SHINee‘s Taemin is known for his often boundary-breaking solo concepts and imagery, but his latest release has caused a fierce debate.
On October 30, Taemin released his fourth mini album, Guilty. While his other releases have had physical albums, Guilty’s shoebox concept excited many fans.
In the days since his release, fans have shared the album content online, first showing the CD and artwork components of the album.
Under the initial album contents is a hole to be used to open the fake bottom and reveal images more sensual than the initial, including a set of photocards showing close-ups of Taemin’s various body parts.
The contents have made some uncomfortable due to their intimate feel, with the “peephole” placed in the album reminding some of “molka” or illegal spying. The imagery of Taemin in what some feel is schoolboy-like attire only added to these feelings for some netizens.
the qrts are not it, context is album inclusions makes u feel like you're spying on a school boy through a hole in the wall, you see his underwear, there's closeup pics of his face on a little zip bag. there's concept pic of him and extras wearing fits that look like uniforms https://t.co/XexQdJnoxx pic.twitter.com/9x8Cz83cgR
— mar 🇲🇽 (@haechiese) November 2, 2023
Many fans feel, however, that the voyeuristic nature of the album’s contents is done intentionally to give the viewer a “guilty” feeling, going along with the album’s title.
In addition to this, others believe it shows how Taemin, who has been active as an idol since he was 14 years old, has been put in a position to be sexualized by adults but is now being sexual and intimate on his own terms as an adult.
Can't believe this has to be said….the voyeuristic nature of Taemin's album inclusions r SUPPOSED to make you feel uncomfortable &, well, GUILTY. For someone who's been sexualized since 14, he's reclaiming it. He's a genius, an artist & if you don't get it, that's a YOU problem
— xoalsox stan⁶ᵛ⁶ (@taemacious) November 1, 2023
mind you, the whole concept has been about a young man being exploited which very much hints at taemin's career trajectory. if anything, the outrage should be at the fact that taemin was once a minor who was constantly sexuaIized and not a single person did a thing to protect him https://t.co/G8mK0QxSxt
— ً 💍 (@clubfaist) November 2, 2023
people suddenly have a problem with taemin doing a sexy concept as a 30yo involved in his creative process but were real quiet when he was being sexualized and exploited since he was 14, make it make sense
— mery (@jonghyunstory) November 2, 2023
What do you think of Taemin’s album?