Friday, December 5, 2008

Wondering on Wonder Girls

Ever since Yubin introduced my friends and I to the Wonder Girls (one of the latest pop sensations to achieve fame in Korea), I've been quite enamoured with their hit single "Nobody." I ran the official music video in my entry from November the 20th. Reluctant to run the same video twice, I found a live performance of the song to present when I brought it up again on the 2nd of December.

While I was watching the aforementioned live performance, I noticed that I had a really difficult time telling the group members apart. I ran this observation past my girlfriend Evey, herself born and raised in Korea, who offered up the notion that they might have gotten plastic surgery. In Korea, plastic surgery is ubiquitous - leaving many young women sporting the same lips and the same nose, much in the same way that you or I might sport the same pair of jeans. Package deals are common, such as getting your eyefolds split and having a nose job thrown in as a bonus, as if they were buying makeup and not a new face.

(As a sidenote, I later asked Yubin if she thought that the Wonder Girls had gotten plastic surgery, and she was unconvinced, thinking that the group members are too young. Indeed they are younger than I am!)

The next day, Evey found time to watch the live performance that I had been talking about previously. She mentioned that the dancing seemed less synchronized and the singing less impressive than in the first video that I had posted. We agreed that this was likely because it was a live performance - I have been similarly disappointed by a wide array of artists when they performed live at MuchMusic or some such thing (from the comfort of my television, of course). Then she mentioned that she had been watching their faces extra carefully because of our discussion about plastic surgery the night before. She couldn't tell them apart either, so she went a step further and looked them up on their official Korean website. Lo and behold, there were five separate pictures (featured above), which looked like they could have been taken of the same woman in five different poses. In fact, these were the five group members of Wonder Girls. She commented that this almost seemed like an exercise in absolute conformism - making themselves look particularly indistinguishable by having the same clothing and same hair style. While many Korean groups dress up alike, she explained, usually they have different hair at the very least. It certain does make you wonder...

But I have to admit, I was quickly distracted from the similarity of all the group members and towards the neck region. Almost every band member had their head tossed carefully to the side so as to demonstrate an extremely prominent sternocleidomastoid (a muscle of the neck that flexes as you turn your head to the side). Having been practicing to measure the JVP (jugular venous pressure) under just this muscle, it stuck out at me like a sore thumb. Is it merely a coincidence that JYP (Jinyoung Park, the talent agency under which the Wonder Girls are signed) is so similar to JVP? The world is a stranger place than we shall ever know.


Teddy said...

For a while, "Nobody" was stuck in my head to. The members sure all look alike in the music video. But when I googled them up and found some pictures with better lighting and less make-up, it's easier to tell them apart:

Who's your favorite?

Teddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yubin said...

haha I can very well tell them apart!
They all have the same makeup and outfit..
but if you look at their earlier hit singles, they dress differently and have different makeup.

and by the way... who's teddy?

yubin said...

ooh and next time
i will sing a different song
and i shall introduce you to
a new k-pop group!

a_ndy said...

Wow, yeah, that is really embarrassing! I would be so flustered if that happened to me. I guess you were too, since you deleted your story before too many people could see it.

I looked at the other pictures. I wish they would label who is who in each one, because even though I spent like an hour staring at them, I still couldn't tell who was who!

I think probably, the prettiest is Yoo Bin; and judging by what I was browsing, this is a relatively common opinion. She an So Hee are the only ones I can identify in almost every picture (So Hee, unfortunately, is the least attractive one).

Still, Yoo Bin has kind of unusual features. I kind of thought Sun Mi was the prettiest in some of the pictures... but since I couldn't tell which one was her in the rest of them, I can't say for sure. Oy...

yubin said...

you won't believe it but
so hee is the most popular one in the group.
She came out in a movie and many game shows.
I didn't think she was the prettiest one too but she is the most popular among the Korean male population.
and i read teddy's comment before he deleted hehe