Dear kfangurl: How has your fangirling changed over the years?

Leslie writes:

Hi, KFG. I just finished Dinner Mate, a B movie that was easy to watch with some good heart-string pulls, but was about 3-4 episodes too long.

Most of all it was a vehicle for a mature Song Seung Hun who is as beautiful (at least) and charming as ever. I say this even though it’s the first SSH drama I’ve seen! But I checked and, sure enough, he was your first entry in Pure Pretty, so I almost feel like I knew him when. 😆 Nice photos. 😅 Thank you for your delightful “reference” material, which stands the test of time.

The movie and my, ahem, research prompted me to take a stab at a question I’ve been percolating for a while, but haven’t been able to get to the heart of. The simple question is, has your fangirling changed over the years? Some details follow.

I notice that both of your KLoves and Pure Pretty features were first posted about 7 years ago, and there have not been many new entries for a while (although there continue to be new comments, so, still relevant!)

Are any original entries gaining or waning in your affection? Would you add any new KLove and Pure Pretty interests to the list, and have your criteria for the same changed over time? What role does fangirling play in your enjoyment of kdrama today? And not to complicate a good ogle, but does consent culture impact how you think about fangirling at all? It’s a lot. 😬

So, seriously, KFG. I know you’re super busy these days with all the right priorities for the blog, so please answer at your pleasure and your leisure. I’m rather satisfied with just being able to articulate my curiosity and interest. Thanks!

All! My! Love! ❤️

Full disclosure: Leslie sent in her question a fair while back, before I fell into all things Junho, which is why, in her question, she mentions that there had been no new k-love post for quite a while. That has since changed, which I’ll talk about soon.

Dear Leslie,

Thanks for your very thought-provoking questions!! ❤️

Y’know, I’d actually had a vague inkling, that my fangirling had changed over the years, but without your question to prompt me, I didn’t really have a clear idea of how it had changed, exactly.

So, this has been quite an illuminating exercise for me too. Yay for great questions that trigger reflection and realization! 🤩

I think the best way to answer your question, is to tackle the various sections of it separately. I hope this works! 🤞🏻

Are any original entries gaining or waning in your affection?

Absolutely YES.

Case in point 1

My first-ever k-love was very early in my kdrama journey. I was watching family drama, 2008’s Family’s Honor, and found myself being very charmed by the suave, charismatic male lead, played by Park Shi Hoo.

Park Shi Hoo

I found myself falling for Park Shi Hoo quite promptly because of this role, and I proceeded to check out all of his other roles in other shows as well.

It was only a matter of time, before I branched out into watching his interviews as well, which.. is when I felt the fangirl love start to fizzle out, heh.

Not gonna lie; he was extremely boring in interviews, and it didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that all of the charisma that I’d found so interesting and compelling, was everything to do with the characters written for him, and nothing to do with his actual personality.

I didn’t fall out of love on purpose, but.. it just happened that way. 🤷🏻‍♀️

And, given his eventual scandal in 2013, which I found really quite disturbing, and how I now find myself pretty much unable to watch him on my screen, I’m actually relieved that I fell out of love long before the scandal came along. 😅

Case in point 2

Kim Woo Bin, aka Woob.

And there’s what happened with Kim Woo Bin.

Those of you who’ve been around the blog for a while, know that I went through a serious, SERIOUS Kim Woo Bin phase.

He basically snuck up and stole my heart in a big way in 2013, after I’d finished watching School 2013 (SUCH a good show, you guys. I think it’s the best of the School series I’ve seen. Totes recommend).

For a while, I was ALLL about Woob. I had him as my phone lock-screen wallpaper, and Lady G even sent me a painting of him, that she’d commissioned for me – so apparent was my Woob love, at the time. 😅

But then, Uncontrollably Fond happened, in 2016. Essentially, I’d tried to watch the show for Woob’s sake, but hated the show so much, that the experience ended up having the weird effect of draining me of most of my Woob loyalty.

I just.. couldn’t stop the Woob loyalty from draining out, and by the time I dropped the show, I found my Woob love mostly worn out and waned, honestly.

After that, Woob took a long hiatus to look after his health, and while I’ve always wished him well, I can’t say that my fangirl love has recovered, or even stayed the same, since then.

