The Lies, Insanity, and Hypocrisy of the Choiza & Sulli Story
The Choiza-Sulli scandal is probably one of the funniest ones to have ever come out of Korean entertainment. There were so many ironies that pushed fans to face the hypocrisy and realities that dominate the industry they so love.
Before, however, we decide on whether Sulli made the wrong decision to fall in live with Choiza or whether SM should have handled it another way or whether the fans were outright silly in raising so much concern in a situation that doesn't really concern them, let us understand several things.
Things to Understand
Sulli, a member if the girl group f(x), has been packaged as the kiddie innocent baby of SM. She has the face and demeanor for it. In variety shows, she has always been timid and giddy. She appears innocent and other people have subscribed to this by treating her like a little girl that must be cared for all the time.
Whether that demeanor is a put on or genuine is a different question altogether. That is what is being shown to the public. Hence, that is the "truth" that everyone knows.
Choiza, on the other hand, is the street thug who made a career in the most gangsta way possible in Korean entertainment. He is not conventionally good looking and hangs around equally thug friends who have been involved with drugs and other controversies that make Koreans question their morality.
When photos of Sulli walking hand in hand with Choiza came out, together with photos that seem to indicate Sulli spent the night at Choiza's place, SM entertainment denied any romantic relationship.
Immediately, speculations came about that the two are indeed in a relationship based on other photos and incidences that netizens generously scrutinized. With no more word from either party, it looked like the rumor was going to die a natural death until Choiza lost his wallet containing photos of Choiza and him. This was followed by another photo of them on a date.
SM then confirmed the relationship and so did Amoeba, Choiza's agency.
There was so much anger towards the relationship and that is presumably the reason SM asked Sulli to go on an indefinite hiatus.
Netizens accused Sulli of being a hypocrite and a liar while Choiza was insulted for dating someone out of his league. Many fans expect Sulli to date another idol or a rich businessman or a Hollywood actor or a Prince. They felt she is stupid or dating Choiza while Choiza is an opportunist for hooking up with someone so young and fresh.
These reactions, no matter how silly, isn't at all that surprising. Koreans always reserve the right to demand a certain behavior from the celebrities they support and that includes their romantic relationships.
Why Are Idols "forbidden" to fall in Love
It is no secret that contracts if idols include a "no dating clause". There are few companies that don't impose this but they are few and far between. The question is why do companies even forbid it.
It's hard to deny that celebrities are packaged in such a way that when you watch them grind their hips, it's like world peace depend on it. They come up with photos like the one below even though it contributes to neither the form nor content of the material they are promoting.
With it comes the illusion of availability. They sell their looks and fantasy of their bodies. They are objects to be had and if they are off the market, there isn't much point in selling them, right?
For fans to support these celebrities, they should be, no matter how remotely, available for the fans. Fans must be given that slight glimmer of hope that they have a chance.
It's All About Image
When boy bands or girl groups are formed, members are given an identity. There is the leader, the cute maknae (youngest), the mysterious, the boy next door, the innocent and pure, and a whole lot of other personalities.
In Korean entertainment, the "art" is a secondary concern. Fans support celebrities based on their personalities. That is why new boy bands are given reality shows and are thrown into variety shows. If these celebrities manage to get attention, they garner fans even before their album is launched. In a sense, their popularity determines how much further investment their agency will make.
Sometimes, the management company isn't the one to assign the celebrity's image. DBSK famously said they were the ones who decided on their image. DBSK, along with others, take on this image because they recognize the importance is building a distinct personality that will make them rise above others or they trust their agency knows what thy are doing.
The bottom line is that these supposed artists are packaged and made to sell their personalities from the get go.
From the get go, the market is provided with an image of a celebrity and based on this image, they provide their support. It was not that celebrity's craft or work that is sold, it's their personality. As such when it is proven to be a fake, fans feel betrayed and no one likes being betrayed.
Their Personal Life is No One's Business
I ultimately agree that anyone's personal life is no one's business but if these idols agree too, they would not sign the contract or get into the industry.
Others might argue that they want to work. Well then, don't be an idol, be an artist.
The problem is that they participate in forming this illusion to achieve their goals and when they realize that there is a trade off to their ambition, they resent the very industry that afforded them their success.
I know people will say their success is a product of their hard work but it's the kind of work that fits the industry of the idol world.
Further, they would only be half correct because everyone knows they are kept alive by their devoted fans who buy those CDs by the hundred just to make sure idols get their sales up. These are the fans that follow them In all of their concerts even if they have seen it ten times just to make sure their concert gets sold out.
The point is that this is simple physics. For every action there is an equal reaction. You sell your personality, fans will expect to have that personality.
Further, if the celebrities feel that their personal life is no one's business, then why deny it in the first place? People could claim that these young idols don't have a choice but that's wrong. There is always a choice. The choice may be a career or termination of contract but there is always a choice.
Do you know why Taeyeon is being branded a weak leader? Click here.
If these celebrities opt to choose something else over their relationship then the agency may be right in the first place. If they are not willing to put their relationship above everything, then maybe they really should put their career as the center. When they are ready to put family life above career then It's time to open up about their relationship.
Back to Choiza and Sulli
The fans have some, as silly as it may sound, right to be angry. San lied to them. After all the support they have shown Sulli, SM lied to them.
Is Sulli to blame?
Well, the girl fell in love. How do you go against that? Yeah, she participated in strengthening her baby image but she fell in love.
However, I don't think fans are angry about the fact that she fell
In love but that she fell in love with Choiza. Much of the castigation is brought about by the fact that Sulli is dating a non-idol, not good looking rapper who was born for the Korean Ghetto hip hop culture.
Choiza hit jackpot and Sulli is stupid for dating someone who is only occasionally recognizable.
What many miss is that Choiza writes his own songs and achieved mainstream success without a contract that includes a dating ban, an agency that hits him in the head for "wrong behavior" and people telling him what to do or say. He has his own company and manages other artists who have equal freedom to pursue their artistry without signing a no dating clause.
Choiza is a self made man.
By all accounts, it is Choiza that's a good catch and it's Sulli who hit jackpot.
Fans cannot be denied of the right to be angry given everything that has been said but their anger shouldn't be directed at Choiza. It should be directed at SM and, perhaps, Sulli for fooling them.