BTS’s fans (Army) trended a hashtag on Twitter as a reaction to the sudden rumours about Jungkook, the youngest member of BTS that is seen with a woman in their break time on September.
The alleged affair caused ruckus in the fandom and some fans reacted badly to the rumours by complaining that they do not want their idol to date someone else.
The pictures which are taken without the permission of Jungkook and the woman involved is spread through the internet with some claiming that it is taken from a ‘sasaeng fan’ (overly obsessive fans).
This sudden rumour and how fans reacted to it creates the issue whether it is acceptable for the fans to control their idol’s decision to pursue a romantic relationship.
If we as a normal human being can decide for ourselves whether we want to pursue a romantic relationship or not, why is it unacceptable for an idol to date but not anyone else? Idols are a human being, just like us. They also need the same amount of love and attention as any of us that loves their music.
The biggest factor as to why fans always reacted badly to dating scandals is because the entertainment companies create a sense of ‘availability’ to all of the idols that are working under them.
Companies know that fans will not spend their money, time, and dedication to idols that are not available and accessible to them. In a sense, the companies traded their idols’ personal lives to gain profits.
The concept of availability among idols to their fans goes to an extent where not only does the companies ban their idols from being in a relationship, but they also punish them for communicating with someone of the opposite gender.
Even when they leave their companies to start a new career as a solo artist, their dating scandal had affected their fans’ view on them. They loses their job opportunity because of how society perceived them not as a human but just a product of the industry.
Fans should not conform to this concept. When we treat our idols that we claim to admire and love so much as mere object for our satifaction, it shows just how effective the strategy is and we as consumers should know better than to fall for this kind of objectification itself.
If fans are upset because of the dating rumours, it is obvious that you are not in it for the music. You can like a musician or a band without being physically attracted to them. However, this concept seems foreign for KPOP fans because the mere thought of their idol being in a relationship seems so horrible which results in them creating unnecessary conflicts among the fans.
It is made clear that the rumour of BTS’s Jungkook is in a relationship with someone is false and the woman is his friend.
The company that manages the idol, BigHit Entertainment makes an official statement that they would sue anyone that spreads the content (pictures and written statement) of Jungkook and his friend in their holiday as they had stated before that taking pictures of the idols outside of their official schedule is forbidden.
Fans should respect their idols’ wishes and treats them as any other human being without resorting to verbal insults and stalking just to confirm that their idols are still ‘available’ for them. Fans need to acknowledge that love and obsession is two different things and we should not project this unhealthy behaviour to someone that we claim to love.
At the end of the day, not only fans but as a community, we need to stop stigmatizing something normal when it comes to celebrities or idols. It is understandable for us to not agree with their choices but when it comes to their private life and matter, it is not our right to dictate what they should or should not do in their life.
Be grateful for the art that they share with us but also know your line when it comes to idolizing a person.
- Siti Nurazrina Agos Jawaddi adalah pelajar Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.
- Dr. Mohd Syuhaidi Abu Bakar adalah Pensyarah Kanan, Fakulti Filem, Teater dan Animasi.