Kim Jonghyun

As of December 18th 2017 the Kpop community was met with heartbreaking news. Lead vocalist from popular Korean boy band SHINee was found dead in his home from apparent suicide.

Kim Jonghyun struggled with depression and was not quiet about the pain he experienced, but still did his best to make his friends, family, and fans happy.  His passing has touched the hearts of many throughout the Kpop community and I am sure as fans we are going through a hard time.

SHINee was one of the first bands I had ever listened to. I loved them so much and their music and personalities helped me out of my own depression. Their music made me happy and knowing that these wonderful talented men existed and dedicated their lives to making people smile made me believe that there was something to live another day for. As small as it may have seemed to others, the joy Jonghyun brought to people was real. It is normal to be affected by his death. Idols give so much of themselves to us and in return we love them and wish them the best. Somewhere between family and friendship the relationship we have with those we barely know resides and the feelings we have for them is genuine. I am tired of seeing people tell fans to ‘get over it’ or ‘you didn’t even know him’ and ‘he was just an idol’. For some people he meant so much more. While he may not have known us and we may have never shaken his hand, his death left us heartbroken and alone. The last thing these fans need is for people to tell them they are over-reacting. Please know that people are going through their own problems and don’t need people brushing off their grief as them being dramatic.

 

I hope that  Korea’s view on mental illness and especially depression changes. Depression is something that can live within anyone. No matter how rich, famous, handsome etc. depression can find its way into even the happiest looking people. Do not over look sadness. Even if you think others are going through worse, your problems are just as important. Your struggles are just as important. Please know that there are many people to help you even if family, friends, and even doctors brush off what you say. I hope that fans realize our idols are human. They need love and support. It isn’t our job to criticize them for messing up a performance, for singing out of key, for making a mistake in their choreography. It is not our job to bring them down for ‘not  improving’ or not living up to our own standards and expectations. It is not our job to judge them on gaining weight or losing weight, for taking breaks or for leaving companies or groups. It is our job as fans to support them or quietly stay out of their business. Idols will make mistakes. They will mess up, they will get sick, they will have problems. It is our job to recognize when they are not okay and to reassure them best we can that they are loved. Sending hate to anyone is uncalled for. Please know that there are many idols who have openly stated or hinted at their own mental health problems. Please send them good thoughts. Please send good thoughts to your friends, family, and loved ones who may be going through a hard time. Listen to people when they need someone to listen. You don’t know what you can do for someone, what your compassion and love can do for someone.

please remember to support SHINee in whatever direction they decide to take, whether that be as forward together as four, or on their own individual paths.

Kim Jonghyun,

You made so many of us happy. I am sorry you felt like you were not good enough. I am sorry you felt alone. I wish I could have held your hand. I wish I could have given you a hug. I wish I could have helped you. Your memory will live on through your fans, your family, and your brothers. I hope that wherever you are you are finally at peace. Thank you for smiling even though you were suffering. Thank you for reaching out to those even though we couldn’t reach back. Thank you for giving so much of yourself selflessly.

-another extremely grateful  Shawol

 

My condolences to his family and anyone who knew him personally.

My thoughts and prayers for the fans who are upset by his passing.

For anyone reading this who feels alone, know that you are loved. Your life is precious, you are precious.

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Sunmi

 

If you couldn’t tell I am a proud mom of 1 adorable cat. Sunmi is a 2 year old calico we adopted from the Humane Society. When we first met I knew she was the cat for me. She was almost 3 pounds underweight and was just the tiniest thing you would ever see. She had already had kittens at only 9 months old and had been on the streets when they found her. Despite all of this she came into the play room so determined to meet me. She rubbed against our legs and let us gently pick her up and hold her. I admired her personality, she had every right to be a crabby cat who loathed being around people but she wasn’t. As I looked into her eyes I noticed she had an eye freckle, it was the prettiest thing I had ever seen. My mom joked that the cat and I had the same hair (at the time my hair had bits of orange blonde and brown in it due to bleaching) and I fell in love. On the way home I named her Sunmi because I liked the way it sounded (Also if you know Sunmi you know she’s a beautiful queen and yes my cat is named after a k-idol).I mostly call her Le bébé because she acts like a giant baby all the time and I took French in high school. she also likes being held like a baby, cradled in your arms and in a perfect position to receive lots of attention.

There are a few reasons why I really enjoy cats. Firstly Cats do not always seek companionship the way dogs do. Don’t get me wrong I love dogs   Cats also require less physical work. I have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, so I wouldn’t be the greatest person to count on walking a dog. Sunmi didn’t mind if I was too upset to play with her, she would just lie with me and watch me cry sometimes. It was nice to be able to cry in front of someone who didn’t need to know why I was crying. It’s hard to tell if she cared that much, I like to think she does care but is the stoic tsundere type. After coming home from months away at university she often ignores me, but soon she curls up by my side in my room and cries when I leave here alone.

