If you’re on this site, you already know how it’s a running joke of sorts that K-pop fans, both domestically and internationally, are basically insane. As such, we operate from that assumption and less and less surprises us as the days go by.
Still though, there are things that make me question whether I want to live on this planet anymore, stuff like fans going broke buying stuff for their oppars and unnirs.
With the competition between fans heating up, there have also been instances of celebrities and agencies actually seeking such gifts up front. A popular idol group member of a three member group is one such example. ‘A’ released a gift list to the fans asking for electronic products, computers, home theater equipment, and even specific gifts for their parents. Fans responded by gifting A’s parents with expensive health products along with the note, ‘Thank you for giving birth to A.’
Solo singer ‘B’ who recently made a comeback gave his/her fans a list of ‘birthday gifts’ that led to his fans equipping his studio with expensive audio equipment. B even made sure to write the list to specific fanclubs so that the gifts didn’t overlap. The same tactic was used to furnish his home.
Girl groups and other female celebrities will even show off the luxury gifts they receive like heels, handbags, and rings on their SNS accounts.
If you’re doing this, or if you’ve ever thought of doing this, please seek mental help. That sounds like a joke, and it is funny because it’s so absurd, but … uh … I’m serious.
To provide these stars with such lavish gifts, fans have resorted to taking out private loans and extra part time jobs. Lee Hyun Joo (24) also took out a private loan but had to eventually ask her parents for help once she couldn’t meet the payments. “I was desperate to not lose to a competing fancafe.”
What the fuck? A loan? Bitches be taking out second mortgages in a race to give shit away to celebs they’ll likely never even be friends with, much less get their thirst quenched by vagina/dick? On one hand, knowing what I do about pop fans, I’m not shocked. On the other, examples like these keep popping up and I just can’t believe what goes through the heads of these people.
Look, I can understand these birthday projects and what not, getting your favorite to know he/she is appreciated. I’ve seen fan videos and fan presents (flowers, food, pictures, tweets, whatever), and it’s sweet. But if you’re dropping hundreds or thousands on this shit, please reconsider your hobby.
Seoul University’s Psychology professor Kwak Geum Joo had to comment, “Fans feel a type of pleasure from giving gifts to celebrities. They turn their affections into a physical product, which promotes competition between each other. It’s not a healthy fandom culture at all.”
Oh, no shit?
When we met with another hardcore fan Kang Min Kyung (27), she gave a deep sigh. She first started ‘supporting’ her star with simple gifts but the culture turned out to be nothing at all like what she expected.
When her favorite singer ‘K’ was making his comeback, his fanclub started collecting money to deliver a healthy lunch box set for his comeback stage. Because of her older age, the fancafe admin expected her to make a $100+ donation. An additional $80 was demanded for the 100 or so other lunch boxes prepared for the broadcast staff.
“Other cafes will just order a lunch car, which costs upwards of several hundreds. When a singer makes an acting debut and starts script reading practices, we all have to order lunch boxes for both the cast and the staff.”
With celebrities showing off what they receive on SNS, the competition between fanclubs to provide the best grows only more severe.
Yo … what the fuck?
WHAT THE FUCK?
“There are a lot of celebrities who receive money from fans directly to their bank accounts. Whenever a star leaves a comment somewhere like, ‘The amp in my studio is broken so I can’t work,’ there are already dozens of fans messaging him for his bank account so that they can send money over.”
Some stars have even taken to indirectly asking fans for gifts for their parents and their pets. All it takes is a message saying, “I need to buy my parents a gift for Parents’ Day…” and he’ll receive gift certificiates by the dozens.
“Giving their parents gifts is not even the worst of the issue. Some fans even volunteer to work as a chaffeur for their parents. I once saw a fan go to the star’s parents’ house to clean it for them.”
After how the company screws them out of compensation, I can see why they might be able to convince themselves that accepting these gifts is morally fine. But from my perspective as just a normal dude? God that’s fucked up to do that knowing that these teenage kids are going broke buying shit for your ass.
One fanclub admin had to resort to using her credit card to pay for a luxury gift and a birthday party. Unable to make her payments, she eventually took out another private loan and is now working two jobs to pay them all off.
Kang’s fan friend took out a $3,000 loan for her star’s birthday but is now paying double that in interest. Fortunately, she was able to help alleviate the burden by selling some of the photos and videos she took of her oppa.
Of course, there are a lot of fanclubs and celebrities who use their power for good, but those are always publicized. What isn’t publicized are these kids going broke for basically no good reason, which is why I found this article so interesting.
Worst part? I have no idea how to fix or prevent this. It’s been this way forever and will continue to be this way. We’ve all written variations of “stop worshiping celebrities”, from lowly bloggers to powerhouses in media, but shit has only gotten worse with the advent of social media and the Internet.