. This is the illusion labels have developed to both give you a taste of Korea and appeal to a larger demographic.

If you came into Kpop because of the group RaNia, you may notice that they are one of the few groups that have an African American member. She is not the first black artist in the Korean music industry, but she is the first to be accepted into a Kpop group. This caused quite a lot of controversy, which I will definitely have to address later.

Many fans have stated that they didn’t like the inclusion of this member because she takes away Kpop’s “purity”. I suppose what made Kpop special to most Kpop fans was the fact that it seemed more “Korean”. To many, Kpop isn’t just a sound but a “visual” (shows how shallow the industry can be). I will admit that, while the other nations around the world hardly respect Asian artists the way they do Caucasian and African American artists, Kpop has been one of the few to promote and produce Asian talent when the other nations refuse to. Having a black girl in the industry takes more from the industry than it does lift it. Even as an African American, I know that she could make it in any industry in the world if she wanted to while an Asian artist would have a more difficult time. If you look at the record of Asian artists that have tried to make it in the west and didn’t, you would be ashamed.

But, despite this, it’s laughable for anyone to think that Kpop is “purely” Korean. I chuckle to myself at all the people who fall for the illusion every year. Myself included. 😄

That’s right folks. There are some members of groups who, while Asian by face, are NOT Koreans.

Many casual fans of Kpop don’t even realize or recognize this. I didn’t until I was introduced to f(x).

DramaFever, Allkpop, and Kpop Encyclopedia have all created lists of more than a dozen Kpop stars that actually don’t come from Korea or may have lived abroad! These lists don’t even name them all (Busker Busker’s Brad Moore, Yoon Mi Rae, Eric Nam, and Shannon Williams are to name an extra few). Many of our favorite Kpop idols come from the USA, Canada, the U.K., Australia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan! Many started off not knowing an ounce of Korean!

This is part of the reason Kpop has become such a global phenomenon. These artists can speak in their own native languages and are taught to speak in Korean, which brings a sense of diplomacy between the nations. They can act as interpreters and help Kpop spread. While many of them have a face that suits Kpop (except the ones who are African American and Caucasian), they represent various cultures and backgrounds at the same time.

These idols also give their lives over to Koreans. Through these idols, Korean fans learn a little more about the world and how different people live. That’s why these idols are good bait for variety shows.  F(x)’s Amber Liu, Super Junior-M’s Henry Lau, and Got7’s Jackson are examples of foreign idols who really give Koreans laughter. And don’t even think of putting them in a room together!

Kpop idols from different nations always bring a little something unique with them when they join these groups. Their cultural differences help members loosen up and become more open-minded. Their personalities as well as ideas help Korea become a melting pot and pushes Korea into a more progressive nation.

International Kpop idols also introduce new styles of music to their labels. They bring with them their own favorite inspiring artists from their countries, which greatly influences the music that is created and performed.

Of course, these idols give their lives over to Korea in more ways than one. When these idols begin to train in South Korea, they are giving up their homes, their families and friends, their customs, their beliefs, and often times, their identities to become Kpop stars. They are risking not being accepted or flopping right off the charts, only to return home with nothing. They are really sacrificing a lot. Some make it, some break.

Many of these idols train at very young ages. Many of them have yet to finish high school before moving to Korea! But the opportunities they receive are very valuable and equal any education they can get back in their own home towns.

Seeing how these idols have lived in Korea, many other “normal” (just your average fan :P) people have up and moved there, too! These idols are truly an inspiration.

Why are so many international Asian artists so attracted to the Kpop industry? Can’t they simply make music in their own countries?

Well, many international Kpop idols got interested in Kpop much the same way you and I got interested in it. Many of them will probably say they loved Kpop before they became an idol. They loved the whole feel of it and longed to be a part of the action.

As to why these artists just don’t debut in their own nations…Let me ask you all this: How many Beyonces, Britney Spearses, and Michael Jacksons are there among Asian artists AROUND THE WORLD? NONE. Who has had that kind of fame or influence? None. I know many of the Western Kpop idols struggle to be recognized in their own birth countries. In the USA, as much of a melting pot it’s supposed to be,  there hasn’t been ONE Asian American singer that has had significant success to bring them to the level of major “celebrity”. Even foreign Asian artists struggle to break the charts in the USA. Psy has been one of few that has gotten the attention of the west, but to most Americans, he is a one-hit wonder and a joke (though that makes him pretty entertaining to me. 😉 ). His music is hardly played on national radio stations. Bi-racial idols like Yoon Mi Rae felt she wasn’t “black” enough for Americans. 

Equally in the UK and Canada, Asians are hardly recognized in the music industry as much as Caucasians and those of African descent.

In China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Japan, Kpop is becoming the new thing. C-pop and J-pop artists see more opportunities to reach a wider audience when it comes to Kpop because there are many things that are more appealing about it than C-pop and J-pop to other parts of the world. Kpop is more progressive and advanced in comparison to the more conservative C-pop. China has closed itself off from worldly influence, while Korea strikes the balance between reaching out to foreigners and holding close to their culture. C-pop is heavily infested with ballads, whereas Kpop is full of upbeat, catchy tunes and flashy outfits.

The difference between Kpop and Jpop is that Kpop puts more emphasis on “appearance”, making their idols seem more attractive. Japan focuses on substance and original concepts, which tend to be unusual and too artsy to most people of the world.

And neither Japan or China uses popular social media sites from the west as much as Korea. Kpop idols are in touch with Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. They are able to promote music to various different countries around the world this way.

Foreign artists are better able to stay in touch with friends through these websites and better promote their music to their homelands because Korea stays connected with the west.

So, to find better opportunities, these international idols decided to try their hand at Kpop.

So, you might ask me, “Can I become a Kpop star?”

You can audition! I know SM Entertainment hosts Global Auditions all the time. Labels also travel around and scout out talent. It would be even better for you to learn the language, work on your talents, then at least visit Korea so you can experience living there firsthand. Try doing those things to see if being a Kpop star is really what you want. Then, instead of waiting for labels to come to you, make an effort to go to Korea to see them! This will show labels how passionate you are.

Keep in mind that though some of these international idols are a big deal now and seem to be getting along well, there is still prejudice in and outside of Korea. I will have to touch on this separately…

14) Many Kpop Idols Train Early, But Most Don’t Last Long

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I think I’ve mentioned twice that Kpop idols train really young. In this section, I will explain more about this.

Labels are always scouting out young talent. Though they may occasionally sign someone on that is older, they know that Kpop’s primary demographic consists of teenagers and those people in their 20s. So, to ensure that they appeal to a young audience, and to make sure their idols appear “timeless”, they often train idols as early as possible to sing, dance, and present themselves in public. These labels hope that by the time of debut these idols will be attractive but polished performers.

When idols are in the training process, many of them dorm with other trainees. Labels provide dormitories. Their training begins early in the morning and ends late at night. They sometimes work an “adult-like” shift long before most of their peers are graduating from school! Many of them also balance school with training. Sometimes, idols go to regular public schools, despite their fame.

Why so young?

There are several benefits for the labels. For one, young people are naive and easily caught up in the glamor/glamour of Kpop. This allows them to be able to find as many idols as they can to feed the factory. Labels can easily persuade young artists to join the label and can better control them, too.

Second, when these artists start young, even as they get older, they will be able to give more years to the label. If someone debuts at 14, for example, 10 years into a label would put them at 24! They would still be young enough to produce music and keep the label on the map. If they debuted someone at 40, they fear their idols retiring too soon and starting families, which will halt many promotions and distract artists (considering the fact that idols usually work rigid schedules). And then there’s military service…

How young do idols start training? As young as 11. BoA and f(x)’s Sulli started their training around that age. That may seem like a very young age for people around the world. After all, how do these kids really know if this is what they want? Most don’t. This is why many grow up tired of the industry. But the labels use the younger ones because they are the most eager to please at debut.

