When Idolizing Idols Goes Too Far
Weâve all seen it before: whenever a beloved idol somehow gets him or herself into hot water, whether by running their mouth off when they shouldnât, looking bored or tired during an interview, or failing to appropriately address an industry senior, the fan response is invariably the same.Â âOppa is only human!â the fans cry.Â âUnni makes mistakes just like everyone else!âÂ And even though the refrain is tired, the response cannot be said to not hold water; idols really are just people, and even though we are all guilty of doing it, it might not be the most fair thing to hold them to a higher standard than we do others.
As disappointing as it might be when they fall short of our expectations, itâs important to remember that our disappointment is directly a result of the fact that idols live their lives under a microscope: not only are their mistakes on display for the whole word to see, but they are also magnified to an extent that most of us could not conceptualize.Â Letâs be real â weâve all looked bored or tired at work or in class, but the repercussions we face are far less damaging or widespread.
However, there is one realm where the âOppa/Unni is a person just like all of usâ excuse seems to not apply, and that is anything related to appearance.Â But it isnât just that fans criticize our favorite idols for gaining too much weight, getting a terrible haircut, or wearing a questionable outfit; rather, oftentimes the problem is that fans project the utterly impossible or unrealistic attributes of celebrities onto themselves or those around them.
Consider this: last week on KBSâ variety program Hello, a young woman who made an appearance complained that her husband was micro-managing her weight in an incredibly unhealthy manner; though she was at one point overweight enough to merit something of a diet/lifestyle change (75 kilograms, or 165 pounds â by no means extremely overweight, but depending on oneâs height, not terribly healthy, either), her current weight (46 kilograms, or 101 pounds) is not a great deal healthier, either.Â Her husband claimed that he was doing it for her â that prior to her weight loss, store keepers had paid no attention to his wife â but as many females in the audience recognized, there comes a point (and this fellow got there pretty quickly) where such concern goes overboard and becomes as unhealthy as is being overweight.
Unfortunately for this young woman, however, her husband seems to see absolutely no problem with badgering his wife to be unnaturally skinny; indeed, while trying to defend his (absolutely appalling and quite frankly, indefensible) behavior, he let loose this gem: âI want my wife to be as skinny as After Schoolâs UEE.”
If you think that this statement is remarkably stupid, itâs because it is. First of all, letâs get one thing straight: if I had a friend who was over five feet tall and at a dangerously low weight, I wouldnât tell him or her how totally awesome it was that they were just one stomach flu away from being forbidden to donate blood (although in the United States, Iâm fairly sure that being under 115 pounds is enough to disqualify you from donating); rather, I would probably drag him or her to the nearest Burger King and order a deluxe Whopper with large fries, then swing by Wendyâs for a dessert Frosty.Â Maybe Iâd throw in a McFlurry, too, if I were feeling ambitious.Â But let’s be realistic: if I had a friend who was as skinny as UEEâ¦well, then my friend would probably be UEE.Â Or some other K-pop star who wears a size negative 2 dress and has a lucrative ad campaign contract with a soju company.
While we in the K-popiverse tend to throw around the term âidolâ without much thought or care, itâs worth taking a moment to remember that idolizing idols can be a dangerous and slippery slope.Â In fact, actually idolizing idols just might be one of the silliest things that any K-pop fan can do.Â Itâs one thing if you admire IUâs voice, or wish you could play the guitar as well as can CNBlueâs Yong-hwa; itâs another thing entirely to really, earnestly believe that Goo Haraâs âant waistâ is something to be realistically admired and sought-after.Â And it really doesnât help that in addition to âant waist,â a whole slew of somewhat ridiculous terms has developed to describe the many perfections that our ideal idols possess: honey thighs, chocolate abs, baby face + glamorous body (= bagel girl/boy), V-line chins, S-line curves, and the list goes on.
While a lot of K-pop fans certainly have their heads on straight, many (myself included) often seem to forget that the K-pop stars that we see on television, in magazines, on the internet, and pretty much everywhere else only look and seem the way that they do because it is basically their job to do and be so â and a hell of a lot of energy, time, dieting, plastic surgery, makeup, Photoshop, and cover-up goes into producing the final product. Even though it may just seem like a glitzy and trendy lifestyle from the outside looking in, being a celebrity â and especially being a celebrity in South Korea â is a full-time job just like any other, and as a job, it carries with it certain specifications, duties, and requirements.
In addition to all of the airbrushing, idols must spend a ridiculous amount of time polishing themselves in ways that people who are not celebrities do not.Â My job doesnât currently require me to wear fancy and carefully coordinated outfits to the airport but SNSDâs certainly does; my job similarly doesnât forbid me from eating before going to work (thank god), but SISTAR recently became the umpteenth girl group to report that they donât eat before appearing on music programs.
As silly as it might sound, my point is this: no one except idols should reasonably expect to even kind of look like an idol â because for nearly everyone else on the planet, the career demands placed on an idol are completely antithetical to those placed on practically every other lifestyle.Â Unless you are a model, actress, or singer (and nearly every single Korean celebrity is at one point in their career or another), you cannot reasonably or realistically hold yourself to the standards to which K-pop idols must hold themselves â only disappointment (or incredibly ill health, or both) will ensue. Donât be fooled, itâs a two way street â just as I donât expect to be as skinny, pretty, or put-together as is Tiffany, I do not expect her to write a masters-level dissertation on some aspect of Korean history.Â Yet despite the fact that a wealth of news stories exists to remind us of the seemingly absurd lengths that idols go to in order to maintain their figures and keep up their appearances, this fact is all too easy to forget when we think about ourselves.
This is not to say that any and all imitation of idols is bad, of course â but as the ancient Greeks say, everything in moderation. Â So gentlemen, please donât tell your lady that she should in any way, shape, or form resemble a Korean pop star; if she has any sense at all, sheâll either demand that you somehow morph into Taecyeon or get rid of you for your astounding lack of common sense.
And lest I be sexist, ladies, the same goes for you.
(NateÂ  , Nate, KBS2, SM Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, Starship Entertainment)
John Park and Wonder Girls’ Yeeun might be acting as guests on “Running Man.”
According to a media insider, “John Park and Yeeun are recently filming ‘Running Man’ at Incheon.” . ... Read more
Seventeen have been leaving us longing for more main points since they released their mysterious “iPhone screenshot” image, and now here”s a little more to quench our thirst!
Finally we get the primary genuine hint to their upcoming comeback with a new photo. We see the lads time traveling thru a forest, and beside Seventeen”s call in purple lettering is the word “Boys Be“! Whether here is the album name or name music we can”t know for sure, yet we are one step closer to locating out! . ... Read more
JTBC’s “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator” is making history as its viewership rating passes 10 percent.
The episode of “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator” aired on August 31 reached its easiest rating of 10.04 percent. It’s highest minute-by-minute rating reached 12.3 percent, which exceeds the prior highest ratings of 8.2 pecent from when BoA and Key gave the impression as guests. . ... Read more
(Photo : Crocodile Lady )
Ha Ji Won exudes a wholesome image in the latest pictorial for Crocodile Ladies. In the commercial and photos, the actress is styled in a mix of layered business casual pieces and long-sleeved pique polos. . ... Read more