CL has done a lot of things right in her quest to conquer America, and she’s on the right path to carving out a niche for herself here if she wants it. However, as she goes about her mission, the views on Asians she pushes towards the Western audience don’t seem to be a strength, as she consistently shows her ass by putting Asians down to prop herself up by comparison, while simultaneous saying she’s doing so much for Asian women in Asia and America. It’s an odd personality split to witness, and she probably doesn’t mean any harm, but it still comes off not much different than people like Keith Ape trying to sell out Korea to seem cooler in America.
The latest example comes from a Paper Magazine interview.
I think a lot of the young kids right now are looking for something new,and they want to look different. Especially girls, and this is why I’m trying to come out here — to set an example of an Asian girl. A lot of Asian girls love being basic because it’s safe. But the thing is, a lot of my fans are those girls, and they want to be bolder, but there’s no one they could look up to and be like, It’s OK to be that way. There’s no one out here who will do that, and I feel like I have done enough for Asia and changed a lot of girls. Even if it’s a phone case, they try. Girls in Asia are very obedient, shy, timid, quiet, but I can tell that it’s changing, and I want them to be stronger and tell them that it’s OK to be different. Being special is a luxury, and I don’t think we have that. Yet.
“I feel like I have done enough for Asia and changed a lot of girls. Even if it’s a phone case, they try.”
“Girls in Asia are very obedient, shy, timid, quiet, but I can tell that it’s changing, and I want them to be stronger and tell them that it’s OK to be different.”
There’s already been a bunch of backlash internationally and in Korea, but even from my less offended and less emotional viewpoint, what in the fuck is she talking about? I don’t understand this persona she’s trying to push, just from a logical perspective.
Yes, CL is undoubtedly a star, and I’m sure she has influenced many of her fans, but changed what for women in Asia exactly? Done enough in Asia? Fashion? Politics? Society? Where? I can’t name a damn thing she’s done besides execute a put-on pop music concept, and now she’s acting like she’s been the Korean Rosie The Riveter or some shit, like she’s been going around empowering women diplomatically and stumping for causes that matter. It’s such a shameless narrative to try and sell to dumbass Americans in order to take advantage of their existing views of Asia, especially when a large part of the reason CL couldn’t influence Asia even if that’s what she wanted is that she’s the product of a conglomerate who still has their bottom line to worry about.
But the other quote is actually what most people picked up on, and as a standalone it’s sorta bullshit to play to the stereotypes Americans have of Asian women while also trying to proclaim that you’re trying to elevate Asian women. But besides the blatantly obvious dipshittery in the phrasing of CL’s answer, the argument from stans is that she’s just talking about fashion … but that’s also pretty damn stupid.
CL talks like she’s a fashion revolutionary or something, apparently based off her ability to ape everything from America, as if that makes her powerful. It’s odd, especially when Westerners have tried to ape the styles of Asian women (hi Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne) for a while now, which would classify as anything but safe and basic, right? So if we’re talking extremes, I’d say Asia is just as or more adventurous. And if we’re talking day-to-day anecdotal experiences like she might be referring to, I don’t really see American women wearing crazy creative shit either. I’d argue the opposite, actually, in that women in America tend to go around with tank tops and sweatpants a lot (nothing wrong with it, mind you), and women in East Asia (I’ve only been there) tend to put far more thought into fashion on a day-to-day basis (whether that’s for the right reasons or not is up for debate, but I digress). And that still excludes basically the REST OF ASIA.
While I understand she has to sell this bullshit narrative to dumbshit American journalists who will eat her feces for a story, CL and her fans can’t just expect people who know better to read this shit and just ignore it without saying “ha, fuck you and that bullshit”, right?
In any case, I’m sure CL meant nothing terrible by it, but when she pushes this shit over and over and makes it like “oh man Asian women have nobody besides me”, and then turns around to the Western press and reinforces Asian stereotypes that primarily hurt Asian women, it’s like … what the fuck are you doing? This won’t affect her career or anything cause nobody cares, but I don’t get her shtick at the moment. She’s trying to play both sides of the fence, and it’s looking stupid as fuck.