[Year-End Special] Hyomin – Nice Body

“You know. Brave Sound.”

Hyomin’s “Nice Body” is the most original K-pop song to have ever existed. No song in the market sounds like it and the whole retro-meets-hip-hop concept is essentially uncharted territory in Korean pop music. I can’t believe no one has produced a similar song yet!

I really love how brilliant the lyrics are – you want to get some action tonight? Lose some weight and get skinny so all the men can affirm your self-worth! This song is so not sexist and propagates such a healthy and positive message on body image for women and I really enjoyed how Hyomin wore a body suit, complete with triple plus chins, just so she could show how drastically one’s life can change once one becomes a twerking skeleton. What a brave woman.

And, that, my friends is how to not write a review on “Nice Body”, aka one of the most blatant signs of sexism and body-shaming in Korea, all wrapped in tight BB productional touches. So, yes, just kidding, “Nice Body” is standard BB fare. The song itself is pretty catchy and I actually think it is one of BB’s better ones out there. The production is clean as usual and the breeziness of the song can be felt throughout, from the instrumentation to Hyomin’s delivery of the vocals. By no means is any of this impressive though and what hurts the overall release even more is how unhealthy the message of the song is and how problematic the entire premise of the video is.

Pop music truly is a reflection on contemporary culture of its country of origin and “Nice Body” is a pretty disheartening mirror held to Korean’s obsession with beauty and impossible body standards. At the same time, the patriarchal powers in place to reinforce this obsession is also evident in this song as the entire reason why the speaker of this song is trying to lose weight is to get the attention of men, as if the marker of success can only come from being the object of the man’s gaze.

Report Card

Concept: D

This is a destructive and unhealthy message that this song is sending to girls. Firstly, why are you promoting a painful (like the lyrics straight up talk about it being a painful process) lifestyle to obtain a body that is unrealistic and unobtainable for most girls? Secondly, why must this body acquired in order for girls to feel happy? Thirdly, why does this song stress that having a nice body will bring all the boys to the yard and bringing all the boys to the yard means you’re doing something right as a woman? Why do women need to be affirmed by men? The answer flatly is that they don’t. The entire premise of the release is problematic and for pop to be a platform that caters to such a huge audience, the presence of such a song in pop is troublesome and harmful to its listeners. “Nice Body” would have gotten a D- but I bumped it up because of the “twerking underneath a tape measurer” dance.

Cohesion: C-

It’s all about weight loss and being fabulous. The video is thus colorful and provocative accordingly. Nothing special, nothing body positive.

Execution: C-

The BB-production gloss saves this song for sure and Loco’s addition sorta gives the song the edge but Hyomin. Girl. Your vocals are whiny and nasally at times and Brave Brothers knows it so he gave you a song that doesn’t take much effort in singing. Really, props to BB as the production truly made the sexism and body shaming fun to listen to and bob your head to.

Final Grade: C-


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