Monday, July 14, 2014


"It was so hard for me,
You have no idea how much I worked for you."
--excerpt from the English lyrics to Hyo Min's "Nice Body" solo debut

 Hyo Min, Loco, "Nice Body" Music Video

"Nice Body" (Dance Version with English Subtitles)

The following is why, with all respect, I call 박효민 (Park Hyo Min) "The 'Rocky' of K-Pop." She is known to millions, of course, as one of the original members of the K-Pop group T-ARA (pronounced "tiara"), a group who is internationally popular and has even performed for royalty, among other distinctions and accomplishments. This review of Hyo Min's solo debut in 2014, "Nice Body," is derived from variously publicly available articles and video clips and interviews. As such, I acknowledge that, like the object of the K-Pop song, "Bad Girl Good Girl," made famous by the group, Miss A, I should probably "shut up, boy," because I don't know Hyo Min, personally, and I was not involved in any way in the creation of her solo debut's music video, but nevertheless, having had more than a slight touch of "showbiz" in my own life, and because I suspect that many people do not know what she went through to create this solo debut, here we go. 

So, Hyo Min, you work long and hard perfecting dance moves and singing performances, taking risks that may or may not pan out, putting your sweat and creative blood into the process, knowing that the results are going to be seen and examined and analyzed for the slightest flaws by millions of viewers.

Then, because you feel that your already fit and toned dancer's body needs to be made even better, to fully actualize the concept of the "Nice Body" song chosen for your solo debut, and to be faithful to the spirit of the lyrics, you challenge yourself to endure cross-fitness, Olympic-caliber exercises that includes training with weights, leaving you sick with muscle pain the first week, but you bear the pain and keep going.

Then you discover the exercises have added enough muscle mass that your costumes and clothes no longer fit the way you want, so you put yourself through a stringent lemon-detox diet to re-fit your new, stronger body into your clothes and to cleanse your system for the stressful debut promo process, one week before it begins.

And for the proper "break with the past" effect, you cut off your trademark long hair that you admit to having cherished, and die it blond, hoping your fans will still accept it and you (and they do).

Until finally you are ready to debut your solo, whose success is important for yourself AND your T-ARA sisters, debut it, literally, because of the Internet, TO THE WORLD--in your one chance to "get it right," so that millions can watch and deem your efforts "cute" and have fun experiencing what you and all those on your "team"--who are also depending on you to succeed--have created.

And because of the lyrics of the song and the unique dreamy Chopin piano prologue and epilogue you added, showing the glitzy and fun middle part to be the DREAM OF A BETTER LIFE in the mind of a woman (you, in extreme make-up--like the EP's title, MAKE UP) who needs (and, deep inside, WANTS) better health, you maybe dare to hope that some viewers will be INSPIRED by the song and video to exercise and FIGHT BACK and WORK to improve themselves, like Rocky Balboa did in the famous, award-winning film.

But! All that was EASY compared to what you must survive BEFORE the debut...standing alone--truly ALONE-- before the PRESS! And remaining poised, remaining calm, being charming and respectfully humble and as always, attractive, smiling, positive, and “cool,” hoping that some inadvertent mis-step doesn't scuttle the whole project before it begins...not much stress there, either, right?

Does that sum it all up, at least on the surface, maybe, just a little, Hyo Min? 

Wow. Being a pop star "idol" is definitely not a role for the weak or weak-willed. 

I’m certain that in the opinion of your countless fans, you deserve all the success in the world. And what’s more, we know that no one gave that success to you. We know you worked hard and did your best, “went the extra mile,” and EARNED this solid solo victory. And for the inspiration of your example, we all say, with a bow of sincere respect, “THANKS!”

(for my blog about how I discovered T-ARA, see T-ARA by way of a Ghastly Ghost )