Thursday, September 8, 2011

What does it take to be a K-pop fan?

One of the things that stood out the most about K-pop, at least to me, among other things are the fan clubs. I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like a K-pop fan club. But can a person casually claim him/herself a fan and giving herself the title? It might be more complicated than that.

This thought came to me while I was browsing through tumblr. I came upon a post that roughly talks about how that person hates it when a fan calls herself (insert fan club name) when you're still doing "sinful" things. Those sinful things, among others, are only pays attention to your bias (your favorite band member), not liking every song, etc. This post was actually quite surprising to me, but on the other hand somewhat expected. Is it really that difficult to be part of a fan club?

The answer would be yes. Let's take a little background check, okay? In K-pop, almost every single act, may it be group or solo, has a fan club. These fan clubs are usually given names that reflects the artist it supports. There's TVXQ's Cassiopeia, Super Junior's E.L.Fs, SNSD's SoNEs, Big Bang's VIPs, miss A's A Class. The list goes on and on. To become an "official" member, one must pay a certain amount of money to the official fan site in order to gain exclusive rights to many things a fan would want. But of course you can be the unofficial fan and still do all the fan things just like fellow official fans, if you like.

Here's the tricky bit. It seems to me, or as far as my observation goes, that in order to become part of that fan club, you have to give your heart and soul to the fan club and its designated artist. I think a mistake many K-pop noobs make is casually labeling themselves a fan just because you like certain songs or certain members. Apparently that's not how it goes. Just like I have mentioned above, being part of a fan club and labeling yourself as one needs dedication and loyalty. You have to want to support every member, every song, every little thing they do, making becoming a fan one serious job.

This is the exact reason I don't label myself as a certain fan of any artists. I used to call myself a VIP, but then I realize I don't like every song Big Bang releases. I also used to call myself a Hottest, but some of the things 2PM do irks me. I've done a few spazz posts of INFINITE in this site, but I still hesitate on calling myself an INSPIRIT. There are some songs I don't go head over heels for, and I'm not particularly fond of every member. So even though I put a little more attention on INFINITE compared to other groups, I still don't want to call myself an INSPIRIT because of the mentioned above.

You may think that this is just teen angst and whatnot. I also thought of it that way too. I thought why are they taking this too seriously? But trust me, you don't want to mess a fan club. Especially when it comes to rival artists. If I explain here, it'll be worth another post. Let's just leave the adolescents and their hormones be.

I mean it's so much better when you're a free soul like me, ranting all you want on any groups and any songs without getting the side eye from your fellow fan clubbers. It's all worthwhile. Plus you can get all the good songs for yourself with the additional variety. What could be more awesome than that?


  1. i like kpop but never apply to become official member. i'm not stand only in one fandom. that's why i have bias in each male group ㅋㅋㅋㅋ i'm not maniac fans who only adore one group although i have some friends like that. they only monitor their fandom & ignore the others. sometime their act like this make a "war" with other fandom coz they always think that their fandom is the best

    i agree with you. being a free soul is much better. i never compare one group with other group that have similar genre of music. why? coz although same genre each group have their OWN characteristic. why kpop fans must bash other group. if you not like it, just shut up. no need to bash and provoke anger from the fandom. how your feeling when someone bash your fave fandom? the other feel the same too. so don't hurt others if you don't wanna get hurt

    this is only my opinion about to become kpop fan :D

  2. I agree completely. I haven't joined official fanclubs and I don't label myself a fan of a group unless I know pretty much all their songs and love all of them: hence why I only call myself a fan of B1A4 and Block B. Like you, I have a love of Infinite, but it's more for their personalities than their music because I actually find I don't like their music style very much.

    Fandom wars and dedication are kinda scary. I get why people get all fired up, but if the idols aren't affected by whatever the troll has said, why care? A great fandom would be one which is so chill that they can support their artist without any qualms. I'm sure the idols would be proud to have a fanclub like that, rather than have to apologise on behalf of their fans. Seriously, what real fanclub would act so badly, they shame their artist's name? Not cool.