Unlike American celebrities, Korean idols who are dating are always torn with should they make their dating public or not. Even though recently more and more idol couples confirm it to the public, there are still many problems.
Tony An, an ex-member of H.O.T (years active: 1996 ~2001), said that during his group active period, if an idol make the relationship public, crazy people might threaten the idol with hydrochloric acid. This might be a humor sense for the variety show but it is true that announcing a relationship is very difficult for an idol with high popularity.
However, in recent years this concept changed a little bit. On 1st January 2014, Korean top female group Girl’s Generation’s member Im Yoon Ah was revealed to be dating with the actor Lee Seung Gi; Two days later, it was reported that member Soo Young was dating with actor Jung Kyung Ho; On 4th April, 2014, member Tiffany was revealed to have been dating with 2PM’s member Nichkhun for 4 months.
Normally, agencies always deny this but SM entertainment confirmed the relationships quickly after Girl’s Generation members dating news.
I think there are three reasons that make idols decide to make it public.
- Usually idols who make the dating public are already top class idols. They don’t have to be worried about the popularity.
- The attitude of fans changed. More and more fans understand that idols are real people. Many couples received a lot of well wishes from fans and many fans show support.
- Netizens’ comments are very warm. Many agencies have noticed that netizens are open with idols’ relationship nowadays. This is why more and more idols are allowed to make the dating public. The most recent one is Hani from EXID and Junsu from JYJ.
Nevertheless, some fans are still unsatisfied with this. They believe idols are supposed to be innocent all the time.
So, should idols keep their relationship secret? I think it depends on the idol’s mentality. If the idol has a strong adjust ability and he/she won’t be influenced by the bad comments and criticism, then it is not a bad idea to make it public. Obviously, telling the truth to the public will increase the credit. However, if the idol can’t balance the work and private life, I think it is wise to keep it secret.