By: Olivia Harrison
February 2, 2017
For today, let’s talk about K-pop. For those of you who don’t know, K-pop is Korean pop/hip hop. The K-pop industry seems to work very differently compared to our very famous and well known music industry. I would love to talk about many K-pop traditions, but for today I’m just going to talk about one little thing that almost all K-pop idols have to go through. I’m going to talk about dating bans.
A celebrity in the U.S can date whoever he or she chooses. No one really makes a big deal about it. For example Justin and Selena didn’t get that much attention, and when they broke up no one really asked why. But not all idols have this luxury. Sometimes Korean entertainers don’t even have the option to think about dating because of their intense and hectic schedules, not to mention the very possessive fans and crazy, creepy sasaengs (obsessive fans). Sasaengs are known for being very obsessive. There is a famous picture of sasaengs lying down in a street in Singapore, not letting the K-pop singers’ tour bus leave the area. Some dating bans are thought to protect K-pop couples from their Sasaengs.
Dating bans can be either temporary (when you are just getting started), or active the entire time you’re signed under the agency or record label. It depends on which company you’re signed under. For example, the group Got7’s three year dating ban just came to an end. I don’t think iGot7 (Got7’s official fandom) is going to like this. But a certain girls group known as Blackpink, which just debuted with YG Entertainment, is not as lucky. They’re dating regulations are very strict and intense, starting at the very beginning of trainee years, along with other rules that are strictly followed. On January 11’s episode of of MBC’s ¨Radio Star”, two of the members in the four member group Jisoo and Rose went into a conversation about rules and restrictions that are placed on artists and trainees that are currently under YG Entertainment. There are six restrictions that one must follow while under YG. One was dating; these girls are not allowed to date as long as they are signed under YG. Yet, Jisoo added in the interview that “exceptions can be made if you discuss it with the company. The restrictions are just there to tell you not to do those things secretly.”
But not all Korean Entertainment Agencies work like this though; some entertainers are free to do as they wish. For example BTS, a very popular all boys group whose company is not against them dating, has just revealed that one of the members is in a relationship. Again, the ban is usually put in place to help Korean entertainers concentrate on their busy schedules and their adoring fans.
So how do you feel about this? Do you find it interesting? Do you personally like kpop? Do you think our young stars should go under dating bans? Why or Why not? I would like to know you’re honest opinions about this topic.