Monday, August 24, 2015

A quick thought

I was sitting here getting ready to watch a Running Man episode with Kim Woo Bin and Rain. I know zero about Rain except that a lot people seem to like him. Kim Woo Bin, I am familiar with his work in a lot of areas, especially recently.

Kim Woo Bin

I was thinking about his first episode on Running Man and how my perception of him before seeing him on the show was that he would probably a cocky dude who would annoy me to watch. I mean, he's huge over in Korea, people love him all over the world, and he usually plays a cocky character very well.

After watching the Running Man episode, I found myself surprised, yet again...

He was practically shy! This seems to happen with a lot my preconceived notions about Korean stars. I will think that because of their stage persona that they are a certain way off stage. Luckily there are hundreds of videos where I can see these people and their behaviors, not just on variety shows, but backstage cameras and downtime vlogs. Most of the time, these show humble, down to Earth, shy people that are behind these big personas.

Another example. Zelo, from B.A.P. He's so good at what he does, he's so in the camera's face in music videos, how could he not be a little dude all full of himself?


Now that I have watched half the videos on the internet that contain B.A.P (they are my new obsession), I see that he is just a little boy with a lot of talent. I want to be his big sister and protect him from the scary world that wants to eat that innocence up. He's just a giant (for real, he's tall) kid that knows how to rap and dance like a master.

So why do I have these preconceived notions? Why do I assume when someone has talent they will be hard to watch off stage, that I won't like them? I think I've come up with an answer.

American stars are completely different than Korean stars. Now I want to preface this with, I am not naive and I know there are exceptions to this idea; not everyone is going to fall into the categories I am about to outline. I get it. But this is a generalization that I have noticed and I want to share. Maybe it's just me. Maybe not.

That being said, I feel like American stars, when they become famous for their talent, become worshiped and then expect that worship. They get lots of money for what they do; actors and singers that are famous get paid to be famous. People treat them differently to the point that they are expected to be treated as royalty. They become self-centered assholes, and don't tell me they don't because I know you've said something along the lines of "Hollywood ruined that person" at least once (Miley Cyrus, Justin Beiber, countless Disney kids, I could go on). You see your favorite American star on Ellen and you're glad Ellen can carry the show because if they talked much more you might not like them anymore. Their jokes are pre-thought up; they look uncomfortable when people don't laugh; they look like they are being fake so that people will like them.

Switch to Korean stars. I'm not saying that there are not those that don't do the above. I am sure there are. But, Korean stars seem to be a bit more humble. They seem to genuinely appreciate their fans, because they know they wouldn't be anywhere without their fans. Yes, they make money, but not the boatloads American stars make, and they don't seem to flaunt it as much as the American stars do (I have definitely seen exceptions to this rule). They go on a variety show and get made fun of because they don't take themselves too seriously; they understand that they are worshiped but they humble about it. They aren't expecting anything other than love, and express gratitude when they get more than that. 

This is a cultural difference. Koreans are raised different than Americans. I look at the country through American tinted glasses and therefore I get confused when I see how the people are and act. Basically, I've realized that I can't have a preconceived notion about a person just from watching a few videos and reading a few articles. The amount of times these Koreans have surprised me is uncountable.

So yeah, that's my revelation of the day. Not totally ground breaking, but it was interesting to me. Koreans are more humble about fame than Americans. That's the big difference that I seem to forget. So maybe this post will remind me.

Now back to Running Man....

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