You probably know by now that 34 year-old Choi Ji Woo is currently dating actor Lee Jin Wook who is six years her junior. And though the couple has yet to officially announce their two-year relationship, netizens have already expressed their support and well wishes for the couple.
This is not the first time we’ve heard news about a May-December pairing. The D.I.S.C.O spelling diva, Uhm Jung Hwa went out with model turned actor Jeon Jun Hong who is eight years younger than her. Not to be left behind with this “cougar trend” is actress 26 year-old Kim Min Hee who is currently with one of G-Dragon’s scene friends, the 20 year-old model Lee Su Hyuk.
Though the younger man-older woman relationship is still a major taboo in some countries, Korea seems to be embracing it.
Singers, like the 20 year-old Lee Seunggi, have made a career out of wooing a hapless noona (a term of endearment for an older woman; older sister). His now infamous debut song “Because You’re My Girl” in 2004, created a major “liking for an older woman syndrome” all over Korea.
SM Entertainment then took the road that Seunggi paved and cemented it when they released SHINee into the K-pop jungle on May 2008. The group was an instant hit with their debut song “Replay (Noona, You’re So Pretty)”. Thanks to these jailbaits, we now have a new breed of crazy older fangirls who sadly and fondly call themselves the “Pedo Noonas”. Go figure.
Even in fictional terms, the yun ha nam (younger boyfriend) is a good selling point. Dramas like “My Lovely Kim Sam Soon” and “Dal Ja’s Spring” made waves all over Asia for its quirky take of the younger man-older woman love affair. Then there’s the Hyunjoong–Hwangbo pairing. Back in the day when “We Got Married” was still the show to watch, audiences tuned in weekly just to see these two go from completely awkward to almost in love in their make-believe marriage.
And of course, let’s not forget the latest and most sensationalized act of “cougarism” in recent k-pop history: Lee Hyori and Big Bang.
Lee Hyori did everything she can with these youngins from kissing a 20 year-old TOP to leg caressing with a barely legal Seungri. That performance made headlines in every news site in Korea for more than a week. Fans went crazy. MKMF made money. And the head of Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs lost sufficient amounts of sleep.
Ah, good times.
So you see, Choi Ji Woo has got nothing to hide. K-pop history has taught us that it’s good to be a cougar in k-pop.
. . .
How about you, are you willing to date a younger guy? If you can date any younger man in k-pop, who would it be and why? Also, how young are you willing to go? Or better yet, how comfortable are you with the thought of going to jail?