[Pexers Write-Ups] OUTGROWING IDOLHOOD
Author: AprilStarr/Cafe E
credit to owners of photo; no infringement of rights is intended
Idols,or pop idols are a subspecie of celebrity usually in their early to late teens.Their attractiveness are hinged on their cuteness and being adorable with talent or otherwise. They are found in many major cities of the world and seem to share certain trends in dressing up or styling their hair, their choice of music and dancing. Due to their popularity they have been parlayed into the field of acting, endorsing and gracing public events where their presence will command not only attention of the media and the legion of fans. but more of ROI of talent companies.
Becoming an idol means undergoing a process. Not so different from other professions or occupation except that because these wannabee performers will show their flawless talents and skills homegrown or coached in order to have that competitive edge over others are said to have undergone them more rigorously.
Idols train in their specialization as entertainers in two or more years till they debut. We have read or heard about how hard these training were on young bodies, minds and spirits. Survivors of the system have gone through what seemed to have been standardized methods anywhere you go be it in Hollywood, Japan or South korea. Perhaps what sustain the trainees are their dreams and ambitions, the lure of fame, spotlight and fortune enough to brave them all and leave their families behind and their relatively comfort zones.
These idols do facebook, tweets and other networking ways to make the public know of their presence. Media technology made the big difference in the growth of fandom between first and second generation idols in South Korea. Besides the internet, SK idols also travel, have their performances live and meet with their fans. The whirls of glamour and fame of being an idol can be intoxicating. They exist in a very stressful and highly competitive world as they strive to retain success and popularity.
Unlike other occupations and professions, being a pop idol rely on being at a certain age and being worshipped by followers aka fans of certain age bracket. But as one blogger said they can be unfollowed. There is no tenure in being a pop idol. Being a pop idol don’t last long. As they outgrow being an idol so do their fans who also age, pursue other priorities and move on.
Perhaps Kim Hyun Joong, an alumni of SK idol making academy, a veteran of the stage for eight years now, already has started to feel his time will soon be up. Realistically, he said early on in his career, the limelight will not be on him for a long time. Then in a recent interview, he as good as having said is now outgrowing his idolhood. Amidst the glamour and adulation of having reached peaks of success in his dance music in the “ripe” age of 27 (28 in Korean counting) years, he now talks of having presented a more mature music genre in his latest work Unbreakable. He has also moved away from pretty boy looks and pretty boy, high schoolish acting roles.
The yesterpast went by for Hyun Joong in almost a wink of an eye where he wished he had been more energetic. His trajectory in a pop idol’s path was to become a solo performer. He could say- ‘been there,done that’, multi awarded and internationally acclaimed as well. He has also gone enterpreneurial with his friends with the chicken restos. He has also given back to the community through charity donations and supporting causes.
There are other ‘to do’ in his list : another drama and a world tour before the mandatory military service of two years. MS for male idols in SK is usually that intervening period between being an idol and going to the next phase (if there is one) of their being a celebrity.
Idolhood is a stage, a phase in the life of the lucky, persistent youths with the will to succeed. The short years created mountains of memories and unique experiences. Is there a reluctance to leave when the time is up? Or do idols feel it is a relief – it’s over and an opportunity to move on ?
Kim Hyun Joong is a man of ideas,plans and action; he must have seen there is life beyond being an idol. Though it is not worrisome what he will do when he finally outgrow his idolhood, it is fascinating to see what that life’s going to be.