• JUN

    That was a great read, I feel more comfortable being a Suju fan after reading that.

  • yellow

    How is Korea toward the gay population? Becuase, looking at many male idols, I would say they could be seen as gay, either the way they’re forced to be/dress/act.

    • Heyhey

      ??? Gay has nothing to do with dress. It’s your sexual attraction and NO Korea does not accept gays like many Asian, South American and African countries. In their eyes, generations and lineage are everything which means marriage is between a man and a woman. Your comment is as homophobic, why must gays only be girly? And what is wrong with make-up? ALL television stars wear it. And clothing? Um…ever heard of performance attire? Katy Perry doesn’t wear her quirky outfits in real life, its just a costume.

      • cameron12

        um first of all Africans don’t accept gays at all I suggest you read every country’s policy on gays.Also Korea accepts feminine looking men who pose no real threat and people need to stop being in denial of a man dressing and looking like a woman and saying that is okay. It is something behind the message.

  • Literati

    All I have to say is look at what happened to Tablo. He never pushed his academic records on anyone but he was persecuted to the ends of the Earth for it. Then again you look at idols like SooYoung who get praised for going to collage only to get gawked at when they try and attend class.

  • kc

    You make it seem like keeping quiet about your opinions is a bad thing that and means you’re dumb… I for one like to keep my trap shut when I’m with others, life’s a whole like easier when you don’t make drama and sometimes voicing your opinion makes you seem rude and not sensitive.
    We can’t really say it’s just Kpop idols, I remember Tracy Morgan had a little Homophobic rant not to long ago and what did we do? we shunned him until he pretty much had to beg for forgiveness. people are liable to dislike those who don’t share their views, it’s just human nature. In a way Kpop managers are smart to have their Idols “dumb up” when it comes to views.
    consider it this way, we’ve got people who specifically go on the internet to bash people, that’s what they do to have some fun and add on anyone who doesn’t agree with a great deal of your views as well, that’s a whole lotta hating and I know if I were an Idol I’d keep my trap shut…
    American Artists in my opinion never shut up about their opinions, at times it’s like they’re trying to force their beliefs down your throat so it’s nice to listen to some “mindless” music every once and a while -.- (I’m American my self btw)
    IDK, I guess I just think, if I were an Idol I wouldn’t want to share every bit of me, I’d want to keep somethings to my self, but that’s just my personality, I know alot of people who can’t help but express their opinion about every living thing in the world…
    anyways, good article nonetheless, I like reading other’s thoughts^^
    (Suju’s EHB is hilarious, along with SUJU Fullhouse, both shows are what got me into them^^ You gotta know when Suju goes on a show it’s gonna be good, especially when Eunhyuk is there… though I’m a bit biased…)

    • eboy07

      But thats the thing i like about american artists they speak honestly. B2ST member Kikwang who did a blackface on a show. We dont know if he could refuse to do it or that the company forced him.

      (Correct me if i am wrong.)

      • kc

        there’s a fine line between just being honest and being flat out rude… IDK, I have nothing against people saying what they believe in, just sometimes it’s best to not speak your mind on more controversial topics.
        as for Kikwang, we really don’t know if he was forced, but in a way black people are a bit new to Korea, I’m not sure if alot of koreans notice that what Kikwang did in that show (whether he was forced or not) was racist. They went by the typical black stereotype, I mean the population in Korea is made up of mostly (IDK, 70% I’m guessing) of Koreans and they don’t really see to many black people or white or really anyone from a different race to often… but I mean, if you think about it alot of Asian countries stayed pretty much to them selves until pretty late in the game, while alot of countries are pretty mixed race these days, places like Korea, Japan and China are still getting used to having other races living in their counties…
        IDK, I’m not Korean and I don’t live in Korea so I can’t really say “oh, this is why they do this, this is why they do that” I’m just thinking I guess…

      • cameron12

        no one forced him to do it and if he allowed himself to be put on in blackface then he is a fool but that was not the case. behind every comment is a meaning. KIKWANG’s blackface had a meaning

    • Lauren

      I agree with you mostly and would like to add this: from my observations and conversations with Korean friends, I have come to think that Korean culture is simply a lot more conservative than American culture. (It’s not really that hard to figure; just look at the ratio of kissing in Korean vs. American shows for one thing). And for a society that has such boundries, it is just naturally much easier to be well-liked if your opinions are kept to yourself.

