At a nearby café, a Chinese-Cambodian businesswoman said she was saving money to get cosmetic surgery in Gangnam, the glamorous Beverly Hills of Seoul that Psy raps about in his global hit.
But the lure of plastic surgery in Korea – a trendy item for Asian women who want the pointy nose and larger eyes they consider beautiful – is apparently wearing off too.
“I should be careful. I don’t want to look like those K-pop girls. Too fake,” she said. “And those K-drama men, ugh, they look girly. Too much make-up.”
Don’t read too much into this, though:
Opposition to Korean Wave usually rides on other frictions, and doesn’t always come down to acceptance or rejection of Korean pop culture itself. “As political issues rise and fall, culture can get sucked in. But so do cars, appliances, and whatever else,” said Mark Russell, author of Pop Goes Korea: Behind the Revolution in Movies, Music and Internet Culture.
“Girls Generation’s ‘Gee’ has 95 million YouTube hits,” Russell said. “Frank Ocean doesn’t have more than 12 million for a song.”
I’ll say this—a lot of the traffic at my Tumblr photoblog comes from “foreign” teenage K-pop and K-drama fans, of which there appears to be legions. At least on Tumblr.