Sunmi really likes to pretend that she owns the house. In a way she kind of does. I don’t mind too much. She’s too cute to scold. I think I will end up being a cat lady at this point in my life. I really do adore my cat more than I do humans. That’s normal right? Sunmi also enjoys sleeping on my side of the bed and hogging pillows. Again, too cute to stay mad at. What is a girl to do?!?

As crazy as it seems Sunmi doesn’t mind when I blast Kpop in the house when I am all alone. She just watches me dance and sing along, looking far too amused for my liking. I had another cat previously who hated it when I played music. Especially Kpop. I think Sunmi just likes watching me make a fool of myself. aren’t cats just like tiny fuzzy humans? I think so.

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On Voting

With award season in full swing I know that things are becoming pretty tense. I’ve seen so many arguments over who should win awards and why, are you tired of it too? At the end of the day, win or lose these groups hold talent and will still receive love and support from fans. It is important to note that these groups are humble and win and lose gracefully. As fans it is our job to support them and represent them, because they represent us don’t they? If they suddenly began hating on other groups, or disrespecting people wouldn’t we take a few steps back from them? Remember that winning is great, but being happy and healthy is the best for our lovely idols and for ourselves. Whatever happens in the next few months remember that for every winner there have to be “losers”. But losing doesn’t make you bad just as winning doesn’t make you good.

While on the subject please keep in mind that there are many many many reasons to why fans don’t vote. Please don’t disrespect members of your own fandom for not voting. Turning on each other does not help any cause and will only make your fandom look rude. If a fandom cannot respect it’s own members, then how can they be expected to respect anyone at all? We must put on a good image for our idols, we want to make them proud right? Being respectful and humble will make them more proud than us giving them an award won by trampling over other people. 

For all my fellow multi-fandom fans ❤ I know award times can be hard but remember that voting for one group over another doesn’t make you less of a fan, choosing not to vote does not mean your turning your back on a group or fandom. 

Good luck to all groups in the running for awards big and small! And for those of you who do vote don’t give up you can do this! 

Regarding LAY

With EXO’s comeback nearing ever faster I am sure many OT9 fans are in different states of emotions. While the teasers are looking gorgeous and the songs all sounding great, we can’t help but notice something or someone missing. As we all should know by now (unless SM decides to give us a great surprise and pull Yixing out of nowhere) our beloved unicorn is not participating in this comeback. Many of us assumed that SM meant the promotions, but as teaser after teaser is released we sadly acknowledged Lay’s absence. IT seems Lay will not only miss promotions, but will not be on the album at all nor in the MV.  Should we be upset? Should we boycott the comeback? Will SM ever give us an answer to why Lay couldn’t have at least been in the album (probably not) ? Lay does not have to be present to record his parts for the songs (lets be honest with SM’s line distributions he probably wouldn’t have many to begin with) but we know he did fly to Korea around the time the MV was being filmed. Did he come back for the MV and SM snubbed him? Did he comeback to discuss EXO’s comeback? I guess we wont know for sure until something is officially released, if it is at all. This is beginning to seem like an end for some fans, and I’m sure we can all agree EXO-Ls have a right to be worried.

BUT LETS GET A FEW THINGS STRAIGHT.

First we have to trust Yixing. Remember that he has told us countless times that he will not leave EXO. He promotes EXO in China often and does not forget he is a member of EXO.

Although time passes, there is a word I cannot express,
sinking down in my heart.
I’m sorry’ ‘I love you
asking you to believe in me like this time
I will hug you and hold your hands
If I am able to express my heart,
I will devote myself to you.

— EXO “Promise”

Remember that Lay helped compose this song, and it’s other title is (EXO 2014) which any EXO-L will know was our toughest year. Looking at the lyrics we see our boys telling us that they will continue on as one, as EXO. Thanking us for staying with them and apologizing for any disappointment.  They didn’t have to make this song, but they wanted to show us that EXO will always be one and that we should know that as their fans.

Secondly, remember that politics play a huge role, even in entertainment. Politically S. Korea and China relations are rocky.  I am not sure how much SM can really dictate  in regards to the tensions between the two countries, and Sm is a company. Follow the money. Keeping Lay in China means a bigger audience and more revenue. Before Yixing became popular in China, many Chinese fans were uncertain of him and of EXO. When Yixing became more prominent in China EXO as a whole gained more respect from Chinese fans, we can see that with this comeback. Lay in China is an advantageous move on SM’s part and they may want to keep it this way. Lay has a studio in China and has his own schedules which is often why he misses concerts and promotions. He is Chinese and he has every right to want to promote and show love to his Chinese fans. We should not blame him for this. Yixing is doing more than he probably could in Korea and this only showcases EXO and Yixing better.

So what should we do as fans?

