“Bloom” & the sexual metaphor

I’m super late to the party on this one, but I watched the video and I think that conceptually, it’s an astounding metaphorical masterpiece about a girl’s sexual awakening. If the apple, the gushing stripper pole, the bucolic cottage, and giant blooming technicolor flowers weren’t all indicators enough, you have some very literal masturbation in the kitchen and a sex scene thrown in there for good measure. There are no coincidences here.

There is a lot of debate surrounding this video’s overt sexiness, especially shocking in a conservative country like Korea (my sisters and I still joke about how little kissing the romantic leads do in K-dramas, preferring instead to hug intensely between bouts of melodramatic martyrdom); of course there was some backlash and slut-shaming. However, there was also a lot of support for the music video. Some have called it a feminist manifesto, and said it was a huge step towards providing other K-Pop princesses such as HyunA with an alternative to the pandering slutty-for-him image. Without venturing too far into that debate and passing judgement on the sexuality of other female K-Pop stars, I do feel that this video is far less about selling sex than celebrating it. Ga-In’s character is clearly a woman who is enjoying herself (only some pun intended) and the sex is not gratuitous – it’s telling the story of a happy woman unapologetically and ecstatically in love, and not that weird, sexless, martyring, up-on-a-pedestal kind that is so often glorified by Koreans, and that in itself is pretty darn refreshing, in ANY culture. I really commend the director (who just so happens to be a woman, kudos to her).

All the cultural analysis aside, this video is hitting a visual 10 for me. The song is really catchy, Ga-In’s makeup and wardrobe are fantastic, the CG is crisp, and the choreography is tops (how can you not love her troupe of butterfly back up dancers?). Hit play and enjoy.



One thought on ““Bloom” & the sexual metaphor

  1. Thanks for the insightful commentary. As a person with some direct experience with Korean culture, I found the video to be fairly shocking but enjoyable nonetheless. Subtle and sweetly done girl-power! Imagining someone so delightfully in love put a smile on my face.

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