In a recent post to the popular K-pop Thoughts subreddit, Reddit users discussed some of the things that first- and second-generation idols did that would be considered scandalous today.
Here are a few of those things:
1. Visual Rankings On Reality Shows
On many reality programs, groups would be asked any number of questions regarding their careers. However, some shows would go to the next level and ask members to rank themselves on their visuals. Here you can see Girls’ Generation asked to rank themselves based on their no make-up faces.
The members were generally nicer to each other than the program’s hosts who moved the members around and made specific comments about their appearances.
2. We Got Married
We Got Married was a popular reality program featuring a male and female idol living and completing challenges together as a married couple. While male and female interactions between idols today is encouraged, some of the things that took place during filming would raise eyebrows.
Many of the couples would kiss, like this scene between Henry Lau and former Jewelry member Yewon…
…or the somewhat uncomfortable age gap between Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon and Jung Hyung Don. Taeyeon was barely 20 compared to the 31-year-old Hyung Don, who ended up leaving the show to marry his current wife.
3. Members Kissing Each Other
As an ultimate show of fan service, group members would often go over the top with their physical affection. Most often, these interactions would be kisses! Many groups participated in this sort of fan service but Super Junior‘s Heechul is most often remembered for doing so!
4. Overly Mean Pranks
Pranks are a common part of the K-Pop experience. Normally, these pranks are harmless between members of groups. For example, when SEVENTEEN pranked Mingyu after he left to use the bathroom, fans thought the content was hilarious.
Mingyu anxious cuz he really has to go to bathroom in the middle of practice > jeonghan tell it aloud> everyone excitedly plans to prank gyu> even choreo instructor> makes gyu do embarrassing move by himself>laughs at him
— mi 원우지 (@miwon17_) May 16, 2021
However, many groups in earlier generations went a lot further with their pranks. One of the most memorable pranks was the one Sechskies pulled on Kang Sunghoon. During a CF filming, they pretended that Eun Jiwon passed away on set.
Sechs Kies' hidden camera on member Sunghoon. They pretended that Jiwon died after an accident during a CF filming. pic.twitter.com/L0UnLxzoNn
— MEMORABLE KPOP (@memorablekpop) June 5, 2016