The tough reality of idol dating: from decreased popularity to public pressure
When an idol dates, they will have to choose between their partner and fans.
Recently, BTS V and BLACKPINK Jennie were embroiled in dating rumors after a video allegedly of the two was released and went viral online. The controversy took place on May 15th.
At the moment, the two idols’ respective management companies have not released any statement on the matter. Nonetheless, the circulating clip is a concrete proof that raises many questions.
Following the release, fans are “exiting” their fandoms. This can solely because fans do not like their idol’s significant other or simply do not want to see him or her date other people.
Idol – fan connection is often thought to be a win – win situation. Idols create contents for fans’ consumption. Fans pay huge sums for their idol’s merchandise. Therefore, fans are key to their idols’ success. On the other hand, fans are the most critical of their idol’s actions.
This kind of fans’ involvement in their idols’ relationships is not new, and can be found in entertainment industries around the world. In a supposedly more liberal industry, even Taylor Swift or Harry Styles have been dissuaded from continuing their relationships simply because their fans did not approve of it.
In explaining fans’ informal management of their idols, they say that, when an idol gets involved in romantic relationships, they risk their careers, gain bad reputation in front of the public, and a have a decreasing popularity. Moreover, when an idol gets himself or herself in a romantic relationship, fans feel their efforts have “gone to waste”.
From a critical standpoint, this belief actually stems from fans’ personal fantasies and the industry’s exploitation of them.
Regardless, idols only have two choices when confronted with the situation: push through with their relationships or break up with their partners at the time. Lee Seung Gi and Lee Da In, HyunA and Dawn, or EXO Chen’s marriage all fall under the former case. Nonetheless, there are idols who parted ways due to public pressure. Some examples are Jennie and Kai, Kang Daniel and Jihyo, and Taeyeon and Baekhyun.
Normalizing idols dating is a strongly endorsed campaign these days. Nonetheless, it takes baby steps for this to become the new reality.
The good thing is, not every idol’s relationship is boycotted. There are DBSK Changmin and EXID Hani who prevail and thrive with their partners.
Therefore, there are many possible outcomes for BTS V and BLACKPINK Jennie’s alleged relationship, whether it is confirmed or not. Hopefully, the two can have what is best for them.