Rewind to about 4 years ago — my high school graduation, one of the happiest days of my life. I did it. I conquered 4 years of awkward pimples, insignificant teenage dramas that felt like the end of the world and never truly feeling like I “fit in” anywhere. *Insert “deep” metaphor comparing graduation to conquering Mount Everest.*
Why was my high school graduation one of the happiest days of my life? Was it because I was moving on to bigger and better things? Sure. Was it because I felt like I finally finished a critical chapter of my life? Meh. Was it because I was glad that I’d never have to come back and see the faces of 98% of my graduating class? Ding dong deng~! Bingo! Hell to the yes! Or so I thought…
Now fast forward to today. Physically, I no longer roam the halls of the godforsaken institution where my spirit was crammed into a tiny cage and prodded by spectators carrying goads. Mentally, I feel like I’m there all over again. Of course, I’m over-exaggerating. High school wasn’t that bad. Neither is being in a KPOP fandom. But, there are some similarities — at least in my mind.
Cliques, drama, rumors.
So, cliques. “You got your freshmen, preps, Asian nerds, cool Asians, varsity jocks, unfriendly black hotties, girls who eat their feelings…” -snaps back- Sorry, Mean Girls moment. Anyhow, each individual fandom is already its own clique — Sone, Blackjack, Shawol, Kamilia, ELF, etc. Within each clique are sub-cliques. Taeganger, Gorjess Spazzer, Sunshiner, etc. And even within those sub-cliques, there are sub-sub-cliques — no official names, just people who prefer to associate with each other. I know that wishing for cliques to magically disappear is a bit Utopian, but this girl likes to dream big. I suppose cliques are only natural. People who are similar to each other want to associate with each other. What drives me nuts about cliques is when they get catty.
**That’s right. Catty. Anyway…**
This is where the drama and rumors come in. People calling each other out. Making up and spreading hateful rumors. Calling other groups/idols hateful names. Refusing to support anyone but their own idol(s). Stomping on/bashing anyone but their own idol(s). Everyone’s a slut, or too cutesy, or too different, or not original enough, or overrated, or underrated, or too plastic, or too plain, or whatever the hell else. Yes, we’re all entitled to our own opinion. But what some artistically disinclined fans have yet to learn is how to draw the line between having an opinion and bashing/”hating” on someone. While I may not be completely innocent, I still do my best to steer clear of the drama because heart disease runs in my family and I need to keep tabs on my blood pressure. But, I’m sure you can understand the frustration that comes from even witnessing it.
If you haven’t noticed any of the aforementioned — I’m legitimately jealous of you. I’ve done my best to distance myself from KPOP just enough to not see these things either. Because let’s face it, going through high school once was more than enough.