Open Menu
Open Menu

PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/GRACE NEO, ANELALE NAJERA VIA UNSPLASH

East vs West music fandoms

How different are K-pop and Western pop fangirls?

Grace Neo
Grace Neo

Published: 14 May 2015, 9:21 PM

Tan Li Wen
Tan Li Wen

Published: 14 May 2015, 9:21 PM

There is a stark contrast in the lives of fangirls found in both K-pop and Western music fandoms.

Here is the ultimate list of differences found between these fandoms—scroll down to find out which camp you truly belong to!

 

 

Extreme fans

In the Western music fandom, overly emotional fans are sometimes referred to as “groupies”, typically defined as groups of young women that follow a band or celebrity religiously, in hopes of developing a sexual relationship (yikes) with them.

This might seem mild when compared to the fan letters, written in menstruation blood and adorned with pubic hair, made by some extreme K-pop fans. Some even pulled their idols off the stage in the midst of their performance. How insane!

 

 

GROUPIES IN THE PAST PHOTO CREDIT: THERICHEST.COM

 

THE INFAMOUS FAN LETTER WHICH 2PM TAECYEON RECEIVED
PHOTO CREDIT: CHINENNA.WORDPRESS.COM

 

SNSD GETTING PULLED OFF STAGE BY A MALE FAN

Fan projects

Most fan projects in the Western music fandom are created and spread worldwide via Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. Some fans also organise flash mobs to support their favourite band’s album launches.

For instance, The Bandana Project was created by American Directioners to support One Direction during their US tour. They created a “dress code” that had fans wearing coloured bandanas to represent their favourite band members.

 

PHOTO CREDIT: GENUINELYBELIEVE.TUMBLR.COM

 

Fans also conducted a flash mob that took place in Sydney, Australia, for One Direction’s Take Me Home album. Check it out below!

One Direction Sydney Flash Mob Take 2

For K-pop fans, their projects are usually referred to as fan support. Sending rice wreaths for singers’ album showcases and concerts are a norm in South Korea.

Interestingly, fans also show their support for their idols’ concert tours with food. From home-cooked food to sliced fruits, fangirls tend to go the extra mile to make sure that their idols are well-fed. How sweet.

 

 

FOOD SUPPORT DONE BY ELFS (SUPER JUNIOR’S FANS) PHOTO CREDITS: WORLDWIDEELFS.COM

 

Up close and personal

Exclusive meet-and-greets, such as DERPCON and Bring Me To 1D (created by 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction respectively), allow fans to see their idols in person.

These competitions are usually held worldwide, and lucky winners from selected countries are flown in to meet their idols and attend their concerts. Other special privileges include getting individual photographs with their idols and getting first dibs on world premieres to new songs and music videos.

5SOS DERPCON 2014

ONE DIRECTION: BRING ME TO 1D

For K-pop fans, Korean agencies tend to accommodate a larger audience. Foreign fan-meeting sessions, particularly in Singapore, tend to be held in larger venues such as Kallang Theatre and the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

These fan meets tend to be generally less exclusive, as opposed to the meet-and-greets found in Western fandoms. Korean artistes usually perform a few songs before inviting fans onto the stage for several games. Lucky fans might even get a hug or handshake with their idols! Nonetheless, K-pop fans still go home feeling satisfied with the service provided for fans by their idols, despite the exorbitant ticket prices.

Think we missed out on other characteristics that define these distinct fandoms? Share them with us below!


You may like these

Top 10 Reads