Beauty and the Waste: Fashioning Idols and the Ethics of Recycling in Korean Pop Music Videos
The Korean pop music (K-Pop) scene in recent years has become a fashion powerhouse where its highly visible stars exert tremendous influence on their fans' fashion practices. As K-pop content is most frequently consumed on YouTube, K-Pop music videos have come to be cybernetic runway shows, whetting the fans' appetite for endless fashion consumption. This talk examines K-pop's double entendre as both a seminal player in and a critic of the fashion industry by comparing two highly influential music videos-G-Dragon's "Crooked" (2013) and BTS's "Spring Day" (2017)-that allegorically comment on the contemporary fashion practices of quick accumulation and disposal. Arguably the most successful artists in the genre's history, both G-Dragon and the seven-member BTS exert huge influence on youth culture not just in Asia but far beyond.The talk will touch upon broader calamities generated by environmental crisis and highlight the struggles of millennials around the globe who are subject to the neoliberal ethos of ruthless self-promotion, often in the form of self-fashioning practices.