K-pop fans pinpoint source of stars' charm: Contrasting personas


Korean fans have pinpointed the source of K-pop celebrities’ charm: the contrast between stars’ onstage and offstage personas.

Online K-pop fan communities have been recently flooded with compilations of clips featuring stars, from EXO’s Baekyun to BTS’ V, and their different attitudes on and off stage.

Wanna One’s Kang Daniel, who is enjoying massive popularity after nabbing first place in the second season of the K-pop idol audition programme “Produce 101,” is said to embody the epitome of such contrasting charm.

Fans say that offstage, Kang is like a “puppy” with a cheerful demeanour, while onstage, the 1.8-meter-tall singer-dancer exudes charisma.

Such paradox is key to creating an appealing character in comic books as well, according to the cartoonist Lee Jong-bum (“Dr. Frost,” 2014), who majored in psychology.

“We are attracted to the unexpected sides of people. These are stories that have been told for years and years. When a next-door friend of 10 years suddenly does something dashing, or when someone who looks perfect turns out to be clumsier than you expected, we become curious about that person,” Lee said.

“That’s where a character’s and a person’s charm is created.”

Thursday, October 12, 2017 – 11:44

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