Blackpink: Light Up the Sky' reveals the human side of the K-pop group

When young Asian girls are taking over the world:
Netflix documentary ‚Blackpink: Light Up the Sky‘ reveals the human side of the K-pop group

Netflix has revealed its documentary featuring one of the most successful K-pop girl bands, Blackpink. Blackpink consisted of 4 members, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa. Their hit songs such as “DDU-DU DDU-DU” and “Kill This Love” reached more than 1 billion views on YouTube. They became the first K-pop band to played at Coachella and collaborated with many renowned artists like Lady Gaga and Selena Gomez.

Blackpink plays powerful and empowering female characters

Blackpink is quite different from many typical K-pop girl groups as they are performing powerful female images. Oftentimes, K-pop girl bands play passive and girly roles who want to be saved by boys in their songs and music videos. Blackpink, on the other hand, sings “Kill This Love” rather than asking for love from men. Their powerful voices, choreography, and fashion are inspiring and empowering to many girls and attracted worldwide fans.

Netflix’s recent documentary, “Blackpink: Light up the Sky” directed by Caroline Suh shows the personal and human sides of Blackpink members behind the scenes. It feels to me that the documentary focuses on each member’s struggles, personal lives, and dreams rather than emphasizing the dark side of the K-pop world. It was nice to see this perspective as most of the western media neglects K-pop artists’ human sides. 

Blackpink refuses to be a typical K-pop girl group

As I have mentioned in my previous article, many western media treated the K-pop culture with ignorance and arrogance focusing merely on the stressful environment the artists are dealing with. They say the K-pop bands are rather ‘products’ of the music labels than the artists. However, the documentary shows that it is not always the case. To be successful in the K-pop world, it is crucial to be creative and unique as an artist. In the documentary, it is quite obvious how talented each member is and how much effort they are putting in, to become a successful K-pop artist. They are uniques individuals full of dreams, and they refuse to be labeled as just ‘K-pop’ artists. In the end, they are making music who happened to be Koreans, as Blackpink’s producer Teddy Park says.

“We all have dreams, hunger to make it. When you’re invested in what you do, that’s what makes things happen.”

Rose, Blackpink’s member

The documentary shows not only the glory of being successful K-pop stars, but also their sacrifice, homesick, and hardships of Blackpink members. It makes me have certain respect and empathy towards them as a young woman who is also pursuing my own goal. I can just wish the best for these young Asian women who are taking over the world.

Header Image: 
Blackpink’s Jisoo, clockwise from lower left, Rosé, Jennie and Lisa in a scene from their Netflix documentary, “Light Up the Sky.”(Netflix)

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