Netizens: Are they overreacting or…. are they RIGHT?

We’ve always dismissed “netizens” as being paranoid, too idealistic, nitpicky, freaky, creepy and ultimately people who have nothing better to do than notice the littlest, even most trivial things from plastic surgery evidence to couple rings—but have we ever once tried to look at things from their perspective?

Lately a lot of disgruntled netizens are coming out with complaints against their “idols.” First there was disappointment with 2PM’s Chansung, who was caught littering in an episode of Wild Bunny. Then there were issues with G-Dragon’s questionable fashion sense—not that he came out wearing something tacky, but he was seen wearing an inappropriate shirt. Again. Then there’s Minzy and Dara’s Care Bear pants that caused quite a stir. Let’s try to look at these issues from both sides, shall we?

Fangirl perspective

My first reaction to the Chansung incident was… “REALLY NOW.” The boy made a mistake, then they made a huge mountain out of a mole hill. It was like they were attacking his whole character based on that one incident. About Minzy and Dara’s Care Bear pants, at first I didn’t get what the fuss was about. Okay so the Care Bears had penises. It wouldn’t mean anything unless you gave a perverse meaning to it, right? It appeared so childish to me as to why netizens reacted as though Minzy and Dara wore something inappropriate, like boob revealing clothes.

With GD’s shirt I was a little iffed out, but hey, it’s GD. He’s done much worse! Besides, he’s an adult, he should be able to wear whatever he wants—it’s his personality from the very start. And isn’t that the whole point of REALITY TV? To show the real side of celebs, or at least a portion (since it’s really not reality) of how they are in real life? I was like, netizens should just get a life, seriously. Give celebs a break for sobbing out loud! Life is already hard enough for them as celebs in the public eye. It’s really sad that they have to bear such pressures and meet expectations that are set TOO high. As audience, we are NOT passive viewers. We have our own minds and we don’t always get influenced by what we see on TV. It’s not like we’re going to be throwing thrash on the streets because Chansung looked cool doing it! We know better. Netizens should look at themselves first before criticizing anyone else. Stars are not perfect, and they aren’t too—so what gives them the right to judge too much?


But then again, as I thought about it… Maybe, just maybe, the netizens are on to something here?

Netizens’ side: We are “Internet Citizens” after all

Perhaps we should go back to what the word “idol” means to Koreans, or to anyone for that matter. Idols are not just seen as entertainers, but as role models as well. It’s too bad that everything they do is put on a spotlight like they’re on a fishbowl that everyone ogles—but that’s what they signed up for. People not only sing their songs, follow their fashion, hairstyles, imitate their dance steps—their actions and personalities matter too. These celebs have fans with an age range of even as young as 3 years old to 50’s, sometimes older (Rain had a 70-year-old fangranny who attended his concert)! I remember writing a post about this before in my Stardom Craze post HERE. I wrote about how awkward it was for me to watch the “Baby Wondergirls.” Little girls aged 3 to 5 dancing to “Nobody” was cute to some extent but then a little girl spoke about knowing how to do a “sexy dance” then broke out into Jewelry’s “One more time.” Then a little boy danced to Rain’s “Rainism,” singing, “I’m gonna be a bad boy… Imma be a ba-bad boy!”

4minute distorting body image?

The dangers to impressionable minds?

And we’ve seen this happen so many times before. There’s this episode where pre-teen girls were bumping and grinding to DBSK, the little Wondergirl who had on Yoobin’s leopard print shorts singing “I’m so hot!” It’s just… disturbing. And it’s not just kids on Star King. We don’t know what happens in schools, or what they talk about with friends. It also happens to adults who may be influenced by body image or unrealistic scenarios shown on TV. In short, image is everything. We can’t escape that fact. Physical appearance and outward actions are the first things we see. That is why for celebs whose profession mainly involves a “show” (they are called “TV personalities” after all!), they should more or less be able to draw the line as to what should be shown or what should not. Perhaps the purpose of netizens is not to act as “antis” or “nitpickers”—maybe they are guard dogs who keep things balanced in the glittery world of celebdom. Sometimes we are too blinded by our admiration, so it becomes hard for us to see what really matters.

I personally think there should be a balance. Even freedom of expression has its limits—on BOTH sides, whether they are celebrities or netizens.

P.S. Come to Playyy! K Blogger feature coming up next! Please look forward to it!<3


16 Responses

  1. The real question is, How much plastic surgery has that shirt had? Is the shirt a slut that will damage his reputation?

    That said, I’m also in the middle ground camp. Netizens need to take a step back, and Celebs need to be more aware that they are role models and what they do has an impact because they’re public figures.

