I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m obsessed with a South Korean girl band called “Girls’ Generation.”
Carrying this secret has been torturous. It doesn’t exactly inspire confidence or friendship in others when you’re a 22-year-old, American male who can’t stop watching YouTube videos of nine Korean women performing choreographed dances ripped straight from the scrap bin of Bollywood. For every word I write, twenty college students retire from academia. Ten of them retire from life. This obsession is so embarrassing that my parents immediately emailed me emancipation forms, then acted like they were kidding just so they could see my face when they told me they actually weren’t kidding. When I shared it with my therapist, he punched me in the mouth.
However, before you make any judgments (or any more), watch this video, which is the origin of my obsession.
WARNING: If you have even a minor Asian fetish, this is porn.
Welcome to my world. After my first viewing, I was left speechless. I had to view more. Dear Lord, was there more. (And yes, I realize one of these is in Japanese).
Girls’ Generation, otherwise known as SNSD (the initials of their Korean name), is basically the biggest thing in Korea right now. They’ve won a total of 50 awards in two countries (Korea and Japan), and back to back Daesang Awards, the Korean Equivalent of Artist of the Year Grammies. Not to mention their multiple number 1 singles and the record for the longest number one song in the country’s history. To understand the South Korean music industry, imagine if America’s boy-band craze in the 90s never ended. Where we pretended to be too cool for five handsome men dancing in unison, Korea admitted everyone still likes it and ran with it, making us look like self-denial idiots as “Glee” proves we still love good looking people dancing to poppy crap.
Watching these videos, your American instincts will undoubtedly produce an averse reaction. Everything is weird. They’re music oscillates between decent pop diddies and music that sounds like a baby crawling across a keyboard. Their biggest song, “Gee,” sounds like a chorus of castrated smurfs and they shuffle back and forth like anxious chickens. It’s cute if you’re…fourteen? All of their music video sets look like poor imitations of Janet Jackson’s cocaine nightmares. Then there are the girls themselves. They’re all exceptionally lovely, but they’re not quite sexy. More often than not, their attempts at “sexy” are either a thin-lipped smile or something I can describe only as “winking cat.” Also, Koreans have a strange practice known as “aegeyo,” which I’ve determined to be a codex of gestures and expressions to signify cuteness. You know how your girlfriend speaks in a higher, baby-ish voice when she wants something from you? Yea, that’s “aegeyo,” and they do it all the time. It’s cute in a novelty way at first, then annoying in a kill-your-neighbor kind of way after that.
But none of that matters because I am in love with every single one of them. After a week in America, they’ll have a difficult time even remembering what “aegyo” is. But first, a small confession? I’m having difficulty telling them apart. I’ve been choosing which one to fantasize about marrying by closing my eyes and randomly pausing the videos. Look, I understand what I’m saying can be considered racist, but I feel like there’s some slight hypocrisy here. So it’s racist to not immediately distinguish people with identical features, but it’s totally fine to only breed with people who look like you? I’m calling bullshit on that double standard. Once they start marrying people who can actually tan, I’ll adjust my comments accordingly. Until then, I’ll just pick which one to date as if I’m picking someone to be it for tag: close my eyes, spin around and then point.
Like how Teddy Roosevelt ate the heart of a grizzly bear and realized he had to become our nation’s most badass president, I watched these videos and knew I had to marry one of them. My life would only be complete if I had a Korean pop-star wife and a litter of Korean pop-star children. So I drew out a huge map of my apartment, added booby traps, and then waited-wait, sorry, that’s my plan for when my grandparents visit. My plan for marrying a Korean pop star? BECOME A KOREAN POP STAR.
This is the easiest way to access the exclusive community of Korean celebrities, and also the most obvious. If you want to touch Lady Gaga’s seaweed hairpiece, it’s much easier to earn your way into a party, instead of launching yourself over her bodyguards with an ACME-sized slingshot. Since I can’t find a cannon large enough to fire me across the Atlantic Ocean, I’ll have to ingratiate myself into their ranks. The process will be long and difficult. Thankfully, my voice is already here. When I polled a few friends about my angelic singing voice, they all agreed it sounded most like “screaming cat in a blender.” So I’ll fit right in. The biggest issue, though, is looks. Won’t my enormous, unwieldy frame be out of place?
Thankfully, I stumbled upon some random chick’s blog that describes beauty in Korea. Turns out I’m not that far removed from Koreans’ criteria for attractiveness. I’m tall, I have long legs, my eyes are blue and piercing, and I know how to apply white face paint. The only two categories where I fail is grooming and a small face. My face is, unfortunately, about as long as the Panama Canal. People have run marathons on it. Meteorologists use it to tether weather balloons to the ground. I’ll have to borrow my sister’s nail filer and shave two inches off my chin.
The blog also says that Korean handsomeness is based on exceptional grooming. This means spending hours perfecting hairstyles and matching belts. I’m not really into the whole grooming thing. Based on any picture of a Korean male pop-singer, they spend a lot of time to look like they didn’t spend any time at all. Why waste my energy on this when I can just roll out of bed with the same hairstyle? My hair is so bad in the morning that rabbits have tried to mate with it. It has successfully cushioned the fall of a man from four stories up. See, Korea? I’m a natural. As this picture proves, I’m going to be hugely popular: