More on the BBMAs – Final Thoughts (on Jungkook’s abs)

This ends my series of BBMAs 2018 thoughts on BTS’s presence and performance which started here, here and here. Oh yes, and a bit here, too.

This post will focus on Jungkook’s famous abs-flash. And no, it’s not going to be THAT kind of a post. Sorry. 🙂 I want to discuss something, not actually focus-focus on his abs. In the literal sense at least.

I suppose it started with the release of BTS’s FAKE LOVE music video. But lets face it, if anyone watched the live performance at the BBMAs 2018, it was pretty evident the flash was much more compared to the video. I don’t know if it was an accident in that he didn’t mean to pull his shirt up as high or if he was taking advantage of his liberty on American soil (the little shit), but regardless, I’m pretty sure I could hear a collective POP as hundreds of thousands of fans’ heart exploded at the same time clearly across our vast universe. My daughter’s included.

See for yourself – and this is probably the best HD fancam of the performance. It’s been audio edited so the fans’ screaming is toned down in order to hear the actual song. When I watched it I thought to myself, “What a pity. They did so well and yet we didn’t get to see 1/3rd of their performance.”

To back up a bit, my first thought after seeing Jungkook flash his abs was, well… I was surprised. And a little sad. I know, I know… obviously my feelings on this topic is very unpopular. My daughter said I was crazy. And I had to explain myself.

I’m not judging. Not at all. I am human. I am a woman who appreciates nice abs and a toned body. But last September to November, when there were a lot of comeback shows happening during that time frame, and a lot of kpop groups marketing themselves and hyping up their fans as MAMA and Melon Music award shows approached (and hence, all the voting), I couldn’t help myself to notice how much bare chests and abs were being exposed. And not just a tease. I mean full out, ripping off shirts and such.

It was entertaining at first but then I just got tired of it. Granted, I’m more a less is more and leaving it to one’s imagination type of woman. I prefer seeing a guy in a really nice, tailored suit, for example. For me, that’s so much sexier than just baring themselves. Especially when it’s All. The. Time.

Wonho was stripping off his jacket on stage, along side his Monsta-X leader, Shownu. Then little maknae, Sehun from EXO showd his bare chest and abs in exchange for pizza from Yeol (or was it Bakhyun?) at one of their concerts. I realized then, I was actually relieved BTS kept themselves covered. I felt they didn’t have to do any of that to draw themselves more attention.

Their artistry, talents and skills, were in my honest opinion, enough.

But as I said, I’m not judging. I’m not at all bashing BTS for making this bold move. I know it was a big deal. How long have people been waiting for BTS’ golden maknae, Jungkook, to pull this stunt? How long have they been waiting for him to go from boy to man? I’m guessing as long as 5 years since he was just a baby when he debuted with BTS.

At the least, it was just a flash. A tease, if you will. He wasn’t taking his top off and strutting around stage. By the way, I think it’s a little gross seeing them bare chested and sweaty. I guess it’s just me but I can’t help but to think they would feel a bit sticky. LOL!

So long as Jungkook was not pressured to do it and so long as he is comfortable pulling up his shirt like he did in FAKE LOVE, over all, I’m okay. I trust BTS will remain tasteful about it. I just had to get this out even though I’m sure a lot of people are thinking I’m crazy here.

Anyway – I’ll leave you with some very nice, classy photo shoots of Jeon Jeonnguk from BBMAs 2018 (Source: Naver x Dispatch – for all Jungkook photos, click right):

 

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BTS “FAKE LOVE” Comeback Stage – What the BBMAs and AMAs should watch

I had to add this… because seeing the camera work for a proper comeback event puts my mind at ease and just relieves me. The world is right again.

I read somewhere the time spent on the crowd/fans at the BBMAs 2018. Other performers received up to 30 seconds of camera work on the audience.

BTS? Over a minute long (I want to say something like 1m 10+sec). That’s about a third of their performance. I understand it’s quite the phenomenon for the US as the fandom seems to be part of the hype. However, I also feel they are not taking BTS seriously as true artists but rather another manicured, put together, boy band.

I think the above tweet sums up my feelings on this topic. They ceased to recognize the true artistry of a kpop performance. It is not just about their looks and how the idols know how to make the fans go wild. It’s not just about the vocals, the rap and the song (though that is a big part of it). The choreography and how it all fuses together makes the performance whole.

Part of this is a personal issue for me. I am alone in the k-pop world aside from my daughter and the majority of my friends either ignore this ‘phase’ I am going through or tease and make fun of me, k-pop and k-pop idols.

So when I see the BBMA and AMA camera work, it’s an extension of the annoyances I have in my personal life. I try to let it slide but sometimes, I just can’t.

Parenting 101

Kidding. There is no ‘Parenting 101’. If parenting was written like a manual – if that were even remotely possible – it would not only be the easiest job/role to do in the world, but it would also probably lack in how rewarding the experience would be.

