• http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

    While the idea of liking how two people look together itself is fine — just making edits, writing fanfics, maybe the occasional video. The thing is, it does affect some fan’s perceptions of reality and almost blinds them — that’s the only issue I really have with shipping. The fact some fans can’t separate fantasy from reality, and that some shippers can be, for lack of a better word, tactless. Bringing YunJae signs to JYJ conferences, shouting Jaejoong’s name in concerts, asking the idols about pairings in public settings where it’s considered taboo — that’s what I find concerning.
    The reason I don’t completely agree with everything you said is:1) I got into J-Pop/anime really young, and shipping culture is HUGE there (Arashi is pretty much one big orgy). So I’ve been desensitized to it. This isn’t really a proper reason, but it’s why the K-Pop shipping culture didn’t surprise me. and2) If the idols didn’t bring it on themselves.I find it really hard to feel sorry for the idols, and blame fans for doing it, because the fans only do it because the idols feed them. Going to use EunHae as an example:”To put it bluntly, I think it’s kind of horrible that Eunhyuk and Donghae can’t have a normal friendship without awkwardly knowing that thousands of fans throughout the globe think that they’re screwing each other every night.”The fans wouldn’t do it IF Eunhyuk and Donghae didn’t purposely try and illicit reactions out of them. Most of the time, the major shipping cults occur when the idols themselves are all over each other. Of course you’ll get shipping in every group if the fans find the interactions cute — but you’ll find that these won’t get a following nearly as unhealthy or insane as the ones who purposely engage in fanservice.  Bluntly put, Eunhyuk and Donghae honestly bring it on themselves, and it is actually really hard for me to empathize due to that reason alone. I understand that those two are best friends, and they have naturally very brotherly and intimate interactions. But saying that their interactions are done in the brotherly sense and fans are manipulating it is giving the two waaaaay too much credit. Eunhyuk and Donghae literally grind each other on stage during concerts — I’m not exaggerating. I actually cringe and flinch at the sheer amount of PDA they show when I’m watching fancams. Even during the early days of SuJu they’d do some pretty extreme skinship between themselves. They feel each other up, they tease, they flirt, Donghae even uploads a picture of Eunhyuk holding a flower to him captioned ‘Eunhyuk proposed’. With all that, are they really meant to complain when fans want them together? The same applies for YunJae, Jongkey, and most pairings. On the other hand, if we look at say… G-Dragon/Seungri. Their interactions are hardly done for the purpose of getting reactions out of fans. Most of it is natural brotherly stuff, and because they’re so close, of course they have accumulated a fandom shipping them. But you’ll find that the sheer amount and intensity is nowhere near as those EunHae/Jongkey/YunJae ect. has.Maybe it is horrible, but if Eunhyuk/Donghae, Yunho/Jaejoong, and Jonghyun/Key ect, didn’t know the consequences when they were dishing out the fanservice, then that’s horribly naive.

    • Anon

      I’m liking because this is true on too many levels:

      “Arashi is pretty much one big orgy”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJ4GQGXHP6ZQ7ULE2PQ2M5S7I ic

        at least the Japanese fans wont ask about them about pairings in public (nor would they have the chance). but Arashi is pretty much happy and goofy, so their OTP is pretty much lighthearted. 
        the biggest OTP in Japan could be Akame, biggest because they even stopped talking in public and infront of the camera soon after debuting because it was pretty much crazy. LOL. they are not giving fan service, but their presence together is just..too much for the fans.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree with you, Ree. I’m not a shipper myself and really don’t mind shippers until they get annoying and start waving around signs and shouting like dumba**es. Then I’m just like, “Bish, calm yo’ tits. They’re not going to get married or smoosh right in front of you.” But many idols tend to egg their fans on. I think it’s done for publicity or just for the sake of riling up their fans. EunHae, YunJae, JongKey, and several others are very affectionate with each other, but I can’t decide (or bring myself to care) if it’s out of sincere love or showboating. But most ships I find ridiculous. The friendly banter and joking around looks entirely friendly to me, not romantic. I tend to find hardcore shippers delusional, irritating, embarassing, and immature. I would never, ever leave an idol alone in a room with a shipper (or a stan). I don’t want to run the risk of having that idol molested.

      • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

        Oh I agree, hardcore ones are embarrassing. But I need to remember that they become hardcore for a reason. 

        The friendly banter and joking around is probably friendly, and I think there is a good portion of shippers who know that it is but just spazz over it for the sake of fun — but there are the ones who look at everything like a declaration of love. And I can’t help but feel like the ones who genuinely do believe it, believe it BECAUSE the idols themselves provide them with so much romantic undertones in everything else they do. 

        • Anonymous

          I agree, sometimes idols to bring it on themselves especially Eunhae. So I have absolutely no sympathy for them. I myself do not ship any couples, homosexual or heterosexual, just because I don’t give a flip about celebrities’ love lives. But when I hardcore stanned Super Junior, I remembered watching this show from waaay back when where the boys had to create a film and there was this one project where all the boys were paired up. So all the KangTeuk, Yesung/Ryewook, Eunhae, and Kyumin stemmed from that I think. But there was this clip of Yesung’s reaction to a Yesung/Ryewook fanfiction 
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdxOkEjIMjQ I'm sorry sweetie but you were ALL over Ryewook in that film thingy, so don’t play coy with me. You were going to get fanfics. 

          What annoys me is that these idols do fanservice like none other and then get offended if they are labeled as gay. Sometimes when I see Siwon in fancams he’s sometimes straight up molesting some of the other members then he has the audacity to turn around and wonder why people question his sexuality. 

          • Dat1flygirl

            You are spot on LOL! While I don’t understand shipping at all, the actual idols don’t make it any better.

      • maldita

        Eunhyuk and Donghae are the biggest EunHae stans and/or trolls out there. They’re obviously good friends that go waaaaaaay back, but I swear every time I see comments gushing about how ~in loooove~ they are, I want to smack someone. I’ve always thought the guys play up the pairing so much just because they know exactly how popular their ship is. Apart from their crazy fanbaiting EunHae antics, they do work really well as a team though, as evidenced by their various Super Show performances and the songs they’ve worked on together.

        • Anonymous

          YESSS. The biggest EunHae shippers I know are EunHae themselves. The fans eat it up~ I only ship Eunhae in a bromance way. I think their friendship is the cutest thing in kpop. ^____^

    • http://www.callmepatricia.com Patricia

      But the reason why Eunhyuk and Donghae do the fanservice in the first place is because there are fans who are ready and willing to eat it up. That’s why it’s called fanservice. I don’t deny that Eunhyuk and Donghae have been fanservicin’ it up for the five years since their debut, but you’d think that after such a long time, they’d get tired of it. 

      I don’t think Donghae/Eunhyuk, Yunho/Jaejoong, Jonghyun/Key fully understand the magnitude of their actions (idols being allowed to contemplate their actions on a deeper level? Unthinkable!), but I would think that they would at least be somewhat uncomfortable with the fact that fans actually want them to be together in a romantic sense. Yunho and Jaejoong have previously and explicitly voiced their discomfort in this matter back when they recorded the AADBSK DVDs in 2009, and I wouldn’t doubt that Donghae/Eunhyuk and Jonghyun/Key would say similar things if someone actually took the time to ask them exactly how they felt about it. But the thing is, no one will ever ask because the fantasy of their existence as a romantic pairing has in fact become a commodity, and fanservice is part of the goods that they’re selling to the fans.

      As for shipping fanfics and the celebrities’ existences in these fanfics as mere characters and not as actual people (this was mentioned in another comment but I figured I would just respond to it here)…I’m kind on the fence about this. I can accept the idea that many fanfic writers treat K-pop stars simply as stock characters, and that the fanfics they write are meant to be read as independent pieces of literature(?), not as the literary manifestation of the writer’s personal fantasies. But at the same time, isn’t this another example of idol objectification? Who says that an idol’s personality and manner of being is up for grabs for anyone to throw into their own stories?

      But one thing is for sure: shipping culture isn’t going to go away, and I’m certainly not deluded into thinking that it will. What I do think, though, is that fans who decide to engage in shipping should know exactly what they’re getting themselves into and understand the possible repercussions of their actions simply as a form of courtesy to the idols that they choose to ‘ship.’

      • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

        Of course the fans will eat it up, but they could just not do the fanservice and rely on their natural brotherly interactions and fans would eat that up too — but the fans would end up being less intense and deluded. I think it’s like a chick-egg argument, what came first, the fanservice or the shipping?

        Fanservice really is just optional on their part, and if Eunhyuk and Donghae are still willing to grind it up on stage, they can not expect those fangirls to not cream in their pants over it. I understand that both of them are showmany people and do go out of their way to make their fan happy — and I do genuinely think those two care about their fans deeply which is why they choose to do so. But they also need to understand repercussions of their actions 

        And I don’t deny that they would feel uncomfortable, I agree with you. But using that YunJae example, those two have gone out of their way to be as skinshippy as possible — and a lot of it is just showmanship on their part. There are shippers everywhere, but it’s only really with YunJae, EunHae, Hanchul, Jongkey, the ones with so much fanservice, ect, that the shippers become intense. It’s basically like seeing idol flex their abs, walk around half naked, and then complain about being objectified — although their concerns are legitimate, I can’t help but scoff and laugh, because hey — they brought it on themselves. I know, mean. But everyone has a mean side to their K-Pop I guess. 

        And I guess that can also be applied to the fanfic issue as well. They are public figures for a reason, and RPF has been around for a long time. I also think that the whole shipping scene, and fanfic scene, is done under closed doors in Korea — especially the rated content. Which is good for the idols because they can ignore it I guess. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJ4GQGXHP6ZQ7ULE2PQ2M5S7I ic

    It can be annoying if it’s hardcore. When fans would find anything and any unrelated things to suddenly something very relevant and meaningful for their OTP. That the normal talking between group members suddenly becoming whispers of love. LOL.

  • Meilin486

    While I dont ship anyone in the Kpop culture, I do ship some American fictional characters. It’s all in good fun and the amazing fan fiction, art and mv edits that come with are just icing on the cake. There are only issues when fans become so delusional in their couple that they ignite shipping wars. I say, enjoy what you enjoy. Don’t bring down and rip apart other fans ships just because you don’t support them. At the end of the day, they are just fictional characters.

  • Anon

    Cool story, bro.
    Too bad you can’t do anything about it.
    There will always be shippers whether you like it or not or whether it belongs in k-pop or not.
    I’d rather let them fester like blue-waffled cunts than bitch about something outta my control.
    It’s not my problem and certainly not my life, so I don’t care if they suffer.
    You, however, QQMOAR pl0x.

    • Marissa

      It’s those shippers’ right to do as they wish until their right infringes upon the freedom and rights of their idols. 

  • Plover;

    I pretty much agree with the comments already written here, particularly Ree (the points about fanservice, and so forth), but will just add on a little of how I perceive fandom and pretty much shipping culture.

    Hardcore, delusional shipping is potentially harmful, both within any fan community (fanwars, pushing down other opinions, and so forth) and possibly tactless to idols themselves (the shoving-in-idols’-face thing, etc). This is pretty much a widely established opinion.

    Casual shipping in itself can be fine and tolerable, though. Of course, I’m nowhere near informed enough to explain the phenomenon of how popular male homosexual pairings are among female fans. But casual shipping is not necessarily as harmful as certain segments of extremists. Shipping is pretty much prominent in most fandoms, fictional (from Japanese to American fandoms, anime, manga, television, film, novel, and so forth), to real people. But there’s a difference between shipping fictional characters and shipping real people (which was a very noticeable change for me, when I moved from shipping circles in fictional fandoms – video games, books, anime, etc – to shipping circles in non-fictional fandoms – actors/actresses, k-pop, etc).


    I think that when people ship fictional characters, to a certain level, you’re also projecting your interpretation of that fictional character, and so forth, to your ship. Or you’re adjusting it to whatever fic you’re reading, and so on. Or you’re taking one characteristic of one character, and exaggerating it so that it fits your view of a pairing, story, etc etc. (Also backed up by the multiple interpretations within a fandom of one character, for example. And why, for example, in some anime/manga/Japanese fandoms, a character can be interpreted as both a ‘seme’ or ‘uke’, in seme/uke shipping.) Of course, this isn’t particularly harmful in fictional shipping, because, well, they’re…fictional characters.

    But when it comes to the projection of this interpretation (or a facet of ‘objectification’, if you want to call it that) onto real life people, it’s a bit of a slippery slope. I think that there are multiple strands of what happens. 1) You start to ship ‘characters’ – almost fictional – based on these real life people. They’re interpretations you ship, but interpretations you keep separate from the real life people. Almost like shipping two characters in a film but not the actors behind them. 2) You don’t separate the ‘fictional ship’/interpretation from the real life people and potentially (though not always, you can be casual) you become a hardcore/’delusional’ shipper. 3) A combination of 1 and 2, to varying degrees. Interpretations, after all, are likely to be based on some truth. This is pretty much the way fandom works. Even if you ignore shipping, and just look at fans’ biases, or ideal artists – don’t they also like who/what they /believe/ their idol to be? The large majority of fans don’t, and won’t, most likely, ever know their idols well and truly. In the end, as stated, it comes down to general objectification and idol culture, particularly through the lens of real person shipping.

    And this is slightly left-field, but another factor which adds to this mix of shipping meta is the fact that statistically, and realistically, there /are/ going to be homosexual idols out there. Which affects 1, 2, 3 (above) and so on and so forth.

    TL;DR Hardcore shipping is bad! Casual shipping not so much. I could talk a lot more about fandom but I’ll just leave it here.

    One thing I would like to have seen more in this article is the discussion of heterosexual shipping, though. What is the psychology behind that? And would heterosexual shipping bother idols more than homosexual, given that with the larger prevalence of homophobia in South Korea (on a comparative scale), homosexual shipping might be laughed off as delusional or funny or silly (this sort of resonates with your recent article on crossdressing), or something not to be, in seriousness, bothered by (look at the phenomenon of fanservice) – whereas heterosexual shipping might be actually taken more seriously? Shipping, after all, is not solely comprised of male/male pairs.

