I’m definitely one of those women that has plenty of male friends without romantic complications. I always have been. While I am a staunch proponent regarding the importance of female relationships (come on, let’s celebrate each other’s wins and not get all weirdly competitive, we don’t have time for that), I also really believe that it’s important to have people from the opposite – or since there are more than just two…from a different – sex. And because I’ve surrounded myself with so many dudes, I have the slightest understanding of their inner thoughts.
FYI, they are pretty similar to my own thoughts on a fairly routine basis.
Certainly not all the time, boys are weird, but they get a lot of the same societal pressures that women get just in a different way. Though men often seem so much more comfortable in their physical appearance, it isn’t always true. They’re being fed an ideal almost as much as we are and there’s an impact on their psyche. The messaging around body positivity, self-acceptance, and so on should be shared with our sons just as much as they should be shared with our daughters. How else are we all going to finally come to the right balance of working to be healthy and strong and not always striving for perfection?
Park Jimin, of 15& and After School Club fame, has developed into being one of my fav women to watch. I talked about her last year when she put out her April Fools single and I’ve been paying fairly close attention to her ever since. She recently announced that she would be parting ways with her label, JYP, and it really comes as no surprise. She’s an insanely talented singer and has been given very little opportunity to put those talents on display. Her swan song with the company really does fortify my feelings around how much wonderful music she could be putting out on a much more frequent basis. I have some thoughts on how that could happen, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Stay Beautiful is a simple and gorgeous song carrying a message to the guys in Jimin’s life to continue as the beautiful people that she’s grown to love. Platonically. The song on its own could easily be a tribute to a romantic partner, but the MV – Jimin playing around with her real-world male friends – makes it clear that the intent is less sexy time and more ‘guys, I love you, don’t get caught up in being what you’re not.’
Watching the video the first time through I was struck by a couple of things. 1) I love normal looking guys. I mean, I very much enjoy the perfection of idols, but I’m always looking for the flaws to cling to as a reminder that they are also human. Jimin’s friends are normal guys and I’m completely charmed. 2) I know two of her friends really well. Ok, she knows her friends well, I just instantly recognized them. Jung Jinwoo and June of Planetarium Records were there, goofing around, laughing their asses off, and eating popsicles right alongside the others. One of the things I’ve always loved about Planetatirum is at least the appearance that their artists are not expected to be idols. They are expected to put out music that they love, that they’ve worked hard to craft, and they are proud of. That’s it. Of course, they all want to look good, to be comfortable in their own fashion choices, to make waves and be noticed, that’s the job. But they aren’t selling their physical perfection as part of the package.
I’ve had many other thoughts about the song and MV with subsequent viewings, but those were the first two things I noticed – along with how much I love Jimin’s voice and how much I adore her style. She’s the star in the MV, for sure.
As I mentioned, this song made me want more. It’s a single. A one-track single. I’m inherently greedy and I want more. Which brings me back to the thought I had earlier about how we could get more of what she wants to be doing – in her own style, with her own voice, as often as she wants. It’s really just a fantasy, but hear me out, why doesn’t Jimin sign to Planetarium??? She clearly knows the guys, I’m willing to bet she’d make an awesome collab partner. Her voice would be AMAZING next to June or Gaho or Jinwoo’s. There’s enough of a pre-existing fanbase there to really bring more attention to the label and the other artists. It seems pretty great all the way around.
I’m well aware that I have no idea what she wants, what would be right for her, what would be right for PLT, etc, but…I can’t help but wonder.
I can’t wait to see what other great messages Jimin has to share in the future.
Stay Beautiful, Jimin