I can be a fickle fangirl that way. Out of sight, out of mind. Whoops? 🙈

Now that Woob’s getting ready to make a comeback, though, I’m actually really curious to see how I do, when I have him back on my screen. Maybe I’ll fall for him all over again, who knows? 😁

Would you add any new KLove and Pure Pretty interests to the list? 

Junho~!!! 😍😍😍

Heh. When you first asked me this question, I’d honestly thought that perhaps I’d outgrown my fangirling phase, because, for 6 whole years, I didn’t find myself falling for any of the excellent actors who graced my screen.

I mean, I very much admired their acting prowess and handsome looks, but I just.. didn’t find myself falling for them. I’d be able to talk enthusiastically about a handsome, talented actor and say that I really, really, really liked him (like Lee Do Hyun, for example, or Greg Hsu), but that would be it.

I wouldn’t say that I’d fallen for any of ’em, which is why I’d started to entertain the thought that I’d perhaps outgrown the fangirling thing.

..And then Junho happened 😍😍😍 – and I’m back to fangirling again, ha.

I guess I haven’t grown immune to fangirling after all! 😂

Have your criteria changed over time?

I realize that the answer to this, is a resounding YES as well.

Thinking over it, I think it’s quite safe to say that I went through 3 stages, in terms of my fangirl criteria. The 2nd and 3rd stages kind of overlap a bit, but I find breaking it into 3 stages quite useful for our discussion.

Stage 1: The suave character onscreen

As a new and impressionable k-fan, I found myself falling quite easily for the suave male leads on my screen. Honestly, it’s kinda embarrassing. 😅

As you might have guessed, this phase didn’t last very long – particularly after I found Park Shi Hoo so excruciatingly boring during interviews. 😝

Stage 2: A mix of personality, talent – and dazzling physicality

Dazzling Jang Hyuk in Chuno 🤩

My feeble excuse, is that ALL of Dramaland was going through a shirtless phase, in the early 2010s, and so I was basically along for the ride, and evolving alongside everyone else. 🙈😅

I have to admit that while Jang Hyuk is a very talented actor, I was first dazzled by and drawn to him, because of his amazing physicality in Chuno. Not only was he incredibly sculpted, he was so badass and cool, in all of the fight scenes. Cue stars in my eyes, for daysss. 🤩🤩🤩

It was basically a bonus, that he turned out to be such a fantastic actor, and with a nice personality to boot.

Also, I have to confess that I was extremely dazzled by Gong Yoo‘s shirtless turn in Big.

However, I’m happy and relieved to report that I actually liked Gong Yoo more for his personality (which I lapped up in interviews, behind-the-scenes snippets, and even an in-person fan meeting in Tokyo), than for his shirtless scenes. 😁

Gong Yoo

Stage 3: It’s really mostly personality

Junho snuggling Jani 😻😻😻

Right now, I realize that it’s all about the personality, for me. It’s why Gong Yoo continues to be a long-time k-love (because his laidback witty sort of way about him, always gets me 😍), and it’s also why I found myself falling for Junho.

Reaper actually asked me on Patreon a while back, how I ended up falling for Woob, since Woob’s looks are.. not conventionally handsome.

Thinking about it, I realize that while it was Woob’s strong onscreen presence that had first caught my eye, it was only during the after-show interviews, that I found myself falling for him. I’d found him so thoughtful, intelligent and good-natured, that I suddenly found him looking extremely attractive and handsome to my eyes. 😍

In a similar sort of way, I found that it was Junho’s personality that tipped me over from simply admiring his talent, to actually falling for him.

I’d thought highly of Junho’s acting abilities, while watching Just Between Lovers, but hadn’t fallen for him then. And then, I’d swooned at his smoldery Yi San in The Red Sleeve, but hadn’t fallen for him either, even after the pivotal bath scene in episode 6.

Because, and I’d like to emphasize this please, for the folks in the back, I find myself fully able to admire an actor for his talent and craft, without falling for him. So just because I didn’t fall for Junho while watching Just Between Lovers, doesn’t mean that I didn’t properly appreciate his acting abilities. I thought he was very excellent, for the record.

Honestly, it was while watching Junho in episode 397 of I Live Alone (available on Viu here!), where I saw him cuddling his cat Jani, and being disciplined about working out, and being dedicated to preparing for his role as a king, and being an all-around good-natured sweetie, that I found myself falling into a pool of fangirl love. 😍😍

What role does fangirling play in your enjoyment of kdrama today?

