4:42 pm - 07/28/2014

[Interview] GI "We are a girl group but our role model is BIGBANG"


[Reporter, Park Seul Gi] Throwing away a concept which has become common and monotonous .

When the girl group GI showed up, they chose their own unique way in a flood of idol groups. They appeared on the stage with short hair and baggy clothes in order to break away from the typical mold of “long hair and short skirts” of the other girl groups.

It can be hard to distinguish their gender (whether they are women or men) if you do not look closely at them while they’re on the stage. Due to their androgyny, there were a lot of controversies surrounding them during their early debut days, such as the possibility of them being “transgender” or just simply asking “what is their gender?” However, GI was able to accept that any attention (even this odd curiosity about them) is still attention and were able to show a strong, self-confidence in their own concept of the boyish girls.

The reporter who was thinking about the charismatic image of GI couldn’t help being surprised during the interview. She was facing mature girls in their 20s and their onstage persona was nowhere to be seen. While she was looking at them, she began to wonder if maybe “they somehow had become the boys.”

◆ The girl group who looks more like men than some real men do

“Actually, at the beginning, when I had first heard about a boyish concept of a girl group…I didn’t know much about it. I had to cut my hair short, like the typical style of a man, not a woman. It was so difficult that I thought I’d turn into a man and not just look like one.” (AI)

In fact, girl group images seem to flaunt their beauty on stage, showcasing “sexy” and “cute” styles. However, they were given two-block haircuts and baggy clothes to cover their beautiful legs, showing off their boyish appeals.

I cut my hair a long time ago, before our debut. I’ve changed my hairstyle many different times and when we had our debut stage, we were able to bring our own unique colours. Before we debuted, we prepared and practiced a lot, thinking of ways to showcase our good points, compared to the stages of boy groups rather than girl groups.” (OneKet)

Since the concept wasn’t very popular, comparing groups was limited, so it must have been very difficult for them not only as women, but also as men, to have a very ambiguous image.

Originally, I thought our debut would be similar to other girl groups, but when I heard that we would have a boyish concept, it was really difficult to adapt to. Nevertheless, since the decision to debut with a boyish concept was made, we wanted to show off the perfect boyish girls look on stage and we studied how best to pull this off. I hope that we have made a winning move with our unique colours, now and forever (laugh).” (Eunji)


◆ Intensity is their weapon

Obviously, they were different from other girl groups who are obsessed with showing off the “sexy” or “cute” style image. GI’s debut song, “Beatles” was strong and different, showing the power of their boyish girl group style.

“Our debut song, “Beatles,” is considered hip-hop and it was difficult to sing and dance to. I needed to emphasize every part but I wasn’t able to, so I had to continuously ask, watch, and learn how to do so. In addition, thanks to our senior, Poppin Hyunjoon, who is from the same company as we are, taught me how to dance very well so I was able to show the perfect stage performance (laugh).” (Hayun)

In reality, GI is very different from the typical hip-hop genre. Their concept, especially, required a lot of extra effort on the girls’ parts. From the first note of the song to the following gestures, raps, flows, etc. it became more and more difficult for them, as if climbing a never-ending mountain and the recording studio became a type of personal hell for them at the time.

During our first recording, I actually ran out of the studio because I couldn’t stop crying. It was very difficult to open my mouth and I didn’t completely know how to do it. It didn’t go very well at first because of the awkwardness of trying to control our tones differently in order to show our own colours. But now, we are able to make our own rap style with the correct tones and harmonies.” (OneKet)

◆ Like a jewel in the sand

GI has always been different from other idol groups, even at first glance. Normally, rookie groups feel very uncomfortable when they’re having an interview, but GI didn’t that way at all. It was as if they “were very relaxed.” It seems as if GI hasn’t garnered much attention from the general population, but there’s a bit of a welcome to them among other fans.

“Because we are still a rookie group, we’re lacking a lot of things,” they said together. “Our role models are our BIGBANG seniors. They have managed to be both popular and unique at the same time. Our BIGBANG seniors are always our motto and by watching them, we are learning how to enhance our rap skills and seize the stage. Someday, as our seniors, we would like to be trendy and become global icons, like our group name (laugh).”