These things may seem foreign to the west. It’s not foreign to have famous kids (Bow Wow anyone?), but foreign to see so much emphasis on youth. After all, it’s not uncommon to see artists as old as 65 still performing and releasing new music, with marriages, families! But in Korea, people don’t feel the life of a Kpop star is “suitable” for a “healthy family”. And most Koreans expect those over the age of 29 to start families. Looking at the lives of American music stars, maybe they’re right…Still, at least American pop stars can continue doing what they love and still make millions.

This is why Kpop idols don’t last too long in the industry. Everyone grows up. In Korea, though they are more progressive than they used to be, traditional roles within the home are still honored by the vast majority. Most women are expected to be married by 30 years old! They are expected to be stay-at-home wives who cook and tend house while the man is out working. For many Koreans, adults shouldn’t be jumping around on stage singing pop songs.

Because labels cater their music to teens and young adults, it’s hard for older idols to be recognized by the younger generation. The younger generation is usually already ready for the next new thing. Koreans are also “age conscious”. The age hierarchy is a part of their culture. It is a rule of etiquette to consider the age of people. Since many Kpop idols are popular for their appearances, Kpop teens would get “strange looks” if they were huge fans of “older male idols”. I guess it seems perverted to them. Most people in Korea think it’s strange to crush on someone older, especially on someone 10 or more years older! In the west, we don’t care about age at all.

Another problem is that labels mass produce group after group, not taking the time to develop the groups they already have. Teens and young adults in Korea are always interested in debut groups and the hottest new trends, so the older groups eventually get forgotten among the wave of newcomers. And if the group wasn’t popular to begin with, they really struggle to stay within the Kpop industry.

The Verge interviewed Ellen Kim, a dancer and choreographer. She stated “…The pace of the popularity of the music is quick. You got one song that can last for a week, and that’s it… that’s really scary. You put so much work into one song, but yet it’s going to get old quick. Korean people want something new every week, and I think that’s the hardest pressure, probably. To come up with something catchy all the time, a hit all the time, and you’ve got tons of artists and the lifespan of one song is so short. It’s pretty hard.”

Artists are presented on music shows weekly, so once the weeks of promotion are over, purchases die down and the hype is over…until the next comeback of another major group. Very seldom does popularity of one song last a whole year. This is also different from the west, where artists’ songs from over TWO years ago could still be popular on the radio and still may climb the charts suddenly! Popularity dwindles easily in Kpop.

Scandals, military service, and a label folding can end the “life” of a group. Koreans have a strong sense of morality. A scandal can permanently destroy an idol’s career. Military service takes idols out of the spotlight for awhile, causing fans to move on and forget about them. Labels that don’t make enough money to keep their groups afloat or labels that get involved with lawsuits eventually fold  or close down or get bought out.

As I’ve said, I’ve been into Kpop for over 10 years (since around 2004). I’ve seen major groups go from kings and queens of their kingdoms to obscure little nobodies trying to hold on to what little fandom they had. Some of it seemed to happen too quickly. It was always when I was just getting into an artist or just appreciating their music…

Because of this, I advise you fans to learn to appreciate your favorite artists for as long as you can. Support them to the best of your ability.

15) Idols Can’t Date Easily

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One of the biggest scandals in Korea are the dating scandals. For all you western fans, you may find “dating” to be an odd “scandal”. What’s so “scandalous” about dating? If you think about it, this may even be laughable to westerners. Famous artists in the west are dating, married, and have children! In fact, artists in the west date for publicity and status! It makes no difference to their art in western countries. This is because westerners’ values are different from Korea’s values.

This was one of the most shocking revelations I had when first getting interested in Kpop. I think most international fans would be shocked. I mean, with so many attractive people, who wouldn’t want to date them? How can such pretty people stay single for the rest of their lives?

It’s quite simple really.

Labels design their artists to appeal to teen “fantasies”. These idols are not meant to be looked at as “real” figures. If they were, they would not get the same revenue they get from swooning their audience. In order to convince fans to buy into these groups, labels have to produce “available” and “pure” artists that seem untouchable, unreachable, and up for grabs. Every fan has to “feel” like they have a boyfriend/girlfriend out of these idols.

Because of the way these groups are marketed, many fans, especially in Korea, do feel they own these idols. When their favorite idols are revealed to be “dating”, some of them even look at this as betrayal! Fans feel that the idols aren’t doing their jobs. That “job” is to appeal to fans’ fantasies. Some fans are just spitting jealous. But these jealousies can end CAREERS.

When one member of EXO (a major boy group in Korea), Baekhyun, was revealed to be dating, fans were so angry jealous it affected Kyuhyun’s musical ticket sales, and he’s just a fellow member!

Labels have learned that their idols can’t date if they expect to become major Kpop stars in Korea. Some labels prevent their idols from dating by making a contractual agreement about it. Most idols are supposed to be thought by fans to be “single” and “virgins” at the time of debut, no matter how attractive they look or how sexy the concept.

Koreans have a strong moral code. Koreans like their entertainment to be “family-friendly”. So, you may see some sexy concepts coming out of Kpop groups (especially as more international fans get into the genre and as the fan base reaches the “2030” crowd), but the groups still have to maintain a certain level of chastity and innocence.

Kpop idols’ business image affects their real life big time. This is one of the reasons so many Kpop members leave the industry and one of the reasons so many fall from grace. As pretty as Kpop looks, the idols live a lonely existence most of the time. Aside from that, at a certain age, there is pressure to be married, especially among women in their 20s. Many Koreans get married in their 20s. Many kpop idols feel the pressure to be like all of their other adult friends, but also feel the pressure to appear “available” to fans.

For some international fans, dating is nowhere near seen the same. To us, it’s not as big of a deal as having sex (and is in fact super innocent), but for Koreans it’s almost the same thing. Even too much public affection is uncommon. But isn’t that why most of us love the industry? They just don’t tolerate the same impurities other nations tolerate and they make sure they watch how they are seen in public. This can be a blessing or a nightmare.

Perhaps these sex-negative reactions are linked to Korea’s declining birth rate….but most experts argue that it has more to do with economics and progression.

Dating scandals are harsher on female idols than on male idols. Females are already not as respected as much as men are in the Kpop universe (which I will discuss later), but a dating scandal is just a way to completely destroy a female idol’s career. f(x)’s former member Sulli was run out of her group by fans who didn’t approve of her dating!  One fan is so obsessed with hating this girl, they created a whole twitter account for their hatred and post hate comments daily! The truth is female idols are supposed to appear as “innocent, without strong sexual urges” in Korea. Being too sensual or sexual is considered an area women aren’t allowed to trespass. If a woman is too sexual or confident about her sexuality, they are degraded in Korea. Men can sometimes get away with dirty jokes in media or music and can even get away with provocative names. Women can hardly skate by sexy concepts.

“Skinship” is a term flipped around in Kpop. This means that the two people involved seem really close or “intimate”. For Koreans, a little hug between a man and woman or two of them taking selfies or even wearing matching clothes could be considered skinship! Little signs of skinship will make Koreans question whether the two are dating. Because open displays of affections aren’t common, it’s hard to tell who is dating. Knetz will find some evidence and piece it together.

Kpop journalists are more respectful than western journalists, so they don’t often get into too many details about an idol’s private life. But Korean fans are pretty good, and often better than journalists, at being the paparazzi.

16) Humility, Duty, And Hard Work Are Prized By Koreans

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Ashyne, the poster I mentioned earlier from a Reddit discussion, makes a really interesting point about Kpop idols:

The idol is about being a role model in image, character, etiquette and personality, and that is strictly enforced. In America, people don’t care about these, because these traits about being ‘role-model material’ are not important in their individualistic culture.

Koreans hold themselves to a high moral code, as I’ve mentioned several times. The west honors freedom, liberty, and justice as a principle. We believe that people should be respected as human beings and should be treated equally (regardless of our personal opinions). So when we hear about our favorite Kpop idols suing their labels or leaving their groups, we are very supportive, even still considering those idols a part of the group (just going in a different direction at the moment). After all, in the west, groups break up all the time and come back together for reunions, like the Spice Girls.