  • http://Seoulbeats Annette

    Just because idols do variety shows does not make them stupid.Do you know that some of the SuJu members are classicly trained or that some are expert martial artists.How about the fact that many of them have graduated from college already,with their busy schedule ,i do not know how they did that wow! i do believe that what you see on tv is most of their real personality,maybe a few exceptions like with Kibum who tends to keep to himself while on stage however the members have said he is a bit different off stage not so reserved or shy with the other members ,you can see that in some footage from backstage.he is not so much of an outsider to the group as we think.he actually loves his brothers and has a good time with them.i love the fact that they do these variety shows they are funny!LOL! also to say they cannot sing is bull,apparently you have never heard them acapella.Please do not call our SuJu stupid at least they have multi talents with all their members.that is why we love them because they are who they are Funny,Talented,Great Looking and Best of all they are there for each other and their fans.love ya! some even have very high IQ’S they just do not brag about it .

  • Just saying

    I find your article quite offensive. Why? Grouping together “being a Republican”, “supporting Israel” and being racist/misogynistic. Not to mention you sound like the first two ones are somehow controversial, if not worth contempt. I agree with the main point of this article, but I do not accept you trying to describe a large portion of humans as being wrong to the point of hiding their ideas or being equal to racists.

    • http://www.callmepatricia.com Patricia

      I’m sorry you were offended; please know that surely was not my intention. Perhaps it would have been wiser of me to include “being a Democrat” and “supporting Palestine” as well, but judging from my assessment of the K-pop crowd (especially the international fanbase), most fans seem to gawk more whenever they see K-pop stars support a conservative viewpoint rather than a liberal viewpoint. That’s why I used those as examples. But in retrospect, I shouldn’t have made assumptions and should have included other examples as well.

      (And for the record, I’m a Republican and and Israel-supporter. Take that for what you will.)

      • Nana

        I’m a bit disturbed at your “pro-life” and “pro-choice” comment, but maybe that’s cos I believe life begins at conception (:

        • Xiomara

          What was disturbing about that?

      • kc

        are you really? I’ve never actually met another Republican and a Israel supporter on a Kpop site before 0.0

        • Mary

          I hold conservative views, and I’m a fan of kpop, as well :)

        • Lauren

          I second Mary :)

        • Just saying

          Lol, you know nothing. There’s a lot of conservative people who like k-pop.

      • leyla

        You support Israel and your proud?! you actually disgust me!!!

        In saying that you support Israel, you’re saying that you support the killings of innocent people who’s land is being stolen from, who have their human rights taken away from them, who are humiliated on a day basis, people who are being wiped out of their OWN country….the list of unjustness goes on forever. What poor excuse of a ”human being” you are. I’m officially boycotting this website, like i do all things of pro Israeli. luckily this site rubbish is so it won’t a lose at all.

        • leyla

          My comment is for Patricia.

        • Patricia

          That’s fine; I’ve been accused of worse things before and I can accept that we clearly disagree on this issue. But my stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the point of my argument. Rather, think about this: if you, as a K-pop fan, found out that your favorite K-pop star was also pro-Israel, would you accuse him/her of the same things you accused me of? Would you still like him/her despite your differences in opinion? People are often quick to judge or vilify those with whom they have opposing beliefs. Are k-pop idols – of whom so many base their careera solely on their likeability amongst the masses – subject to the same treatment? That’s what I was trying to get at.

          • leyla

            Unlike you i don’t care that much about kpop artist to the degree that i could over look all the things you listed in your article. I’m disgusted by ANYONE who’s pro Israel. Kpop idols are not sub-human, they have views and beliefs just like the rest of us. but if their beliefs were pro injustice i would boycott their ass in a heartbeat. No matter who it was, but am sure a zionist like yourself would be happy to sweep all those things under the carpet for your favorite idol.

          • hkg

            @leyla I thought you were boycotting this website yet you came back to check the comments section. I don’t care for the way you talked about the author just because her views differed from yours but thank you for making her point better then she was able to. Its very clear that idols and other artists whose careers are lead by their image won’t be able to view their true opinions without fear of losing fans.

