It’s hard to be noticed in the massive sea of K-Pop idol groups so sometimes, you have to take it up a notch. Let’s take a look at the girl groups that garnered attention for their unique concepts, good or bad!
Crayon Pop’s Helmet Look
To start off this list is girl group Crayon Pop. They made waves for their song “Bar Bar Bar” which was catchy on its own but what really caught the eyes of Korean netizens was their very new, very different concept. Unlike all the other girl groups who were being sexy and showing skin, Crayon Pop came onto the scene wearing helmets, gloves, and colorful tracksuits that someone would wear to the corner market.
To go along with their quirky outfits was their even more quirky choreography which got netizens buzzing. This viral song was talked about and played everywhere when it came out! One thing was for sure, whether or not you actually enjoyed their song, netizens across the board admitted that it went viral for a reason. This was a definite hit!
T-ARA’s Indian Appropriation
Oh boy, did this one create some controversy. In the beginning when T-ARA’s “YaYaYa” was first released, there was a general consensus that the song pretty catchy. It had an addictive melody that everyone could easily remember which is always the most important part of any song. It also had a very clear concept where the song, dance and outfits complimented each other very well. However, it wasn’t very long before international fans recognized how wrong the concept was.
Cultural appropriation has been done by K-Pop stars before and for whatever reason, they just never seem to learn that it is not okay. With that said, there are so many things that went wrong with this song. To start, they wear head pieces with feathers and beads as a part of their stage outfits that mimics Native Americans’ traditional wear. They also use stereotypical chanting sounds in the lyrics of the song and as if that weren’t enough, they also use stomping motions paired with mouth slapping motions in their choreography. As catchy as this song was, this was a definite miss.
T-ARA’s Retro Vibes
I am all about redemption and the girls of T-ARA redeemed themselves with this song. K-Pop fans should know by now that their favorite artists don’t have much control over what and how they choose to promote their songs. With that said, the girls of T-ARA came back with “Roly Poly” which served some serious retro feels and it did not disappoint. Everything from their outfits to their hairstyles to the song itself hit it out of the park!
The best part about this concept was the fact that they pulled off both the American retro look and the Korean retro look. The girls pulled from the disco era in the states while also showcasing what retro looked like in Korea. With the long skirts, the crisp white button ups and hair accessories, they really nailed this concept. This was a definite hit!
After School’s Stripper Pole Dance
If we’re talking just about the song, I think it would have been a hit. The song is pretty catchy and alluring in all the right ways but sadly, it wasn’t the song that had netizens talking. This song garnered attention for their use of an interesting prop in the choreography: stripper poles. After School was always known for trying out different concepts and their amazing ability to absorb each one fully. However, this one might have taken things too far, at least according to Korean netizens.
It was deemed nation wide that this concept was too sexual with the girls dancing on and around the pole. While Korean netizens are used to sexy concepts that girl groups usually do, the use of an actual stripper pole in the choreography may have been a little too progressive. While it’s obvious that there was probably a tremendous amount of effort to learn how to use a pole, it didn’t matter to the netizens. The hard work was not acknowledged because the overall consensus amongst the netizens was that this went too far. This concept was sadly a bit of a miss.
Orange Caramel’s Sushi
Would this list even be complete without the gals of Orange Caramel? They made headlines prior to their highly anticipated debut as they would be a subunit of the already popular girl group, After School. However, it was their song “Catallena” that really made a lasting impact on everyone. They utilized an overall food concept which is already a bit weird but anyone could easily recognize that the main focal food point was sushi.
These girls donned some funky stage outfits with fish bones and chopsticks in their hair! In their music videos, these girls are presented as sushi fish pieces as they sit on top of balls of rice. What an interesting way to promote a song. However, as weird as it may seem, the overall response to this song was positive which means, this one was a hit.
Wonder Girls’ Live Band
The Wonder Girls are known for the myriad of concepts that they’ve done in the past years. They’re previously known for their retro concept, which is what put them on the K-Pop radar. Through the years, they went through some member changes and with those changes, their growth in maturity as a group blossomed as well. They reeled it back and came out with “Why So Lonely” which has chill and mellow vibes. However, it wasn’t the vocals that grabbed the attention of netizens but their concept as a live band.
It may not be a quirky or unique but their live stages definitely grabbed the attention of viewers. They were able to really showcase their musical abilities not just as singers but also as instrumentalists. With each member playing a different instrument, they really nailed the look of a live band. This band concept hasn’t really been done before by a girl group but the Wonder Girls left a memorable impression on fans and netizens alike, which means this concept was a hit.