Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Fornication as the Accepted Norm in South Korea
A couple of months ago it was announced that Baek Ji Young would be marrying her boyfriend (who is much younger than she is). It was then revealed that she was already pregnant. Her agency was aware of the scandal and the negative reaction that such an announcement would elicit and concealed the information until she was ready.
Subsequently, Han Hye Jin had to dispel rumors that hers was to be a shotgun marriage. And after it was announced that actress Lee Ming Jung was to be married to actor Lee Byung Hyun, her agency had to issue a press release asserting that she was not pregnant. This is how pervasive the phenomenon is among celebrities (or in Korea, in general?).
Seems like this has been happening a lot with Korean celebrities in recent years. What sort of example are they setting for the young and impressionable? S. Korea is slowly being transformed and losing its conservative culture. The importance of virginity for a woman is being undermined by Korean mass media - but the typical Korean beta may be willing to marry a woman who is not a virgin. With the age of marriage being delayed even in South Korea (still not as bad as the United States) and the social changes brought about by an industrial economy - universal indoctrination, infantilization, and so on, do they have much choice in the matter? Is it more likely that even Korean betas are engaging in premarital sex as well, with marriage not being seen as having any more importance than a LTR?
Still, celebrity divorces do happen in S. Korea. Will this be one? Hasn't divorce culture already infiltrated S. Korea and Japan?
While older South Koreans may still object and be critical of premarital relations, I expect Korean youth to be accepting and even supportive of the change in moral norms. Given the TV ratings system, it is unlikely that this will be universally represented in Korean dramas, but it will probably be increasingly depicted in 19+ dramas.
Baek Ji Young was married last week. Some photos of the guests.
And more on South Korea's plastic surgery culture -
Lee Da Hae’s Different Face From A Decade Ago Attracts Attention
Her face is prettier now, but was it really worth it?