Lee Hi has decided to take a major turn in her exploration of themes from “1,2,3,4” and “It’s Over”. It’s not everyday we picture love and suffering together, but this new video captures that idea perfectly. Comparing her love to a rose, she tells a potential lover to give up, mocking his passion and affirming over and over that it’ll only hurt him. The imagery of blood, beauty and war is juxtaposed against a wired, pale background where it’s just her and lots of dangerous things.
It’s beautiful and creepy, but it’s clearly not a cheery video.
The Rose is a universal symbol of love, passion and beauty. Biologically, its thorns act as a natural defense mechanism against predators. In Christianity, its 5 petals are synonymous with the five wounds of Christ, and a Crown Of Thorns was placed on his head before his crucifixion. In this video, a similar crown is around her neck instead. If you want to come closer to her, you’ll need to give up, metaphorically, what Christ did…blood and suffering.
By alluding her love to a “red rose”, she’s presenting quite a difficult irony. Love is like a rose, but it also has thorns. Meaning love can give pleasure, but it can also hurt you.
Lee Hi knows what goes through your mind when you look at her. She knows she’s “fragrant” and “beautiful” so you’re attracted to her. She doesn’t bother making herself look goofy or stupid, because it isn’t her. Plus you’ll just think it’s cute anyway. The video isn’t even her fantasy…it’s yours. It’s your boyish, fairy tale mentality about love that you can just swoop in with “confidence”, claim her like a prince and feel entitled to a happy ending…to her that is just “pitiful.”
To her, your idea of love is too naive.
Yet there’s nothing she can do about it. Roses evolved thorns to protect them, but Lee Hi is not the rose, just a woman. The unnatural Crown Of Thorns that once burdened Christ because of his love for humanity and him wanting to lift their sin is now, ironically, at her neck, binding her from moving anything but her lips. She can’t do anything for those soldiers who are coming to rescue her…from her love.
So she warns you over and over to “just run away” but…will you listen?
From the war zone to the wolf, the thorns to the blood, Lee Hi paints many dark images that “hurt” just to get you to “run away”. Yet she knows that you won’t…or at least you don’t want to. Why? Because there’s a high chance you’re not really paying attention to them. Watching the video, you’re just waiting for the parts where she appears, pretty as always. In your eyes, she’s just another girl, and those freaky parts with the thorn only makes her exotic, like a Korean Poison Ivy. Warnings just fall on deaf ears. You’re confident you can make her smile.
But are you really sure you can do that?
Notice how she doesn’t tell you to actually ‘hate’ or ‘despise’ her? If she wanted us to really stay away, why not use those words? She’s still using beautiful words like “love” and “trust”, just adding the command “don’t”. It’s the same with the video: She’s still pretty, the roses look beautiful and even the negative imagery look stunning. She could paint herself evil, but she doesn’t do that.
If you want my heart, you need to take my pain too
Because you will be pricked by my thorns someday
These two lines are the closest thing to an opening for you. If you want possess her, you’ll have to inherit everything: the good, the bad…and the thorns. Somewhere deep in her heart, she’s probably holding on to a teeny-weeny faith that perhaps, just perhaps, you could be the one to experience her at her most “beautiful” and “fragrant”.
It’s like a Helen Of Troy challenge: She wants to know who’s willing to go through it all to actually claim her.
“Pray 4 us” is tattooed on these soldiers as they attempt to breach into her unforgiving heart, fully armed and even with camouflaged uniforms. In this world, the white thorns are barbed wire and the rose’s vibrant color is a mine field, keeping even Lee Hi herself prisoner. This is how dangerous it is. Are you prepared to go through all that to reach her?
…roses are beautiful but they have thorns. Apart from its meaning that is about woman’s love, I was also stylized as rose…It has this dark and mature feeling.
– Lee Hi, Omona They Didnt
Man will definitely accept the challenge, just like Helen’s case with Troy and Greece. But whether you’re able to survive the coldness of her heart to reach her sweet, beautiful core is another. Hope can only get you so far, you need sacrifice. “My love is like a red rose” If you want to keep something as beautiful as her, know that you’ll get “hurt”. She’s telling us all these, because she actually cares. “I don’t wanna hurt you”. But…why all that coldness in the first place? Look at who she is, firstly.
Emotions? That’s an extravagance to me
Love? That’s Obsession’s best friend
A solo rising star in the K-Pop industry where time is short, beauty is compulsory and competition is fierce even within her own label, papa YG. The fact that the music video is creeping towards 10 million YouTube views says something about her influence. Since young, she’s been grinding her way to the top like many of the top Korean artists: forgoing sleep, relationships and a normal childhood. While you were at the playground playing hide-and-seek, she’s in the studio working.
Born 1996, at just 17 she’s turned a quiet, shy confidence and love of music into one of Korean Pop’s hottest brands. Lee Hi is a cold threat in K-Pop. Period.
For fame and financial success, what she went through for years would dwarf what you can possibly even think of doing to win her heart. Each time you watch her performance, she has you so captivated you willingly give up 4 minutes of your time. And that’s not counting replays. Do you think she has time for half-hearted love? And that, is the key to a woman’s heart. Sacrifice.
See? She’s not actually a monster. She’s a normal girl in a cute red dress. It’s her environment, full of beautiful things that hurt that’s made her put up that wall of thorns. As Lee Hi enters womanhood and adult maturity, she realizes and warns us how love can lead to obsession, which can and will hurt you. So, still think you can handle a woman’s love?