8 K-Pop Girl Power Anthems Pt. 6

kpop girl power anthems songs korean yeri soyou seohyun uee

Just when we thought we were out of K-pop girl power anthems, we uncover older gems and artists come out with awesome new songs. Because if there’s a theme that most women should get behind, it’s empowerment, especially in this day in age, amirite? So for this sixth installment, we talk about tracks dealing with accepting and loving oneself and friendship with other women.

1. Yoon Mirae “Black Happiness”

Well beyond the boundaries of K-pop or Korean rap, Yoon Mirae’s “Black Happiness” is a testament to the racism and overall prejudice that pervades in society and still finding a way to love oneself in spite of it. Tasha tells the story of being looked down upon for being a mixed race child growing up and hating the color of her skin because of the malicious things people around her said. But instead of making it into a diss track, she rises above the hate and sings about music teaching her how to truly love herself. With “Black Happiness,” Yoon Mirae reconciles with everything she went through and all the self-hate notions she had to unlearn as she grew up. Because in order to be a kickass woman, you first have to be happy with yourself. And no one is more kickass than Yoon Mirae.

 Also on KultScene: f(x)’s “4 Walls” Album Review

2. Taeyeon “I”

With everything from the media to overall advertising telling us otherwise, one of the greatest achievements a woman can gain in her lifetime is loving herself. Just imagine the billions of dollars the beauty industry makes every day selling us the idea that we’re not enough; liking ourselves is truly a rebellious act. A song that acknowledges the struggle, but still proclaims high self esteem is Taeyeon’s recent solo “I.” But the SNSD leader doesn’t just uplift herself, but encourages other girls to do the same and believe in themselves, “you know you were born to fly.”

3. After School “Miss Futuristic”

The next step after loving ourselves is being confident. Many K-pop girl groups with sexy concepts have at least one song promoting self empowerment, and one of After School’s is “Miss Futuristic.” This song centers around being strong, soldiering on through any adversity, and never giving up. The “Miss Futuristic” character is a millenial woman — a superhero– who believes in herself and is capable of doing anything herself.

4. Red Velvet “Lady’s Room”

Girl power is not a step-by-step program, but it’s difficult to develop true friendships with other women if you don’t, at the very least, like yourself. So once that’s in the bag, girls are better able to form healthy, long-lasting relationships with other girls. Friendship entails many, many things like loyalty and respect, but let’s focus on the fun of it for a bit, like Red Velvet do with “Lady’s Room.” Going to the restroom — the ladies’ room — with your squad indeed is a thing most women do. Yes, a lot of us use this time to gossip or talk in private or help each other out freshen up our makeup and hair, making it a quintessential ritual with your girl friends. In “Lady’s Room,” the girls sing about sharing everything with your best friends, and more specifically, sharing the excitement over a boy. Because no one is going to be equally as excited as you for your boy related experiences as your best friends.

5. Wonder Girls “Girls Girls”

In the true spirit of friendship, an awesome girl encourages and promotes other girls to be just as awesome. Such is the case of Wonder Girls’s “Girls Girls,” where the opening monologue says, “this song is for the girls all around the world/girls I know what you got deep inside/and I just want to say something/so listen,” before telling us to follow our hearts, be and believe we are the best we can, and validate our feelings.

6. Girls’ Generation “Dancing Queen”

And now to push the boundaries of friendship and admiration between women, what about when there’s a girl who’s not your friend but she’s just so flawless you can’t help but admire and/or develop a girl crush? That’s what Girls’ Generation do in “Dancing Queen.” Society love pinning women against women, put us in a never ending feud over attention, so when women rise above this and can develop admiration for women who are not their friends, it’s yet another battle won. In “Dancing Queen,” the girls sing about this girl who’s the queen of the dance floor and therefore makes their heart race. Girls’ Generation genuinely compliment this girl — nice figure, flashy gestures, breathtaking sexiness — without ever throwing shade or putting themselves down next to her. On the contrary. This girl is their hero and inspires them to be better.

 Also on KultScene: Kris Leone Talks To KultScene About Being A Young Korean Singer-Songwriter

7. Sistar “Girls Do It”

Not everything concerning women and their friendships is super deep. Sometimes all we really need is a good time and letting loose with our friends, just as Sistar sings in “Girls Do It.” But in the spirit of friendship, nothing says loyalty like brushing off a guy at a club just because you came to have fun with your girls and intend to do so.

8. 2NE1 “Let’s Go Party”

Another party song about going out to the club with your friends is 2NE1’s “Let’s Go Party.” However, unlike Sistar, 2NE1 puts their friendships to work by being each other’s wing women and having their backs while they’re hunting for men and a good time. It’s also about not worrying about a thing and just dance and have a good time. So essentially, to treat yourself to good things, and if that includes a guy, well, hey, that’s valid.

