BFFs in K-Pop–yes, it’s a lie

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Someone has been searching around, trying to figure out where Zico and Block B live. I was thinking that I would have to post a Guide to New Fans about stalking (which is a really bad idea). But then I looked more carefully at the queries and saw this, which made me realize that this is yet another person attempting to suss out whether all the members are BFFs just like everyone ELSE in K-Pop is!

So, I’m going to let this person in on a little secret: Everyone in K-Pop is lying about being BFFs.

A little background as to why: One of the distinguishing characteristics of K-Pop is that idols are marketed as personalities, not as musicians.

The thing is, once you start marketing someone as a personality, you want them to have a marketable personality. If you’re marketing them to teenagers, you want them to be appealing to teenagers.

Ever notice something about teenagers? They’re the only ones who treat being BFFs as something other than a joke! Nobody else–including those very teenagers ten years later–seems to understand the incredible significance of BFFs. Non-teenagers even write long articles explaining to other non-teenagers why teenagers believe in this crap. It’s almost like they think the very concept is profoundly unrealistic!

And that’s because it is. Nobody is BFFs–you might be best friends for your entire life, and that still is going to fall far short of forever.

The truth is that you probably won’t be best friends for your entire life, either. The intensity of a friendship is dependent on many things, not the least of which are proximity and shared interests. These change over time, and so the friendships change as well.

Is this a bad thing? No. 

Adults accept and even embrace this–this is why your parents don’t want you to skip college in order to marry your high-school boyfriend. If you move, or discover a new interest, or change jobs, or have a baby, your circle of friends will in all likelihood change. Some may drift away, perhaps completely, but others (who you may have never even thought of as friends) will fill the gap.

Think about it–how many marriages last a lifetime? And even if you’re married, you want to have a robust social network as well. You really don’t want to have all your eggs in one BFF basket.

One ever-changing group of friends is work friends. The relationship revolves around the work you’re doing–and you may find that you don’t actually have much to say to each other when you’re not working together.

Is that a bad thing? No! Work friends are awesome!

You can also have a roommate who is a wonderful roommate–just the best!–but who is not someone you have a lot in common with or have a close emotional connection to. Even so, this person may be about a million times easier to live with than family members who you actually love.

That’s OK. It’s all good!

But in K-Pop they market this BFF bullshit so hard that a group of people who live together because it’s cheaper (yes, that is why labels stick all those people in one room) can’t move out once they have money without it generating comment. In their rookie days, Block B was nine people (seven group members + two managers) sleeping in two rooms.

Are you saying you wouldn’t move the fuck out of there the first chance you got?

Well, I suppose the BFF thing is at least better than believing that a K-Pop label is a family and people who leave because they’re getting ripped off are traitors.

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9 responses »

  1. The dorm members seem to enjoy each others’ company like good roommates and buddies, but other than Kyung saying he was there when Jaehyo bought the camera *when they were in Japan away from other friends and family*, they give the impression of separate lives despite living together.

  2. I think a lot of the fans are still quite young in that they haven’t gone into the work force. Like I’ll have work colleagues that I prefer to hang out with for lunch, gossip, do work stuff but at the end of the day, I want to go back home. To people I can really relax with and not talk about work. And I kinda get that with block b, they all like working with each other at work and they enjoy being with each other but end of day it’s work buddies. Besides being with someone 24/7 will likely drive you bananas.

    • Right? Even parents need breaks from their kids.

      You can have really strong bonds with work buddies too, especially if the work is something you’re passionate about. Like, to me, saying that Zico “just” has a work relationship with the rest of Block B–well, he is a workaholic, and as far as I can see he “just” has work relationships with everyone (except presumably his family and Choi Taejoon, who feeds him).

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