On Reddit, a heated debate about Asian masculinity broke out when a Redditor posted a photo of Monsta X‘s Wonho.
In the photo, Wonho could be seen stretching his arms over his head, flexing his muscles in the process.
The OP added the caption: “most buff k-pop guy I’ve ever seen damn. I wish there was more like him”.
In response, Redditors flocked to K-Pop’s defense and accused the OP of perpetuating Asian stereotypes. They argued that many idols are indeed “buff” and that not all groups have an “effeminate flower boy” look.
- Idk where you guys are getting this idea that kpop idols aren’t buff. Like you realize they sell photos of kpop idols to girls right? With tight clothes and shirtless photos too… almost all kpop idols are pretty decently buff, have tatts and piercings. This “effeminate flower boy” is only some groups.
- Plenty of K-pop guys are extremely well built and muscular.
- Kim Jung Kook used to be in Turbo and the dude is ripped. There are muscle men like that in Asian pop. Aaron Kwok is ripped. And there are a few.
Monsta X’s Wonho…
…and BIGBANG‘s Taeyang are just a few of the many male idols have been known for their buff physiques.
Redditors pointed out that even idols who look slim are not weak. Being an idol is a physically demanding job that requires both strength and stamina.
- At worst, they’re lean. Dancing like they do isn’t easy, I imagine. Even the actors, Korean/Chinese/etc., build up their muscles for that inevitable shower scene.
In addition to this, all Korean men are required to serve in the military. By the time they finish their mandatory enlistment, they are often in the best shape of their lives.
- All korean boys have to serve in the military. Many of them are probably fitter and more masculine than 90% of us aznidentity keyboard warriors.
BTS‘s Jungkook is a good example of a lean “flower boy” idol who is in incredible shape.
Although he is heading in a brawnier direction these days, Jungkook has always been fit. One of his nicknames is “muscle pig”.
EXO‘s Xiumin is another example.
He is slim, but also very muscular.
Some redditors accused those who consider slimmer idols to be less masculine than buff idols as being insecure about their own masculinity.
- It’s seriously f*cking retarded the things you guys are criticizing kpop for because it’s such a small part of kpop and Hallyu in general. Get the f*ck over your insecurities of your masculinity.
- You guys are so disconnected from the world of kpop fandom because you’re afraid of confronting your insecurities it’s really f*cking pitiful how desperately you try to cling to some notion of feeling superior over what you think are “effeminate flower boys”. “I might not be as desirable as a kpop idol but at leads I’m manly!”
Other redditors began a conversation about western masculinity vs Asian masculinity by mentioning common physiological differences between Asian and western men.
- Its controversial but some users believe that the Western perspective of male attractiveness is the only real one. So they try really hard to become it by working out or looking a certain way. While its true that is the whats attractive now, its not something thats set in stone.
- Body types vary but stocky isn’t uncommon among Asians I find.
- I think many Asian guys fit parts of Western beauty standards pretty well though there’s a double standard where white guys with those features are sexy while Asian guys with them are evil and menacing.
- The pushing of hairiness as manly is an attempt to position one group above others/self-serving. And honestly when’s the last time people swooned over hairy chests? Lol
Even though many Asian men do fit in with western male beauty standards, they should not be expected to conform to these ideals to be attractive.
- I’m not saying don’t work out but if you’re a slender male it shouldn’t instantly make you think you’re lesser of a person. I mean there are slender males of other races and they are doing just fine in the dating world. What needs to happen which Kpop is doing is bringing eyes to us AM and showing them we can be buff or slender. We can be sexy as Asians.
Both “flower boy” and “buff” idols are always equally masculine, no matter what the current beauty trends may be.