What’s your favorite K-pop girl power song? Share your picks and thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

[Renders: GAJMEditions, MiHVVN, Michelledae, Sellscarol]

8 K-Pop Girl Power Anthems Pt. 5

kpop girl power empowerement women anthems songs playlist

Even if rare, K-pop songs that embodygirl power do exist, as we’ve noted in our four past versions of this list. And if this latest version of anthems is indicative of anything is that more and more women empowerment songs are coming out nowadays.Which is great! Because how many more silly songs about being head-over-heels for a guy and then completely devastated over a breakup do we really need? We do, however, need more songs that make women feel badass and capable, like the songs on this list.

1. Lee Hyori “Miss Korea”

In most of our K-pop girl power anthems installments, the queen Lee Hyori makes an appearance because women empowerment is one of the many things she embodies. And this time it’s time to talk about “Miss Korea.” Sure, beauty pageants don’t necessarily represent the most positive messages to girls, but Lee Hyori isn’t talking about competing with other girls over looks and “talents.” Oh no, the singer calls herself and anyone who is confident in herself “Miss Korea.”

Her opening line, “Hey pretty lady in that glass mirror, is something wrong?” is a bold and powerful statement, given that many girls don’t necessarily see themselves in a good light when it comes to their looks. “Miss Korea” builds up confidence in one’s looks, because even if it’s superficial, everyone has the right to feel pretty and desired and like they’re “the best girl in the world.” This song isn’t about her being the prettiest, it’s about everyone being “Miss Korea.”

2. 4Minute “Crazy”

Another song celebrating the self is 4Minute’s “Crazy.” In the song, they own and reclaim the negative term “crazy” and use it in their favor. People call you crazy? That’s fine because they think so too and they don’t think it’s something bad. To them, “crazy” equals being fun and having fun. By reclaiming the term that is often attributed to women when they display any kind of raw emotion, they’re really saying that your feelings are valid and being oneself is the only way to be. “Find your hidden self in the world before you tonight,” they sing, meaning that knowing and liking you who are is key.

 Also on KultScene: Girls’ Generation’s “Lion Heart” & “You Think” Song Review

3. Amber “Beautiful”

Being a woman is a burden. We’re expected to act, dress, talk, and just overall be a certain way that society dictated a long time ago. And even with all the social changes and technological advances we’ve experienced over the years, some women are still being looked down upon for being “different.” No one encapsulates this feeling better than Amber with “Beautiful.” In the song, she talks about feeling trapped and words cutting deep into her heart, and yet, enduring it all. Because being a woman also means being strong. Despite the hate, Amber talks about rising above it all and continuing on, and there’s no more powerful message that a woman can emit than “I am happy to be myself.” Beauty standards, misogyny, racism and everything else can be against you, but if you’re comfortable with yourself, you have one less important battle to fight.

4. KARA “So Good”

There’s something very problematic about raising girls telling them they need to be “good girls.” But what does a “good girl” even mean? Is there a concept? A consensus? Probably not. So if a confident woman with agency attributes her own definition and owns it, it works out fine. Case point KARA with “So Good.” People talk about them because they’re confident in themselves and their looks. And it’s not that they’re cocky when they say they have “the most charm” or are the perfect girl with no imperfections and flaws. It means that, in a world where every magazine, movie, TV show or whatever makes you feel ugly, you laugh it off because you know you’re fabulous just the way you are and don’t have time for the haters.

5. Wonder Girls “Stop!”

Knowing one’s self comes with also knowing one’s worth and being confident, especially when it comes with dealing with the opposite sex or the same, depending on your preferences. Like 4Minute, people call Wonder Girls “crazy” for pushing away what they perceive as a “good guy” in their song “Stop!” “Stop!” is the song most leading ladies in romantic comedies should be singing because no one understands where this “love” came from all of a sudden. The girls don’t believe the guy truly loves them because they haven’t even know each other that long, and because of that, they’re telling him to swerve. But like every other entitled guy, he’s a pest and doesn’t respect their decision so Wonder Girls are left to tell him to just stop. Stop loving them, following them, having interest in them, and thinking about them because they don’t like it.

For some, being able to tell someone to piss off is second nature. But for a lot of women, this comes difficult to them, especially if the other person isn’t complying. So having agency and the confidence of saying all this is applaudable.

6. EXID “With Out U”

While on the topic of boys as significant others, more often than not, girls are the ones who get the short end of the stick. So if you need an f you song that’s unapologetic and shows a break up is not the end of the world, EXID’s “With Out U” is a good option. Because if you feel cheated (which is very valid, whichever the case!), you’re certainly entitled to let your dissatisfaction known. And what’s more satisfying than telling that boy you’re freaking good without him and moving on easily?

