NewJeans ‘cookie’ hit by allegations of sexualizing teenage members
K-pop girl group NewJeans (Ador)
“The cookies I made. It’s so sweet (what?) I can’t stop thinking about you (ayy)”; “If you want it, you can get it”; “(Keep going) to look at my cookie. The flavor is different (taste it), one bite is not enough (uh)”; “Take it, don’t break it, I want to see you taste it.”
Here are some lines from girl group NewJeans’ debut single “Cookie,” which the group’s agency Ador says is a fan song “made with a sincerity like baking a cookie.”
Reading the lines, he seems to be singing more than trying to win his crush’s heart with a tasty cookie in his mouth. The simple words are repeated throughout the song, seducing a “boy” with the cookie, coaxing him to devour the sweetness.
Such a suggestive metaphor involving cookies and love might not sound so special, but being delivered by underage girls changes the whole context, according to voices who criticized the song for its age. The NewJeans are all teenagers, with the eldest, Minji, being 18 and the youngest, Hyein, 14.
After the quintet released the song and its music video on August 1, a preview of their self-titled debut album “New Jeans,” the song immediately sparked controversy, especially among overseas fans on online communities. , for its provocative and sexually provocative references. objectification of underage bandmates singing the words.
A comment from “Lana” under the music video read, “Music is awesome. These lyrics, however, are completely unacceptable no matter how anyone tries to spin it,” while another from “Lore SF” read, “It would have been such a cool concept if they were grown women. Let’s not forget they’re between the ages of 14 and 18. Both comments ranked at the top of the list with thousands of likes. likes.
Many comments have lambasted the obvious sexual reference to “cookie” in Western culture. According to Urban Dictionary, “cookie” can refer to female genitalia.
“Lana’s” comment added, “Their company knew what they were doing with this song, they knew the discussion it would cause — it’s all (alarmingly) premeditated.” Another comment also lambasted the company, saying, “They know Westerners listen to music and they know what cookie is synonymous in the West.”
K-pop girl group NewJeans (Ador)
Although such accusations were initially raised among English-speaking fans online, they have recently spread to local communities, particularly after a local YouTuber posted a video describing the lyrics as too obscene for minors to sing. .
YouTuber Kim Tae-hoon of English-language education channel Bridge TV posted a video on Wednesday that broke “Cookie”, arguing that it is inappropriate for underage girls.
He begins the video by explaining the double meaning of “cookie” for local viewers unaware of the cultural context in which the lyrics may be understood.
“If I had to ask someone who is fluent in English if those lyrics were ‘provocative’, 100 out of 100 would say yes. The lyrics are very ‘sexual,’” Kim said, speaking in Korean and stating the quoted words in English.
Kim, also a simultaneous Korean-English interpreter, went on to explain that the use of such sexual metaphors can be common in the pop music scene, much like Blackpink and Selena Gomez’s “Ice Cream” collaboration and ” WAP” by Cardi B..” But with NewJeans, the problem is that all five members are teenagers. Even for people who might have become “numb” to such sexual metaphors, young girls singing the obscene “Cookie” lyrics would make them uncomfortable, Kim added.
Despite the ongoing controversy, Ador remained unmoved and only announced that he would take legal action against any kind of malicious comments made against the band.
In a statement released August 10, Ador said, “The company has decided to take legal action against the type of actions such as malicious slander, spreading false rumors and defamation of NewJeans and content produced by the society”.
By Choi Ji-won ([email protected])