    • Plover;

      Ah, some clarifications as to my thoughts. 1) I’m open to other opinions. Really, there’s a lot of variation in opinion out there and I’d still like to develop my thoughts further. This article made me think some, too. 2) Casual shipping isn’t necessarily 100% a-okay, depending on how you look at it (if you want to take into account comparative real life social interaction for fans-though there’s a lot of varied opinion on that too. I am too tired … and lazy … to also talk about that). 3) On that last bit about heterosexual shipping, those aren’t necessarily my opinions, as it’s something I’m particularly interested in reading/hearing an opinion on, given that it’s not something I’ve particularly thought through/seen discussed/etc.

    • Marissa

      Regarding this: 

      “2) You don’t separate the ‘fictional ship’/interpretation from the real life people and potentially (though not always, you can be casual) you become a hardcore/’delusional’ shipper. ”

      I’ve noticed that once you fictionalize real life people, usually through fanfiction, the fanfiction portrayal of the real life people become more real to the fans than what these idols are like in real life.

      Hardcore M/M shippers always try to fit their OTPs into a certain mold that’s been set up by fanfiction writers (and by cliched yaoi romance writers since time immemorial): the strong manly seme and the girly, feminine uke. Even though the idols are not one extreme or another, shippers objectify them into these roles and refuse to allow their idols to have a personality that doesn’t fit into the parameters they set for them.

      • Plover;

        I agree, very much so. :) You phrase it far better than I how I would attempt to do so.

  • Issy

    I’ve come across this shipping phenomena among the fandom for the band (European) I work for.  It’s really weird to me.  One of the band members is constantly shipped with another celebrity that he is friends with.  I’ve had fans ask me if they were in a relationship and when I respond back with “No, they are only friends,” invariably, the person asking almost always refuses to believe me and will even try to offer up “proof” to support their delusion.

    I never get shippers that male fans though.  I wonder if this is strictly a female fan thing.  

    • JP

      Males do ship (lesbian ships especially) they just do it more visually (as in practically pron) compared to other half of the population (females don’t need to see visual evidence ’cause just a hint of two boys doing it, is apparently enough to send our imagination into overdrive).

  • maldita

    I admit I stan all three OTP’s in this article, but only because I find their friendships cute, not in the “OMG OPPAS ARE FUCKING FOR REAL!” way. I feel bad for Yunho and Jaejoong though, because they have to put up with hardcore YunJae stans everywhere they go. Hell, even in Yunho’s birthday fanmeeting earlier this year, some girl shamelessly gave him Jaejoong’s “Intermodulation” photobook as a present. Poor guy has to smile like nothing’s wrong even though he’s obviously uncomfortable with it.

    It’s interesting to note, though, that while YunJae, EunHae, and JongKey are obviously close friends that go waaaaaaay back, and I don’t doubt that, they hardly ever hang out with each other on their own. Jaejoong has his own posse of celeb friends, Yunho has his own. Both of then are social butterflies that have completely separate social circles. Eunhyuk has his forever BFF Junsu, Donghae has his crew of SM dongsaengs. Key has his ’91-ers gang and Jonghyun chills on his own.

  • Sali


    SHINee – JongKey
    DBSK – YunJae
    SuJu – Heechul/Hankyung?
    INFINITE – MyungYeol
    U-Kiss – ElVin?
    2pm – Khun/Wooyoung
    Big Bang – GRi
    GOD – Hoyoung/Kyesang
    MYNAME – SeJin
    B1A4 – JinChan

    BoyFriend – ??????
    2am – ?????


    • Anonymous

      SNSD – JeTi


    • Revy

      Big Bang/2ne1-GBom
      Big Bang/2ne1-TopBom(Spring Tempo)

    • jess1

      MBLAQ – JooMi; 87line

  • Sali

    Kinda weird that there’s not much male-female shippers.

    • seri-park

      I think it’s because the majority of fans are female, and would get rabidly jealous if the pairing of their idol were with a female.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QTWA7VXD444AVMWOEVKLDQZQ4Y blu_purplegerl

    Actually OTP shipping is done a lot in jpop as well, with a lot of devotion. 

    • Anonymous

      and jrock too, apparently. seriously, hyde and gackt are both married (hyde with kids and gackt divorced though ;_;) but there’re still people ship them devotedly? o.O oh well…

      and how i hate johnny so much for making something like tackey/tsubasa… tackey is mine! he’s mine! hahaha. xD

  • Boo

    Sometimes the idols take an active part in encouraging shipping tho. It excites the fangirls and makes the members even more popular so they kind of feed off on each other. Eunhyuk and Donghae come to mind. They post a lot of pics together which Eunhyuk even refers to as ~Eunhae. DBSK too. They All About DVDs with their couple interviews. They are totally playing into the shipping game too. I find that the really popular pairings are popular because the idols themselves make an effort to do fan service or are really close.

    I’m not that bothered with shipping because sometimes fans of certain ships can create really good stories/art out of it. There are a lot of good fan fiction out there that wouldn’t have been born without those ships.

    I agree tho that some fans get too delusional about their OTPs and it’s ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      in other word, SM artists milk the shipping thing. i haven’t see another artists do the same effort as SM artists.

      • Anonymous

        I couldn’t agree more with you. SM did some serious milking off HanChul (Han Geng and Heechul). A friend sent me a link to a HanChul Fan Fiction forum. It really creeped me out ready about the two of them along with other members of Super Junior sexual escapades among them.
        I had no idea forums like those existed. I told my friend don’t send me any  other links because I don’t want to read it. I’m contest just with looking at them. 

        • Anonymous

          somehow i feel thankful that both hankyung and jaejoong aren’t in SM again. i can’t imagine hanchul or yunjae release something like “oppa oppa”. lmao.

      • Boo

        Ugh yes. I’ve noticed this too. Heechul should really be mentioned too. He has skinship with everyone but I think that’s just a part of his personality. Lol. I think once SM sees that something sells they immediately latch onto it. The other OTPs in other companies just seem to unfold because those idols are naturally close and fans make up the rest.

  • Anonymous

    Every time someone busts out with a Yunjae sign it gives me second hand embaressment.  Leave poor Jaejoong and Yunho alone.  It must be so awkward for them.

    It’s the same in Japan.  I don’t think Kame and Jin can do anything without some fangirl coming up with a conspiracy theory on why the two can’t be together.  I blame Johnny’s Entertainment for building up Akame and letting it get out of hand.  Kat-tun became Akame and the 4 back-up singers.

  • Pha Thao

    I agree with this article. I find it very sad for the idols and for the fangirls, who romantically ship two male idols. I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of “bromance” shipping, but have never thought of two male idols in a romantic/sexual relationship beyond hugging and the occasional fanservice kiss. To me, “bromance” is a lot safer than a forced sexual relationship.

    I find that shippers will use anything as evidence that their OTP is real. Like a YunJae video I saw where all YunJae did was hug, whisper to each other, and hold hands, not very uncommon among male friends. That just shows how excessively obsessed the shippers are, and it’s rather disturbing.

    However, if you think about it, shipping is like when guys find it exciting when two girls kiss. Girls with any self-respect and guys with any respect for girls would find that disturbing that two girls would kiss just for a guy’s enjoyment. Switch the genders, and there you have shipping. Rather than being part of the shipping crowd, fan girls should respect the male idols (and female idols) that they are shipping.

  • Grayskies

    I completely agree with this article, but I feel that you should have mentioned the male-female shipping some more. 

  • Marissa

    “Ultimately, shipping becomes a selfish and self-indulgent activity when real people with real feelings are the ones being manipulated for the sake of entertainment and fantasy.” Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for this article and I hope shippers who read this would reflect on their own actions and motivations before doing drastic things like tweeting to their idols about sex with the other half of their OTP or bringing shameless banners depicting their OTPs in intimate sexual positions to their idols’ fan party/fanmeet.

  • jess1

    I ship but I’m not hardcore that’s why reading this is kind of funny to me because it seems so dramatic. I didn’t mean to laugh at you or trash whatever you have written here, it’s just that to me I find the hardcore shippers unreal and reading it as you put it here is also unreal. It should just be for fun. I feel sad for those who think it more than just that. 

    • jess1

      Oh, I have another reason. They would rather ship guys together or girls together instead of shipping them to the opposite sex. The idea of same sex shipping is better and less “suicidal” (this is a fan-term. sorry I can’t think of other words right now) to the fans. 

    • Anonymous

      well, hardcore shippers are real though. if you haven’t talk with hardcore yunjae, you probably found this unreal, but the whole situation described here isn’t over-dramatic. but to say that idol shipping has no place? wait, i’m shipping many couple just for fun, and i don’t think i make the idols/artists uncomfortable with that. i ship monday couple *who can’t resist them? haha*, jongkook-eunhye couple, lee dongwook-kim sunah couple, park shihoo-moon chaewon couple *lol*, woojung couple, brave couple, etcetc… i guess i ship every WGM, variety shows’, and even drama couple, haha… 

      idk about shipping with same sex, but it’s more “suicidal” for me to know my oppa isn’t straight, hehe.

  • Rose

    It’s fan-service people.  Who cares……  Eunhae has always been Eunhae and in till they get married to women, it will always be Eunhae . I’s called bromance..  

  • pinky

    Yaoi/slash shipping isn’t exclusive in K-Pop. Just thought I should point that out. Just look at Harry Potter. Of course, considering it’s fiction… But shipping is like a widely accepted norm in any fandom (not just k-pop), with slash shippers occupying just a portion of it. Most of the times it’s just harmless fangirling, but I do have to admit sometimes some people go too far.
    But I think it goes both ways. Idols/companies should stop feeding the fire, which they are not doing, which only encourages the fans. It’s a cycle.

  • LImpy Limpious

    Kpop idols are public figures. Their whole public image is manufactured and artificial, so I don’t see what’s wrong with fans creating their own fantasies about idol pairings. Everybody fantasizes sexually about somebody else. Problematic are not fans who ship their OTPs for the sake of fun or satisfying their fantasies, problematic are the delusional ones who can’t distinguish fantasy from reality and expect from their idols to act according to the image they created in their minds. Same thing with religion. You have majority who are moderate believers and respect other people’s beliefs and opinions, and you also have minority of hardcore fanatics who try to convert everybody on the spot and scream at you that you’ll burn in hell if you disagree with them. Don’t blame it on religion, blame it on human nature. As to say, don’t blame it on shipping itself, blame it on people’s nature of not being able to distinguish fact from fiction.
    Also, the intensity of shipping culture can have some positive influences, not only negative ones. In western societies with strong traditional christian background, where homophobia is an enduring problem, even among majority which doesn’t go to church but still holds to some christian values due to their christian upbringing, maybe this kind of male-to-male shipping can change the views of some international, non-asian fans of kpop who thought that homosexuality is something wrong before. I’m not saying that international fans are or were homophobic, but when I show MVs of Super Junior or SHINee to my friends or family, they tell me that they are gays, and look at me weirdly because, like, why do I watch these gay people dancing . I can also speak from my personal experience: before I got into kpop and became aware of these shippings, I thought of homosexuality as something morally wrong because it clashed with my catholic beliefs. Now I see it as something normal. 
    Kpop itself and kpop fandom, especially international fandom, are very interesting phenomena. It’s very rare to see such devout and loyal fans. To a lot of fans, kpop idols become our obsession: they enchant us with their music and dance, they enter our fantasies and give us a unique opportunity to delve into asian culture that was closed off for westerners for so long. To conclude, this “institution of shipping” is part of kpop culture, and has bad and good sides just like any other, but I hope that some overly obsessed kpop shippers will realize to draw the line between fantasy and reality, because while you are overly living in dreams that can’t become a reality, you are missing a lot of good things kpop can offer.

  • http://twitter.com/zoamorrda Dreem

    they are fan who living in extreme fantasy only,,and the scary thing they are really believe they are is real,,,i hate this

  • http://twitter.com/my_stoOory special girl

    This is crazy … They are just friends fans and companies are composed of stories like this to promote their teams, for me, I can not believe these lies

  • Anonymous

    Hardcore shippers are dangerous and selfish. 

    i remember that couple shippers went to jaejoong fanmeet and thought it would be a brilliant idea to bring a big yunjae banner. come on, its his personal fanmeet not some yunjae fanmeet. what makes it even worst is that they do this knowing that dbsk is split and not exactly in speaking terms with each other. hello, how many times has jae said that he isn’t in contact with them. also if i remember correctly yunho and jaejoong both said that shipping thing has made them feel uncomfortable…. i think it was in the aadbsk dvds. if that isn’t a hint for shippers to stop or at least cool down with the shipping, i don’t know what is.also some jongkey shippers…. i have read some seriously delusional comments, when jonghyun start dating that girl… um model/actress i can’t remember her name anyhow when he did, u think that would be the hint that jongkey is not real… oh no, u know what some of them said, its not real that pic is photoshop or that sme set it up to cover up another couple or that jonghyun is using the girl to cover his relationship with key since korea is not accepting of gays yet.

    i have met my fair share of shippers from different fandoms but i have to admit that kpop fandoms takes the cake with their extreme shipping… at least to me. I know some jpop have their share delusional shippers but at least they don’t shove it up their idols faces like kpop shippers tend to do. i have yet to read about jpop shipper bringing in a big sexual banner into a event.

  • Ann

    I think you’re attaching way too much importance to shipping and let the idols off too lightly for their encouragement of this shipping.

    Shipping is part and parcel of kpop. It is not even unique to kpop but it is encouraged by the companies and the artists more than most fandoms. Everyone involved – the companies, the idols and the fans – know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.

    For companies, it’s an additional way for fans to be loyal to a band, for idols its an another way to make them popular among fans and for fans it’s a way to ignore that their oppars are most likely dating a woman who is not them.

    As many people have pointed out, eunhyunk and donghae are captains of the eunhae ship. They encourage it more than anyone else. This is true for a lot of the big kpop ships, including yunjae. Idols are very aware of all aspects of shipping, including the x-rated fanfics. Most if not all of them have read the fics and have probably laughed their asses off. Kim Hyunjoong even wrote ss501 fanfics.

