Teen Top: No More Perfume on You ~~~~ Summary + Review
No More Perfume On You has gotten terrible reviews; an irresistible beat with an awful message, but I couldn’t disagree more.
Let me start this review by saying this video couldn’t be more poorly executed for its audience. Teen Top is essentially a teenaged boy group, hence the name Teen Top, so obviously their demographic is teenagers (teenage girls, to be exact).
When I first heard this song, only being an English speaker and knowing little to no Korean, and not having watched the video at the time - I, like many others, caught on to the catchy beat of the song. So naturally I looked into it… And was thoroughly thrown off at first.
Not only were the lyrics told through the perspective of a narcissistic, cheating boy, but the video only added to the repulsion with his casual smile and blatant taking advantage of both his “nuna” and his younger girlfriend; not the best message to be sending to teenage girls, wouldn’t you say?
But then I watched it again, just to make sure a teenaged idol group with a teenage demographic would actually put a song+mv out like this, and I came up with a different story to the song and video.
Let’s start from the beginning of the video:
Chunji, the Teen Top member playing the male lead in this mv, starts off by talking about his nuna (Korean for a girl older than himself) dotingly, sort of like a little boy having his first crush on an older girl. A little bashful, head over heels, cute. And then it’s revealed that this nuna is in a relationship with him. Okay, nothing to be suspicious of; older women can dig younger guys. Cool.
But then, in the video, Chunji walks into a room with the other members of Teen Top and a younger girl (not his nuna) that is clearly familiar with his friends, and wraps his arm around her. This moment in the video contrasts with the lyric: “When you put your hand on my shoulder, I feel like I own the world.” His nuna has more confidence than this younger girl, clearly, since Chunji is the one wrapping an arm around this younger girl than his nuna putting a hand on him.
But. This younger girl and this nuna have something in common: they’re both Chunji’s girlfriend.
This home-wrecking nuna, though, has an appearance completely opposite of his innocent younger girlfriend. No, this nuna wears glitter makeup and perfume, something that his younger girl doesn’t. So nuna can’t wear glitter and perfume, or Chunji’s younger girlfriend will catch on. Not that him texting his nuna with a smug smile while ignoring everyone else won’t give the younger girl a vibe. Definitely not.
And then the classic line that follows that scene: “Nuna, you’re my nuna~ but if you really like me, if you do… Don’t say anything, just do as I say, do it like that.” You don’t really know if the sexy nuna knows about the younger girlfriend, but whether she does or doesn’t, it’s obvious that this guy is a real keeper. A narcissistic younger guy is all she needs, right?
Uh oh, the nuna wore perfume anyways. Chunji wrapped his arm around nuna, which I guess is a no no. Of course, when Chunji again makes a move on his younger girl, she’ll smell nuna’s perfume on his jacket. But he brushes it off coolly; Chunji has a plan. It’s all good.
Nuna is upset with Chunji and his other relationship; she doesn’t want to change, obviously, but as she clearly doesn’t want to break up with Chunji, he comforts her by saying: “Do as I say, anyway you’re mine and you can’t live without me. Glitter and perfume go away, for my girlfriend and I that’s a trouble maker. No frowny face. No more. Nuna you’re the prettiest when you smile, so don’t say anything never. Just listen to me, you’re the best that I have.” Well if you feel that way Chunji, you’d break up with your younger girlfriend. But instead he gives both his nuna and his younger girlfriend the same perfume, leading his nuna to believe that he broke up with the younger girl, and to try and settle the suspicions of the younger girlfriend. Killing two birds with one stone. Wonderful for him. He gets the best of both worlds.
And then both girls are smitten with him, or so we’re lead to believe. A manicured hand reaches for her perfume, sprayed on a neck with delicately curled hair falling to one side; what looks an awful lot like nuna at the beginning turns out to be his younger girlfriend. Well, not so young looking any more what with her new look: glitter and perfume.
So Chunji, as usual, spends his night swooning over his nuna at a club. Nuna looks content and Chunji smug. But his younger girlfriend, now looking like a second nuna, went to the same club that night, probably to go make him shove whatever pride he has left up his a$$. Earlier in the video he winked at nuna, but now Chunji nods at his younger girlfriend (though he doesn’t know it’s his younger girlfriend) with a sexy and inviting smile.
Well, it’s safe to assume no one is going to be smiling by the end of that episode, though it’s left to the imagination of the viewer.
Now let me tell you what I got from that video, I being a teenage girl within their demographic:
A teenage boy, wanting to be a man, swoons over an older girl in order to “feel like a man”, and like the irresponsible boy he really is, hurts people left and right without caring, or in this case, while smiling like a smug idiot. Of course, what goes around comes around, as in the younger girl’s case by changing into his precious nuna’s look-a-like while she makes him eat whatever manhood-complex he had going on. Chunji didn’t get away with cheating in the end.
So rather than this song being about it being okay for guys to cheat on girls, it’s saying the exact opposite.
This is just my take on things. You guys can think whatever you want to about the song. I myself am not the biggest Teen Top fan, but I do find this song too catchy to ignore, despite whatever message it’s portraying.