Hey y’all! A couple of months ago, Sony Music Entertainment Korea released its first female group, Wings. Made up of only two members, this group released a MV unlike any k-pop video I’ve seen in a while. While the live version of the song has a cute and lively dance, the video itself is fairly dark, even alluding to a horror movie. I haven’t seen such a promising debut in a long time. Let’s take a look at the debut MV from Wings, Hair Short.
Sony is very strict about copyright, so there aren’t any copies of the MV with subs on Youtube. Here’s the official MV, and a version with subs on dailymotion.
The bare bones of the plot: there are two sisters who live alone, except for a handsome handyman. They both seem attracted to him, and cut their hair short. When it is revealed that he is pursuing both of them at the same time (and they’re both aware of it), their hair grows long again. They briefly consider attacking each other to get the guy, but in the end sisterhood wins out. This video is packed full of imagery, like mirror images between both girls, and references to horror movies (The Shining, anyone?).
The costumes match perfectly, and are very light and feminine, despite the darker tones of the video. Much like the dance, in the few times we get to see it. The dance moves seem cute and energetic, despite the plot surrounding them. Over the course of the video, each girl has several different hairstyles, ranging from short to super long. There are several theories regarding the hair. One is that the girls are cursed with hair that constantly grows long, and that they’re cutting it short in order to attract the man. Another theory is similar to Pinocchio — whenever the girls have dark thoughts, or feel jealousy, that’s when their hair grows. My own theory is linked to the lyrics, which I’ll explain.
The song is about a girl who was recently dumped and is in denial about her emotions. She goes out to the bar, tells her friends that she’s fine, but she wants to cut her hair short. She claims that it’s not because of the break-up — she just thinks it will look pretty. But in the verses, we see how devastated she is by the break-up. Since cutting your hair is a common symbol of moving on after a relationship, perhaps the girls’ growing hair signifies that they cannot move on. Their hair seems to grow longer whenever they think about the boy, after all. They know that they’re being mistreated by him, and cut their hair short, but at night, they think of him and their hair grows to the end of the bed because they know they still have feelings for him.
The use of scissors is very threatening. In the scenes where the girls are cutting each other’s hair, they get dangerously close to the eyes, and when one girl is sleeping, the other mimes stabbing her in the eye but cannot follow through. There are scenes where they seem distant. Rather than sitting close together as they did in the beginning of the video, they are mirrored but with their backs to each other. It seems that they are drifting apart. In a plot twist, rather than fighting with each other for the boy, the two girls link hands in solidarity. There is a lot of imagery of decapitation- remember that painting of John the Baptist? They manage to keep it from getting too gory — the girls snip the heads off of photographs, and the fate of the man is implied. Meanwhile, the girls are close to each other again.
I thought the vocals were great, and the song was catchy and upbeat and actually worked really well with the video rather than clashing. There’s a lot more to be implied from this video in the artwork and framing of the characters, and if I had the space, I could likely write an essay on my interpretation. It isn’t often that there’s such a well thought-out video full of artwork and allusions and imagery such as this. The video alone is one of my favorites from the last two years or so. I’ll be keeping my eye on this group, and hoping they keep it up with future releases. What do you think of the video? If you have an interpretation that I didn’t touch on, feel free to leave it in the comments!
-Metaphors and imagery and allusions, oh my!
-I loved the dark tone of the music video juxtaposed with the upbeat song.
-And the song itself is a juxtaposition of a light tone with sad lyrics.
-Honestly, I’m having trouble thinking of cons. This is the most exciting k-pop release I’ve seen in a long time!