Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Youngin' Yoo Seung-ho is Leaving for the Army

And we lost another one. But not just another one. It's Yoo Seung-ho, who is a 1993 kid, not even 20 yet. Okay so technically he is 22 in Korea? But still. Young dude. And yesterday, the day of March 5th is the day we see him leave. Not technically since he didn't even announce his leave to the media and left just like any other guy.

This whole event seems like it's been getting nothing but applause from the always grumpy netizens, especially since the Rain debacle. As a reminder, Rain was caught breaking army rules while during his off duty and breaks and going on dates with his new girlfriend, Kim Tae-hee. The rules of the army is something I'm very unfamiliar with. But apparently breaking these rules have created such a big stir that it has shone a brighter light on celebrity recruits and how unfair they are treated compared to the ordinary man.

I won't be talking in detail about the criticisms netizens have for celebrity recruits, but it seems like Yoo is trying to break them one by one.

First, he's enrolling at such a young age. Unless a celebrity debuted later in their age (mid 20s and later, which is very rare these days), most of the young men in the world of celebrity haven't been enrolled. That's because most men in South Korea, as I've heard, enrolls either after high school, during college, or right after college. (FYI all able South Korean men must enroll in the military because technically the North and South Korea are still in war.) Considering that, Yoo is enrolling at about similar age as the rest of South Korea. But celebrities tend to not follow that norm. Usually the first half of their 20s is spent trying to climb that metaphorical ladder to success and their latter half is spent maintaining that success until they have a grip of sorts of that success. Thus, many (almost all?) will push back their enlistment until the very last second. Rain anyone?

Then again, Yoo's career is unlike any other actor. His career started in 2000 at the wee age of 7 in the MBC mini drama Daddy Fish. Since then he's starred in over 30 projects. That's a lot of anyone, let alone a 20-year-old. As you can see, Yoo has well established his place in the Korean entertainment industry. And with the success of I Miss You, his first true adult role if you can say, Yoo has placed his stone for what will be his future, and possible very bright, career. Some say his enlistment is a good thing because now we can wait for Yoo to come back from the army, full with army abs and all, into a mature young man. And that, I say, is a good thing.

Second, he enrolled without a sea of fans. While this isn't exclusively a Yoo Seung-ho thing (my fave Jo Seung-woo did it too), it's still a rare thing to see. Apparently it has something to do with the celebrity life and the way their job works. A big part of their career is their fans, and the fans also feel a large part of themselves in their favorite celebrity. So I guess a fan would like to be there sending their favorite actor/singer/entertainer off to army, just like a proud insert family position here. While maybe a lot of Yoo's fans are disappointed they can't send him off, or the fact that there aren't any saluting pictures of him in the media, it's a good act he did there. He wants to be just like his peers and be sent off only by family and close colleagues and that's exactly what he did. It shows that he's not too full of himself. I'm imagining how diva Jang Geun-suk will be when he enlists. Probably hilarious.

Third, he's enrolling in active duty. Apparently this has been the choice of celebrities nowadays since the Rain controversy. 28-year-old singer Se7en, who will be enlisting this March, will be taking the regular active duty instead of the public service worker a lot of celebrities are doing. Active duty is being in the field, what people would thing being in the army would be like, and public service worker is either doing office work or doing the everyday, not so cool jobs like security in a government building. The details, again, I'm too sure of. Celebrities tend to take the public service worker route, mostly being the part of the PR team (which I've heard manly man Hyun Bin also did a bit. Also, did everyone seem forget that Jo In-sung was in the Air Force? He's manly man too). While I don't think news of what division Yoo will be doing his duties, his choice of enrolling in active duty is respectable. He is still young and fit unlike his older celebrity friends so maybe it would be easier?

Thinking about Yoo leaving for the army is a bit sad. He'll be gone for 2 years! But seriously, 2 years isn't that long. Can you believe Hyun Bin is back and that Secret Garden is actually that long ago? I know. We can get through this, guys. Don't worry.

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