Negative Side Effects of Kdramas

korean-drama-addictYes, I am 100% a kdrama addict. I watch them, obsess about the actors and actresses, blog about them, even dream about them. You get the picture. But it doesn’t mean I don’t see through the rosy glasses I wore when I first started watching. Just like American TV, Kdramas have their flaws but we love them anyway. Today’s blog is not really about those flaws in general, it’s more about a certain mental side effect I found myself having. It made me wonder if anyone else suffers from it as well.

I feel OLD!

I have a milestone birthday coming up and I’ve been mentally preparing for it all year long. I started to spiral a few months ago thinking that I am getting super old. I’ve always had people tell me I look a lot younger than my age, but that stopped happening a few years ago. Wrinkles are in full force. If I didn’t dye my hair, I’m sure there would probably be a few gray hairs up there. My youngest is horrified at the idea that I’m turning XX (the age we will not speak of).


My husband is no help because he’s three years younger than me. It was getting pretty bad. I love spending most of my time at home watching dramas and writing so it’s not like I was hiding from the world any more than I usually do, but I did feel myself thinking about how old I looked almost every day.

Then I had the opportunity to buy tickets to the G-Dragon concert to celebrate said birthday and I jumped on it. But in the back of my head I wondered if I should even be going because I was more an ahjumma than a noona. It was in the leading weeks to the concert that I finally realized one of the reasons I’d been spiraling so much. Korea’s obsession with age had gotten to me. It’s not just Korea, I’ve watched tons of Jdramas and Cdramas where the girl approaching thirty (not the age I’m approaching unfortunately) is thought of as an old maid if she isn’t married. The young office girls treat her like crap because they are the up and coming talent. Other examples are more subtle, but they are there.

This is compounded by the fact that almost all leading men are younger than me. There is a very, very short list I can technically call Oppa (if we aren’t going by Yoo Na’s definition).

Kdrama Ji GIF - Kdrama Ji Sung GIFs

Kpop is even worse. The new groups debuting make you feel more and more like a perverted old woman. In this aspect, I’ve actually limited my Kpop tastes to just a few groups I plan on following until they get really old (gasp, thirty) and retire. It’s understandable with how hard idols are on their bodies. Plus, those kids need to able to get married and it’s just not that feasible until they retire.


So there was all of this evidence that Kdramas and Kpop were warping the way I was thinking about myself in terms of my age. Is it really their fault? Is Kdramaland any different from Hollywood? Probably not, but it sure sent me into a dark place for a while. I’m not going to dissect dramas and the culture any further than this because it’s not really why I’m writing it nor do I think it’s the sole cause of my frame of mind.

Back to G-Dragon… I still felt old and thought I possibly shouldn’t be there when I got all gussied up for the concert. Then we stood in line, and the young girl in front of us brought her mom who was older than me. And several spots down from that there were more women who were either my age or older. As I held my Big Bang light stick and waited to enter the arena something magical happened. My youth came back to me. I sat in my seat and chatted with the teenage girl and her mom (a different mom and daughter duo) and anticipated GD while singing along to the videos and felt rejuvenated. When he came out on stage, I was swept away just like all the other fans of varying ages.


KMUSE snapped a picture of me standing in line that I’m currently using as my Facebook profile and it captured how I felt that night. Comfortable in my own skin again.

I guess I wrote this post to say that beauty, weight, age, social status, financial status, and so many other ideals can be shaped by what we watch and read. We can get caught up in it all and let it affect the way we view ourselves. But the same things can also remind us that we are all alike too. Kdrama & Kpop fans are varied and diverse and it’s not something that has an age limit on it.

Now, I’ll have to come back to this post in ten years to remind myself that I am still young if I want to be.

Have you noticed anything like this after watching Kdrama for a long time? How do you deal with it?

DG out.

