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Are there sexual undertones in T-ara’s ‘Bo Peep’?

December 14, 2009

The strange juxtaposition of cute and sexy that Kpop loves so much has really reached a whole new level in T-ara’s “Bo Peep Bo Peep.”

I actually found myself listening to the song for the first time after 2PM’s Junsu’s voice accidentally appeared in T-ara’s December 12th Music Core performance. Even the title of this song screams “cutesy” and I honestly try to avoid that kind of music for two reasons:

  1. Because it annoys the heck out of me.
  2. Because I invariably get it caught in my head and have to listen to it forever more until I actually love it.

SO. I heard it and both things happened (OF COURSE!). But watching the performance led me to watch the two videos for the song.

The first one I saw was the 19+ version. My first reaction to the entirety of the video was: BOY does Korea overreact to sexual themes. In the US, this video might be considered PG-13. That isn’t to say that I think all thirteen-year-olds should be flooded with images of sex; AU CONTRAIRE! My younger sister just turned thirteen and I wouldn’t want her to watch this. Why inundate yourself with the sexual imagery at such an age? Stay youthful as long as you can (seriously folks! I’m 22 and I still try). HOWEVER, 19? For real? All I saw was some “steamy” making out and implied sex. Whatever…

After that, I started wondering why on earth they would even decide to make such a video for a song that is cute beyond reason. Sure, the lyrics aren’t about fluff and rainbows, but for real? Usually when girl groups do “adorable” it is understood that it will be subliminally (or not!) sexy. Why make a video with such a sexy theme? Most people have been agreeing that the two things don’t fit together well. PLUS, what the heck does “Bo Peep” have to do with this song? As far as a I remember, Bo Peep is just a girl from a nursery rhyme who couldn’t keep track of her sheep.

But the word on the street is that the rapid-fire “Bo Peep Bo Peep Bo Peep (etc.)” lyrics are meant to work in manner that’s reminiscent of Britney Spears’ “If You Seek Amy.” You don’t hear it right away, but maybe by the second set of “Bo Peep” you can start imagining it. I’m not saying this is what’s going on; I actually doubt it. It’s like saying that DBSK’s “Mirotic” was a song about menstrual blood and sperm–it’s just hearsay, and pretty convoluted hearsay at that. I’m just pointing out the fact that there is a lot of talk about what this and that mean. To me, “Bo Peep” is just another song in the bunch that’s meant for entertainment and if speculation comes along with it, all the better for the group’s popularity.

The “clean” “Bo Peep” video is okay. It’s totally cute, like you’d expect. I personally think it would have been way more interesting to mix T-ara’s videos but cut out any kind of story line. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, Kpop loves to set innocent against sexy, especially when it comes to girl groups. Why not put the fluffy tails with the colorful dress?

Ah, but no matter what, I applaud T-ara and their company for creating a song that will be put on repeat while alternately generating talk on it’s real meaning and intent. FUN! Don’t you love this kind of thing? (Bo Peep Bo Peep~)

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Plo permalink
    December 14, 2009 12:51 pm

    I discovered this blog through a babel pop post. I have to say: this is an intelligently written blog that stands out in the face of the kpop media flood written by teenagers.

    Props.

  2. December 14, 2009 1:58 pm

    Thank you! I try to keep a wacky balance over here. I do have my rabid-fangirl days, but sometimes it’s way more fun to look into the whys and hows of what goes on in the industry.

  3. December 14, 2009 4:36 pm

    I think the 18+ vid (Don’t understand why it has to be rated that high) would be sexy without the bunny tails on them and the girl who was kissing that guy. Spoilt the whole concept, that’s why Like The First Time is a better song.

  4. February 6, 2010 12:41 am

    2 things
    1) 19+ means 19 korean age. Since you are 1 when you are born, and 2 on new yrs, this would be 17-18 international age.
    2) They do have tails and even cuter furry paw gloves in their live performances…
    Oh it does sound like “f*** me” and the way they bounce their buts adds to me thinking this. But I dont think so because Korea is pretty conservative. I mean Baby VOX were called prostitutes for “xcstasy” which is soooo mild!!! by US standards

  5. ralston permalink
    July 4, 2010 1:49 am

    i know i am late to the party but i like the dance version video of the song more .

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