One fine Gong Yoo, in One Fine Day 😁

Once upon a time, I used to have a heckuva lot of fangirl fortitude.

I was able to tolerate very underwhelming shows, as long as a k-love of mine was in it. I mean, I watched (the very terrible) One Fine Day, all for the love of Gong Yoo. Not only that, I watched it twice. 😱 That’s gotta tell you exactly how dedicated I was, to having Gong Yoo on my screen! 😂

However, as you know, I later realized, with my failed attempt at watching Uncontrollably Fond for Woob, that I just don’t have that kind of fangirl fortitude anymore.

I realize that I have higher expectations of my dramas now, and I just can’t bear to watch a bad drama – even if my k-love’s in it. Now, I even actively drop a bad show early, in order to preserve my k-love, so that the experience doesn’t end up draining me of my fangirl loyalty, like attempting to watch Uncontrollably Fond did, with Woob.

I’ll still seek out Junho’s projects to check out, for sure. But if I find that I don’t like the show, I’m going to drop it – so that I can protect my Junho love! 😁

Definitely curious to check out Confession, coz.. Junho! 😍

Does consent culture impact how you think about fangirling at all?

That’s a really interesting question, Leslie, and I have to say, I hadn’t given it a lot of thought until you asked.

The short answer is, it has, and without my having to actively think about it, even.

See, back in the early 2010s, when shirtless scenes were common, and even expected, of male leads in kdramas, the general tone of a lot of our fangirling, had many shades of objectification to it. The cameras panning indulgently over a male lead’s sculpted torso, as he angsted in the shower, was a cue for us to collectively spazz, as we drank in the sight of the fine specimen on our screens, rawr.

As Dramaland has continued to evolve, however, I’ve noticed that the shirtless scenes are much fewer now, and when they do happen, mostly, the camera is a lot less indulgent, and more matter-of-fact.

In turn, I find that while I do appreciate a well done shirtless scene, my gaze has changed. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but more of a natural evolution, I think; the objectification element that used to feel like a natural part of appreciating shirtless scenes, is gone now.

I think Past Me would’ve likely wanted to reach into my screen to touch the shirtless glory, but Present Me is happy to admire the shirtless glory, literally just for the beauty of it, and nothing else.

No objectification; just admiration.

I also think this is the reason that, as a new 2PM fan (becoz, Junho! 🤩), I find myself more drawn to 2PM’s more recent videos, which are more.. restrained, and elegantly, offhandedly sexy, versus their beast idol phase, when they regularly tore their shirts off.

I’d like to think of that as growth. 😁😇

IN CLOSING

I hope this post helps to satisfy your curiosity about my fangirl evolution!

If you’ve noticed something about my fangirling ways that I haven’t, or if you have your own fangirling – or fanboying! – experiences to share, please tell us about it, in the comments!

We’re all evolving and growing together, after all. 🥰

Thanks, everyone.

Smooches.

~ KFG ❤️

Hearts for everyone!! And also, becoz Junho~ 😍😍😍

POST-SCRIPT:

1. If you feel that I missed anything, or if you have your own insights that you’d like to share with the rest of us, do tell us about it in the comments!

2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!

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Ele Nash
8 months ago

Squeeeeeee – fangirling for me is all about the squeee and by that, I mean silently, in my head of course 😅 Ah, I agree, kfangurl, it is about the acting, the physicality, the personality, the aura. I am still all over Jang Hyuk. I don’t think I’ll ever move on, mostly because he seems like such a nice person who loves his wife and, gah, I’m a total sucker for loyalty 😍😍😍😍😍😍 I totally squee over other actors too (er, hello Song Joong Ki and Junho) but it’s kind of with a knowing smile, rather than your full on devotion. I almost always love the lead in a convincing OTP but it usually only really lasts while I’m watching. Anyway, I suppose the upshot of that ramble is that I am firmly a Jang Hyuk fangirl forever 💓 and thank you for the Chuno pic! It never gets old 😆

MC
MC
8 months ago

Hey KFG trust you to take challenging questions and come up with a nuanced, astute response! You’re amazing!