          • Heyhey

            @hkg-Why would she boycott Seoulbeats? Just patricia…I never liked her, after reading the first article I have ever seen her do about JYJ. She indirectly/directly supported the injustice happening to JYJ and I FOR ONE DISLIKE THAT, I didn’t notice this was her article until now. I hate people who kill other groups whether it is race, nationality, sex, sexuality etc. Being pro-Isreal is like being pro-China and supporting the atrocities happening to its citizens and Tibet or pro-Saddam/Iraq for its cruelty to Kurds, or pro-Turkey for its cruelty to Armenians, or pro-Confederate for their cruelty to slaves or pro-Canada during the time when it was unjust to Chinese immigrants. But Patricia is allowed to have her own beliefs, whether is it cruel or not. History will continue to repeat itself. :( I believe no one innocent should suffer and no one not innocent should suffer inhumanely in punishment!~

          • nini

            @hkg ”Its very clear that idols and other artists whose careers are lead by their image won’t be able to view their true opinions without fear of losing fans” sorry to burst your bubble mate but that goes for ANY artist around the world. I for one would dislike my favorite artist if i found out they were racist or supported injustice.

            @Leyla i full agree with you! i’m pro Palestine too!i’m deeply shocked at how someone can support a idealistically, racist, illegal and simply evil occupation. Where’s your humanity?

            do you even know about the Zionism or what it stands for? because if you did then i doubt you would still be so proud to support it. What exactly do you gain from it? are you going to go to Israel and become an illegal settler? because you have no other reason to support those dogs.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-X3b4c8xnk&feature=related……This is what you support?

            This site has gone down the drain since Ellie left.

          • hkg

            @heyhey I’m going off what she said. She stated that she was boycotting seoulbeats not just the author but, this distinction doesn’t matter since she came back to the very article that she left her comment in. The reason I pointed it out was not because I feel she doesn’t have the right to do so. She, along with everyone else has the right to boycott anything or anyone they don’t like. I do feel that if such a strong statement is going to be thrown out then you should follow through with it, which she didn’t.

            @nini When I wrote and other artists, who did you think I was referring to in particular? I thought I was referring to all artists that don’t get included with idols and I didn’t realize that I was referring to a specific region since I didn’t state one. I do believe that artists who are popular because of their image have more to fear in showing their true selves then those artists popular mainly because of their talent. While an acknowledged talented artist may lose their career due to something they reveal about themselves they also will a lot of the times be given a second chance. While they may not get back every individual fan they had before, the public as a whole will most times be forgiving.

            Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want and to disassociate themselves from those they disagree with. Just as I have the right not care for responses that disparage another person. Not agreeing with someone doesn’t mean you then go and insult them. This is the main issue I had with Leyla’s comment.

          • Just saying

            @nini: So you should stop loving yourself because you are racist and support injustice too.

        • Just saying

          Really? Comparing Israeli citizens to murders is incredibly offensive, rude and racist. Shame on you for being such a hateful person. But is easy to being brainwashed without having any sort of clue on what you are representing. Israel is fighting for its own land, independence and sovereignty. And if you think that only Israeli soldiers kill others, then you are absolutely mistaken. USA, UK, France, Palestine – they all are no more innocent than Israel is. But is easy to blame this country while completely forgetting about its situation just to be anti-semitic and hateful. You are the one who disgust me for being racist, revengeful and hostile. The same goes for Heyhey. Go on and start boycotting, just like you said. Israel or Seoulbeats won’t lose nothing just because a sad excuse for human being have to compensate for its own faults and inferiority complex.

          The writer: thank for clarifying things and being brave to defend your beliefs. Have a nice day and don’t worry about haters.

  • http://playcandynyny.wordpress.com NyNy

    I feel bad for some of the idols because they have to play dumb and keep their own opinion on the down low especially if they from the big three companies. :/ Kind of wish the company would let their artists be themselves more. You get bored after a few years of seeing them act the way their companies want them to and pick a personality to be.

  • kant

    Just to answer your question, no, it’s the kpop fans that are stupid

  • pinky

    Interesting read. Though I think the charm of K-Pop is the “sincere, pure, butter-won’t-melt-in-their-mouths” image that the idols project. For me at least. It’s refreshing thefirst time you’re exposed to it, true, but after some time it gets tiring. The “sincere” act seems to become insicere after a while.

    I think what K-Pop needs is individuality, being themselves, not manufactured images that changes in every 2 months or so.

  • Ari

    Just commenting to commend you on a really interesting article Patricia. Thanks for the perspective. The title might lead some to jump to wrong conclusions about the article though.

