PSY Gangnam Style made history as the first East Asian pop single to make it to number one in the Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart over the weekend.
Gangnam Style Youtube Video has attracted 3billion hits worldwide
Whilst naive British East Asians jump for joy that another East Asian FOB cultural craze has taken off in Britain, The Guardian's Arwa Mahdawi in her article 'Whats So Funny About Gangnam Style' explains Gangnam Style success in the west and hits home the reality of media representation of East Asian men in British society...
'South Korean Park Jae-sang ("Psy" for short) is promoting upmarket frocks and luxury fridges is somewhat ironic, considering Gangnam Style's lampooning of the rampant consumerism that pervades what has been described as South Korea's Beverly Hills. The song's lyrics, for example, poke fun at soybean-paste girls who eat cheaply in private so that they can afford to drink mocha frappe lattes in public. Of course, this social commentary is largely lost on non-Korean speakers who don't know their kimchi from their Kim Lee; it's hardly Gangnam Style's political message that is behind its success in the west.'
'Gangnam Style is just an over-the-top video where a fat man does a comical dance and sings repetitive lyrics that don't make sense to most of us. Which basically describes every Flo Rida song ever. This is partly the point of the video, which parodies not just cultural mores specific to South Korea, but cultural excesses easily recognisable to western viewers. Gangnam Style's lyrics may be in Korean, but its visuals are in clear American.'
'The last time the west laughed so uproariously at a Korean singer was when an animated Kim Jong-il bewailed how "ronery" he was in the film Team America, and how nobody took him "serirousry". The puppet had a point: popular western media doesn't tend to take east Asian men seriously – even when they're brutal dictators. The stereotype of a portly, non-threatening Charlie Chan-type who speaks "comical" English is still very much alive, apparent in everything from hungry Kim Jong-un memes to Abercrombie and Fitch T-shirts. And it's hard to escape the uncomfortable feeling that this stereotype is contributing something to the laughter around Gangnam Style.'Other Article: UK X Factor Representation of East Asian Men