I very much agree with you – as you (and most probably know) that my fangirl loves Jung Kyung Ho and Song Joong Ki – are both handsome and seem like really nice, good guys. Of course these are all whatever is shown on screen + in interviews, fan videos which they are still in public and probably behave decently. Who knows what they’re like behind closed doors. But I think the fact that they seem nice and authentic and goofy – this more JKH, SJK seems more polished – adds to the appeal. Perhaps it helps that I’ve never been into those conventionally hunky choco abs sort of guy and tend to prefer these “prettier” guys that makes it not so much about their physical attributes but their personalities. (Ok I love titular My Mister’s Lee Sun Kyun’s voice but who could resist?) Plus them being around the same age/ older than me (I think) feels more appropriate as opposed to liking younger guys.

Plus, I love that both openly dated (though the Song Song divorce was so sad). I certainly have no issues when they date or marry – in fact they should, as normal folks! As ARMY I wouldn’t mind if my 7 boys dated and married – I cannot understand fans who feel that they must “own” their idols.

All this to say – thank you for this well-thought through and well expressed post! And also, I read the comments and I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful responses. Trent of course says everything so well! Love the discussions we can have here.

Leslie
Leslie
8 months ago

@KFG – A belated thank you for taking on my question(s!) so thoroughly and thoughtfully. As always, nicely, nicely done. Apparently your answers percolated in their own time, and with Junho stirring fangirl interest in a bunch of us, the time appears to be right!

I’m appreciating everyone’s thoughtful and respectful remarks, and the male contributors for speaking up about their perspectives, too. 

First observation, I’ve been conflating fangirling, i.e. this actor has that je ne sais quoi attractiveness, that makes me want to know (way) more about him, and holy cow! the more I know the more I like! Squeee!, and the more casual – but possibly as persistent – red-cheeked, elevated pulse, can’t look away attraction to an actor. (Also, squee!) You know, the instance where you might be hanging around the Pure Pretty page a little more often than you’d like to admit. 😆

My thoughts, and just my own thoughts, about the difference between the two: The first wants us to know someone as a person (to the extent that it’s possible with celebrities) and the second wants us to stand at a distance, and admire a human, usually for physical beauty, but sometimes for a persona, too – a killer gaze or cheeky smile or great swagger. Their personhood is rather tangential to the experience.

Fangirling is almost always a true compliment to a person, I think.

The elevated pulse admiration is too, for sure. But, at some point in my own kdrama journey, I wanted to be sure I wasn’t going down the road of gross objectification – it’s not hard to do, with all the invitations and cues to do so, in the k-ent culture! So, in between squees, I try to remind myself that there are real live people behind those abs or lats, or whatever, and take a second to acknowledge it. Then, squee again.

There may be many shades of admiration between my two categories and the responses to them, so undoubtedly this is an over-simplification. Acknowledged.

Anyway, I recognize, that the physical beauty (and allure) of many Korean stars – and the ways that beauty is showcased in many a drama or video or other vehicle – is a very enjoyable, even important, part of my kdrama experience. Full stop. No excuses. Episode 6, The Red Sleeve. Fighting. 💪🏼

Snow Flower
Snow Flower
8 months ago

I guess I was never a real fangirl! I am perfectly fine with oppa dating or being married. As for shirtless scenes, they are works of art!😀 But if I ever meet Jang Hyuk or Lee Jun Ho, I will most likely turn into a stuttering mess.😀

Martina Conte
Martina Conte
8 months ago

KFG what interesting considerations…indeed fangirling is not just a superficial issue….🙃

I’m carried away by the vibrations that I pick up from the inner self that I feel beyond the public persona.
And, like you and as you know, I love Junho’s character that emerges and also the charisma (even physical) that shines through (we saw a little of this in “Junho the Moment”, the fanmeeting).
Yes, as for the shirtless issue (❤️) I’m embarrassed to see a man I like too objectified, while I really appreciate the hotness and charisma that flows naturally in the petal tub from him.

