Friday, November 30, 2012

The First Ever K-pop Idol Wedding

Modern K-pop has evolved immensely since its birth. Not only music-wise, but also culturally. From shrouding the idol in mystery, to putting their lives out for the public to see. Known for their strict rules where the idol has become almost a public property, things have shifted slightly more and more towards "free" idol. And nothing says this more than the recent news of Wonder Girls' Sunye getting married.

That's right, you heard (or read) it correctly. Sunye, member and leader of one of Korea's top girl groups, Wonder Girls is going to walk down the aisle on January 26 with her Korean-Canadian missionary boyfriend. The two met on a missionary trip to Haiti and Sunye revealed her relationship in November last year. If anyone of you is concerned about her career as an idol, she's not quitting. And JYP denied it was a shotgun wedding.

I can't pretend that I'm not surprised, and impressed, with Sunye's decision to get married. Life of an idol is complicated. Like I've said before, you've become public property once you've debuted. Your career depends on how others perceive you. And apparently, your private life is also under the scrutiny of the public. Many, if not most, idols are practically banned from having romantic relationships. Even if they do end up dating other people, it better not be with other idols and it better not be public. It's better to talk about a past relationship than to admit about a current one.

What Sunye has done that's very revolutionary in the idol world is not only is she in a romantic relationship, she's also in a committed, to-be-legalized relationship. No idol has done this before while working as an idol. Former idols have married, many of them actually. But no currently working one has. Not even senior idols Shinhwa. It's very different than in the past where even a picture of an idol with a member of the opposite gender causes mayhem.

The exact reason JYP supported her decision, we don't know. Probably the same reason why she was able to announce her relationship in the first place. Maybe it's because Wonder Girls already have a solid, supportive fan base. Maybe because she's already attained a spot in the elite Korean singers club. Maybe because Sunye was able to convince JYP of her decision. Whatever the reason, I have a feeling this is going to change the dynamics of how a fan sees their idols.

It's been shifting slowly anyways. It started with SHINee's Jonghyun and Shin Se-kyung, which only created media frenzy and fan panic. That didn't end so well. Another idol-idol relationship is KARA's Hara and B2ST's Junhyung which came out of no where but was met with mild if not opened arms by fans. They were either just so universally loved or pure lucky. And now more and more celebrities, not just idols, are more open about their relationship. Whether this is done for pure publicity or not, we don't know. But the enigma is slowly fading away.

I don't think with Sunye's marriage a dozen more idols are going to line up by the chapel door to get legalized. A majority of idols are well in their teens (some in their pre-teens). And even if they are of age, similar to Sunye or even older, finding your soulmate is hard, no matter who you are.

So what will this do to Sunye's/Wonder Girls' career(s)? It's too soon to know. I think Sunye has a good image in the media and I hope her fanbase is good to her too. I really hope people can be more understanding about the fact that celebrities have personal lives too. What they want to do with that is up to them. But, I know this is an old card trick, let's respect their decisions. Because if someone was to come up to me, as a psychologically healthy human being, and be a total butt about who I'm dating, well let's just say I don't want to be their friends anymore.

I wish I could give you a more in depth commentary but you know, the topic of marriage is hard and very personal. Personally I think age 24 is a bit young for marriage but again, that's just me. If she has found the man she wants to share her life together then I congratulate her and wish the two happiness. And I hope Wonder Girls will still come out with crack-tastic songs like always.

1 comment:

  1. nice post by Conan

    It is really amazing that how Psy has emerged form no where

    Korean Pop Music