Why do people like to downplay SEA (South East Asian) fans?
SEA fans paved the way for KPOP to be internationally popular. Before groups become big in the west, it was SEA fans who were more invested into KPOP. People like to downplay the efforts of SEA fans but before the western world even got to know what KPOP is, it was SEA fans that got KPOP talking.
Western world used to think of KPOP as a joke but not us SEA fans, we embraced KPOP because we are open to listening to music of various languages. It was us that helped make KPOP international at the start, it is only until the stigma is less prevalent that Western fans start to appreciate KPOP more. It wasn't about stanning the most popular or knowing the most popular group at that time, it was about listening to KPOP as an entire genre as a whole and appreciating music from various groups. Maybe this is why 2nd Gen had a lot more popular groups because SK/JP and SEA fans are open to actually listening to various groups, not like 3rd gen onwards whereby popularity is pretty much only the top 5.
This is why it disgusts me when people (maybe some of you guys here) downplay the efforts of SEA fans, saying shit like "oh SEA fans only stream" or that they don't buy albums. Bitch we made KPOP popular internationally at the start, not you wannabes trying to get onto the next big thing.
End rant. kthxbye