Roundtable: Tough Love
Oftentimes the problem with K-pop discourse is that fans tend to paint issues out to be either black or white. For every fan that believes that their bias is perfection in human form, there are often others waiting just around the corner to point out all their flaws. Surely the reality can’t be that both sides have merit?
This week, we asked our writers to write a short letter giving a friendly piece of advice to a group or individual that they happen to like in K-entertainment.
Hi Donut! I would really love it if you learned to calm down on stage instead of letting your nerves take over. You never look like you’re having any fun when you’re performing, which is a shame because you’ve got such a great voice and such an intense stare that it kills me you’re not more relaxed.
I think it’s fantastic that you’re such a groovy dude, but sometimes I feel like you need to turn it down a notch. Just a notch.
I know you’re an extremely attractive man and a good leader. But leading isn’t a performance art, so please stop being such an awkward turtle on stage.
I know yours is a biblical name but in all honesty, K-pop and a stage name like that don’t go that well together. I don’t do fan-boards or fan-chants but it seems like a lot of work. How about shortening it down to two syllables?
PS: I’ll have you know that my brain did a few somersaults trying to figure out how to say it right.
Jun.K is not a cool name. Please come up with something else.
Don’t listen to Salima. You and your odd choice of stage name are still beautiful to me.
Nabeela’s right. Jun.K is worlds more tolerable than that “J. 2 da Un 2 da K” phase you went through for a few months.
Eternally yours, Salima
As much as I appreciate your prettiness, I think you should invest some time in more dancing and singing training. After all, being a “visual” doesn’t last forever.
LOVE YOU and your energy, bro, but…tone it down a little. I’ve watched you for years now (woohoo, sound like a stalker), and I think you’re a much more natural dancer than your Dancing Machine facade makes you out to be. Stop trying to impress people consistently and just go with the flow.
(And protest ferociously when your stylist tells you and your groupmate to wear things like this. You’re a big enough artist now to reject your stylists.)
Please stop licking your lips every five seconds. Not only does it cause fangirls to go into convulsions, but contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t actually hydrate your lips, it only dries them out more.
As much as you are the appointed representative for “aegyos” in BTOB, I can’t take it anymore. I would appreciate it if you could spare me the agony and allow Sungjae to properly fulfill his duties as the maknae instead.
You’re all sexy. We know this. But do you think maybe, just maybe, you could try to incorporate some actual dance moves into your choreography? Because grinding on chairs, doing the body wave, and ripping off your shirts is GREAT to look at, but a girl could use a Two-Step here and there. The Cabbage Patch? The Robot? Maybe a simple backflip? Anything that will remind me why you guys are the Beast Idols.
Please just stick to the music aspect of idoldom. Your acting is making me cry tears of blood from the your inability to portray emotion. Just stick to cat daddy-ing your way into my heart, not acting.
I’ve always liked you since MIB existed but please stop acting all cool in front of the cameras. Just be yourself, and I’ll totally let you take over Kangnam in my bias list.
I’ll admit that sometimes I find you quite funny, but please remember to think before you speak. Also, I think you should reconsider fatherhood in perhaps eight years.
I absolutely adore your voice, but you need to stop thinking so hard about getting everything just right when you’re up on stage. Loosen up a bit, and learn to enjoy the performance. I know you can do it. You’re almost there.
As my first K-pop bias in the history of ever, you’ve earned a special place in my heart, dude. But that doesn’t exempt you from the fact that your recent chest-baring antics onstage are getting to be a bit absurd. Come on, we all know you’re not that kind of guy. Also, please continue with those uber-self reflective and somewhat existential interview responses. If anything, they’ve always given me a little hope that there’s still someone in K-pop capable of deep thought.
To my Junsu (JYJ) boo,
BOY. My ex-#1 boy, I know you really want to get back to being my #1, so here are a few things: 1) stop the gyrating! 2) sing more songs that are suitable for your range because Tarantellegra makes you sound weird 3) be experimental, but always remember your strengths. I know there are things I want from you that are beyond your means (getting on variety shows, being on weekly music programs) so you might never really get back to being my #1, but let me love you again :(
Still a loyal fan, Amy
To Jonghyun (SHINee),
It’s been four years and as much as I’m aware of how people find you charismatic in terms of vocal abilities and general disposition, I just don’t understand. I mean, in the current pool of artists, SHINee definitely stands out for me but as its main vocalist, some things just don’t add up. Show me something so I’ll change my mind?
Girls, I love you and you’re my BFFs and all, but for the love of all that is holy, can you please release some good Korean music? It isn’t fair that so many of your Japanese songs are amaaaaazing while your Korean albums have been so unimpressive as of late. TaeTiSeo‘s album was a step in the right direction — please don’t disappoint me when you make your next comeback.
I hate you. I have hated you ever since seeing C.N.Blue live in concert in LA because I now have the biggest case of hair envy in the world. Your luscious locks were billowing so beautifully at the concert while you wailed away on your electric bass and even tied up in a ponytail in the elevator at the Sheraton it still looked awesome. Would it be evil of me to hope your stylist cuts it for your next concept?
I think you are a very talented producer and performer, and I find it commendable that at your age you still release music and promote along side all the kids. However, that doesn’t mean that you should begin taking fashion advice from a Little Lad who loves berries and cream. Please say no to knee socks and cropped pants!
Much appreciated, Jessie
Dear Minho (SHINee),
I love you. Please figure out exactly what it is you want to do with your celebrity career (be it acting, singing, rapping, being a regular on Dream Team for all eternity, whatever) soon and work at being good at it so I don’t have to be embarrassed to call you my bias anymore. It’s been two years. You owe me one. Also, fix your hair.