K-pop Idols Breaking Stereotypes

Isha Singh, New Delhi

K-pop or Korean popular music has gained great popularity over the years and has been playing a crucial part in the growing Hallyu wave. But when someone hears the word K-pop, some deep-rooted perceptions engulf their minds. With the increasing popularity of Korean artists, the stereotypes associated with them are moderately shattering and making people considerably more open-minded. Instead of being confined to a particular perspective or concept, various K-pop idols are making a move to express themselves in a better way. From fashion to hair and makeup, there are various contexts in which K-pop artists are breaking boundaries.

1. Breaking Fashion-Based Stereotypes

In the conservative society that we are living in, fashion is often interconnected with gender. But K-pop idols are seen challenging these fashion-based stereotypes in their exquisite ways.

(A) Wearing Skirts

Starting with the group BIGBANG who wore skirts for a concept for their fourth extended play ‘Tonight.’ Among all the members, G-Dragon is known to kick off or set up unique fashion trends or clothing. NU’EST’s Ren construes himself by wearing skirts that he is no less a man even if he embraces his feminine side. In Singles Magazine Korea’s photoshoot, BTS was seen wearing corsets, skirts, and stockings. In addition to that, BTS’ V, Suga, and RM were spotted wearing skirts on the street, for the magazine shoot, and at the airport.

Picture Credits: Vogue

(B) Wearing Crop Tops

K-pop’s 4th generation leaders TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) members Yeonjun, Beomgyu, and Taehyun wore crop tops for the MV (Music Video) of their song Blue Hour. MONSTA X’s WONHO keeps on experimenting with the different lengths of crop tops and wears them with absolute confidence for years, both in real life and on stage. Other idols like EXO’s KAI, SHINee’s Taemin, GOT7’s BamBam, and NCT’s TAEYONG contributed sorely to unveiling that fashion has no gender.

Picture Credits: SMTOWN

(C) Female idols wearing Suits:

For years, numerous K-pop idols have been proving that suits and ties aren’t just for men and are seen comfortably pulling off the look. MAMAMOO’s Moon Byul kept enchantingly redefining the typical image of a girl group member by rocking suits better than men. Dreamcatcher’s song ‘Scream‘ suit version, Girls’ Generation’sMr.Mr.‘ era, CHUNG HA’s song ‘Dream of You‘, MAMAMOO’s song ‘Décalcomanie’ are some of the iconic suit performances and eras of all time. These idols are not only seen breaking barriers but are also inventing unique fashion trends by pairing them up with chokers and laced crop tops.

Picture Credits: Mnet

2. Makeup:

For years, many K-pop idols have collaborated with beauty brands like TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) x It’s Skin, VT Cosmetics x BTS, Monsta X x TONYMOLY, GOT7 x The Face Shop, etc.

K-pop idols have always been known for breaking stereotypes regarding beauty standards. While smokey eyes, colourful hair, contact lenses, and lip tint look has been pulled off perfectly by the idols, unfortunately in this society some narrow-minded people consider it to be too feminine. But at the same time, some men have been inspired by these idols to experiment with makeup, unique fashion trends, hair colours, etc. Through this, some citizens are going beyond the boundaries, and are starting to express themselves freely. There’s no set concept of how masculinity should be defined. Focusing on skincare and giving yourselves time to dress up doesn’t make someone less manly.

Picture Credits: TONYMOLY

3. Breaking stereotypes regarding choreographies:

One of the most charming components of a MV (Music Video) or a stage performance is the choreography. Over the years, there are gender norms visible in this aspect. Ideally, a K-pop boy group should have a strong, masculine choreography while a K-pop girl group should be cute and less challenging. But thankfully, with the K-pop evolution, this barrier is fading away. Swapping or a mix of powerful and cute concepts is evaluating at its pace.

Video Credits: SBS Entertainment

4. Colourism:

The issue of colourism shows the dark side of the K-pop industry. Some people don’t consider it as an issue and just blame it on the high beauty standards of Korea. Light skin is considered superior, and dark skin is looked down upon. Some narrow-minded fans tend to not support the idol because of the issue of colourism. Many idols must undergo plastic surgery to get accepted by society. But there have been many instances where K-pop idols withstand in averse to the stereotype while unveiling their true self. Idols like EXO’s KAI, MAMAMOO’s Hwa Sa, Jessi, etc. believe in setting up their beauty standards and are proud of their appearance.

Picture Credits: Wikipedia

With the increasing rise and popularity of K-pop, idols stepping forward to widen the image of a typical K-pop idol is one of the reasons why people love K-pop. Inspired by these K-pop idols, the public especially men are redefining masculinity and is no more afraid to try different fashion styles. Admiringly, how BTS leader RM once said in his UN speech No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: Speak Yourself.”

