Double Standard: Dancing in Kpop
Watching some of my favorite female dancers, I can honestly say that there’s nothing to separate the technique, flow, and precision of say, Janet Jackson from her more (in)famous older sibling — as seen in their first and only duet, Scream.
However, in Kpop, there seems to be a definite contrast in not only dance ability, but choreography. While male groups seem to lay more emphasis on talent and potential, their female counterparts seem to be one of two things: hypersexualized or nauseatingly adorable.
There’s an almost unspoken understanding that as far as appealling to the masses goes, boys are supposed to be masculine, strong and powerful in their movement while girls are supposed to exude sexiness, femininity and a coy shyness. Everything is circular, so it’s no surprise that the heteronormative standards set in society would be obviously reciprocated in pop culture: men are men, able to do it all and still maintain their male dominance, and girls are girls, able to seduce and charm in hopes of roping in a substantial male audience.
As far as the boys go, there seems to be a higher bar of expectation set. It’s not exactly a new rationalization: boys sell records; boys sell out concerts, magazines, merchandise. The emphasis on male idol perfection most likely stems from a societal norm that sees men as the proverbial “bread winners”, the overall dominant forces that not only make the money, but have an inexhaustible breadth of skill, knowledge, and talent that far outshines their female counterparts.