We had a whirlwind trip to Seoul. SBS PopAsia were in town secretly filming stuff so we caught up with them. Hugh went a day before me because I still had some work to do.
Here are the pics that we posted on social media:
Hugh caught up with the JJCC boys:
We met Sam Hammington (Aussie comedian famous in Korea) at his awesome cafe.
All the guys that do stuff on SBS PopAsia: Hugh with Andy (Host) and Prince Mak and Peter who both do radio shows.
SBS PopAsia are based in Australia and are the best digital radio station for Asian pop internationally (and of course if you live in Australia there is the TV show). You can download the app! They call me once a week to chat about Kpop and Korea. You may remember the vlog where we visited them in Australia.
My mother in law only knows about Kpop because of me. So what she knows may be a little bit YG biased.
Korea is an awesome place, but how some people in the international Kpop and Kdrama communities talk about Korea can more harm than good. Of course Korean tourism plays a part as well. We’ve heard of people coming to Korea and expecting to meet a rich handsome guy exactly like in a drama and when that doesn’t happen, they go back to their own country angry and disappointed and hating Korea. We get a lot of emails and messages, and many of them are worrying to us because of the high pedestal some people place Korea on. I know that many of you have a very balanced view of Korea, so you might be surprised that there are people with such extreme ideas about Korea, but we are seeing it more and more. In particular, I think people from countries where they may lack a sufficient education are particularly at risk, as they lack the skills to research and understand on their own. It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamor that is presented internationally about Korea, which can lead to disappointment in the long run.
For international Kpop fans, they may be surprised to hear how little people actually listen to Kpop. There are the huge groups that people know about, but mostly Kpop is for teenage girls, and even then those girls will have one favourite group, not several. It’s odd to many Koreans when they see international Kpop fans liking so many groups at the same time. It may be hard for some fans to hear but your favourite Kpop group may attract very little attention in Korea. That’s why some Kpop stars go onto TV shows, because it’s a much bigger platform for them to attract attention that may trickle down to the Kpop group they are in. That’s not to say that there is no Kpop in Korea, you’ll hear it all the time, being played in stores and you’ll see the bigger groups in advertising and of course you may have the chance to go to a concert, but Korea is not magical Kpop land.
We talked about many other things in this video but had to cut a lot. One thing we had to cut but will talk about later is how the international community talks about Korean military service and the problems with that.
This video is probably not for a lot of our audience. But I hope some people find it helpful. I just wanted to create a resource and safe place to talk about this. It’s easy to dismiss teenage love and admiration and it’s often the butt of jokes. I wanted to use my own experiences to give some advice and help those that feel that their Kpop obsession is getting a bit out of control.
There was a lot I had to cut from the video because it was so long. It’s still really long though (Hugh complained when editing). I also wanted to talk about the problem with some entertainment companies that promote their stars in a way that sends a message of availability to young fans. That’s a big problem in Kpop and it fuels this obsessiveness. There are a lot of high profile stars who definitely have girlfriends but it’s kept hidden.
I also wanted to let young girls know that although all the guys they know in real life are probably idiots they don’t want to date… it won’t always be like that. Those idiots grow up and mature – they get better looking as well! I would have hated my husband if I had met him at 16. Anyway you’ll get older, you’ll meet cool guys, nice guys, sweet guys, handsome guys and you’ll find that you have less space in your life for an obsession with a celebrity. In fact, the normal guys you’ll meet in real life will probably end up being a way better boyfriend than a Kpop star can be. Kpop stars don’t live a normal life, especially when they started training at such a young age, and they miss out on a lot of normal experiences that can stunt them emotionally (sorry to any Kpop stars reading this!) Any relationship with a celebrity is going to be riddled with extra complications and in hindsight you are going to be glad that your teenage dreams didn’t come true, because life can get so much better than you know.
Finally, if you feel like your obsession is more than just an obsession and is combined with depression as well, please seek help.
If it’s YG Entertainment biased, I know exactly what they are talking about! I’m up to date on that news! Usually I tune out the Korean I hear around me in public, but I could follow this conversation!
So I went to the BIGBANG concert with Chloe. (TOP of BIGBANG collects furniture, which others find laughable but we find amazing).
Furniture and love of furniture as western women is a cultural difference that does sometimes come up when you have a Korean partner. Korean houses traditionally lack a lot of furniture and they use the space in different ways, whereas Australia has an obsession with renovations and furniture (in comparison). You should see the way Hugh’s eyes will roll if my mum and I drag him into a furniture shop in Australia. He can never understand my passion for lovely sofas or beds and to this day we still don’t have a sofa or bed in this house… But when we get our own apartment I will get my way and have furniture!
So the elusive TOP of BIGBANG (the most famous Kpop group) is known to collect unique furniture. Apparently the other members laughed at his collection at first but now realise how cool it is. TOP is also starting to post furniture pics on his new Instagram account as well.
So yes, we really did yell those things out to him. Not that he would have been able to hear, but we want to support him in his love of furniture! His furniture collection makes him even more attractive.
Chloe also drew a comic about wishing she had brought a sign like this to the concert.
Check out her other art here. And her tumblr. Please DO NOT take these comics and reupload to tumblr with no reference to us. We are both on tumblr, you should be REBLOGGING from our official tumblrs.
Woohoo Bigbang comeback! Unfortunately tickets for concerts go on sale while I’m in Australia so it’s impossible to try to buy them online from here. Even if I was in Korea, it’s so hard to get tickets because they sell out immediately and super hardcore fans have many computers set up to get them as quickly as possible. I can’t compete with that! Fingers crossed that I can get some tickets though… and don’t just have to settle with my husband singing me songs…