What is a K-Pop Girl Crush 

The Girl Crush Concept

The concept is a little abstract since the understanding that “Girl Crush” can differ slightly from person to person. At the core of it, girl crush Kpop is a term used to describe the gender dynamic between idols and their fans. How this happens can be understood in a number of ways. While the girl crush concept can largely be seen as a female empowerment movement, it’s also not explicitly defined as that, due to the controversy around this term in Kpop culture. With that being said, many would describe girl crush in vague terms, often pointing out elements of a group’s theme and their connection with female empowerment. For example, female Kpop groups can be identified by two major categories. OG Kpop groups like 2NE1 can be described as more outlandish, dynamic and strong-willed. On the other hand we have popular groups like TWICE that follow a more submissive, youthful and cute imagery for their brand. The first group is what we typically associate with girl crush kpop. It’s the idea of emphasizing the mature and sexier side of a woman, showing that bold confidence and playing that role-model figure to target their female audience. 


The Girl Crush K-Pop Group

Blackpink, the Kpop band consisting of Jennie, Lisa, Rose and Jisoo, is hands down one of the most iconic groups to date. Also known for their milestone of being the first to perform in a massive American festival, these girls know no bounds in terms of all the rules they can break. Their baddie style fashion and fierce confidence is the epitome of girl crush pop. Being a smaller group, their advantage lies in the fact that every single member gets just as much attention, and they all bring something to the table. Their success and growth is easily looked up to by their massive female following. You can learn more about their journey on our recap of Netflix’s BLACKPINK: Light Up the Sky Documentary

blackpink girl crush kpop

Another 4 member group with a killer set of girls is Mamamoo! These girls all bring it hard when it comes to performance, and they all meet that girl crush criteria. Hwasa and Moonbyul, as the rappers of the group, have so much confidence and charisma when they’re in the spotlight. On the other hand Solar and Wheein steal the show with their fantastic vocals. Their fierceness and “i-don’t-give-a-****” attitude has earned them the admiration of girls all over Korea. 

Who can ever forget the OG Kpop group that paved the way for the girl crush trend to begin with? It’s 2NE1 y’all. These ladies broke out in the most wild apparel, hair and style only to inspire their female following and created a loyal fanbase that’s unmatched. They set the blueprint for what a girl crush group should look like, and have inspired many of their followers to this day.  

2ne1 girl crush

Last but not least, we have Red Velvet. These girls really know when to switch it up and around. The versatility in their image allows them to play up their girl crush side but also throw in some cuteness along the way, which is exactly where the group’s concept was born from. 


The History of Girl Crush

The idea of girl crush Korea can be dated as far back as the 1990s. This era’s most prevalent type of female idol consisted of young pop stars that were soft-spoken, feminine and youthful. In contrast we had women like Lee Sang-eun that did not fit this typical look that was so popularized during this time. In fact, she had an edge about her and steered towards a tomboy energy which really set her apart from the rest. 


By the mid 2000s, this concept further developed itself through dynamic groups like 2NE1, 4Minute and Brown Eyed Girls. Steering into the very concept of individualism and womanhood, these groups further pushed for girl crush pop to take shape for years to come. 2NE1’s iconic song “I am the Best” can be described as the epitome of girl crush kpop group, with the girls sporting edgy studded leather clothing, wild hair, and dynamic colored fashion. Their fierceness and confidence clearly expressed through the lyrics and music video states their awareness of their female following and fans, and are unapologetic for it. 

i am the best girl crush

Today, this concept of girl crush kpop is not new by any means and has been adopted by some of the most popular Kpop groups you know of. With so many kpop girl groups geared towards this theme, it’s no wonder this term continues to rise in popularity.   


Groups that Embody the Girl Crush Concept 

While we love Kpop girl groups regardless of their girl crush status (see our take on The Kpop Girl Groups), these are our take of the best girl crush Kpop groups to date. 


  • BLACKPINK
  • Mamamoo
  • 2NE1
  • Red Velvet
  • G(I)-DLE
  • f(x)
  • Brown Eyed Girls
  • EXID
  • 4Minute

Are you crushing on these Kpop girl groups just as bad as we are? At the end of the day, they’re role models to us and sometimes we want to be just like them! If voicing your girl crush Kpop wasn’t enough, we made a post on How to Dress Like a K-Pop Star to get us one step closer to that dream! You can also check out Lychee the Label’s collection of Kpop Fashion for more choices when it comes to building that Kpop style wardrobe. 

August 24, 2021
Tags: kpop fashion