If there is one thing in common between girl groups and female artists in K-Pop, it is their unwavering confidence, independence, boldness and self-assurance. Realizing the immense influence they have on the youth, artists have repeatedly stepped up to spread the message of female empowerment. All the way from BoA to ITZY, one thing is certain— empowerment comes from within. So, the next time you’re in the need of a little push, check out these songs to bring you back on track and have faith in yourself.
1. “DALLA DALLA” By ITZY
Don’t measure me by your standards alone. I love being myself, I’m nobody else.”ITZY
Behind the glamorous music video, ITZY’s debut single “Dalla Dalla” is a call to all the misfits in the world. The song celebrates differences and diversity and makes an appeal to listeners to love themselves first and foremost, just as they are. What is important is living life on one’s own terms.
2. “Roll Deep” By HyunA ft. Jung Il Hoon Of BTOB
You can’t touch me, don’t touch me. I don’t care at all, my place is still the same.”HyunA
People exist and so do their opinions. What does not change is the self. HyunA expresses her conviction and surety of identity through this badass song, shooing away external disapproval and standing her own ground, knowing that she is unbeatable. Next time opinions of others get you down, blast this song on the speakers!
3. “Kill This Love” By BLACKPINK
What should I do? I can’t stand myself being so weak. While I force myself to hide my tears, I need to bring an end to this love.”BLACKPINK
BLACKPINK‘s mega-hit single “Kill This Love” tells us straight that sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the ones that are the most necessary. Even if it hurts at the moment, it’ll be liberating in reality. Respecting oneself enough to let go of what’s toxic is the message echoing through this song.
4. “I Am The Best” By 2NE1
I refuse to be compared. I’m telling you the truth. If we’re talking about my value, I’m a billion dollar baby.”2NE1
If there was ever a feminist anthem about knowing your value and standing by it, “I Am The Best” by 2NE1 is undoubtedly the song. Firm, fierce, and gorgeous, this song has it all. Comparison is only a weapon society uses to bring you down. Your value is priceless. This is what the song wants listeners to know and believe.
5. “Monster” By Irene And Seulgi Of Red Velvet
I rose from the ashes in the cold ground. From dusk to dawn, I still exist.”Irene & Seulgi
“Monster” by Irene & Seulgi is the title track of the first mini-album from the Red Velvet subunit, Irene & Seulgi. The main message that resonates throughout the song and music video is that it’s hard to get rid of someone who has seen it all and fought the worst but has still risen from the ashes like the phoenix. Those experiences often shape you into a powerful, bold (and sometimes even battle scarred) woman, which many people might find intimidating down the road. However, embrace those qualities and experiences that make you who you are today!
6. “I Don’t Need A Man” By miss A
I don’t need a man, I can live alone by myself without a man. I pay my rent on my own, I eat what I want, I buy my own clothes. It’s not a lot, but I am satisfied, so I love myself.”Miss A
Popular for their incredibly empowering music, miss A‘s “I Don’t Need A Man” speaks of independence and finding happiness within oneself without anyone else’s help. Other songs by miss A, such as “Bad Girl Good Girl,” also spread the message of girl power and ultimate fierceness. Stay tuned for a special article on miss A and their liberating discography, only on What The Kpop!
7. “So What” by LOONA
Being sharp, so what?! Being cold, so what?! Being fearless (Bad) For what?! So what?!”LOONA
Rookie girl group LOONA is a master at creating music that is emboldening and unapologetic. “So What” tells us exactly that— to be fearlessly yourself, no matter what people say. Are people criticizing you? Well, so what? True success in life is being able to be yourself.
8. “Woman” By BoA
No comparing, I shine just as I am. I’m beautiful enough, To be a woman.”BoA
The Queen has spoken and when she tells you that being a woman is magical, beautiful, freeing and bright, you listen. To be a woman is great by virtue of itself and no one should compare themselves to another for everyone is just as special. Everyone shines in their own light.
9. “Adios” By Everglow
Why do you make me so sad? I should’ve been the main character in the first place. Goodbye, au revoir, adios.”EVERGLOW
The marching anthem for getting over any heartbreak is undoubtedly Everglow‘s “Adios.” Saying goodbye to pain, lack of respect, and the person that came with it in order to serve yourself is the message embodied in this powerful song.
10. “Solo” By Jennie
I like being alone, because I should be true to myself. Like the flowing wind, Like the stars above the clouds, I want to go far away, I want to shine brightly.”JENNIE
Speaking of break up anthems, perhaps the song that tops the list is BLACKPINK Jennie‘s “Solo.” Exploring the possibilities of the heights of success that one can reach when one is no longer tied down to a bad relationship could not have been done better than in this song. A woman does not need anybody else to shine. Similarly, she’s also not meant to exist in the shadow of someone else.
11. “Baddest Female” By CL
This is for all my bad girls around the world. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good, you know? Let’s light it up and let it burn like we don’t care. Let ‘em know how it feels damn good to be bad.”CL
If swagger, power, and charisma could be personified as one, CL would be the perfect example. She is not afraid of what the world thinks of her. Talented and proud, she’s here to show the world what she’s made of and she encourages girls around the world to do the same. Sometimes, being bad is pretty good.
12. “Yes I Am” By MAMAMOO
Now, now, if I were to describe myself, I’m a confident woman. To put it in words, a woman of feeling (My baby). If you think you can do it, you can follow me.”MAMAMOO
The members of MAMAMOO take turns to describe their uniqueness in this exceptional song, taking pride in their quirks and loving every single part of themselves, even the ones the world deems unworthy. For, in reality, there is no such thing as “unworthy” and MAMAMOO tells you exactly that: all of you is perfect and the world is going to have to adapt to all that amazingness. Period.
This list would be way too long if we had to count every single awesome girl power track in the history of K-pop. So, here are some honorable mentions! Some of our favorites (and some of the best ones in K-pop) are BoA’s “Girls On Top,” After School‘s “Ms. Independent,” Lee Hyori‘s “Bad Girl,” Amber Liu‘s “Beautiful,” GIRL’S DAY‘s “Female President,” CLC‘s “NO,” Red Velvet‘s “Bad Boy,” Hwasa‘s “Maria,” TWICE‘s “Girls Like Us,” Sunmi‘s “Gashina,” EXID‘s “Ah Yeah,” and more!
What are some of your favorite girl power songs in K-pop? What other empowering songs would you include on this list? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us @whatthekpop1
Ishani Sarkar is a self-professed learner for life, trying to find meaning and happiness in the smallest of things. She found her safe haven within the world of Korean entertainment and she’s never letting go.
Media: As Credited.
Featured Image Credit: SMTOWN, Vogue Korea, RBW