But in Korea, when members leave or sue their label, as I mentioned before, that is utter betrayal and abandonment. Koreans have a “duty” culture. When you sign up for something in Korea, they expect you to completely serve out all contracts and do what you signed up to do, regardless of how challenging or abusive the circumstances. For them, why get involved in something you can’t handle? They don’t believe in fickleness and “changing one’s mind.” There is often too much money wasted, too much time spent, and too much involved. When kpop idols take a “break” during promotions, many Koreans feel that idol is being “lazy” and see this as betrayal, regardless of the reason. In fact, in most Korean businesses, “vacation time” isn’t included in the deal.

Many Korean fans expect idols to perform in all situations, as they promised in these binding contracts. This surprised me, a westerner, considering our celebrities take vacations all the time, even halting promotions! Westerners especially don’t mind halted promotions for legitimate reasons like being sick, tired, or stressed by scandals and bad rumors. For Koreans, they may talk bad about Kpop idols, but they’ll talk more trash about an idol who halts promotions because of it. They believe idols should learn to be strong and endure.

There is a strong bully culture worldwide thanks to the internet, but in Korea there are few programs or supporters helping those who don’t fit the “norm”. In fact, the victim of the maliciousness is usually “blamed”. I agree that some people in America should be held as accountable as those in Korea are, but there’s a reason why Korea has a high suicide rate. The pressure to live up to such high standards takes a toll on citizens who don’t fit the “norm”.

This sense of duty extends to military service, too. Though fans love their male idols, they all still expect the males to serve their country. Any idols who avoid military service or take their duty lightly will be scorned by Koreans and will lose the respect of their fans. In the west, we abolished the “draft”. In Korea, it still exists for men in their late 20s to early 30s. Some idols try to skate around it or postpone it but this causes controversy and can result in severe consequences. Korean fans find “draft-dodging” to be a sign of weakness. These people are treated as traitors. Unlike westerners, especially those from the USA, Koreans don’t question their laws or leaders nor do they question the military service draft. It is an insult to all those who have already served their time and can shame a person’s whole family. They believe this is for the good of their country. They are really trying to protect their borders because they are technically still in a 60 year -long war with North Korea.  This is no game for them. Even the children feel this service is important and prepare for the day they must serve. It is a sign of manhood. My next section will talk more about this.

Duty is intertwined with hard work. Again, there are very few businesses that offer “vacation days” like in western countries. Some Japanese and Chinese fans may relate more to this than western fans. Idols work their butts off to give their audience the best they can with hardly any sleep. This is why their performances are so sharp and on point! Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see tired eyes from these idols. Makeup and skin cream does wonders to hide those bags though.

Idols train early, as I mentioned before, and the training can be rigorous. Kpop consists of so much. There’s vocal, dancing, fashion, performing, and fan meeting involved. Kpop artists work and are expected to work extremely hard. They sometimes work around the clock, only getting four hours of sleep a day during promotions!

Koreans also encourage humility in their idols. This goes along with duty as well. When someone acts out to get attention or makes themselves out to be more than they are, that irritates most Korean fans. This is partially why Korean fans dislike international fans. Some international fans can be really loud, boastful, and know-it-alls (though you can find these types anywhere, it’s more common in the USA). Koreans believe in being submissive and following rules, especially rules that will protect others. Of course, even they have their limits. Still, they are not likely to encourage their idols to speak up and out. This is part of the reason so many idols don’t speak on behalf of themselves and let their labels speak for them.

Korean fans worship their idols, true, but they also expect idols to show a deep level of appreciation and gratefulness. After all, Korean fans put out a lot to support their favorite idols. In every culture where a “deep bow” is involved, respect and humility is valued over pomposity.

Their “bowing”culture shows how strongly they feel about humility. Though idols are famous, they find it highly offensive if Korean idols forget to bow to their fans after winning awards. They even get offended if idols forget to bow towards other idols at award shows. It is a sign of humility and respect. Bowing to Koreans is equivalent to the “handshake” in the west.

In some ways, people in the USA are not too different. We do like humility, but natural humility. However, we tend to like artists who are down-to-earth and honest, even if they aren’t the most honorable or humble. If someone is naturally humble, that’s great to Americans. But our culture looks down on anything that seems “fake”, even fake humility. Americans have a motto: Be Yourself. Being loud and obnoxious is just as irritating to Americans, but, admittedly, it’s also highly entertaining for us as well, especially if you are just “being yourself”. 😄

Still, we also like Kpop because the artists are so respectful and humble. Very seldom do Kpop idols show that fame is getting to their heads (even if the reality is different).

Earlier I mentioned that this “humble” culture has a lot of respect for the “age hierarchy”. Age is very important in Korea. It decides the kind of “respect” that is given. The oldest is always respected by the younger ones. It’s common for the older ones to eat first at every meal (unlike in America, where the children and elderly eat first). But the older ones have to pay the bill (no matter if the others have jobs and are adults, different from America where the bill is split or paid by whoever offered or paid by the man or paid by the one who proposed the date). The older ones are expected to “take care” of the younger ones (even if the youngest is in his 50s!) It’s common for Koreans to ask your age (whereas it’s rude in America to ask age). It’s just important because it decides the level of “respect” someone should give. The young Koreans are expected to be humble and respectful around the older Koreans.

Kpop debut years are treated like “age” sometimes. Whoever debuts first is considered a “senior”, even if they are younger than all the “juniors”. You can imagine how awkward this makes things if the “senior” is younger than the “junior”. Kpop singer BoA is younger than many members of Kpop group Super Junior, but she is still their “senior” because she debuted sooner.

In Kpop, you might hear “Oppa” or “Unni” being used by the younger idols towards older idols. “Dongsang” may be used by older idols or used by idols that have been under a label longer (They usually tend to be older).

Despite how harsh or difficult everything above may sound, on the flip side, this is actually one of the reasons people have fallen in love with the genre. These idols work their behinds off producing high-quality work so that they can look like royalty, but they still always try to show respect to their followers and always emphasize how grateful they are for their fans, like a humble servant. That balance is hard to achieve for many celebrities around the world.

The humility shown in Kpop and in Korea is definitely one of the most attractive points of the nation.

17) Male Idols Must Serve In The Military

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Korea has a law that requires all natural-born Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 to serve in the military or choose compulsory national service. All men can choose when to serve but they must serve. Kpop idols usually choose to serve in their late 20s and early 30s when their popularity has either been established well enough or when their popularity has dwindled due to “age” (XD Let’s face it, the industry’s demographic is Korea’s youth).

There are exemptions:

Certain medical conditions, depending on the severity, either exempts one from service or allows civil service instead. This includes those who have donated organs. Graduates from special high schools may work at selected workplaces for 3 years instead. Those with a master’s degree in engineering may work at research institutes or pass a test and do a PhD for 3 years instead. Those who have been imprisoned for more than 18 months or are in poverty (defined as monthly income lower than 1.5 million won and being the sole provider of income for at least 3 family members, of which at least 2 must be disabled or have an incurable disease) are also exempt.

Current conscription laws stipulate that athletes who win medals in the Olympic Games or gold medals in the Asian Games are granted exemptions but still required to do four weeks of basic training. In 2011, the Military Manpower Administration proposed amendments to the exemptions: to include men who have not completed middle school, and to change to a points-based system on a prescribed scale for athletes who win in prestigious competitions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_South_Korea

Sometimes, anyone who tries to get exempt is watched or monitored closely, even if they have a good reason. People do speculate and try to investigate these situations.

Men of mixed races were only recently drafted into service in 2011.

Anyone who is on a visa, visiting, or not a natural-born citizen may be exempt from military service. Anyone who has dual citizenship can be exempt if they fall under the following:

1)They reside in the country they were born in with parents who are permanent citizens.

2) They have resided in another country with their parents since the age of 17.

