Foreigners in BIGBANG Solo Videos

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Being a BIG fan of BIGBANG (ha) I of course have watched most of the member’s solo videos. Something odd I repeatedly notice is their use of non-Asians in their videos and how they are usually objectified.

Let’s take TOP for example. In all of his solo videos, he has a white woman somewhere. But what’s interesting is how the women seem to be used more as accessories to the set rather than interactive beings.

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Even when there is some level of interaction, there still seems to be

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Even when there is some level of interaction, there still seems to be a sort of objectification seen. Here as he interacts with the woman on his lap, he makes the motion of playing her as a keyboard, which turns her more into an object than an human.

Moving on to G-Dragon, in his video “One of a Kind”, there are three black children (note the use of children instead of adults). This particular video seems the most influenced by black culture, and the presence of black children seem to be to add more credibility and make the video seem more “hip”

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Interesting use of chains and a background that resembles a police lineup.

So you may say what about “Crooked” which was filled with white and black people. Then again this video was filmed in London so it would be pretty hard to not have people who are not East Asian in the video.

But then again at least these people are actually seen for a good amount of time, unlike in Taeyang’s new video “Ringa Linga”

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If you watch the video, you may not even notice these two black men since they are on screen for less than a quarter of a second. But there is a subsequent video that shows the dance performance of Ringa Linga and surprisingly enough there’s black men. Because everyone knows if you want a good dance video, you need black people because we are so naturally able to move our bodies in such a rhythmic manner.

But maybe I’m just over reading the presence of minorities in music videos. But let’s not forget a comment made by Seungri, where he mentioned that following an argument, he was glad the person was white instead of black because had the person been black, he would have been shot. The reasoning of course being that all black people carry guns and are willing to shoot anyone at a drop of a second.

Further examining portrayals of race in South Korean TV shows, there have been a number of missteps along the way that typically involve blackface. Although there was a past questionable occurrence of G-Dragon in blackface (that later turned out to be a misunderstanding of sorts), there is still the question of race portrayals in Korean media.

Comparing this to another idea, one should also examine Korean dramas. Personally I have watched many Korean dramas (and by many I mean like ten). However, the only time I have seen a black person in a drama was One Fine Day, and this character was waving around a gun and demanding money from the title character. But don’t worry, it wasn’t for his own personal gain; he was just a henchman for a gang that was headed by a white man. So to recap the only image of a black person I’ve personally seen was as a gun-waving thug who was not even in a position of power. It’s also interesting to examine why they chose to use a black male in this role instead of a white male. Does a black male present a more threatening presence?

There are also white people included in dramas, but they are usually business people. Oddly enough, they are also involved in shady activity and brought in by a Korean character (Save the Last Dance for Me, Something happened in Bali) to help bring down a major Korean organization. So there is still a sense of these people being used in a manner of sorts, whether it be to seen as a threatening or shady presence.

Also all of this is personal speculation and definitely up for discussion.

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What happened in Seoul?

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Recently I’ve rewatched one of my favorite Korean dramas, Something happened in Bali (발리에서 생긴 일 or Balli-eseo Saenggin Il). Oddly enough I find this series even more confusing the second time around, which is why I would love for anyone out there in cyber space to explain a few things to me.

Other than why Jae-Min had the worst cry-face in Kdrama

First off I remember during the first viewing I was rooting for team Soo-Min and just feeling complete shock after watching the series finale. I have to admit after viewing, even though I knew what to expect, I just could not take all the emotion and let out my frustration in the form of droplets.

SHE ONLY GAVE HER HEART AT THE END

However, this time around I don’t know if I like Jae-Min as much. He was always that asshole who never really could express his emotions in the best form, but he seemed more likable before. He seemed like the lost man child who could not only retreat from fraternal rules but had a passion for his love that added charm to him.  This time he was just a douche.

Addressing the confusing parts, I still do not understand why Soo-Jung fell in love with Jae-Min and vice versa. Maybe I glazed over the whole section, because all I remember is him being a petty man child who can’t seem to directly address any part of his life. I can understand that at first she kind of just wanted the benefits he presented, but when exactly did this deep affection arise? There are some scenes where their being semi cute with each other (him buying the cell phone, then going to dinner), but I still just cannot connect the trains of thought that led to this complicated mess of love. What exactly about Jae-Min made her go “Gee I need to get with that immediately.” Especially when In-Wook is over here and totally in love with her (not to mention he can cook – Jae-Min couldn’t even chop a flipping cucumber).

So was it for revenge? Did she want to become the rich girl who rose from the bottom and was able to snag some money so that she could finally be in some position of power instead of having to work at the lowest positions? Was it also to spite Choi Young-Joo since she pretty much treated her like less than shit? (I have to admit that scene she first stands up to Young-Joo was one of the best bad bitch moments for Soo-Jung).

Seriously Soo Jung?

Obviously in the end you find out that she actually loved Jae-Min, even if fate doesn’t seem to want them together in this realm. Poor So Ji-Sub once again ends up getting the girl that doesn’t love him (Delicious Proposal and Glass Slipper – where he also ended up getting killed because of his affection) because she couldn’t be with the man she actually loved.

Back to the issue at hand –  why exactly Jae-Min fell for Soo-Jung? Was it to spite Young-Joo? Did he feel like she was the only person he was able to assist? Did he like the feeling of someone looking to him for aid (for a change)? Was her charm too irresistible for him to resist? Is he just some sort of sadistic/masochistic machine that  wants to bring down everyone within arm’s length?

Maybe I just missed these parts. Maybe I just didn’t pick up on the subtle hints the writers presented to explain the growing affections. Maybe I don’t know enough about Korean culture to understand the characters. Either way if someone else can answer these questions, please comment below. Until then I will assume there is some lost footage floating around somewhere in the editor’s closet that will magically fill these plot holes.