It’s unfortunate that dating and relationships within the K-Pop scene is often something that can completely spiral out of control and put an idols’ career in jeopardy.
Generally, international fans tend to be more understanding and supportive than most South Korean fans when it comes to idols dating. And it must be perplexing for them sometimes to see the extreme backlash some idols face when countless new celebrity couples of other countries seem to pop up in the news headlines almost every day.
While it’s understandable that a dating ban created by an agency is to ensure that the idols focus on their career as a priority, the reality is that people just fall in love or find someone of interest at some point. And based on all the breaking news we’ve seen up to this point related to idols dating, some seem to be able to make the headlines without facing any negative response from the fans. Why is this?
It’s because that the reality is that idols too aren’t all equal, the same way that some are either more privileged or have the recognition that allows them to have the support of the public. And more importantly, timing and portrayal are two highly critical conditions as it has been shown that news of dating has never fared well for idols who were enjoying their prime time in their careers. Basically, fans “approval” plays a big part in whether a relationship gets labeled as either a “scandal” or “relationship”.
TaeYeon and BaekHyun, despite their status as superstars, faced immense backlash because of the way their relationship was presented to the public. It was considered a “scandal”. Why? South Korean news agency Dispatch revealed the two idols’ relationship, and that pretty much explains it all in terms of how the fans would react once they found out.
And we all know what goes down when Dispatch releases an article about dating.
Former Miss A member Suzy‘s relationship with actor Lee MinHo was able to avoid being classified as a scandal due to her status as the nation’s “sweetheart”.
In addition, it is also worth noting that her female fans, who make up the majority of her fans, were more supportive of the relationship than her male fans.
Examples of how relationships getting discovered and not being deemed as scandals are rare but however still do seem to exist. Take BIGBANG Taeyang and actress Min HyoRin or Lee SeungKi and Girls’ Generation YoonA as examples. Or EXO Kai and f(x) Krystal.
These couples were welcomed with open arms by both the fans and the public. In the case of YoonA and Lee SeungKi, along with Kai and Krystal, their linkage to each other was already conditioned to the eyes of fans as a “good match”, one that satisfied the fans’ idea of an idol couple, much like that of a person that parents envision their child with.
As for Taeyang, he was basically in the K-Pop industry as a successful idol for so long that people pretty much almost wondered when he would find a suitable mate.
However, as K-Pop’s popularity continued to spread over time, it no longer became an exclusive scene to just South Koreans as there are K-Pop fans all over the world. And international fans differ from South Korean fans in the sense that they are more open to the idea of their favorite idols in a relationship than South Korean fans.
Which is why when the dating news of Kai and Jennie also broke out, it didn’t have any negative impact on either idols’ careers. Both received an immense amount of support from the international K-Pop community and despite the news having been broke by Dispatch, it was almost as if nothing happened. In fact, domestic fans during then were even filing a petition requesting the government to shut down Dispatch as they felt the news agency was invading the privacy of their idols.
In the end, it is an individual’s decision to get into a relationship, but whether there’s backlash involved or not ultimately depends on the public for K-Pop idols. It may not be fair but it is what comes with the job.