Which K-Pop group is your favorite?
Unless you've been living without wifi, television, or any access to the world at large for the past several years, you probably have at least dabbled in the world of K-Pop by now.
K-Pop, simply put, is Korean pop music. But in reality, it's so much more than that. It's an art form, a spectacle, a phenomenon, and a multi-billion dollar industry. K-Pop groups eat, sleep, and breathe their craft, dancing more skillfully than just about any western group and releasing pop songs so catchy that you don't need to speak Korean to get the words stuck in your head. But with so many K-Pop groups out there, is it possible to say which group is the absolute best? Well, we'll leave that up to you. Vote below for your favorite K-Pop group!
EXO is made up of nine members: Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. SM Entertainment formed EXO in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music is a mix of hip-hop, rap, EDM, and R&B, and they release music in Korean, Mandarin, and Japanese.
This incredible South Korean girl group was formed by YG Entertainment, debuting in 2016 with single album Square One, which included "Whistle," their first number one hit. The group is comprised of Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa.
Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook form perhaps the most popular K-Pop group: Bangtan Boys AKA BTS. This 7 member group formed in Seoul in 2013, and have since gone on to help popularize K-Pop across the world.
MONSTA X is composed of seven members: Shownu, Wonho, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and I.M.
From South Korea and assembled by Starship Entertainment, the boy band was formed through the 2015 reality show No.Mercy.
This group of talented musicians was formed in South Korea by JYP Entertainment through the 2015 reality show Sixteen. The nine members of the group are Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. The group debuted on October 20, 2015, with The Story Begins.
This duo, whose name stands for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, is comprised of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. They offer a wide multicultural appeal, releasing songs in many different languages. They are known as Tohoshinki for their Japanese releases, and are sometimes referred to as DBSK, an abbreviation of their Korean name Dong Bang Shin Ki which roughly translates to "Rising Gods of the East."
Got7 is a South Korean boy band formed by JYP Entertainment, composed of JB, Mark, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, BamBam, and Yugyeom. They've been around since January 2014 when they released their first EP, Got It? They're known for their incredible stage performances which incorporate martial arts.
Members of this boy band—which debuted in 2015 with Pledis Entertainment—are Woozi, Wonwoo, Vernon, Mingyu, Jun, Hoshi, The8, Joshua, Jeonghan, Dino, S.Coups, and Seungkwan. This group is known for self-producing, as many of the members are actively involved in songwriting, choreographing, and producing their own work.
Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is a South Korean boy band formed by Big Hit Entertainment. The group consists of 5 members: Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai.
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Plus celebrities react to Nigerian protests.
Young people across Nigeria have been pouring into the streets for the last two weeks to protest police brutality, specifically the controversial special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Tension came to a head on Tuesday when armed forces fired on protestors in Lagos, the biggest city in Nigeria, who were out past the state-mandated curfew. According to AP News, "Police also fired tear gas at one point, and smoke could be seen billowing from several areas in the city's center. Two private TV stations were forced off the air at least temporarily as their offices were burned."
Not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
October 21, 2020 marks the third annual International Pronouns Day.
Created by an independent board and first observed in 2018, it's one of those small commemorative holidays that trends on Twitter in hopes of drawing attention to a pressing social issue, like International Women's Day (March 8th) or the ever so serious National Taco Day (October 4).
But Pronouns Day in particular "seeks to make respecting, sharing, and educating about personal pronouns commonplace." The organization's website further describes, "Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people's multiple, intersecting identities."
But in the words of nonbinary activist and Trevor Project's Head of Advocacy and Government Afairs, Sam Brenton, "Pronouns are hard." Never before have pronouns been scrutinized as closely as they are in 2019 for their power to (in)validate or accurately describe something as fluid as gender identity. In fact, it was only this year that the Merriam-Webster Dictionary expanded the definition of "they" "to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary" (thus codifying a long history in English language of using "they" to refer to a singular non-gendered entity).
‘Everyone has the responsibility to be respectful.’ — The @TrevorProject’s Sam Brinton is explaining why pronouns a… https://t.co/pMMO8KRvBR— NowThis (@NowThis)1571253180.0
But throwing an additional wrench in the works is the fact that not all non-binary people prefer gender-neutral pronouns.
Take me, for instance: Despite having female biology, I couldn't pass a lie detector test saying I'm a "woman." But my pragmatic, Puritan family is still endearingly confused by the idea of "liberal arts," let alone the notion of gender fluidity. And I'd rather share a communal language with them than do the emotional and mental labor of re-orienting their worldview for them. Plus, I have the privilege of passing as female without feeling too, too, terribly dysphoric (which non-binary people can definitely suffer from, despite not identifying as trans).
But enough about me, look at Queer Eye's beloved Jonathan Van Ness. While he's been outspoken about being genderqueer, gay, and HIV positive, he prefers he/him pronouns. "The older I get, the more I think that I'm nonbinary," Van Ness said. "I'm gender nonconforming. Like, some days I feel like a man, but then other days I feel like a woman." As he told Out magazine, he doesn't identify as a man, but he does prefer "he/him/his" pronouns. In his view, those pronouns don't detract from or contradict his non-binary identity, because gender is not about simple binaries between masculine and feminine identifiers. "Any opportunity I have to break down stereotypes of the binary, I am down for it, I'm here for it," he said. "I think that a lot of times gender is used to separate and divide. It's this social construct that I don't really feel like I fit into the way I used to."
On the other hand, last month non-binary singer Sam Smith announced that their preferred pronouns are "they/them." Smith posted to Instagram, "I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out." People like Smith and Trevor Project's Sam Brenton simply feel more validated, seen, heard, and true to themselves with gender-neutral pronouns. Smith wrote, "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!"
Most importantly, as pretty much every non-binary person and activist is aware, changing cultural norms is hard. While LGBTQ+ activism is inspired and passionate and dedicated to expanding human rights to all gender identities, we all know that changing society's entire understanding of gender and pronoun usage is about slowly opening minds. As Smith wrote, "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you." Happy Pronouns Day to you/him/her/they/(f)aer/zim.