3) They have resided in another country for ten consecutive years and their parents do not reside in the Republic of Korea.

The government of the Republic of Korea will recognize a male’s dual citizenship until they reach the age of 22, at which time the law requires them to choose a nationality. If a male claims dual citizenship and he is not registered on his citizen parents’ Family Registry, he will not be subject to military service. If he is included on his parents’ Family Registry, he can avoid military service if he formally renounces his South Korean citizenship before March 31 of the year he turns 18. He must register the loss of his nationality through the nearest Republic of Korea Consulate General in the country he resides in.

Trip Advisor-Can Korean Americans Be Drafted?

All men are usually expected to serve about two to three years.

This mandatory service affects Kpop in many ways. It’s one of the reasons Kpop idols debut so early in their lives, why Kpop boy groups are super popular at debut, why many Kpop idols lose popularity, and why many labels are reaching out for talented foreigners.

How is the military law responsible for Kpop idols debuting so soon? Well, labels know that teenage girls are the target for Kpop and that girls like young boys. But they also know they possibly only have male idols for only a few years until they have to serve. The labels figure they can train the idols while they’re really young, work them hard enough to make a profit, and then possibly be able to move on to the next recruit of boys by the time the old group has to serve.

This is also why so many boy groups are popular. Labels exploit their boy groups as much as they can so they can make a profit off of these boy groups before they have to serve in the military. In the beginning phases of the Kpop phenomenon, labels would promote the boys way more than they did the girls because they knew the girls would be around longer. Over the years, this has created an industry that is mostly dominated by boy groups (the most notable rather than in literal number) and an industry dominated by a female fandom.

As I mentioned before, Kpop idols are usually away from the spotlight 2 to 3 years of their service. This gives other boy groups just enough time to replace the older groups on the charts. Sadly, for many Kpop groups, military service ends their Kpop career. It’s sad, really. The industry moves fast and songs get replaced on the charts week after week. Any time away from the spotlight can seriously bring a powerful group back to the point when they were rookies. You’d think that serving the military would make them MORE popular, because the group served their country honorably and helped protect the people within. Apparently, the youth, could care less. Most move on to the latest and youngest eye-candy debuting.

Since many fans are international, I suppose they don’t really understand this military service or honor it as much. Really, these men should be honored more than any of the other groups. They had the courage to sacrifice their careers to protect others.

There are some groups that have done military service and have come out with significant fame, depending on their strategy to get back in the spotlight. Shinhwa and Super Junior manage to stay pretty relevant. But since most supporters of Kpop don’t just like music for music’s sake, and most of the demographic consist of teen girls who want to see “attractive” and “younger teen” boys (sorry gentlemen 😦 ), it’s still even hard for these groups to stay relevant. Perhaps the new 2030 crowd could give them a boost…

Honestly, most labels lose a lot investing in acts that won’t last. And this is why they have been searching for talent from around the globe. Foreigners are exempt from military service. They can speak multiple languages and attract a foreign following. This brings more money to the label with more lasting results.

18) Boy Groups Are More Popular Than Girl Groups

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As I mentioned before, because many males have to serve in the military at young ages, Kpop labels exploit the boys much more than the girls. When we look at the overall Youtube view count, the boys are always higher than the girls. When we observe the Korean charts at the time a boy group debuts in comparison to when a girl group debuts, we can see the stark contrast. Labels obviously promote the boys much more and the majority of Kpop fans are GIRLS. This is not just a stereotype. This is fact.

Since Kpop boys are trained to fit the “fantasies” of their viewers, mostly teen girls, they will obviously be more popular than Kpop girl groups, who could spark both admiration and jealousy.

Even Kpop fanboys, even as the minority, like the male groups better.  Many boys think the female idols are cute and attractive, especially many soldiers the girls perform for, but some find the girls to be too “cutesy” or not as “powerful” onstage as the boys.

Part of it is the labels’ fault for being too lax with the girl groups and part of it has to do with Korean society and their expectations of women.

Boy groups are given more powerful choreography, more powerful songs, and more interesting concepts than females. If we look at groups like EXO, Got7, Infinite, BTS, Super Junior, and many others, we will see this is the truth. In comparison, the female choreographies and concepts are weaker and more repetitive as well as less original. Of course people are going to pay attention more to the boys! Even on live stages, the boys just shine! The girls are settled with girly, fun, cute or sexy concepts, recycled dance moves, and innocent faces most of the time. I’ve found a few groups to be the exception, like 2ne1 and f(x). I even think Brown Eyed Girls steps away from the norm. But very few are like these groups.

I think I already explained that labels want to get the most out of their boy groups before they have to serve in the military. The money from the large female fandom keeps them focusing on male groups, too.

KpopStarz stated,

Girl groups tend to have more scandals and catty behavior that leads to groups breaking up. While some 1990’s idol groups have reunited formally, the most popular girl groups of the day like Fin.K.L and S.E.S have only reunited for short events…

In comparison [to boy groups], girl groups struggle to maintain proper fan bases. Female fans may be loyal, but will generally also have a favorite boy band, leading to split attention, while male fans tend to be less loyal and switch between groups based on their concepts…

There is also more of a saturation of girl groups with similar concepts, making it harder for fans to distinguish between newer groups. Girl groups from smaller companies have to gain attention in unique ways, such as Crayon Pop’s ridiculous “Bar Bar Bar” concept, but then struggle to maintain their identity.

Female idol groups also often lose much of their appeal as they get older, since most idol groups focus on sexy and cute concepts and the majority of fans don’t really want to see mothers dancing in high heels and sexy outfits.

Kpopstarz interestingly mentions that girl groups have more scandals. But I think the difference also has to do with what is considered a “scandal” between boys and girls. The Korean public is harder on women and expect them to live up to higher standards than the boy groups. Men like “Choiza” can get away with a sexual name in Kpop, while any female with a similar name will be looked at poorly. While both male and female idols get scarred for dating, considering most males have a larger fan base, the fans will attack the female for “stealing” the male idol rather than attack them both.

I believe the “catty” behavior among the members is a result of the lack of popularity in comparison to boy groups, the favoritism shown by fans of the group, and arguments with the label to be seen as multi-talented and multifaceted. Female idols probably often feel disadvantaged, especially when one female idol is more popular for being a “visual” while the others struggle to let their individual talents shine.

David Volodzko from PRI shows that female idols’ behavior on stage, in variety shows, during music shows, and the concepts produced are heavily monitored and controlled. There are serious double standards between the idols. He mentions some interesting points:

For instance, when the hugely popular group Girls’ Generation (SNSD) batted their eyes at a boy band during a television variety show in 2008, this prompted fans to publicly humiliate them at that year’s annual Dream Concert, where audience members typically show performers their support by creating oceans of light with glow sticks. When SNSD took to the stage, the audience greeted them with dead silence and pitch darkness for the duration of their set….

Or take the case of former f(x) member Sulli. When Kim Hee-chul, member of the boy band Super Junior, claimed he was the most handsome member of his band, fans found it amusing. Yet when they discovered Sulli had written in her diary, as a 9-year-old child, “I think I’m pretty but I don’t get why other people think so too,” many people virulently attacked her. Then, when Sulli acknowledged she was dating the rapper Choiza in 2014, her career took a nosedive and she later left f(x). Meanwhile Choiza, whose stage name means “big dick,” not only survived the scandal, he cracked jokes about it on SNL Korea.

“Most K-pop videos portray women as sex objects and that includes all the female K-pop singers and groups, too,” says Kevin Cawley, professor of East Asian studies at University College Cork in Ireland. Many have cosmetic surgery and dance provocatively, but are “still expected to adhere to outdated Confucian norms about sexual conduct in their private lives while men can do as they please.”

Nevertheless, slut-shaming remains a societal mainstay, as does the infantilization of female pop idols. Just last year, IU released the song “Twenty-three,” in which she sings about the pressure put upon female stars to appear child-like, despite the fact that she herself is becoming a mature woman. But, because she dresses like a child in the video, rather than spark a national dialogue about the pedophiliac overtones of dressing grown women like schoolgirls, instead she was accused of using pedophiliac imagery to sell records.

