On March 22nd, a new law went into effect in South Korea, causing a huge uproar not only among celebrities but also among the general public. The so called “overexposure law” got approved by the new government during President Park Geun Hye’s first Cabinet meeting and, thus, people who seem to be “overexposed” in public will now be subject to a fine of 50,000 KRW (US $45).
The new law is quite making the buzz, as people are worrying if they will be fined just for wearing miniskirts in public. If so, what will happen to all the girls in the K-Pop-Scene? Will girl-groups like Girls Generation, Sistar and others have to change their wardrobe? And does this lead to a new version of censorship?
When the new legislation was introduced for the first time, residents assumed this might be a new way of restricting revealing outfits, which are quite trending among the youngsters of South Korea. Especially, female K-Pop-Stars are famous for wearing pretty and sexy clothes in their popular music videos.
Therefore, it does not surprise that Lee Hyori, one of South Korea’s sexiest female soloists, tweeted recently about her concern by stating, “Is this overexposure fine for real? I’m so dead.” She is not alone, yet, Nancy Lang, a performance artist and media personality, took the whole discussion half serious, as the celebrity jokingly tweeted a picture of herself waving a 50,000 KRW bill next to her cleavage.
The uproar caused by this new legislation does not only stir up the general public’s opinions on fashion and restrictions set by the government, but also resulted in a new political discussion, as opposition leaders strongly criticized the move. In general, they described it as an infringement on freedom of expression with the Democratic United Party member Kim Ki Sik asking on Twitter, “Why does the state interfere with how citizens dress?” The critics do not stop here, as statements like “Park Geun Hye’s government gives cause for concern that we are returning to the era when hair length and skirt length were regulated” recently surfaced.
Opponents go further by even drawing comparisons between the current president and her late father Park Chung Hee, who ruled the country between 1963 and 1979. During his government some strict regulations were imposed with one being the prohibition of skirts that ended 20 centimeters above the knee or higher in the 1970s.
So, is South Korea facing a new era of over-the-top censorship with K-Pop-Idols eventually adjusting their wardrobes or is this whole issue just an “unlucky” misunderstanding? According to CNN, politicians like Kim are being criticized for “vocalizing their opinion without fully understanding the revised law”, thus taking the lead of spreading misinformation.
In fact, the National Police Agency’s Inspector Ko Jun Ho told CNN that “Any reports that we will be regulating what people are wearing are completely false.” He went on by saying, “This amendment is for cases like public nudity and public indecency.”
The local media is now reporting on the spread of misinformation with authorities trying to raise the awareness of the amendment’s true purpose. Furthermore, the government promised to publicize the exact nature of the law and how it will be implemented.
With this, celebrities like those in the K-Pop-Scene and the general public can be assured that wearing miniskirts or revealing outfits will not lead to a new fine. At least for the time being, the freedom of expression in fashion should be saved.
Source: CNN & Dailymail