Saturday, May 6, 2017

Bill Nye's new show segment on K-pop


Bill Nye, the former "science guy," has a new show out. In one segment when he talks about fluid gender identities, he sends Derek from the YouTube pop-sci channel Veritasium to Korea to discuss gender fluidity in K-pop with a few industry figures, including the adorable Amber from girl group f(x).

There have always been rumors of Amber's sexuality, since her style is tomboyish. He also talks with some other K-pop star I've never heard of, but I'm not exactly the fandom type. Anyway here's a clip from the chat with Amber, who I forgot was born in the USA but real quick remembered when she opened her mouth. She always has a sort of humility to her in interviews, like she's worked hard to get this far and knows what it really takes.


If you want my opinion, I think this clip is a little patronizing. Maybe I'm just getting old, but I'm bored of these "Korea's ridiculously out of date cultural ideas are finally catching-up to the West" concepts. You're right, they don't actually say that. But it sure feels like a hint of that old Orientalism is lingering here. There's definitely a judgmental aspect to this kind of discussion, where the norms of the Westerner are presumed to be superior, and praise is heaped on those who appear to be most embracing them. But that's an old story that started long before K-pop.

Hey, I'm just here to share links. Don't look to me for gender theory.

HT: Amber and NCT's Johnny appear in Bill Nye the Science Guy's New Show — Koreaboo

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