I’ve been into fangirling since I was an elementary kid. The Backstreet Boys awakened this thing inside me. It’s old, I know, but they were awesome (oh, their latest “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is awesome too by the way!). Of course it was firstly about Nick Carter’s hair flip in “Get Down”, “Quit Playing Games”, “Anywhere for You” MVs which were all over MTV. I listened to their first albums daily. It was a cult!
However, before that, I’ve been into Chinese series, like The White Snake Legend, Return of The Condor Heroes, and Chiung Yao’s series.
And then my fangirling experience were simultaneously in between Western and Asian entertainments. Tokyo Love Story, 911, Huan Zhu Ge Ge, Westlife, Long Vacation, The Corrs, Hideaki Takizawa, Blue, Meteor Garden, F4, Jay Chou, 5566, Wang Lee Hom, Jamie Cullum, Cardcaptor Sakura, Se7en, Rain, Chemistry, Chinese/Taiwanese dramas, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Daddy Long Legs, movies, doramas, K-dramas, YongSeo, SNSD, CNBLUE, Attack on Titan, and everything else too many to mention.
To me, fangirling is my inner happiness. My me-time of spazzing and squealing. Even in my thirties, I spazz shamelessly. It’s that kind of freedom.
But then as fans are now into social media, where fandom can “gather”, and there we can see the ugliness of people. It’s just so bad. How can you hate on something with such vengeance? And how come you can not even hold your tongue (or fingers in this matter) for something you don’t like? Like isn’t it easier for your life (and other people’s eyes) to just ignore and just pass what you don’t like? Why would you spend such amount of energy to just hate? I mean it is tiring.
I will not say that I never hate anything in my life. As in fangirling, I once had my moment of hatred. And I am utterly ashamed by this and I feel so sorry about it and for that person. Because I was so stupid for believing the media that campaigning on hating someone whom I did not know in personal level.
I was in my adolescence (which is not an excuse, by the way). And I was stupid. It was the news regarding the love relationship between Jay and Jolin at that time. And the double J were everywhere on the news (Asian entertainment news). But some media were reporting very negatively about it, like how Jay fans hated this relationship, since they thought she used him to cater her own fame. As they said she left Show Luo to be with Jay (which I know now that was so unfounded). It was so negative that I hated her.
But then, there was no such thing as social media at that time, thank God. Or I would have embarrassed myself in public for hating someone who never deserved it in the first place. She did not deserve that hate. And I feel sorry for her. (This is not important, but even though I hated her, I loved her “Shuo Ai Ni”. This is my most favourite song of hers to date. Jay made the music).
But anyway, back to the topic, fangirling life nowadays is rather complicated. I am just some years into Twitter stan. I used to refuse to have one, because I had no time. But then, as I was so desperate to know about Ten, and I felt the urgency to follow his news daily, and I love him, like so much that my heart wants to burst 😭 (okay, this starts to sound like love confession…), I decided–after considering back-and-forth–to just make an account.
And I was shocked to know how certain people in the fandom wants to classify how people idolize idols. How mean of you to try to control how people want to love.
Hating is wrong. Akgae is so wrong in all levels. I’ve seen real bad example within certain fandoms (even before Ten).
But what I did not know was how easy they use that akgae term nowadays. That is such strong word. How could you accuse some individual fans of being akgae, when all they do is loving one particular person within a group? They don’t put down or hate any other members. They just love this particular person. Why can’t they love?
They even try to put it mildly by classifying them into “bandwagon fans”. You know what, there’s nothing wrong with being bandwagon fans. These what you call bandwagon fans are fans too. And these bandwagon fans are those who can potentially elevate the group into stardom–and maybe bandwagon fans even become big accounts later on, who knows?
I was raised into nowadays fandom culture mostly by gogumas of YongSeo couple. And I have to salute them for this. They taught me to always be nice even to new fans, to SONES, to Boice, to strangers, and even to haters. I have the most respect for gogumas. Because that is how our YongSeo are, ones of the nicest people on earth.
And now being Ten fan, like maybe most 10velys out there, I don’t hate the other members. Never. Even when they are treated much more better than Ten. And because I love Ten, I want him to be treated well too. I can love Ten without hating the other. I appreciate the other members, because they are precious to Ten. But I just don’t love them as much as I love Ten. It is just that simple.
Some people are able to love all members just the same. Some have more than one bias. Some just want to support certain member. All of these are allowed! These are love nonetheless. Do not categorize any of them as hatred. Finding love is hard enough nowadays, so don’t invalidate any kinds of love.
Do you know how much resources must be sacrificed to fangirl/fanboy? Be it time, energy, money, priorities, even internet connection. Not everyone has the privilege. Not everyone can share his/her little heart/time/resources equally. Allow them not to. Because it is not hate at all.
Individual fans are as worthy as any other fans. Why should anyone force someone to love what they don’t/can’t? As long as there’s no hate, it is all love.
The time I spend for my biases is precious. It is my happy time after all mundane tasks. Enjoy the ride while you still can. There’s no infidelity in fangirling/fanboying. This is purely about happiness. So why bother with how people love?