Top Korean actress Choi Ji-woo, 34, has also recently disclosed her relationship with her younger boyfriend, Lee Jin-wook, 28, who acted opposite her in a TV drama two years ago. She made headlines not only in Korea but in Japan as well, where she enjoys enormous popularity. The “older women with younger men trend” has been popular for quite a while now. Actress Chae Si-ra, 41, who is married to singer Kim Tae-wook, 40, as well as comedian Park Kyung-rim, 30, and her younger husband, Park Jung-hoon, 29, are just a few examples.
However, couples’ age differences have been on the rise recently, reaching as many as 5-6 years. Some couples have an age difference of 10 years. Actress Choi Jung-won, 28, made headlines because of rumors that she was dating actor Baek Sung-hyun, who is eight years her junior. Actress Kim Seon-ah, 34, also drew attention when rumors spread that she was dating singer Lee Seung-ki, 22, when the two appeared in a TV commercial for a beer brand. Though the rumor turned out to be groundless, the two received great attention for making a perfect couple despite their 12-year age difference. Rumors about Choi Jung-won and Baek Sung-hyun and Kim Seon-ah and Lee Seung-ki acted as a “noise marketing” tool, because they were spread when these couples appeared in the same productions, and contributed greatly to promoting the productions. It is also further proof that news about older women dating younger men is no longer surprising these days.
The popularity of younger men among older women and vice versa is also a result of changing public perception. As women’s social status keeps improving, nobody is surprised these days to see women dating younger men. The social stereotype that men must date younger women is also gradually losing ground. That also explains why many couples with younger men and older women are unabashed about their relationships.