First thing first, a little background of myself: I have been a fan of a Kpop girl group since 2010, that’s almost 8 years till date. I’m a fan of a music genre that people nowadays claimed it as “childish” with a frowning expression. Some said it in my face that Kpop is crap, and some even questioned me directly, “You’re not over that era yet?” If you look around, Kpop is actually booming. Remember the days of Wonder Girls’ “Nobody”, Big Bang’s “Haru Haru”, and SNSD’s “Gee”? It may not resonate with you, who is currently reading this article, but it may resonate to many, who were once a crazy fan of groups such as 2NE1, SNSD, BigBang, EXO, TVXQ, among others, for a short period of time. Maybe a year or so.
But it was different for me. Going through high school wasn’t the best experience for me, but I’m glad to say that being a fan was what kept me alive at one point. The Kpop girl group that I’m particularly fond of is 2NE1 (I’m still a fan). Yes, it’s true. They’d disbanded in 2016 on a bad note, with a member leaving the group without a clear reason or statement; and then later end of the year, the agency announced official disbandment news, leaving the fanbase a total mess throughout the year.
The thing about being a fangirl for a long time, you’ll realize that years will pass and you’ll be busy with your own life and commitments until you wouldn’t have time to check updates about them. You would be preoccupied with your commitments and work, that it would slip your mind to know their whereabouts. And then fast forward, you’re gonna hold one big box containing all your once-favorite idol’s merchandise, all the fan merchandise, all the hand-made banners, all the albums, and posters. Then, it will all hit you with the memories and feelings you once felt back then, one big box of items that you once bought all because of THEM.
You would start reminiscing the first time you listen their song, how you first joined and welcomed by the fanbase. You start to get curious of every member of the group, childishly choosing a bias because of a particular feature or a trait that is similar to yours. Then comes the first time you save up to buy their album. That certain feeling when you finally hold the album in your hands after waited for months and suffered through the weeks of teasers uploaded by the agency.
You would hold on to the lightstick designed specially for the fanbase and swtich it on. The lightstick that you once brought to their concert when they came to your country. How much you saved up for the special occasion by skipping lunch, doing extra house chores, winning projects in high school, and working part-time during school holidays. How much you begged and cried in front of your parents or family members for their approval to bring you to the concert. How much your hands trembled when you first hold the concert ticket after paying the money. The tickets that you literally starved yourself just so that you could have the chance to see them upclose. The panic you faced while you anxiously waited for the “Purchase” button to appear on your screen to pre-order the tickets, which was sold off in 15 minutes.
Comes the concert. Finally. It was a huge crowd waiting by the gates. Their music blaring through the loud speakers set up outside the stadium, some fans danced to the songs, some sang to the songs, some even cosplay like them. That’s the first time you met people of the same interest with you. The fans you met together on Twitter, you’re finally meeting them. It was an awkward chat at first, but it was because of them, that the ice-breaking process was smooth and a minute later, you guys are bonding.
Finally! You got to see them in real life! You would remember all the feelings that gushed into you and filled your body with energy and excitement the moment they stepped on stage. You finally saw your “bias” or “love of your life” in person, and it was the absolute moment you will remember it forever. If you’re lucky, your eyes may have met theirs. And it would be the most special moment for you ever despite it being a split second. How does it feel being part of their ocean? You would remember dancing and singing (or screaming) to every lyrics of their song along with every other strangers around you.
And soon, the special night is ending. You would remember them saying, ‘This is the last song.” and you would be silently screaming in your heart, “Never!” repeatedly. They shouted, “I love you!” and you screamed back, “I love you too!”, clearly knowing that they wouldn’t even know it was you that shouted to them but you still did anyway. Slowly, the crowd left the stadium and you clumsily hopped into the car back home. You might have bawled your eyes out at the thought of the possibility of never going to see them again.
That night, you would stay up all night even after all the screaming, dancing, and singing just to look back at all the photos and videos you took of them, reliving all the moments inside your head. And then you begin to miss them as the night falls asleep.
Then, it’s back to the same routine of waiting for comebacks, getting yourself updated on their whereabouts, reading tweets from fansites of the latest news, fangirling over paparazzi photos, getting excited with their social media updates. This could go on for years.
Fast forward, the time will come. The time where you just don’t tweet anymore. Where you stop posting your thoughts and share everything you do with them. Where you don’t bother checking because there are just no more updates of them. They have their own lives and you have your own. Time will pass, and they will have their own family and personal commitments.
So, until then, give your sincere love to them. It will all end one day. So, create memories and build friendship among the fandom. Protect them as much as you can. Believe in them as much as you can.
The statement “being a fan doesn’t last forever” lies true.
And everything will always be a part of us.