Rookie K-pop group XIKERS have found themselves embroiled in a heated debate following their recent fashion choices. To mark the launch of their second mini-album, House of Tricky: How To Play, the group included special photocards in a lucky draw event. These collectables, however, have sparked more than just fan excitement – they’ve ignited a controversy.
Artistic freedom vs. infantilization for profit
The photocards feature the band members dressed in outfits that echo pre-school attire, complete with a yellow bucket hat and a mini yellow backpack. While some fans see this as a nostalgic nod, a large segment of Korean netizens argue that it’s a problematic “infantilization” of the idols, especially given that the group’s members are adults.
The issue has gone viral, with a community post attracting a wide range of opinions on the pre-school-themed photocards. While K-pop is known for its whimsical and experimental themes, many feel that XIKERS have crossed a line with their pre-school-inspired accessories. One fan’s comment encapsulates the sentiment: “I can’t stand this… Grown men sporting bags like that? I was done the moment I saw the concept.”
is KQ Entertainment going to put them in diapers next?– XIKER Fan
Some other comments from netizens include:
- “The hat’s OK, but the bag is…”
- “I think the bag pushed this a bit too far…”
- “Haha. I don’t know, though. Fans might still buy these, thinking this is cute.TT”
- “Er… Yeah, no. The bags are weird. Haha.”
- “I’m actually OK with the hats. But the upper body shots are kind of off…”
- “Gives me goosebumps.”
- “Kind of crossing the line, don’t you think…?”
- “WTF…? This is kind of wrong.”
- “I could try to look past the hats, but the bags…? I’m kind of bummed, ha.”
K-pop is a genre that thrives on pushing boundaries, from edgy and dark themes to cute and bubbly concepts. However, XIKERS’ recent fashion choice has sparked a broader conversation about the limits of creative expression in the industry.