One of the many common practices that K-Pop idols usually have to abide by with respect to “fan service” is aegyo.
The term, loosely translated, could be explained as “acting cute.” A person who naturally has cute tendencies or a way of speaking is often said to “have a lot of aegyo.” But when idols are asked to do aegyo, it usually implies displaying cuteness through child-like gestures, high-pitched voice, and speech.
Though aegyo is a staple of idol culture, fans, especially non-Koreans, are starting to grow out of it. To some, it is cringey, and they would rather not see a grown person be asked to act like a child if they are personally not inclined to. Some idols also often express that they are uncomfortable with the practice.
lmao i was looking back on this interview and it’s just so funny to me that as SOON as they thought cameras stopped filming, wendy immediately held onto irene’s hand bc she was so embarrassed 😂 pic.twitter.com/8iHAU3tH4R
— kc🌷🌼|💞∞ (@babyblueorange) September 27, 2023
When Hwasa refused to do aegyo during a fansingpic.twitter.com/pYL9CxGyud
— Natsu ❖ | Sailor Dongie 🍯 (@yoohyncrush) February 8, 2023
BTS’s youngest member, Jungkook, has always been regarded with extreme endearment among fans. When he debuted, he was just a young teenager, and both his members and ARMYs have a special fondness for the maknae. While Jungkook has always received their love with gratitude, in the past few years, he has occasionally expressed his reluctance to be treated like an actual child by some fans.
Recently, Jungkook hosted a listening party on the platform Stationhead, where he interacted with ARMYs in real-time. While responding to the comments, he came across someone requesting him to do aegyo. In response, he gave a simple rejection, saying that he couldn’t do it anymore.
🐰 애교을 보여달라구여
🐰 아 저 진짜 이제 애교는 못하게써여
애교 못하겠다고 애교 부리는 중 pic.twitter.com/ICNCqCRNWO
— 브리이에 (@BRILLER__613) October 3, 2023
🐰 you want me to do aegyo ? ah i really cant do aegyo anymore
— 윤서⁷ (slow) (@btsinthemoment) October 3, 2023
🐰u want me to show u aegyo?
🐰ah i seriously cannot do aegyo noww
🐰i cant do itttt https://t.co/tjUkjQfy7K
— 찜라 (@mandakkoo) October 3, 2023
Fans are loving this unfiltered honesty from the idol, praising him for setting clear boundaries. On the other hand, some ARMYs also pointed out that given the naturally cute personality of Jungkook, there was never a need for him to do aegyo anyway.
Thank you Jungkook for shutting the mouths of those idiotic armys who still see a 26 years old as a child, please stop with this mental sickness https://t.co/fsWq9oCMtS
— 3D SONG OF THE YEAR 👑 (@jk_supremacyy) October 3, 2023
what’s the obsession with asking idols to do aegyo 😭 also jungkook is naturally so cute isn’t it better for him to do it naturally by being himself than force him to do it???? https://t.co/rOYdwMthYW
— jani⁷ ૮₍ ˶• ༝ •˶ ₎ა (@kooheartss) October 3, 2023
asking for aegyo in 2023………. that man is naturally cute let's not force it , it just becomes cringy https://t.co/1vyvIJzDbs
— lisa (@jeonteku) October 3, 2023
— kenmin 3Dꪜ (@doctorkoobert) October 3, 2023
controversial opinion but despite jungkook being extremely naturally cute he was never a good fit for aegyo even when he was 15. It was just clear that my mans found it uncomfortable LMAOO https://t.co/e2RaUBPuES
— f. ⋆｡˚⋆⁷ 🌟 (@_koohbear) October 3, 2023