CL, known as the leader of K-pop group 2NE1, is getting a lot of attention for pursuing a musical solo career in the American music industry. Such an endeavor is unique because no Korean-based musical act has succeeded in a career in said market before. True, some K-pop groups have succeeded in performing an English language hit that garnered attention (Wonder Girls with “Nobody” and Girls’ Generation with “The Boys”), but none have been able to continue from it. CL is different because she is earning her fan base from the ground up with the help of Diplo. As a matter of fact, her song “Doctor Pepper” has already garnered over 2.5 million views.
Now it seems CL is about to get more attention due to some controversial comments she made in a fashion interview with Paper. Apparently, there are Koreans (as well as Asians in general) who are upset with what CL had to say about Asian women.
The fashion interview featuring CL and Jeremy Scott was printed for the September issue of Paper. During it, CL was asked if Korea is a major force in luxury (fashion). Her answer however segued into her overall view of Asian women.
“I think a lot of the young kids right now are looking for something new, and they want to look different. Especially girls, and this is why I’m trying to come out here — to set an example of an Asian girl. A lot of Asian girls love being basic because it’s safe. But the thing is, a lot of my fans are those girls, and they want to be bolder, but there’s no one they could look up to and be like, It’s OK to be that way. There’s no one out here who will do that, and I feel like I have done enough for Asia and changed a lot of girls. Even if it’s a phone case, they try. Girls in Asia are very obedient, shy, timid, quiet, but I can tell that it’s changing, and I want them to be stronger and tell them that it’s OK to be different. Being special is a luxury, and I don’t think we have that. Yet.”
As the interview was translated and shared across numerous Korean news outlets, CL quickly came under fire for her comment on Asian girls. Apparently, many were upset that CL made herself to be the spokesperson or icon for her and younger generations of Asian women, as reported by KpopStarz. Many even condemned her for enforcing a stereotype of Asian women being quiet and obedient, one that was made from western interpretation. Finally, there were a few who were so aggressive, they banished CL from her home country of Korea, telling her to just remain in America.
In conclusion, it is true that western views of how Asians, especially their women, are quite skewed. Most of the view is actually made from Asian entertainment, especially of the Japanese kind. However in CL’s defense, it is also quite possible there is a translation issue between the original English interview to the Korean reports.
[Image via Paper]