Saturday, August 14, 2010

New Trend In K-Pop: Pretty-Beasts?

They're not just pretty boys, yet they're not your typical "beastly", manly men either. So what are they??

There's been a new wave of poster boys in the k-pop industry that have created a new fusion of a category: pretty-beasts (???). Gone are the guys that simply had pretty, delicately-featured faces. Gone are the men that simply boasted their buff arms and abs so defined that they resembled chocolate bars (hence the nickname Koreans use, "chocolate abs"). Demands are rising as now the trend is to have both.

Example number one : BEAST's Lee Ki-kwang
He has that clear milky complexion and moon-shaped eyes when he smiles that's enough to make any young (or old!) woman go weak at the knees. Don't let that baby-face fool you though because as soon as the shirt comes off, it's clear that a big portion of his days are spent at the gym. He's been fast rising not only on the music scene with his group BEAST, but on the small screen as well. He's gained popularity as Kang Sae-ho on "Highkick Through The Roof" and more recently on the new variety programs "Hot Brothers".

Example number two : 2PM's Nickhun
Also frequenting many of the popular variety programs (i.e. "Star King", "We Got Married Season 2"), Nickhun is just as used to hear compliments regarding his baby-face. Having been compared to Baby Mason and actress Moon Geun-young, he has those innocent features and a charming smile that undoubtedly places him in the "pretty-boy" or "flower-boy" category. However, he's also a member of the group 2PM whose whole concept revolves around them being "beastly" men. When watching him on stage moving to the powerful choreography of 2PM songs, many women find it hard to distinguish whether they feel maternal drawings or pure attraction.

Example number three : Lee Seung-gi
When you think of the clean-cut boy-next-door, immediately Lee Seung-gi pops into your head. He's been known as a "triple threat" as a singer, actor, and emcee. He's earned a reputation of being one of those annoying people that are good at everything they do, but yet, you can't hate them for it. He's starred on the popular variety show "1 Night 2 Days", emceed "Strong Heart", and is starring in a new drama "My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho" with one of the hottest Korean women, Shin Mina. He's left many of his fans in shock though when snippets of him showering were aired on "1 Night 2 Days", showing off his hard abs.

Example number four : SS501's Kim Hyun-joong
For months now, the prime example of a pretty-boy in k-pop was Kim Hyun-joong. His big eyes, delicate lips, and high cheek-bones are enough to make any woman envious. He even starred in the most quintessential flower-boy drama: "Boys Over Flowers"! However, watch any of his live performances when he's in SS501 mode, it's clear that he's just as manly as his features may be feminine. In fact, he's taking on a new drama role in "Playful Kiss". He'll play a more masculine character featuring a well-cut body, which is quite appropriate because that's what's portrayed in the comic series that inspired this project.?

Example number five : Wonbin
He's one of the most recognizable faces in Korean dramas and movies. And for good reason. Big eyes, big lips, everything about him is well defined. However, his past few dramas toned his strong, masculine side down some by placing him in younger, weaker, and more vulnerable roles. However, he's changed that all around with his new hit of a film "Mister" where he shows off a lean, muscular frame that is anything but weak and vulnerable. "Mister" is his first action film with his character being a more rebellious bad-boy type. Overall, he's showing more beast than pretty-boy this time around, placing him also in the "pretty-beast" category.

source: KBS Global

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