Whether you’re a certified girl group stan or just an enthusiast of all things Kpop, you’ve most likely heard the term ‘girl crush concept’… But what exactly qualifies as a Kpop girl crush concept? And amongst Kpop royalty, who is known to absolutely slay it?
Today, we’ll be educating you about what defines a Kpop girl crush concept, how it’s evolved over the years, and which groups and/or artists are better known for it. Plus, we’ll be sharing some tips and outfits that will surely inspire you to give the girl crush look a go.
Curious yet? Then let’s get started!
What’s a Kpop girl crush concept?
Although it can be interpreted in a number of ways, most long-time Kpop fans seem to agree that a girl crush concept is, above all, about female empowerment.
Some people like to throw words like ‘sexy’ or ‘badass’ around when defining the concept. They might not be wrong, but that’s a very limited way to put it… In reality, a girl crush concept in Kpop is better described as a confident and empowering statement. The fact that these girls perhaps look extra attractive is only the natural aftermath of a more mature portrayal.
Now, it’s important to point out that there’s a distinction between a sexy and a girl crush concept, and that’s the targeted audience. The first caters mostly to guys (think Girl’s Day, AOA, or Stellar), whilst the second resonates better with female fans. So it should come as no surprise that groups like BLACKPINK or EVERGLOW have gained momentum in the Kpop scene.
Essentially, instead of marketing the artists in a way that would inspire affection or attachment, they’re portrayed in a more aspirational, role model-like type of way.
Artist/groups known for the Kpop girl crush concept
Over the years, there have been some idols who stood out within the theme. Some are considered the quintessential girl crushes, others proved to fit the aesthetic through unlikely comebacks.
Let’s go over all the girls who, for one reason or other, have made it onto this list:
One can’t possibly talk about ‘girl crush’ without mentioning 2NE1 – after all, they might be the concept’s pioneers. These girls paved the way for some of our favorite idols today. In fact, they debuted in an era that only knew cute or sexy girl concepts.
Their edgy style and bold lyrics have granted them the much deserved legendary status.
Hyunah is the perfect example of someone who blurs the lines of the girl crush concept. After all, she’s beloved by men and women alike.
Her debut in Wonder Girls made it seem like she was set to go on a much different path. However, it was 4Minute that propelled the charismatic, charming person we’ve gotten so used to. And the OG bad girl still reinvents herself with every comeback!
Hyunah truly is the gift that keeps on giving…
Although they don’t fit the stereotypical imagery, MAMAMOO definitely bears the essence of girl crush. Be it because of Hwasa, whom we all wish we could be; Moonbyul, who entices us all; Solar, who lights us up inside; or Wheein, to whom we can all relate to; there is definitely something about them that draws (particularly) the girls in.
When it comes to role models, I think every person can find one in these four unbelievable women. And for this reason, they’ve made it onto the list.
4. (G)I-DLE Soyeon
Who would have guessed that charming Produce 101 Soyeon would grow to become one of the fiercest women in the Kpop industry. A singer, rapper, composer, and producer – there’s nothing this girl can’t do. And she always does it with style, too! Even though she’s our youngest entry on the list, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
From her remarkable participation in Unpretty Rapstar, to securing the runner-up position in Queendom (as a rookie artist, nonetheless) and producing for the biggest e-game in the world, there’s no denying that Soyeon is someone to be on the lookout for.
The EVERGLOW girls debuted with a big boom! Or should I say Bon Bon… And their definition of girl crush is quite different from other entries on this list. Although it’s true that not all of them properly fit the ‘badass, fierce’ mold, it wouldn’t be right to place them in the ‘cute’ category either.
They’ve stuck with the concept since the very beginning and every comeback seems to top the previous one. Their empowering lyrics and one-of-a-kind drops also add to what sets them apart. But they’re still a ‘girl crush’ group – and for all the right reasons.
Lastly (but definitely not least), we’ve got the girl group that popularized the concept and made it cross boundaries – BLACKPINK! These girls need no introduction – their following count, streaming records, and stage presence do all the talking!
Just as their name is meant to reflect both their sweet and edgy natures, the group’s identity is undeniably the embodiment of the girl crush concept in Kpop. Which girl doesn’t want to be pretty and savage, right?
Although these Kpop groups aren’t exactly known for the girl crush image, they’ve nailed the concept in some of their comeback. They’re, at the very least, worth an honorable mention.
Red Velvet [Peekaboo, Bad Boy, Psycho]
TWICE [Like Ooh-Aah, Fancy, I Can’t Stop Me]
CLC [Hobgoblin, Black Dress, No]
Apink [I’m so sick, Eung Eung, Dumhdurum]
Get the girl crush look!
We’ve gathered a few of our favorite girl crush outfits that would be easily recreated and worn off the stage, too. Get inspired and give this empowering concept a try!
Hwasa’s look only goes to show that a sporty crop top and a fun pair of jeans go a long way.
Sometimes, all a bad girl needs to shine is a little black dress.
The girl crush starter pack? That’s easy! A crop top, denim, fishnets, and a pair of hoops.
It’s said that KARD’s Jiwoo is amongst the most crushed-on girls in Kpop. It’s easy to see why…
And whoever said florals aren’t badass, clearly never met Hyunah!
Hopefully, you’ve understood what the ‘girl crush concept’ is and who’s doing it best. Let us know in the comments who your favorite is and which look you’ll be trying to recreate.
Also, if you’d like to know which Korean fashion trends are popular this season or are looking to get inspiration for a Kpop concert, check out these two articles:
Until next time!