SS501 (said like ‘Double S 5 oh 1’) is one of those Korean boy bands that have been around for a while. They sang together for 5 or 6 years but have all been working on their solo careers for over a year now. They have not disbanded, but are rather taking a break to all do their own thing. This song, “Love Ya,” is one of the last songs that they did together before starting their solo careers.
“Love Ya” has an interesting blend of masculine elements. Just like the last video that we watched, all of the boys are dressed completely in black. Their outfits are reminiscent of dressy suits. Their hair is nicely quaffed and they look as though they could walk straight into dance or a fancy restaurant and fit right in. But, there are unique things about their outfits that we might not automatically consider masculine. If you look closely at their backs, their jackets have a lot of mesh cutouts in them. You can see the skin on their backs through the mesh. Although we do consider it masculine for men to have their shirts off and to show skin, seeing skin through mesh jackets isn’t really the same thing. But that’s my opinion. What do you think?
A couple of them also have very low V-cut shirts that show a lot of their chest, but nothing else. Do you consider that to show masculinity? I say both yes and no. Style choices such as this one are on a fine line between being perceived as masculine or not. While we always think that shirtless, toned men display masculinity, is it any different when they are wearing clothes that are just showing a little bit of skin? I would argue that it all depends on what skin the boys are showing. The thing with deep V-cut clothing is that it is a popular cut on women’s clothes and many believe that because of that, it looks more feminine on them rather than masculine. Thus, this style is socially constructed. On the other side of the coin, some people would argue that they look extremely masculine because you can see their chests. I think that both sides have valid arguments.
“Love Ya” also offers some dance moves that we can analyze. Hip thrusts, collar popping, punching the air; I would say that all of these remind me of men. Hip thrusts brings an element of masculine sexuality. Collar popping suggests that the boys are hip, cool, suave, and in control of the situation. And punching the air is a common symbol of strength, frustration and energy. There are not an overwhelming amount of dance moves like these in this video, but I think that these few give us a look into how the boys want to be viewed in the video; as strong men who just want to love ya!