About kpop fans projecting their ideals on their idols

  • This is going to be a collection of random thoughts I found myself thinking about today and decided to share here so tread with caution.

    I think many kpop fans objectify their faves to the point where they turn them (inside their heads) into empty vessels where they can inject their own ideals, principles and thoughts and then pretend those are their faves' own and proceed to feel better about themselves and brag for stanning someone that upholds such superior morals and ideals. And this often happens without the idols themselves doing anything to warrant it, aside from maybe having a certain stage image that the fans somehow think fits a certain personality and run with the idea, or when the idols do literally the bare minimum in acknowledging a certain social or political issue and fans act like they're some sort of an activist and start expecting too much from them.

    I am going to use CL as an example but before that I want everyone to know that I have nothing against CL, in the contrary I quite like her and wish her nothing but happiness and prosperity.

    That being said, CL had the image of a strong assertive and fierce woman and fans took this like she must have been a feminist figure with strong progressive and Liberal ideals just because the image fits and even though CL NEVER gave anyone a reason to think of her like that. And then fans proceeded to use this image they made up themselves to represent CL and themselves. What happened next? A series of incidents that showed CL was nothing like that image, or at least nothing to that extent. For example, when CL was asked about the lgbt+ community in an interview once and how she feels about having many gay fans she answered "I like gay men, it would be nice to go shopping for clothes together and have girl-talks with a gay friend" :S and in a different interview when she was asked about her bold and loud fashion style she answered "I am not like those other basic Asian women" :S

    Each time, the general reaction was immense shock, and a big reason of that shock was the fake image fans built up inside their heads for her.

    This behaviour also bleeds into music consumption. When CL tried to make it in America, there was generally a very negative reaction to her music and especially the people she collaborated with, her fans were screaming everywhere about how she deserved better and how she should be saved from people like riff raff etc, with no consideration at all to the fact CL CHOSE to release those songs, CL WROTE parts of those songs herself, CL CHOSE to hung out with these people and befriend them. This simply IS CL but fans couldn't accept that because it wasn't what they built her up to be in their heads, unprompted. Another incident was the whole Quran sample in her song MTBD. When MTBD first came out, fans couldn't stop talking about how CL was now an amazing producer and gave her all the credit (even though she only co-wrote the lyrics and Teddy did the actual production) but then as soon as there was a huge controversy, fans suddenly did a 180 degrees shift in attitude, suddenly it was all Teddy's fault and CL had no hand in it at all.

    This always happens with kpop fans, they give all the credits to their faves for the good things and blame all the bad and all the controversies (at least the ones related to music) on the company and the producers (even when they otherwise claim their faves are involved in the process and have artistic freedom)

    I think this kind of objectification of idols and this amount of projection only leads to immense disappointment or lead to fans lying to themselves and to others just to protect and persist on narratives that they have previously made up themselves, often times unprompted. And besides it puts so much pressure on the idols themselves to live up to expectations and an image they never asked for. Don't put your faves on a pedestal and then wonder how come they don't live up to it. Don't forget that kpop companies control almost everything about an idol's image, from music to fashion and even stage persona. So your faves looking like a feminist doesn't necessarily make them, and your faves singing female empowerment songs written by others or any kind of a political statement that's being obviously used as a selling point by their company, it doesn't make them progressive icons, and this goes both for male and female idols.

    If your faves' content does not live up to your personal standards then don't sweat it and twist facts around and turn it into a conspiracy, It's not your faves who deserve better, it's you who deserve better. Stop forcing the idols into boxes filled of your own ideals, just go and stan ones that already explicitly expressed they uphold those same ideals if this is an obligatory requirement for you to stan (it shouldn't be)

    thank you for coming to my ted talk everyone :pepepizza:

  • These are good points.

    It's dehumanising for the idols and it makes the fans look like entitled fools.

    Idols are not tools for anyone to comfort themselves with whatever the cost, mouthpieces for anyone else's personal beliefs, or shields to validate anyone's toxic behaviours.

    They're not memes or self-inserts.

    They are human beings.

    Replace "idols" with any "celebrity" with a public platform.

    Also I could write 3 page essay on how awful it is for fans (and non fans tbh) to demand a statement from and later harass celebrities every time a serious world issue becomes a trendy topic on social media.

  • Tools to prove fans' superiority and intelligence, that's exactly it.

    And you're absolutely right in the last part, this harassment and borderline blackmail of celebrities to acknowledge certain world problems is horrendous and makes me personally infinitely uncomfortable.

  • It is. But thing is whole idea of idol is problematic on the notion of being available to fans. The way they are marketed to.

    I think that plays a role in it but I don't think any idols signed up to be used as a tool for fans to prove that they're social conscious and intelligent.

  • A good read. :pepe-toast:

    I dont know if Im like that or not. But I dont expect anyhting from them at all. They are being themselves and I like it the way it is. I dont have standards when it comes to idols. Because my whole life is a mess, why do I need to expect anything and make sure they meet my expectaions. Have I no shame? What a clown. :clown:

    She looks happy being herself. And that makes me happy.

    Latest Park Jiwon GIFs | Gfycat

  • Some fans expect way too much of their idols and they identity to them as if they know them personally.

    About idols and their supposed support for ideas like feminism, some Kpop stans are really narrow and superficial about it. Singing empowering songs don't make you a feminist and singing cute songs don't make you a submissive woman. Yon can sing the last girl power hit and having conservative views but you can also sing girly songs and advocating for women's rights.

    It's often difficult to tell because idols often need to watch their tongue and once again, we are not their friend. We don't know them.

  • Not so pleasant that you used CL as an example… but I get your point and I think that’s the most important.

    I think fans do that to appear social conscious and intelligent … they want to believe they are stanning Idols who think just like them, so they put them on a pedestal. It’s like parents who want to live through their child and therefore projects their ideals unto them, trying to show them off like a trophy. It’s just validation they want.

    Very often I noticed that those who exaggerate with their projections aren’t really that smart or their social consciousness is very one dimensional.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!