by Lydia Tan
Kpop fans: you either hate ‘em…or you’re one of them. As someone who has fallen deep down the Kpop rabbit hole for several years now, I’ve seen my fair share of crazy Kpop fans and trust me, Kpop fans can get to a whole other level of crazy. So here are the six levels of extreme Kpop fan tropes that you will inevitably encounter when you join the fandom.
The FOMO Fan
This is the tamest out of the whole spectrum of extreme Kpop fan types. These are the fans who will make time to attend every single opportunity to meet their idols up close; they’re the ones you’ll see at the airport or at every concert/fan meeting event. They are also the fans who will spend their money on all the merchandise their faves put out – some even have dedicated Kpop “shrines” in their rooms for their precious growing collection of albums, lightsticks, posters etc.
The “Love is Blind” Fan
This next level are the fans who are so infatuated with their idols and view them as literally perfect in their eyes. When an idol gets involved in a “scandal” or gets flak for something he/she did or said, you will see these fans all up in the comments defending their idols with a list of reasons why it wasn’t their fault. It doesn’t matter if the idol brought the controversy upon themselves due to their own recklessness; to these fans, their idols are faultless angels that can do no wrong, thus they feel it is their moral duty as fans to defend and protect them.
The Landmine Fan
One note of caution: You never want to mess with these fans. If you so much as disagree with anything about their idols, you’ll immediately be labelled as a hater. Criticise a certain group’s song or don’t fancy a member’s looks? Hater status confirmed, be prepared for an onslaught of mean comments coming your way. These fans sometimes can be an extension of the “love is blind” fan – their delusional, perfect ideal of their idols can result in them shutting down anyone else who thinks otherwise.
The Thirsty AF Fan
This is where things get borderline creepy. These are the fans who can get quite TMI in expressing how much they love their idols. I’m going to spare you the details but just scroll the comments section of any Kpop-related video and you’ll see what I mean. These are usually the fangirls who see their idols as more than just oppas, they are their husbands, boyfriends, or even sons.
Ever heard of the term “weeaboo”? A koreaboo is the Korean equivalent, it refers to non-Korean people who try too hard to be Korean, to the point that they truly believe they are Korean and end up forsaking their own culture. This usually results in people making a cringey fool of themselves trying to portray what they think Koreans are like, based on what they think they know from Kpop/Korean entertainment or stereotypical tropes portrayed in the media.
This is the epitome of obsessed Kpop fans, so much that I don’t think they deserve the title of “fan” anymore. The term “sasaeng” comes from the Korean word for “private life” and they describe people who go to crazy extents to get their idols’ attention. These include harassing or stalking idols, breaking into their dorms to steal their belongings, almost poisoning them and even sending them letters written in their own menstrual blood. Well, if they really want to be remembered by their idols, they sure will be remembered – just not in a positive way.
Every fandom is not without its own crazy extreme fans but hey, that’s what makes them unique! Sure, these fans might not have such a good reputation and might do some questionable things but they add to the drama and excitement of belonging in a fandom. In fact, most of us Kpop fans are actually nice, logical people who stay within the boundaries of being a fan. So come be a part of us, we don’t bite.
** this article also appears in the Cult Issue (Issue 57), which was miscredited to Germaine Leow.