Recently I asked myself a weird question: fetish or personal trend? I’m referring to my current rather singular taste in Asian talent – for talent read men.
I’ve been hyper focused on consuming South Korean media for over a year now, but over the past few months the bloom was fading from the rose rather rapidly. I’d start dramas, be annoyed as hell one episode in and drop them. I’d start movies and abandon them in disgust. I’d have my spirit revived by a Chinese drama like Well-Intended Love, then a Taiwanese mess like Triad Princess would have me rolling my eyes again.
Then I stared watching two Netflix dramas that restored my faith in everything: Crash Landing on You and Itaewon Class starring Hyun Bin and Park Seo Joon respectively. The heroines are immaterial to this discussion though I adore the reformed rich girl in Crash and the female sociopath in Itaewon is like a breath of life for South Korea in general. She literally should be cloned. In the very first episode she slaps the hell out of this older woman, and I was like praise be! The broad totally deserved, so don’t start, but back to this question, fetish or personal trend?
I wasn’t sure. So, I looked up the word fetish to be certain I was operating from the right definition, and sure enough, it’s not great: “Fetish: a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.” The word fetishize is even worse. I thought, no. I’m just in the thrall to a personal trend.
It’s like my love of romance novels. Sometimes I want alphas and kink. Sometimes I want new adult high school drama, and sometimes I want throwback mean boy until the girl he’s torturing loves him Harlequin type fictional love.
But it’s not like I’m out here scouting for South Koreans online or in bars. I’ve never even dated an Asian man. Honestly, I never gave them a thought until I started watching K-pop idol videos on Youtube. You know, those shipping/bromance joints that suggest heavily – God-bless their suggestive editing little hearts – that two members in a group are actually more than friends? Watch some. I recommend JB and Jinyoung or Jinyoung and Mark from Got7, or Jimin and Jungkook from BTS. If you don’t get sucked into the madness, I’ll happily admit to being a pervert.
I low key regret it too. Not dating Asians, I mean. When I was in the game, I dated all kinds of men: Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Spanish, White, Black, sundry combinations therein. In retrospect I definitely should have found some monolids to stare into as well, but you don’t know what you don’t know, you know?
Anyway, I say all that to say, I’m not Park Seo Joon’s biggest fan in the U.S. because he has the best profile in South Korea. That nose, those lush, pouty lips, we’re talking Roman coin here. There are some moments in What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim? that will mess your mind up! I’m also not stuck on him because he looks like the best on screen kisser since Boris Kodjoe a la Soul Food. He’s a really good actor.
Stop laughing! I mean that. The man can show deep emotion, changing the on screen mood super fast with just the tiniest movement of his face. That deep voice can shake with sadness and fear, or sound so cold and posh you want to pop him upside the head with a Judith Leiber watermelon clutch. He can make you laugh, cry, get royally pissed, and then make you want to eat his face through the screen while you’re still mad.
Further, Joonie – that’s what I call him in my head – isn’t really that handsome, at least not in a conventional way all the time. He’s sexy af, no doubt about that. But with the wrong haircut even that innate sex appeal he wears like scent and those phenomenal Asian warrior cheekbones will go the way of the dodo in the wrong lighting. That talent tho? That’s undeniable, and it just makes him sexier. His ability to embody different characters, and let’s face it, his intelligence at picking projects that continue to elevate and stretch that wonderful talent, that makes him far more attractive than that tall, well-kept body.
So, yeah. We are firmly embroiled deep in a personal trend. We are team monolid. I would learn Korean if Joonie asked me too, and I damn sure wouldn’t kick him – or Hyun Bin, le sigh! – out of bed for eating crackers. I’d probably get him some peanut butter, and a spoon. And some Soju, maybe some plum extract, spicy ramen…