Let’s start the first week off serious!
I just want to dissect the formation of the negative connotation of Kpop linked to real life consequences.
No doubt the first feature of interest is an age-old conception that being a fanatic of any kind does not a reputable person make. I can’t completely disagree but as all stereotypes are, it is incredible reductionist. “Stan behaviour” is not commended by most stans. Obsessive following or unspeakable behaviour and even blind defence of their artist. It certainly does not point to maturity. And then there is the social norm of vulnerability to that degree, to the point where you are open about niche things you enjoy. There is also often proof of unhinged behaviour. Something about the anonymity of online spaces in a bubble when almost everyone shares your thoughts makes certain behaviours alright. Behaviours that are not socially ideal. And naturally people make a correlation. I’m sure my own negative connotation is also punctuated by Korean social norms. To be a stan, an otaku, a “deokhu” as they call it, seems to suggest the person can’t adjust to normal society. They seek friends in a hobby rather than those in real life.
At the end of the day, Kpop stan simply does not look ideal on a resume. I am often afraid of what judgements people cast on me when I reveal I am passionate about it. Still we power on. The happiness waiting for new albums and engaging in communities supplies, is much greater than many other things. I can keep this part of me hidden.