    I find groups that have that “shiny veneer” rather bland and unengaging. In contrast the groups that seem to have more freedom to express themselves as individuals (flaws and all) are much more relateable and real. It’s what endears me to a group. But that’s me. I’m not sure how it is for native Koreans in their society.

    Definitely food for thought. Thanks again.

  • http://www.koreanentertainmentportal.blogspot.com ahshi

    i think we can like an artist for their music, why not? but for idols, we all know that their music are not always great… so we try to find something else to like about them, and it’s their personalities… so if it turns out that even their personalities are bad, what’s there to like anymore?!

    keeping your mouth shut on opinions you know will get you in trouble is not stupidity at all, it’s actually wise! if you’re not knowledgeable on a topic, don’t you think you would look more intelligent by not saying anything than blurting out something stupid?

    they are idols and they know that people idolize them… isn’t it their duty to act and talk properly? yes, they’re people too and should be given freedom to do what they want… but if what they do is not right, i don’t think it’s right for them to flaunt that in public… i’m not saying that they should put up an act and be fake… what i wish is for them to personally clean up their acts and become sincerely good people that the public can admire for real… to become the person that is worthy to be called an “idol”… =)

  • kpop

    hey i was just reading your article and some of the points are quite interesting. For example some of the popular idols such as Lee Joon, Eunhyuk and kikwang seem to act dumb but i don’t kno if that’s the personality they are told to portray in order to gain publics attention or they are simply stupid.Being a fan of Lee Joon, it annoys me that he acts so dumb but i have heard him say many times that it’s just a facade to entertain people.

    Living as a celebrity, there are certain lines they are told not to cross, especially kpop idols. They are liked if they keep their opinions to themselves and act according to neitzens liking. However if they voice their
    opinions, they will be immediately bombarded with hate.

    The only idol that seems to voice their opinion is Jay Park. The one thing thats attractive about Jay is his chilled personality. Many times he may come off as rude but he is pretty out there. Maybe because he was raised in states, he seems very open minded and does things that he believes are right. He seems to take everything positively and handle situations really well. However his open mindedness might come from publics acceptance of him. He has a like able personality so, he doesn’t have to try hard. And he definitely doesn’t have to act dumb to be accepted.

    I don’t really know if it makes sense but it’s just my opinion. It sounded better in my head but it doesn’t sound as good in writing.

    • eboy07

      Well i agree what you said about Jay Park. I always thought he was a cool guy in some interviews and variety shows.

    • Johnny

      Yes Jay is free to express his opinions on everything and he’s not “afraid” of any backlash. His company Sidus gives him alot of freedom to do what he wants. Would have JYPE did that? No I think they will control every aspect of what he can say and can do.

    • rani25

      yaa i think the personality is for tv onli.i dun relli take them seriously
      definately agree with jay park stuff.dude is pretty out there with his opinions ,more with his american upbringing i guess.but there are lot of other stars who are from overseas that are not like jay even nickun he is too nice and he never relli voice his opinions.

      i love jays personality

  • TmL

    I think you’re forgetting something. How quick fans are to defend their idols when they do say their opioin.

    Remember Seungri’s little statement about black people and being shot. You’d be hard pressed to find a fan that would say he’s racist. Instead they’ll claim “oh, but he isn’t like that anymore.” Same case with leeteuk. I actually banged my head against a wall when I found out how many people bought the excuse he gave for calling Suzy fat.

    So yes, there are people who will call them out on their comments. But there’s also a lot of people who will defend them.

    • cameron12

      i know i am like a zebra never changes its stripes and no seungri’s little scary behind meant what he said.

  • Merewen

    Great piece! I often questioned why idols weren’t really allowed to show their true selves, thoughts and feelings. Some of them seem very intelligent and it’s shame that they can’t say what they really want to say and or feel.

    Just yesterday I watched an episode of Oh! My School and the topic of the discussion was Dating, Announce or Not. Lee Hyun Jin made some really good points in favor of announcing. He basically said when is enough, enough and the environment won’t change until they, the idols and stars change it. These people are at an age when they need interaction with the opposite sex and have opinions and thoughts of their own. They’re human after all and no human is perfect. The environment they live is not healthy.

    What’s sad is that some of the commenters actually see no problems with this.

  • Yinnie

    I loved this read. it was thought provoking and on a compassionate level, for one to sit up and shut up for most of his career sounds pretty normal but their levels are particularly extreme. Like they’re dictated by managers to do whatever, eat whatever. even if South Korea is a democratic state, the career of a movie star sure sounds communistic. I’m not making any kind of accusation towards South Korea but it is a little eerily reminiscent of 1984. And even orwell’s book was a criticism of this type of society.

