If you’re a K-Pop fan that remembers the late 1990s to early 2000s, you may remember the trend often called the “whale tail”, in which the straps of a thong would purposefully be made visible in an outfit.
While the trend had pretty much disappeared by the mid-2000s, it has lately been making a reappearance in Western pop culture…
… And, apparently, K-Pop as well.
The trend has long been a controversial one, and its appearance on female K-Pop idols has been met with some backlash, especially on the younger idols of the fourth generation. For example, LE SSERAFIM‘s Sakura and Yunjin have both been seen in the style for the group’s “FEARLESS” stages.
The visibility of underwear in K-Pop idol outfits is usually seen as inherently sexual in nature, so for conservative Koreans and other people, it’s often met with disapproval. And others just don’t like the trend!
TWICE‘s Nayeon has been seen recently and a while back with the visible thong strap trend, even wearing an outfit with it in a TikTok video for a dance challenge for her solo debut “POP!”.
Another third generation female idol who has worn the trend for performances is MAMAMOO‘s Solar when she was promoting her recent solo release “Honey” earlier this year.
While some fans don’t like the trend, though, others actually don’t mind it, or even like it! It seems that for K-Pop idols, the straps are usually actually built into their outfits to mimic the “thong strap” look, and aren’t actually thongs themselves.
Other idols recently seen wearing the trend are (G)I-DLE‘s Soyeon, Minnie, and Miyeon during a performance of “My Bag”, and some fans think the styling just added to their swag.
Some fans, though, were concerned when they thought that Kep1er‘s Huening Bahiyyih was wearing the trend in the group’s recent “Up!” dance practice, but it turns out she just tied her sweatpants strings to mimic the look.
Finally… We couldn’t discuss this topic without including this iconic moment for BTS‘s RM 😂
We’ll have to wait and see if this trend takes off in the industry or not!