K-pop Female Empowerment Songs

“No” by CLC

“No” is a badass song, declaring independence and rejecting standards. The lyrics are full of self confidence, and promote breaking away from societal expectations. “Red lip? No. Earrings? No. High heels? No.” CLC are resisting stereo-typical feminine objects representing the societal image of what a girl “should” be. “Forget ways to look more ‘beautiful’.” “No” denounces society’s beauty standards for girls, emphasizing that girls don’t need makeup, clothes, or jewelry to be beautiful. Instead of pleasing guys, the song talks about pleasing yourself. Rather than looking for male approval, it’s all about embracing your own personality and shamelessly being who you are. 

 “Dalla Dalla” by Itzy

Itzy’s debut song “Dalla Dalla” is energetic, upbeat, and empowering. Similar to “No,” it’s all about proudly being who you are despite society’s expectations. No matter what people say, “Dalla Dalla” encourages you to be yourself. “Don’t measure me by your standards alone, I love being myself, I’m nobody else.” The song praises individuality, with a youthful and bold style it makes a statement with not only lyrics but also sound and choreography. “Hold your head up and go after your dreams”. A song that empowers youth, it encourages living for yourself and following your own passions. 

“I Don’t Need A Man” by MissA

The title track of MissA’s “Independent Women, Pt. III” album, “I Don’t Need A Man” is a message to women out there that you don’t need a man for protection or happiness. “I can live well without a man, so if you’re not confident, don’t come to me.” In Korea, where society is more patriarchal than in the west, it’s typical to have a husband to rely on. In this song, MissA destroys that societal rule. Fully tackling gender roles and expectations, MissA boldly confronts the gender norms. In a very feminist style, “I Don’t Need A Man” is a shoutout to all women that you don’t need a man for anything, that you are powerful and independent by yourself. 

“Superwoman” by Minzy

“Superwoman” is a personal song; Minzy opens up about her own experiences and emotions and through this song empowers herself and the listener. By conveying her hardships, she also emphasizes how she got through it, how she remained strong: “everytime I wanted to cry, I got up again”. “Superwoman” is a source of inspiration, motivating others to keep going despite their hardships. With lines like “love yourself you’re so beautiful”, and “you may break and fall apart, but you’re so dazzling”, Minzy sings with her powerful voice and pushes us on through the hard times. It may be hard, but “Superwoman” is a song that tells us to keep going, that you can do it and you’re strong. Translations: Color Coded Lyrics. Klyrics, Genius lyrics

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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