Posted by AllK_Maknae20 pts Friday, January 29, 2016

[MVP OP-ED] Is homoerotic fan service fun or plain rude?


We all know, and often love, the huge amounts of fanservice our idols bring! Although it is lighthearted fun, there are a lot of moments when it crosses some rather questionable territory. Yes, I'm talking about Homoerotic fanservice. Is it really a lovable act or a rude stunt just for attention? The problem with this fanservice is how it overtly sexualizes homosexuality and is a irresponsible spectacle. I have to put my foot down and say it is definitely an unnecessary stunt. I'm not against homosexuality, the fans who indulge in fanservice, or the romance of two male/female idols holding hands, hugging each other, or even showing off their aegyo--it is when it gets sexual that I am wondering if people are responding to said fanservice in the right way.

Homoerotic fanservice might be leaving many viewers uncomfortable for various reasons. Homosexuality isn't abnormal, it is just not as common as heterosexuality, and people seem to sweep it under the carpet unless it involves these attention-seeking fanservices. I mean, some idols have shown no limits to rubbing or caressing shirtless members and have gone as far as kissing each other! There are even some fans out there who harbor opposing feelings towards people who actually identify as being gay yet won't bat an eyelash when their favorite male idols get touchy! There are even some idols who are quick to be offended and deny any homosexual rumors and tendencies when called out for it on broadcasts, but we still find them engaging in homoerotic fanservice. It comes off slightly hypocritical for idols to simply milk it dry for some vanity affair that is over the top and disregard it the next. Why? Because homoerotic fanservice might truly have become another display to easily add onto a superficial concept. For example, fans are aware of the consistent PDA among Super Junior members and even SHINee! The members are often referenced for their steamy stage chemistry, and it evidently gets carried away in the heat of the moment. It isn't something that throws me out of my seat in disgust, it is just unexpected. There are other groups who don't feel the need to engage in homoerotic fanservice just to excite their fans. They do it with remarkable stage performances which is what the music boils down too.

I'm all for equality in homosexuality but not when straight idols play pretend just for the views. There are other ways to appeal to an LGBT fanbase than making out. When did fanservice become a game of gay PDA in front of the camera and which idols do it better?

Once the 'kissing' escapes the innocence of the ever-so-popular paper passing game and becomes a grope fest, makeout sesh just to rile up fans, I worry how people are actually viewing homosexuality. The usual conservative mindsets we hear so much about suddenly crumble when it comes to gay/homoerotic fanservice. Yet if ANY of these guys admitted to an ounce of homosexuality, it would be doomsday for not only their career but also life as a whole-- socially and personally! Which is disheartening because it shows how gay fanservice is just becoming more objectifying as fans and idols both often believe that the homoerotic actions are just a mere part of their entire fan service/stage gimmick instead of an offensive act that speaks to something bigger.

"No one's sexuality should be falsely assumed for just a 'fun' display."

Another thing that comes from homoerotic fanservice, and quite frankly bothers me, are certain fans' outlook towards it. They see homosexuality as more of a stage act or funny stunt rather than the realities of sexual orientation, and that really grinds my gears (thanking 'Family Guy' for that one). What is even worse is the fact that these types of fans want, if not expect, these forms of skinships on stage. Being gay is not all about the yaoi/shipping fantasies that are usually stringed along gays. Fan service doesn't need to reach this extreme just for the idols to gain more recognition or hype up the crowd! I'm completely satisfied with two oppas making hearts, hugging, and even blowing kisses but when it turns into the set of 'Magic Mike,' it is completely left field. What happened to the artists using their sick dance routines and awesome music to get the crowd going? When and where this homoerotic fanservice ever started, I'll never know, but I'd like for idols to simply dial it down and put the gay fanservice to a slow simmer as the flames are getting higher these days.No one's sexuality should be falsely assumed for just a 'fun' display.It's just another part of people's personal lives, not a gimmick. To put it simply, it makes homosexuality more sexualized than genuine, because not all gay people behave like this.

Because fanservice is a given part of K-Pop, it is impossible to say it will stop over night, especially over the words of one article. Fanservice is something we, as fans, crave from our idols, and our idols want to deliver, but there has to be another way than exploiting homosexuality with these stage spectacles. Homosexuality isn't a fantasy but a real and beautiful part of life. Another more painfully ironic example is that most of the idols could quite possibly be gay yet any one reading a K-Pop forum can easily find statements such as "OMG, I love when my oppas kiss"- then if questioned - "My oppas are not gay! How dare you say that, you babo!" Your bias might be gay, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! Is it really fair for homosexuality to have idols pushing their gay fanservice for show but not as a personal lifestyle if some were actually gay? Does the rough story of Hong Suk Chun not ring a bell, let alone the incident of actor/model Kim Ji Hoo,who came out then subsequently committed suicide? It is crazy that once it is a reality, it is more often shunned than not.

Whether the idols started this on their own or their agencies pushed them to act this way, they can easily, as I said before, bring it back to what their performance is about. Do some extra ad libs, let idols frolic with sparklers and throw confetti together! Let their personal bonds shine brightly instead of suddenly pushing this intimate image that might not even be there. All this fanservice does is morph homosexuality into another K-Pop 'concept'. Whether someone opposes the idea of this homoerotic fanservice coming to an end or not, it cannot be denied that the manipulation of idols for sexualized homoeroticfanservice is unnecessary and dramatized. There are many ways to glorify all the beautiful aspects of our idols without making a display out of homosexuality with a narrow mindset. Bring to the stage all the fun that's meant to be had from watching fanservice!

In the end pointing fingers won't stop the heat-of-the-moment fanservice that gets carried away. Although, if idols and fans continue glorifying this type of fan service, it won't do any greater good for people's LGBT perspectives or for actual gay idols. Love your idols for their music, their hard work and dedication. Love your idols for their brotherly love and sisterly acts. Lastly, if your idol is gay or someday comes out, love them for being brave and proudly being themselves, too! What do you think? Is this said fanservice too much, nothing surprising or maybe you feel completely indifferent? Let us know in the comments below!

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