Underaged K-Pop Idol Gets Non-Consensually Hugged And Touched By A Fan, Sparking A Discussion About Fan-Idol Boundaries
K-Pop fans are blessed to be in a fandom where idols being active with fans is the norm. Idols sometimes spend hours interacting with fans via social media and in person during fan meets and concerts. Still, the lines can sometimes become blurred for fans, causing personal boundaries to be broken physically and emotionally. This recently happened with P1Harmony‘s Jongseob.
P1Harmony are currently on their 2nd U.S. tour, 2023 P1Harmony LIVE TOUR [P1ustage H : P1ONEER]. Fans have been able to enjoy seeing the idols up close and personal as they perform in each city.
During the shows, group members will hop off the stage and go into the crowds to get closer to fans — often performing fan service live, completing hearts, and posing for cameras.
hi jiunggggggg 😊 @P1H_official #P1Harmony #P1HarmonyinDC #P1ONEERinDC pic.twitter.com/7PnR2loG90
— wyn ⁷ 🌻 IS SEEING PIWON AGAIN (@WynterMea) February 9, 2023
omg keeho is so stunning #P1Harmony #피원하모니 #기호 pic.twitter.com/LzSNv6tmIk
— angela (@p1hits) February 9, 2023
SOUL FROG HAT #P1Harmony #P1HARMONYinDC #P1ONEERinDC #SOUL #소울 pic.twitter.com/DU4iUcuk7F
— president of the masaya fanclub PIWON TODAY!!!! (@ultmill) February 9, 2023
While members were walking around off-stage during their Washington DC stop, a fan seemed to leave their seat and approach Jongseob, who was in the middle of an aisle.
The fan had their arms outstretched as though asking for a hug, and Jongseob stands for a few moments before stepping forward as the fan pulled him into a hug.
After backing out of the hug, Jongseob turned around, and the fan touched him again, sticking their hand into his hair and ruffling it. It seems like they tried to approach Intak but were stopped by security before getting close enough.
Fans who attended the show shared clips of the moment online, where it quickly went viral. Many understood the desire of feeling close enough to your idol to want to hug them but thought that this should not have happened as it is an invasion of their personal boundaries.
please give the members some personal space i know you guys would all love to hug them but that doesn't mean you should
— jongseob thinker (@seobthinker) February 9, 2023
Why was someone hugging Jongseob!? Y’all need to respect boundaries sometimes. Not okay. #P1Harmony #P1ONEER #P1HARMONYinDC #P1ONEERinDC #jongseob pic.twitter.com/LvjnIwIepU
— Jon Loge (@fourthgenitdad) February 9, 2023
People need to learn basic respect for others personal space and area, this should not be happening and was wild to see 🤡✋ hope Jongseob is all good #P1Harmony #P1ONEER #P1HARMONYinDC #P1ONEERinDC #jongseob #p1H #p1ece pic.twitter.com/BoI4HBcK4A
— 🌸💖devin💖🌸 saw p1h in DC (@momiji_lol) February 9, 2023
Respecting K-Pop idols’ boundaries, both physically and emotionally, is a topic that has been discussed repeatedly. Fans have previously discussed the problems with trauma dumping on K-Pop stars and the negative impact that not respecting boundaries with idols can potentially have.
Idol-fan relationships can feel much closer and more personal than they are, causing fans to forget they are strangers to the idol because of the one-sided bonds that can form with K-Pop groups. These one-sided bonds, called parasocial relationships, can cause things to happen, like fans hugging an idol they feel like they really know.
not to mention you NEVER know what these idols go through behind the scenes and at any point if anything in that message could've been a trigger to someone else too (not saying it was but just saying for any idol it could've been possible). ppl gotta stop trauma dumping on celebs https://t.co/S3bsmyHQcY
— avid gyu supporter 📹 (@gyudehaan) August 15, 2022
According to many mental health experts, not respecting idols’ personal boundaries can be unhealthy and dehumanizing since it shows them that the parasocial relationship takes precedence over their humanity.
it actually shocks me how some “fans” dont even see artists/their favs as people with real feelings and boundaries . how can you have the audacity to touch an idol without their consent?? HE DOESNT KNOW YOU!! youre not entitled to touching him. weird as hell
— jupi ⭑ 🌷 (@hakushotafan) February 9, 2023
Why is it so difficult for kpop stans to simply respect their idol’s boundaries? Y’all clearly don’t see them as people and it shows
— boycott bbc (@icespiceluvr127) February 3, 2023
Interactions between idols and fans are a core and endearing part of K-Pop and its fandom. If we treat all idols with the love and respect they deserve, hopefully, these interactions will continue in the years to come.