If the title was not enough to tell you what is going on, then I shall elaborate. Kim Taeyeon “Kid Leader” of Girls’ Generation (SNSD) has found a boyfriend and it is none other than EXO’s Baekhyun. I know it seems obvious that two SM Entertainment (SM/SME) artists would end up together and even two SM artists from popular groups, but this definitely caught a few people by surprise. I don’t obsess over idol’s relationships, so I didn’t see the signs others apparently saw. SM artists ending up in relationships or dating might not be such a mystery after all, but we will get to that later. Of course you have your sad/hurt fans, your obsessed “Not my oppa” fans and your “how dare you feel hurt and not immediately happy for them” fans. The latter two are the hardest to deal with, but everyone will move on in time. Feeling hurt or sad is fine as long as you are not attacking the idols or other fans. Time heals such wounds, but let’s look into this “breaking” news a little bit more.
Kim Taeyeon (left) and EXO’s Baekhyun are both members of SM Entertainment with Taeyeon being the sunbae or more experienced member in the pair. The age gap is three years with Taeyeon being the older member of this couple. Despite a minor age gap and an experience gap, the two have managed to start dating a few months ago.
[Source: soompi.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/nw7mea6
You usually hear the advice that it is best to avoid dating within the workplace. The dangers include bringing emotional problems of the relationship into the workplace, getting distracted by any type of relationship-based emotions in the workplace or causing awkwardness to spread in the workplace when something goes wrong in the relationship. The worse case scenario is a “messy” break up, which can cause friends to split when taking sides or cause the workplace to take on a tense atmosphere. I don’t believe SM Entertainment will let it get that far, but these are generally the reasons most businesses recommend avoiding workplace romances. An official statement from an OSEN representative, as stated by Soompi.com, stated “They had a close junior and senior relationship and recently starting dating.” So it seems workplace interaction gave way to romance. That is not unexpected because there have been idols that stated working together bonds entertainers and they can begin to develop feelings for one another. Some people in the Kpop fan community don’t see SM Entertainment as a free area for love or most things, so the shock of Taeyeon in a relationship got to some people. More people seem to be reacting in shock to the fact that Baekhyun is in a relationship and not Taeyeon. An earlier poll I had on SNSD dating showed a massive support for their future relationships, so S0NES might have reached a point where they are ready for their girls to date. EXO fans have a reputation of being very defensive of their idols/oppas (most fans appear to be female) and that might explain the rush of “betrayed” fans for Baekhyun. The “evidence” I mentioned before from fans who follow their relationships as closely as they can, as stated by Soompi.com, include Taeyeon and Baekhyun looking at each other lovingly (I guess that is up to interpretation, possessing couple items like bracelets, headphones, and sunglasses (similar tastes might not be “hard” evidence, but okay), and screencaps of their SNS posts, where they use cute nicknames for each other like Taenggu and Baekoong (Okay. I can count this as evidence). Fans further suspected a romantic relationship between Taeyeon and Baekhyun, as the EXO member is only following Taeyeon on Instagram among all the Girls’ Generation members. That last one might count, but I will still not count it as “hard” evidence. Not that it matters now because SM Entertainment confirmed the relationship. No more “It is a rumor” hopes from fans, but there will always be those in denial. There are people who wonder if it a ploy by SM Entertainment to get attention for the artists or some kind of media play. Let’s just accept it is real and move on. It’s not that big a breakthrough for idols or even SME artists. Oh, the tough life of an idol. ><
Dispatch is basically a paparazzi-like media source and they are very dedicated to getting into the private lives of Kpop idols. They follow the idols for as long as necessary, get proof of anything they think will get a lot of attention and try to force the idol(s) to talk about whatever they get proof of when there is enough.