    • totally agree.

    • Me too-agree completely.

      thanks for touching on this subject. too much crap goes on that it’s hard to decipher what is really going on. i personally think that netizens tend to notice too much, but celebrities can’t complain because that is exactly what is expected. their image is everything, and netizens help keep that in check.

      Everything in moderation!!

  2. I’m still laughing about the whole care bear thing…hahahaha..Anyway…I think we should give celebs a break….I’m pretty sure just like us…celebs know what is right and wrong…it’s their choice to do it or not…and it’s our choice whether to follow or not…..and about the little kids…..damn..where are their parents?!?!!….hahahaha!!!!

  3. i’m sorry but netizens are nitpicking idiots. take the internet away from them! can’t they just get it that it’s reality television and you get nonsense like throwing trash away into the wrong bin. and that aroused carebears nonsense. well, i guess no one wants to think about carebears boinking. yeah, take the internet and the television away from netizens and they’ll be crying even more. muhahahaha!!!!

  4. Here’s the deal. If I wear those carebears pants, I totally believe that nobody will ever care or arguing it. But if celeb who are PUBLIC FIGURE, of course it will be nation’s debate. That’s why they call it public figure, because public look at them and celebs have the power as opinion leaders.

    I remember your posting about ‘stars’, that they were literally like stars in the sky, and they just like a dream for us. People see celebs in that kind of way. There are hopes and ideals that we looking for from them, and we IMITATE them. And here is the main issue started.

    At the end, I’m totally agree with kyuhyun04. It’s a matter of choice, whether you with them or not.

    • very good argument! i’m amazed how you still remember what i wrote about stars literally being looked at like stars LOL. “There are hopes and ideals that we looking for from them, and we IMITATE them.” <— sadly this is true, but it really shouldn't be this way. although the youth have so many other role models they should look up to, it's inevitable to have them put their hopes up in celebs because they're what they always see and perhaps being young like them makes them relate to them as well.

      • LOL.. well my major was media and communication studies, so I’m quite familiar with this kind of issue.

        People/fans prone to imitate their idols because mentally they felt close and similar with their idols (this is what we called as parasocial interaction). Especially young aged people who prone to be a follower/imitator — FYI, brands and products love tennagers so much as they ‘ll easily trapped by advertisings. For example, it might sound silly, but I felt like my personality was quite similar with Siwon of Suju (not just because I’m his fans but also we both Aries and born on the same month), like determent, love competitions, similar sense of style, etc. This what become a threat by media critics (in here is our lovely netizens).
        In here, I’m not pro with netizens or against them, all I want to say is: if only young people can be smart enough to choose the right thing for them, and parents guiding their childrens in consuming media, then this issue will never be started.

      • OMG I had one media class in Uni too though I’m not sure if it’s the same with yours! That’s why I thought the “opinion leaders” term sounded fairly familiar! I think that’s why advertisers love to get models/celebs who they’d think would appeal to the masses, especially ones with personalities they’d think many people can relate to. In Korea I think most are susceptible to following trends (not that I’m generalizing), I mean, just walking in the streets I’d see people wearing designer clothes/bags/shoes everywhere! There was even a study that said Koreans are most likely to buy/follow trends even if they really can’t afford it. Same thing with music, it’s highly influential. But being the most Internet connected country, it’s gonna be hard to regulate stuff since anyone can just download/watch youtube and even like before when they banned Rainism, TVXQ’s Mirotic… nothing stopped them from consuming.

      • Ding ding ding.. bingo! You are so true!
        Because of those high rate of imitating attitude to follow trends in Korea and the high rate of internet user, the netizen starts to increase their criticism. It’s just a thought, but those netizen might think that their harsh critics could control the celebs freedom of expression without considering that celebs are human just like us. Again, I’m with your opinion: It’s a matter of balance… and smart choices!

  5. this topic is so wide in it’s range tho bc u hav 2 include culture & country etc. i’m from UK so i see any of this on any celeb it doesn’t bother me at all bt if it’s Korea, China, Hong Kong… they’re not as open minded & liberal.

    then there’s the airing time. are the shows on during the day or late evening when young children should be in bed? also r parents not teaching their children well enough as not to know right from wrong? that little girl on star king did not go on by herself, her parents knew what she was wearing and how she was gonna dance right?

    media & marketing is not gonna change or go away & children r gonna decide what they want anyway, all you can do is guide & give them the knowledge 2 protect themselves.

