Girls' older generation
STEP aside, young sexy K-pop girl groups.
There are new groups of women in town looking to spark off the next round of the Hallyu wave, and they are none other than "Ahjumma girl groups".
Ahjumma refers to "auntie" in Korean, but is also a term used to address women in Korea who are married.
In the past month, two such outfits have debuted their singles, breathing an air of maturity into the saturated and competitive K-pop music industry.
Girl Hood, a quartet consisting of married women aged 29 to 37, released their music video for debut track Darling, Honey I Love You last week.
They are marketed as the Ahjumma version of top K-pop girl group Girls' Generation, as the pronunciation of the bands' names in Korean is similar.
However, even though they are labelled Ahjumma, they are nowhere near the fat, old, curly haired aunties you get in a typical Korean drama.
Standing at an average height of 1.7m, Girl Hood's members are slim and sexy. Their portfolios feature careers as beauty pageant contestants and models during their younger days.
Said a spokesman for their agency, SC Entertainment: "The lovely beautiful Ahjumma group does give off a similar vibe as Girls' Generation, but they are clearly different.
"They have the looks and the singing skills that are beyond most girl groups these days.
"Girl Hood is the representative Ahjumma group that gives hopes and dreams to Ahjummas taking care of their husbands and children."
He added: "The group name Girl Hood describes the Ahjummas as they look back at their teen years and their will to realise their dream back then.
"Darling, Honey I Love You will make your shoulders move to the rhythm, breaking the prejudiced opinions of Ahjummas."
But before Girl Hood think they can dominate the Ahjumma category, they'll have to face some competition that's hot on their heels.
The Unnies also released their digital single, Old Fox, recently.
The Unnies, which stands for "elder sisters" in Korean, consist of members aged 33 to 42, of whom two were from idol groups in the past.
Leader Kim Ji Hyun is an established singer who used to be part of 90s K-pop hip-hop co-ed group Roo'ra.
Going for a sexy vibe, The Unnies are often clad in short body-clinging outfits which show off their long legs in promotional images.
However, despite their efforts, the Ahjumma groups have received mixed reviews from local K-pop fans.
Some praise them for their courage to pursue their dreams, while others criticise them for their lacklustre dance choreography and cheesy music videos.
Girls' Generation fan Brandon Tay said: "I find the whole concept refreshing, yet weird at the same time. It's cool that they are promoting themselves as an older girl group, but why are they wearing tight revealing clothes, especially when they say that they are already married?"
The 19-year-old student added: "The Unnies' song is better than Girl Hood's as it is more catchy.
"I'm not sure if they can attract a lot of fans, but they'll definitely garner a lot of attention for their novelty.
"I am curious to see how it pans out for them."
K-pop fan Charmaine Lim, 29, said: "These Ahjummas are very hot and they sure can sing. However, Girl Hood's music video feels outdated and their dance moves are not polished and seem awkward. Maybe they cater to an older crowd."
However, 42-year-old K-pop fan Doris Yeo finds such groups empowering for women their age.
The human resource executive said: "It's very noble and courageous for them to debut at an older age and to sing and dance in front of a huge audience, most of whom are teenagers.
"They will face more challenges, compared to the younger girl groups."