Thursday, January 13, 2011
Oil Paint and Kdramas
(My studio and desk, currently busied by my dollmaking supplies and my oil paints...my painting is in the lower right of the picture)
I wanted to talk about my ideas of the sacred feminine and also machismo in American society....
But after spending my entire day organizing our flat and scraping dried paint from my palette for nearly an hour...I'm tired!
So instead I'll tell you about my guilty pleasure....
Watching Korean Dramas!!!!
It could be said that:
America makes the best Blockbusters... (ie: the films of Spielberg, Will Smith, etc)
Japan makes the best Anime... (ie: films of hayao miyazaki)
And Korea, makes the best Television Dramas! (ie: bad family, stars falling from the sky, etc)
From "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" to "My Girlfriend the Nine-tailed Fox" Korea knows how to make good television.
And one of the things that I like best besides the creative plots, gorgeous actors, and really good acting, is the fact that in my 6 years of watching Kdramas, I haven't been subjected to heavy makeout sessions, excessive cleavage, or gaggles of horny teenagers or middle aged losers dry-humping each other!
Not to say that Korea doesn't show a bit of long female leg, or have gratuitous showings of glistening nude MALE chests (which I find quite interesting)...but the fact is that I have a CHOICE! "Ay There's the rub" (to quote Shakespeare) I have a choice if I want to watch an almost completely wholesome show that focuses on family values, hardwork, determination, innocence & virginity, and true love, while being funny, dramatic and entertaining or I can watch something a bit more "scandalous/gritty" dealing with themes of violence, affairs, betrayal or showing more skin or risque situations.
And it's not that I don't like seeing skin.
But in the States, it makes me uncomfortable to see a woman uncovered. Not for religious reasons or anything like that. It's just that...
it seems we've lost our collective idea of a Strong Sensual Woman. It's as if that figure does not emerge in American Society. If an everyday woman, or a starlet who has not established herself as "elegant," shows a fair amount of skin:, American Society thinks that she is basically "selling her wares" and we are free to ogle her...not discretely admire.
And it's also as if the majority of women have forgotten it doesn't have to be all or nothing: strutting around with hotpants and see-through shirts. It's as if we are all buying into this degraded notion of womanhood and a cheap version of sensuality.
(strong sensual woman, empowered with her GAZE on you. pinup clothing.com)
All artists know that "the gaze" in paintings is a very big deal...so I like that this model is gazing at us, boldly stating her sensuality and refusing to back down.
With that said, there does seem to be a small, but growing underground movement of women who want to reclaim their sensuality, in a world where the feminine has been degraded into almost non-existence...more on that later!
Ha ha! I said I wasn't going to talk about womenhood, but I just did! My thoughts my still be a little unbaked, but I'm sure they'll come together as we go along. I do feel quite strongly about this subject and have since I was a little girl.
But yes, quickly back to my Korean Dramas vs. American Television:
In the States, I don't feel as though I have much of a choice between family friendly and basically-pornographic ( which toots bad morals to boot!). Yes, there are the Hallmark Channels and Disney and Family Channels (I enjoyed "Holiday in Handcuffs" and "My Fake Fiance").
But degrading the feminine can pop up even into channels like these...
I started watching an American fantasy television show last year and became dissatisfied with the stale plot and poor dialogue. Apparently others did too because the ratings began to drop...and so did the female character's neckline, until she was barely contained in her bodice. It was so bad that it became laughable...with viewers writing online about how she was falling out of her costume.
This "less female clothes = more ratings" is a small thing, but one of many that contributes to America's warping of womenhood and femininity and lowers women's intrinsic value in our society. While I feel very passionate on this issue, I'm tired and I'd like to lay in bed with my husband and read The Hobbit now! So, more on this issue another day!
ps. this is not to say that other countries don't produce good dramas, I just wanted to show my love for Kdramas.
pps. I do like a few Thai Dramas such as "Kaew Tae Pee" and Taiwanese Dramas such as "Fated to Love You" and the most wonderful "It Started with a Kiss" series...but those are the only ones I've followed. And I also find Japanese dramas to have a LOT of poor acting and stale storylines.