Yes, "hit me baby one more time" makes about as little sense in Korean translation as allegedly "non-sexual" Lolita references do.
In reference to Korea Beat's comment, far from giving Britney a free pass, my point has only been to point out that her "I'm not that innocent" thing with the stylized schoolgirl outfit, obviously lascivious dancing, and openly suggestive lyrics defined a style that totally played up on the Lolita fantasy. And it was done in such an overt and smart way that it actually made her dumb ass interesting, and her one-time quote "I'm no one's Lolita fantasy" all the more ridiculous, especially after the Rolling Stone piece on her, which had her dressed up in scandalously risque babydoll clothes and totally played up on the whole Lolita thing all the more.
Her managers/publicists were all much smarter than her, since Britney kind of didn't "get" herself...umm, herself. That first video was then followed up by the infamous red jumpsuit and more of the same. Britney wasn't a gay male favorite because she was playing her Lolita role "straight," to make a slight rhetorical pun.
However, Girls' Generation is a bunch of girls doing the same, while people maintain they're pure, clean, and cute, and everyone tries to erase and deny the blatant fact of their sexualization in that curiously Korean way that college freshman can click-clack to class in 5-inch hooker heels and a leather skirt and when asked if that might not to be too risque for class, people get defensive and indignant and call the gazer the pervert, while letting the main parlayer in and of the male gaze (the women totally subjecting herself to it) off the hook.
I'm saying, in other words, if you're going to truss up girls in miniskirt, white boots, thigh-hi stockings, pigtails, and lollipops, at least frickin' acknowledge what you're doing. Because 40-year-old ajussis – both here and in the land of Britney – are ogling the same kind of girls, using the same kind of imagery, but at least in the US, we admit it. Britney veritably defined the "Lolita figure" in an overt way, weird, but in the end, fun way – that's why a crossdressing man could enter win a Britney look-alike singing contest and win.
Trying to pass off the Wonder Girls and GG as "good, cute, and clean fun" while Korean ajussis are spanking into the Kleenex just as much as any American ajussi who had one hand on the remote while really trying to "hit it one more time" – that strikes me as disturbingly disingenuous, which is my point.
In Korea, it's an uphill battle to even prove the point that these girls are sex symbols at all (before even getting to the question of how appropriate that is for a flat-chested 15-year-old), whereas at least in America, we tend to admit our shit.
If we're going to be comparing Britney and Korean stars, that is, which people seem to tend to want to do.
I think it parallels the notion in idea that in Korea, people are all good, clean Confucians who don't do dirty things (but just save it for the love motels and leave that "skeleton bone" there – hehe, yes, I meant for a double entendre to be read there!), while Americans apparently hump everybody, according to everybody not American.
Just saying to Korean folks, RE: the Wonder Girls et al: why ya playing? Come on. Let's call a spade a spade, a Lolita lascivious. That's all I'm saying.
Yeah, I wouldn't kick any of the Wonder Girls outta bed, but I'd at least feel guilty for thinking so. Except So Hee – umm...jail bait? Ewww?
Koreans tell me, "But you have to admit she's pretty!" Yeah, she is. But yeah, I've met a lot of girls who, at the ages of 5, 9, 12, and 15 could be recognized as probably being "pretty" – when they grow up. But there's gotta be a line between "She'll be pretty when she's older" and "Man, that chick is hot. I wanna do her." I'm just saying that 1) So Hee being so obviously young amongst women doing pretty sexually suggestive dancing, and 2) the fact that she's apparently a "favorite" among many ajussis, coupled with the fact that 3) I haven't seen any criticism (perhaps I missed it?) in Korean public discourse of these disturbing facts – that all doesn't sit well with me.
Especially in a culture in which wonjo kyojae ("compensated dating" or less euphemistically, paying a middle/high school girl for sex while her motive is apparently usually spending money, not desperation) is such as clear problem, especially with the tastes for young girls apparently growing, if you read the Korean newspapers (it's an older reference, but a good example of when this problem has started being recognized as a major social problem – here's another discussion of the issue).
I'm saying that this kind of guilt at sexually gazing at young girls is what keeps the line between appropriate and inapproriate CLEAR. It's the blurring of that line that keeps social practices such as wonjokyojae going – not only do the men sexualize the girls, but the girls – at an earlier and earlier age – sexualize themselves.
And when people start thinking that videos such as these are OK...that's when I get worried. Because, if you believe lines should be drawn SOMEWHERE, videos such as these are simply NOT OK.
Of course, I'm displaying a typical American Puritanism about sex, but at least mine is thought out, whereas the parents who just think a 6-year-old gyrating in hoochie clothes on YouTube don't seem to have thought about their inherent rationale very much.
Yes, my puritanical skirt is indeed showing. As an American, Cotton Mather is my daddy, too.