Taemin at 2014 Gayo Daejejeon Taemin at 2014 Gayo Daejejeon

The 5 K-pop idols who are breaking gender norms

It’s a sad reality that gender norms have to be strictly followed in the K-pop industry. Female idols have to wear short skirts and dresses, and male idols have to look ‘manly.’ Some of our favorite idols break these norms by wearing gender-fluid clothing. Curious to know who these stars are and how they challenge the norms? Scroll down to find out!

  • Taemin’s bold jewelry and makeup in the music video of ‘Danger’ show him experimenting with gender-fluid styles!
  • Jimin once talked about how excited he was to do his father’s makeup someday.
  • Daehwi’s performance of Red Velvet’s shows him embracing his feminine side.

5) Taemin from Shinee

SHINee’s Taemin

“I wanted to break the idea of what male performers are supposed to show, what performances girl groups are supposed to show. I really wanted to break those labels, showing that dance is a form of art.” - Taemin.

This K-pop legend is well respected for his dancing and singing abilities. His solo career produced some hits we still sing along and dance to, like ‘Move’. This song’s choreography  praised for its graceful, carefully executed movements.

Taemin in the music video of 'Danger'

Like Taemin said in an interview, the choreography has both masculine and feminine moves to it.

Other than that, his fashion sense is androgynous, mixing masculine and feminine energies in his clothes and accessories. My favorite look is from the music video of ‘Danger.’

4) Amber Liu from f(x)

Amber Liu at Seoul Fashion Week

We all know Amber from f(x) as that one member who’s fantastic at rapping and dancing and has a distinctive way of dressing up. She challenges the norms set for female idols, with them having to wear short dresses, having long hair, and maintaining a very feminine appearance. Amber breaks those norms with her more masculine style of dressing. Despite rude comments on one of her vlogs , Amber continues to embrace her own way of artistic expression. You go, girl! 

3) Jimin from BTS

My favorite member from BTS makes me love him, even more, when he embraces his feminine side wholeheartedly and smashes gender stereotypes. He wears gender-fluid clothing and looks beautiful. He also blew us away with his Buchaechum dance at 2018’s Melon Music Awards. This is a traditional Korean dance usually performed by women. 

2) Moonbyul from MAMAMOO

Moonbyul performing 'Eclipse'

Next, we have one of the rappers from MAMAMOO, the one, and only Moonbyul. Can we just take a minute to appreciate her fashion choices? They’re unique compared to the usual skirts and dresses that most K-pop female idols wear, such as the girls in Blackpink, Twice, Red Velvet, and many more. Moonbyul breaks all stereotypes wearing whatever she’s comfortable with, not caring if it’s too “masculine.”

1) Daehwi from DAY6

Daehwi posing for Arena magazine

Daehwi’s outfit from Arena Homme Plus magazine is absolutely stunning. We love how he’s experimenting with a bolder style here! He said in an interview with the magazine:

“When I take on a sexy concept, rather than a fixed idea of ‘manly sexiness’ or ‘feminine sexiness,’ I’d like it to come off as ‘simply Lee Dae Hwi.’” 

Daehwi hopes that people are more accepting of gender-fluid clothing and aesthetics. We have hope, too, Daehwi! For now, you have our full support! Do you know any more Kpop idols who are breaking gender norms? Let us know in the comments!



Estefanía Martínez

K-pop enthusiast, you too? Well, hello there, best friend! Follow me for all the awesome updates in the k-world.+ info

Related Articles

More News

More News