Click B, Oh Jong Hyuk, T-ARA, Soyeon
Oh Jong HyukSoyeon Dating! For 3 Years Now! Just in Time for T-ARA’s Comeback Another couple has emerged among the celebrities. Click B's Oh Jong Hyuk and T-ARA's Soyeon revealed that they have been dating for 3 years now. They recently celebrated their 1000 day anniversary with some friends. In a time when people date and easily break up, their 3 year anniversary is a testament that their relationship is pretty serious. That's definitely a reason to celebrate! No wonder they can confess to their relationship so confidently.
Until now, there have been rumors of the two dating. So why did they wait until 3 years into their relationship to make an official announcement? To be sure, there were many opportunities for the couple to reveal their dating status prior to this recent announcement. For example, they could have said something when Oh Jong Hyuk enlisted in the military, or when he was discharged, or even when he made a comeback to the broadcasting industry. It's curious that their relationship would come to light right before T-ARA's comeback next month.
To be brutally honest, T-ARA is in hot water right now. Since their whole bullying controversy, the group's image dropped like a rock, and hasn't budged since then. Following the bullying controversy, T-ARA N4 resumed their activities in hopes of reviving the group, but their efforts didn't meet expectations. Even their tear-filled explanation of the situation wasn't enough to change the public's heart. What's worse, even their United States debut had a very low impact. It's amazing and unfortunate that T-ARA, a group whose popularity at one point was expected to exceed that of Girls' Generation, is now at rock bottom. This is indication of what a huge impact the bullying controversy had on T-ARA's reputation.
If this upcoming album comeback results in a failure, it's highly likely T-ARA's celebrity lifespan will be severely truncated. Although their popularity is still maintaining overseas in Japan and in other Asian countries, they won't be able to survive if Koreans back home don't support them. That's because it's almost impossible for an idol group to survive only with overseas activities. No matter what, domestic activities are not a matter of choice, but one of life and death of the group.
If that's so, why did Soyeon all of a sudden so easily admit to her relationship with Oh Jong Hyuk after 3 years of silence? Usually in such situations, it's normal for an idol to deny the rumors at least once before admitting the truth, but in this case the two seemed eager to reveal their relationship. It's almost as if they were just waiting for this chance.
The answer lies within the fact that they're now the center of attention. A whole bunch of articles are now being written about these two thanks to their recently revealed relationship. One interesting thing to note is that Soyeon is being put in a positive light, being called a "Gom Shin" (shortened from "Go Mu Shin," which is a rubber shoe). "Gom shin" is used to refer to a girlfriend who faithfully waits until her boyfriend returns from the military, because she didn't wear her "rubber shoes" on the wrong feet (meaning she didn't cheat). Two years is not a short term to wait for someone, and Soyeon is being praised for her fidelity.
For an idol like Click B's Oh Jong Hyuk, a scandal or relationship rumor with a girl idol could be costly. However, despite this fact, he admitted to being Soyeon's boyfriend. One can wonder whether this admittance was to highlight Soyeon as a "gom shin," thereby changing the public's view of both Soyeon as well as her group T-ARA. If not, then there's no real reason why they would bother to go through the trouble of revealing their relationship, which they've kept so well-hidden for the past 3 years.
Of course, this could all just be a happy coincidence. No one can say for sure whether all of this is intentional or not. But what is apparent is that the two are dating, and that both agencies were quick to confirm the veracity of the rumors. As a result, they're now the center of attention. Interesting that all of this is happening right before T-ARA's impending comeback in October.
There's no guarantee that T-ARA's negative image (as a result of the bullying incident) could be restored by Soyeon's positive "gom shin" image. If this is the extent of the agency's efforts to melt the public's icy gaze towards the group, then their comeback could be in trouble. But we'll see. The dice have been cast, and all we can do is sit back and watch what happens next.
Photo credit: Sportsseoul