Too sexy for small screens
The stations have spoken.
We don't want that much sexiness on our small screens, thank you very much.
Last month, Korean TV networks such as KBS, SBS and MBC banned several risque K-pop dance routines from being shown on their channels.
It was reportedly triggered by feedback from the media and members of the public who were concerned that children and teenagers would be "led astray" by such sexual innuendos - especially since recent months have seen an increase in music videos that push the limits of decency.
A Korean variety show even studied male viewers' brainwaves when they watched such routines and concluded that their mental focus went down during that period, thereby providing circumstantial "evidence" for the ban.
The three offensive routines that have been singled out as unsuitable for Korean TV are: Dancing suggestively on the floor, touching or grabbing one's body parts and stripping off parts of your outfit.
In the last few weeks, four popular K-pop girl groups - Rainbow Blaxx, Girl's Day, AOA and Dal Shabet - have been forced to modify their moves for their TV performances on music programmes such as Music Bank, Music Core and Inkigayo.
In Rainbow Blaxx's Cha Cha music video, the girls sit on the floor with their legs spread in a sensuous arc. Now, its seven members perform the same part of the song with crossed legs.
In Girl's Day's Something, the criticism was for their crawling on the ground and seductively staring down the camera as they gyrated. The girls also gave viewers an eyeful of the undergarments that they had on beneath their slit dresses.
In the modified version, they sit on their knees, which hides much of their undies.
Such changes have been termed "awkward" and "unnatural" by netizens who dug out the original routine and made comparisons.
AOA were probably hit hardest when they had to do without their signature unzipping routine on TV for their hit song Miniskirt.
In the music video, the girls unzip the bottom part of their dresses suggestively.
Seolhyun, Hyejeong, Jimin, Choa, Chanmi, Mina, You Kyung and Yuna now run their hands down their hips and sport already unzipped dresses.
And how about Dal Shabet?
In BBB (Big Baby Baby), what they termed as the "distressed dance" requires them to rub their hands over their chests to express heartbreak.
The seven girls rub less now and try their hardest to avoid coming into contact with their breasts when executing the same move.
The Korean TV networks' move has left the Internet buzzing, though opinions have been mixed.
YAY OR NAY?
Some netizens have slammed their actions as "prudish", but others have welcomed it, saying that this would keep K-pop acts from becoming even more overtly sexual in their music videos.
Local fan, student Nadya Tan,16, questioned the ban's effectiveness, saying: "While I enjoy the music videos, I don't see myself dancing sexily for fun or wanting to be sexy just because of them.
"I think the ban isn't necessary because we get to watch the videos online anyway. Teens who want to go down a certain path will do so anyway and it won't be because of some dance move."
Mr Darren Toh, a local K-pop dance instructor at K-pop academy Dream Station, which teaches K-pop singing and dance classes, told The New Paper: "Choreographers take these dance moves as a form of expression and the singers who are doing them are told to be in character.
"So taking on a different persona means going all the way. There's no right or wrong in taking on a sexy persona when performing a song. I feel the same about the ban - it's just about whether people can take it or not."
Mr Toh, 27, said that a guest female instructor from Korea who has worked with Girls' Generation and Miss A shocked him and the class when she taught them sexy dance moves that were considered a norm in K-pop.
He said: "She was completely transformed and, yes, her moves were extremely sexual. That was when we learnt that this is how it is in Korea."
Explaining why bans serve a purpose, vice-president of MTV, Comedy Central & Digital Media (Asia) Paras Sharma said: "At all times, we are also required to be especially sensitive to local community and cultural values."
He added that in making content appropriate for their audience, they have made changes to it. Abiding by laws and media regulations of countries where they operate is also important, he said.
I think the ban isn't necessary because we get to watch the videos online anyway. Teens who want to go down a certain path in their lives will do so anyway and it won't be because of some dance move.
- Local K-pop fan, 16-year-old student Nadya Tan
At all times, we are also required to be especially sensitive to local community and cultural values.
- Vice-president of MTV, Comedy Central & Digital Media (Asia) Paras Sharma, explaining why bans serve a purpose
2013's (too) sexy videos
Here are some provocative K-pop music videos of 2013 that would have got the snip too, if the Korean TV network ban had come into effect back then
FIRST LOVE - AFTER SCHOOL
Some bloggers have voted it the sexiest K-pop video because the girls take pole-dancing to a whole new level. They shimmy up and down the poles with some major leg action.
FEMALE PRESIDENT - GIRL'S DAY
This takes the cake when it comes to pushing boundaries. The girls remove their clothes behind screens so that their sexy silhouettes are captured.
GONE NOT AROUND ANY LONGER - SISTAR19
When Hyorin and Bora see a table, they just have to use it. And they obviously had a field day with that.
GLUE - NINE MUSES
Walking the fine line between sophisticated and sleazy, these models-turned-singers flash their generous cleavage and shake their booties in latex bodysuits.
HUSH - MISS A
Writhing is what Miss A does best here, executing the move so perfectly against a store front that you'll never look at such places the same way again.