In line with #PrideMonth2021, we present you with 8 K-pop idols who challenged Korea's gender stereotypes with their genderless image - including EXO's Kai, BIGBANG GD, MAMAMOO Moonbyul, and more!
In Korea, there's still a huge stigma when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community due to their conservative culture.
However, the surge of K-pop idols who are pursuing a genderless image is slowly breaking down gender boundaries. This is not only incorporated in their fashion sense but is also a way for them to express themselves.
In context, "Genderless" is a term that does not distinguish between genders, such as masculinity and femininity. With idols such as BIGBANG GD, EXO Kai, SHINee Taemin, etc., companies are also releasing "genderless" products that eliminate stereotypes about men and women in product planning and brand launch.
Let's take a look at the 8 K-pop Idols Who Challenge Gender Stereotypes by Flaunting their Genderless Image:
1. BIGBANG G-Dragon
As a fashion icon, G-Dragon is always known for setting unconventional looks and style. In fact, the trend-setter idol is one of the first male idols who showcased unisex fashion.
The BIGBANG member, who is also Chanel's ambassador actually changed consumer's perception about the brand being limited to women only. He started wearing lady's pieces from Chanel, emphasizing that certain clothing is not limited to a single-gender.
2. SHINee Taemin
Before he enlisted, SHINee's Taemin gave a fresh look when he appeared wearing a crop top that revealed his navel as an MV outfit for his latest track, "Advice." During his comeback, the solo idol also brought back his long hairstyle and sported a genderless look by wearing fancy makeup.
Prior to this, Taemin already challenged an androgynous concept by releasing his hit track, "Move."
3. EXO Kai
EXO Kai's crop top attire during their "Obsession" release truly became controversial yet phenomenal. This is not the first time that a K-pop idol wore a crop top, but Kai eventually became a hot topic for transcending gender norms.
In an interview, the male star admitted that he wasn't really aiming for a genderless image. Rather than showing off to people, Kai aims for self-philosophy in terms of fashion and tries things that will fit him, without prejudice to which gender should wear it and not.
4. NU'EST Ren
Ren of NU'EST is one of the proprietors of the genderless concept. The male star would often show off his long hair, and wearing a dress or skirt is so easy for him!
In 2016, Ren quoted, "Am I a guy or am I a girl? I am a man. Fashion makes a human and impression."
5. 2 AM Jo Kwon
When it comes to the genderless concept, Jo Kwon admitted that he wanted to be identified as an idol with an androgynous look.
On his social media account, he would often post his photos with "drag queen-inspired" makeup and flaunt himself wearing various types of high heels.
He is truly proud of having a gender-neutral image that Jo Kwon is also accepting musical projects that are based on LGBTQIA+ concepts.
6. MAMAMOO Moonbyul
Moonbyul, who is famous for her gender-fluid look, attested that the whole group represents gender neutrality. The star is known to be a huge supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, consistently leaving heart-felt messages for them since 2017.
7. f(x) Amber
f(x) Amber is one of the first idols who introduced unisex hairstyles and outfits in the K-pop scene. While most of the female idols have long pretty hair and wear skirts, Amber sported short hair and wore pants or shorts in their stages.
8. Super Junior Heechul
Ever since his debut, Heechul doesn't discriminate and is always proud of his pretty face. The male idol would always show up with long hair, women's dresses, introducing his female alter-ego, "Heemi." Heechul also supported makeup being normalize for men.
9. Fanxy Red Lu Keran
Lu Keran is a Chinese idol who's a member of the first-ever K-pop androgynous group. Their concept is an all-girl "boy group."
Lu Keran explained that she is a woman who wears pink, but she realized that having a unisex image helps her not to feel restrained with gender boundaries.
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Written by Eunice Dawson