There’s no manual, no instructions and most advice will not work outside the ‘this is how you test if the bath temperature isn’t too hot’ – mainly, it’s about a lot of listening, thinking, communicating and using one’s gut instincts to navigate around obstacles and much growing pains (for both child and parent alike).

Personally, I also rely on my own experience. I try, really, really try (with many failed attempts along the way) to remember what it was like to be my daughter’s age. Ahh… it’s so not as easy as it sounds. Believe me I get more non-parents who think they have the answers of ‘how they would do it’ but until one becomes a parent, they do not realize many answers are not as black and white as they appear. And being an aunt/uncle does not count. Most parents I know understand this – and all they can do is nod with empathy. They may share their own story if they have a similar one to whatever problem I may be facing but it comes with the unspoken words, ‘take what you can get from my story… and good luck!’

Being a parent of a teen girl – and never having the experience of raising a teen – I’ve REALLY had to search back down memory lane to remember all the emotions I went through as a teen. What I have discovered is that being a teen is a bitch. I’ve triggered so many emotions – a roller coaster of them. Oh I am so glad being a teen is just one phase in my life. While I do have some great memories, there are many other eras of my life I’d rather live through again (all of them being past my teen years).

An area I am treading carefully with at the moment, well… is a teen’s love life. I recall how strict my parents were with me. First, I was not allowed to have a boyfriend until I was at least 18 years old.

So what did I do? I had a boyfriend at 14, 15 and 17. They didn’t know any of them because I knew they would not approve.

Then as I approached 18 and was about to prepare myself to tell them about my then boyfriend, I was told I had to wait until I was in university. Seriously?

So what did I do next? I would sneak out at 2am to meet my secret boyfriend.

My mom also told me not to have sex until I was married.

Yeah, well… that wasn’t going to take. While I was still technically a virgin, I definitely was sexually active. I lost my virginity in my early 20’s.

One thing I learned from my own experience growing up as a teen – there’s just such things a parent can not control. We can place rules, curfews and expectations (which really amount to teaching our daughter what team work involves in our household – we all pull our own weight). But to tell them not to have a boyfriend/girlfriend is like asking them to never have a crush or attraction. To tell them when they can be sexually active is like us trying to control their bodies.

My daughter’s friends have extremely strict parents. For example, one of them is not allowed to invite boys over. EVER. Even while the parents are home. So, the daughter does not invite any boys over. However, her parents probably have no idea she has had a boyfriend for most the school year. Even I know who he is (my daughter tells me everything in confidence). I mind my own business. There you have it though. I would prefer not only to know my daughter has a boyfriend – but also have him come over to our house so I can meet him and get to know him. Home advantage is an advantage for a reason.

I am not stupid – I see the stubbornness in my daughter. She comes by it honestly from both my husband and myself. She is strong-minded and she’s going to make her own decisions as she sees fit.

And so I decided to do whatever I can to keep the communication open – I figured so long as she’s aware of the risks she is taking when she decides to have a serious boyfriend, when she decides to be sexually active, etc., she will hopefully make the best decision for her. Much of it in then end involves a bit of faith. And maybe a prayer or two.

As a parent, it’s not even about worrying whether or not she will practice safer sex. My hope is for her emotions to be protected. I want her to be doing it purely for herself and I hope her first time will not be regretted in anyway. Sure I’d rather her wait – isn’t it ideal to wait until one is in love with their partner? It’s not necessary – but personally, it’s what is preferred.

But… I can’t control her future. Just like my parents could not control mine.

BTS ‘Euphoria: Theme of Love Yourself Wonder’

BTS is pretty much attacking me lately. I mean it.

First with Burn the Stage Episodes 1 – 3. For those who caught last night’s release, it was a pretty damn good, yet sometimes intense, episode. My daughter cried twice while watching it with me so for those who are emotional, be warned. I’m sure many of you have seen enough from the previews to know what I am referring to – otherwise, I do not want to post spoilers.

Secondly, Their Japanese album release, Face Yourself, gave me 2 beautiful tracks now added to my playlist – Don’t Leave Me and Let Go.

Next up, they left us on a semi-cliff hanger from RUN BTS ep 47. It was a version of the Mafia game. They ran around a replicated village (assumed it was designed for kids – it’s actually really, really cool) looking for clues of who the intruder from Blue Village is in the BTS village. We won’t find out the truth until ep 48. Argh! I was actually feeling the suspense! But I suspect a certain delivery man might be guilty. Though… I first suspected the owner of the food mart. Hmm…

Finally, I want to say… what is this? Is this a friggin’ teaser for the 2nd Love Yourself comeback album?

It seemed to come out of no where. Like, it just dropped on us. I didn’t hear any clues as to this coming our way. What the hell, BTS? Why are you not letting us rest? Why are YOU not resting? Have mercy on us… I’m exhausted just trying to keep up. 🙂

K-Pop – Recent Discoveries & Obsessions

I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – being late on the k-pop scene, there’s still so much for me to discover. And even if I’ve been a fan for awhile (I’ve now surpassed my 1 year anniversary with k-pop), the sub-culture has a huge archive! Mainly of videos – Thank you, YouTube and vLive.