[Source:blog.koreaboo.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/ojeo2r4
I was being nice in that caption, but this was nothing short of stalking. Dispatch is like Sports Seoul in the paparazzi world, but I hear of Dispatch doing these “We have photos, so what is going on?” moments more. They get a photographer to follow idols around to find out if a rumor is true and get any photos that imply or prove the rumor to be true. It is stalking and pretty creepy, even if it the activity of the idols is done in the public space. Idols generally feel they have to hide due to the backlash of fans, which is shown through the “betrayed” feelings of the EXO/Baekhyun fans. One Baekhyun fan with the SNS account called “@asui02” stated “Hello Baekhyun I don’t think I can trust you anymore…” and goes on to say “Compared to the Byun Baekhyun that I used to know, I feel a sense of unjustness[?] keke You did this because you were happy, as a lover[?] I have nothing to say just be happy kekeke I have decided not to be surprised by you anymore.” I don’t know where the feeling of “unjustness” would come from, but Baekhyun hiding the relationship should not be a surprise. As I showed above, it should be pretty easy to understand the reasons why he did it. Another SNS user called “@weareone11s2” stated “I am very disappointed in you and I’m crying. But, it was really obvious. I guess you really wanted to tell people you two were dating. Now that I think about it, it was useless making an Instagram, buying your albums, and voting for you.” I guess those feelings of betrayal are enough to cause some fans to leave their idols behind, but not everyone is reacting this way. There has been an effort to counter this negativity with some postive energy. A Taeyeon fan called “@hye_0730” said “Unnie Jjang. Don’t look at the negative comments just think good thoughts” and another fan called “@hss3051″said “Baekhyun Have strength.” I don’t see many posts in support of Baekhyun, which might be fans rushing to make sure Taeyeon does not feel any stress from her image as innocent and the idea she might be quick to be hurt by the bashing, but there are those who are showing support for both idols. Both EXO and SNSD are very popular groups, which also means they are prone to have a considerable amount of sasaeng fans. These are the “keyboard warriors” who are constantly attacking anyone they deem a threat to their delusions or “detectives” prying into the lives of their idols to feel some sort of closeness to them. I’m not sure if these people feel some sense of accomplishment when they manage to pry into the private lives of their idols and reveal their secrets. I just feel that they should not start bashing when they find out a truth they don’t like because there was a reason the idol(s) were trying to keep it a secret. Some idols are not as secretive about their relationships because they either believe they are low tier enough to not have too large of a backlash or they are strong enough to take on any angry fans. I would love to be in a relationship with my bias in 2NE1 or have a closer relationship with my noonas, which is perfectly fine for any Kpop fan. It becomes a problem when your fantasy begins to control your life and ruin the lives of others. Keep it in your head and don’t let it control your life. You might end up turning down “the one” because you can’t let go of your “oppa/noona/whatever”. I could go on about how much you cared if you are able to switch so easily to a new bias or group, but let’s save that for another time.
It can be easy to miss for any Kpop fan who does not follow the relationship affairs of the idol world, but SM artists seem to be the target of dating “scandals”/rumors more often than others. It appears there is a reason for this as well and the reason just might surprise some fans.
[Source: Kpopstarz.com] Link: http://tinyurl.com/nn63pu4
I’m sure people already have guesses on this “surprise”. Question like “Is it arragned?” or “It’s all a ploy”. It’s not that the relationships are arranged, but they are encouraged in a way. It appears that former SES member Shoo and Super Junior’s Kim Hee Chul said that Lee Soo Man encourages dating within the company on a broadcast of MBC’s “Golden Fishery- Radio Star”. “Dating within the company” is definitely restrictive, but I don’t know if it is an absolute ban on inter-company dating or how wide this desire covers for SM Entertainment employees. I doubt SME custodians are told they can only date other SME employees, but you get the idea. (><) According to Soompi.com, when MC Kim Gu-ra commented that “They date inside and outside the company”, Shoo made a surprising announcement. “Actually, the company pushes for dating within the company.” This seem quite restrictive, which feels like the old SM Entertainment again. Remember the “magic box” the fan community sees SME putting their idols in for MVs and the general feeling SM artists are not as free as they could be? This is why this “only in the company” rule is not surprising. This actually surprised the MCs, which I find interesting because I thought they would just accept it as idol management. It’s nice to see seasoned MCs finding it shocking that artists are told it is best to date within the company only. Of course many people know “it is best” is a nice way of saying “you can only”. Heechul quoted Lee Soo Man when he said “Yes, dating within the company is better. It is more comfortable for us and if a scandal erupts we can control it better.” If this is a quote from Lee Soo Man, then this shows how controlling SM Entertainment is in their idol’s lives. Why does the relationship have to be comfortable for SM Entertainment? If an idol from SME wants to date a YG artist, then it’s forbidden? What about a childhood friend? Apparently a relationship for an SM artist is not a two person affair. It is a three person affair with the two lovers and SM Entertainment regulating it. A scandal erupting and having control over it is just admitting you want control over as much of your idols as possible. It probably means they can get the two into a room, reprimand them or coach them on how to handle the issue for the press. This does not mean SME management does not care about the actual feelings involved, but those feelings are most likely taking a back seat to the business concerns. I don’t like these restrictions and I can only imagine what secret relationships SM artists have with other people from different labels or regular people. It is hard enough hiding relationships from the public and press, but your own label adds more pressure. Well done to those who pull it off, but let’s move forward to a day when idols no longer have to hide their love for anyone they choose to love. Dream on and push for that day. ^^
Here is an SNSD/TTS and EXO collaboration for you. ^_^