    As for feelings, no one’s feelings are manipulated more than the fans. The idea that their oppars all have these epic bromances are far from the truth, but one that companies work very hard to convince fans off. And sometimes, it comes back to bite them in the ass. Like in 2pm’s case, the idea that jay was betrayed by his brothers, by taecyeon specifically (taecjay is the big 2pm ship), and his company is why fans were and still are so bitter about the whole thing.

    ps You’ve only focussed on male/male ships but female/female ships are just as popular but since most girl groups don’t have huge fanbases, it’s not that well-known. And there are also popular heterosexual ships. In fact, harcore daragon fans are about as crazy as extreme yunjae fans. Their version of daragon history reads like pulp fiction.

    • Anonymous

      i agree with this: ”
      Shipping is part and parcel of kpop. It is not even unique to kpop but it is encouraged by the companies and the artists more than most fandoms. Everyone involved – the companies, the idols and the fans – know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.”

      and yes, daragon stans are sometimes scary too haha

      • Sophia

        I agree. Shipping is NOT just part of K-pop. What the hell is this person talking about? My girlfriend is into a whole bunch of fandoms and she ships in all fandoms, like TV series fandoms. For example, Supernatural, Dean and Castiel. People ship them in the series AND in real life, and they publicly do TONS of fanservice, like explicitly sexual fan service, which they allude to blow jobs and kissing each other and couple pictures. It’s ridiculous.

        I for example, ship KRYBER, Amber and Krystal from f(x). Both love the shipping, constantly want to get their hands on kryber merc, do public fan service, and Amber bluntly outright supports kryber on her twitter and instagram by posting pictures explicitly stating “kryber” on them.

        So, you mentioned a couple of pairings that have stated they were uncomfortable with their shipping fandom…

        NEWS FLASH: this is not the only thing famous people are uncomfortable with. Fans do a lot of other shiet that makes some idols uncomfortable, and other idols outright enjoy it. So, it’s really just a GIVE OR TAKE situation. Don’t stigmatize all shippers just because of specific shipping didn’t take it the right way.

        The whole shipping psychology crap you spewed earlier, honestly it’s bullshit. I have a bachelors of science degree in psychology, I write fanfiction on Kryber and I really ship them as in I believe they have something real (not relationship, but that their feelings are real or once were real). I also happen to have a happy relationship with my own couple, known each other for 7 years and have been dating for 1 year, soon to moving in together. I don’t see anything lacking in my relationship or fantasize about anything. It’s just a nice feeling, like “awww they look so cute together, you guys totally belong together, it’d be so perfect” kind of like when your friend is getting married, and you’re happy for your friend that he found someone or whatever. Nothing that reflects on your personal relationship at all or your personal life.

        So, yeah. People ship. Some idols don’t like it. Some idols really do like it. Get over it.

  • Me3

    yunjae stans and yongseo stans are the worst..they are soooo scary
    they seriously lost their minds..they even talk about kill and hurt people
    they acts as if they live in the minds of their idols
     Your oppas or unnies has the right to choose the person they want to love
    why you want to force them to choose your favorite person??this is NOT your life…these are their  lifes.
    get your own boyfriend or girlfriend and live your own life

    • Anonymous

      jongkook-eunhye stans are somehow more scary. haha. xD

  • Anonymous

    The whole Kpop and idol business is built on fantasy. 99% of the people don’t look like this. It’s no wonder some will take it to the next level and there is fanaticism in just about anything.

  • http://twitter.com/spinkfish Jenny

    I actually have almost the exact opposite stance on shipping from you. I think it’s largely harmless. To think that it has such a detrimental effect on the idol psyche and their relationships with their members is attributing a laughable amount of importance as to how much what fans think affect idols.

    It’s part of the package, they are more than aware of how fangirls work and around the same time they realize how dedicated fans can be in hunting down their every schedule and giving them fangifts at every opportunity idols realize how crazy they can be too. It’s no less toxic than the deluded fangirls who insist that they’re going to marry oppa and idols still knowingly call their fans their girlfriends and swear off dating to give false hope. Same deal with shipping: idols actively and consciously engage in skinship and overly affectionate fanservice when on camera because they know fans eat it up. And when fans are emotionally invested in a pairing they become that much more dedicated to the fandom, and somewhere down the road that translates into monetary support for the group. It’s something I think most idols learn to deal with early on. Once you gain popularity, it’s unavoidable. For the most part, I think they’re amused by it. The ones who are uncomfortable must simply learn to deal with it, just as they learn to deal with the dismissal of personal privacy. My point is that it’s no less invasive than the regular delusional fangirls, and I have genuinely seen so much less harm come from obsessive shippers than regular obsessive fangirls, who grab, pull, push, stalk, graffiti, tattoo, name-call, and more in the name of their oppas.

    Frankly, I don’t think shipping would have a profound effect on idols unless said idols actually WERE interested in each other, but that’d be dicey enough situation as it stands. People absolutely become trainees aware that fanfiction exists for successful idols, and as the variety and abundance of pairings within a group rises with their self-confidence and self-assurance, which rise with their popularity, I think discomfort becomes less and less of a problem. I think most idols learn to embrace it as a fandom thing that they endorse, whether at the company’s behest, for their own amusement, or even for the benefit of the fans. The bottom line is that shipping is just another aspect of fandom that idols grow used to as they grow into idolhood.  It is not shipping itself which could cause undue harm, because it truly is a harmless pastime to write stories and edit pictures and release them into the ether. It is as harmless or harmful as the fan who makes it.

    • Anonymous

      “To think that it has such a detrimental effect on the idol psyche and their relationships with their members is attributing a laughable amount of importance as to how much what fans think affect idols.”
      actually i think they do affect them to some extent…. yunjae is perfect example, they used to be close but they drifted away and they have admit that the shipping makes them uncomfortable. Their friendship took a strain…. way before the lawsuit hit.

      another example is…. akame…. its jpop pairing. they used to be super close but they start drifting away, they won’t talk much on camera, they limited their actions btwn each other. if i remember correctly in one of their cartoon kat-tun episode, i remember they saying how strange it was to actually do a bit fanservice… u can tell they were uncomfortable.

      i think most idols think they can handle it but after a while it gets to ur head, and does affect the relationship between them.

    • http://twitter.com/keycum Josh (조슈아)

      Bless this comment.  The author of this article has a shallow view of what a fandom does for idols groups in general.  To suggest that she presumes to know what is or is not good for the K-pop fandom is laughable.  If some idol came out and said that shipping makes he or she uncomfortable I might feel a bit differently, but to the extent that it seems not to phase anyone in the industry, I find this article to be needlessly arrogant and nitpicky. 

      • Anonymous

         “If some idol came out and said that shipping makes he or she uncomfortable I might feel a bit differently”
        may i guide to one of aadbsk dvd where yunho and jaejoong have said with own two mouths that the shipping has made them feel uncomfortable.

        like i said before, if that isn’t straight up sign for fans to cool down with the shipping, i don’t know what is. 

  • Mer

    Shipping drives me bonkers!  It’s not sexy to me at all, in fact it’s a little stomach turning.  As are the edited videos and inappropriate gifs. They can chill with the fan service too.  Personally I don’t think it’s necessary for them to always be up in each other’s faces kissing and rubbing.

    OMG!  YunJae??  Seriously??  Let it come out that they were actually having a sexual relationship…  the fans would shit a fucking brick.  Hypocrisy at it’s best.

  • http://twitter.com/WickedAngel4 wicked angel

    I only follow one Kpop group, so I can’t speak for all of the idols that were and are being shipped. But as a pre-lawsuit DBSK fan, I can say with some degree of certainty that the shipping culture did do harm to Yunho and Jaejoong’s relationship. If you watch, say, Bonjour Paris and AADBSK II Couple Talk and then compare them to AADBSK III Couple Talk, you will notice the stark difference in their interaction with each other. Over the course of 8 years (from pre-debut in 2001 to lawsuit in 2009), Yun-Jae became closer to each other at first only to gradually drift apart later. In the last phase of their relationship as DBSK members, it seemed to me all that’s left was, sadly to say, fanservice. I loved them both individually, and it was sad to see them in that situation.

    Just to go off-tangent a little, I think Yunho and especially Jaejoong were exceptionally good at fanservice. The interactions between Yoochun-Jaejoong, Jaejoong-Changmin, Changmin-Junsu always seemed much more “real” to me.

    Of course this is just my observation, and I respect your disagreement.

    • Anonymous

      yea, yunho and jaejoong have admit in one of those aadbsk that they are uncomfortable with the shipping.

    • Libeika

      omgosh! I totally agree with you. For some reason, whenever “YunJae moments” happened, leading right up to it, you could see quite a lot of thinking on the part of both Jaejoong and Yunho.

      From my observations, I think all the DBSK members had/have extremely close friendships, what with all the crazy schedules and not. And the times where they do things for each other, like really sweet things that friends do for one another, are the ones that really make me go ‘aww’. But then again, that’s not to say that Yunho and Jaejoong don’t have their sweet moments too. I think it’s just the fans who just push it way too far. But yeah, I agree the interactions between the other members were really more real to me, in the sense it wasn’t a calculated move to gain fans’ attention, but rather, just an action as a result of a thought of kindness.

  • Seika_star

    To be honest, I literally have a friend that ships me and our other friends, in real life. Doesn’t bother me one bit.

    Plus with kpop I think there’s a little more room for leway, considering there’s a certain level of character acting in the development of a stage persona. 

    That’s my point of view as a (what I would like to think) rational shipper. I understand there are people out there who take it to fanatic levels… but there are a lot of fans (and people) in general, who maybe aren’t that bright… ^^;; I try to just ignore it. I think a lot of these artists have a sense of humor about it and take it in good stride.

  • http://twitter.com/Laava90 Lava

    Honestly, I think the hardcore shippers are a bit weird- honestly now if you’re shipping jaejoong and yunho, wouldn’t you rather just have jaejoong for yourself?? O_o
    Also, as many people have already said, these idols are aware of what their doing and they know the consequences, but what their doing infront of the camera and fans is most likely all a performance anyway, I’m certain that none of these idols personalities are like they show to the public, it’s probably more of an exagerated version of themselves, therefore they probably wouldn’t care too much about the shippers since people are shipping their ‘idol personalities’ in a way, if I’m making sense?
    Bottom line, as somebody else said, casual shipping is whatever, but shoving it in everybodys faces is unnecessary (although the hardcore fans will always be there no matter what)
    I don’t think the idols get too badly affected, their group members aren’t the only people they ever see and we don’t know their relationships in reality, and as I said, they are partially at fault too so they can’t really get annoyed by it can they?

  • lol

    lmao this is the most pathetic article i’ve ever read. do you not have anything else to do

    • No

      you sound like a shipper.

      • anon

        you sound like a hater. 

        • No


  • tiffany

    I always thought that with most idol shipping was pushed for by the idols themselves. People ship Eunhae because they did a lot of fanservice with each other first. No one forced Eunhyuk and Donghae to take all those selcas together, proclaim to everyone that “Eunhae is real!”, etc.  Sure, maybe SME asked them to (and is it just me or are all the most idol couples from SM?), but that doesn’t always work. Wasn’t 2U supposed to be the original OTP from DBSK, not Yunjae? And there are many idols who don’t do fanservice, and thus are not commonly shipped with anyone like Onew (except for chicken, which doesn’t count). It’s only the OTPs who do fanservice together that get shipped, so it’s what the idols themselves want. And since the fanservice is a ploy to make the idols more popular, of course a lot of fangirls would fall for it, that’s the point. I also think that most OTPs were good friends to begin with and are still very close even with the shipping (like Eunhyuk and Donghae seem like bffs). I don’t think that shipping idols together is really that harmful. Of course, there are going to be the delusional fans, but those seem to exist for everything in kpop. 

  • Olivialyra

    im surprised no one mentioned the companies. imagine this: so eunhyuk and donghae decide that if they give their fans fanservice that it will boost their popularity. so they do. so, they start grinding on each other,kissing and everything else you can think of. then the concert ends. they go to the sm ent building to discuss the concert that they just had. then the sm president ask’s: what were you guys doing during the concert? do you know what this could do to the company.? 
     now this can go 2 ways. A)eunhyuk and donghae tell him and he tottaly supports their idea. and the result is what we have in real life. or B) he rejects the idea and they arent allowed to do that anymore. do you see how the company also plays a role in this. they wouldnt be able to do this without the companies consent so it isnt ENTIRELY the idols fault for “feeding” the fans.

    • Anonymous

      u know what this just trigger my mind about how jae said that a lot of their talks and what not was scripted during db5k era. so it is possibility that fanservice can be scripted by the company too. after all the company will do what they gotta do to keep their acts popular. so if they notice that certain pair is very popular, it won’t be hard to believe if the company told them to put on some fanservice for the fans.

  • Anonymous

    I find shipping harmless to a degree. Maybe it’s because I’m international and maybe it’s because fanfiction and ‘what-if-?’ scenarios have been around since the days of the original Star Trek series, but for the most part, I’m on the pro-neutral side of things.

    If you’re going to make fanfics, fan videos, whatever: fine. No harm in that if the celebrity in question doesn’t take it as defamation of character or takes it seriously (for ex. the mini drama Yunho and Jaejoong did where Yunho found a site full of YunJae fanfiction and thought everything Jae did/didn’t do was a come on to him). There’s not much harm in that as long as the maker in question doesn’t actually believe the pair could/will actually become “real”. The problem comes in with the hard core fantards who interfere in the celebrities’ in question lives. The Jonghyun-Saekyung incident was completely irrational, overblown, and immature. Everyone from the “Jonghyun-is-mine” side to the “What-about-JongKey?!” side interfered in their lives with hate mail, slandering, becoming antis (they weren’t real “fans” in the first place), and making an already stressful situation worse. Dating is hard enough for celebrities without everybody and their mother having an opinion.