 Also on KultScene: 4 Female K-Pop Idols With Unique Beauty


7. Michelle Lee “Without You”

Few songs in K-pop embody intersectionality, which studies intersections of oppression, as Michelle Lee’s “Without You.” For this song, Michelle put out her life’s struggles for everyone to see. If you listen to this song and think it’s about a significant other, listen again. Michelle actually sings about growing up as a black Korean and being discriminated for it and acknowledges the pain it all caused her. However, she declares boldly “I’m beautiful without you/ I’m meaningful without you/ I’m still beautiful even if I wasn’t loved by you.” Having an ethnic background different than the norm of the country we reside while being a woman only adds to the grievances of our life experiences. So “Without You” represents those struggles for Michelle, while telling society to go f themselves because she’s much more than what they reduced her to. She knows she’s different, but still beautiful, inside and out, and she fully understands that now.

8. Kisum “#WhiteStyle feat. Kim Ho Yeon”

Unlike boys, girls aren’t born with automatic privileges. In some ways, being a woman can be a disability in some eyes (cough, cough, medical industry), so of course women need to be heavily encouraged. Telling girls they’re beautiful, capable, intelligent, strong is not feeding their ego, it’s reinforcing notions that we all need to strive in life, especially since society tell them everything but a lot of the times. And that’s what Kisum’s “#WhiteStyle” does. Even if the song is a CF for tampons and tells girls to be confident during their periods and wear white clothing, if we take the tampon context out of the equation, it’s still a pretty encouraging song. Girls need to be told from a young age and throughout adolescence that they’re stars and to have confidence always. “#WhiteStyle” is basically Kisum being a cheerleader for us all, and hey, some of us do need encouraging words and support.

Is there any other K-pop girl power anthem you like? Share your picks in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

[Renders: hihyenmi, KseniaKang, VipArmy,  KimYiSeol]

8 K-Pop Girl Power Anthems Pt. 4

girl power kpop anthems feminist

Most K-pop songs are about love, despair, or encouraging jams for youth who might be going through difficult times, and they don’t always have the best messages for women. However, once in a while, a girl group or soloist releases a song celebrating being a woman and representing girl power at its best. We’ve had three previous installments of girl power anthems, and here are eight more songs for you.

1. Mamamoo “My Heart”

For member Hwasa’s solo, Mamamoo released a song all about being a woman going against the current and owning it. Hwasa sings about being what society deems a “bad girl” and “rebellious.” She drinks, wears fish nets, work hard just to spend her money at the nail salon, is cocky, etc. “My Heart” is all about being real and owning it, even if people think you’re a bad person. Because being young is all about experiencing life to the fullest.

2. Lee Hyori “Love Radar (feat. Beenzino)”

It’s really hard to write romantic songs that aren’t all about losing yourself for a man in the name of love. However, Lee Hyori has that down with “Love Radar.” There’s nothing wrong about being crazy in love with a partner, as long as you never lose track of what you want, also have your needs met, and owning your sexuality.

Also on KultScene: MBLAQ ‘Mirror’ Music Video & Song Review

3. Girls’ Generation “Catch Me If You Can”

With age, one becomes wiser, even with love, and that’s what Girls’ Generation are showing with “Catch Me If You Can.” It’s basically saying that this woman has matured and isn’t a little girl anymore. It also advises the guy to keep up and accept her for what she is if she wants to be with her, hence the title. With the line, “I’m going to find my heart,” the song makes a strong statement that even if you’re in a relationship, when it comes down to it, you first have to know yourself in order to be with someone else. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first.

4. Neon Bunny “Oh My Prince”

But not all boys are nice and accepting, and instead of sulking, Neon Bunny calls this prince out for all his bs. “Oh My Prince” asks all the important questions to this self-absorbed guy, like which star did you come from? Or, if you’re that perfect, why are you still single? It’s the biggest f-u to all those guys out there that get too carried away by the status quo and judge romantic interests accordingly.

5. EXID “Ah Yeah”

People come in all shapes and forms, so if there are sweet, understanding guys, there are also the pests who just don’t want to get it when you say “no” to them. A lot of girls are shy and don’t always say what’s on their minds, even when it comes to something that bothers them. EXID’s “Ah Yeah” is sung by a confident woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to tell you to step off.

6. D-Unit “Stay Alive”

It seems that women empowerment anthems in Korean are more popular in rap than in pop. And yet, a lot of them rely on putting other women up in order to stand out themselves. However, D-Unit’s “Stay Alive” doesn’t need to diss other women in order to boast about themselves. On the contrary, it promotes all girls at the chorus, making it a truly positive song.

7. Gilme “My Turn”

Gilme’s “My Turn” does diss people in order to set herself apart from the rest, but at least her diss is directed at everyone, “ladies, fellas, balla.” But the song is not only a self empowerment jam, it also declares that she’s in charge of her life and her destiny.

Also on KultScene: Epik High Lights It Up in Los Angeles

8. Ivy “You Are the Ace”

Whenever you’re down in life and needing a good pick-me-up, this song by Ivy reminds you to always feel yourself and forget the criticism. “You Are the Ace” is a comforting song that says we should all be who we truly are without any hesitation.

What’s your favorite K-pop girl power song? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

[Renders: Pngs-Celebrities, teo-xinhdep, GAJMEditions, HistoireDeKpop]

Read more