Last time, I talk about how I define K-pop and I talk about the concept of Generation. This week, I will talk about the main reason why agencies keep debuting new group even if the market is saturate; the fan.
Are You a Fan?
The ONE thing that push agency (I will talk about them later) to create more and more group is the fan, more like the money the fans will spend on their favorite group. Each group have their fan club name and fan club color (yes color). In example, SHINHWA fans are called SHINWHA Changjo and the fan club color is Orange. If you want the complete list of fan club name and color, you can visit this really good website.
If I insist about dedicating a chapter on the fan is cause while they are the best when it come to encourage their favorite group, some can become quite scary. Really scary in some occasions like during «fanwars» and when they shield their favorite idol.
The concept can also be apply to other media, just think of the Star Trek fan and Star Wars fan. A «Trekkie» could dress as Spock to go see a Star Wars movie in theater just to piss off the fan of the franchise. It work the same way with K-Pop “my fave is better than yours”, “your fave is nothing compare to mine” is a common thing to read on K-Music forum, even on YouTube video. To this day I still failed to understand why someone will go on a page of a group they don’t like, just to piss off the fan of said group. The level of maturity of some really amaze me. It can become really bad during the award period since most of the big award fan vote for their favorite. And those fan tend to be really delusional. This delusion lead me to an other reason why fan can be scary.
Idols and every artists are humans being, it happen they might do something stupid or say something they shouldn’t. Most of the time it’s because they smoke marijuana, if for us it’s nothing big, in South Korea you can go to jail just for smoking it. However other time it’s bigger than that, sometimes we have case of rape or domestic violence. While we all agree to say both are really awful, the delusional fans will not see the bad deed and will try to protect his or her favorite idol. No matter what it’s gonna be the same thing “Oppa didn’t mean it” and if you try to put some reasoning in their head you will receive death threat.
Idol have the right to have a private life
That’s a concept a lot of fan seems to forget, before being idol, they are human, the are not God are some deities. They wasn’t sent to earth for our own enjoyment. They had a dream and they wanted to fulfill it, it just happen that dream include the love of the crowd, but no matter how you like our idol, never, NEVER forget they. are.human. They have the right to have a private life, they have the right to date, no matter how much you like an idol, you are not entitle to decide of what they would do. Of course, to avoid popularity lost, some agencies will put a “dating ban” in place for a certain amount of years, but once the ban is lift don’t can piss if your fave is dating. If you have the right to be happy with someone else, they have too. I will always remember when Beakhyun (EXO) and Taeyeon (SNSD) start dating. Beakhyun fan was mad at him, he even apologies for that, is it normal someone have to apologies for dating? I personality doesn’t think so. I know fan bring money when they spend it on idol, but I know, fan are happy when their idol are happy, so why idols can’t show their happiness when dating?
Of course all the fan are not the same, it’s like everything else, do not generalize. It’s not cause some member of a fan group can’t behave properly that all the fan are like that. Usually fan are really friendly and will be happy to tell you more about their group.
That being said, always keep in mind K-Music is a form of entertainment, you are supposed to have fun while listening to it, while giving your opinion about it. The day it will stop being entertaining, I might suggest you step away and come back later if you feel like going back to it.
Stalker not Fan
They like to call themselves fan, but in reality they are not, at least not in the way they should be. These type of «fan» exist everywhere, you just of the think of the number of people whom are trespassing just to get closer to their idol.
They call themselves hardcore fan, I call them criminal, the exact term use for those «fan» is “sasaeng”
In South Korean culture, a sasaeng or sasaeng fan (Hangul: 사생팬; Hanja: 私生팬) is an over-obsessive fan of a Korean pop idol, or other public figure, that has engaged in stalking or other behaviour that constitutes an invasion of privacy.
They will do anything to get close to their idol, from hacking their social media account to invading their home, some also sell idol personal information.
If you are still not sure of how “saseang” be check out Koreaboo post about “13 Extremely Disturbing Stories Of Sasaeng Fans That Went Too Far”.
And when it’s not the so-called fan who are putting the idol life in danger, it’s the anti-fan who try to kill the idol, ask Yunho from TVXQ what he think of them.
Fan are an important part of the Korean entertainment industry, without them idols wouldn’t exist, a lot of group are disbanding cause of their lack of popularity. However, it’s not because fan are making a person famous they have the right to do what they want.
I want to conclude this post by a quote of Kim Dongwan from the veteran group SHINHWA
If idols are not responsible for fan life, fan are not entitle to decide how idols have to live their life.
~ Thank you for Reading ~