Overview: Dominant Boys and Domineering Girls
For the longest time, the idol scene, especially in the idol groups department has been very much dominated by the boys not only in East Asia (South Korea, Thailand, China, etc.) but also the world over. There are of course numerous girl groups but the winners always seem to be the boys so much so that the entertainment companies churning out these groups were beginning to invest less and less in the girls at one point. So the boys dominate the pop groups but or it is because their fangirls are domineering!
Aggressive Girls & Shy Boys?
Well, the fans chasing and screaming at their idols are invariably the girls whereas the boy fans are usually either nowhere to be seen or they are hiding or just keeping a low profile. Why are the girls having more adrenaline on these things and are so aggressive? Are the boys shy or what? Or are they simply acting cool? Come on… Even in concerts where the girl groups perform, it is also the girl fans who are the rowdy ones, becoming hysterical, making noises, screaming and displaying all their love and heartfelt feelings for their idols.
Things… They Are A Changing
In recent times though, the fanboys are beginning to behave like their girl counterparts. Fanboys for example, are seen screaming over their BTS idols.
So, even more recently, the girl idols have taken over their boy idols. Blackpink has broken the records over BTS. Therefore, there is not just hope for the girl idols but they are the rage all over. Then there is the AKB48 girl group concept from Japan created in 2005 which has since spread all over China and Asia. The sheer number of cute girls in each group makes them hugely popular.
Individual girl idols do command lots all this while except maybe now. For example, in China, the girls used to be showered with a lot of gifts by their boy fans in live streaming compared to the boys. Yet, even this phenomenon is changing, as the boys do a lot of streaming and are getting a lot of attention and affection from their girl or boy fans, and so the boys and girls seem to be equalizing, especially with the Gen Z.
Don’t Mix It Up
It is funny though that idol groups don’t seem to be mixed. They are either entirely boys or entirely girls and never mixed. Those occasional groups which are mixed do not seem to do well. This again is a global phenomenon, from the bands of the olden days in Western Pop to the East Asian Pop of JPop, KPop, ThaiPop, TaiwanPop, HongKongPop and Mainland China Pops.
All right, isn’t it hard to love a mixed group of boys and girls. We want it straightforward! Perhaps, it is for branding or maybe not. Just don’t play games. It seems like our fans and friends get confused and giddy headed when you mix them all up.
No Mixed Race Either
Not only that, but it’s also no-no for different races too, so to the disappointment of many Caucasians and Latinos, Blacks, etc. who want to be part of a KPop group, they simply can’t! The KPop groups are always made of South Koreans and boys or girls of East Asian or Chinese descent. They can be from different regions because their popularity can be “localized” for marketing purposes in order to spread their popularity to different regions internationally. Nevertheless, in countries which are more diverse and not as homogenous as in South Korea, such as in China, Thailand, etc. some pop groups with different races or mixed race members may emerge. Well, it is probably still unlikely not because of racism (or for that matter, sexism for mixed gender groups) or anything as such but because it will still be determined by the market and factors like branding, etc.
OMG! But what when the girls look like boys? Like the androgynous girl group ACrush from China. However, after the initial novelty the concept faded and so did the popularity of the group. So there are some experimentations with mixed gender or whatever gender and even mixed race but it doesn’t seem to get popular or stay in the market. Therefore, don’t blame it on the creators of these pop groups. It takes a lot in the promotion and marketing, and it costs even lots more so they just have to keep to their trusted tried and tested formula.
When it comes to idol groups, we still want to keep it simple and straightforward. This will probably not change in the foreseeable future, and it can’t be helped, so it seems, as idols are churned out to be the way they are, crafted for consistent branding. Girls are girls and boys are boys in the world of pop idols, and… because KPop is KPop!
Just A Teaser Here.
Watch out for our very own Gender Games… coming to you… soon…