  6. Netizens are OVERREACTING. No contest to that… and I mean KOREAN NETIZENS.

    Of course, we Filipinos have our own share of rabid netizens. The never-ending bashing on celebs and network wars between ABS-CBN and GMA Network has been on the leash up to now, but despite these hullabaloo, Entertainment Industry is at least healthy here, and no matter how much scandal a particular famous celeb would go thru—like Marian Rivera, Katrina Halili and Maricar Reyes—they can still get a hell-load of shows, projects and endorsements. We expect them to be role models, but at least we see them as HUMANS, not CELESTIAL BEINGS or STATUETTES.

    I guess Korea needs to open up their minds. We are now in 21st century so enough of self-righteous POVs. These K-netizens ain’t that perfect too, so they don’t have the right to expect Korean celebs to behave like a GOD or an Angel if they themselves do even the nastiest stuff like bullying, throwing racial slurs, smoking, double-standarding among men and women, and increasing broken families (thanks to increasing divorce, yo!). Their society is somehow eff’ed up indeed, so before they could expect from a celeb to be perfect, they themselves SHOULD! MAKE! A! CHANGE!

    • hi, thanks for this comment. very well said! i agree, k-netizens and media are too hard on the celebs, like seriously. they need a chill pill. i’m not too familiar with how entertainment industry works, and it seems like it’s not too severe in the Phils?

      • well, philippines has its own share of rabid fans thanks to celeb and worse, network rivalries (ABS-CBN & GMA-7). In spite of that, celebs still gets jobs despite hulabaloos they go thru. celebs still don’t go lackluster—-though this doesn’t apply to all celebs in the philippines. they might lose some of endorsements and tv projects, at least they can still have means to earn a living. the only thing that could their limelight off is if a celebrity would be hooked on drugs. we also expect celebs to be goody-two-shoes but we don’t expect them to behave like a celestial being.

        the shady thing in the philippines is that:
        —your showbiz life could become ‘easy come easy go’. if companies perceive you are no longer ‘sellable’, your projects become less and less until you realize you no longer have a career

        —prostitution….especially for young starlets. some starlets are vulnerable to respond to sexual favors in exchange of popularity.

        —never-ending revival of classic songs among singers. parody is okay—particularly to Parokya ni Edgar (do the research on youtube and other resources about this most-respected pinoy band)—but there are some revivals that turn out NG…. eeeeekkkk!

        —doing the nasty things in the name of publicity, including a celebrity bashing a celebrity nonsensically.


        Marian Rivera is one of the celebs that has few of the worst publicities so far—including bitching a fan and a co-star, maltreating personal assistants. She may have lost some fans and endorsements, but she still gets affection by her loyal fans and getting endorsements, including SM Development Corporation—the father of SM Malls Philippines (and not to be mistaken with SM entertainment).

        Another thing, about couple thing between celebs…well, we don’t get fucking jealous if our guy celeb crush has a girlfriend. John Lloyd Cruz has reported to have a girlfiend and still gets the affection he deserves from fangirls. As long as we like the girl for that guy, we support him. Same thing goes with pinoy fanboys supporting smexy female celeb. We don’t make our beloved artists like, going to nunnery/priesthood—you know what I mean, requiring a semi-celibate life, ayt?

      • I see, thanks for explaining! I’ve gotten a few ideas about the Phil ent. industry when I posted a story about 2NE1’s Dara a while back. Lots of Filipino readers explained the “Love Team” kind of promotions, which is also cool, but I’d feel bad for one star if the love team fell apart, there’d be limited range when it comes to their projects I guess. And the whole becoming famous for sexual favors happens even in other countries, though some stars are able to take it, while some are driven to suicide, like the Boys Over Flowers star who was reportedly forced to have sex with important people in the biz, and ended up committing suicide. And while I may blog more about Kpop, I know a little bit about Taiwanese pop where Love teams also work (Joe Chen and Ariel Lin have, Rainie Yang, Mike He worked on several dramas together), and they’re pretty much okay with some idols dating in real life (like Barbie Hsu and Vic who broke up), Vivian Hsu and Wang Lee Hom, etc. But for some idols, say Fahrenheit, fangirls would go berserk if they find out they’re dating. LOL. In Japan, idols aren’t persecuted by fangirls that much when they date, but they get much flogging from the Tabloids. You can always see paparazzis following Johnny’s and their halfie model dates and spur vicious rumors. But I do remember lots of fangirls committing suicide when KimuTaku (very famous JE) got married. Dunno if it’s true though. It depends I guess. Well… that’s entertainment for ya!

      • whoa! that’s was kinda crazy in japan… but compared to korean netizens, at least japs ain’t no violent fans than koreans.

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