• http://twitter.com/nowheregirl1993 Fatouma

    It’s just fans showing their love for their idols, so I have no problem with it, except when the food looks really good and it makes me jealous (and hungry). But I really think that rather than giving your idols food, which they probably have plenty of, you should use the money for the food to donate to other initatives, supporting people without money for food, which I’m sure will make your idol much more happy and grateful that you’re their fan. (And it means you’re doing a good deed as well, karma points never hurt anyone :) ) 

    • http://twitter.com/nowheregirl1993 Fatouma

      BUT I DO NOT, REPEAT, DO NOT CONDONE CREEPY AHJUSSHIS GIVING FOOD TO YOUNG GIRL-IDOLS, that’s beyond creepy that a) he likes A-Pink b) he’s 38 c) he’s male, so ixnay on the giving food. Food = love, and love from an ahjusshi that is not blood-related to you, and you barely know, is creepy as f.u.c.k.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

    Come on. It’s not only the ahjussis giving out these fancy lunch boxes. Everyone does. All kinds of fans do. I think it’s nice that they’re giving idols food. Expensive and a bit unnecessary, yes, but food is food. Nobody wants to waste that. With all the crazy schedules they have to keep up with, sometimes eating takes a backseat. When given lunch boxes that are fancy and obviously labored on, who wouldn’t eat them?!

    If I could, I’d help feed my faves, too. Changmin’s stomach is a bottomless pit. MinFood would be the ruling OTP of his life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002799906213 Park Thavin

    uncle fan may b only happen in korean .. if wit me i’ll give the gift that last long n show them that i support n love cuz the hrds work not other thing :)

  • Anonymous

    Does he also feed his real nieces (if he has any) and real life son by buying them expensive lunches?

  • Anonymous

    While you do bring up a good point about ahjussi fans and the creepiness that comes with it, are 30+ adults not allowed to indulge in the pop fandom? (To be fair there are ahjussi fans who like these girl groups for something other than their music).

    Are there “Aunt” fans as well in k-pop? You always hear about “Uncle” fans in the media. They have a lot of disposable income so companies try to target them and get them to spend money. I feel bad for the families who have to compete for attention against a pop group.

     

    • http://twitter.com/Laava90 Lava

      Yeah there are “aunt” fans, but for some reason it comes off less creepy =/ Mblaq’s G.O is always thanking his “noona fans” for food, I think they liked him because of his beard era, but because he’s older it’s not so creepy.
      Shinee has noona fans too, but they had loads when they debuted and they were a lot younger then, so depending on the age of the fans it could come off quite creepy I supposed.
      Tbh though, at the end of the day as creepy as it might come off, we could sit here and criticise all we want but these ahjussi fans bring a lot of income to girl groups, I always hear that that’s part of the reason why girl groups do so well on charts- plenty of older men with money to spend. Also, the companies target these older fans and their pockets lets be honest, IU would not be prancing around in a dress that barely covers her butt if it wasn’t to bring in these uncle fans, and 24+ year old women would not be acting like 12 year olds if it wasn’t to cater to a specific audience right?

      • Anonymous

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • Anonymous

      Yep, there are definitely ”aunt” fans. I remember watching this special-program-episode-thing covering DBSK and quite a lot of aunt fans were interviewed. Some help with organising events for the boys, some donate etc. But I do distinctly remember a woman who felt quite up-lifted by their song ‘Asu wa Kuru Kara’ (due to circumstances relating to her son) and began to learn Japanese to understand the meaning of that song and DBSK’s other Japanese songs. 

    • http://twitter.com/carnimiriel Ruby

      Oh I think there are creepy “aunt” fans too.  I don’t know specific Kpop examples, but I remember an interview Zac Efron gave during the height of the HSM craze, where he said that the screaming teen fans were not a problem.  However, he’s had older women (teen fans’ moms?) grab onto him and not let go.  And then there was the whole “Twi-mom” thing regarding the Twilight actors.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQ53WK5K4DPXQ5DIBKDELB6WPE Camille

      DBSK and SHINee has all these noona/ahjumma fans. They’re not as noisy and don’t put too much attention on themselves, but they help organize all these fanprojects that the teenage fangirls don’t do. It doesn’t hurt that they have their own disposable incomes that they can choose to spend on them.

