For K-pop Stans, Style Is Liberation

Meaghan received into K-pop during her 1st semester of regulation faculty in 2017 to ease a notoriously complicated curriculum. “BTS, and K-pop in general, were being a big godsend to get by means of regulation college,” she claims. Unbeknownst to her at the time, they also radicalized her notion of herself. 

Rising up as a dancer, Meaghan turned down the ultra-glam and femininity of that lifetime. “I didn’t dress in makeup,” she states. “I was a tomboy.” But just after a “really fem-presenting” stage throughout her undergrad years, throughout which she purchased “a million palettes and foundations” simply because she imagined it was anything that she was meant to be accomplishing as a younger twentysomething, she discovered K-pop. “That was when I genuinely begun to self-actualize with my trend expression,” she claims. “I’m bisexual, and that was a big journey of discovery. My gender expression [also] relates to that. After I obtained into K-pop, I last but not least felt like I was ready to live my complete truth, the total expression of both my sexuality and my gender and [be] who I am.” 

Courtesy of Meaghan.

Hair performed a big component in that realization. Encouraged by BTS member Jimin’s quick, gray hairstyle in the “Blood Sweat & Tears” songs online video from 2016, Meaghan obtained “the huge chop” just after her to start with semester in regulation faculty. It was the most drastic haircut of her lifestyle, designed even much more transformative because it marked the to start with time she experienced ever dyed her hair. For her, it was a way to training management. “I experienced to have a say in what my lifetime is since regulation faculty was getting above in just about every other way,” she states. Despite her first panic, the conclusion final result place her thoughts at ease for the very first time in a lengthy time. “I felt very myself,” she remembers. “It felt like ‘this is how my hair must have always been. I sense full.’” 

Considering that then, Meaghan has dyed it each and every colour possible – a great deal like idols ordinarily do. With every new concept arrives its individual special palette. She’s experimented with pink, purple, blue, and now, a vibrant, almost-white shade of silver. “Exterior of the K-pop environment, this is study as quite ‘not straight’ and I totally get pleasure from that,” she suggests, pointing to her hair. No, she reconsiders, “I really like that.” 

In the K-pop globe, enjoying with gender presentation is a sort of self-expression, just one that is not tied to sexuality like it so frequently is in Western cultures. Artists flaunt their flawless skin and colourful hair. They have on coordinated outfits and activity shimmer on their eyelids and crimson tint on their lips proudly. “[I feel] clothes are genderless in K-pop, and it shows me that I can gown any way that I want to,” Kayla states. “I am not restricted. You can put on no matter what you want.”