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.
To celebrate Kim Taeyeon’s birthday, I’ll be hosting a small giveaway! Thanks to the anonymous donor who generously offered the prize. :)
- What am I giving away? 1 copy, SNSD - The Boys (American Album)
- Who can participate? Anyone - that means you! And you! And you, too!
- Is there an age restriction? No, just make sure your parents are okay with you giving out personal details (i.e. your address) if you’re a minor.
- What do I have to do? Reblog/Like as many times as you want. Each reblog/like counts as an entry. You don’t need to be a follower.
- When does the giveaway end? Friday, March 16, 2012
- How will the winner be chosen? A random number generator
- What happens if I win? I’ll make an announcement on both Twitter and Tumblr that someone has won. I’ll notify the winner via his/her Tumblr Ask Box at which point they’ll have 48hrs to give me more info. Otherwise, another winner will be chosen.
- Questions? Leave them in my Ask Box :)
This is a rant post. It won’t be all unicorns and rainbows and butterflies. I’m warning you ahead of time because I know some people may get offended by what I have to say. If you’re easily offended, I recommend you move along. :)
I’ve been ignoring this for a while because I saw no point in ranting about it. Ranting generally leads to arguments, fighting and confrontation — all of which make me squirm like a kid who’s about to get a painful booster shot. But, I recently saw a tweet that, I suppose, caused me to crack.
Some people seem to think that there are “rules” to being a fan, and more specifically, being a S♥NE. We have to buy albums, listen to all their songs, support them in every poll, obsess about them 24/7 and love all 9. Don’t meet the criteria? You aren’t a S♥NE, some say.
Here’s the thing. There are no “rules” to being a fan. The way I see it, if you like the group, you’re a fan. There’s no job description associated with being a S♥NE and I have yet to see a list of duties and obligations.
So no, I don’t have to buy every single album, photobook, poster or any sort of merchandise to prove my fandom. If I have the luxury of being able to afford these items, and if I want to purchase them, that is my prerogative. That doesn’t make me unsupportive. I find other ways to support and cheer our girls on. I save up to see them in concerts, I watch their music videos, I stay up to watch them on music shows, I vote for them in polls. I’m not any less of a fan.
I’m also not any less of a fan because I have a bias. I respect all 9 women. I appreciate all 9 as hardworking, ambitious, talented individuals who all contribute something essential to the team. Each is unique. Each is a vital piece of the beautiful puzzle that is SNSD. Each has her strengths and weaknesses. But, that doesn’t mean I love all 9 equally. I love and respect them all — but I don’t love them equally. And I am not apologizing for that. I won’t apologize for that. When I see my bias acting adorable, I can barely suppress my squeals. When I see her strutting on stage like the sexy woman she is, my heart flutters and my breath stops. And when she sings? It’s as if all my troubles melt away, leaving only warm, fuzzy feelings. The other 8 make me feel this way, too, but to a lesser degree. It’s not that they aren’t equally cute, sexy or talented. It’s just that I share a connection with my bias that I don’t with the others. It’s not something I control. It just sort of… happens.
In my mind, the “rules” to being a “true fan” are simple: Enjoy their music. Support them in any way you see fit. Respect them. You’re a S♥NE.
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“JIGEUMEUN SO NYUH SHI DAE! (지금은 소녀시대!)
APPEURODO SO NYUH SHI DAE! (앞으로도 소녀시대!)
YEONGWONHI SO NYUH SHI DAE! (영원히 소녀시대!)”
We all know and love this classic fan chant. Right now it’s SNSD, In the future it’s SNSD, Forever it’s SNSD! But lately, I’ve been thinking — this won’t all last forever. One day it’ll come to an end. Maybe I’ll gradually lose interest in SNSD and KPOP. Maybe work and school will become too overwhelming, and I’ll be forced to withdraw from the fandom. But in all likelihood, it’ll all end when SNSD stops being SNSD. One day, the girls will go their separate ways.
And what happens then?
What will become of SONEs? Where will we all be 5 or 10 years from now?
I wonder if we’ll find a new group to spazz about. Maybe we’ll find a group just similar enough to SNSD to spark our interests, but different enough so as not to be considered copycats. Maybe this new group will fill the empty void in our hearts that was once occupied by Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona and Seohyun. Maybe we’ll come to love this new group as much as we loved SNSD — learn all their dance moves, memorize their lyrics, come up with fan chants. And maybe we’ll spazz about this new group, buy all their merchandise, stay up to watch them perform and support them through all their ups and downs.
But maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll forget about all of this years from now and settle back into our regular lives. We’ll get preoccupied with college or grad school applications. Work becomes more of a priority. Some of us may even get married and have children.
And inevitably, we’ll one day forget about those crazy people on the internet who consumed so much of our time back in the day.
So enjoy the fandom now, SONEs. Attend concerts. Spazz until you can feel the beat of your heart in your chest. Celebrate every award, every solo concert, every interview, every victory. Dance until your breath is ragged and your shirt is soaked with sweat. Sing proudly — even if you don’t know the lyrics. Wonder about the newest concepts, songs and music videos. Stand in awe of the incredible strength of our SONE community, all banding together to love and support 9 girls who forever changed our lives.
Enjoy what you have now so that one day, you can happily reminisce about all that you had.
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