By WInona Jane Agir | April 6, 2021
The Korean Wave (Hallyu) has become so popular that it caught not only the attention of generation Z and the millennials, but including some of generation X and baby boomers. Surprisingly, it has grown massively in the international scene that it dominated even as far as the West. Korean Popular Music, K-pop as often referred to, covers various genres from R&B, Hip-hop to Ballad, just like the kinds of music styles and genres that we used to listen to, however, in the Korean language instead of English.
Contrary to popular belief that K-pop rose to fame because of their modern, upbeat concept appealing to the younger generation, some of the K-pop songs of K-pop groups offer a different kind of solace that transcends through music; a connection which no one will understand except the fans.
As the K-pop industry predominates globally, so are the K-pop enthusiasts called K-pop stans. Stan Twitter has become a thing; it is a platform where the fans of various K-pop groups from different parts of the world freely express themselves to support their K-pop idols. Unfortunately, the supposed-to-be peaceful environment to fan-girl or fan-boy turned to be a toxic community where loathe became constant and uncontrollable. Some of the most common causes of fan-wars are obsessing on charts, breaking records, and comparing idols with unnecessary remarks such as, but not limited to:
“Your fave is not as talented as my fave.”
“Your fave’s vocals are not as powerful as my fave’s.”
“My fave dances better than your fave.”
“Your fave is just overhyped.”
Not to mention those who got into K-pop because of the bandwagon, just to be “in” the trend as we speak. People who are not authentic fans, and childish fans in general, easily jump to conclusions of unverified information of K-pop idols on social media and use this to throw hate against them, dragging them down in ways they do not deserve.
While K-pop idols are formed to the satisfaction of their market, which is their fans, they are humans as well. Humans are worthy of respect as anyone else. They worked hard to achieve the success they have right now, and it is inappropriate to invalidate what they have gone through just because you do not like them, either their music.
Regrettably, this hatred is not only directed towards the K-pop idols but to their fans as well. Other fans in other fandoms criticize the others in a different fandom for not liking their faves or not liking the music they produce. There are a lot of K-pop groups to choose from, and you cannot expect or force people to like the same group as you do. It is a matter of preference. Hence, it is beyond understanding where this hostility stemmed from and how it is being normalized in stan world.
Fan-girling and fanboying should not be this complicated. If you find K-pop-related contents that you do not like on social media because they are not for your faves, then follow the rule of thumb: ignore, unfollow, unfriend, or block, if need be. Simple as that. Bashing is unnecessary, nor starting a hate train unprovoked is. Keep in mind that there is more to life than K-pop. Do it in peace.