Perhaps I appreciate that Junho very naturally inhabits his charm on the stage…

reaper
reaper
8 months ago

Damn how was I pulled into a post about fangirling 😀
But great post KFG ^^

Natalia
Natalia
8 months ago

Finally, a post on fangirling on the blog named the Kfangurl verdict! Thank you for the questions, Leslie, and of course thank you for the post, K.
Personally, I cannot say I am particularly prone to fangirling, but this is mostly because when I was in the ideal age for it, fangirling involved so much work, with so few results. Like, when I was a teenager I thought that Jon Bon Jovi was the handsomest man on earth, but back then, all you could do was watch music videos on tv and put posters on the wall. I consider myself a very lucky person, because I think that if I had Ytube back then, there’s no way I would get any (home)work done.
Still, it is true that fangirling has no age; so even though I am not one for really indulging in it (watching videos, looking up photoshoots etc) there have been cases where my drama choices were influenced by my appreciation for the ML. Like, I don’t think I would ever stand more than one episode of Moon lovers if it wasn’t for Lee Joon Ki, or more than 5mins of Hwarang if it wasn’t for Park Seo Joon and Park Hyung Sik combined. Now I only watched a FF version of Moon Lovers and just bits and pieces of Hwarang, but I still did watch them, and that is, I think, my ultimate level of fangirling.
As for consent culture, I think everyone here is right. Although it does feel less sensitive to gush over a male actor’s looks, at some point even I feel a kind of discomfort when it is overdone. Like everytime we get to see an interview, or video, or tv show with Cha Eun Woo (my eldest daughter being a fangirl…) I feel second hand embarrassment almost every time someone (and there’s always someone!) that starts with the “you’re so pretty” and stuff. I actually think that that kid also feels embarrassed by it, but now, noone ever stops! Then again, I ‘m sure there are actors who really enjoy it and are not embarrassed in the least: a typical example, imo, is Lee Dong Wook. I don’t think I have ever watched a LDW drama where “oh you are so handsome” isn’t included in the script, and several times at that!

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
8 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

I’ve seen Lee Dong Wook in My Girl, Goblin, Touch Your Heart, Life and Scent of a Woman and drama lines really do include mentions of his looks! Is it because (I saw this posited somewhere) he looks Eurasian so it captivates the local viewers in particular? The pale skin and the natural reddish lips help too.

In an episode of Because I Want to Talk with the professional female boxer (she’s awesome btw) the female boxer looked extra girlish (in terms of facial expressions) and said she agreed to be interviewed because of her longtime crush on LDW.

Trent
8 months ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

It’s really weird to me, because although I appreciate Lee Dong-wook as an actor (seen him in Goblin, Tale of the Nine-tailed, and now Bad & Crazy), he’s on the lower end of the leading man attractiveness scale from my perspective. He just doesn’t strike me as all that good looking. Individual tastes are weird things, I guess?

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
8 months ago
Reply to  Jiyuu

@Jiyuu – that was my very favorite episode of Because I Want To Talk. She was pretty much a blubbery mess. I really had to laugh. FWIW – I totally enjoyed his interviews and I was sorry to see that show end! Fascinating guests both inside and outside the entertainment industry and he did a great job with every one. Yes, I really miss this show.

kate
kate
8 months ago
Reply to  Natalia

oof I hear you about Hwarang 🙄 Even with ff, it was hard and I only endured it for PSJ 😂 (my general dislike of Go Ara as an actress didn’t help matters)

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago

Awesome questions Leslie and equally awesome responses, kfangurl. Well, I am now patiently waiting for Beez’s comments on this subject 😂🤣😂

For me, I think what is interesting is the evolution of the sculptured image of the media personality, celebrity, actor, musician or idol. The basics, or “core” are still there, but it has changed. I think this is one of the interesting points for me in Our Beloved Summer re that delightful character NJ (Yes, JJ, she is terrific in every sense of the word), perhaps symbolising there is a change transpiring out there. NJ knows what she is about, and doesn’t get led around by her publicist.

As for the Junho extravaganza, and let’s face it, that’s exctly what it is – what an awesome time for him to come along (even though he has been around for a while). I just hope they continue to protect who and what he is, because when you reveal what is a very genuine soul in a very open environment, it can start to take its toll.

I think this is also interesting re what is being rolled out so to speak of our CLOY superstar couple, now that they are starting to talk more about their couple status and where that is heading. And did I just see TKEM pre wedding photos re Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun getting married (Yes, I did)? We are seeing that, perhaps, it is okay for out stars to date, to be married and so on. Does this now mean that “Her Private Life” is now starting to be a fraction out of date?

