Under any sort of label as a “K-pop fan” there will be, or will have been, at least one point in your life where someone has approached you questioning the reasons for your liking towards Korean music. Sadly, the majority of people never seem to really accept “I just do” as an answer. After all, it really isn’t that different from liking any western artist but it’s still foreign, and that confuses people. But let’s break down the two main types of people who ask this, and how to go about responding to them intelligently. As of course, it is always better if you can argue your passion strongly because if done well, they may become interested in the same way you are.

First of all are those who are genuinely interested. They are the kind who are simply curious as to why your bedroom walls are masked with posters of groups that he, or she, has never heard of before. And yet, there’s enough of their songs out there to flood the cover art on your iPods with their pretty faces. They honestly don’t mean much harm unless you get defensive about it. As for responding, talk about the reasons you like one of your favourite idols in opposed to others. Their style. Their eccentric fashion. Their diva voice. Their dancing machine ability. Their fresh attitude. Avoiding anything that will set you off in a squealing fangirl/fanboy tangent scaring the poor person away. Just remember, they were only asking.

Then there’s the people whose aim is to give you hard time about it. They may, or may not have any insight into Korean music, but because it’s different, it must be weird. It’s important to remember that if you are the victim of someone else’s ignorance. It could always be a lot worse. You could be them. It is their loss. But as for responding to these kinds of people in a respectable manner, simply state one thing you like about your bias over any other idol. In this situation it’s probably best to avoid the whole “but Korean music isn’t all about drugs, etc.” as it really just shows a sense of prudishness, which is just another target to shoot at. And after you have had your say, move on. It is when you are gone they start really thinking about it, and how you reacted. Deep down, they’ll admire that and may possibly start watching the music videos when no one is looking.

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Remember that not everyone is going the like the same music you do. “K-pop” for a lot of people covers the whole Korean music industry. Therefore “K-pop” could actually mean Korean rap music, but to outsiders it implies pop. If you can go about showing passion for the music you like in an honourable fashion, others will appreciate it, and possibly become interested. There really is no use attacking those who are yet unaware of K-pop when we can already see the zero percent profit of the outcome from bashing other Korean groups. This is just a guideline on some of the better ways of replying to potential future Shawols, Blackjacks, 4NIAs, you name it. In fact, one of these types of people might have been you at some point, so it’s time to showcase your biases!

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