While cute concepts are probably the most popular for female K-Pop idols, there are plenty of female artists that break the mold. In fact, over the years, we have seen female idols increasingly embrace more bold and badass concepts, meaning that now we’re lucky enough to get women who do cute and cool. Here are some of the coolest female idols in K-Pop today.
1. BLACKPINK’s Lisa
This year Lisa finally made her long-awaited solo debut with “LALISA” and “Money,” both of which show just how effortlessly cool and charismatic she is. What’s more, when fellow YG Entertainment group iKon chose to perform a BLACKPINK song on the survival show Kingdom: Legendary War, they invited her to perform as a special guest. Of course, Lisa absolutely killed it, even almost overshadowing the rest of the performance. BLACKPINK songs already have a strongly confident feel to them, but Lisa’s performance was an iconic moment.
Jessi is known as a fearless woman in the K-Pop industry, not hesitating to throw out sassy and hilarious remarks when the occasion calls for it or to openly discuss certain taboo topics. It makes sense that her songs lean into this confident, bold girl vibe, as Jessi herself has long been challenging the expectations of women in K-Pop.
3. MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul
Often seen performing in trousers and cool suits, Moonbyul has arguably carved out a space for women to be accepted as being cool without having to rigidly adhere to the more conventional standards of femininity. Yet, what makes things even better is that Moonbyul can just as well pull off just about every kind of concept, proving that anything goes and that what matters most is being oneself.
As a veteran of the industry, HyunA is no stranger to challenging expectations. When HyunA debuted as a solo artist she did not shy away from the topic of sexuality in her work. Her openness about this and other topics, including her relationships and her health, have won her a dedicated following and have made many people feel more confident about expressing themselves.
Cheetah’s “Villain (ft Jamie)” is criminally underrated, but it proves why Cheetah has a place on this list. The song displays an effortlessly cool vibe, one that does justice to her talent as a rapper and to her style as an artist.
Like others on this list, CL has definitely defied conventions as a female artist. Her songs are bold, and this classic from 2015 is bound to make you feel fired up and ready to conquer the day — or at least your workout.
Sunmi is an icon, and this year she did not disappoint; not only did she produce her Catwoman-inspired hit “Tail,” but she also made this awesome MV for “You Can’t Sit With Us,” which plays like a Mean Girls meets action thriller movie, turning her into a zombie-slaying certified badass.
Chungha’s “Bicycle” is catchy, but her charismatic performance of it easily makes it one of the coolest acts by a female idol this year. The dance break is awesome, and Chungha’s confidence and her boss energy elevate it to another level. It’s too bad she did not snag a nomination for Best Dance Performance at this year’s Mnet Asian Music Awards, as she definitely deserved one.