When your heart is not your own

When your heart is not your own
Taeyeon, leader of South Korean girl group Girls' Generation.

It was a celebrity relationship which shocked and rocked the K-pop industry.

Last week, Korean media outlets revealed that K-pop idol Baekhyun, from rising boy band EXO, is dating Taeyeon of top girl group Girls' Generation.

Leaked photos showed the two behaving intimately in Taeyeon's car.

Their agency, SM Entertainment, confirmed the secret romance shortly after.

The timing couldn't have been worse for EXO, which had just been hit by a controversy.

Band member Kris had left abruptly last month, over alleged unfair treatment by SM Entertainment.

Now, enraged fans in Korea and elsewhere in the region have launched an online petition, baying for Baekhyun's blood and calling for his exit from the 11-member group.

Many chanted "traitor" during his live music show's recording last Sunday.

Some even started selling Baekhyun paraphernalia at low prices after feeling "betrayed" and "angered".

Such are the rules of K-pop. You play, you pay.

When he made the decision to sign his life away as a K-pop idol, he should have been prepared for what it entails.

No misbehaving, no disrespecting, and most importantly, no dating.

By flouting that rule, Baekhyun has not only jeopardised his own career, he has risked alienating the band's fans.

There's a time for everything. And if he wants to remain an idol, now is not the time for Baekhyun to be romancing anyone. After all, the 22-year-old entered the competitive, volatile and highly fickle K-pop scene just two years ago.

EXO have so far achieved formidable results and enjoyed a smooth ascent, bagging more than 50 awards in the short time since their debut, including the coveted Best Newcomer and Song Of The Year titles.

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