Jisoo, from the K-pop girl group BLACKPINK, is dating Korean actor Ahn Bo-hyun.
News of this relationship broke on August 3rd when (in)famous Korean entertainment news outlet Dispatch shared photos of Jisoo and her new beau meeting up at her home. In response, Jisoo’s agency, YG Entertainment, and Bo-hyun’s agency, FN Entertainment, confirmed the news. They said, “They are getting to know each other with positive feelings. We would be thankful if you look upon them with warmth.”
Jisoo, aka Kim Jisoo, debuted in 2016 as the lead vocalist of BLACKPINK. Ever since their debut, BLACKPINK has risen to become one of the biggest K-pop groups in the world with hit songs like “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, “Kill This Love”, and “How You Like That”. In 2021, Jisoo made her acting debut with the Korean drama Snowdrop. In 2023, Jisoo launched her solo debut with the album entitled ME with the songs: “Flower” and “All Eyes On Me”. This past year has seen BLACKPINK perform as headliners at Coachella (nicknamed by fans as Pinkchella) and perform at Hyde Park in the UK. Jisoo is currently on-tour along with the rest of BLACKPINK.
Ahn Bo-hyun is no slouch either, having a long resume of roles under his belt. Bo-hyun has starred in Korean dramas such as Yumi’s Cells, Itaewon Class, and Her Private Life. Currently, Bo-hyun is starring in the still-ongoing See You in My 19th Life which is available to be watched on Netflix. Bo-hyun also has a vlogging channel on YouTube and is best friends with Sehun from EXO.
This forwardness about an idol’s dating life is something that is very rare in the K-pop industry. Unlike in the West, dating in the entertainment industry can be a very sensitive topic-especially with K-pop. This has much to do with the deep-trenching culture of parasocial relationships that pervades fan cultures that are based in East Asia. It is especially evident in the K-pop industry due to how K-pop companies have marketed idols to fans as commodities as a part of a fantasy where the idol is available to all the fans. Many K-pop companies in the industry have dating bans in place.
This phenomenon has seen idols become victims of sasaengs (obsessive fans) and being treated harshly when it is revealed that they are in relationships. For example, in 2020, Chen of EXO received announced his engagement and that he was going to be a father. There were a number of EXO-Ls (EXO fans) that were greatly upset at the news and even went as far as to protest to demand Chen’s exit from his group.
Another infamous example is Hyuna and Dawn’s situation with CUBE. Back in the day, HyunA was CUBE Entertainment’s golden horse as the singer brought great success to the company. But the singer soon found herself in hot water alongside her boyfriend & labelmate Dawn from PENTAGON when it was revealed that the two were dating. Without the say-so of the company, HyunA confirmed the relationship. In the end, CUBE kicked out HyunA and Dawn from the company.
Over the years, the stigma around dating in the K-pop industry has become less prominent. This can best be seen with the number of popular idols from big K-pop companies-like JYP Entertainment and SM Entertainment- that have started openly dating. In the past, Jihyo of TWICE was in a relationship with singer Kang Daniel. Similarly, TWICE’s Momo dated Heechul from the SM boy group Super Junior at one point. Joy of Red Velvet has been dating K-R&B artist Crush since August 2021.
This situation with Jisoo isn’t the first time that a BLACKPINK member has been embroiled in dating news. Fellow BLACKPINK member Jennie has had her love life thrown into public discourse plenty of times over the years. In 2019, it was revealed by Dispatch on New Year's Day that Jennie was dating Kai from the boy group EXO. The news rocked the K-pop world with Jennie being the target of much heated criticism, something that the star was already getting decent dosages of at the time.
Since the Jennie-Kai situation, Jennie has found herself the subject of multiple dating rumors over the years. These rumors have seen her be paired with the likes of Harry Styles, G-Dragon from Big Bang, and V of BTS.
Luckily for Jisoo, it appears that she won’t receive the amount of blowback that Jennie got back then. This is because it appears that Blinks (aka BLACKPINK fans) have taken the news in great stride. While many Blinks have seemingly been taken by surprise by the news, they are very happy for their beloved Jisoo. This can be seen by the number of Blinks that are posting comments on social media congratulating the couple on the news. Many of these posts are patting Jisoo on the back for securing an attractive man like Bo-hyun.
Edited by Shahnawaz Chodhry.
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