One word in another person’s comment gave me something very complicated to consider in this case: Narcissism.
For those who don't know, Narcissism is a mental health condition. I did not know much about this until someone else mentioned it and I started reading up about it. Once I started to find out more, I had to admit this REALLY REALLY sounds like JJY and the others. But see for yourself:
- Usually begins in teens and young adults (males more commonly than females)
- Can be caused by an environment of excessive adoration or excessive criticism (kpop stars just about all get massive amounts of both). (Other possible causes include inherited characteristics through genetics, sometimes overprotectiveness or neglect etc. but the causes aren’t totally known yet.)
- They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance and entitlement.
- They require constant excessive adoration
- They expect to be recognized as superior and associate with equally special people
- They expect special favors and unquestioning compliance
- They take advantage of others
- They have an inability to recognize needs and feelings of others
- They behave in an arrogant or haughty manner
- They belittle others to make themselves superior
There are other symptoms which you can read yourself here
But doesn’t the description sound exactly like this group of young guys?
I’m no expert in mental health so feel free to point out that I made mistakes (though I did get the information straight from the article.) Here is the problem I see when you bring the possibility of mental health into the mix, and this will be the hardest part for many of us to swallow. It inherently means that the people with the problem do not always have full control over their actions and that becomes very hard to think about when we want them to be guilty guilty guilty of it all. We definitely want them to suffer as much or suffer more that the suffering they have caused for others because all the horrible things they have done are so ugly and painful and disgusting to even read about and are a million times worse for the actual victims. But if we say narcissists are 100% guilty for their actions, then how should we judge other cases of mental health problems. For example, when mothers with postpartum kill innocent babies? How should we judge someone with bipolar disorder when they commit a violent crime? I think those who have dealt with mental health issues themselves before or have had family or friends deal with it will have different views on this compared to those who have not had any experience with it.
Though I am bringing mental health into discussion, I want to be clear. I have no way of confirming if any of these guys even have a narcissism mental problem and we won't know unless mental health experts are brought into the picture. However, the factors of age, gender and the kpop environment seem to me to really match what is likely to trigger the disorder. Also, it is not a disorder that people commonly think of checking up on so someone who does have it is not likely to ever know they have it. Personally, I have major doubts about how mental health is viewed and dealt with in S. Korea after knowing what Park Bom went through with the medication for her ADHD. So many years of suffering and controversy and hatred from people for treatment that she needed. IF one or more of these men do have a narcissism mental health condition, then if it had been discovered and treated, that may mean countless innocent women would not have had to suffer. Another thing to think about is if the factors of being young, male, and exposed to excessive adoration plus excessive criticism are likely to trigger cases of narcissism, then wouldn't it be very likely to happen again and again amongst kpop stars? What if the industry's conditions are just like a freakin' greenhouse for growing narcissists?