Chogiwa – For the non Kpopers, a Kpop fandom is probably seen as not more than just a fangirling activity. However, as a part of Kpop fandom myself, I have experienced certain things that put fandom as something bigger than that.
I’m not trying to make fandom looks powerful or something just because I’m part of it, instead as a writer I just want to state some facts that may help people changing their minds about Kpop fandom since most people who are also non Kpopers usually see Kpop fandom with a negative stigma.
#1 They Are Massive
It is obvious that Kpop fandom is massive. If it is not massive how could BTS’s Dynamite could reach 100 million views within 24 hours on YouTube or Blackpink’s new MV Lovesick Girls could reach 10 million views only in one hour.
You think it will work that way naturally? Of course not, because there are big fandoms behind those two big groups. They are massive and though they are not so well-organized but believe it or not, they kind of having their own networking system.
#2 They Have Their Own Networking System
Knowing that Kpop fandom kind of having their own networking system is probably weird for the non Kpopers but as part of Kpop fandom I could share some experiences. Just last week, in Indonesia, there were protests against Omnibus Laws which considered as discrimination to workers which at the same time, the Indonesian Kpopers received critics because they were considered to only care about Korean and forget about being Indonesian.
Well, do you know what happen at that time? I clearly remember, that was October 7th, which was also the birthday of EXO Lay Zhang, normally for a fandom, they would celebrate it in all kind of ways in order to get attention from their idol. For the exception of EXO-L Indonesia because they got critics and Omnibus Law protest at the same time.
I’ve been joining some group chats in several social media platforms which enable me to track information about EXO not only in Indonesia but also from several countries such as Malaysia and Philippines. At that day, there was a specific instruction has been regulated among EXO-L worldwide, that they would celebrate Lay Zhang birthday by raising a certain hastags, except Indonesia EXO-L.
While all fandoms in Indonesia have different specific instructions, they should raise certain hastags to support the protest against Omnibus Law.
What happened then? Lay Zhang’s birthday became trending in all countries, except for Indonesia.
It’s creepy right? Well, just continue reading this and you will be surprised.
#3 They Are Not Limited to Spaces and Times
Indonesia is probably considered as just another developed country, it is impossible for Kpop fandom to have power over bigger country, like United States for example.
Are you sure with that kind of statement? Let’s see some headlines in several big news platform last June when Black Lives Matter forces broke in United States from Washington Post up to BBC News have reported about the Power of Kpop Fandom which was considered as a powerful force in that protest.
In order to hold the rains of Black Lives Matter protest in the US, Dallas Police Department asked people to share any illegal activity protest by posting the videos through the iWatch Dallas app. What Kpop fandom did to prevent police from tracking the activities of the protestors? They responded by posting and sharing their fancams and memes of their KPop artists through the app which a day later reported to experience a technical error.
Do you think it is only American Kpopers who did that? Of course not, as mentioned in previous point, they have their own networking system which is somehow not limited to spaces and times. They are not only working locally or nationally; it is possible for them to work globally if they want it.
#4 They Are Loyal
The best thing about Kpop fandom is they are loyal to their idols. It is obvious, if not, how could they are willing to invest their time and money just to support their idols.
Do you need a solid proof so you would believe it? Well, let’s talk again about how Kpop fandoms did have some contributions in Black Lives Matter protest.
First, Blinks, the fandom of Blackpink decided to pay respect to all the victims of inhumane violence and justice instead of promoting Blackpink’s new song Sour Candy featuring Lady Gaga which released a day after George Floyd’s death because it has been instructed officially through the official Twitter account of BlackpinkAsia. They did follow it without protest.
Second was when BTS and their label BigHit Entertainment donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter. ARMY, the fandom of BTS also did the same by starting a fundraising to match the group’s donation.
Why on earth they did that? It is because they are so loyal to their artists. If they artists told them so, they will willingly obey it.
#5 They Are Powerful
That is why Kpop Fandom in some aspects are super powerful. If they are not powerful, how could they be able to interfere certain political movements such as when they reserved President Trump’s rally seats in Tulsa but didn’t come, left rows of rows empty seats for the President.
Well, it is not a common thing for Chogiwa Weekend Features discussing something as serious as this but somehow people just don’t know that something looks so silly like fangirling activity could be so harmful and powerful if they put it as a force. The power of Kpop fandom may be still underestimated in a long long time but at least as part of a fandom, the member should know that they are in fact having certain power. Just if they use it for positive cause then it is possible to make this world a better place just by joining a fandom. Who knows right? Everything is possible now.