Wonder Girls' Sunye, the only one who truly escaped the forever-ageless idol life, tying the knot and even putting a bun in her oven that's due in October, however, leaving far from unscathed. Along with her dreams of not only settling down and maintaining a normal life, she also has dreams of continuing her idol alter ego, receiving hate and malice through about every single comment left about her, her perspective of the decision not being supported.
But with Sunye facing the 'I'm actually a human being and have wishes and desires' head-on and being the first active idol to not only get married but also become impregnated publicly, yet only receiving backlash for her actions, what's the future for the other idols who have the same goals as her? They're aging naturally, becoming older and older as the days go by however, still feeling entangled in a web of 'I'm perfect and can never grow up' which the media and fans hold onto and drug themselves with, the surreal idea of them being both money-makers in the only career that they have prepped themselves for for an immense time of their lives as well as being humans and dating, falling in love and sometimes even drinking being nothing but surreal. But why is it that this is happening and seems actually natural for idols to do and when is it finally time for idols to grow up, act mature and of course, be humans.
The only female idol group I could imagine getting a get-off-free card for following a similar path as Sunye would be Brown Eyed Girls, their concept already tied into a 'we're mature' and sexual theme, the fact that most of the members are in their early 30's also helping to soften the blow. But what about other idols?
As taken from Seoulbeats about the awkwardness of Girls' Generation in a club:
I often hear “Don’t taint our nine precious angels,” as if any foreign place that hosts them is the big bad wolf. It’s time to get over that and realize there’s a world outside of the bubble that fans encapsulate them in. These are nine girls in their 20s who must eventually grow up and understand that the world doesn't work the same everywhere.Why is it that women in their mid-20's or reach it cannot partake in 'mature' things as if they are still in their teens--going to clubs or even them being in love is so taboo despite them being probably older than about 80% of their fans? Likewise, back to the IU drinking 'controversy', why is it that her finding a taste for a specific type of alcohol and even drinking so weird and unexpected as well as her sleeping with Eunhyuk as if she's doesn't even know where babies come from?
With this, I could only come up with two feasible reasons why it is as so:
a) As said in the double standards of male and female bonding post, I feel as if most women are marketed as perfect little dolls who never age, menstruate or do anything bad. So if they were to 'grow up', it's like they can't hold that image, anymore, and should simply just leave the group that they're in.
b) Those are MILFs dancing in booty shorts and singing about oppar. [insert chills down spine here]. Yikes. Shouldn't they well... act their age?
But the still remaining question is when is it finally time for them to grow up?
There's no actual definite answer that fits for every single group, the only way being as so:
If the group was seen to be a bit more mature (age-wise) or have a concept that's a bit more mature similar to that of Brown Eyed Girls, then it would be a bit more okay to do those 'scandalous old people things' like drinking and marriage since they're already basically revolving around that and it'll look natural for them to start doing those things. I would see the younger-acting (and the most popular) members having the most struggle when wanting to jump into the "marriage carriage" while driving off into the sunset or go to parties and drink their eyes out, being that it's almost like they still have "time left", a head of opportunities and the inability to fall in love and get drunk because of their innocent acting image, their young age and their influence. I mean, let's say Sohee was the one that decided to get hitched instead of Sunye, there'd be more backlash than that of Sunye, who not only is the oldest and looks like the oldest, but also acts like the oldest and seems like she would probably want to go to that level of her life. Sohee's not only the visual of Wonder Girls but she is the youngest therefore, it'd be more odd for her to go out partying or get married. Likewise, idols like Lee Hyori and SHINHWA members had such an easy time because of their age, time in the industry and of course, respect and maturity as well to get married whereas when KARA's Goo Hara simply announced she was dating B2ST's Junhyung and then followed by a rumor of her dating Lee Soo Hyuk, the world simply split in half and all hell broke loose.
Being that the group 4Minute is a bit more on the sexy and mature side, they have the ability go to clubs without ease yet, as mentioned above, Girls' Generation had a difficult time without people around the web wishing they'd shield their 'innocent' eyes and not do that kind of behavior though it's a fact that Girls' Generation has a higher average age than 4Minute. Not to mention, it seems a bit like female idols have a bit harder time doing those 'scandalous behaviors' because most of them are young-acting and therefore, must be immortal vampires that twinkle in the sunlight and never age
Lastly, for a quick and summarized response to the question:
It depends on the idol group--if they are not only young but act young and are the most popular in the group, then there could be worry. However, if the group is mature acting, full of women who are around their 30's, then there'd most likely be little to no harm done. Though getting married is a bit of a stretch and would probably be considered reasonable to people if the idol is in their 30's, doing mature deeds like drinking and partying would be acceptable if the concept was a bit more mature and the idol acted as such, as well.
When do you think it's time for idols to finally grow up? Comment below!
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