    • Anonymous

      I think the reason why some people see Uncle fans as more “creepy” is because simply they are male. Even if freakos send in menstrual letters and weird stuff to idols, I guess the whole social stigma is that men can take advantage of women much more easily than a woman who can “rape” a man. Noonas aren’t terribly creepy (as seen by other people) because I suppose there’s really no threat in an older woman kidnapping a young male in his prime, with probably ripped muscles as well. For uncle fans, it’s the opposite because men are physically capable of hurting these girls that are skinny and dainty with no muscle. I still remember how Jessica (?) or some member of SNSD talking on Strong Heart where she was stalked by a mysterious man who waited outside her apartment and slipped in the building after she opened the door with the security code. It was SO creepy beyond words.

  • http://twitter.com/simpledm xelo truo

    I remember watching a fan-signing event of a girl group (name omitted) and their fans were all uncle fans waiting in line. The interactions between the girls and the uncle fans was so awkward, I cringed. 

  • Anonymous

    It still amazes me how organized East Asian fandoms are.  They not only memorize chants but they collectively organize food drives for their idols.  I can’t fault them for wanting to feed overworked and underweight idols.  On the other hand, ahjusshi fans continue to creep me out, not only because they are fans of performing groups not based on liking the music produced but the act/concept/outfits surrounding the promotions of these songs, but also because it is built into the Korean society.  I can’t help but cringe when older men make comments or act rashly in the presence of these female performers and don’t get reprimanded for it but praised for being an ahjusshi fan.  Girls like IU and SNSD continue to feed these obsessions because it’s what bring in $$.  They can’t say they dislike it because, lets be real here, they are in no position to say it.  If they dare, they’d be labelled unloyal, ungrateful, blah, blah and blah. 

    I’m not saying that male idols don’t have obsessive noona/imo fans either or that they are sexually objectify as well.  It’s just that the society itself doesn’t make a big deal out of having noona fans.  Noona fans also tend to be less creepy when showing their love and support for male idols.  All I can say is that being an idol is a sad thing because you can’t ever express dissatisfaction or discomfort towards fans, sane or otherwise.  That’s why we get saesang fans and JYJ labelled as fan abusers.  It’s a very thin line but the whole entertainment industry seems to be ignoring that such line exists.

    Anyways, I’m not sure how to explain the ahjusshi fan phenomenon, but here’s a link to The Grand Narrative where there are many, many, many great articles on Kpop/Kentertainment and all that is in or surrounding it.  I think this site does a wonderful job exploring such phenomenons of the Korean entertainment industry and gender issues in Korea.

    http://thegrandnarrative.com

    These bottom two are on the subject of ahjusshi fans.

    http://thegrandnarrative.com/2012/02/06/girl-groups-samchon-ajosshi-fandom/

    http://thegrandnarrative.com/2011/12/13/ajosshi-fandom-sexual-harassment/

  • Anonymous

     This has always kind of puzzled me, but I’ve seen fans spend obscene amounts of money on weirder things than this. 

    I’m rather non-plussed at the fans that will spend crazy amounts of money on a gift. It’s not exclusive to Asian fans either, I’ve seen western fans give incredibly expensive gifts that I know they can’t really afford to get a thank you out of an artist.  To be honest, most of the stuff fans give ends up being thrown in the trash (no one could keep all the things some artists get on a daily basis). 

  • Anonymous

    Doesn’t strike me as weird. Buying lunch for idols you like, especially when you have a ton of money to spare? That’s pretty tame.

    Nothing really beats the behavior of the fans who write letters to K-idols in menstrual blood or the perverted fans of AKB48 who masturbate into their hands before a handshake event and… well, I guess you know what they do with their ejaculation after that.

