Siwon is perhaps the most popular SJ member in Korea, although this can be argued easily with Kyuhyun’s and Henry’s popularity nowadays through variety. And like you said, he does have that image of perfect man. He is one of Korea’s 엄친아 (엄마 친구 아들 , the son of mom’s friend who your mom always compares you with) because of how perfect he appears to be. But this does not necessarily make him automatically popular in public. At least, not when we compare him to other male actors.
How about this? For midterm result, you get the highest exam score in class. Let’s say, you get 94. However, there are other students from different class that have achieved a higher grade than you. Those students get 96, 98, 99 and even a perfect 100. Furthermore, those students are students who have previously won academic contests inside and outside of school. So, although like them, you actually achieve an A grade, not many people remember you as much as they do with those students who get higher grades than you and have won academic contests before. It’s not necessarily that you aren’t as capable as them. It’s just that they have shown a consistent great achievement in academic than you and that makes people acknowledge them more.
Another case if the other students get the same grade as you. But because they are also students who have shown their skills through academic contest and activities, people still will tend to acknowledge them more than you, even if you have the same grade as them. Again, the reason is because they have shown consistent achievement which has established an image for them in school.
What can we gather from this illustration? Compared to other SJ members, Siwon maybe the most popular member to public. But compared to other actors or male celebs, who have more works in Korea, he may not be as well known as them.
Idols aren’t really much known in public. The preference seems to be more to actors> singers > variety acts > idols in public. Siwon is an actor and had had worked in some acting projects in Korea. However, he doesn’t really have that one project that made a huge hit for him in Korea, except for King of Drama. This is why although he does have good image, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will have high popularity in public when compared to other actors.
Same like you, I am currently studying psychology. As Siwon’s fan for 5 years, I have to say that he is one of the most complex person I know. I remember saying once that learning about Siwon is like opening a door to find another door, and you open that door, and you find another door. I always find myself surprised at his acts and words. Sometimes he does and says something that is unexpected. He has his good traits and bad traits, just like everybody else. He’s serious but then he makes people laugh easily. He’s one interesting person, that’s for sure. Sometimes I think people only look at him because of his looks and just tend to make prejudice against him, without even trying to dig more. When I see that happens, sometimes I get upset because it’s not fair and I think Siwon is not only about his wealth, fame, looks or that one quote he said. He has more than that and I think he’s a nice person.