With the recent debate surrounding many K-pop artists and idols for purportedly incorporating “Lolita” influences into their image concepts and promotional materials, Korean celebrity photographer Choi Won Suk (a.k.a. Rotta) has come under fire for his “Lolita concept”.

Rotta first came into the public spotlight when his late 2015 photo-shoot with former f(X) member Sulli was uploaded onto Instagram. The pictures, which featured the artist modeled to look young and innocent, but sexy, quickly garnered criticism for its alleged depiction of a “Lolita” based theme.

These allegations quickly became more heated when subsequent releases of other provocative “Lolita-concept” photoshoots, featuring various Korean celebrities including K-pop group STELLAR and singer / actress Dohee, went viral online.

Generally picturing models wearing revealing clothing while made to look extremely young, both the celebrities and Rotta came under fire for allegedly encouraging (or simulating) pedophilia. Many Netizens rallied under the banner that these “Lolita-concept” images were pedophilic in nature, offensive, and should not be permitted. Critics also pointed out that these photoshoots largely paralleled images found within the Japanese “Loli-con” sub-culture (a.k.a. Lolita complex — not to be confused with Lolita fashion), and even within child pornography.

Dohee X Rotta Photo-shoot

Others came to Rotta's defense, claiming that the photos were no more revealing than other pop cultural images found in the K-pop industry and that they largely coincided with the general tendency to play up the youthful and sexy nature of many artists, talents, and idols.

Meanwhile, Rotta himself has claimed that while he was influenced by Japanese manga and anime's portrayal of adolescent beauty, he himself is not a pedophile, nor does he have a Lolita complex.

However, regardless of which side leads the general opinion, in a cultural industry where no more than ten years ago kissing on screen was considered by many to be risqué, this controversy marks the rapidly changing landscape of the Korean entertainment industry both at home and on a global stage.  

What are your thoughts on this controversy? 

Source 12 and 3