    That aside though, you could alternatively say that k-pop idols need to be stupid for the big bucks to roll in. Let’s just say that behind the scenes of k-pop, it is still quite a murky world or inner politics.

  • Devii

    Thank you for such an insightful piece. I love reading your pieces. I also don’t understand why netizens don’t like it when celebrities show their true selves when their every waking moment is spent trying to dig more into celebrities everyday lives. What a double edged sword they wield.

  • Just an opinion!

    Every career has its difficulties, whether it be a doctor, an architect, or in this case an idol. Every occupation has something to withhold and something to live up to. Idols appear everywhere from magazines to television screen. They practically serve as role models, therefore keeping up their image is part of their occupation. Just like how we wouldn’t trust a surgeon with unsteady hands, we wouldn’t praise an idol with an one-sided opinion.

  • Kim

    Love this!

    Slightly irrelevant but yeah I find sj’s music mediocre and all but like you, I fins maelf digging them. Damn It ahaha.

    And this is why I hardly ever watch variety shows because I feel their personalities are as if they are … Uhm, taught? And idk if I were an idol I’d get tired of all these someday you know?

    And @devii I agree with your comment. I don’t think they analyze so thoroughly into the matter; and only enjoy kpop for entertainment ..

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  • hkg

    I think the type of celebrity you are determines how much of your true self can be shown. I’ve always thought of idols as the Korean equivalent of Disney stars in America. Both groups are young kids expected to sing and act while being heavily managed. They both have squeaky clean images that if strayed from causes harsh criticisms. These celebrities provide a safe entertainment that is appropriate for all ages and so they in turn have to match that with their personalities. Celebrities that are popular not because of the image they present but the work they produce are usually the only ones who can reveal their true personalities. Even if people don’t like them, their acknowledged talent is usually enough to protect their careers. Unfortunately the celebrities whose career is lead by their image don’t have this safety net.

  • bb

    hey patricia, that’s a lovely read ^^

    i’ve always told peeps that Seoulbeats is one of my fave kpop sites and this article is pretty telling of why. keep up the fab work and give us less fluff since there’re enough other sites to do so. yea, keep giving good stuff like this and not dumb us down ^^

  • tvxqfangirl85

    Interesting perspective but I think you’re missing the point of what responsibilities come with being a professional celebrity. As with your example of Shindong and Leetuek and even that JYJ vs SME twitter attack, it was more what they said (which is considered rude in every single country) that people did not agree with. The names that Junsu was called by certain SME idols were derogatory words used to talk down to a dog. However, look at when Hyori Lee and other Korean celebrities protested the use of fur at the recent Fendi fashion show in Seoul. None of the Korean celebs showed up in protest and she left many anti-fur messages on her twitter. Every celeb, no matter where they are from, have to mind their Ps and Qs when publicly speaking. Though a few people will undoubtedly find some other reason not to like them, they shouldn’t give a reason for tons of people to dislike them by doing or saying things that are inherently perceived as rude.

  • http://ofstrangersensibilities.blogspot.com Joy

    This is very interesting though in regards to your last anecdote, sadly nowadays most of the music is not good enough to be sold on that alone!

  • iamyournoona

    As someone who fell in love with Suju primarily because of their antics on variety shows and not because of their music (although I listen to 3jib repeatedly because its one of the best things they have done musically), I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are top notch performers the first time I saw them live. I measure great musical acts not just by vocals alone but by stage presence, charisma, energy and how well they can connect to their live audience and I must say, Suju’s got all those criteria down pat. Some artist are great vocally but really boring to watch on stage. Not Suju. Sure there parts that are lip-synced mostly because the heavy dance choreography proves difficulty to do while singing which I can excuse, but they do almost all of their Super Show songs live. Antis and non-fans will just write them off as an idol group who does dumb stuff on TV to sell but each members are actually talented in their own right. They may not be the best vocal group but I would say they are one of the top entertainers in Kpop. So yeah, I’m proud to be a fan.

    • iamyournoona

      I know it’s not much on topic but I felt I just had to say that in relation to them having mediocre music but still being a fan.

