The Korean pop culture influence is becoming higher and higher in these days all over the world. The youngsters today enjoy dances, music and concerts. The K-pop is one of the places where Koreans rake it in. the Koreans are trying to step in the world's major economy zones with the culture. The culture, the art become their greatest weapon. All over the world, the Korean dramas have shaken people's hearts over 10 years ago. Nowadays, the TV channels in most of the countries are occupied by the Korean programs. When their art, the culture is started to dominate in a certain country, the Koreans start importing cosmetics to that country which are advertised by various pretty Korean celebrities. Then followed the clothing, the food, and the electronics and so on.
The people who love K-pop are called as K-poppers. The Korean dancers are the most hard-working people as far as I concerned and their dance moves are so brilliant. And they do have to struggle just to get a place in the entertainment field because the singers, the dancers, the performers and the artists are booming up day by day in Korea. Assaying their MTVs, it seems that the Koreans use a lot of accessories than it needs. Some critics view as using a lot of accessories is to conceal their imperfectness. On the other hand, it can be taken as that makes K-pop stands out.
K-Pop fever all over the world
The K-pop is highly dominating not only in Asia but also in Western world. In Asia, what I've seen, the teens from Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Myanmar are extremely addicted to K-pop. In Yangon, 8 out of 10 teenagers would say the country they eager to visit is Korea. More and more concerts are held. Unbelievable numbers of package tours to Seoul are demanding. The youngsters here eager to learn Korean and Korean language centers are booming up. Not exaggerating, all the people in Yangon know some Korean words like Hello, Thank you, I love you, I miss you, I'm hungry, etc. Here in Yangon, the cosmetics stores employ pretty Korean salesgirls (Most of them I've encountered can speak Myanmar very well.) With K-pop, Korean foods are also becoming popular. People patiently wait more than 5 hours standing in the crowd to get K-pop concert tickets. Teen girls wear fake glasses and keep fringes. Applying make-up to look like a Korean girl, wearing big eye content lens are so damn popular. The market for cutie style mini-dresses and mini-skirts are increasing.
In Bangkok, teen girls don't even say "Cheese", instead they say "Kim-Chi". In the Western World, K-pop gave the first taste of Psy Gangnam style in 2012 which is the most viewed video in YouTube history, with more than 2 billion views. US$ 8 million was generated through the site.
In the early 2000s, Korean culture export was around US$500 million. But after Gangnam style was exploded on the scenes, it jumped to more than US$4 billion. The South Korean government transformed its focus, giving low-interest loans to culture industries, supporting on the launching of agencies, and expanding the art in every schools and institutes.
Kpop and beauty
The Korean culture's great focus on beauty gives a bad example to the teens as they think the appearance is the most important thing. The prevalence of plastic surgery among the Korean celebrities has conditioned that beauty requires plastic surgery. Lately I've read about a college boy from Brazil who undertook a plastic surgery as he wanted to change his look and to be look like a Korean star. First, he dyed his blonde hair black. Then he received a surgery to get small black Korean eyes. I just still don't get it, why do that?
Kpop gives clean messages to teens
Despite the materialism of Korean pop culture influence, some scholars view that Korean song lyrics are clean and gave good messages to the teens. If they do bad, or give a bad message, it will affect their reputation, as mentioned before, the Korean entertainment industry has intense competition and the artists have to struggle to thrive. The scandals concerning with relationships of the Korean stars are rarely seen because their agencies have a powerful control on them. And the contents of the songs are limited.
Are you an exotic? If so, who is your bias?
Once I asked my K-popper friend, Mandy Chang, "Mandy, why you love Korean songs that much? And you don't even understand Korean." What she said was "music and love do not always need a language to comprehend. You just need a heart to understand." And she continued that "Korean songs are addictive, the artists seem to be so innocent." She said with laugh, "Addicting to Kpop really washes my pocket. I buy a lot of CDs, posters, bracelets, T-shirts with pictures of my bias and even cosmetics advertised by him."
Despite of being a teen surrounded by many K-popper friends, I am not obsessed with the Korean pop culture. There are times when I complain about K-pop tunes are always on the beaten track. And maybe there are times when I complain about my eyestrain because of the K-pop stars use a lot of unnecessary Bling Bling. Although I complain like that, there are times when I hum "2NE1-Lonely" or move rhythmically while listening to Gangnam style.