The trials, tribulations of a K-pop fan

·2 min read

Contrary to what everyone thinks, being a K-Pop fan is no easy feat. It is hard work. It is a culture that thrives off numbers—particularly streams and revenue. A lot of K-Pop fans are teenagers who have no direct source of income, so it goes to show just how challenging it is to save money for albums and official merchandise.

Still, this is what makes a K-pop fan’s heart sing in absolute joy.

Nothing beats the joy of receiving the album you’ve ordered online; the feeling of peeling off the covers of the album to reveal which member you got for photocards, unboxing all of the other album inclusions such as bookmarks, key rings, photobook, etc. Although, it is a fleeting happiness followed by the haunting recollection that your savings are running out, it’s an indescribable kind of delight.

When comeback season is near, fans also have to brace themselves for voting polls which will eventually dictate if the idol group they stan (slang for idolize) will win music shows, top the charts and be awarded at year-end shows. Streaming is also another tribulation any K-Pop fan knows all too well. Some even take days off of school or work just to properly stream and get those numbers rolling.

Apart from the amount of money involved in being a fan, another struggle a K-pop fan also faces is the reality that despite the time and dedication they put out, they will always just be fans.

Seeing their idols live gives way to being disillusioned; it’s scary to think that a person could do so much for someone who doesn’t even know them. It is a sad truth but loving and supporting someone you don’t even personally know, that’s a genuine act of love. Park Jinyoung from the Korean boy group, GOT7, said so.

“Loving someone you’re not close with or don’t even know, I think is the purest thing,” the idol-actor once shared in a showcase.

For some, being a K-Pop fan is laughable. K-Pop fans are the butt of jokes on the internet; they are seen to be unhinged and obsessive. One thing that should also be said about them is that it takes a lot of commitment to actively pursue what you love.