Whether or not you agree with these statements, it still makes us think about the issue a little more. Many times we do have to go to the root of issues instead of ignoring them.

You can still like Kpop as a sound, but not every aspect will cater to everyone’s needs.

 19) K-pop Is Not Extremely Diverse

Above I mentioned that there were some foreigners who have been accepted into Kpop. It’s true that Koreans have accepted newcomers into the industry. But keep in mind that most of the people accepted into the groups have been of Asian descent, currently classified as “heterosexual”, fitting gender “norms”, and fitting typical “beauty” standards (which I’ll have to dedicate a whole different section to). Though most are Asian, some of the Asians that aren’t “Korean” may be treated like second-class citizens. Korea is a modernized nation and slowly opening up to new ideas, but some people in Korea are still rather conservative, especially the older generation.

Though Kpop has welcomed a vast number of Chinese artists into the nation, it’s clear that the Koreans favor the Korean native idols more. If we observe the Chinese and Korean music videos of the major Kpop group “Exo”, we can see there is a difference in the promotion of the two videos by the “view count”. Because it is Kpop (Korean pop music), some Chinese members may feel treated “second best” because their natural language is Chinese. The Chinese language is not spoken by most Koreans, so it’s understandable. Still, it’s hard for many Chinese to fit in. Most end up doing promotions in China. There are hardly any Chinese idols cast in Korean dramas or on promotional ads for Korean products.

There are still some things Koreans aren’t used to and there are still some things that haven’t been accepted in society yet.

As far as different ethnic groups or races, that’s mostly something Koreans are still not used to. Obviously, the country is homogeneous (meaning the majority of citizens “look” Korean). When foreigners of different backgrounds come into the nation, especially the ones of African descent, they really stand out as “foreign” (even though there are Asians who are also from foreign nations, they just fit in better because they “look” Korean).

With idols like Insooni (a woman who debuted in Korea in the 1970s, a real hard time for African Americans in the country), Tasha, Alexandra, and many others, Koreans are able to better understand black people. But it’s still hard for black people to “fit in”. When Koreans get used to them, most of them will treat these idols like everyone else. But at first, it will feel a bit jarring and different. Koreans may be a little shocked, but most are also curious because they just aren’t used to diverse groups of people.

Not to say there are no black people in Korea. Black people are just among the minority groups living there. Koreans still don’t see black people often and don’t know how to approach them or take them.

Of course, there are those who really are racist and have very narrow perceptions about black people (like in every country). Some Koreans get their knowledge about black people from hip-hop and rap music videos. Koreans, particularly the elders, associate those genres with “bad” or “loose” behavior, particularly when it comes to violence and sex. Though rap and hip-hop has influenced much of Kpop today, most of it is watered down. The actual pure genre is ignored or even shunned. And even though they’ve accepted the genre as a part of “black culture”, many of them don’t really honor black rap and hip-hop artists within the nation. A rapper like CL from 2ne1 will get more attention than a rapper like Tasha Yoon Mi Rae. Part of the reason is because CL is of Korean descent and tried it, which inspires other Koreans to embrace hip-hop culture. They see CL as a representation of themselves. When looking at a black person perform the genre, it feels more “exclusive” to only blacks and many Koreans feel “rejected” from the genre. Not to say they won’t like it, but Knetizens like to feel “inspired to imitate” when they see idols perform. It’s hard for them to gravitate to something they don’t feel “included” in. Again, music is secondary; the way something “looks” or is “presented” usually comes first.

There are a few Koreans that get their idea of black people from American news articles online, which often misrepresent black people. They may not understand that all black people are various and diverse. This is partially because in their own nation everyone conforms. So for them, if they see one black person doing one thing, some will generalize all of them. Of course, there are ignorant people in every nation. Generally, most Koreans are respectful. Overall, again, the culture puts emphasis on respecting others and trying to remain humble. They also respect humility and hard work in others. Black people can prove to Koreans that they are WORTHY of respect by being respectful and humble when meeting other Koreans. The first impression matters, too.

Still, some Koreans may be a little distant or shun foreigners. Some can be angry at foreigners and talk racist trash. Of course, this is most common among the older conservative generation or the younger immature generation.

Many black women in Korea struggle to be seen as “equal” to Korean women. It has a lot to do with Korea’s standards for beauty. Many of their “ideals” greatly conflict with black people’s natural-born features. And I’ll mention later how much emphasis Koreans put on looks…

Still, as hard as it is for the women to fit in, do you see any black men in Kpop? I don’t think so. I think the black men have it harder to be seen as “normal” solid citizens who are respectful and talented as opposed to “thuggish gangsters”.

For many mixed artists, it’s even harder to fit in. They may feel both rejected by the black community for not being “black enough” and may equally be rejected by Koreans for being “black by skin”.

While there are hardly any black entertainers, there are even less entertainers of European descent. Asians can be just as unfriendly towards whites. Though many Asians admire their pale skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes, though many try to adapt these looks, though some may want to have affairs with them, many Koreans don’t really trust white people much for the same reasons they don’t trust black people. They have very little experience with white people, only knowing them from movies and the news (or history books). Many Koreans also find white people to be “too loose”. Their idea of “white” is always associated with being “American”. They don’t often readily think the white people that come into their land are from the U.K., France, Germany, or any other place. They see them all the same. So, if Miley Cyrus twerks in America, that’s a representation of all white people. Some white people have experienced the same kind of racial attacks black people have received in the nation.

Despite the prejudices, blacks and whites are useful to Koreans. They can teach Koreans English.

Most have never come into contact with those from Central and South America, Latinas, and/or Hispanics. The Americans from those ethnic groups are not considered “American”  because most are bilingual. How they are treated depends on their skin color.

Most Koreans don’t even know what “Native American” or “indigenous” means. Some even think native “Americans” are white. Still, true “indigenous” people more closely resemble Koreans in comparison to white and black people. If they were to meet them more often, they would find more similarities than differences.

If you’re from areas in Southeast Asia, like India or Indonesia, some Koreans may not know how to respond to people from these nations. Some Koreans associate Southern Asians with “third-world” countries or see their nations as “developing” and not as advanced as Korea is. Southeast Asians that have moved into Korea sometimes work in factories and other laborious jobs. Some Koreans don’t see these jobs in a favorable light. And there is a strong social hierarchy in Korea. Ignorant Americans can treat different ethnic groups much the same way, such as associating laundromats with the Chinese or affiliating “lawn care” with Mexicans.

Three teachers, one of Indian descent, Scandinavian American, and half Filipino American, have shared their experiences on Youtube.

“Foreigners” or people of different backgrounds are never considered Korean. It doesn’t matter if the person was born and raised in Korea, or lived there for twenty years, or married a Korean and had Korean children. The word for “foreigner” in the Korean language isn’t specified by citizenship (unlike many western countries). The word separates “genetics”. So anyone who is not genetically Korean is NOT Korean, even if that person is a “legal” citizen. This makes many foreigners feel misplaced or outcasted. On the other hand, this makes some foreigners feel unique or special. It all depends on your attitude and whether your experience with being “foreign” in Korea has been negative or positive.

Again, there is prejudice everywhere in the world. Generally, Koreans are gracious, but you won’t hardly see these races or any other ethnic groups in Kpop.

Why not? Several reasons:

  1. Some Koreans want to keep the “face” of Korea purely Asian. It makes Kpop stand out from all of the genres around the world.
  2. Some Koreans are afraid of other races dominating the media, making Korean children, who are impressionable, “hate their appearances”.
  3. Some Koreans feel that “westerners” don’t respect Asian entertainers in their own countries (because they assume all blacks and whites come from the west) and may want to return the favor by barring other ethnic groups from Kpop.
  4. Korean teenagers, who endorse kpop the most, don’t relate to individuals who don’t look like they do. Most of the teens look Korean.