For me kfangurl, you have always said where you stand with your fangirling experience, and I think that is awesome. I also think we are so lucky to have Kdramaland (and muscicians and singers) at our fingertips and get that chance to appreciate, and to show that appreciation regarding how talented the actors and actresses really are.

kate
kate
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

I would hope for these idols and actors to be able to date and marry to their hearts‘ content. Fans don’t „own“ them and certainly not their private lives. It‘s one aspect of fandoms that’s always been very off-putting to me. In the fandoms I know, only a tiny fraction of „fans“ are on the dark side but I always feel bad for the actors having to deal with it. 😔

Jiyuu
Jiyuu
8 months ago
Reply to  kate

The climate feels a bit milder/more tolerant now than before though. I remember before kpop exploded, my friend who was into jpop was telling me stories of how harsh fans were when their (japanese) idols were found to be dating etc.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago
Reply to  kate

In SK, fandom is a very complex dynamic. K-pop alone is a $5B industry, thanks to the fandom, and money talks. However, I think there is a change in the wind, as it were. Idols and actors should be able to enjoy their private lives and we are starting to see some positivity around this very quickly.

beez
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

@seank – Sorry, Sean. I have all kinds of thoughts on this subject, but you can thank our buddies @Trent and for putting the kabash on that! I’m still grumbling mad cause I know they’re right!

Andi have no emoji because I’m really mad but I know it’s funny at the same time to see and recognize your wrong doing when you think “well what if they did the same thing that I’m doing?” I feel like my joy has been snatched away and now I can only appreciate it alone, hidden in my basement like a pervert. 😱😡😭🤫 Oh. I guess I do have emojis.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – I don’t think you need to hide in your basement. I have always thought your enthusiasm was (is) quite infectious and well meaning 😊

j3ffc
j3ffc
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Absolutely, @Beez. Fangirl away!

beez
8 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@sean – Welllllll, since I have your permission…

I’ll revisit this late tomorrow with my true thoughts. 😊

Trent
8 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez –as I just mentioned down thread, you’re good to go! Fangirl away, you have full dispensation from me (I’m kidding; not like I have authority or anything).

But honestly I think context matters a lot and it’s not a double standard to say you’re in the clear to express your delight and enthusiasm, where I need to be a little more careful, maybe. I’ve never gotten the slightest pervert vibe from any of your comments!!

beez
8 months ago
Reply to  Trent

@Trent – You just haven’t been reading close enough in between the lines 😉. I actually toned it down some once there became more guys on the site. But I promise that tomorrow I’ll be back and let it all hang loose. 😋

Timescout
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Wait, what… Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun are getting married? I don’t follow k-ent news anymore, so I had no idea they were an item, let alone getting hitched. 😄

beez
8 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

@Timescout – I doubt that very much or our news feeds would be bursting at the seams with the news. I have seen that clickbait title but refused to click to give them watch numbers.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – very prudent. It is very clever material (I would normally say stuff) and if you were to look for official confirmation – the sound of crickets is very deafening.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago
Reply to  Timescout

This is the real issue, Timescout – is it them or not – and hence another side to the whole fan issue. The photos and the way it is produced from yesterday look convincing – but is it really them and in particular is it really Kim Go Eun. There have been so many reports of them over the last year or so, and of their marriage during this time. By all accounts – just good friends, nothing more.

JJ
JJ
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

– WHAT? Lee Min Ho and Kim Go Eun getting married? Did I MISS SOMETHING?!?!? WHAT? No way…..

NJ grew on me Ill admit….

Oh yes, I really hope they protect Junhoo with all his new exposure, but since he has been around for so long maybe he already knows how to protect himself?

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago
Reply to  JJ

@JJ – It’s a bust, JJ re LMH and KGE. Also my bad for even mentioning it the way I did 😱 KGE does not discuss her private life at all.

JJ
JJ
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

-well LMH made a stir when he posted a picture after TKEM with KGE in it 🙂 Huge commotion!

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
8 months ago
Reply to  seankfletcher

Sean – I saw this and thought exactly the same thing that you did.

seankfletcher
seankfletcher
8 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

@phl – birds of a feather 😜

j3ffc
j3ffc
8 months ago

Leslie, thanks for posing these questions and, in so doing, inadvertantly making me feel better for watching and enjoying the entirety of Dinner Mate. Like you, I enjoyed a performance by a more senior actor, but in my case it was Ye Ji-won, who I thought was hilarious and, when necessary, heartful, in her role. Overall, the show was great fun when it was fun, and it would have been a perfect leading breakout for Seo Ji-hye if the overall show had been better written. In particular, it suffered from an icky (and very persistent) pair of second leads.

