Reference in aespa ‘Supernova’ Music Video Draws Divided Responses: ‘This Is Kinda Disgusting…’

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[TW: This article contains mention of suicide.]

A reference made in aespa’s “Supernova” music video is drawing mixed reactions from Korean netizens.

On May 13, 2024, aespa dropped the music video for their pre-release single, “Supernova,” one of the singles from their upcoming studio album. As soon as the video dropped, the video garnered millions of views, with fans praising the song and the visuals of the four members.

However, one part of the music video has garnered differing reactions.

On May 14, 2024, a post titled “The first scene in aespa’s ‘Supernova’ was an homage to ‘The Most Beautiful Suicide'” was uploaded to the popular South Korean community forum TheQoo.

It was pointed out that the music video opens with a shot of a car parked outside a building. Suddenly, Karina’s body is seen falling from above and landing on the car. The video then shows Karina’s body lying on top of the car, with one hand behind her hand, and the other placed gracefully across her stomach. Her legs are crossed as she lies. At first, her eyes are closed, but she soon moves to start singing.

The scene references Evelyn McHale’s last photograph, which has been dubbed “the most beautiful suicide in the world.” Evelyn McHale was only 23 years old when she jumped to her death on May 1, 1947, from the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. She landed on top of a car, which absorbed all the impact. Despite falling from the 86th floor, there were no signs of immediate blood or broken bones.

A passing student witnessed her suicide and took a photo of her body, which soon became famous. Sadly, in her suicide note, Evelyn McHale stated she did not want any person to see her and hoped to be forgotten after her passing, but due to the photo, she is remembered all these years. Several artists, shows, movies, and popular media have referenced the photo in the past.

aespa’s reference to the photo drew mixed reactions from Korean netizens. People noted that Evelyn McHale would not have wanted the attention, therefore it is disrespectful that it was referenced at all. Others were simply creeped out and disgusted by the fact there was no reference to suicide at all. Korean netizens commented that they did not understand how a suicide could be deemed as beautiful.

Some comments read,

  • “Humans are so weird.”
  • “I just don’t understand how someone can call a suicide beautiful and praise it… Even if it’s art, it’s still a taboo subject.”
  • “Why would anyone do this?”
  • “Did the director flat out say it was an homage? I don’t know, so I am just asking. I thought she just crashed on the car because she’s an alien and she’s heavy…”
  • “But when I saw that part, I did this of suicide… Maybe this is why.”
  • “This is so creepy and bizarre. The picture was so shocking.”
  • “Rest in peace.”
  • “This is kinda disgusting.”

What do you think of the situation? Tell us in the comments below!

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