K-Pop Dance Classes

First of all, as short of my relationship with k-pop has been, I did recently walk down memory lane with the start of last Friday night’s k-pop dance class. My daughter and I tried to keep up with the best of our abilities to EXO’s Growl. It was a beginner’s class but I wouldn’t rate Growl‘s choreography best suited for beginners. As usual, we focused on the chorus part only (some classes will tteach the parts leading up to the choreo – it depends on the piece we are working on; pre-chorus choreo might make sense if the steps flow into the main chorus steps).

The thing with Growl, when broken down, it’s not extremely difficult to learn but the pace is fast and there are a lot of steps falling on the ‘and’ and in between beats. I realized then MIC Drop Remix was actually much easier to follow in comparison.

Anyway, the beauty of these k-pop dance classes is I’ve been exposed to more great artists and music. One song I’ve been particularly playing from my playlist is Sunmi’s Gashina:

We didn’t get a chance to go to the Gashina dance cover class but we follow the studio’s Intagram which features which kpop choreo they will be covering the next day (also this gives me the chance to post Sunmi’s hot choreo with Taemin from MAMA 2017).

Recent Comeback Releases

I haven’t had a chance to talk about GOT7’s 2018 comeback album, Eyes On You. Two particular songs which caught my attention: One and Only You ft. Hyolyn and my favorite, The Look.

Some nice tunes from GOT7 in their latest release. Another track of theirs worth mentioning is The Reason. Overall, this album is very chill so it may depend on the listener’s mood whether to add Eyes On You tunes to one’s playlist.

Idol Survival Show

On the topic of GOT7, I’ll get right into my current obsession – Idol Producer (since one of the teachers is none other than my bias, Jackson Wang). It’s not really under k-pop but there’s associations for sure. Chizurue has given a great summary about the main players (both candidates and teachers). I just want to second her reason for loving this particular idol survival show in that the main premise of Idol Producer does not promote it by showing nor encouraging back-stabbing to gain votes and high ratings. The candidates are not there to make each other look bad in order to collect votes. This particular show seems to foster a ‘work hard and support your peers’ mentality which I think is brilliant.

The teachers and main PD, Zhang Yixing, are there to encourage the candidates and help coach them through each step. Sometimes there is a bit of tough love when they feel the candidates are not hitting their full potential but it’s done in a professional way. I sort of compare it to The Voice here in North America where the four coaches assist each singers of their team to harness their strengths rather than stomp on their weaknesses. It’s exactly why I had a difficult time watching American Idol after the first 2 or 3 seasons. If I had to listen to Simon be a dick to one more person… ugh. Lets face it – we know how team work is a must for part of the success of an idol group. Why would a survival show want to do anything but foster team work and leadership skills?

Anyway – there are 12 episodes altogether and I just caught up with the current Ep 10. They are now down to 20 candidates – the finale will show us the 9 required for this Chinese Idol group.

K-Pop Poppin’ in Public

Man. Finally. FINALLY! Unlike some international k-pop fans who have heard k-pop tunes while out and about in public, it didn’t look like it was ever going to happen for me. Up until a week ago, I just never had the chance to hear k-pop played in public. Now, it is winter up here in Canada so no one’s driving around with their windows down. If they’re playing tunes from the car speakers, I definitely can not hear what other drivers are playing. But I haven’t heard any k-pop tunes from restaurants, electronic stores, malls, etc.

Well, okay… while having lunch at a Korean restaurant they had their TV station on a Korean channel which was showcasing k-pop live performances from some recorded studio/stage. I don’t know if that really counts, though.

While working out at the gym, I happened to look up and see on the monitor where they play endless loops of music videos (the playlist is controlled by the gym) Yuri’s collaboration with DJ Raiden, Always Find You:

I had to do a double-take. This wasn’t just something that randomly came out on whatever radio station they were on. This was a planned playlist for the day which means some one who works at the gym AT LEAST knows about Yuri from Girls Generation. Come on… that’s something! My only question is why they aren’t playing BTS’ MIC Drop Remix ft. Steve Aoki yet? It would be a great song to workout to! I need to speak to some one and figure out how I can make some requests!

BTS Archive

Of course, I have to end with BTS. Honestly, just when I couldn’t think it is ever possible for me to love BTS more I find myself doing exactly that – loving them more! Their talents just keep on amazing me! So it’s been quite the treat to discover some earlier works to add to my playlists.

My current love is Let Me Know from BTS’ Dark and Wild album:

My daughter sent me this video showcasing how Jimin changes notes in various live performances. I wish I still had the video link – the collaboration of clips is a prime example of Jimin’s amazing vocals. Aside from his mad dancing skills, it’s one of the main reasons why he’s my BTS bias. I love his voice. I mean, I love all BTS’ voices but Jimin’s just wows me each and every single time. Let Me Know is a prime example of his skills.