K-pop music is not just about the aesthetic and fashion, but the message it portrays to its listeners. Low self esteem and beauty standards are one of the many issues that K-pop music informs people about. Here are 5 K-pop songs that shed light on the problem of low self esteem and the importance of celebrating yourself:
1. GOT7’s “Just Right”
GOT7’s “Just Right” music video starts with a little girl crying in the mirror because she doesn’t fit the ideal beauty standards. GOT7 enters as mini figures that sing to her about how she is perfect the way she is. The chorus of the song translates to “just as you are right now, just stay as you are.” This song sends the message to listeners that you are perfect the way you are.
2. 2NE1’s “Ugly”
2NE1’s “Ugly” addresses the problem of never feeling pretty enough for today’s beauty standards. Through the lyrics, “Just like her I wanna be pretty, I wanna be pretty. Don’t lie to my face cause I know I’m ugly,” we see that they believe everyone is lying when they say they are pretty, which is negative thinking. Furthermore, the lyrics show that low-self esteem is a result of beauty stereotypes. The song wants to bring attention to this problem and sends the message to not listen to these stereotypes.
3. Taeyeon’s “I” feat. Verbal Jint
Taeyeon’s “I” is about finding yourself and growing up. For example, in the lyrics she sings, “But strong girl, you know you were born to fly,” sending the message that everyone can do anything they put their mind to. When you’re down, never give up.
4. Mamamoo’s “Yes I Am”
Mamamoo’s “Yes I Am”, talks about being yourself and finding your own style. It celebrates the uniqueness of people. For example, Mamamoo sings “My face is more round than V-line, I like it, It’s my own special thing” showing that everyone has different features that should be celebrated.
5. LOONA’s “Butterfly”
Loona’s “Butterfly” tells its listeners, “Fly like a butterfly”, meaning to find oneself, reach for your dreams, and you can make a difference in the world. The song talks about the “butterfly effect” where a small change can affect and contribute to society as a whole. It also uses the metaphor of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly to show growth and breaking out of one’s shell. The music video also shows a variety of people and celebrates individuality.