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< Back to question Is the dating ban for Korean idols in the K-Pop industry fair? Show more Show less

Dating ban is a rule that should be familiar to K-Pop fans, which strictly limits Korean idols dating life. It's a culture, and westerners might have a difficult time understanding why the rule exists. Unlike their western counterparts, for whom making their romantic lives public can be a key part of promotional activities (including allegedly staged relationships), K-Pop stars are often forbidden from disclosing personal details, with some even having a "no dating" clause in their contracts.

The dating ban in K-Pop is fair Show more Show less

The dating ban works effectively in K-Pop industry.
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The dating ban creates fan loyalty

As a result of the dating ban, entertainment companies can attract more loyal fans, and generate more revenue.
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The Argument

The dating ban is enforced by many companies because the popularity of the idols is selling the brand. Therefore, keeping the K-Pop idols single is crucial; feeding into fan ‘fantasies’ with these idols, and making them appear romantically attainable, is essential to maintaining fan loyalty. This also explains why the K-Pop groups need to have so many members. This increases the chances of fans finding a member attractive, and having a ‘favorite’, cultivating interest in the group. Once this happens, a fan is more likely to buy the band's merchandise, see them in concert, and other activities linked to the band that costs money. If their favorite idol then finds themselves in a relationship, the personal connection the fans have to the singer is diminished, resulting in a loss of money for the idol and for the companies that manage them. However, with the implementation of a dating ban, fans will feel secure and confident in the knowledge that their favorites will stay loyal to the fandom alone. A petition was implemented and aimed at K-Pop idol Lee-Sungmin to be removed from Super Junior, the best selling K-Pop group for four years in a row, because they felt “Betrayed when they found out that he has been using his interaction with his fans as a way for him to show his love for his wife’’.[1]Therefore, maintaining fan loyalty as much as possible is essential for the continued success of a K-Pop idol, and by implementing a dating ban, the fans will still feel like they have a personal connection to the members, and continue to support them.

Counter arguments

Many people have argued that a dating ban does not need to be implemented in order to ensure fan loyalty to K-Pop idols. With Western celebrities, most fans do not lose interest when they find out that they are dating somebody, so why would it be different when a K-pop idol chooses to date/marry someone? Many of their fans would want the idols to find happiness and fall in love, as they know that is what’s best for them. The idols may receive online hate initially from some fans, but a significant decrease in popularity is rare. The singer Hyeri, a well known K-Pop idol, was publicly dating Ryu Junyeol, which has not had any negative impact on her career or popularity, despite her talking about the relationship several times in interviews.[2] Therefore, fan loyalty will not be affected just because their idol chooses to date someone.


[P1] By keeping an idol single, fans can continue their personal connection to the idol and are confident with the knowledge that they are completely committed to the fandom and their fans. [P2] Therefore, a dating ban must be implemented.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Many fans would want their idols to be happy, and not want to restrict their rights to find happiness and fall in love. Idols have had public relationships without generating much negative controversy.



This page was last edited on Saturday, 11 Jul 2020 at 14:56 UTC


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