    From the celebrity stand point, I’m surprised you didn’t call the celebrities out for encouraging the bromances with the fanservice. Yes, Korea is a more touchier culture and guys holding hands or kissing each other’s cheeks isn’t as big a deal there as it would be in America (where far right conservatives would start a mob complete with torches, picket signs, and pitchforks), but the fact that the celebrities are doing the selcas together, kissy faces and whatnot should be addressed. A lot of times it wreaks of hypocrisy that they would act in that fashion and then go on this or that show and act all “Ewww! Gay! Take it away!” Sure, the fanservice is for the cameras, but it’s not fair to the fans out there that may legitimately be gay/lesbian/bi. For teens and tweens discovering their sexuality and coming to terms with who they are, these (not just in Korea, but celebrities in general) celebrities who have just as much influence as their friends, teachers, and families, are inadvertently giving them hope and reassurance that they’re not freaks of nature. By sending the message that they’re fine with their friends/coworkers being all over them and touchy-feel-ie, it makes those kids think that ‘Yes, my oppa/noona/hyung/unnie is forward thinking!’ only to have the rugs pulled from under them.

  • Anonymous

    This “idols shipping” is just an another thing I notice about K-pop and totally don´t get.

  • http://twitter.com/ryzlbrmudz Rayzel Bermudez

    I’ve personally never shipped an idol couple, but for example, if I’m browsing through SHINee videos, I can certainly get a laugh out of all the JongKey comments, but I never take it seriously. There’s was also the time when Infinite was on Sesame Player and Dongwoo and Hoya pretended that they were on We Got Married.. It was cute and hilarious, but it was only a joke, and should be treated that way. I don’t understand extreme shippers – how the hell do people get pleasure out of same sex pairings? It’s just perverted and disturbing, and I’m no homophobic but OTPs are usually not real. At this rate, how are idols suppose to have a harmless bromance if Kpop fans keep on viewing it as something more sensual? Same goes for female artists. I think some Kpop fans have this way of thinking that if their bias won’t end up with them, they wouldn’t mind it if their bias ended up with say, another member of the group. 

  • http://twitter.com/emmiwish Emmi Lee ★

    laughs, fanservice sells and fans love it. what else is there to otps?

  • alexandre

    OTPs creep the hell out of me. I mean at first I thought skinship is a normal thing in Korea but the fact that it has gone extremely awkward doesn’t really help the idols. This particular relationships are portrayed as gay/homosexual to other countries. The fans creep me out even more. I wish someone can enlighten me as to why fans obsess over this.

  • chocovagabond

    Yes, I agree with this! Fan-shipping can negatively affect the relationships between group members by causing awkwardness and possibly even tension. Even though they try to shrug it off, there’s no doubt that some may find it uncomfortable. While fans may find this an enjoyable thing to do and think it’s no big deal, the “harmless fan-shipping”, I feel, goes too far.

  • Litashe

    I think what idols also have to think about is about how much time they’re spending together. I think what drives fangirls over the edge is when their “oppa” is standing next to another “oppa” – or “unnie” and “unnie” – and then suddenly hold hands with each other. What? If those two are completely straight/not interested in the other, why bother holding hands? Fan service doesn’t make the world go round. “Just brothers/just sisters” don’t act like they are completely in puppy love. Sure, occasionally throwing an arm around another would be just simple skinship in Korea, that doesn’t mean they have to literally start ogling each other. You don’t have to start literally staring into each others’ eyes just because I’m watching. I wish somehow, some hidden camera could show what the idols are really like when near each other, and not just how they are when they are aware fans are watching. Maybe those crazed fangirls would finally snap into their senses.

  • Arbitrary_greay

    Things that need to addressed:

    1. Why Kpop shipping specifically?

    2. Why idol shipping specifically?

    3. Why same sex shipping specifically?

    4. Why shipping specifically?

    According to the article, the consequence seems to be damage done to an idol’s psyche or social life as the result of a form of objectification of them. 

    But at the point at which the entire game of idolling is for someone to gain fans by letting them objectify an image of them, and as shown in the other comments, casual shipping can be harmless or even positive, then it’s not about the act of shipping itself that causes damage, but just the extent of hardcore fandom in general. ANY act of fandom, taken to the extreme, is bad. Hell, most anything taken to the extreme is bad. 

    Therefore, for this article to not be just another nitpicky “oh noez some aspect of fandom personally bothers me” essay, it must identify a detrimental part of that fandom aspect that is not contingent on whether someone does it casually or hardcore. Otherwise, it needs to back off on condemning shipping as a whole and specify that hardcore shipping is nuts. 

  • anonanon

    I personally think it is a well written and insightful article, but maybe it’s a bit harsh. 
    I find these things quite entertaining, funny actually. People care just a little too much about this stuff. Both sides have a great deal of things to say, but I admit that both have good points to offer. Then again, why are people fighting over this? I mean, it’s a life changing topic or anything that is worth all this attention.
    People have the rights to do what makes them happy and voice out their personal opinions. If shippers want to ship homosexual couples, that’s their personal problem. They know what they’re getting themselves into. It makes them content and even more loyal to the fandom. I must admit, shippers can go overboard with the shipping, which I personally think is just dreadful and somewhat embarrassing at times.
    Are these couples real? We don’t know. As far as we know, it’s just a fantasy created by the company, the artists, and the fans.
    Are they just in it for the sake of their fans? Most of the time, yes. Then again, we don’t know them on a personal level. Things happen all the time.
    I think that we are dwelling too much on this simple topic. Fanservice has always been popular. It just naturally comes with the fandom, which people choose to ignore or follow. 
    I totally understand that non-shippers don’t feel comfortable. It’s their choice, and their personal opinions. Shipping isn’t for everyone. 
     ”To put it bluntly, I think it’s kind of horrible that Eunhyuk and Donghae can’t have a normal friendship without awkwardly knowing that thousands of fans throughout the globe think that they’re screwing each other every night.”
    This part captured most of my attention. I thought it was just so darn hilarious. Honestly, don’t you think they have more things to worry about other than this? I mean, in between the schedules, performances, and rest time. Do you think they have time to worry about such little things…? 
    In all, we’re all fighting about an elaborate fantasy to please fans…

  • Anonymous

    “‘shipping’ is … a side effect of possible deprivation from real-life interaction with people of the opposite gender.”  Like we need oxygen and water, you fan-girl, need to spend some time around someone with an X chromosome. But I’m sure some fan girls are more realistic and plenty of guys were able to get laid thanks to k-pop idols.

    I first discovered ‘shipping’ through all the TaeNy video’s on youtube. My thoughts were, “Oh, look at all the cute things these bff’s do.”  They seem comfortable around each other and it kinda makes me wish I had a best friend I could be giggly and silly with. So I liked the TaeNy vids…until I feel into a rabbit hole and it got all creepy.  

    The shipping culture is fascinating, sometimes you can’t look away. If you want to fantasize about your favorite idols getting it on, that’s cool, do whatever floats your boat. But that doesn’t mean rubbing it in their faces. Yelling YunJae every time you see Yunho or JaeJoong at fanmeets is unnecessary and embarrassing for them. They might not have made a big deal about it before, but they are older now. Let it go. Jonghyun definitely seems like he went along with shipping to gain some fans. Key went along for the sheer hell of it. But I think they are bored with it now, so you can let that go too. (Although I really like that pic of them).
    Fantasizing about a celeb is natural. Go up to any heterosexual male and ask him what two female stars he’d want to see get it on and he’d answer in under 15 seconds. The problem is when fantasy and reality start to blur and you feel like your bias needs to live by your personal desires.

  • Kangaeru

    I am guilty of serious “shipping” in the past so I understand the appeal. Heck, my nickname in  fansites and fancafes was, and unfortunately some still are, “onlytaeny”. I’m just lazy to go and fix them but now I think I will sometime in the near future. But when I started being a fan I was a freshman in high school, now I’m a freshman at college, I learned, for myself at least, that making up fantasies about actual living people, in my universe and not an AU, is disturbing and not healthy. Just like I don’t enjoy slander in those gossip magazines, I can’t enjoy fanfics. Because even though some of the writing is excellent and had actually even helped me learn Korean, the psychological affects on my brain is too big, I will read well-written fiction novels from now on. “Shipping” helped me to get into SNSD, but I realized on several occasions that that just isn’t a healthy way to be a fan. Fanfic and “shipping” doesn’t disgust me right now, it’s just something I don’t want to be part of for my well-being. Because I know if I get into it again, it’s massively addicting, so I’ll get sucked in and into a kind of mindset I don’t want to live my life with. The 9 girls of SNSD are friends and sisters to each other, I don’t want them in an incestuous relationship in my mind. That’s me personally. 

    But to tell you from my POV, fanfiction is extremely complex for those of you that don’t know, especially in Korea where it’s really developed. I speak Korean and was born in Korea but I grew up in the States so I pretty much had lost most of the language then regained it and learned more of it after getting to know SNSD, mainly through Korean fanfics. A lot of fanfiction is trash. But a lot of it, well some of it at least, is very artistic. It’s skillful. I learned words, usage, grammar and really felt like I was reading a novel. Of course the main characters being actual people that already had clear images in my mind was helpful in keeping me hooked. Whatever fanfic is, it’s not all stupid. 

    And a theory about “shipping” I had seen somewhere was left out in the article. And this reasoning/logic seemed extremely plausible to me: Fans don’t want to “give” their idols to the members of the opposite gender. Of course the widely accepted homophobia, or rather ignorance about homosexuality, in Korea plays a part in that theory. And of course a bit of an obsessive possessiveness, but that’s something fans kind of just all have inside of them I believe. Especially the Korean ones. 

  • seri-park

    I agree with the Kangaeru below on the psychological causes of “shipping.”  A lot of fans would like to imagine their idols in sensual/sexual situations, but would be overwhelmed with jealousy if their idols were involved with the opposite sex.  But, if their idol were with another idol of their fancy, that would be acceptable.  I think many fans do not even think about the homosexual implications. 

    However, I do think some of the pairings are real.  Given the percentage of homosexuals that naturally occur in populations (from flies, to mice, to men), there are bound to be actual homosexual pairings among idols.  In addition, the occurrence of homosexuality tends to be elevated in the entertainment industry.  So, such pairings should be of no surprise, concern, or alarm.

  • minnix

    Its not the fangirl’s fault (unless they are extreme) as they are being encouraged by the idols.
    What about all those ‘card kissing games’ where the idols pass cards or thin pieces of paper to one another via their mouths?
    Isn’t it obvious that this kind of thing will spark something within a fan? They’re sharing saliva on tv forgoodness sake!
    And those pocky games too. It’s all part of fanservice so as long as the idols aren’t complaining, its fine

  • http://www.facebook.com/roan.deguzman3 Ro-an de Guzman

    I am not a fan of idol-shipping. I have no qualms if my male idol is shipped with a female idol as long as I like the female idol. However, shipping with another male idol? Bromance might be a thing in Korea and Japan, but what would be the POV when International fans are seeing those? Not all countries will APPROVE of that shipping. Call those international fans homophobics but male-male idol shipping does not make anything gender equal. It’s just another case of homozploitation/gayzplotation, and that EVEN HOMOPHOBIC. What adds to homophobia is the fans support male-male idol shipping like as if the guys are couple, while they breed hate towards the real gays/lesbians/transgenders/bisexuals.

    Fantasizing is healthy, and have nothing against it, but when it’s done wrong (I don’t need to explain to y’all coz y’all know how it is done wrong), then that person is needed to be thrown to assylum.

    Sorry for constantly bragging all about myself but lemme’ share to y’all: I have fangirled different male celebs—from our local basketball stars, to our local rock stars and band members, down to korean actors and kpop stars (most notably G-Dragon and Nichkhun). Mind you guys, some of my idols have girlfriends or worse, wives. But I wouldn’t mind them having a girlfriend or wife. First, they are significantly older than me at that time—they were in mid-20s to early 30s, and I was in my mid to late teens (I am turning 30 by next year, just to give you an idea). I may not be lucky enough to go to Araneta Colisseum or Cuneta Astrodome to watch basketball games and see my idols, or go to concert bars and rock concerts due to time constraints (I was not allowed to stay late at night) and money (I could save up for a ball game or concert, but I realize there are more stuff that are important than these. Man! It’s bad to starve and to lack funds for school project!), but as long as I see my favorite basketball team winning, and see my rockband crush on free concert gigs how nice he is, I am happy. Seeing Buhawi Meneses of Parokya ni Edgar (he is the bassist of the said band) was such a bliss. I didn’t mind him having a girlfriend, as long as he is not cocky in real life, I’m happy. In my life of fangirling him, I never thought of shipping him to his co-members Chito Miranda or Vinci Montaner (vocalists). The same thing applies to my other fave rockbands such as Greyhounds, Slapshock, Queso. Shiz! Those guys might have done funny things like male-male skinship, but we guys never thought of shipping.
    And hell! We never thought of linking Aia de Leon of Imago with Kitchie Nadal.

    I guess, I was born and raised in the Philippines, which is far more gender-equal than Korea (y’all can’t deny that, despite the homophobia imposed by the Catholic Church), and even if there is Piolo Pascual-Sam Milby so-called ‘bromance’, their fans didn’t mind if they are being paired with the likes of Anne Curtis, Angel Locsin, KC Concepcion, Toni Gonzaga. I hate bragging, but that’s what I call a ‘healthy’ fan mentality. Y’all may preach about Cultural Relativism and stuff, but constant imposing of ‘male-male pairing’, and acting rabid towards ‘male-female pairing’ to the point of calling a female idol some names or bashing her, that’s plain crazy and that needs psychological check! No offense guys!

    • El

      Who the hell are you to generalize all people like that? You’re saying everyone who ships homosexual idols is homophobic towards regular people? And not all countries APPROVE of it? WTF? There are gays EVERYWHERE whether the damn country likes it or not, so how are you going to basically tell people to stop shipping homosexual couples because the country is homophobic? You seriously need to reread your comment and fix all the issues with it. Then again, you’d basically have to delete the whole thing. 

    • Alex

      Not shipping male-male pairings because a country is homophobic is ridiculous. Who cares how “international fans” perceive it? If they’re going to turn away from a fandom for something as minor as that, good riddance. 

