Geek Culture

Does Kpop Culture Encourage Shipping of Boyband Members?

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Last spring semester, a friend and I hung out for over 12 hours. In that time, we went total weeaboo and koreaboo. We ate ice cream, watched the new Attack on Titan season two episodes, and discussed our mutual love for Kpop. I hadn’t ever had the chance to talk with a shipper before – someone who loves spending some of their free time putting couples together. Some shippers will write stories, make playlists, and crop photos of them together. There’s many ways in which shippers can express their love for their OTP (one true pair). I found it fascinating because I do this but with my Bioware video game protagonists and their romanceable counterparts.

With her as my guide, I dove into the world of yaoi kpop shippers, people who take some of their favorite boy band members and couple them together. Initially, this may seem like it would be a farfetched thing to do, but truth be told, it seems like Kpop culture encourages such behavior.

There were so many moments caught on tape in which the boys in these bands where playful with one another, which reminded me of the way in which Japanese culture and yaoi present themselves.

The evidence is everywhere online.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s many videos that have also added fuel to the fire.

 

 

 

On a more realistic LGBTQ+ note, there are even some Kpop songs and MV’s that have depicted gay romances and gay characters.

 

This is quite surprising for Korean pop culture given how conservative the culture tends to be with sexuality in general, but it also makes sense given how Kpop culture is very communicative with Japanese and western culture, and how each of them have proven that there is a group of people out there who cherish gay romance.

It was past midnight around the time I left my friend’s house and walked home. She had showed me hundreds of photos, videos, drawings, and stories from the shippers. It blew my mind how many people around the world have come together to dedicate so many hours of their time to putting these boys together, and when I thought more on the matter, I completely got why it was so fun. It’s much like reading a book, or watching a film, or even following the celebrities you love. You’re enraptured in their stories and live vicariously through them. They provide the ultimate escape in a world that can be cruel and depressive at times.

Currently a grad student, professionally awkward person, writer, and all around total geek. His works are featured on PeculiarBeings.co, PopGeekly.com, and his personal blog lifeonthehighwire.wordpress.com.