  • bellerina

    It’s interesting, because i was just having a discussion with my friend on this very same issue: about whether our liking of an artiste changes when we discover that he/ she does not fit into the “mould” that is safe/ media-friendly/ least controversial.
    Kim Hyun Joong, for example, is blunt and reveals things about himself that doesn’t fit into the idol mould. While it’s nothing majorly controversial along racial/ religious lines, it does stray from the typical squeaky-clean idol image.
    My friend, who isn’t a fan, was surprisingly more accepting of this and felt it was a sign of growth away from a “manufactured idol image”.
    For myself, I think that goodwill is built upon both: the artiste’s works has to be palatable, but the image/character of the artiste has to be something that speaks to you as well. But i do feel that when you have goodwill towards one part of this equation (eg. liking the artiste’s humour-eg. super junior in exploration of the human body), you will most likely be more open to accept the other part of the equation as well (eg. super junior’s works post-sorry sorry), and vice-versa.
    Nonetheless, i think that what you accept of the artiste’s “controversial” actions or viewpoints does reflect your own standards (‘morals’ is too strong a word?). If you realise that you start to bend your standards increasingly, perhaps it’s time for a re-evaluation.

  • Lizzie

    It made me remind of a kpop girl that said she oplayed a ”dumb” character ina variety show and people liked it, so she had to continue fake she was that ”dumb” and she complained how fans like her because of it when she isn’t like this in real life.

    I agree they all fake in variety show. Nobody is always cheerful/cute and funny like they make all idols be.

  • http://missbraidywhite.tumblr.com 36braids

    Ever since i liked K-Pop for BigBang for almost 2 months now (yeah i know i’m a newbie), so far this is the BEST article i’ve ever read on K-Pop, to be honest with you all. GREAT!!!

  • plant_a_tree

    No, I don’t think idols are dumb, I think they have no balls.

  • Anonymous

    It all boils down to Public Impressions Management of course done by the talent companies. Of course media perpetuates the so-called “dumbness” of Kpop idols by asking them during interviews of the same questions ad nauseam , for example “what is your ideal type of girl/boy”. Lately the trend is to reveal secrets. Inane secrets .

     But I agree that perhaps it is for the best , will the fans like to have disturbing thoughts about them if they stray beyond their script ? They just want them lovable ,cute and uncomplicated. Who wants problematic personalities? Even if their behavior is sickeningly cheesy in the name of fan service -they are lapped up . Naturally,they are meant to titillate the fans . So that fans hearing same things over and over will think they know their idols. They feel they are close to them as if they are now guarding the very secret of their idols’ souls . Eventually,everyone will believe the lies, the masks .  

     I can’t imagine how these Kpop idols feel about their made up  existence or are they laughing all the way to the bank?

    • Mer

      ” I can’t imagine how these Kpop idols feel about their made up  existence or are they laughing all the way to the bank?”

      I don’t think a lot of them are laughing all the way to the bank. :)  I happen to be one of those fans that like REAL personalities and hate hearing the same questions asked over and over again.

  • Jadetvxq

    This is a very well written article i must say.It truly points out some very important things.One person here was talking about a certain idol,who acted dumb one time on a variety show,and saw that the reaction was great and so continued to act dumb.That person is Secret’s Sunhwa.i personally think,that sometimes it must be hard to act dumb all of the time.
    But i also think that if the idol wants to say some blunt straightforward things like jay Park or Kim hyun joong,they should probably first build a strong fanbase,that can protect them,and also understand them.
    After they’ve done that then they can show who they truly are.While for eg;other newly debuted groups or idols will be heavily criticized over anything they say with comment like:”oh who do you think you are?”,”That’s so wrong”..etc.etc.
    Another thing is all idol’s want to keep their job and their reputation.So the best thing to do is keep your head down(thumbs up for tvxq reference)and go about with their schedules dumbly.to put it that way.

