We all know of someone who’s a hardcore fan of a K-pop group. That said someone can be you or me. Did you know that the term stan is fairly new and is believed to have been popularized by Eminem through his song STAN in 2000? It’s argued that the word came from the terms stalker and fan. Maybe that’s why the word stan, has been sometimes used as derogatory for die-hard fans.
Those who do not know of the pleasure of stanning can’t possibly understand the fans who spent money, time, and effort on their idols. Stanning is especially prevalent in the K-pop scene. Some might even be labeled as sasaeng because of their obsessive behaviors that put their idols at risk.
Stanning a K-pop group or groups offers both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most observable pros and cons a fan may encounter.
PROS of Stanning a K-pop Group
Having inspiration and motivation
Most K-pop stans are proud of their idols’ music, especially its messages. K-pop stars are known to write deep, inspirational, and relatable lyrics accompanied by catchy beats. Although it is sad that those who have not listened to these kinds of music dismiss it as something not worthy to listen to.
Fans often feel closer to idols because of how they were able to find an anchor in these people whom they barely knew. One way or another this fuel their motivation and they make these idols their inspiration to do better. A great example of how much a K-pop group can motivate a person is NCT’s Shotaro story. He went from covering the song of the group on TikTok to becoming one of the newest members of the group.
Making new friends and family
Stan culture in K-pop is so closely knit. Like an intricate pattern of the weave, everyone in a fandom forms an intertwined connection. Their deep love for the group enables them to meet people who share the same passion as them. The competitive industry of K-pop makes it easier for fans to form bonds as they put their idols on top.
From voting to mass streaming, having a target goal, supporting their idols, protecting them from antis, and so forth. These instances create a sense of camaraderie between fans that inevitably make them develop connections as close as a family.
Becoming part of a better cause
K-pop groups aren’t simply musicians. These are artists who use their platforms for a better cause. An example of such is BTS’ UNICEF campaign. It’s their fight against violence toward children and teens around the world, with the hope of making the world a better place through music. As well as when BLACKPINK was named as COP26 ambassador and told the world leaders to take action on climate change.
As a fan of these groups, you are inevitably part of the cause they are fighting for. K-pop fans are loyal and proud. The movements that the group they stan is something that they will brag about around the world.
CONS of Stanning a K-pop Group
Social media aggression
The love and connection the fans feel towards their idol make their reasoning irrational. They will engage in fan wars for the sake of protecting the K-pop artist they admire. Some would go as far as to drag the artist of other groups because of the fans. These fans are what makes publicly stanning a K-pop group embarrassing.
It’s understandable that they don’t want anyone badmouthing their artist, but the methods they choose for protection are the same as what they hate. When these stans dragged someone, they would literally drag your whole family with you to hell and back.
Burns money really fast
The biggest struggle of being a K-pop group stan is that you don’t have a tree that grows money. Entertainment companies of these artists know how much stans would pay for content, merchandise, album, and concert tickets. As fans, it won’t matter how much, we’re ready to make money rain when the situation calls for it.
Since companies know how to milk money from fans, they would release exclusives that are only accessible through expensive memberships. If you aren’t breaking the moment you enter a fandom, you’ll be gasping for money in the few months you’re in.
Too much love can be dangerous. There are fans that won’t be contented just seeing the idols through a concert or fan meet. Some would go to the extreme of following these artists to their hotel accommodations or even acquiring their personal phone numbers. One instance was when fans started waiting in front of G-Dragon’s house to get a glimpse of the artist. Eventually, GD had to send a tweet to his followers begging them to stop since the action is scaring his mother and sister.
Supporting a K-pop group and its member is completely understandable. However, to go as far as to invade their private space and cause them extreme uncomfortableness? That’s not just simple fan behavior, these people are obsessed freaks that need treatment.
Overall, stan culture can be improved while its risks are diminished. As much as encouraging and cheering on K-pop artists might be beneficial to them, doing too much of anything can be detrimental and harmful to both the fans and celebrities. Even while stan culture has negative sides, its advantages and significance to the lives of artists and the entertainment industry cannot be overstated.
Cristine Joy is a broadcasting major with a deep passion and obsession for reading and writing. She's the type of person that would lie to herself saying "one last chapter is all I need for a good night's sleep" then proceeds to finish the whole story until dawn. Her tenacity is what makes her believe that writing is not simply just a talent, rather it's a skill that one can continuously improve upon practice.