Video Credits: Washington Post

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Undoubtedly the hallyu artists are smashing stereotypes of the toxic masculinity left, right and centre. From wearing skirts to crop tops to wearing makeup, they just proved that there’s no set concept of how masculinity should be defined. I love how the female artists too are expressing themselves and embracing their vulnerabilities. Thank you for this article 🥺🥺🤌♥️💜.

  2. Suhasini says:

    I really how the kpop world has stopped these stereotypes and how they embrace the beauty of every individual ❤️🙌 an amazing article

  3. Well written <3

    1. Neha Tarekar says:

      I knew about TXT, BTS and Hwa sa breking stereotypes, but it’s good that I got to know more about others as well.

    2. Tirna says:

      Amazing 👍

  4. Moumita Mondal says:

    They showed the people the definition of equality which should be normalized ♥️

  5. Jubby Kumar says:

    This article was wholesome! K-Pop artists are breaking the stereotypes is like a revolution!
    I mean why can’t women wear suits or men can’t wear makeup?
    Cheers to the change makers !!

  6. Mamoni says:

    One of the reasons why I love them💗

    1. Tirna says:

      It is refreshing to see that the idols are breaking stereotypes and ushering in a new age ♥

  7. DJ says:

    Well written article 👏 💜💜

  8. This is such a well-written article🙌❤️ Covered such an important topic so well🧡

  9. anishanath says:

    Breaking these stereotypes is really necessary in today’s society. We all are same, very well written article.

  10. AYUSHI VERMA says:

    Thankyou for such amazing article 💜

  11. Woah! Thankyou so much for writing this! This really shows Kpop isn’t just about music, it’s much more than that

    1. No doubt that day by day K-pop stars are breaking the stereotypes. The industry is more than that. Well articulated ❤️

  12. Amazing article. Kudos to all these stars who are breaking the age old stereotypes!

  13. Sonia says:

    Amazing article ❤❤

  14. Pranjul Sharma says:

    Totally worth it, love this article 🫰🏻

  15. sheetal says:

    Amazing article, very well written

  16. Dikshitha says:

    And that is the reason why we love them. They’ve set a standard by doing this…what a great article. K-pop is the best stereotype breaker so far. “No matter who you are, where you’re from your skin color, gender identity…Speak yourself” got my heart❤️😍

  17. Swapnil Sinha says:

    They’ve evolved fashion to a diff level 😍😍!

  18. Susmita Samanta says:

    Greatest article…

  19. areezasaifi1 says:

    Well written article..👏

  20. Devanshi Bisht says:

    Great Article 💜💫

  21. Samiya Parvez says:

    Very apt article…well done Isha ❤

  22. Devanshi Bisht says:

    What a article!!!✨💜

  23. Rahana says:

    Wonderful article

  24. Aayushi mishra says:

    I really love how kpop idols are breaking stereotypes and are inspiration to so many people!!

  25. Gangavathi S says:

    I agree with the article bcz d society needs to change the perspective on how a gender needs to b potrayed and the hallyu wave is helping break the stereotype and trying to empower and embrace yourself for what you are. The article is very well written.

  26. kpop has introduced me to so many concepts.. a lot to learn and absorb.. im glad they can freely express themselves where others can’t

  27. aqsazea12 says:

    Undoubtedly the KPOP artists have always contributed in breaking the stereotypes to make this world a more open and equal space for everyone.

  28. Sanchita Ambasta says:

    So true🫶🫶 .. very well written. I am proud that I am a K-pop fan. 🫶🫶🥺🥺

  29. Navya Sharma says:

    What an article!! 🤩

  30. Navya Sharma says:

    Amazing article🤩🤩

  31. asmapandey12 says:

    Amazing 😍

  32. nikitanayyar3820 says:

    So well written

  33. shaikhanjum999xy says:

    Amazing article ✌️

  34. Shilpa says:


  35. dasbandita288 says:

    BTS are really awesome people!Thank you for this article.

  36. Sabitri Manna says:

    Breaking stereotypes is really necessary in today’s society not inly in k-industry also in others. Well written article.

  37. Hema Srinivasan says:

    Each one of them, right from G dragon to BTS to Moonbyul, Hwasa ..Everybody stood their own way out in breaking the stereotypes that were typically set in fashion, coloursim, body shaming , makeup and what not…The article was really articulated nice ..Kudos 👍🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  38. svt says:

    🌟 “Breaking Stereotypes, Celebrating Diversity! 🙌 K-pop isn’t just about music; it’s about shattering boundaries and embracing individuality. These idols are rewriting the rules, proving that there’s no one-size-fits-all definition of beauty, fashion, or masculinity. 🎶👗💄

  39. Goldigajbhiye says:

    Beautiful article about kpop idols breaking stereotypes 👏👏

  40. DJ says:

    Well written article 💞

  41. Sruthi E P says:


  42. rynwrsi says:

    Let’s break the stereotypes

  43. This was a very needed article! Thank you for it💗

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