  • eh

    I think this reads more of an awkwardness that you have as opposed to anything else. Yes, people who claim these guys are actually in a relationship (and hey they may be how do YOU know) are silly and should calm down. However, kpop “bromance” is geared towards this very thing. Companies and the “idols” themselves tend to naturally pair off, and guess what it isn’t a secret. I mean look at the Supernatural fandom and look how the show talks about that very thing in their episodes and the actors Jared and Jensen during interviews. I ship people and characters for my own amusement, not because I think these people are actually in relationships.

    As you said you don’t actually understand the culture, it’s probably something I couldn’t explain you like it or you don’t. Stating that it could be harmful makes me laugh. A lot of things in k-pop are crazy, shipping two guys for your own amusement is hardly making it to the top ten.

    But in my experience in fandom – I’ve never met the people you’re talking about. I’ve never came across anyone who was delusional enough to think that real life people they shipped where actually together. Then again, people fight over fictional characters and which OTP is better and they don’t even exist.

    I honestly think this reads more of someone whose never been in fandom. To me your opinion makes no sense, not that you don’t have a right to it. But the whole think “just imagine the awkwardness of their friendship” in all honesty how do YOU know. As I said, the whole bromance thing is generated by the groups themselves anyway – so I don’t get the anger.

  • Yoyo

    Well that drama, Dangerous Love, just took Yunjae into a whole new level in my opinion, so I don’t think it’s just the fans fault, the company might be pushing it too which leads to all the fanservice from the idols. So if the idols are annoyed by it, it is part of their fault too.

    • Jaenie

      We can’t blame them for something they did when they were still very young and debuting.. the company was deciding everything for them.. everything was scripted, everything was for fanservices.. and some shippers took it way too far.. 
      Besides, TVXQ were still together then.. now they’re split into two different groups, YJ isnt relevant anymore, but hardcore shippers have hard time to accept the truth, hard time to accept that everything was just for the show and their OTP was never real..

      • El

        YJ isn’t relevant anymore? Do you even follow JYJ/DBSK? Do you realize that Junsu, Jaejoong, Yoochun, Changmin, and Yunho WANT to be together. They are still friends even though they are being kept away from each other. So yes, YJ IS still relevant. Maybe as friends, maybe as more, but they are still relevant.

        • Bio

          It’s JYJ latching on to that TVXQ5 popularity. 

          And have you watched DBSK’s (Homin) interviews after their comeback? They felt they were left behind, and they really got left behind leaving them with uncertainty (what to do next, would they comeback again, etc). JYJ never came back and yet they latched on TVXQ5 ever since they left the group.

  • ggoma

    I don’t know… I mean, to me, they are shipping fictional characters because all they know about these people is the image they act.

  • chacha89

    when you choose a path as an idol, this is one of the risks you have to take.

  • http://twitter.com/6002theMins changmin’s bish

    dropping by to say, YUNJAE IS REAL.. get over the fact that shippers exists. bye. 

    • R81

      ROFL… This gave me a good laugh. I don’t if you’re being sarcastic or a real shipper but  thanks for a good laugh anyway!

  • Anon

    Completely Non Value Added article-and people are still pondering about the merits, the realness etc-As long as Kpop exists shipping will exist and shippers will exist.

  • guestno987

    it’s not worst the shipping thing you say…you in yourself giving meaning to that..if you’re homophobic or anything that disgusted you keep it yourself they don’t mind it at all coz they know the truth themselves if its real or not…we are free to believe what we believe just don’t bother yourselves w/ others coz u just making fool of yourselves…u can’t tell anybody what to like or believe u know..just MIND YOURSELVES…duh ur making it a big issue…


    da fuq

  • R81

    I think this “shipping” thing is a projection of how possessive many fans for their idols are…. It’s a subconscious mentality that says “If I can’t have him then might as well pair him with someone I like and non threatening to me (or to my fantasies)” thus shipping their idol with a fellow member. Surely, most fans really knows that their idols are straight so by pairing them with a fellow member that’s also straight and of the same gender, it somehow pacify their fear that their idols cannot have a girlfriend that’s not them. In a twisted way, it sends a message that says “It’s okay if my oppa has a girlfriend but that should be me, if not then hell I won’t let anybody of my species come close to my oppa/s”. In a perverted way, it’s like fantasizing that your two favorite oppas are in bed together but you’re in the middle… LOL!!!! Another thing, may it be a homosexual or heterosexual shipping, it displays the “ownership” mentality of many fans— they somehow feel entitled to control the lives of their idols, it’s like playing dollhouse and their idols are their dolls that can maneuvered into actions they (fans) want. Observe that these shippers bash everyone linked to their idols that’s not their stan’s “OTP”, that’s because shippers perceive them as a threat and someone they can’t control.

    Sadly and also brilliantly, Management Agencies of these idols saw this shipping mentality as a profitable venture thus they encourage it. We cannot blame idols for fan service because may be they were forced to it or maybe idols believe they need to do it to stay popular with the fans. Somehow I do disagree on some comment here that says that if idols don’t encourage it, it won’t happen. It’s somehow a symbiotic relationship for shipper fans and their idols, idols gets the popularity they needed and fans can feed their fantasies. Talent agencies are the one who actually benefits from all this “shipping” business…

    • Dat1flygirl

      I agree with your statement wholeheartedly. I have never understood this shipping issue and quite frankly find it disturbing. The whole “If I can’t have him then might as well pair him with someone I like and non threatening to me (or to my fantasies)” is completely ridiculous and rather childish. Regardless of whether or not these people are straight gay or bi, who are we as fans to force this farce on idols because we can’t handle them having REAL relationships with others.

    • Black_rose45000

      “I think this “shipping” thing is a projection of how possessive many fans for their idols are…. It’s a subconscious mentality that says “If I can’t have him then might as well pair him with someone I like and non threatening to me ”
      That’s true. I’ve read people saying they preferred their idols to be gay than with girlfriends because that would make them jealous and *gasp* heartbroken.”Observe that these shippers bash everyone linked to their idols that’s not their stan’s “OTP”, that’s because shippers perceive them as a threat and someone they can’t control.”That’s one of the things that bugged me a lot, and your explanation makes sense. Often the loss of control makes one (especially when that person is obsessed or fixated on something) become violent and insecure.”they need to do it to stay popular with the fans.” This is what I don’t get with idols claiming to be single to let fans’ fantasies bloom. It all sounds so extremely sad – though their fanbase is probably built in majority by superficial reason (good looks, aura, etc), it’s sad to think that they have to live with that “fear” of losing fans out of those stupid reasons. Or when, on varieties, guests and MCs joke about not saying bad things about the idols because they might anger their fans. Joke or not, I find it quite a disturbing mindset – it’s none of fans’ business who teases those idols, or who dates them. But it’s like you said, that “it displays the “ownership” mentality of many fans— they somehow feel entitled to control the lives of their idols””Somehow I do disagree on some comment here that says that if idols don’t encourage it, it won’t happen. It’s somehow a symbiotic relationship for shipper fans and their idols”I agree with you here. It’s all a vicious circle. I watched Strong Heart the other day, and older idols told their stories about how they were practically forbidden to date because of “scandals”, and they sounded pretty sad about not having been able to see the person they liked at that time. So, if agencies hadn’t taken these measures, hadn’t worried about scandals, or if they wouldn’t do it nowadays, I can’t help but wonder if maybe people would get used to the idea and not be so possessive over their idols. Who knows. But it’s true, it’s a symbiotic relationship: fans get what they want, and in return, they give their idols what they need = money.Erm this turned out to be too long. 

    • http://twitter.com/justaleosfriend Lizz

      Generalization much? I ship couples because I like their relationship and I think there may be a chnace that they actually have feelings for each other. I DON’T ship them because I want them to myself. Seriously, stop making every shipper out to be the same. Everyone against shipping uses the same arguments and talks about every shipper like they are some crazed fan who doesn’t want their oppar dating some other girl.

      • ChanyeolTheDorkYeol

        You are extremely correct. Not every single shipper is like the stereotypes that everyone claimed. The idols do bring it on themselves, and I have no sympathy for them. I don’t like it when my idols get girlfriends – NOT because I want them to myself (i definitely know that I will most likely not even MEET my biases), but because I just ship them with someone else. I don’t ship them for that other reason, either. I just ship them because of what I see.

  • Gabi

    This is how i put….i’ll ship whoever i want that makes me happy and if people are bothered or against it…well thats not my problem now is it?….unless that “couple” decided to admit & hear it from their own mouths that theyre dating someone else…then thats the only time i’ll stop…simple as that.

  • Homura

    Ok; let me say this first: I am a yaoi shipper. I shipped
    exclusively malexmale pairings (and some femalexfemale ones too). So, when I
    (finally) discovered an interest in k-pop at age 20, the shift from fanning
    manga/game/TV-based pairings to “real life” (note: ” “)
    pairings was natural.


    To bring a healthIER perspective to this phenomenon:


    One, not ALL of us are fanatics! The human race in itself
    runs a whole gamut on the scale of sanity; why shouldn’t we? It should make
    sense that some of us CAN actually indulge in shipping while maintaining a
    reality check. In my case, it’s the consciousness of the difference between
    their personalities onstage and real life; so that while one may fan, say,
    DBSK’s YunJae, one does not actually expect them to get it on in life (or will
    bat an eyelid at all if either shows up with his girlfriend). Heck; for all we
    know; some of these popular pairings may even hate each others’ guts in secret,
    and swap homophobic insults before doing their skinship for TV. It’s just that
    a number of us k-pop fans dream that so-and-so could’ve been lovers in an
    alternate world; and a minority are crazies (just like how they, too, represent
    a minority of any racial, religious, age or socioeconomic group).



    Secondly, what makes you think all of us are sad, lonely
    people with no life (or even female for the matter)? I know plenty of yaoi
    fangirls who have boyfriends/ girlfriends. Some are even happily married; thank
    you very much. While I haven’t interacted with a significant enough portion of
    the k-pop yaoi community, based on those I already know,it’s safe to say that
    this stands true for the world of k-pop as well.




    Third, if shipping two idols together is a twisted way of
    entertaining repressed sexual urges for them, then how….does that explain it
    for those of us who are actual homosexuals/ bi/ transgender ourselves?




    Still, I do agree that shipping IS harmful when it gets out
    of hand. No one has the right to interfere/ intrude on their personal life; let
    alone decide who these people have a relationship with. That some apparently
    can do it and call themselves fans is just bizarre. This includes those
    unnecessarily inflammatory photo shoots/ movies/ whatever too (kissing much?).
    The outcome of an industry built on supplying this can be nothing but misery;
    so it’s high time we k-pop yaoi fans stop feeding it.

  • http://seeeno.livejournal.com/ seeeno

    Wow, yet another person with a stick up their butt who takes everything too seriously. We know it’s not real but it’s cute and it’s fun and it’s harmless. Get over yourself and get off your soapbox.

    • Jona

      Look who’s taking it seriously now. The author was probably talking about serious shippers. The one who perfectly fit the article. You are probably a light shipper who doesn’t obsess about OTPs. You should chill out.

      • Queh_loveina

        Well if this was the case (to talk about serious shippers) then she should have made this point clear from the beginning. Why idol “shipping” has no place in kpop makes it sound like she’s making a generalization on shippers and shipping and not just serious shippers

  • Anonymous

    What annoys me is when you’re on Youtube and people comment on things that don’t even make sense.

    For example:

    Let’s say you’re watching a video of SHINee perform and Key is dancing in front of Jong Hyun. With sweat dripping into the Jong Hyun’s eyes, the man looks down for a second to discreetly swipe the stinging painful liquid out of his eyes, and then he looks back up. 

    Then you get fans who are all like, ‘zomg, jjong can’t resist his BURNING DESIRE for Key. Look at him checking out dat ass.’

    And then I am saddened by humanity. 

    • Black_rose45000

      THIS. SFM.
      Or when they go on about how the other half of their OTP disliked the video because of jealousy. Or they just have to assume one of them is jealous/angry whenever someone else comes in within 1 meter-distance from the other OTP half.

      Sad, really.

      • http://twitter.com/justaleosfriend Lizz

        People do it as a joke and it makes people laugh. -_- Do you seriously think shippers think their OTPs disliked the video? No. It’s done as something funny. People who take that too seriously are the only ones that would be butthurt by it.

  • Marie

    Shipping is for fictional characters (I do it) or something you do in private. There is nothing worse than fans who photoshops people into sexual/romantic situations and then embarrass the boys with it (Why am I thinking Yunjae here)…or scream the other persons name during concerts and press conferences (especially in the case of Yunjae, this is just wrong as the situation is right now and actually quite a selfish thing to do).

           “To put it bluntly, I think it’s kind of horrible that Eunhyuk and Donghae can’t have a normal friendship without awkwardly knowing that thousands of fans throughout the globe think that they’re screwing each other every night”

    This people is what ruined Yunho’s and Jaejoong’s friendship. At the start of their career they were like blood brothers and as time passed it just got akward (despite what delusional fangirls believe it was super super akward somtimes – and no it wasn’t because they were screwing each other day and night).
    … kind of ironic that the Yunjae shippers themselves ruined their friendship to a degree!

           “…the reasoning behind the popularity in “shipping” is that it’s the manifestation of many fangirls’ personal romantic fantasies and a side effect of possible deprivation from real-life interaction with people of the opposite gender.”

    This people, this is so true! Fangirls should just get themselves a real life boyfriend and to put it bluntly – grow up!

    BTW, that picture of “Yunjae” holding hands is photoshopped, very well done but still photoshopped, here is the evidence:

  • Sarah Zm92

    I’m a shipper my self but I only ship 4 the fun of it but if one of my OTP gets a girlfriend or gets married that doesn’t mean that I will hate him .. I ship wishing that it is true because I feel they are true but like u said maybe it’s all a show .. And i’m with u on the point that some fangirls over do it .. It’s not really a good thing to photoshop sexual photos of ur OTP or bringing rated posters to their concerts .. U may ship and tell them that you will always support them no matter what without forcing the idea on them ..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Oldfather/575375784 Kristin Oldfather

    This was definitely needed! But many fans won’t care and will get angry anyways… but that’s alright. Delusional people can stay delusional for all I care.

  • Lizz

    This article. SMFH. There is really too much wrong with it to put it all in a comment.

