I haven’t been a fan of K-Pop for as long as some people but it has been a few years now. Most people are used to me being a K-Pop fan and it’s not a big deal at all but people’s first reactions can be interesting, especially considering it’s literally just music. I thought it’d be fun to write a quick blog post about what people say when I tell them I’m into K-Pop.
“Oh so like Gangnam Style right?”
I’m pretty sure every K-Pop fan can relate, it’s always the first thing people say. What’s funny is that people are never like ‘oh, you mean like PSY?’ It’s always very specifically ‘Gangnam Style’. Listen, PSY has some absolute bangers but that’s not really what I mean. I remember my brother asking me but I really didn’t want to go into detail because he just wouldn’t understand so I sighed and went “Yep. Like Gangnam Style.”
“How can you like it if you don’t know what they’re saying?”
Good music is good music no matter what language it’s in. Have you rocked out to ‘Despacito’? Would you ask me how I can enjoy classical music with no lyrics at all? It’s not just Korean, I’d listen to music in any language if it was decent. Why limit yourself to one specific language when there’s so much good music out there?
“Why are there so many of them?”
I don’t know. Yes, some groups have a lot of members and I wasn’t a massive fan of that when I first got into K-Pop but you soon get used to it. After a while any group with five or less members feels really small. Personally I now prefer larger groups than small ones.
“It’s all really weird though isn’t it?”
Korea has a reputation of having weird music videos. I don’t know if I’m like desensitising from it but like I don’t think most K-Pop is even that weird. Obviously there are weird ones like CocoSori’s ‘Dark Circle’ or Orange Caramel’s ‘Catallena’ but most of them aren’t even that strange. However if you watch any ‘YouTubers re-act to K-Pop’ video they act like every music video is the weirdest thing they’ve ever seen in their lives.
I really don’t think it’s that weird. Obviously there’s the odd exception but it’s like that with Western music videos too. A lot of music videos just don’t make sense, Korea’s not an exception. However I’m not sure if I just think that because I’m used to it.
“Did you know in Korea they eat…”
I’ve never been to Korea so I can’t comment but like, I don’t care.
“Ooh so you’ll get yourself a Korean boyfriend/girlfriend then?”
I just don’t see why people make this connection at all? If I end up with someone it’ll be because I like them and their personality, not their nationality? If I listened to purely American music no one would be asking if I was gonna get myself an American boyfriend, why do it when I say I’m a K-Pop fan? I don’t have a fetish, don’t fucking ask me that.
“They all look the same, how can you tell them apart?”
They literally don’t, I use my eyes.
“Oh yeah I’ve heard of K-Pop, that’s like BabyMetal/Kyary Pamyu Pamyu right?”
I’m a fan of both Kyary and BabyMetal and I get this so often. Kyary’s a Japanese singer and BabyMetal are a Japanese group. But whenever I’m asked I always feel like such a douche going “Oh actually they’re J-Pop.” So a lot of the time I just nod because what’s even the point in trying to explain?
Another favourite is the rare occasions I do point out that it’s J-Pop and people ask “What’s the difference?” The amount of people who don’t know the J stands for Japanese and the K stands for Korean amazes me.
“Oh, I’ve heard of BTS!”
This one’s a good one, I’m not mad about this one.
*begins pointing out literally anything slightly related to Korea*
Sometimes this is okay, like my friend from work tagged me in a post about a Korean group coming to the UK and that’s fine. But it’s so annoying if anything about Korea is mentioned in the news or something and suddenly everyone’s on at me asking whether I saw it and my opinion etc. I just listen to music, I’m not the expert on Korean culture!
I’ve read other blog posts about people being like ‘supportive’ when they told them they were a K-Pop fan and stuff which confuses me a little bit because it’s literally just a music preference. I don’t need support. If you don’t like it that’s fine, that’s not going to stop me listening to it. When my Mom found out I was a fan it wasn’t a big deal or anything. In fact she was probably relieved I was over my ‘My Chemical Romance’ phase.
I used to do my friends heads in singing all the songs (especially since my Korean skills are literally zero) but it paid off because in the end two of them became fans so now I don’t have to be a fan by myself! Very convenient for when I wanna travel abroad for K-Pop concerts.
Ultimately if you are someone who told your friends you’re into K-Pop and they had an issue with that then you need friends because like it’s just music. People need to calm down.