0 thoughts on “Negative Side Effects of Kdramas

  1. I sometimes resent the agism I see in the dramas. I have learned to disregard it as part of the fiction I am watching. Ah, Kpop… I joined the fandom of my bias and found other women who are all ages – young singles, mothers and also grandmothers who still feel the rush of youth and passion when caught up in the energy of the concert. It matters not about age, weight, status (marital or financial) we respect and support the same artist. This common bond, the mutual love and appreciation we feel for him makes us sisters. Sometimes I backpedal, because I want to savor the fantasy on my own (being single). But all-in-all, I handle feeling “old” by avoiding mirrors and knowing I’m only as old as I feel. I feel 30 and I’m waaay okay with that. My bias is in his 30s now. LOL

  2. I right there with you as I’m approaching a milestone birthday next year as well, it might well be the same one you are. I think the biggest thing I notice in my drama viewing as I get older is the lack of relatable characters. I’m always happy when I find the rare dramas that have people in situations I can relate to.

    • I used to swear off weekend dramas, but I’ve found myself obsessed with Father is Strange. I think it’s because it centers around the family and I can relate better to that dynamic than others.

  3. I feel your pain, girlfriend! I really don’t feel my age (except when I get down on the floor and try to get up again! LOL!). When it occurs to me how old I really am, I’m shocked at myself! I’m totally a cougar! Lets just say if I ever did meet my favorite Korean star, they would have to use honorifics with me! That would probably break my heart. What if I was just like, “How dare you use honorifics with me!?” LOL!

    • Ha! Yeah, I’m well aware that most of the actors and actresses I like would call me ahjumma and use honorifics.

  4. Oh man. I sooooo hear ya! Though I can’t help falling in lust with the young, firm idols. They’re so pretty! But you know, I don’t care. Drooling over hot young Korean males keeps me young at heart. I’d rather that than to wither away old and crusty and bitter. Not me. I’ll be 70 and still singing along to Kpop and watching Kdramas. If you notice, many of the women in their 30s might be ostracized for being single in dramas, but the halmoni often still reached out to pat the firm buttocks and admire and they accept it so we’re okay. ^_^

  5. I’m more of a c-drama kind of person but I guess it feels the same. I’m pretty young but leads nowadays are getting even younger than me and it’s scary. I love them but I can’t bring myself to watch them without feeling like I’m a failure who haven’t accomplished anything in life.

    • Leads have usually accomplished the unattainable. LOL Also, I think they’ve started using CGI in Cdramas to smooth out those beautiful men and women’s skin. It’s too perfect.

  6. Not into kpop, I’m a rock and ballad person, but ain’t it a great way to bond between mother and daughter? Getting wiser does bother me at times too, especially the decreased metabolism, but kdrama helps me relive my youth and keeps me young at heart. The hubs call the young khotties I like my kboys and there’s a lot of them but I gravitate more towards those about my age. Thankfully, there’s still a lot more with Gong Yoo leading the pack.

  7. Oh, when I got into dramas I was already ‘mature’, so everyone from idols to leading lads in dramas were younger than me, LOL! Didn’t stop me from enjoying the eyecandy with an occasonal fangirly moment though. 😀 The face I see in the mirror may not be that youthfull anymore but I like to think that the spirit residing behind still is. Guess you might say I’m quite comfortable in my skin these days. 🙂

    The agism in dramas does make me roll my eyes every now and then. As well as the burning need for everyone to be married. Guess that’s an “Asian thing”, it’s not much of an issue where I live.

  8. The one thing that is a down side to kdramas is that they often paint loving dramas or pop music as a “kid” thing that true grownups put away. To that, I say, “Horse poop!” While I admit to really enjoying older storylines in dramas, I’m ready to enjoy teen romances with the best of them.

    As they say over at the “Still Buffering” podcast, “I am a teenager – and we were ones too.” Ajuhma though I may be, I can still love the depth of BTS or other kpop songs because I’ve also had those feelings of worry or new love or indecision and regret. Unless you hatched from an egg, we’ve all gone through these stages.

  9. I am 30 and whenever I learned about the ages of my ‘oppas’ like mostly 20 something, I feel old but that doesn’t stop me from giggling like a teenager. Being obsessed with Kdrama gods and kpop idols makes me feel young instead. People would normally comment I do not act like my age but a teenager. So for me,I only feel old when I check and care about the age of my oppas but when I don’t,I feel young and happy.
    Age is just a number anyway 🙂

Leave a Reply