    • Rachel

      my thoughts exactly…where to begin? 

  • Queh_loveina

    Can anyone give me an example of a shipper taking it to far…besides bringing explicited photos to their concerts( I can agree this can be awkward for an idol lol)  but I remember one said couple (Eunhae) picking up a n17 rated picture and seeming very amused by it

    • Black_rose45000

      I can’t give an example in Kpop, but J-pop – when KATTUN went to hold their concert in Taiwan, a bunch of fans held a hugeass banner with “Jin and Kame, plz get married!” regardless of the fact that gesture was unnecessary, I think it was even more upsetting because Jin had just left the band and things were pretty tricky at that point. Imagine the same thing happening to Hanchul after Hangeng just left (and these two seemed actually close, unlike Jin&Kame). IMO, that was taking it too far. But I guess these things can be debatable. :3
      And idols too, some are more lenient towards this stuff (like Eunhae, it seems), some, not as much – Yesung for example complained that ppl wrote about him kissing Wook, and why wasn’t it a girl instead lol. :)

  • Kamikapse

    Bullshit, idols aren’t forced to do anything.. and many of them are using the hordes of shipping fangirls to their benefit and are creating these situations.
    Making them out to be poor victims is laughable… I doubt they are actively forced by their management to do “couple-y fanservice” and they could stop at any point.

    All girls in k-pop are forced to wear skimpy outfits most of the time… they may not love it, but it’s part of their job and no one is crying over the negative effects and how they are persons who should decide for themselves how much of their body to cover up.

    Show business, and k-pop in particular has it’s rules… idols make their decision whether or not to take part in it.

  • Blossemcup4

    I wouldn’t call myself a shipper, but I do kind of enjoy seeing the close friendships between male idols. I don’t see it as a romantic relationship, just two people who are comfortable around each other. When I had first heard of shipping I didn’t really understand it (actually, I still don’t). I don’t think idols feel pressure to keep up the OTPs. At the end of the day, it’s their decision to play along with the shipping phenomenon; they can stop any time they want.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=533239200 Emmalee Kay Duncan

      I agree with you.  Every time I see two idols, like SungMin and KyuHyun, holding hands, I’m touched by how comfortable they are with one another.  My mind doesn’t zip to “OMFG KYUMIN IS REAL YOU GUYS LOOK.”  My motto on this is:  “Two guys can be friends with one another and not be lovers.”  

      I get tired of the shippers shoving the couples down my throat all the time, as well. -___-

      • djddjggfj

        Maybe you’re just homophobic.

  • Anonymous

    shoving their preferred OTPs in the faces of their idols” Wait..when did this happen? :O

  • Garffle Luck

    It’s kinda funny considering most OTPs ship themselves. Jongkey, Eunhae, and Yunjae have always shipped themselves. TVXQ even did ‘Couple Talk’.. Jaejoong was really excited in ‘Couple Talk’.. Lol.. And younger Korean citizens are actually more tolerant of Homosexuality. It’s the older generation and the government that is the problem. Just like the USA. Most of us fans already know that holding hands in public is what most friends do in Korea, regardless of gender. We aren’t stupid, we just enjoy it a little more. Heechul even took a fanfic and replaced the names of the characters with Donghae and Eunhyuk. So they could be in love. It’s for fun. Just leave our couple fantasies to us fans and you worry about you.

    • Bio

      Have you seen AADBSK3’s Yunho/Jaejoong couple talk? They DID express their discomfort with ‘shipping’. So where the hell is excited there?

      • Garffle Luck

        If they were really uncomfortable about it then they wouldnt ship themselves in the first place. They may be uncomfortable talking about it, but that still doesn’t keep them from saying stuff like, “yeah, we are together.” even if it’s joking. If they were really uncomfortable with it they wouldn’t joke about it.. They’d be like Yesung who says it’s “gross”.

        • Bio

          Shipping is fun when it isn’t too much. But the YJ fans DID get too much. They didn’t understand the gravity of the situation and when they did… it marked a strain on their relationship (not the romantic one).

          • Garffle Luck

            You have your opinion and I have mine. Like Blossemcup4 said.. Couples can stop any time they want. But for YunJae it doesn’t matter anymore, anyway.

  • Black_rose45000

    I really enjoyed this article, it spoke my mind word by word. Though it’s true it’s all just a marketing strategy and maybe some idols have nothing against it. 
    I like how you bring up the point of things getting awkward between some of them – I experienced it myself with my male friends tons of times. But when it comes to idols, they know what they’re getting themselves into, and sometimes even indulge their fans (ex: Sungmin picking Kyu when fans asked him to, in idk what show) and it will depend on each and one of them, because they know that on-stage, during a concert, when they fool around or tease each other, those thousands of fans will be screaming not because they find them cute/funny, but because it caters to their fantasies.

    Other than that, since I’ve been in bot J and K pop fandom and had my share of meeting/watching delusional fans, I’ve always asked myself the same things as you: “why do fans take such extreme pleasure in obsessing over the interactions of two people and fantasizing over their possible romantic involvement?”
    I’m not talking about the ones doing it for fun, but those who are really hardcore. And yes, I agree this may be very detrimental to their sanity and social behavior. I’d like this to be analyzed from a more psychological POV though, to confirm or deny my affirmation.
    More than shipping though, I think fans’ fixated ideas that the idols can’t be dating/marrying is more worrying. These are people who need to open up and embrace society and be less selfish and whimsical, and worry more about themselves and build their own relationships instead. But Korean fandom/society seems to be based on that premise so there’s not much to do about it. Just leave it be and hope there won’t be many radical fans crossing the line when an idol decides to come clean about his/her love-life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=533239200 Emmalee Kay Duncan

      FINALLY.  Someone who agrees with me completely.

      I have never been a Kpop “shipper” (can’t say the same for works of fiction, though :P).  I get annoyed by people who see, for example, DongHae and EunHyuk giving each other a bro-hug and are all like “OMFG EUNHAE IZ REALLLLLLLL.”  I’m just like “Dude.  Two guys can be friends and bro-hug each other without being gay for one another.”  

      The companies do bring this on to themselves.  They enjoy teasing fans with fanservice between members.  I’m just like, “Meh.  Whatever.  They’re just doing what their company/record label wants them to do.”  And, it is very hypocritical of them to be so “anti-homosexual” with regards to lifestyle, but the milk homosexual fanservice in Kpop groups for all that it’s worth.

      I think all the necessary hate on this article is pointless.  I’m rolling my eyes at the majority of comments on here.  I am just like “Okay.  You claim that ____ and ____ are together, and you are saying that we can’t say they aren’t because we haven’t seen them together.  ……..”  I’m just…amazed at the rabidness of some fans.

      Sure, I joke about how I’m married to my favorite idol/I only ship them with myself, but that’s all in fun.  I’m not actually serious.  I build my own relationships with men, and a lot tease me about my love for Kpop idols.  It’s just harmless fun with regards to myself.  But some people are DEAD SERIOUS about their OTPs.  OTPs are (apparently) srs bsns here on the interwebnets.

  • yeongwonhi

    FIRST, You’re not even a SHIPPER. How could you possibly have this kind of article? You don’t know everything about shippers to put this article up. You think so badly about the shippers, and if you call yourself a fan be more open-minded.

    SECOND, there is what we call evidences honey, shippers don’t make these but the Idols themselves.

  • YH_Lovely

    oh..so you have talked to Yunho and Jaejoong?..I don’t think so..You can’t say they are not real when there is still a possibility of our otp being in a relationship together. They might not be..but there is still that possibility. You just sound like a person that is homophobic tbh :L NOT everyone in the kpop entertainment is straight and the blame should be put on the idols themselves as they are the ones who basically start it.

  • laptop101


    Srsly? You obviously know nothing about these types of things, do you?  

    Idol shipping is brought about by fanservice? Who do you think does the fanservice? The idols, duh. If it wasn’t for fanservice, shipping wouldn’t exist. Well, it probably would but not to as how it is today. And, for the effin’ people who says this can affect the sanity of a person, i effin’ pity you. I srsly do. WHO DO YOU THINK GOES TO CONCERTS? DERANGED LUNATICS? how dare you guys. 

    ROTFLMFAO. Get a life and write about a better topic. Yeah, get flamed. Burn. 


    If you’re going to write an article, go interview the concerned idols to back you up. Oh yeah, and ask them if they’re leading to insanity as you have so pointed out in a psychological aspect.

  • fhsjd111

    Let them be. Leave the idols alone, leave their fans alone. I’m also a fan though I don’t exactly ship a particular OTP in my bias group. However, I do understand the fans’ and this article’s point. So just let them be because none of us really know what’s happening within these kpop groups. 

  • wita pawitrasari

    it is showbiz consist of show and business 
    it all about money guys
    see all the chance to make more money 
    fans are potensial market 
    fanservice is one of many way to make fans go crazy even when the idols stop doing fanservice fans already crazy with all ‘fanservice’
    make them forget being in fans position 

    i like yunjae.  i wanna see yunjae  together profesionally -brothership way instead of   to be together in lovebird way
    let me know when them back together again 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AWFIU4U5KUVOEEL4MJ2N2A7FEA Flaming Charisma

    Shut up. K-pop is for entertainment. Shipping is entertaining. Nobody is forcing the idols to read fanfics. It is completely harmless, and the idols often bring it upon themselves for more attention. Just look at Super Junior…some members have kissed other members full on the lips, and the fans love it, and in turn they do it more. Sadly, it IS sort of a viscious cycle, but fangirls enjoying their OTP interactions within their minds isn’t going to hurt anyone. You don’t really know what you’re talking about, making the whole thing seem like some sort of scientific issue.

    • Sophia


  • Anonymous

    omg!!.. if u think shippers r presumtious den what wud u call urself???.. how can u be sure dat none of the otps are real??.. i mean i’m not here to make u believe in them and make u start shipping them , but the way u hav put ur words make me cringe. I get it that some people are not comfortable with the entire shipping thing specially the boyxboy and girlxgirl pairing . but be honest if it were a girlxboy pairing then u’d be sooo shipping ur hearts out.. i mean korean industry literally creates new couples.. Who would hav even thot of khuntoria or youngseo or adam couple??.. korean industry itself began dis so u hav no rite to blame fans and call dem delusional. Seriously if idols really had a problem with it then they would not go over the line to just do fanservice!!.. they are comfortable with it and the fans are happy with it too so let them be. ps:u asked about yunjae fans post break up rite , well i’m one of them !! until and unless u hav a shippers heart u will never be able to understand the meaning of shipping so don’t even try explaning and criticising it!!

    • Seeminglysleepy

      Hold up! I think that if you are going to make an argument for or against this subject, you should at least use proper English so it doesn’t take 80 years for intelligent people to read what you wrote. The way YOU have put your words make ME cringe. This goes for anyone who is into ‘shipping’: It’s digusting to see how far you go with it. DISGUSTING! And quite frankly, I would like to fucking dropkick every single one of you. When your “oppa’s” get married to a woman and have children one day, you are STILL going to presume that they are gay. I know I’m kind of swimming against the current here, but come the FUCK on! You say we’re delusional?! From what it looks like, all you shippers do is just sit in front of your computers shoving this idea down normal people’s throats. As if these poor men haven’t been emasculated enough by the industry they are signed under.
      Something that the author of this article said really resonated with me: If Korea looks down upon homosexuality so much, then why do these fans… and even these entertainment industries make it seem the exact opposite? If Korea is so homophobic, then why don’t they encourage their idols to date instead of forbid it? Why is it so difficult for most fans to just see their bias as a normal human being, and let them live like one? I’m definitely not from Korea, but people are people. And I know some fans aren’t as hardcore about it as others, but I’m just saying. I feel like this whole shipping thing has really gotten out of hand, to the point where–like the article said–it’s not healthy! Ladies, think logically.. think rationally. It’ll definitely get you somewhere.

  • jae-an bowen

    I totally agree with 
    YAngchenYAshodaTamang,couples like eunhae,yunjae shipped themselves from the beginning and still do(well eunhae) so please don’t blame the fans.

  • http://twitter.com/kitty_k4t Katja M.

    Thank you! Finally someone said it!

     I imagine my male friends constantly being told they are gay or they should get together …those idols really gotta have high toleration when it comes to that. I mean yeah those guys are sometimes way more touchy than I would expect guys to be with each other but then again ppl actually want them to be and even if they aren’t ppl already “ship” a pairing just cause OMG!  They once looked at each other! …

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/P4ZSUYNPUIRG7OCJAG3CTPDETM Bazinga

    lighten up, shipping is just for fun. and have you seen how kpop guys act? they’re the ones fuelling the kpop shipping culture. if eunhyuk and donghae don’t want to be shipped then they shouldn’t be groping each other in public (a lot of people say that in korea guys are just more touchy with each other then western guys but…. korean guys are THAT touchy-feely.) 

    • Cerovill_e

       But if it gets too hardcore, then it will be unhealthy as well.

  • guest800

    shipping is creepy af

  • jf12cam

    Well .. the thing that you didn’t say is that certain kpop pairing ship themselves together. Also, pairings are not settle by fans in the first place, but by the company who invite its idols group to do so. I don’t know if you ever saw or acknowledge that .. but the one who can ship themselves are quite popular in groups … a little more popular that the one who would not accept the skinship. Anyway, I find your article quite babyish. These are the kind of things delusional fangirls like you say: ohhh I must have a chance! Oh please, to me, they have way more chances to get together since they are in the same group than you have chances to even meet them in your life. This kind of article was just written by a delusional homophobic girl … I’m very sorry, but it is. Also, if I remember well (part-elf talking over here) Hyukjae said in an episode of their little dramas that he believed he was in love with Donghae at first .. if this is not real then hello. Yunjae and Jongkey shipped themselves from the beginning. They don’t even need the fans to do it, they do it themselves alone. Many pairings are like that! And I must assume you aren’t quite inform about their cases. Anyway, I don’t know why this article resurfaced right now. Maybe you’ve changed your mind. I will ask you not to generalize over the fangirls being all crazy about their couples. We know our limits. Some people in both camps are just crazier than others. Thanks.

    • Baka Morale

      I love your post. I totally agree with it. Thank You. 