Let’s remember that this comeback is very important! SM promotes their more popular groups as it brings them more money. Kpop is an industry, money makes the business. If SM sees EXO lose steam they may not be as likely to give them another comeback. As Military service is quickly approaching, we want every opportunity for EXO to comeback as OT9 again possible. Show this comeback lots of love as we would any other comeback. DON’T FORGET ABOUT LAY!!! There are projects in the working to show SM we still support EXO as OT9. For Lay’s birthday we are trying to get both his solo MV’s What U Need? and Lose Control to 10M views before his Birthday on October 7th. Also remember to support his solo on SM STATION Monodrama. EXO-Ls are also planning on a hashtag project for Lay before the new MV drops. July 17th 11-12 AM KST or the day before the rumored comeback ( July 18th) trend the hashtags #LAYthewar, and #kokoxing and tag @weareoneEXO. This is to support OT9 and show SM that even if they don’t think it is important, leaving out a member is not an option. Spread the word.

Don’t forget to show this comeback a lot of love and support. We want SM to give EXO another comeback with all members.

Make Love Not Fanwars

Six years ago my family told me this whole “kpop thing” was a phase. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t a little offended, but a part of me wondered if it was true. This was six years ago. Six years ago kpop in the U.S. wasn’t too popular, especially outside of the Asian communities and especially especially in my home town of Omaha. I remember being teased about liking kpop. People asking me things like “why do you even listen to what you can’t understand?” or just telling me that that the boys all looked like girls. In my high school I only had one real friend who really listened to kpop but she and I were never in the same classes. All of my other friends never wanted to listen to kpop. No one would pass me the aux cord, when I insisted or begged my music be played everyone complained about it. I don’t think anyone was trying to be mean or to be rude really. Not everyone likes kpop and I could understand that. It was just the way people acted about it, as if they never played music I didn’t like. I don’t think many people understood what this music meant to me.

Growing up there was not a whole lot of Asian representation in American media that wasn’t racist or stereotypical. In the music industry Asian representation dropped to almost non-existent. I felt lost, and as a younger person it caused me a lot of pain. Maybe I hid it fairly well but I wasn’t okay. Maybe no one really thought I cared because my family was white american, maybe in their view I had become so whitewashed it didn’t matter that I was Asian. It mattered to me. I had people from grade school who made fun of me, telling me to open my eyes or go back to my own country. As I grew older these insults didn’t go away. People would call me a chink, ask if I was from North Korea, and say things like “oh ching chong ling long!” as  if that made any sense at all. So when I found kpop I was surprised at how many non-Asian people there where supporting these men and women. People who called these Asians beautiful and talented, people who wished they could be Korean or just Asian. Suddenly I found a world where I felt welcomed, admired, and loved. I found a doorway to the culture of my homeland that I never knew existed.

Now it seems like kpop is everywhere. In teen magazines, on huge billboards, on American radio talk shows, and all over YouTube. While I am excited about the growth kpop has made even in the last six years, I also feel like kpop fans are becoming more and more hostile towards each other. Now you can barely mention BTS without someone going “OMG yes they are my favorite! Infires Man!” which is fun I guess. What gets me is that a lot of new kpop fans don’t seem to care about anyone else in the industry but their favorites. Not all new kpop fans are this way, but the ones who are catch most of the attention. Fans like this will drag another group just for the sake of loving their favorites. Now let me make this clear, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOVE ALL KPOP GROUPS. People act like kpop is one huge genre, it isn’t. Within kpop there are lots of different music styles so its not crazy to think that someone who likes SHINee isn’t fond of a group like BTS, the style of music is totally different. This being said GROUPS AND ARTISTS DESERVE RESPECT. I am a firm believer that no matter if you think an idol is unattractive, or you don’t like a certain group for whatever reason, it does not give anyone the right the be rude. All artists work hard, not just your favorites. If you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say it? I cannot be the only one who learned this growing up. If you are someone who drags groups for no other reason than to make your favorite group look good, then you are not a fan. Think about this, would any of these very respectful idols like seeing their fans drag other artists? Especially ones that are older or came first? Ones they like and also admire as friends and fans? No they wouldn’t. And by making yourself look rude, you make the group you support also look bad.

If you are anything like me you will know and understand what a blessing kpop is, and what a blessing other kpop fans are. Imagine having no one like your music, imagine them judging you and bullying you for it. I am overly happy when I meet new people who love kpop, because I can openly talk about it without being told that no one cares. Remember that there are plenty of fans who share your feelings and can become good friends of yours. Just know we are stronger together than we are apart.

**** Also even though I have been in this game for 6 years, I am still considered a newbie.

A Little Kpop Never Hurt Nobody…

The K-pop world can be a crazy one! From navigating through fan wars to avoiding scalpers and everything in-between, it can be a little overwhelming. Newbie or K-pop veteran we could all use a little advice and a lot of love and support from fellow fans. This is where I come in, your local Kpop companion ready to help!

  • Need advice for your first concert?
  • Need an opinion on buying or selling merch?
  • Want to share thoughts on scandals?
  • Want to be in touch with someone involved in multiple fandoms with a deep love and appreciation for all artists?
  • Have K-beauty questions related to products and trends?
  • Just want to see an adorable cat because you feel down?

I’m you’re gal!

The wonderful world of Kpop is magical and you’re bound to meet some amazing people from all over the globe. Sharing experiences and opinions are wanted and encouraged as long as they are respectful! Welcome to the family, I promise not all of us bite.



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