    Idol culture comes with crazy-as-shit fans. That’s all.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KK5JP7AHUJ733QSHEJRGP6H3SA Jamila

    This is stupid. As far as im concerned you already bought them lunch when you paid for their CD and a ticket to their concert. 

  • destinyanglin

    When putting Mr.Chung in the article they most likely knew it was wierd and even if they were trying to slighly hint at the creepy nature of this with Mr.Chungs example.
     It is an article about fans buying idols meals and Mr.Chung is a fan buying idols meals so in a completely basic article outline, putting in one example or real life person is what most writers do. It’s not their fault one of the customers turned out to be a creep.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ISY6GRHQPCNR7EKDH7K4WTFU6E Sen Lin

    So….because I like girl groups and also happen to be male, by the time
    I pass my 30s I’m will immediately become a creepy pervert regardless
    of my beliefs and intentions, just because I wish to continue my hobby?

    Am I the only one who has issues with how blatantly sexist/ageist this article is?

    Oh double standards…..

  • Ebony Cardnell

    I can’t see the problem in giving idols food, as long as you’re not poisoning it something. How many times have I read idols saying they can’t/didn’t used to have time to eat, at least it’s a present that won’t just get thrown out. 

    And why not? F.T Island and Yunho have given fans food.

  • Ebony Cardnell

    I can’t see the problem in giving idols food, as long as you’re not poisoning it something. How many times have I read idols saying they can’t/didn’t used to have time to eat, at least it’s a present that won’t just get thrown out. 

    And why not? F.T Island and Yunho have given fans food.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t find anything wrong with fans giving lunch to idols. Actually I donated what i could afford to Big Bang Updates 2012 Big Show Project. Besides the rice wreath, the money raised went towards buying dinner for Big Bang and all their staff and crew for one night at the concert and also a cake.

    I look at it as they give me so much happiness from their music. If I can put forward a small amount of money that can make sure they are well nourished then I am happy. Plus it was a nice way for them to know international VIPs love them.

    And about the whole Ajusshi phenomenon.. What’s the cutoff age for liking and supporting idols since there seems to be such an ick factor with it? 20s? 30s? I just don’t see a point on limiting people on things just because of age.

    • Anonymous

      palebluedot13, I don’t really think that the ick factor (at least for me) comes with middle-aged men liking girl groups.  I mean, it’s natural to expect that middle-aged men would enjoy seeing beautiful and sexy young women.  My problem is that the ahjosshi fan phenomenon in South Korea is often swept under the rug or minimized by saying that they think of them as “nieces” or “daughters.”  I just…personally, I do not think this is true.  I’d rather there be an honest dialogue about it, you know?  Hope that clears some things up!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t find anything wrong with fans giving lunch to idols. Actually I donated what i could afford to Big Bang Updates 2012 Big Show Project. Besides the rice wreath, the money raised went towards buying dinner for Big Bang and all their staff and crew for one night at the concert and also a cake.

    I look at it as they give me so much happiness from their music. If I can put forward a small amount of money that can make sure they are well nourished then I am happy. Plus it was a nice way for them to know international VIPs love them.

    And about the whole Ajusshi phenomenon.. What’s the cutoff age for liking and supporting idols since there seems to be such an ick factor with it? 20s? 30s? I just don’t see a point on limiting people on things just because of age.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1112091495 Annie Xiong

    Hells no! I dished out the last of my 20 dollar bills to get their new overpriced album and photobook. They craycray. 

  • Anonymous

    I think the best thing you do for the idols, is to donate money (for example in one of the many rice wreath projects), because it gives the idols good reputation and enables them to make more music ^^ As for the food, yearh, I might buy them some, just to see them smile ^^

  • http://weeatlemon.blogspot.com conanblue

    I don’t think it’s that weird to show your appreciation to your favorite celebrity. I’m sort of guilty of being part of a project similar to this, although I didn’t pitch in a ridiculous amount of money (because I’m broke). But I think once this is made into a business, it’s just crazy. The fact that the price is at least 3 times the amount of what a fan would be spending for an individual gifted lunch box is a little much. Wouldn’t it be a lot better if the fan themselves get to design the lunch box menu so it can be a little more personal? Isn’t that the whole point of this lunch box gift thing?