  • yana

    well said and a pretty wise judgement. It’s true that ‘being simple’ is applicable to everyone. And it’s tiring too. ;)

  • mymojo

    This was actually a great read! I enjoyed and it’s good food for the mind, it was very well written. 
        But, there are some things that I question with your argument on why artists are “dumbed down”. The taboo topics that you brought up that the artists will be shunned/criticized are mostly political… but this is entertainment! Just like in America, if people wanted to listen to politics, they would watch shows with politicians or the political section in the news. However I’m sure the majority of us don’t want to talk about that the entire day, so we go to the Entertainment section (in Korea’s case, variety shows) to get our minds off of that. So, why would variety shows even bring up political topics if their sole purpose is to deviate all of that? That’s why idols don’t voice their opinion on variety shows regarding “pro-life, pro-choice, etc.” 
         Although if they wish to voice out their opinion on something political, there should be a show (Larry King-esque? Oprah or Ellen DeGeneres maybe?) where they are allowed to talk about that, not on a show where they’re supposed to entertain. To get to the point, artists don’t voice out their opinion because they’re mostly in an environment where politics and serious topics are thrown out the window, where everything is “simple” are you pointed out. So yes, I do believe the fans are the reasons why artists are “simplified” and try to act perfect all of the time. 
         And I’m pretty sure all idols are aware of that, but (this is my assumption) hopefully they have come to realize that there is a time and a place for everything (they’re not in the spotlight 24/7 like some claim! Heck, this is the reason why Park Shin Hye and Jonghyun dating came as a shock!). In my opinion, I think the idols we see in variety shows are only revealing a PART of themselves. Now, I don’t know if people acting dumb like Sunhwa is their true selves or not because I actually know people their age who are just as slow/dumb as they are, but I know there is a part of their true personalities that they reveal from their appearances on shows. So, no I don’t believe idols show their entire character during the time of their careers, but the little details do show to me that they’re trying to find a middle ground: being themselves while at the same time appeal to everyone. And hopefully, they will reach a point where they trust in their fans’ loyalty and show all sides of themselves, both their diva/bitchy/bad-day sides and their charitable/good-day sides.  

  • Pg13247

    About those ideal girl/boy questions that are asked repeatedly, it was hilarious to see SNSD’s Seohyun simply say that she doesn’t have one which kind of shocked the audience and the guests since her answer probably wasn’t expected. (This was pre-Yonghwa so I don’t know if that changed yet).

  • http://twitter.com/Sahumahdreams Sahumah

    Well I completly agree with you.. It is not ONLY SUJU problem bur the thing is the number of Korean bands is getting bigger while we do not see those good abilities or talents as signers or dancers with many of them. To be honest, many became famous because they are good looking.. and yes I believe many fake there smiles and words on TV shows. Well, if this is the way to get fans, then they have to do it!!!! So as you said it is US who need to change and let them be themselves..

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  • Scarlett

    One word: agree. Another: love. Sums up perfectly. I’ve always wondered whether idols have a love hate relationship with fans. Sure, they are the sole source of your income, but do they love your true nature. No. What are they loving? This image stuck on you to promote your popularity. Any idol with any brains (yes, a few went to college, wrote papers & made a few friends) will see that the public only love you when you are pretending. I imagine this will create some trauma to say the least. Maybe this is why I love the smarty- pants/ different idols aka evil kyuhyun to name one…

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  • http://twitter.com/lillian23910 Sharon

    Interesting post. I think i’m a person in favor of having celebrities not voice their opinion. I thought what Shindong and Leeteuk said was rude. Plus Yesung’s comment on fat people being lazy. But the only time that I dont mind celebrities giving their opinion is when they explain their reasoning for thinking that way intelligently. Yesung just saying fat people is lazy is extremely rude and his words can hurt a lot of people. Rather, I believe celebrities should realize the amount of influence they can have on people, and should be responsible for what they say on television. 

    I know I wont get away with saying fat people are lazy to complete strangers. Im gonna expect to recieve a lot of hate for it. Plus I dont think variety shows are an ideal place to voice out opinions. Their just entertainment shows. It would be different if it was like an interview or something like Opera or Anderson. 

  • Daria Morgan

    I really liked your post and totally agree with you about Super Junior. I like them as well and thought all the same things as you. I personally don’t really mind celebrities voicing their opinions. In fact sometimes I’d rather it because it gives you more insight on their actual person, that way I can distinguish if I’m a fan of their music and/or a fan of them. 
    Of course there is a difference between saying your opinion and being rude. I do think speaking of others weights is a definite no no. 
    I do think that it’s pretty unfair that idols have to dumb themselves down or act hyper all the time. I mean I think they can be just as entertaining being themselves. But having them act like someone who they completely aren’t is unfair and I would think difficult for them. 
    The fact that idols are held up to these high standards is something I also don’t agree with. They aren’t gods. They might be on TV and talented, but they’re still human and humans make TONS of mistakes. Saying that they never should because of their status is ridiculous.