Babymetal Research Papers

772 Words 4 Pages
Metal music is a genre historically dominated by men. An all-female trio of teens, Babymetal’s music is a new combination of Idol pop, or J-pop (Japenese pop) and metal, a novel fusion of genres the group defines as “kawaii” (cute) metal. Babymetal’s first single was released in 2014, and “their debut album was the bestselling Japanese album in America in 2014” (Benjamin par 1). In a Nikkel Trendy interview, Babymetal’s producer, Kobametal, states he wanted to create a “Metal unit that would take on the guise of an Idol group”, (par 5) one that would grow into a dark heroine existence within the Idol world, and juxtapose the cuteness of idol with the power of metal.

In her Team Rock article, Thea De Galllier defines Idol pop as “manufactured
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Although arguably not as sexualized as Brittany’s look in the “Hit Me One More Time” video, Babymetal’s look is attracting attention, “a large proportion of their fans are older males… [leaving] some people feeling uncomfortable” (De Gallier par 3). In her Stylus Magazine article “Women in Metal”, author Julie Pinsonneault states, “Metal has changed from an extremely vicious scene into a marketable, soft-edged version of itself through bands with more mainstream sensibilities”. She also discusses “a new market based on the sex appeal of women in the metal genre” (par 15). Producer Kobametal admits the group’s core fan base is “composed mainly of male Idol fans in the 20s to 40s” (par 33). Although many fans seem to be intrigued by the outright “weirdness” of the group, Babymetal may be seen as exploitive, especially in countries unfamiliar with Idol pop. The girls are packaged into a glossy, unrealistic ideal. De Gallier states Babymetal is “a product of a culture that simply doesn’t exist in the Western world” (par 4). Koskoff’s question on society’s gender ideology and resulting gender related-behaviour raises some troubling issues that may arise from the popularity of this band. The girls’ ages range from 14-17, but high-pitched vocals combined with cute, young-looking outfits make them appear younger than they are. What does the demographic of the core adult male fans say about the Idol-Metal genre? Are they attracted to it for the music? The girls? Or is it a combination of the two? Are the girls being objectified and reinforcing gender stereotypes, or are they empowering others with messages of

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