Whenever an idol does something horribly bad, while there is a camp of fandom that criticizes the idol, there is also a camp of fandom that comes to their defense. They’re just people and if the average person can make a mistake, then idols should be able to as well. This is all fine and dandy but I would like to take this opportunity to say that in that case, the inverse should be true as well. While fans have a tendency to forgive their idols for their common mistakes, they also have a tendency to praise their idols for their common courtesy. But if fans are going to argue that idols should not be treated any differently than anybody else for their errors, then they shouldn’t be treated any differently than anybody else for being decent human beings.
Fans recently captured footage of 2NE1’s Park Bom reprimanding her manager for allegedly pushing a fan. While the manager hadn’t actually pushed the fan, of course Bom is being praised like the second coming of Christ, with fans filling the YouTube pages with comments such as “You are angel on earth <3,” “Angel PARK BOM <3,” and “I LOVE YOU BOMMIE <3.” And while they have high praise and hymns for Park Bom & Co., fans are also bringing up the infamous incidences surrounding top idol bands, DBSK, SHINee, and CN Blue, where fans were mistreated by idol managers and the idols didn’t do anything.
The latter, I get. In the world of Korean entertainment, fans are active and aggressive. When some managers react and respond with unnecessary and more importantly, inappropriately with violence, that is many things but among them, it is wrong. While I can’t speak for DBSK, SHINee, CN Blue, or whatever idol group that allegedly allowed one of their fan girls to get whipped back and forth, I can say this: in a situation in which someone is being being victimized through violence, while most people wouldn’t ride in on a white horse and save said individual, any human being would, at the very least, ask, tell, or, if they’re extraordinary, make them stop. If you disagree, then all I can say is you have to have more faith in humanity. So regardless of what actually happened in the DBSK, SHINee, CN Blue situations, any human being in such a situation would have said something to the effect of “Stop.” Anyone who doesn’t do that, or something akin to that, is not your average human being. And someone who goes above and beyond that is not your average human being either. Someone who does do that, is just a run-of-the-mill human being. If you disagree: have more faith in humanity.
In this specific case, after Park Bom witnessed her fan being allegedly pushed, she asked/said to her manager, did not scold, yell, save, or anything that would indicate overt proactivism, to “Stop pushing.” She’s definitely not a bad person, but she’s definitely not an “angel” either. She is a normal, average human being that can, just like the rest of us, empathize and sympathize.
But before you come at me with flame throwers and pitch forks, if Park Bom, or any other idol, were to do something of the exact opposite nature like drink or drive, smoke illegal substances, or evade paying their taxes, while it doesn’t excuse their actions, fans rightfully come to their defense and say something to the effect of “They’re human too!” And so, these idols are forgiven because they are people and just like other people, they should be forgiven for their mistakes as well. But if we’re going along the same line of logic, that idols are human too, then just like other humans, they shouldn’t be canonized for humanity.
This incidence isn’t the only incidence either. Idols are constantly and repeatedly praised for committing to the most mundane of manners. “[Insert idol here] says ‘Bless you!’” “[Insert idol here] tips fairly!” “[Insert idol here] does not commit mass murder”—these sensational exclamations of idolization are ridiculous. There are some things I get and totally support. Lee Hyori’s charity towards several animal related causes is respectable; Kim Junsu building a school in Cambodia is commendable; and; idols engaging in the “Letters from Angels” project is heartbreakingly kind. These are things most people don’t do. And while most people aren’t in a position to do them, others, who are in the same position, don’t do them. It is acts like these that deserve our love and respect.
Idols prove that they are special, not only in body and mind, but also in heart and soul every day. But not by telling individual A to not push individual B. In comparison to all the good, generous things going on in K-Pop, it’s trivial.
I’m happy that Park Bom & 2NE1 fans have the opportunity to see her do what they interpret as her caring about her fans. But people should not exacerbate and exaggerate her character. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons to call her an “Apostle” or a “Justice,” but I’m just as sure that this mundane incident is not one of them. Please have more faith in your idols. You shouldn’t praise them for these acts; you should expect these acts. It is because we don’t that certain idols, managers, and companies think they can get away with their lack of common decency.