Unfortunately, GI is not as famous as other idol groups and instead of showcasing their sexy bodies in a sexualized performance, GI shows their own unique style on stage. They are using their differences in appearance and performance to appeal to the audiences who are sick and tired of the stale and monotonous performances and concepts of other girl groups.

I hope that GI will become outstanding and as beautiful as a crane, like the phrase says “a crane among chickens.”

Source:  WStar News, GI International Forum
Translated by: Mina @ GI International
Edited by: wizzardess @ GI International
Shared by: Mina @ GI International
Always take out with full credits!

Tomboys must be trans apparently smh

This article does a bit too much putting down of other girl groups imo, but it also is a good reminder that the girls didn't choose this tomboy image themselves (Eunji cried when she was forced to get her hair cut), and that even though their image is different they are in the same boat as other female idols. I think a lot of fans forget this because of their appearance
racquelle2005 29th-Jul-2014 12:00 am (UTC)
Ugh amber is really one of a kind when it comes to kpop
deftbones 29th-Jul-2014 12:11 am (UTC)
i don't like how some of this article was written but i do love them and i'm still sad aram left. they're so hot tho, tybg
torontok 29th-Jul-2014 12:32 am (UTC)
side-eying the super pretentious tone of this article negl.
I liked G.I a lot when they first debuted and One. Ket has always been one of my faves
queenhinata 29th-Jul-2014 12:42 am (UTC)
interesting, ty for posting op!
shintotchi 29th-Jul-2014 01:31 am (UTC)
They never mentioned girl groups by name, so that didn't bother me so much. I had a problem with the overall tone of the article. Girls who look more like guys than men? Is the writer blind? Only One Ket is sporting a boyish cut, and the pixie cut is popular in its own right for females with short hair. Covering up their beautiful legs with baggy pants? Unnecessary much?

The writer kept going on and on about how boyish GI was, and how they should be pitied for being forced to do this concept that they're not naturally built to do. It all felt very condescending and borderline gross. No shade to GI though. I wish them the best, though I do side eye AI for feeling like she would turn into a man just by getting the short hairstyle. Then again, if I was forced to get a hairstyle that I hated and would never normally get, I'd be really self conscious too. So I take it back. No side eye. More of a sigh and smh. It's bad that these people sign up with labels and get forced into things they're so clearly uncomfortable with. Is it really worth it in the end?
magicpineapple 29th-Jul-2014 01:42 am (UTC)
smh @ the tone of this article

still love the girls tho, hope they have a great comeback soon
(no subject) - Anonymous
jewelia13 TW: Mild homophobia29th-Jul-2014 01:58 pm (UTC)
Same. I've read so much gross shaming of women with short hair - one post somewhere said to "beware of women with savagely short hair, they pose as men and go to places like Thailand to do unspeakable things to children", other people saying that they would do a "penis check" on a woman with short hair and implying she must be lazy or a lesbian (that's a more... polite term than what they actually said)... Ick.

There's even a "Return of Kings" article that calls women with short hair "damaged". (Mind you - "Return of Kings" is a really gross "men's rights" page, I advise you to stay FAR away.)
sub_divided 29th-Jul-2014 03:51 am (UTC)
One Ket is the only one who really owns their concept, also does no one at the their label see the contradiction of being "unique" by imposing the same style on all four members of your group.
jewelia13 29th-Jul-2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
Aram and AI own it pretty well too, IMO.
921227 29th-Jul-2014 04:16 am (UTC)
This article is really confusing the members quotes are a little off putting. Like....wasn't AI known for being a 'boy' uljjang before debut?
hyunbiased 29th-Jul-2014 04:56 am (UTC)
Yeah I was confused with the disparity between this and all the other info about AI, but she has been seeming to enjoy having extensions for cfs so idk

The only one I know was very uncomfortable with the concept was Eunji, because even in the teasers she was still the feminine one until Simtong decided they wanted a more unified concept

I honestly have no idea about Hayun's thoughts though, she doesn't usually say much
921227 29th-Jul-2014 06:07 am (UTC)
I think Hayun was pretty much okay with the concept? Like, I've read that she (and Eunji ofc) were very girl predebut, but she seemingly made the most of the image change -- which is great considering she rocked it
xfdryad 29th-Jul-2014 11:42 am (UTC)
I really like them.
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