Lee Seung Gi & Yoona vs Jung Kyung Ho & Sooyoung: How to Date and Not Date in K-pop
By Niki | January 07, 2014 02:43 AM EST
It is officially 1 week into 2014 and Kpop has already been rocked by two dating scandals, both involving members of Girls Generation. While last year's dating scandal between IU and Eunhyuk resulted in death threats to both parties, everyone was curious how fans would take the news of first Yoona and Lee Seung Gi and then Sooyoung and Jung Kyung Ho. And so far? The response has been relatively mild.
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When Yoona and Lee Seung Gi first come out that they were dating, it was revealed that one of the news agencies that had been watching them had been doing so since October. Some of the highest ranking comments were concerning how scary it was that they had been following them for that long and that something like that took "dedication". After that, there were a few comments about how it was shocking, but they were minor and few between. The general consensus was that people were happy for Seung Gi to be dating his ideal type and that netizens wished them a happy relationship.
Also, many netizens were happy with how quickly Seung Gi and his agency addressed the issue. Within minutes, not only had his agency confirmed the rumors, but they went out of their way to say the two had been dating for four months already but weren't able to meet often due to their busy schedules. Fans and netizens were thankful for how upfront he was and I think that is one of the reasons the relationship was greeted with such open arms.
Which brings us to our second couple of the year: Sooyoung and Jung Kyung Ho.
After the initial news was released, most comments were actually directed at the news site, saying they were trying to compete with their rival agency by releasing news of another member dating from the same group. But after the first shock, and a few well placed comments about changing Girls Generation's name now, most comments were, once again, directed at the male in the relationship- Kyung Ho. But unlike Seung Gi's comments, they weren't nearly as pleasant.
Whereas Seung Gi and his agency were up front from the beginning, Kyung Ho had been recently asked if he was dating and went so far as to say he was dating a non-celebrity. He claimed he first denied dating, then said he was dating a non-celebrity in order to "protect" Sooyoung's image. This, unfortunately, brought backlash not only to him but to Sooyoung as well. Not hurt or upset fans, but angry and hateful fans. They went so far as to say he must have said she was a non-celebrity because she looks like one, or that she wasn't as good as the other members of Girls Generation so she didn't have an image he needed to protect.
It didn't help that Sooyoung had joined Kyung Ho in lying and, not even 24 hours prior, had remarked that she was happy for them but, jokingly, that she felt lonely. This, of course, was not received well by the public when she and Kyung Ho announced they were official.
So here we have two completely different reactions to dating scandals, both of which are completely different from one of the worst dating scandals of last year. Why is it acceptable for some but not others? Three reasons- Age, fans, and truth.
Age- Last year with IU and Eunhyuk, at that time IU was only 19 while Eunhyuk was 27. While some people may think age is just a number, many fans were not happy with that. Plus, with IU only being 19, the number of uncle fans she has is simply astounding. Sooyoung and Yoona are both in their mid 20s. That is seen as the time most women in Korea start dating and looking for a husband. The age difference between Seung Gi and Yoona is only 3 years, something that is very common and typical, while the difference between Kyung Ho and Sooyoung is 7 years, not entirely uncommon, but enough to cause jealousy from fans and worry from devoted uncle fans.
So number 2 reason is Fans- Girls Generation is now entering their 7th year in the industry. Not only that, but all of the members are in their mid twenties. This means that the number of uncle fans they have is less than when they started. After 7 years, the number of overall fans they have is huge, yes, but they are with the girls now because they love them and their music. They've reached the point that they're, usually, excited to find out that their idol is happy. And while Kyung Ho and Seung Gi both have many female fans, most are older and less likely to feel jealousy when an unattainable star starts dating.
And the last reason is Truth- This reason is the main one for the difference between acceptance level with the two couples this year. One couple immediately confirmed the rumors while the other blatantly lied and gave false information for months. The fact that the negative comments were all concerning that aspect, and not that they were dating, shows that the truth is always the best option.
So to any idols out there dating, let us give you some advice. First, if you are mid to late twenties, most of your fans will be accepting of your relationship. They, usually, just want you to be happy. Some might cry, some might get angry, and some might leave you, but your true fans will stay. Second, if you are asked about dating, do not lie. Lying to fans has never ended well. It will end up with fans leaving and getting angry. The backlash for you and your respective partner will be harsh. And third, be careful of paparazzi. They're out to get you. Seriously. They're everywhere.
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