    • sadiekatie

       I have to disagree with your statement ” the one who can ship themselves are quite popular in groups … a
      little more popular that the one who would not accept the skinship. Cho Kyuhyun goofs around once in a while because it’s fanfare and he has to be a part of the group to fit in and also he is truly close to his brothers, but more often you see him pulling away from it and he is probably the most popular Suju member. Yes the industry pushes it too, but really it’s sad for the straight kpop artists to have to work in this environment or be pushed out for not going along with the program. I think the tide is turning and most girls or at least most normal girls want to see masculine hunky men that are strong. That’s why KyuSeo and SeoHyun are such a popular topics. It’s the little girls who can’t stand to think of “their oppa” with another woman that push the male to male shipping.I enjoyed the WGM series, it was fun fantasy to watch but OMG the people who believe it’s real are just nuts! It’s all about media attention and making money. Get a life people.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caitlin-Martina-Byrnes/1518163885 Caitlin Martina Byrnes

        I think she meant most popular “couples” in the group, ie, EunHae is the most popular coupling in SuJu without a doubt, and SHINee’s most popular coupling is JongKey. Why? Because they make all these confessions and fake marriage proposals(lol) and are just very touchy feely. I don’t think she was talking about individual popularity.

  • Baka Morale

    I’m a shipper myself, but I don’t go OMG, these guys are actually dating, blah blah blah, it’s more or less entertainment, some shippers do know that this will never happen in real life, and  has a negative percent of happening. But we ship them anyways. I’m also speaking on half of us shippies, that we aren’t derange (maybe a little bit xD) in anyway. I’m not going to go stalk them or freaking be those derange fans that obsess about them way too much. It’s pretty much for my own entertainment when I ship. We know that the guys who do these fanservice, won’t ever go out, won’t get marry, are totally straight, etc. But we use them as a source of entertainment. And some Idols themselves plus the company do these fanservices as a means to humor us, feed us some ideas. The idols know what they are getting themselves into, I mean they audition for it, read the rules, probably even warned. But they go up and become idols anyways for fame and fortune. Even when I do ship and such and such and post it on web or something, I put a huge long warning about how this will never happen in real life, that this is only fantasy, yada yada. And more or less, some shippers do feel guilt, I feel huge guilt when I post it and one of the band members might find it. Yah call me a hypocrite or what and say that I shouldn’t post it in the first place if I feel guilty. But more or less, some shippers do have a brain, do feel guilt, and do have common sense. And remember, some idols pair themselves to be shipped, humor us please, companies do it, idols do it, they know that it might happen, but they aim for the fame and fandom. 

  • sadiekatie

     The really sad thing is that most of the groups members are NOT allowed to date
    or cause any opposite sex scandals, it is in their contracts. How sad
    it this for grown men like SUJU who are pushing 30 years of age to pretend
    they don’t date or go to very great lengths to hide it? They are even hiding marriages for Gods sakes. I have to
    wonder how much of the maleXmale playing around is done on purpose by
    the guys as a way of rebelling against the no dating rule. It’s relationship rumors that cause a buzz in the celebrity world and get the fans all excited. Maybe that’s why the industry has started to pair up singing duo’s like Kyu/Seo and KRY/Park Sae Byul and shows like WGM.  I wish they would just let the members openly date and be normal people.

  • Juliette Kelsey

    1. “I’m nowhere near qualified to discuss” Exactly.
    2. They are used to it. This has been happening since ShinHwa. This is nothing new.
    3. This isn’t going to change most shipper’s opinions since they have heard it all before.
    4. Who is to say what’s real and what’s not?
    5. Some people would rather see others be in a relationship than themselves.
    6. Not all shippers flaunt it.
    – Just saying.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MBCG2XQD32JRDWUX6GE3CTASZE heriyanto

    I think the one that being delusional is you… What rights do you have to say that they aren’t real? I mean, sure I have no right to say they are real! But I just believe what I believe, no one know what happen behind the scene so all of us have no rights here to say what real or not but what we can do is just support and believe what we believe with out offending those who didn’t…

    I’m sorry, but you are just rude! DX 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MBCG2XQD32JRDWUX6GE3CTASZE heriyanto

    To answer you question about the hardcore shipper, I just don’t like JJ nor Yunho that way.

    I ship YJ because both of them look so close, real and cute together. If you ask me, I rather ask JJ/Yunho/Yoochun/Junsu/Changmin to have a private concert to me or be my big brother to show off to other people rather then have him as my bf, cause I just don’t see him in that way ^^a
    Sure! Sometime, I got annoyed when JJ or Yunho get pair up with the girl but that just because there is a part of my brain that think YJ is really real. I admire and love Yunho and Jae but just not to the point I want them to be my lover, just as a big brother. 

  • michelle_arv

    I agree with this post, finally, someone had to say it. Although I’m a shipper myself, I do it, but in the bromantic way, not in the way the vast majority of the k-pop fangirls do, I really think its creepy. For example, when I tumblr I see photos that say things like: “They haven’t kissed on stage yet because they might not be able to stop themselves”, (if you tumblr, you’ll know what I’m taking about) and in youtube, when I see really harmless interactions between idols like hugs or them hanging out, and the fans being like: *insert ship name hier* IS SOOOO REAAALL!!. Oh and also I’ve seen fans that have openly said that they ship because they would be jealous if they saw them with a girl. Also when sometimes the idols act in musicals and they have to kiss a girl, you have to see how many dislikes and comments saying that girl is a slut there are…I think shipping in that extreme is SELFISH, really? You don’t want your idols to get married, and just stay like that? in that fiction romantic realtionship of yours? I don’t assume it myself, I’ve seen journals, comments, posts on the internet saying stuff like that, I really want most idols getting married to see if this excesive shipping gets more realistic.
    I’m not being homophobic by the way, I just wanna see If I can knock some sense into anyone.

  • avebak

    I can care less if shipping’s are real or not. If they are on each other every night, good for them, and if they aren’t and are straight, good for them also. 

    All I know is that I am still gonna read fanfics when I want because fans make up some of the most ridiculous but awesome stories. lol

  • Almira Agathas

    I’m a shipper but certainly not delusional. It’s a blessing for me, because when I write fanfic, I don’t have the ability to picture the idol as the character in my story. Even when I read the most touching fanfic, I just can’t picture them as the character. Remember this, fanfictions are purely fictional, it’s the representation of the author’s mind. You can’t just justify that the idol will act like that in real life.

    Speaking about real or not, I guess it’s up to them. Idols have to keep up with their image, that includes in how the fans want them to be. I believe if the idols themselves are mature, they know what they should or should not do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caitlin-Martina-Byrnes/1518163885 Caitlin Martina Byrnes

    There are quite a few inaccuracies in your article, my friend.
    1) “Imagine if your friends were constantly and unrelentingly pushing you to go out with one of your other friends, even though you have absolutely no feelings for that friend.” Now, I can’t speak for every couple out there that is shipped, but for the couples that I personally ship, there is definitely more than friendship there, and the idols make no fuss in trying to hide it. For example, EunHyuk and DongHae have been best friends for nearly a decade, and EunHyuk actually admitted on a show once that he used to have “feelings” for DongHae. Those two points right there clearly show that even if they aren’t a real couple, there is already a strong and special relationship there.
    2) Have you ever heard of someone shipping, say, EunHyuk and Kangin? Or maybe TOP and Daesung? How about Nichkhun and Junsu? Um, probably not. You want to know why? Because there is honestly so little interaction between those specific members(as in “romantic” interaction, or anything that can be viewed as such, ie holding hands, hugging, whispering in ears, etc…) Believe me, if we don’t have the members actually interacting with one another in some way, we won’t ship it, so it’s not ALL on our end.
    3) Who exactly pays these idols? The company, right? But where does the company get the money? Oh right…THE FANS. The people who pay hundreds of dollars to see concerts, and who watch variety shows, and pay for merchandise, and give them gifts, etc… In a nutshell, we are the reason they get paid. We are the reason they have careers. I feel we should be entitled to just a little bit of boy on boy fantasy, if it so suits our fancy.
    Those are the big things I had to point out, and by the way, I’m sure even the most deluded shipper is aware that most of the idols in the business now have secret relationships we don’t know about, ie, Se7en. Shipping is honestly not a huge deal dude, save for a very few extremists who can take it too far. For the vast majority of us, it’s all in good fun :)

  • Seeminglysleepy

    I think you need to learn the difference between homophobia and being realistic. Emmalee is being realistic.. how can you not see that?!

  • http://twitter.com/araimonpan A. Rin

    I read this article not sure if I would agree or disagree, but it really brought up some things I didn’t think about, like the damaging effect on said idols’ relationships. 

    Honestly, I enjoy watching those cute lovey/dovey bromance videos on Youtube but the recent EXO OTP shippers have been driving me insane. I wish I didn’t have to be constantly reminded of Kris/Tao’s supposed bedroom activities or crude suggestive HunHan and KaiSoo gifs every time I scroll through some EXO fansite or blog. 

    • vip

      oh god I’m not the only one, the exo shippers drive me insane too, they are everywhere, on tumblr, youtube, forum. I can’t!!!

  • moua23

    Honestly I find this really disturbing when it’s the same sex, I’m not homophobic, in fact I love those kind of peoples, but isn’t a bit too disturbing when it gets to sexual fan fictions? 

  • Ran_ran

    I’m not into shipping, it don’t interest me and I think it tends to be a little ridiculous sometimes. But should we pity the idols ?
    The most popular « OTP » doesn’t even need shippers,
    because they ship themselves… *rolleyes* and it’s not friendship or bromance, they
    really do romantic actions. If they are uncomfortable after, it’s
    their own fault no ? Fans don’t force them to do fanservice. The company
    can encourage them but I doubt they have no choice. If it
    was really true, what about the members who stated they don’t like
    being pairing with other boys ? I remember Yesung and Changmin
    did. Personally I only pity those who assumed not wanted any shipping or
    even those who simply don’t do any ambiguous
    One thing that really shocked me is about EXO : they
    didn’t even have debuted that fangirls were already making couple and
    fanfictions. I
    even saw “omg Hunhan is real !!!! <3"  on some blogs… This fandom amazed me seriously XD
    About Yunjae, I still think it's a special
    case ^^ Until 2006, they weren't more popular than Jaechun,
    Yoosu, Jaemin, Hosu or I don't know what pairing. The rumors came very
    suddenly. And to be honest… as an objective person who watched almost all TVXQ's shows and for a lot of others reasons (stalkers fancams and photos exist, just saying)… I can't say they weren't a real couple. Anyway SM felt
    they could make a lot of money with them so they encouraged them to
    do some fanservice, made the banjun drama, the couple talks… and some of the Yunjae's fans always come with delusional "evidences" and can't stop spreading crazy and fake rumors… so finally they can look like a fake couple like the others, but I doubt they were

  • bbuing bbuing

    Though I don’t believe the idols I ‘ship’ are together in real life like some, I do enjoy reading inspired fanfics about them, purely based off what people have seen and have ‘fantasized about’, as you put it. Some of the best, most gripping, and sometimes most moving pieces of fiction I’ve ever had the joy of reading have been fanfics, and I enjoy the same things I would in any book – the careful sculpting of characters, in this case based off idols and their habits, where in books characters are often based around people the authors have encountered or been inspired by. I certainly don’t think it to be a ‘dangerous’ affair, and I sure as hell don’t think my thoughts come as a result of too-little contact with the opposite gender, because really, why would that affect what I like to read about? It’s personal to me, and if I like curling up with my laptop to get stuck into a brilliantly written fic and a few concert performances, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing really. (Besides, it’s not like I dream about what they’re doing to each other in their spare time; that’s really up to them. I particularly like AU fics because of that.) But honestly, I really don’t think it’s something to be analysed in such a way, especially not if your going to talk about some shippers as if they’re mentally problemed and think in obscure ways. If it’s so odd, why do so many people think like that? Embrace that not all people think in the same way as you. You don’t need to understand why they think what they do. There are many people who think and do things I can’t empathise with, but I don’t judge them just because I don’t understand their views.

  • vip

    Shipping is so BAD! I was tolerant before I met the crazy exo fandom. Now I can’t stand it

  • http://ku-ro.tumblr.com/ Kurokukinio

    I’m a light shipper myself, but I only ship bromance. I find it kinda delusional that many fangirls think their “oppars are gay”, and sometimes the way they talk about it gets annoyingand disgusting here (not being a homophobe here) However, the reason I ship bromances is because I find the friendship between the members of a group really cute.

  • http://twitter.com/SweetOctober3 Christina

    I am a hardcore kpop fan for more than 4 years and I never, but never understood this shipping thing that everybody is obsessed with (that’s God my friends aren’t). BTW, I really hate it. Before EXO’s debut, the “kpop ocean” was calm, but then the storm… I am sorry, the hurricane EXO came and everything changed. I am a forever EXOtic, but was is happening in EXO’s fandom is craziness. I hate all the Hunhan/Kaisoo/Taoris etc. thing . It makes me think of them as gay, which I’ve never thought about it before of any kpop idol (and I’ll never think like this). The way my fellow EXOtics think about the “parent-brother love” Luhan gives to Sehun is unexplainable or the way Kris takes care or maknae. TBQH, the kpop fans aren’t the only ones at fault. SM’s way of promoting them is also bad (see teasers and you’ll understand what I want to say if you don’t know the situation). At first I though “Oh! Nice they must be really good friends” and things like that, but then all crazy fan girls started their fantasy on Youtube and Tumblr… Whenever I see things on internet regarding shipping I try to not pay attention to it and think of how beautiful this day is.
    To sum this, I will never accept this shipping thing, I will never understand it and I will hate it to the end of my kpop fan days which they won’t have an end in the near future. People, get a life. Idols have one too, but your gay fantasy is destroying theirs and also yours. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/isabelmedez Isabel Medez

       One way or another, I think HunHan (mostly Sehun, imo) kinda likes(?) having the ship…? I mean, he doesn’t look like he cares that fans talk about HunHan. Sometimes Luhan tries to show that there really nothing going on between them and acts nonchalantly when HunHan is mentioned, but Sehun just goes along w/ it like in the recent Sina Live Chat of Exo-K. Coz, seriously… if they don’t want fans to “read between the lines” of their relationship then saying “i love you, hyung” in a live broadcast isn’t really the best way to tame the fangirls.

