How Korean Pop Music Brought Me Closer To My Heritage
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How Korean Pop Music Brought Me Closer To My Heritage

And I can't even understand Korean.

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How Korean Pop Music Brought Me Closer To My Heritage
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The recent explosion of Korean popular music in America (and even internationally) has shaken the world- while it has a deep-rooted history in Korean music, the popularity of Korean pop worldwide has begun to take the world by storm. The amazing acclaim of the specific genre of music has led to skyrocketing sales and a huge growing fan base. The shocking amount of growth and popularity observed in a short duration of time, especially in the United States, has evolved the Korean pop industry into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

The effects of these Korean pop idols have had many different effects on America, especially pertaining to how Asians are perceived and have begun to affect the stereotypes of Asian-Americans. BTS, a popular Korean pop band, has recently begun to tour the United States, and as a result, has had record-breaking sales with tickets on the floor beginning at $250 and reselling up to $3,000.

This curious effect of "Koreaboo" culture has had a very interesting effect on the perception of Asians in America- it has become much more commonplace to listen to foreign music, celebrate Asian culture, and adopt international aspects in your daily life. As an Asian-American, watching the change in the role that Asians as a race play in American culture has been extremely interesting, and Korean/Asian music only plays a tiny role: it is seen in the mainstream film ("Crazy Rich Asians") and fashion (the increasing popularity of Vogue Asia) also. Korean music reaches far past just car radios, however, and shows up in different aspects of our culture. For example, Korean or Asian beauty standards are beginning to become more prevalent within American society, like the pursuance of "glass skin" (the porcelain, baby like quality of skin that is coveted in Asia), the growth of brands and materialism, and the increasing involvement of social media communication by celebrities themselves. Oftentimes, Korean pop stars and groups portray the Asian ideal of wealth and beauty, and the popularity of their music in the West has begun to purvey those ideals into American culture.

As an Asian American that has grown up in a prevalently white community, the increase of Asian culture in mainstream American media has begun to provide a different cultural experience for me. It has encouraged me to go back to my culture and even take a sense of pride in it, which has been empowering and refreshing for me. It has also even propelled me to learn more about my culture, which I have always felt disconnected to, and brought me closer to my family. Korean pop's recent popularity, while a small genre in the overwhelming library of world music, has caused America and even me to begin to look at Asian culture in a different way.

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