Angie’s News Blog

“Baby-faced Stars”: They’re actually noonas!… Celebrities and their ever-changing ages, Monday April 20, 2009 Korea

Posted on: April 20, 2009

Source: Sports Chosun
Translations: Javabeans@dramabeans

“Baby-faced Stars”: They’re actually noonas!… Celebrities and their ever-changing ages

“Yesterday a younger sister, today a noona?”

Celebrities’ “elastic ages” are once again an issue. Recently, people got talking when actress Sunwoo Sun of MBC’s Queen of Housewives revealed that she’s not 29, but 34.

Sun Woo-sun’s management said, “It was a mistake that her profile listed her birth year as 1980. Actually, she was born in 1975.” Regarding the erroneous entry, they explained, “We believe her age was entered wrongly by her previous management. We thought it was best to reveal the truth.” That makes her a noona to her co-star, Oh Ji-ho (born in 1976), as she is one year older.

Celebrities’ ages go back and forth like this. One anonymous mid-level manager said, “Age is a particularly sensitive issue with entertainers, who survive off their popularity with the public. There are times when ages are adjusted to fit the image they’re aiming for when someone debuts very late, or sometimes very early.”

Actress Lee Shi-young rose to popularity through the drama Boys Before Flowers, and recently admitted that her profile age (born 1984) was wrong and that she’d actually been born in 1982. She explained, “1984 is my broadcast age. It was used because I’d gotten a late start compared to other actors.”

Aside from these instances, other “elastic-age” entertainers have been exposed, such as Hyun Young (born 1976, listed age 1980), actress Yeh Ji-won (born 1973, listed 1976), and singers Mina (born 1972, listed 1978), Kim Hyun-jung (born 1976, listed 1978), and Lexy (born 1977, listed 1979).

There are even some celebrities who claim to be as much as 10 years younger than their true ages. Baby Vox’s [the girl group where Yoon Eun-hye got her start] Lee Ga-yi was actually born in 1968, but she claimed to be born in 1978.

On the other hand, there are some stars who add years to their age. The profile for hip-hop singer Yoon Mi-rae [aka Tasha or T] now records her birth year as 1981, but when she debuted in 1997 as part of Uptown, her birth year was listed as 1977. Yoon Mi-rae said, “The management worried that if I used my real age, my image would be emphasized as an idol star and not a talented artist, so they made it older.” Singer Kim Wan-sun debuted as a 17-year-old high school student, but her agency raised her age when she debuted.

However, there are many voices expressing concern over this issue of faked ages. When entertainers are caught lying about their ages, people may lose faith in them, and it may cause entertainers as a whole to be considered a group of liars.


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