by June Jeong, opinions editor

When did you listen to Korean pop music (K-pop) for the first time?

My sister actually showed it to me over Christmas break almost two years ago. I was just attracted to how crazy it was, and how it was really different from Western pop music.

What was your first impression?

At first I wasn’t really into it, but I was just feeling really tired of Western music, like how a lot of it is the same. I wanted to try something new, so I went back later and was like “What was that group that my sister showed me?” and then got into it.

How is K-pop different from western pop music?

Recently, I feel like western music has gotten, not like dirtier, but they curse a lot more. I just really don’t like it. In K-pop, they don’t curse nearly as much and the concepts are more fun. I really like the style of K-pop.

Do K-pop stars have a general look?

The typical thing is pale skin and really skinniness. I actually went to KCON over the summer with one of my sister’s friends, and they did a survey over the appearance of K-pop idols on what teenage girls thought about the impact of the Korean look. The trend is having pale skin and being thin and I don’t necessarily think that’s the best role model for younger girls. Especially with plastic surgery and lots of makeup.

Are there any misconceptions that Americans have about Korean pop music?

A lot of people think that K-pop is “gay,” and they think the men are too feminine. But I think we just have a different culture; their culture is different, the men are closer and aren’t uncomfortable to hug each other and stuff. The culture is just different and some people don’t understand.

What’s your favorite girl group?¬†Favorite guy group?

I really like 4-Minute, but they disbanded which is really sad. [My favorite girl group] is kind of like switching between BTS and GOT7.

What are your thoughts on Korean pop culture in general?

K-dramas, like Korean music, is not as raunchy, which I definitely like because I want to enjoy something without being grossed out. And I really like Korean culture because it seems like people are pretty respectful. They have both a formal and informal language, and I know some people aren’t polite, but just the culture in general just seems more polite than Western culture.