This is for people who are new to the Kpop Fandom.
Need some group recommendations to get started? Check out a list over here.
Common Kpop Fandom Slang:
- Aegyo = Korean word for acting cutesy
- Bagel Girl = girl with a cute face, but curvy body (Ba = Baby face… Glamour body = Gel)
- Bias = favorite
- Kingka – hot guy
- Kkap/Kkab = Korean word for exaggerated dancing
- Kkotminam = pretty boy (Kkot = flower… Minam = good-looking guy)
- Maknae = youngest of a group
- OTP = “one true pairing” (fictional or not)
- Queenka – hot girl
- Sasaeng = crazy stalker fans (can be bad)
- Selca = self-taken photos
- Stan = obsessive fan
- “The Big Three” = the top 3 entertainment companies in Korea: SM Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, YG Entertainment
- Ulzzang = best face (they’re often internet models that take Selcas)
- Oppa = what girls call guys who are older than them… they either have to be close friends or relatives, but it’s acceptable if it’s an idol
- Unnie = what girls call girls who are older than them (similar to oppa)
- Noona = what guys call girls who are older than them (similar to oppa)
- Hyung = what guys call guys who are older than them (similar to oppa)
First, not all, but the majority of Kpop fans are very protective about their biases. “Bias” is what we call our favorite member of a group, a group itself, or even a Kpop entertainment company. Instead of saying “my favorite” we say “my bias”.
Also, most fandoms have a special name and color. If you’re a fan of SHINee, then you and anyone in that fandom is called a SHAWOL, which stands for “Shiny World”. Their color is pearlescent blue so the light sticks that fans wave at their concerts are all in that color. (You can see a full list of club names and colors over here.)
In daylight concerts, balloons are used. In the dark, fans use lightsticks, which can create a beautiful “sea” or “ocean”.
Triple S Balloons
DBSK “Red Sea”
SNSD “Pink Ocean”
Super Junior “Blue Sea”
You can be in any kpop group fandom, but you’ll most likely be more zealous about one than the others. So, you can call yourself by any fandom name as long as you like the group, but you might find it’s more appropriate to call yourself by one, or just a few, fandom names… the ones you care most about.
I’m sure you’ll realize, but I’m mostly a BBC, (Block B fan), and Zico is my bias. Secondly, I’m a VIP, (Big Bang fan), but I can’t really pick a bias in that group because I like them all. YG Entertainment is also my bias.
If you’re familiar with any fandom realm (anime, for example), you might already know about the crazy fangirls that don’t want to share their bias with other fans… most Kpop fans aren’t like that, but they do exist. However, it’s more likely to find fans that don’t want their bias to date anyone and get angry at skin-ship between their bias and a random actress/actor or singer. Instead of not wanting to share, they’d rather have all fans be considered equal. (This is more common in some Kpop group fandoms than others… a few things factor in, like how the group treats the fans, and how popular they are, ect…).
The “bad guys” in the Kpop fandom are the sasaeng fans and anti-fans. These people can get really crazy… they stalk and harass groups and often do serious things like breaking in their dorms, sending bloody letters, or even trying to poison them. They do all this just to be memorable to the celebrity, because they think doing something bad to get attention is better than no contact with them at all.
FT Island Bloody Sasaeng Letter
We also hate the managers that end up hurting our groups by getting too strict with dieting or violent punishments… though we don’t know if it’s a rumor or not, there are Kpop fans that don’t trust SM Entertainment because of bad rumors like that. We like artists in SM Entertainment, but we don’t trust the people in charge over there.
There are also fandom wars. Not everybody in the Kpop fandom participates in these, but enough do for it to be noticeable sometimes. It usually happens when a childish kid, or even an anti-fan or troll, makes a few negative comments about a group while praising their own at the same time.For example: “X group is so much better than Y group.” Many fans of Y group will get stirred up and either start putting X group down as revenge, or just get filled with plain rage and start ranting. There have also been times when there are so many anti-fans, they can make a “black ocean”, which is when they all turn off their light sticks when the group they hate comes onto the stage at a multi-group concert.
“Black Ocean” for SNSD
Sometimes, fans even get riled up when one group’s official color is too similar to their group’s official color.
How do we get so crazy about our biases? Why do we get so protective and loyal? Because, we not only go crazy about the music they make and respect their talents, but we like them as people… or the persona they project to us. Kpop groups go on variety shows and mini-series behind-the-scenes stuff, and we get to know their personalities.
It doesn’t matter if they’ll never know who we are individually, we know they’re human.
For example, even when G-Dragon was found guilty of smoking marijuana, we VIPs stood by him. We don’t care if it was a lie or the truth when he said he only had a few puffs and didn’t realize what it was… to us, it doesn’t matter because we know he’s human and will make mistakes in his life. It doesn’t change who he is. We still love his personality and the music he makes, so we forgive and move on. We know the people who can’t do that were never real fans anyway. We take pride in being real fans.
This is where the term “bias” comes in to play. Some fans are so biased, they can’t even take healthy criticism of their favorite group. (Try not to be a fan like that. Good criticism can make your favorite group even better!) If you don’t like conflict, be careful about how you talk about a group or group member in public because you might step on a landmine.
This is why, we Kpop fans have a few anonymous groups called “Kpop Secrets” where we can voice our true feelings if we feel like it. The anger fans feel can get that serious where it’s necessary to hide your screen name while saying anything remotely bad about a group/group member. Sometimes the fans are understanding, but a lot of the time they’ll just get in protective mode and attack you.
Some Examples of Kpop Secrets
But, despite all that, being in the Kpop fandom is really fun! Most of the time we all get along well enough, and it’s fun to spazz out with people that like the same thing. In fact, it’s easier to go crazy about Kpop when you have people to share it with.
When you join Kpop sites, it opens a whole new world of inside jokes and awesome-ness. You’ll be amazed at the gifs and crazy captions we come up with, even if a lot of us can be perverted, haha.
If you want to get more into a fandom, then, for starters, I suggest looking up the 1N2D series, Hello Baby series, and the B1A4/Block B MTV Match-Up.
Notable Entertainment Companies:
- SM Entertainment (SM Town, Summer Town)
- JYP Entertainment (JYPE, JYP Nation)
- YG Entertainment (YG Family)
- Cube Entertainment (The Cube, Sister company to JYPE)
- Pledis Entertainment
- FNC Music
- DPS Media
- Core Contents Media (Mnet)