1. “Why do you listen to K-Pop? You don’t even know Korean.”
If you really want to annoy an international fan, say this! Some people outside of the fandom don’t understand how non-Korean-speaking listeners can enjoy K-Pop, but music is a universal language. The melodies, the raps, the vocals, what’s not to love? Plus, there’s this space-age invention called Google. Present-day international fans can look up translated lyrics much more easily than fans could in the 1990s or early 2000s.
2. “K-Pop is just a fad.”
Actually, it’s a multi-million dollar industry that has been around for decades. K-Pop may just be coming into the western mainstream (thanks largely in part to BTS’s popularity) but it has been an international music staple in Japan, China, and many other countries for years. Some may think of PSY‘s megahit “Gangnam Style” as a one-hit wonder, but now that K-Pop is truly breaking into the mainstream, it’s here to stay!
3. “He looks like a girl.” / “She looks like a guy.”
Oh boy. Not this again! While it’s true that some idols, like NU’EST‘s Ren, have pushed the boundaries of traditional masculinity/femininity, this is still a huge generalization to make. Anyone who says this either does not know, or chooses to ignore, the fact that Korean beauty standards differ from western ones.
Ergo, K-Pop men don’t have to have beards or be super jacked (although they can be!) to be considered “manly”.
f(x)‘s Amber has also proven that women don’t need to have long hair and “feminine” clothes to be beautiful either.
4. “They’ve all had plastic surgery.”
Yes, some idols have gotten plastic surgery, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, some idols, like MOMOLAND‘s JooE are very open about the work they’ve had done.
That said, many idols are “natural beauties”, whose stunning looks are just the results of good genes and flattering make-up. Plastic surgeons can’t believe how gorgeous BTS’s V‘s face is, but that perfect face is 100% natural!
5. “Do you have ‘yellow fever’?”
“Yellow fever” is a derogatory slang term for a person who has an obsession with Asian people and culture that may or may not be sexual. Just because a non-Asian person loves K-Pop it does not mean that they are fetishizing Korean people or Korean culture.
6. “You shouldn’t spend money on ____.”
Hey, if a fan wants to blow their hard-earned paycheck on K-Pop albums, concert tickets, and merch, that’s up to them.
Unless, that is, it’s actually your money. Then, that’s a problem.
7. “They all look the same.”
It’s easy for new fans to confuse members, especially when a group has a uniform concept like B.A.P did, but that doesn’t mean that all idols are carbon copies of each other.
Even idols who are very similar to each other, like Jungkook (BTS) and Sungjin (Day6) still don’t look exactly the same…
…except for maybe Boyfriend’s Kwangmin and Youngmin, who are real-life twins!
8. “Why are you buying the album when you can download it for free?”
This is essentially like saying, “why pay for it when you can steal it”. Without monetary support from digital and physical sales, K-Pop artists wouldn’t make any money and they’d probably cease to produce music.
To support their favourite groups, many fans by both digital tracks and the album. Plus, lots of albums come with bonus goodies, like an awesome photobook and a collectible photocard!
9. “Are those guys/girls gay?”
Non-fans, especially international non-fans, may not realize that same-sex skinship is perceived differently around the world. K-Pop guys and gals are known to be very huggy with their members, but that doesn’t mean they are gay. Even if they were…is that anybody’s business?
10. “You only like them for their looks.”
While idols are definitely a feast for the eyes, fans stan them first and foremost for their music. After all, good-looks will eventually fade but great music is forever!