Controversies and K-Pop seem to have an age-old relationship, and this time, the spotlight is on the budding group xikers. The band is no stranger to making bold choices, but their recent move has caused many raised eyebrows among Korean netizens.
With the launch of their 2nd mini album, House of Tricky: How To Play, the group had included special photocards as part of a lucky draw event. Fans eagerly anticipated what these collectibles might feature. However, what they saw became the talk of the town: xikers posing in attire resembling that of pre-schoolers. The key items that have drawn attention? A cute yellow bucket hat and a pint-sized yellow backpack.
[📢] 싸이커스 (xikers) – 2ND MINI ALBUM 'HOUSE OF TRICKY : HOW TO PLAY' LUCKY DRAW EVENT 공지
진행 기간 : ~ 09.21(THU) 23:59(KST)
✨ 에버라인 단독 미공개 포토카드 18종
✨ 앨범 2장 구매 시 포토카드 1종 추가 증정
✨ 구매자 추첨 낙서 사인 포토카드
✨ 구매자 추첨 사인 폴라로이드… pic.twitter.com/manQsvS7M1
— EVERLINE (@EVERLINESHOP) September 15, 2023
At first glance, some might find this fashion choice endearing and a fresh take on nostalgia. However, many Korean netizens feel that it’s an “infantilization” of the idols for profit. For a group in their twenties, this infantile representation does seem out of place for some.
A community post discussing the matter went viral, drawing in numerous comments from concerned fans and general observers. Many netizens, while understanding the whimsical nature of K-Pop, felt that the xikers might have ventured a tad too far with their choice of preschool-inspired accessories. While the yellow bucket hat was somewhat acceptable to most, it was the inclusion of the small yellow backpack that left a majority uneasy.
- 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.
Moreover, there was an undertone of disappointment in the feedback from their fanbase. Some felt that the ensemble, especially the bags, veered more towards infantilization than a light-hearted nod to nostalgia. Comments revealed a general consensus that the group’s attire didn’t quite hit the mark.
- 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.
Perhaps the most striking comment came from a disappointed fan, “I hate this… Men in their 20s wearing bags like that, being smothered in pastel pink? Like, seriously. I was done with them as soon as I saw the whole concept.”
While the fashion choice was certainly daring and unexpected, it’s essential to remember that K-Pop is known for its experimental concepts. Groups often play with different images, from edgy and dark to cute and bubbly.
However, with this move, xikers seem to have unintentionally sparked a debate about where the line should be drawn. When does creative expression become exploitation or misrepresentation?
While the controversy continues to brew, it remains to be seen how xikers and their management will address the issue. Will they consider the feedback of their fans and the larger K-Pop community, or will they stand by their artistic choices? Only time will tell.