• 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.