  • Anonymous

    The thing that bothers me is that I wonder if this uncle fan (or any other fan who buys idols food) bothers to do nice things for that for their own family. The devotion some fans have to celebrities is almost unreal, but have they ever thought about turning that passion into something more useful or meaningful than spending hard-earned money (or your parents’ money) on fancy lunch boxes or brand-name handbags? But I guess that’s not relevant to this situation…

    Anyway, it’s the companies’ fault for not supplying their idols with food – when you’re under a company these things SHOULD be covered. Fans should be rallying for their idols’ basic human rights – they’re paying these companies not only for music/concerts/merchandise but for the idols to be treated fairly as well (similar to how a company should be praised for being environmentally friendly I guess?). Buying nice trinkets doesn’t solve anything, if anything it exacerbates the problem because companies may think they can get away with more profit and let the fans feed them.

    Lastly, if I was an idol, I wouldn’t eat anything from my fans, no offense. Wouldn’t it be so easy for an anti-fan to poison something and then send it in all nonchalantly? Or even put shards of glass or something disgusting like human waste cooked in… Gross. Who scans this stuff to make sure it’s safe?

    • Kazi Raya

      If you read the WSJ article, then you would know that lunch boxes are ordered from a store that specializes in making and delivering them. Fans can’t give idols homemade food anymore, ever since Yunho’s poisoning, so they have to contact the idol’s company and let them know what the menu is going to be, from which store, and how many lunch boxes.

      And it’s not just the idols who are fed, but the staff as well. Depending on what event the idol is participating in, (ex. musicals, dramas, etc.) he/she may have up to a hundred staff and the fans end up paying for their lunches as well. But don’t think that this is an everyday occurrence! Lunchboxes are usually only given during special occasions like comebacks, concerts, birthdays, premieres, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1452789711 Serra ‘Miyu’ Abak

    Above all thing, then blatant sexism of this article put me off. Talk about stereotyping. Once you’re over 30, being a fan of an idol group immediately makes you a creepy old ajussi or an obsessed dirty noona?

    If they want to buy lunch for their favorite idols, let them do whatever they want. It’s just their way of supporting their idols. As long as the idol’s don’t mind it or don’t feel like they’ve been invaded in some way, I don’t see any problem with it.

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    When I was doing a morning radio show, we had a very popular audition show contestant on, and his fans sent a crapload of food and gifts. He’s a nice guy, but he was obviously creeped out by the stuff with his face printed on it. He gave most of it away to the radio station crew. Seriously, this practice is truly creepy, and it only impresses the most cartoonishly narcissistic idols.

    • Anonymous

      ZenKimchi, I just wanted to comment here to say that (a) I agree with you completely, and (b) I LOVE your blog!

      • http://twitter.com/ZenKimchi ZenKimchi

         Wow! Thank you!!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Dana – I couldn’t agree more! I heard about the WSJ article from an American friend, and she unfortunately had the exact impression, i.e. creepy, rather than interesting or funny or even just random. Sigh.

  • Anonymous

    This pretty much means that the idols themselves aren’t fed so well by their agencies.

    I find the whole ‘fan buying food for their idols’ tend to be a bit of a mix. For people like that uncle fan you mentioned, it’s clearly inappropriate and at worst, downright creepy. It’s no different to a complete stranger buying you lunch. If he had any real sanity and problems with no idea on how to spent money, he’d have spent it for his child and wife – maybe for a few well-trusted relatives. He’s in a age where he has his own family to be responsible for – it’s as if he’s still living in his teens.

    For younger people whose age are roughly similar to that of their beloved idols – one cay say it’s not bad to say, give home-made necklaces or earrings or other types of jewelry (T-ara is such a case) or maybe a couple of friendly cards or homemade cookies or cake - but then again, some go completely overboard. A friend of mine says one particular guy he knew back in high school posted a love letter, an expensive cake and giant teddy bear that cost over $100 to the very idol he worshipped (will not name who it was sent to, for the sake of privacy).