Labels, of course, are trying to sell a “product” to the Korean public. They always consider how their idols will appear to the nation. This, unfortunately, bars most other ethnic groups from the genre.

There are other groups that are barred from the genre. Korea is not very open to the LGBT community just yet. They do have a Gay Pride festival, which is a step forward. This clearly means there are some openly gay and bi-sexual Koreans. However, celebrities who come out gay often face public shame. Even at the festivals, some people protest against it.

Some idols who have dared to come out have lost their friends, their jobs, and get bullied by society. Many commit suicide, adding to Korea’s high suicide rate.

Much of the older generations look at homosexuality like a disease and blame foreigners for bringing it into the nation. This is also why many Koreans are distrustful of foreigners. They often don’t recognize that there were ever people within the nation who concealed their feelings long before foreign influences.

But this is common in all countries. The elderly just have a hard time adjusting to the changing times.

Still, some younger fans don’t relate to homosexual imagery outside of looking at “girl on girl” kissing as erotic or a sexual fetish for heterosexuals. And that is considered too “suggestive” for children. Gay men have it even harder than the females because it’s not even looked at as erotic.  Some Knetizens may have a crush on a “boyish” girl based on her appearance (because she seems like their favorite male idols), but may not openly express dating that girl in real life.

This trickles all the way down to “gender norms”. It is very rare to find tomboys in Kpop. Again, most labels design their female idols to appeal to traditional men. Some girls wear baggy pants, sneakers, ponytails, and, occasionally, an androgynous suit and tie if it fits a particular concept. But labels try to promote their female artists as cute and traditionally “feminine”. Social-gender stereotyping is common because Koreans believe in conformity. If one person doesn’t conform in one way, they are considered “odd” or “outside of their gender”.

F(x)’s Amber Liu, has been able to overcome the limitations placed on female idols, despite the pressure from others to conform. But not too many tomboys like her are lucky enough to get a spot in a Kpop group. They really have to work harder to prove themselves.

The men have been able to get away with more feminine looks, like Jo Kwon in “Animal” or Taemin in “Danger”, but it’s clear that the more “masculine” groups are bigger in Korea.

On the other hand, despite the fact that it’s hard to actually come out as gay, blending in as a gay person under the radar would not be too difficult. Many of the things heterosexual Korean men and women do with the same sex are often confused for being “gay” to most westerners. For example, it’s perfectly normal for two men to hold hands, stroke one another, or wear makeup in Korea, no matter their sexuality. In the west, those behaviors are stereotyped with being “gay”. To Koreans, these things are just normal.

No one openly shows affection in public, such as hugging and kissing, not even heterosexual couples, so anyone would get weird stares for doing that. But as long as gay people fit into the culture, no would ever assume their sexuality unless it was actually brought out in the open. Being “gay” is never a usual topic in Korea. The younger generation is more tolerant than the older generation. Still, if a gay person were to come out, it would be hard for them to maintain employment.

Kpop is also not extremely diverse when it comes to body shapes and sizes.

20) Looks Are Just As Important As Talent

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Considering that Korea is a homogeneous place, everyone tries to keep up with the latest fashion and beauty tips that apply mostly to traditional Korean appearances. In the western part of the globe and many other nations in the southern part, people come in all shapes and sizes. There isn’t much pressure to look just “one way” like there is in Korea.

Guess who is number 1 in the world when it comes to plastic surgery? Korea! If that doesn’t show you how much they care about their appearances, I don’t know what does.

Some of the beauty standards that exist go way back in Korea’s history! The standards for beauty are

  1. Pale Skin
  2. Petite body
  3. Small features (facial, hands, feet, etc)
  4. Double eyelids and big eyes
  5. Pearly, white, straight teeth

These standards exist for both men and women.

Koreans also put emphasis on what is worn. They put emphasis on name-brands and trends. I think Fashion King (the 2014 film) describes the pressure to be beautiful and trendy in Korea’s fashion culture more than anything (though the movie exaggerates it).

I want to first dive into skin. Most Koreans have a lighter complexion. But there are some who have tans. Unfortunately, the ideal is to have pale-looking skin because that is considered most “naturally Korean”. This is what I meant earlier when I said Korea’s beauty standards clash with black people’s natural features.

This is not to say that Koreans think darker skinned people are butt ugly or unattractive, but if they could choose the ideal, for some, that person would be pale. Some do prefer their own “kind”.

For them, wanting lighter skin is no different than people wanting a tan in the USA (to have a darker complexion). Having a tan in America is linked to “prestige” because Hollywood resides in a warmer climate and many celebrities live in California, the home of Hollywood. Living off of the beach is also a sign of prestige in America (because of the weather and view, prices are higher). “Tans” are a reflection of living in a warmer climate with all the rich and famous people.

Well, in Korea, having lighter skin is linked to prestige as well. It means the individuals don’t have to spend a lot of time outside “tending the fields” like a poor farmer.

Unfortunately, this makes it hard for those of a darker skin tone to feel or be seen as “beautiful”.

Koreans spend a lot on whitening cream. These creams do several things for their skin besides make it whiter. For starters, because most of them are already pretty pale, it whitens out any uneven skin tones due to blemishes, freckles, aging, or tans. It’s important for Koreans to look “untouched” or “without imperfections”. Second, it makes their skin “glow”, like putting on a lot of oil. To most westerners, it’s disgusting. Americans are starting to promote natural beauty. Some of us don’t even like the “fake tan” culture we support in America. But in Korea, looks are everything. In Korea, it’s not uncommon for people to point out imperfections when they get comfortable with you. Many Koreans take pride in their appearance.

You might see many Kpop idols promoting skin-whitening creams in advertisements and on commercials. For many Koreans, it’s a part of having healthy skin.

This doesn’t mean that every Korean approves of skin-whitening. Some Koreans feel western standards have “white-washed” citizens into wanting to have a more European look (pale skin, blonde hair, blue eyes). Some Koreans prefer people to be natural.

But most associate beauty with glowing, white skin. 

Koreans also spend money on makeup. They mostly try to wear makeup that “whitens” them rather than makeup that gives color (unlike in the west). They let it even out with the whitening cream to give them a “naturally flawless” look. Even the men in Korea spend money on makeup, which is considered unusual in the west. In Korea, it is common for men to be just as interested in their appearances as women. After all, for many in Korea, being attractive is the key to success.

Now focusing on body standards…

A petite body is associated with “good health”. Even having a big butt or big chest could be associated with being “fat”. Some Koreans don’t even like chubby faces or arms, even if the rest of the body is slender. The bottom-line is skinny is pretty and healthy to them. Weight is associated with poor health and is not very attractive to most Koreans. Most of the world is like this, but Koreans are a little more extreme at times. There are hardly any thick people anyway in Korea because of the diet. This is partially why the “ideal” is the way it is.

Music labels use their idols to promote Korea’s “beauty standards”. So, you will hardly see any thicker idols, though there are a few.

Fat-shaming is common in Korea. If Kpop idols even gain a little weight, it will cause an uproar.

Of course, there are Koreans who like thicker women. (Reality vs Idol Life).

Small features are also considered really attractive. Idols that usually end up at the top of most of Korea’s “beauty” lists normally have small lips, small noses, small heads, small hands, and small feet! This also has to do with most Asian women just looking petite. The majority travels down to the standard. But the idols who don’t have the “smallest” features rely on plastic surgery to give them the ideal look.

The double eyelid surgery is the biggest in Korea. Most of the far north-east Asians are born with a monolid. Some Koreans say it makes them look tired all the time. Foreign films and music stars have also influenced them. Many Kpop idols want to have wider eyes to have a “neutral” look about them.

Plastic surgery isn’t just a way to get “beautiful” to Koreans. It’s also a sign of prestige. Plastic surgery can be expensive, so mostly those with enough money invest in it. Still, thousands of people try to pour their money into it.

