East vs West music fandoms
How different are K-pop and Western pop fangirls?
There is a stark contrast in the lives of fangirls found in both K-pop and Western music fandoms.
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!
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.
Fans also conducted a flash mob that took place in Sydney, Australia, for One Direction’s Take Me Home album. Check it out below!
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.
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.
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!