In these days of good-looking but often breathtakingly talentless manufactured boy/girl bands, South Korean musicmakers have given new meaning to the concept of manufactured, with the creation of a pop group made up of transsexuals. Sine, 29, Sahara, 25, and Binu, 22, reportedly beat almost 400 other pop-diva wannabes to win a place in the group Lady. With the sort of delicate features, husky voices and long, lithe limbs which sometimes only men can have, the group has attracted plenty of media attention even before releasing an album. In demonstrating they are just your average women, they said during one television profile: 'We love chocolate, shopping and gossip. Mentally we were always women, the only difference being that we changed something physical; simply we are women with an extra scar.' Err, yes. Sahara is no stranger to fame, having come fourth in a transgender beauty contest in Thailand, where all the group's members underwent their sex change. Sine has done commercials and appeared in a music video. Only Binu previously hid she was a transsexual for fear of discrimination. The group is following in the proud footsteps of South Korean transsexual Harisu, who has successfully forged a niche as a singer, celebrity and the star of a number of advertisements, including as a model for cosmetics. Her rising celebrity was accompanied by much discussion and exposure of the problems and discrimination facing transsexuals in perhaps Asia's most Confucian country. Harisu is set to star in a television drama about a transsexual who is born a man but abandons his family in a state of confusion over his sexual identity, to reappear later as a woman. Perhaps the most positive aspect to Lady is that it demonstrates how far South Korea has moved from its rigid and stifling Confucian ideals. So much so, that powerful music agents decided people were ready to accept a trio of transsexuals as pop stars. Banking on their startling good looks and the public interest already generated, Lady has announced it will release an album of raunchy photos, which one local newspaper described as 'throwing down the gauntlet to born women'. The band are attracting their fair share of comment on the Web. On its blog, alongside the obligatory alluring photo, one writer was moved to exclaim: 'Man! The miracle of science and medicine!' To which my response would be: 'Woman! The miracle of marketing and hype.'