Having straight, white teeth is a sign of prestige, too. Braces are expensive. I think most of the world is on board with this standard!

So you might wonder why labels and idols go to some extremes to look attractive. Isn’t being natural enough? Many idols are naturally attractive without the additional enhancements.

But the truth of the matter, and I won’t mince words, Kpop sells on attractive figures. Beauty is just as important, if not MORE important, than talent. Labels try to find attractive people or those with a unique look that can ALSO sing and/or dance. Often times, the beauty part is more profitable than the talent.

Take Kpop group f(x) for example. Luna is one of the most talented members of that group. But the most popular member is Krystal. Krystal is talented too, but not like Luna. So why is Krystal more popular? Because Krystal is “prettier” (according to Korea’s beauty standards).

Often times groups will have someone in the group just to be a “visual” (meaning someone to bop around onstage and look attractive). These individuals may have mediocre talents at best, but they “look the part”. Labels usually train all idols to polish up their dancing and singing. Still, it’s clear that the industry can be a little biased towards the more attractive idols. In boy groups, it’s common for ALL the boys to be a visual. The song could be the trend, nothing unique, but if the group is full of attractive people, they will stand out.

The idol world is competitive. Korea’s society is competitive. Because most of them are super smart and work really hard, everyone has qualities that are deemed worthy for just about any job or career. But it’s just not possible to hire everyone for every job. Some Koreans have to find a certain”edge”. Some Koreans use their “attractive” qualities as that “edge”.

In Kpop, I suppose anyone could be talented or work really hard to develop “talents”. But having the right appearance does something to the hearts of the main demographic: the teenagers and young adults. Most Kpop songs don’t really require good vocalists. Many are catchy enough to grab attention. But they do require at least ONE idol who fits the “standard” of beauty.

The main demographic consists of young females, so there’s plenty of pressure for males to be attractive. However, males can also get away with singing well and performing killer choreography (the males’ choreographers tend to give them more powerful dances and the males are able to take more risks).

The women are usually given very simple choreo in comparison. For women, their biggest selling point is their appearance. Since Kpop is dominated by a female audience, some Kpop fans may be jealous or hate on female Kpop idols (because these girls not only look attractive but are so close to the male Kpop idols). Yet, kpop fans in Korea may better warm up to female Kpop idols if they are “attractive”.

The idols that don’t fit the “attractive” mold often get bashed for not taking care of their appearance. And the fans don’t feel guilty about bashing others. They simply believe it is the “fault” of the “target”. It’s really common for Koreans to be blunt about another person’s appearance. In America, we find this to be rude and inconsiderate. For many Koreans, this is considered helping someone else improve. They don’t find getting plastic surgery or putting creams on the face a sign of “self-hating”. They simply see these as enhancers, like wearing makeup or styling the hair. Many Americans do like to enhance themselves, but we feel that it shouldn’t be mandatory. Americans embrace differences more and embrace naturalness. We also honor talent over appearance.

In Korea, everything matters to create the perfect idol.

Those who don’t fit with the standards may find it hard to fit in at first, but there are ways they can convince the public that their image is a positive one. Kpop idols like F(x)’s Amber Liu, Lee Hyori, and all of the members of 2ne1 have all been examples of that. One must be strong to be able to endure the Kpop industry, despite the pressure to fit one mold. Sometimes, people let the opinions of others get in their heads. Some people don’t have the confidence to go against the norm (especially when there are so many pressures outside of physical appearance). It takes a brave soul to stand to stand against social pressures. There are four types in a competitive society: 1) The strong ones who just don’t care. 2) Those who feel they live up to social standards and can’t understand how others can’t thrive. 3) The ones who let others psyche them out, the sensitive souls who really care about the opinions of others. 4) The ones who try to be strong in public, but break down from the pressure in private. The pressure is so strong to live up to these high demands, some people commit suicide. And sadly, few have pity on these people. They are simply looked at as “weak”.

In the words of writer Ashley Perez, “In a culture where so many people strive to look the same way, any slight difference in appearance rapidly singles you out.”

However, despite the harsh pressures that go behind the scenes of the competitive Kpop industry, the appearances of the idols are still the most popular part of it. So many people support Kpop because of all of the attractive people involved. These Kpop idols work hard to be appealing and they sacrifice a lot of their natural beauty to appeal to their audience. They really can be like the humble servant.

21) Standing Out Is Difficult In Kpop

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With the lack of diversity, labels constantly following the trends, and the competitive atmosphere, it becomes difficult for Kpop groups and their individual members to stand out. This can be a good thing at times. If all of the members have something special about them, it can bring a certain unity.

But when one member is favored more than the others, this is when there’s a problem.

No matter how much labels try to dress and promote their artists similarly, there will always be one that stands out. Eventually, labels will pay attention to the most popular members. Some Kpop idols have accused labels of “distributing money” unfairly according to “popularity”, as mentioned before.

When this happens, sometimes the “less” popular members may have a hard time standing out and being noticed, even if they are more talented. I think I mentioned this before too…

Kpop groups also tend to have way more members than most groups around the world (I think Japan’s AKB48 and Morning Musume are the only two that have way more members than even some of Korea’s groups). Most groups in the west have only up to five members (seven being the maximum). Kpop groups have had up to 13 members! With all of these members, sometimes it’s hard to find the individuality. It’s easier to get to know 5 members as opposed to 13. With so many idols, some members are treated as expendable. To most casual listeners of Kpop, any member can be taken out or replaced in these groups and it really wouldn’t matter.

The other problem with having large groups is that each member only gets a few moments to showcase whatever talents they have within each song. One idol could have amazing vocals but is only given one line to showcase those vocals, just to make room for the other idols. In bigger groups, some idols are left out of the verses entirely!

Some artists try solo projects to showcase their individual talents. Still, the solo projects’ successes depend on the idol’s individual fandom, which they should have gained when they were in their groups. If the person doesn’t have particular “charms” or isn’t attractive, even the solo projects will be ignored. If their groups were super large, like 13 members, all fandoms were split 1/13!

Even Knetizens think the large group numbers are getting out of hand. Some feel that large groups are too difficult to manage. I guess there’s just so many talented people trying to get into the industry, many labels are finding it hard to choose! But this can make it difficult for everyone involved, so I see where the Netizens are going with this…

22) Kpop Idols Are Traditional At The Core

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With the pressure to be “pure” and beautiful, the pressure to conform to a homogeneous and heterosexual society, the pressure to work long hours, and the pressure to serve the country, international fans with a different culture might think that these kpop idols should be “saved” from what many westerners would call an “oppressive” system. We might feel that these idols need us to support them by removing them from these “threats”.

We would be both wrong and right. The idols do need us. One of the reasons labels are trying to make kpop appealing to western audiences is because of the “free-minded” views of the west. This means the west will support idols regardless of scandals or hiatuses, as long as the music is good. This means more money for Kpop labels and more creative freedom for idols.

However, let’s not forget that these idols are KOREAN. Many of them have the same beliefs that all Koreans have. KOREA is the country they live in. They don’t see these things necessarily as oppressive. It’s just living. Many of the idols’ ethics are in line with Korean thinking.

International fans have to remember that many idols pressure themselves to be beautiful and look good just as much as society pressures them.

So don’t be surprised if they make prejudiced remarks or  rudely ridicule foreigners who are “fat”.

Idols are proud of the hard work they put in and are USED to working long hours. Some Kpop idols’ values are the same as most Korean citizens’ values. For many Kpop idols, getting to know their international fans can be just as much of a culture shock as when we international fans learn about their culture.

23) Kpop Doesn’t Always Reflect Everything In Korea

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Whoever did this is hilar!!

From the many sections above, you can already guess that there are some things not visible to the casual kpop listener when watching music videos. Yet, some people may think that everything they see or hear regarding Kpop reflects ALL of Korea. Many international fans form distorted views of both the people and the culture from these filters.

In Kpop videos, we see attractive, skinny, and talented young men and women. They all seem sweet, friendly, and happy. They are presented as young, respectful, and humble. They seem fashionable and trendy. They seem pure and chaste.

