[Pexers Write-Ups] The Saga of a Kpop Idol Part 2
The Saga of a Kpop Idol Part 1 HERE
Arts Credit: Irendy HJ
Hallyu as a term has been credited to Chinese journalists who had observed the phenomenon of extending the playing field of Kpop idols and stars to nearby countries and later to global spread. With Hallyu now one of South Korea’s best exports after the usual money earners finally broke the megalithic stranglehold of Hollywood on entertainment. Though the main responsibility is due to the aggressive production of well made and enhanced drama, music and other cultural content, media has contributed to its popularity and acceptance. The works of the celebrities are featured in mass media outlets on TV, radio, magazines, internet and other social media. As Kpop idols join the cadre of well watched celebrities in their escalation into fame and fortune more so when they are into scandals.
The word scandal as it referred to Kpop does not only mean its negative connotation alone but anything that seem to detract from the existing expectation of fans and admirers such as dating or into relationships,unusual sorties or other behavior that does not conform to social rules in South Korea. It is very difficult if not impossible to avoid detection with the instant celebrity recognition and transmission of information through technology. Oh yes, anything on the celebrity -pictures, videos,stories sell be they speculations, gossip, wild guesses even fabricated ones. Breaking news as they are called are hot and sizzling mark the beginning of a burning issue on a star.
Privacy and anonymity is a rare commodity for celebrities to enjoy. But it can be mentioned that stars do crave media attention to survive in their vastly competitive world. They court them to be their bias and darling; too much of it though can be suffocating even dangerous.
Inevitably Kpop idols age. Being a Kpop idol means belonging to a certain age where the emphasis is that of youthfulness, cuteness, beauty and handsomeness, having fun and being carefree, outstanding talent and skills yet being respectful and law abiding. A Kpop idol proceed to the next level though they may not wait till they age out to do related fields such as acting, musicals and theaters. It is not surprising when fans discover their idols had roots somewhere. Males disappear for two-three years to do mandatory military service. Sometimes they move to business or finish their education. Woe to those who resort to self destruction when mounting pressures and declining success can’t be handled or they simply fade away. Some retire to married life leaving a career they painstakingly prepared for.
Hyun Joong’s Run
Like the movie Logan’s Run of decades ago, Hyun Joong belongs to that exotic world whose conditions to continue living and existing remain unknown to many of us. In Hyun Joong’s world perhaps even can be called a parallel universe inhabited by sparkling youth forever practicing their dancing steps or their next singing numbers, in photo shoots for commercials, drama or movie shooting to perfection, zipping in and out of airports sojourning to many countries for concerts and fanmeets, promoting dramas, attending a thousand and one gatherings and parties.
Exhausting hardly describes the dizzying environment the young minds,bodies and souls experience. It sometimes lead one to ask do they ever have counselors or they just have each other for comfort and advice? Is that why they take to drinking in excess? Hyun Joong had intimated in conversations (with media reps) that it (his life) can get lonely and tiring. He wished for a day not to be Kim Hyun Joong, the crowned Prince of Hallyu. Though he knew how to escape from it all through trips to Jeju doing scuba diving where he doesn’t have to think of anything else while underwater but to breathe. Similar to what Logan did Hyun Joong also seek the way out of the suffocating territory where behavior are restricted and prescribed?
-to be continued-
For Hyun Joong