South Korea is seen to be quite traditional in its views towards gender, sexuality, and representation, and that is the general view across entertainment. Yet, K-Pop has sometimes provided a small challenge to those views trying to break down barriers in a way that won’t break the status quo!
Here is a look at 10 K-Pop times idols have embraced diversity by featuring drag queens in their music videos.
1. Hanse (VICTON) – “Take Over”
The most recent addition to the list of artists with drag queens in their music videos is VICTON’s Hanse. In his debut solo single “Take Over,” Hanse collaborated with Neon Milk, an LGBTQ+ Creative Collective based in Seoul. In the video, drag artists Nana, Vita Mikju, Bambi, and Serena all showcase their style and attitude. HanSe has gained praise for breaking gender boundaries and representing everyone in his music video by embracing diversity!
2. Woosung (The Rose) – “Face”
Like Hanse, Woosung from The Rose worked with drag queen Nana in his music video for the track “Face.” In the video, Woosung also ensured that everyone was represented with drag queens and dancers of all shapes and sizes. Woosung has been known to break gender stereotypes on several occasions, and this was no exception.
3. MAMAMOO – “Hip”
Since debuting, MAMAMOO has been known as true LGBTQ+ allies showcasing their love and respect. Their music video for “HIP” caught fan’s attention worldwide after including several drag queens in their music video. Nana and Bambi appeared in the video with Solar during the rockstar scene and is still one of the most iconic videos in K-Pop!
4. Brown Eyed Girls – “Wonder Woman”
When it comes to K-Pop girl groups, Brown Eyed Girls have always been different with their songs and concepts. Their music video for “Wonder Woman” was no different, and fans noticed the abundance of representation of the LGBTQ+ community throughout. Member Ga In explained that she wanted the video to capture the androgynous and subtle vibes.
5. WETTER – “Ggondae”
Although not technically classed as K-Pop, indie band WETTER embraced diversity in their 2019 track “Ggondae.” The music video starts with Kuciia Diamant, who is a Korean drag queen, and showcased the members challenging traditional societal views on gender and relationships.
6. Holland – “I’m Not Afraid”
Holland has been breaking stereotypes in K-Pop since debuting as the first openly gay K-Pop idol. With his music, he has constantly found ways to ensure there is LGBTQ+ representation in his videos, and “I’m Not Afraid” was no exception. With LGBTQ+ relationships and the presence of drag queens, it was a video that included all fans and was praised worldwide.
7. VANNER – “Form”
In 2020, K-Pop group VANNER released their explosive track “Form” that caught the attention of fans for its powerful music video. In particular, like many videos on this list, it featured Nana and was praised for giving a platform for underrepresented communities in society.
8. Girls’ Generation’s – “All Night”
Girls’ Generation has been at the forefront of K-Pop for over a decade. Since then, they have broken down misconceptions about the industry. In 2017, they used their influence to increase representation in their video for “All Night.” Drag queens Bori, Cha Sevin, and Anessa appeared in the music video, and fans couldn’t praise them enough.
9. Lee Hyori – “Miss Korea”
Although many K-Pop fans think that the more evident representation of LGBTQ+ communities only started recently, Lee Hyori made a statement back in 2013. With her track “Miss Korea,” she intended to break down the beauty standards set in Korea. With the messages in the video and the inclusion of a drag queen, it seemed like a bold statement back when K-Pop was still quite conservative.
10. Chungha – “Stay Tonight”
Like many names on this list, Chungha has made a career of breaking boundaries and showcasing strong power through her music. “Stay” was no exception as fans noticed that the music video showcased diversity with representation from the drag, voguing, and the male dancers wearing heels.