Ever felt like your idol just didn’t look their best in a music video? It could be intentional. Here’s what two veteran K-Pop music video directors (who have worked with everyone from AOA to NCT) had to say on the matter.

ZANYBROS have produced some of the best music videos in K-Pop, from MAMAMOO‘s “gogobebe” to AleXa‘s “Bomb”. However, not everyone is a fan of their work. In a new AYO “Comment Defenders” video on YouTube, director pair Hong Won Ki and Kim Jun Hong faced a fan who felt like the company had changed its direction

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The fan said that while they always thought ZANYBROS music videos were “tacky“, at least they “film idols’ faces prettily“. However, the fan went on to say that lately, idols in their music videos don’t seem to look so pretty.

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Many recent ZANYBROS videos have a darker vibe (“Eclipse” by MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul) | 1theK (원더케이)/YouTube

Surprisingly, Hong and Kim didn’t deny the accusation. However, they did say that if idols don’t look pretty in their music videos, it’s not necessarily their fault. According to Kim Jun Hong, it’s actually down to the idols’ agencies.

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Kim explained that agencies these days “want to do something different from the same style as before“. While beauty and visuals may have been the prime focus in past generations—such as when ZANYBROS directed Girls’ Generation-TTS‘s “Twinkle” in 2012—these days, they have different priorities.

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| SMTOWN/YouTube

He went on to say that there are specific angles directors use to “cover weaknesses” in an idol’s looks, making them look perfectly beautiful or handsome. However, they’re not always allowed to use them.

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Some angles cover weaknesses in the face and make good parts stand out. I think those are our tips.

— Kim Jun Hong

Hong Won Ki agreed, adding that they often shoot those pretty cuts, only to remove them while editing the final video at the company’s request.

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It seems that these days, companies are moving beyond looks, trying to create more cinematic and unique music videos. (G)I-DLE’s “Oh My God” music video, for example, wouldn’t have had the same impact without its gritty aspects—like the barbed wire Soyeon danced between.

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| (G)I-DLE (여자)아이들/YouTube

Of course, when you look like Soyeon, it’s impossible not to be gorgeous no matter what the concept is.

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| 1theK (원더케이)/YouTube

But if you miss those beauty-focused music videos, you may be in luck. Kim Jun Hong acknowledged that while they typically shoot in a different style these days, they’ve still “got the skills” to bring back the pretty vibe if it’s what fans want.