Shipping vs Fanservice

So I was watching Kpop Junkie and he was talking about Solar’s live where fans were commenting a lot about their ship, Solar x Moonbyul, to the point where Solar herself was uncomfortable.

That got me thinking, should kpop idols stop doing fanservice?

Before I get into that, yeah you shouldn’t push your ship onto the artists you follow. It’s uncomfortable and puts pressure on them and also can make their friendship awkward. Also don’t do it in real life. I was a camp counsellor once and the kids would ship certain counsellors and do it to their face and they were so uncomfortable with it.

In general, I think it’s fine to like two people together and to root for them but I think it’s better to keep it to yourself and then if it ends up being true you can pop up like, “I’ve been rooting for you all along! I love you!” That’s what I tend to do, in real life and with kpop or other celebrities.

But in kpop none of them have come true, yet. I have a feeling at least one or two will be true, just because there’s always one, but other than that the rest have nada.

Here’s the thing, I think kpop idols are guilty of fanning the flames, even Mamamoo. Now, it is supposed to be for fun (at least that’s my guess as to why they do it and why people ship) but I feel like at some point a line has to be drawn because some people have no boundaries and you have to remind them, “Hey, here is my boundary.” I wish Kpop idols could do that more. I wish they weren’t “idols” in fact and just artists as there is way too much pressure to be perfect. They’re human! But that’s another topic.

When I say guilty of fanning the flames I’m talking about fanservice. There are different kinds of fanservice. There’s the fanservice like what Jaemin does. He loves to talk to fans and does aegyo willingly or how Ryeowook likes to make YouTube videos to connect to fans. Stuff like that I don’t knock. It’s actually quite sweet. But the fanservice where they grind on each other or pretend to kiss or just titillate I’m over.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m now wondering if they’re just queerbaiting. They know fans will ship them and so they use it to their advantage because it keeps the fans attention on them.

However, I also think that companies train their idols in the art of the gay fanservice. Like there’s a “How to Excite Fans 101: Be Gay” because they’re all so good at it. Also I’ve heard in Asia they’re more likely not to take the ships seriously.

However there are LGBT people in Korea, I wonder how they feel about it. Can they tell the real from the fake?

It never used to bother me because at the end of the day you can believe it or you can see it for the fanservice it is and ignore it. However, then there was this one pair. I really liked them as friends. They have one of the best friendships in the industry and I’m a sucker for a brotp. So I’ve shipped them as a brotp for years. Then one day they were abroad and they really disliked that people actually shipped them for real as a couple.

I don’t even ship them as a couple but I felt bad. I felt so bad I stopped shipping them as a brotp and any shipping made me feel uncomfortable.

But then a month or so later they were at a concert and they got fake married. And the skinship (physical affection) they would do at that concert and others to follow was beyond the realm of friendship even for Korean standards (it was hyper sexual) and I was confused.

You hate being shipped and yet you cater to the shippers at your concert. If you want them to stop, how is this helping?

So Mamamoo got me thinking about this and whilst they’re not at that group’s level they do, do fanservice. Sometimes I think it’s just them having fun and other times I think it’s them catering to fans. And I think the latter needs to stop.

It’s not healthy for them and it’s not healthy for fans. Sure, the fans should have a discerning mind and be able to tell when it’s fanservice or not but a lot of fans are young and so get excited and carried away. Or they’re impressionable and again get carried away and truly believe it’s real.

Or, something I learned recently, they’re LGBT and they see representation in these idols.

That’s my other grievance. Like in TV shows that queerbait and end up disappointing LGBT fans I feel like at this point fanservice is queerbaiting and will ultimately disappoint LGBT fans. Not saying none of the ships are real, I do think that at least one will turn out to be real at some point as I said above, but a large number will not.

I mean, in general, idols from the same group are not dating each other because that would mess up the group dynamic and make things difficult if they broke up. In a different vein I do think there are more LGBT idols than we think that are dating normal non celebrity people or perhaps other celebrities like actors etc because LGBT idols do not exist in the bubble of their group only but that’s a different topic.

Also the queerbaiting fanservice reminds me of Korean comedy shows where they have comedians pretend to be gay. In those shows they’re mocking gay people or they’re making it out to be a joke, something that’s not serious or real.

I remember Eric Nam was asked to parody someone who is gay and he declined because he didn’t want to mock them. Or when Hoya would go on shows after he played a gay character on Reply 1997 and hosts would be like, “Oh you’ve got to be careful with him” implying that Hoya would fall in love with his members and implying that would be a bad thing.

So it’s not like these companies that endorse fanservice are pro LGBT, they’re far from it. I read in an article (I can’t remember which one) but Holland was in an idol company and was going to debut with them but he wanted to be open about being gay but they told him not to as it would ruin his career. So yeah, those companies who probably put their artists onto the fanservice aren’t for you, it’s for show and so they can have your money and your attention.

So yeah, I hope queerbaiting fanservice will remain in the 00’s and the 10’s because we have no need for that anymore. I hope the whole thing with Solar has woken people up to the fact that hey, it’s probably not real and demanding they get married can make them uncomfortable.

Even if it was real that’s still stepping a line. It’s an internet thing I hate in general. A couple will have a baby and immediately subscribers will be like, “When’s baby number two?!” Like let her breathe dang! Or they announce they’re dating and bam, “When’s the wedding?” They ain’t even reached their year anniversary, chill, damn!

Even if any of these idols in the same group are dating each other, shipping comments that are like the ones Solar received can be very burdensome.

Also in Korea coming out if you’re a celebrity rarely happens. It is difficult to make it when you’re LGBT, currently only Holland is out there doing it. And if you’re already established it can be a “scandal” that ruins their career. I mean even straight couples in kpop can’t come out without getting axed from their company (Hyuna x E Dawn) or have their so called fans cancel them (Chen) side note: we ExoL’s don’t claim those haters who cancelled Chen.

So asking them to come out or get married is a big thing. It’s no small thing.

In essence we all need to be careful with our words and think before we comment. Also I am campaigning for the fanservice to stop. It’s honestly a pet peeve of mine (looks at length of post) yes a big pet peeve.

If you’ve read it all, what do you think? I think my opinion is unpopular. Oh and for the record, if anyone came out I would support them. I’m not about the hater life.

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