But fans of Kpop should keep in mind that media around the world has a way of distorting the truth. Korea is no different. Kpop obsession can cause international fans to generalize a whole group of people. It can cause fans of the genre to suffer from disillusionment.

Foreigners should never tell Koreans, “I’m so interested in Korean culture. I love Kpop.” It’s great to love Kpop, but Kpop can produce unrealistic expectations.

Kpop is only one part of Korea’s vast and glorious history and culture. For some Koreans, it doesn’t even represent Korea (as many think it is over-saturated with westernized concepts). Some Koreans don’t like Kpop. There are many genres in Korea, just like there are many genres around the world. You may run into a Korean who likes Indie music or rock. You may run into Koreans who really don’t care about pop culture at all! Just like anywhere around the world.

After seeing so many attractive and happy faces on music videos and variety shows, many foreigners make it their life’s goal to move to Korea and find them a nice girlfriend/boyfriend that’s just as beautiful/handsome as the faces in the video. Some may say, “I think Asian men/women are hot. I love men like Taeyang/I love women like Taeyeon”…

You’re not going to find a Kpop idol out of a real human being. Being an idol is a profession. Being a human isn’t.

The reality is that Koreans actually come in all shapes and sizes. Though most are skinny, everyone isn’t skinny. Though there are many stylish clothing stores, everyone doesn’t have the same income to keep up with the stylish idols. Some Koreans don’t want to and may have their own unique style. Not all Korean men and women have the same talents that Kpop idols do. Not all Korean men and women are “perfect looking” like Kpop idols (who usually have enhancements, personal stylists, and extra money in their pockets). Not all are sweet and humble, not all are super friendly, not all are dorky and cute, not all of them are ALIKE. There may be pressures for Koreans to conform and be like one another, and there may be a lack of diversity in the media, but when we step outside of media, everyone is average.

It also depends on the city you visit. Of course if you visit the city of Seoul you will see more “jazzed up” individuals. It’s a city for business, culture, and entertainment. But other surrounding cities, especially Korea’s rural areas, are full of individuals who don’t fit what is on the music video.

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Though many Koreans try to keep up with one another, some hate the pressures just as much as other people hate pressures in their own countries. No country is perfect.

Seven reasons why 80 percent of young South Koreans don’t want to live in their own country

Though idols are expected to be pure and chaste, many have affairs. Many drink and party. There are some who are irresponsible. There are some who are not. Though idols seem respectful, all are imperfect and will say bad things once in awhile. Some are traditional; some are not.

Idols are different from how they’re presented in music videos. They have to be nice to people in public. This doesn’t mean they will find every one of their fans to be marriage material and this doesn’t mean they will fit every fan’s desire in a REAL relationship. Sorry to break hearts; it’s the reality.

You might find Kpop idols on variety shows eating some of Korea’s famous foods. It doesn’t mean every Korean will like the same foods. Think you’re going to open up a conversation about Kimchi just because you tried Kimchi once and liked it? News Flash: Not every Korean likes Kimchi. My Korean exchange friend, born and raised in Korea, hates Kimchi. She thinks it stinks. 😄 You are entitled to choose what you want on Korea’s menus, but just know that there are tons of foods in Korea. There are even some restaurants that are familiar to westerners.

Even the negative things we hear regarding Korean Kpop fans aren’t all true. Not all Knetz are strict and hard-nosed. Not all bash idols for their actions. Some are sympathizers. Many Knetz are reasonable and respectful. Though Koreans do have their own culture and standards, there are some things they are against in their own nation. After all, if that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t find any Kpop idols who have dated or went against the norm in some other way!

24) Kpop Is Always Changing

Finally, I want you newcomers to be aware that Kpop has and always will change.

Again, I’ve been interested in the genre since 2004 and I’ve seen things change seemingly overnight. Some of my favorite Kpop stars, who were once thought of as “Kings” and “Queens”, have fallen behind a new generation time and time again.

At one time, BoA and Lee Hyori were the reigning queens of Kpop. I remember them dominating the charts and stage. I remember when DBSK (ahem…TVXQ they now call them) were just rookies. I remember when Super Junior was a rookie group! I remember when S.E.S. was the major female idol group next to Fin K.L.

Now, TVXQ’s members are considered veterans. Lee Hyori has dropped out of the Kpop spotlight. S.E.S. and Fin K.L. have disbanded. Se7en and Rain have had to serve in the military. Super Junior is now at that age, too!

I’ve had to readjust my ears to many different Kpop styles over the years. When I first got into the Korean pop industry, hip-hop, R&B, pop urban, and even a bit of pop rock influenced much of the music in Kpop. There was a very urban scene back then, which was why I was attracted to Kpop. The girls had much more sass and didn’t force “cuteness” in every scene in their videos. Solo artists still had a hard time being recognized, but not as badly as these modern-day solo artists.

Over the years, almost too soon, I saw Kpop change into something different. The release of Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” brought a new energy to Kpop, one that I really didn’t like at first. It was very hard for me to adjust to the changes. I also saw electropop take over after Big Bang’s “Fantastic Baby”. And kpop still keeps evolving and changing…

So don’t get upset if a new sound begins to take over Kpop. Don’t think “This no longer sounds like Kpop”. Just remember my words: Kpop always has and always will evolve and change. They’ve been following the global trends just like all the other countries. Do you really think they want to be left behind?

Kpop has received more attention for its distinct style, so maybe that will make the current trends last much longer. Still, as more and more people from around the world get interested in Kpop, their ideas will also begin to influence the trends in Korea, whether we want to accept this or not. Labels will be interested in appealing to their demographic and that demographic now includes foreigners of many backgrounds.

For you newcomers, learn from Korean culture: Remain humble. Though not all Koreans live by this principle, it’s still a valuable lesson to learn. Don’t think that your favorite groups are such “kings” and “queens” that no one is capable of stealing their thunder. It can happen and it will.

Admittedly, in the “technology” age we live in, it’s much harder for artists to be forgotten (internet helps you search for anything). This doesn’t mean the next best thing isn’t waiting behind the scenes, waiting to devour your favorite solo artist or group’s popularity. I learned this through all of my global musical experiences (I also listen to French, Turkish, Irish, and Tanzanian pop to name a few), but it seems to be a hard concept to many fans of Kpop. I guess with so many being young, they don’t really know any different because this new age of Kpop is all they’ve experienced.

I used to hear people often shout, “This group is good, but GG/2ne1 are the QUEENS. No group will ever top them!” This was when I was still into BoA. I had to hear others call my favorite Kpop star “washed-out” or “losing her edge”. I had to sit by as my favorite idol was no longer everyone’s favorite anymore. It was the same with S.E.S., The Grace, and many others. As my favorite idols’ popularity decreased, so did the comebacks.

Now that the “3rd wave” of Kpop is entering the industry, fans of the “2nd wave” are feeling it. And the cycle will continue.

Clearly, as 2nd generation groups started losing members, we’ve been seeing a change in the atmosphere among the fandoms. There is a decline in popularity among the “2nd Gen” Kpop stars. The newer stars have risen to take power: EXO, Got7, BTS, Twice, EXID, Blackpink and many other newbies. As these artists gain popularity, and even newer groups are introduced, older groups and solo artists will become veterans, striving to hold on to their fans.

So what can we do about this? Hardly anything. Change is inevitable. But we can continue to support our favorite groups as best we can. We will still have their great songs. We still can appreciate the music for what it is. Forget the petty fan wars. Forget who wins what music show. Enjoy what you have and experience every moment. Every Kpop artist has something to contribute to the industry. If we ignore that now, we might be missing out on something amazing.

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Well, this about wraps up my article on Kpop. I’m truly sorry about the length, but I hope you fans learned a little bit more about the industry and took some thoughts with you.

For all of you major fans, what do you think? Do you agree with my points?

Everyone is invited to leave me a comment and give their thoughts!

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