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OP-ED, Special Features, Original Features

[OP-ED] Why fans feel angered when Korean idols 'change'

By AllK_Maknae   Wednesday, April 19, 2017   133,636   1,231   0



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Change. Let's think about it for a moment. There is a lot of negative connotation behind the word. Who hasn't run across the phrase "They've changed" in forums and comments more than once? K-Pop fans hate when idols suddenly change or grow into something they didn't ask for. 

But what makes change so bad - especially when it comes to a K-Pop idol? Well, it has been easily dissected into what makes fans so furious and how we can overcome the pain of change - without bashing or hating on any idol in particular.

SEE ALSO: [OP-ED] Did Cube Entertainment make a huge mistake by kicking HyunA and E'dawn out?

The real change is watching this then "Roll Deep."

The main reason why change hurts fans so much is because of a long but simple answer. Idols, when we first witness them, have this singular, enjoyable image and concept that we like and connect to them deeply. For example, Sulli (ex-member of f(x)) used to be very sweet, wholesome and charming girl with an overwhelmingly friendly appearance overall. Now, Sulli seems to have blossomed into somewhat of a "naughty girl" with a taste for adventure and a wild Instagram feed to match.

Exhibit A.

While many point fingers at ex-boyfriend Choiza or some, to her defense, say she has always been this way, I feel she is just growing up and making some changes. Now that Sulli is out of the idol spotlight, she has a lot more freedom to see what she likes and dislikes. With that comes change and now that she has some creative freedom, she may come back with a different (and sexier) look on life.

"But wait, Allk_Maknae, it isn't the fact that she is being sexy - it is her attitude too," say some readers. True, her attitude is evolving but Sulli's attitude will always be evolving. You can hate it or love it, just accept it and move on with it. The list of older idols who honed the sexy concept could go on and on, so can't Sulli go about her business?

Another quick example is previous KARA member Nicole. After leaving KARA, Nicole came back with the sensual and alluring track "Mama" and showcased her adult mentality. Because, it's likable, fans accepted it. Since Sulli seems to be a bit more extreme in her development many fans can not. Sulli if still Sulli - whether she is cute, sexy or both - enjoy her changes so you too can grow alongside the idol.

Second, we also see idols mature over the years since they debut at an early age and have been in the public eye since they were 14 (in some cases). Over time, after concept changes, company advancements and them growing as an artist, these familiar faces begin to lose their first known identity. There is a void that can't be filled by that idol anymore because they are creating new memories for us to enjoy. Idols are expected to be perfect, make us happy and be the one thing in our lives that would never change. However, life (sadly) does not work this way and even our beloved idols change because they too are only human.

True, not all change is good - sometimes the fame gets to idols' heads, like G-Dragon's unnecessary expensive fashion or HyunA being deemed the "only baddest female" rapper. The Hollywood syndrome happens and idols may even become complete narcissists, but fans should welcome their change nonetheless (not enable - just welcome it).

Last but not least: the company leash! Companies like the big three got their idols on lockdown. Like a cliche, ready-for-TV, rich family, it is no surprise their children (in this case idols) go berserk with just a taste of freedom. Don't be the same leash. Circumstances, such as YG and Minzy where idols are left rotting and fending for themselves in the backend, require bold actions and change.

Unless an idol makes a change for themselves, (like Jessica Jung did) they may remain as everyone's favorite visual from that amazing 9 member girl group. Just like a K-Pop group's concept, there are things we like and dislike - but the promotional concept continues on with or without your support. So instead of bashing idols for breaking free from the cookie cutter industry, shouldn't we encourage their new trials and errors? The same way their music supports fans during their most difficult times of change in their life, fans can give back and respect idols' good and bad as a human.

In the end, change happens with or without you. Change isn't handing you a spoon, forcing change down your throat and expecting you to change - neither are idols. Accepting change isn't easy either, I know, but there are ways to invite it in. Idols change so they can create more music, they change so they can understand our changes and they change so they can become better people at the end of the day. Idols lead different lives but they don't stop changing when their promotions are done.

Change is inevitable and everywhere we go. If things aren't changing then it appears to be too complacent, boring and old things become forgotten. Fans can choose to grow alongside idols or huddle in a corner holding their previous albums and crying over it. The choice is yours.

  1. 2NE1
  2. Minzy
  3. HyunA
  4. G-Dragon
  5. Sulli
  6. KARA
  7. Choiza
  8. op-ed

beashineeshawol Friday, April 21, 2017

I have to disagree with the OP-ED. I understand what it's trying to say but people become fans of groups (and particular artists) for reasons. Whether those reasons are musical, image related, or something else, when that thing changes fans don't have to "accept" the change. They have every right to unfollow, so to speak. Still, that doesn't mean that fans have the right to bash (as they often do) because artists too have the right to show who they are/change their image. Personal example, I really loved Big Bang's earlier stuff. However, from Fantastic Baby onward, I just haven't been feeling it. As a result, I don't follow them as much as I used too, and that's okay. I listened to BB for something specific and no longer get that, so I don't ask them to go back to what they used to be and I don't have to "accept" their change, I just simply move on with my life. I still like the guys and watch them when they go on shows because they're such goobers. Also, from time to time, I still get that old BB feel with some of songs on their newer releases but overall their sound has changed, and that's okay. Conversely, the first group I was able to follow since debut was SHINee and essentially their whole group concept is based on change and I love it. Apparently, SM's definition of "contemporary group" is basically to change up image and music with every album. I have no problem because I was told from the beginning that change would be a constant in the group. It's expected, and I think that's the difference. Change is tough, but when it comes to music and artists, it literally isn't that big a deal. If you don't like what you see, don't follow, but don't be rude either. Case closed. Stay classy Kpoppers.

