A sweet music video by Loona’s newest member Chuu is making waves as fans praise her rare depiction of same-sex love in K-pop.
Chuu’s “Heart Attack,” released on Dec. 27, introduced the 10th member of Loona (stylized LOO??), a new girl group with a unique rollout. Since October 2016, the act has been revealing members of what will be the 12-person team through solo and collaborative tracks. The latest, Chuu, is part of the third and final subgroup of Loona, following the four members of Loona ? and the trio of Odd Eye Circle. She joins Yves as part of the final four members, whose team has been described as “four girls who denied the garden of Eden.” And it is the depiction of Yves and Chuu in the music video for Chuu’s single that has caught the eyes of many.
Explained via YouTube blurb as a song that “interprets the feelings of being in love” in “Chuu’s own adorable emoticon-like ways,” the music video shows Chuu watching, following and even taking photos of Yves. Despite Chuu’s interest, Yves doesn’t acknowledge the other girl for most of the video, even as Chuu tries to get closer and give Yves the gift of an apple. Things come to a conclusion with Chuu and Yves celebrating Christmas together and Chuu feeding Yves a strawberry, but then shows Chuu laying on the ground as if dead before she is revived by Haseul, a previously revealed member of Loona.
The immediate response from many fans of the group has been to see the music video as depicting Chuu crushing on Yves and the party scene depicting a burgeoning relationship, a rare case of a K-pop music video showing a lesbian couple. The pair, Chuu and Yves, have been heralded as LGBTQ icons by many, though there has been no affirmation of their sexuality or allyship from their label or the women themselves.
the kpop industry is kinda known for completely shutting down and shying away from anything lgbt,, but then loona comes around and makes a whole ass music video about the newest member falling in love with another female member. i love unique and accepting legends
— — (@namchuun) December 29, 2017
really no jokes about the gay unit or anything, but really… homophobia is a huge thing, that bbc dared to mention chuu has an innocent “crush” on yves is something huge and as someone that is part of the lgbt+ community I’m really thankful to them to show it in their concept
— ami / #BestLeaderJBday ! (@radiantbam) December 28, 2017
loona hasn’t even had their official debut yet they have given us the softest most beautiful sapphic song of 2017. I’m speechless #chuu #heartattack pic.twitter.com/p91oJtlt17
— raven (@chuuandyves) December 28, 2017
However, others have responded that “Heart Attack,” rather than being a positive representation of LGBTQ love, plays on K-pop’s tendency to rely on homoerotic behavior from its stars as a way to garner fan interest. In August, Beyond Hallyu, a blog dedicated to exploring K-pop’s place in Korean culture from an international perspective, wrote that “portraying interactions between idol group members as romantic is a very effective marketing tactic.”
And these outlets really thought they were doing something revolutionary when I bet my shit they were just regular queerbaiting https://t.co/INcxLrFUth
— yves saint loona (@yvesmagritte) January 2, 2018
All loona members r straight this is called queer baiting Sweaty — didn’t know u got chuu on speed dial…….if anything you’re just condoning heteronormativity https://t.co/KNpgI4A2md
— ? (@jins6ul) December 28, 2017
An alternate theory, one of many related to what fans have dubbed “the Loonaverse,” has found traction with many of Loona’s fans, who see Chuu’s video as a depiction of childish adoration on the singer’s part toward an older, more mature female — though the pair are only a year apart in actuality– based on lyrics like “my heart that wants to be like you” and Chuu copying Yves’ wardrobe and actions in certain scenes. The duo’s release of “Girl Talk,” a joint track in which they unite to sing about falling for a boy, reconciles this third opinion that Chuu hopes to emulate Yves rather than that she is in love with her.
is chuu in love with yves or does she just admire her and want to be her friend because chuu was copying yves’ dance moves
— ezra ?? (@3RACHANGBIN) December 28, 2017
SHE WAS TRYING TO BE LIKE CHUU OMG SHES THE CUTEST pic.twitter.com/WY5exnbOio
— yves pics (@yvesjpg) December 28, 2017
Neither Chuu nor Loona’s label, Blockberry Creative, have offered up any clarification regarding the music video’s intended meaning regarding the pair’s relationship, but the video itself, like most of Loona’s videos so far, offers a lot of room for interpretation, thanks to its incorporation of the artwork of Rene Magritte, a 19th and 20th century Belgian surrealist who challenged viewers’ precondition perceptions through his abstractions of the world, references to John Appleby’s 1952 novel Aphrodite Means Death and Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” short story.
Chuu’s “Heart Attack” is the 14th music video released as part of the Loona pre-debut project. It is still unknown when the 12-member group will release its first combined song, though it is likely to take place this year after the final pair is revealed.
Watch the video for “Heart Attack” here: