Noteworthy

Seoulbeats Examines New Brown Eyed Girls MV

Cleansing Cream: The Innocent Girl and The Mature Woman

Subi of Seoulbeats has a fascinating essay that explains the metaphorical significance of the latest MV from the Brown Eyed Girls, looking at issues of masks and womanhood in an intriguing fashion. I love this reading of the video, it helps to unlock the story and find the deeper meaning that BEG were reaching for. I encourage you to just read it, it’s cogent, comprehensive, and takes into account the different levels of story – as an allegory of struggling womanhood as well as a narrative of sisters in conflict – in a satisfying manner.

I’m new to Brown Eyed Girls, having just fallen hard for them with “Sixth Sense”. This song and video are worthy follow-ups, though definitely quite different in the emotions it provoked. I found myself feeling a great deal of sympathy for the pain all three of the characters in the MV suffered – the husband beating on the bathroom door showed his own sense of impotence in the face of a situation he can’t help but be immersed in. It also helps to explain the shots of BEG with heavy make-up, adding thematic depth instead of baffling silliness.

And it also makes me better appreciate the risks Brown Eyed Girls take with their work, most likely due to their relative maturity compared to other idol acts. Certainly, it’s difficult to imagine this perspective on womanhood – never mind a narrative this sophisticated – coming from the likes of SNSD or S/mileage. (After School comes close with “Shampoo”, but they’ve got Jungah and Kahi.) With the hallyu and wider idol markets expanding with more and more groups, it takes a good deal to stand out from the crowd beyond cheap gimmicks. Brown Eyed Girls manage to not only stand out, but carve a distinct identity that few other groups come close to.