onedelacruise Friday, April 21, 2017

Because it crushes people's fantasies. That's just that... It's hard for them to accept the fact the the kpop thing is a business and it's mostly a facade.

vincentrob11 Thursday, April 20, 2017

This is the same exact thing with American pop stars. Ariana Grande was a sweet young girl from the tv show Victorious and now she has a solo career with songs defining sexual imagery and sexual lyrics. She has grown up and she can't always be Cat Valentine. When you're under SM, YG, or JYP, people's lives are in control. They don't have anything unless they have creative control or creative freedom for themselves. Idols have to act the way the public wants them to act, but I say they be who they want to be. Sulli is a free spirit, not a naughty girl how bad Allkpop describes her. I agree on the part where idols get full of themselves like Gdragon & Hyuna. Idols don't have enough artistic/creative freedom or control over their lives, but some companies do.

Fantastic_Bibi vincentrob11 Friday, April 21, 2017

I don't think G-Dragon and HyunA are full of themselves at all. It's still an image and the way people "judge" them just because they are always out there. GD's everywhere because he's an icon and an entrepreneur (one who actually dabbles in fashion hence the "expensive taste in clothes" that the author refers to) plus he is an endorser of big names and is personally invited to fashion shows in Paris. Even fellow celebrities praise him for remaining humble despite his insane fame. HyunA's strong image doesn't necessarily equal bigheadedness as well. So I beg to disagree with this one. It's purely judgmental. Pity how someone with an image like theirs gets labeled as narcissistic.

Rose_Takayanagi Thursday, April 20, 2017

The real problem is that people actually believe the innocent,perfect good girl/guy image that they see from these idols which is 100% fake. These idols have to act like angels or else they don't have a job.  It's really funny to see how dumb people are lol

fantasticlau Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why people generally don't like changes? Because they fell for the idol's previous self, they first liked them because of the idol's previous self, and sometimes seeing their idol "change" in front of them can cause disappointments. For me, it's okay unless it's too extreme. Specifically the "celebrity disease" is probably the worst kind of change.

yai17923 (Banned) Thursday, April 20, 2017

This comment has been removed due to violation of our TOS. (Reason: spammer)

alicehalf Thursday, April 20, 2017

And for Sulli the reason why people judge her for not being herself is because they don't know who she really is. It's not for nothing she was a member of f(x) for their 4 dimensional personalities. Most of people judging her don't even know what kind of image she has when she was in f(x) and they only know her because she is considered as one of the MOST PRETTIEST girl in K-Pop by a lot of other celebrities. To help you to consider her personality here you go :
From f(x) Red Light album






alicehalf Thursday, April 20, 2017

From f(x) Electric Shock album

Everlasting_frie Thursday, April 20, 2017

I have already made my choice with this kpop industry honestly, I have left it becauce of the changes, not becauce idols have changed, to me its more of how kpop have becomed so sexualised music wise but thats my opinion and I am allowed to have that opinion, thats why I have left the Kpop world with a exception of that I am only keeping Suju and TVXQ, I dont really care about the other idols anymore, I respect you if you think differently

Gdragonbabay Everlasting_frie Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why are you commenting if you left? Lol

Everlasting_frie Gdragonbabay Friday, April 28, 2017

there is no IF, I really dont care about kpop anymore, I am allowed to comment if I want, I am just here to check sometimes if there is anything about Super Junior and TVXQ here, I can reply to this topic becauce I can sort of relate to this

Everlasting_frie Gdragonbabay Friday, April 28, 2017

also no need to be rude, just becauce I am stating my opinion

alicehalf Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why all of them are women? Sexism. They like to infantilize girls and women, so when a girl become a women and began to show a strong, fierce and dominant image, people HATE IT because they feel THREATENED. And for the GD's thing, I think it's the most stupid thing I heard, seriously because he is too much a fashionista, he's too hype? It's a non-sense, I don't even believe that these reproaches even exist to be honest.

ashablue alicehalf Friday, April 21, 2017

some of the most famous female artists in korea have shown strong and fierce image, no one felt threatened. 2NE1, Hyunah, Gain, Jessi, Tasha etc. stop making it something that its not.

chiyasuho Thursday, April 20, 2017

We all know nothing last forever everyone change but memory stay, Sulli get much hate and everything but she still success in her carrer same goes to sica . I hope the best for minzy

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