Belatedly posting this a week after his actual birthday
I have this old t-shirt I like to wear of a cartoon deer with the caption “I’M FAWN OF YOU” and I wish I was wearing it now for Luhan‘s birthday. Luhan turns twenty-four (twenty-five in Korean age,) today! I remember when his birthday rolled around last year and I was legitimately relieved to find out he wasn’t thirteen years old. That’s how this little deer crashed into my world – making me doubt myself and challenging everything I thought I knew about what makes a dude attractive.
I had a fixed archetype for what makes a cute guy. After moving past liking bass players – tall, lean, disheveled but charming, ugly-sexy, “geeky”, old-school Weezer types, I moved on to finding scary androgynous Visual Kei fan-servicing dudes attractive (see Tora and Saga of Alice Nine, Uruha of The Gazette and of course, Ultimate Male Gackt.) Though no stranger to androgynous males, I was still just getting my toes wet with the idea of more feminine looking ones and whether I was attracted to them. I liked pretty boys to an extent, and I liked freakishly pretty dangerous psycho sexual-looking ones like my Visual Kei boys but cute wasn’t on the tasting menu. Honey from “Ouran High School Host Club” ‘s appeal went over my head. Nope, I did not do kawaii at all.
That made coming across Luhan all the more challenging and thrilling. I imagined getting lost in a forest of K-pop and coming across a magical deer with pink hair and clear innocent eyes! Suddenly I was found, but also even more lost at the same time! I was so confused, but decided to put my trust in the magical little deer! So cute! So cuddly! So harmless looking! I wanted to gather him in my arms and wrap him in a warm blanket because he had such sad woobly eyes when he sang!
He appears tiny and helpless and I bet those evolutionary traits will serve him well come a zombie apocalypse – most women will want to take care of him like a little baby!
Apart from the Unbelievable Cuteness, Luhan is just super fun and fascinating to observe. He is a Rubik’s Cube nerd and that means the boy knows his algorithms – always a plus.
I like how I know almost nothing about Luhan before he became an idol apart from he comes from Beijing. So much of Luhan is a mystery, but he effectively distracts you from what you don’t know because you’re powerless against all the Adorable. I like catching glimpses of his past life and making up stories based on the information I have. Here is one of my favorite photos of Luhan pre debut, a reconstructed old photo that was ripped to many pieces. It wasn’t what he looked like in this photo that struck me, though of course it got a lot of laughs – but it was what happened to the photo that piqued my interest. Lulu, what did you do to the owner of the photo that made her tear your picture apart like that? It captured my imagination and intrigued the fan fic fan in me. It must have been something horrible in a high school drama way, at the very least. I’m pretty sure this girl hated him. Was it an unrequited crush? Was he a jerk to her? Did he not like her back? Did he call her fat? Did he break up with her in the most douchey way? Did he cheat? Did he knock her up? Can you feel the rage in those jagged tears? Look at the regret with which the torn photo was reconstructed. Whatever pain he caused her, whatever wrongdoing was done to the owner of the pic, she still wants him back, that much is obvious.
Whenever I watch Luhan, I like to think of him as being this single-minded, incredibly focused human being with an unstoppable drive to succeed. Watching him offstage during athletic competitions and even those little contents EXO find themselves in – there is almost a switch that goes off with Luhan when it’s game time, and it’s really exciting to see him implode. Whether he’s playing side by side with professional footballers on a soccer field,or running on water in a swimming pool – Luhan is in it to win. He might not be a strategist on the battlefield, but he’s one hell of a front liner.
Luhan is a triple threat – he moves well, he sings well and he gives good face, but he knows his place in the group and it’s not a leader position. Whether he’s capable of such a position remains to be seen, as he has not shown leader potential in any way nor has he asserted initiative to deviate from his persona. He doesn’t lead the group, but he’s not in the background either. An amiable presence, Luhan is seen clapping and nodding along agreeably during group interviews and this is somehow interesting to watch and not at all like a background thing, but as a focal point while someone else is doing the talking.
So much has been said about Luhan’s “manliness” and his brand of male. Sometimes I put quotation marks around the word manly when he’s obviously not, but also there are plenty of instances where quotation marks are unnecessary and I’m convinced he is an Alpha Male. Not in looks, but in action. Lulu may look girly, and is an expert at fan service but I also think that in a fight between say, Kris and himself, Luhan is capable of beating the crap out of the bigger guy. The only other person crazy or dumb enough to try to mess with Luhan is Sehun, and look where that got him – out of a ship and with his butt kicked.
Speaking of ships, I love HunHan as much as the next stan, and I do miss the interaction between them, but I think that this ship hit its peak during the Idol Star Olympics in January of 2013 and fizzled out. I obsessed over the fan cams from that event like any hardcore HunHan shipper because the boy touching in those clips were what fan fics are built on. Entire foundations of HunHan canon were based on that one idol event, and it was epic. HunHan’s natural chemistry set the bar pretty high for EXO ships.
Everyone who ever boarded that ship tried to look for the same level of candid interaction between HunHan, but the two of them were hardly seen fooling around like they did during Idol Star Olympics. There’d be flashes of HunHan here and there – after all, they still belonged to the same group, but I don’t know – something went a little cold between the two and we can only surmise why. I like to think of Sehun moving on from the experience, and Luhan just being cool with whatever the maknae wants. But also – the crazy shipper inside me wants to believe that they are each other’s amour fou.
On the other hand, XiuHan just gives me fuzzy-wuzzy feels. It’s different from how I feel about HunHan because the dynamic is drastically different, and this ship stands a good chance of being a more long-term ship than the incendiary HunHan.
Look how cute they are – they are like Keebler Elves.
They are always whispering to each other like they’re in their own little world and I love them for that. There are still too few good XiuHan fics around – the most common tropes being soccer and coffee. My own Xiuhan head canon likes the coffee one – I like thinking about XiuHan quitting the idol biz and traveling the world for the perfect coffee bean. I’m willing to go down with this ship if it sinks, but I doubt it. I’m also okay with Luhan vacillating between the eldest and the youngest member, if it came to that.
A minor ship I like is LuKai just because.
This entry has been sitting on my drafts for about a week now, and the truth is I don’t know how to end it. Sometimes it felt like I didn’t even want to end it, like an unfinished scream. Luhan, you have been 24 for about a week now. When I was 24, I wrote better personal journal entries than blog posts and dealt with my quarter-life crisis by stubbornly clinging to my numerous freelance gigs. You are doing so much better at 24 than I ever did. Enjoy all the pussy being thrown at you on a daily basis though I can’t imagine how – it’s the thought that matters. You will always be my little deer, my princess peach, my manly Lu even if one day you will eventually grow up and be a Good Man. I know you can do it. Fighting!