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Korean stars dating

G-Dragon, for instance, who used to croon insipid platitudes like “yeah, love is pain” when he was a member of the group Big Bang, is now a rapper who contemplates the profitless nature of celebrity.

Three years later, South Korea debuted its first "idol" group, the boy band H. T., followed in 1997 by its first major girl group, S. To be sure, many of its vapid songs are intentionally light on lyrics — catchiness is king.

Besides, K-pop isn’t the only musical genre fraught with sexist content.

Fresh-faced ingénues can decline, but unless they work for YG Entertainment — which forbids its girl groups from going under the knife — opting out of surgery is tantamount to opting out of the industry.

Some groups do indeed consciously cling to their virginal image.

But that doesn’t matter in K-pop, she added, because “everything can be touched up.” During a May 2014 Reddit AMA, when asked if she liked K-pop, Wolfgang replied, “I hate it.

No one is an actual artist.” She also pointed out that songs, dance routines and clothes are handed to performers who have “little to no artistic input,” and that fans favor certain groups because of their look, “not because they are talented.” But in the Plasticine world of K-pop, looks are just as manufactured as talent: Before their formal debut, both male and female artists are often forced to undergo cosmetic surgery.

Western musical influence first hit Korea in the late 1800s, but K-pop wasn’t born until the release of the 1992 song “Nan Arayo” (I Know) by Seo Taiji and Boys, which floored audiences with its catchy swingbeat and use of rap lyrics. From then until the early 2000s, the nascent genre entered the Japanese and Southeast Asian markets. Export sales shot from $631 million in 2005 to $2.5 billion in 2007. The K-pop empire is now perhaps the country's biggest export, yet the product it peddles, dripping with bubblegum imagery and witless refrains, is all too often incredibly sexist.