  • Libeika

    Definitely agree with this article sfm. When I first came into the kpop community mid-2010. You can imagine my horrified-ness at discovering this whole OTP and shipping thing. And I must admit to having been part of it at some point in time.. I remember pairing up my favourite 2 members together, if nothing else but for being able to tell people who my “OTP” was. :x

    And then, I became a fan of DBSK. And the horrified-ness of OTP just increase exponentially. Needless to say, all the YunJae fans definitely got my thinking a lot more about these OTPs. And from then on, my “OTPs” became more of a best-friend kinda thing rather than a homosexual relationship between the two members.

    On a side note, really, those YunJae fans are seriously no joke. At several points in my fangirling of DBSK. I was just watching their every interaction, and wondering how on earth the YunJae stans came to a conclusion that “YunJae is real!!!” And as time passed, you could really see the interactions between Yunho and Jaejoong growing really really awkward. I feel kinda bad for them. Always having to overthink their every little action to prevent the encouragement of such thinking on the part of the fangirls. Even I, as a fangirl, find that hard. Ohwell, I’m pretty sure the homosexual OTP component of kpop isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Just gotta live with it…..

  • Nara Medusa

    Up to a certain point, I definitely agree with you. Fangirls who ‘ship’ idol ‘couples’ is playing pretend so close to reality(esp male x male ones), and thus they will forget that the celebrities are people who have their own private lives to lead. As a fanfic writer, I have to admit that I am grossed out by the high number of fluff yaoi-yuri fanfics, esp smut ones. I always imagine if I’m the idol who chanced by a particular smut fanfic with a pairing consisting of me and my group member…omg I would totally have the urge to put my head in a bucket of ice and refuse talking to my group member ever again. And now looking at the fangirls comments, esp on youtube, I quite pity the k-idols who reads them and feel awkward after that. 

    But then again, it can’t be avoided. I think when you become a celebrity you must know that these kind of things bound to happen, and u just gotta find a way to still smile and shine. After all, they are also entertainers on stage (and I assume that most of the shippers are pre-teen females who make up mre thn 50% in the k-fandoms) fans idolize them tgt by what they observe on stage for fantasy.  Fantasy kills? Idk. This pairing OTP stuff won’t stop; they are dedicated fans anyway. 

  • Cerovill_e

    I definitely agree with you, dear author. I’ve been in the K-Pop fandom for 2 years, and these are the things that constantly managed to get into my nerves. Especially the shipping from EXO fandom. I just found it weird that there are shippings like HunHan, Taoris, Kaisoo, etc. These EXOtics’ harcore fangirls are pure madness, and this is actually the first time I thought that some of the EXO members are gay, which is what I’ve never think of like this before.
    In my opinion, what the idols did that are considered as friendly and bromance by them, all are misunderstood by fans. Therefore, the OTP pops out, and fangirls ship them, even into the unhealthy stage (ex. smut fic, gifs, etc.) I can’t stand it when these shipping gets really hardcore. It’s just plain delusional, full of fantasies, and annoying.
    However, two things that makes me keep on thinking are what will these idols’ reactions will be, and what will be the fans’ reactions if the OTPs they ship have their own girlfriends. First of all, /if/ the idols read and browse through these fics, gifs, edits, and things like that, which are all focusing on the pairing between this idol and his/her bandmate, I fear that their relationship will gone awkward after that.
    Second thing is, if a male idol has a new relationship with a girl, I bet these hardcore fangirls will gone berserk and probably post hate messages, denials, and cannot accept the fact that their OTPs are not true after all. Not saying that all fangirls will be like this, and I’m sure some will support this kind of real relationship.
    This also applies for fandoms outside K-Pop fandoms, since I’ve been into fandoms like Sherlock, Supernatural, and more. So this is no surprise for me. :|

    And this is just my opinion, alright. Every individuals have their own freedom of opinions, yes? :)

  • http://twitter.com/Ssammoh Samantha

    As a real person who’s been shipped, I feel like saying something about this. I’ve been shipped with fictional characters I like, people I have a crush on, and even a couple of my friends. It was hilarious. I laughed my butt off when I found out that some people think I would look cute together with a certain person.

    BUT, I know that there are some people I would be uncomfortable being shipped with. And if I was shipped with those people, I would be really upset and grossed out. So I just avoid shipping real people unless they’ve implied they don’t mind.

    I used to have a few guilty pleasure ships that made me feel awful about myself. Now there are still some famous people I think look cute together, but fortunately it isn’t a romantic thing. They just have a cute friendship.

  • V V

    First of all I do think that shipping can be harmful. Just the way you wrote but only if that particular idol is extremely narrow-minded. I think as an idol they should learn what to close out(just like negative, unpopular opinions about them).
    Yes, I’m also shipping. But I usually ship those who really did something (especially if I don’t see it as a fanservice) for getting shipped. And I’m not one of those fangirls who believes that what I’m shipping is real. It’s their lives and only they know who they love and who they want to date. I think most of the fans are not that delusional to believe in it.
    I know that there are fangirls who are annoying and they believe that their OTP is real and spam every video with their comments in youtube videos. Sometimes I try not to read them at all…
    I do believe that showing this in the idols face is quite inappropriate. But I think it’s part of their job to tolerate this. Just like how it’s part of their job that fangirls fantasize about them because they want them as boyfriends.
    I think shipping silently is okay as long as you can decide what is reality and what is not. And of course you won’t show it in the idol faces…

  • http://twitter.com/xSwiftyStalkerx katie

    Surprisingly, they don’t care. Most of them find it funny and a fan handed Donghae a EunHae picture and he just smiled. Now, don’t know about you but I don’t think smiling means : BITCH IM GOING TO KILL YOU HOW DARE YOU MAKE AN OTP ABOUT ME. And Companies promote fanservice between their members BECAUSE they know some fans LOVE it.

  • chenotic

    I completely agree with all the points that you made 100 %! While I have only been following Kpop for about 2 years now I just can’t understand the whole shipping thing! And I am an exotic, but I hate shipping I mean the whole EXO concept is that they are basically brothers from their distant world called exoplanet. That is just weird to ship pairs of 12 different people who’s whole image is brotherhood!
    I do appreciate a good laugh every once and a while with a meme or gif, but some fans are just ridicules!

  • Epie

    Personally I really enjoy shipping some idols and not because I’m sexually deprived.. I actually read a lot of fanfiction because I find it entertaining and also I only read well written pieces. I cannot stand reading poorly written fanfiction or overly obsessive fangirling. For me, I do in fact ship JongKey but of course I wholly supported Jjong’s relationship with Shin se Kyung. I can determine what is real and what is just fantasy. It is biased to assume we are all the same posessive sasaeng fans like those insensitive YunJae fans who probably made the law suit even more awkward.. I will always support my favourite idols but I know where to draw the line. Is it so wrong to indulge in a little bit of fantasy once in a while?

  • Snachel Snoward

    About a month or so after I started listening to Kpop, I accidently found a JoonMir video. I knew about fanfiction and shipping, but I was shocked and disgusted that real people were being shipped. I’ve read JongKey and 2Min fanfiction, but never without feeling guilty afterwards. I have shipped a lot of “couples” despite knowing it wasn’t right. When I see something about an MBLAQ couple, it’s hypocritical, but I feel sickened.

  • Alexia Cañón Iriarte

    But TaengSic is real…ok no hahaha

  • Luchia

    I didn’t outright ship them. I did read the fanfictions about Yunho and Jaejoong for example in… the year 2007 I think. When the shipping wasn’t that bad yet.
    And then Cassies began to throw fanfictions at their faces during fanmeetings, photoshop their pictures, make up “news” about them for the purpose of shipping. I felt sick. I felt more sick though, when SM Ent. began to sell their relationship. Quite a lot they’ve done after that was so obviously “fake” and “manipulating” – not only “Yunjae” but other “couples” too.
    I couldn’t stand that anymore and couldn’t bear to watch these “fake” interactions – it felt so embarrassing. In German we have a good word for that: “Fremdschämen” – it means something like: “second-hand embarrassment”.
    Then fans started fanwars about the “reality (??!)” of these ships.
    I used to say “ship and let ship” but you can exaggerate. And insulting other people who believe the ship is “not real” or “real” is exaggerating.

  • J. J.

    For those who say “they brought it upon themselves” by being closely intimate/doing skinship and stuffs, let me tell you.

    First of all, most Koreans are still culturally unable to accept homosexuality as openly as other (esp. Western/European) countries. I even read one post of a certain blog, explaining their skinship as based on their said culture. (P. S.: this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re homophobics though). This blog (I forgot which) is owned by a woman who’s married to a Korean man. After discussing with her husband and witnessing the relationship between Korean males herself, she basically writes that Koreans, because their culture believes strongly that being straight is the way, are extremely confident that they are straight. Therefore, they (paradoxically) are not afraid to share skinships (even kisses on the mouth or groping the private parts) with male close friends/brothers–because they are so confident with their sexuality, they think doing those stuffs won’t make them gay and they are just fun to certain limits. I even befriend two straight guys, best friends, who do some “romantic/intimate” stuffs just to troll their friends who ship them (for fun/show/gain popularity and such).

    So, can you imagine like for example Eunhae, doing those things for the sake of their popularity? They may look like having fun, like my friends I’ve mentioned, and it still doesn’t mean that they *are* in a romantic relationship. You guys say you can’t sympathize bc they create that image from themselves. That’s like you want to act for fun, to entertain people, and to get popular, and then people expect you to be exactly like your role/character and it’s just not forgiven if you’re the total opposite when you’re not acting. Fucking seriously? You’ve got to be a stupid, naive, close-minded chap or you’re kidding me. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for those shipa to be real (they could be gay, I don’t mind). But do consider that they’re Asians/Koreans, and their culture is just different. They view homosexuality differently. Also, no one has right to judge them for their wanting to gain popularity. They’re effin idols, being popular is what they do to earn their foods. Well, you get my point: they want to please their fans, maintain popularity in a harmless/fun way, or simply jest with their best friend, and those things still don’t mean they’re comfortable with being heavily shipped romantically for way too often–especially when fans do it extremely by making it sexual/crude.

    Secondly, while they may enjoy acting like couples in front of cameras for their fans and actually do things by their own will, like I said, that doesn’t mean they are a couple or telling you guys that they are gays (even worse, you have whatsoever no right claiming that they are gay couples to the point they get uncomfortable). They may actually feel uncomfortable as well but they just pretend they’re “okay”, we all know some companies make profit off shipping and make their idols do “shippy-stuffs” for the sake of it.

    “Brought it upon themselves”? Really? Are we going to judge people who we don’t really know personally and understand now, though?
    “Then they should stop doing those skinships and stuffs”? Again, are you their God to dictate what idols should do and should not do when it’s harmless and just for fun (which a lot fans took seriously and not playfully)? Can’t two people of the same sex interact intimately without being gay anymore? I have nothing against gays but it’s entirely possible for two people of the same sex to have skinships, kisses, hugs, and all that shit without having any romantic relationships.

    I don’t know if you guys watch/read “Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire” or not, but there’s this guy named Jon Snow who kissed his brother on the LIPS when he’s leaving. Is he gay? No. He’s fucking straight and even slept with a girl in the series. And I myself have a female bestfriends with whom I like to hug, hold-hands with, stare at (just because I want to while thinking she’s pretty), and stuffs. And guess what? Instead of a lover, she’s more of a sister to me, cause I feel fucking uncomfortable when people ship us romantically and describe us/think of us in inappropriate ways. Well go on if you do have your fantasies, just don’t show/say it in my fucking face or it’ll become fucking awkward and uncomfortable for me and my friend. Now does my thinking of her as pretty means I’m gay? Fucking no, can’t I appreciate beauty without having my sexual orientation changed? When I stare at my cat or a painting for hours and get lost in its cuteness/beauty, does that make me someone who’s sexually/romantically attracted to animals/objects? Some logic, right? Why can’t it be pure love/adoration anymore? Look, I’m not famous right? But even when my other friend told me she ships me and my bestfriend romantically, it’s so fucking uncomfortable because I don’t want to have glimpses of inappropriate scenes between me and my bestfriend everytime someone shouts “I ship you guys so hard seriously, yes yes I do think you guys are in a romantic relationship and do shits at nights”. I don’t want to but I have a pretty visual mind so I just can’t help but visualize everything people say, even though I don’t want it. It’s like telling people “don’t think of elephants” which actually makes people actually thinj of “elephants”.

    So now imagine: if that’s making me, a nobody with less “shippers”, feel uncomfortable. Imagine your kpop idols who literally have fans everywhere shouting “I ship you with x!!!” and post literally inappropriate fanfics/fanarts/whatever on the internet everywhere and even have the gall to address it directly at the idol during fansigns (Yes, something like that ACTUALLY happened). Why, it’s fucking treating idols as your fantasy object without respecting them. I won’t deny I, too, have fantasies. But I respect them and would never do anything that may make them uncomfortable (some inner jokes/private stuffs with my bestfriend who shares my fantasies but that’s it). Oh, sure, I don’t mind some friends who ship me in a playful (completely not serious) way. But hell, one ACTUALLY thinks I’m banging/romantically interested in my bestfriend and say it to my/our face, which is fucked up.

    Fucking mind your own business and respect others.

    (P. S.: for casual shippers, do understand I am not referring my rant to all “shippers”, just some hardcore ones. Know that if you’re offended then that means you are one of those shippers who no longer have respect/common sense)

    Also, here is a link to show you all (referring to my first statement) of how Eunhae themselves are (even if just slightly) uncomfortable with the shipping.


    Yes, you might as well say that they lie/act in this interview, but for what really? They gain nothing from this except the possibility of some fans finally understanding and can make them feel more comfortable with each other and maybe even stop the whole “fanservice”.

    “The company told them to!”
    The company who profits off of shipping?? I don’t think so.

  • Fay

    it’s hilarious how this article is still very much applicable five years later