Trent
8 months ago

It’s a great (series of) questions, Leslie! And very thoughtful answers, quite interesting, really.

Coming at it from the opposite gender angle (although I will preface it by saying I do enjoy good-looking male actors, and I’m quite appreciative of the aesthetics of well-toned arms and very cut pecs ‘n abs!), I always feel like this is a bit of a fraught topic, because I feel like there’s definitely a line where it becomes pretty unsavory for a guy (like me!) to be excessively going on about the physical charms of the female actresses, idols, and celebrities that regularly appear on our screens.

Then add in the racial angle (there’s a whole nasty history–it’s not even history, to be honest, it’s very much still with us–of white men (like me!) objectifying and exploiting Asian women) and the age angle (middle age men (like me!) likewise objectifying and exploiting younger women), and yeah.

I try to always keep that mind and be measured and careful about expressing admiration for actresses and idols that I enjoy watching, to make sure that they’re getting their due for the talent of their acting and expressing emotions and carrying the production with their efforts, and not overly focusing on just their looks.

Within that context, I feel like it’s alright to acknowledge that this or that actress is beautiful (which has the virtue of being true; they are!), or that I particularly find this star adorable (Park Bo-young, Park Min-young), or elegant (Kang Han-na, Park Gyu-young), or striking (Seo Ye-ji), or is just flat out stunning (Song Hye-kyo). I appreciate them because they are a delight to look at, yes, but more because their talent and dynamic presence and what they contribute to the art that they participate in making.

And I have to be careful and conscious to stay on the right side of the line in expressing that appreciation.

j3ffc
j3ffc
8 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent, you beat me to it. And it’s a good thing, because you said this far better than I ever could.

Bottom line: I’m happy that KFG, or Leslie, or any number of our other female colleagues in the blog here, are able to express their feelings about their enthusiasms and, furthermore, I love reading about them. And, I keep in mind one of the major rules of Kfangirldom (I paraphrase): “The Fangirl can change the object of her fan-girling as she pleases.”

But for all of the reasons that Trent states, I feel strongly bound to stay “on the right side of expressing [my] appreciation”.

beez
8 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

@trent – goshDARNit! I was all prepared to boast my unashamedly shallow but proud fangirling-missing-fan service (“fan service” = also known as the shower scenes that Kfangirl described) when you guys come along, being all admirable and decent and I instantly feel guilty! 😬🤨

Trent
8 months ago
Reply to  beez

Aw, @beez, I didn’t mean to dissuade you from let you fangirling flag fly! I love seeing y’all expressing your appreciation for the hotness on display, so by all means go for it! You have a clean license as far as I’m concerned.

The thing is, context is everything. It’s not exactly the same thing when y’all express your full-throated admiration for The Towel, for example, because the history and context is just different. It’s not like I’m some super decent dude (I mean, I try not to be a total dirtbag), but I’m just sensitive to and aware of some of the history and circumstances I outlined–gender, race, age…they all play into how overly effusive emphasis or focus on physical traits might end up sounding coming from someone like me.

It just reads differently coming from you all, as long as you aren’t really gross about it, and I will say that I’ve never seen any of you be anywhere close to gross about expressing your admiration.

I don’t think there’s anything particularly unfair about that, or that there’s a double standard involved, that’s just how the context and circumstances play out here. It’s all good.

So by all means, express your admiration for those fine manly men of the k-ent sphere! I’m happy to cheer you on!

j3ffc
j3ffc
8 months ago
Reply to  Trent

As is my fate, @Trent has already said everything that I would say – and better. Enjoy.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
8 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Trent – I appreciate your approach to this. No worries, your comments are always above board.

Trent
8 months ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

Thanks, phl1rxd, appreciate the vote of confidence! Just trying be a properly domesticated member of the community, so to speak…

reaper
reaper
8 months ago
Reply to  Trent

Totally agree with everything you said.
But it is not just weird for middle aged man. I am young (24) and still feel weird about it.
I mean the first kind of crush I had was when I was 20 and the lady I had a crush on was Lee Il Hwa who was 47 at the time. The drama was three years old, so in the drama she was 44. But after googling it, I still felt super weird ^^