Have you ever heard of the word ‘kidult’? It is a mixed word using kid and adult, which connotes an adult with a childlike sensibility and taste. For example, there are great numbers of university students who have affections towards the animation characters known as ‘minions’. You may also have seen people who have the hobby of collecting figures or dolls, or even watching animation for kids. They could be perceived as weird, but deep down, underneath, they are instilled with the pure sensibility of a child. Perhaps, acknowledging an image of a child you have inside is not worthy as an adult. But the idea of a ‘kidult’ is gaining more popularity and thus, it is now accepted universally by the public. From now, how about acknowledging the ‘kid’ inside you and enjoying that image?
1. Where Does ‘Kidult’ Come from?
Most people miss their memories of the past, and thus tend to remind themselves of the good memories of their youth. Being a kidult is created by a strong desire to go back to childhood. Undoubtedly, an adults’ social life is more stressful and challenging compared to a kids’ life. A harsh social life gives them unbearable stress, something that they would not normally have experienced when they were kids, and thus they start to miss their childhood unaffectedly. We can cure the depressed feelings of adults through delving into kids’ lifestyles. We can feel happiness while having an innocent, pure and creative sensibility because it enables us to forget about the stress in our lives. Also, adults could afford high-priced toys and hard-to-assemble toys that they had once admired in their childhood due to their unaffordable prices at the time. Perhaps we have more opportunities now to enjoy a child lifestyle than they do. Now, we can deeply enjoy child’ play in an adults' way.
2. Hobbies for Kidults
CAH chose four hobbies that came to mind when we heard of the word ‘kidult’. You can see familiar things that you have experienced in your childhood too. CAH hope that this article reminds you of the gratifying memories of your childhood.
LEGO is the world’s no.1 block toy with which you can make anything through combination and that we can play with for 365 days without getting tired of it. LEGO became popular because it was a new way to give body to the imagination in our heads. The word LEGO comes from the Danish ‘LEG GODT’ which means to ‘play well’. For kids, LEGO is a ‘Toy that can be assembled as much as I like’, but for adults, it is loved for being a product that makes them want to collect every series of it. LEGO has many products that are produced for reenacting places in movies and it is often praised for its high-quality. You should try it!
-Radio Control Models
Radio control models, usually called R/C or R/C models, are wireless models that use remote controls by means of radio signals from a transmitter. You can see many young people steering R/C models in the park. This is especially popular for men. R/C models usually come in the shape of transportation like cars, helicopters, airplanes, and ships. You can steer them forward and backward, left and right and most of them use batteries for power. Even though they are models of transportation, they have almost perfect completion and you can feel how real the steering is. Flying an R/C model is the most popular of them all because we can feel freedom while flying them in the air. It would be a really good experience for you to steer R/C models.
A ’figure’ is a character-themed product that is made of plastic, or metal. They are usually from movies, games, or comics. Considering their shape, effects and origins, there isn’t a big difference in them between a doll and a statue. It is easy to think that figures are an elaborate doll. There are many expensive products and it is hard for kids to approach them but there is a craze for adults who like to collect and display them. Nowadays you can meet any of the characters in virtual reality for real!
-The Kidult Look
You may have the memory of pressing parents to have bags or clothes with characters on them. Like that, in the past, character products were for kids. However, the kidult look, character fashion items for adults is now very popular. You can easily see young people wearing character fashion items. Even luxury fashion brands have a tendency to make runways bright and cheerful by using characters like Sponge Bob and Mickey Mouse. Character items have stimulating effects on usual daily looks and you can show your individual style too. The Kidult look has an amazing charm for us.
3. Celebrities that are Kidults
There are a lot of kidults around us. There are also many well-known celebrities who love kidult culture, and you would feel familiar with them if you knew about their special hobbies.
-Actor Johnny Depp
Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has a special affection with bobby dolls and his hobby is collecting bobby dolls. At first, he started to play with bobby dolls for making ties with his daughter and he became interested in them this way. He has talked about his affection with bobby dolls in an interview and that bobby dolls help him a lot. When he got a role with softer image than he usually played, bobby dolls helped him practice the role.
-Actor Ji Jin-hee
Korean actor Ji Jin-hee is a well-known LEGO lover. He started LEGO with his son, but he became more interested in LEGO, than his son. After that, he became a LEGO lover and he has actively worked for LEGO on the internet and the LEGO café. Also, he participated in the project of making a building model of Shinsegae Department Store out of the blocks. He still participates in many LEGO projects.
-Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment
Yang Hyun-suk, CEO of YG Entertainment is a representative kidult in the entertainment business. He has collected a lot of figures including Robot Takwon-v. He has many figures that are distinctive and special because he collects rare figures investing a lot of money them. These are called custom products, which are produced when a consumer wants to make his own character and own it. There is a prediction that he could have invested over 20,000,000 won in buying the figures.
-Actor Shim Hyung-tak
Actor Shim Hyung-tak has said that he has been a lover of the character Doraemon for the last 20 years. He said that when he was in high school, he was once ostracized by his friends and the comic book Doraemon comforted him. The character Doraemon helped the character Jingu who was ostracized in the book and he loved Doraemon for his kindness. He bought many Doraemon character products including towels, a water bucket, and ball pens and uses them in his daily life. Also, he opened a party for the movie Doraemon release. He clearly loves Doraemon so much!
Above them all, there are still many celebrities who are kidults. Singer Seo Tae-ji and Lee Seung-hwan, actor Cho Min-ki, Lee Na-young, Lee Shi-young, Park Hae-jin and Leonardo Dicaprio have also said that they are kidults. Kidults are clearly around us and are increasing in number!
4. Special Events for Kidults!
Recently there are some places for kidults that have opened. The two events below are now over for this year, but they ended with great success. If you are interested, you should visit and enjoy them too!
-Seoul Kidult Fair
If you are interested in kidult culture but are afraid to start, CAH recommend for you to participate in a kidult fair. At the fair, you don’t have to mind others and all you have to do is just enjoy the event. Seoul Kidult Fair is an event that introduces and displays kidult contents, so people that don’t have the background knowledge in kidult culture can also enjoy the event. You can know about a variety of kidult culture and trends. This year, it was held from July 22th to 26th, but Seoul kidult fair opens every year. Don’t worry if you don’t know much about kidult culture and visit it!
The Kidult Expo has the advantage that both adult and kids can enjoy it. You can touch toys including LEGO and blocks and experience various kidult products. Also, the Expo is different from other events that mainly display and sell kidult products so it will be a good opportunity to check diversified kidult culture and life from fashion and beauty to household items. This year, it was held from March 26th to 29th. If you want to experience the various kidult cultures from the past to future, I recommend for you to visit next year!
Now that you are an adult, you may have tried to hide the child inside you. If so, the way of thinking that an adult should not enjoy kids’ things just because they look childish, might have blocked your childlike innocence. Yet, it can be a loss if you hide your sensibility because you can draw your innocence and creativity by watching the world with childlike sensibility. Don’t hesitate, and reveal your innocence today!< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >