As K-pop spreads further and becomes massively popular around the world, it's inevitable that it has gotten through you–no matter who you are. Through my years of being a K-pop fan, I've met different kinds of K-pop fanboys–from the fanboy who absolutely finds joy in cosplaying his idol to the fanboy who doesn't mind dancing to the tune of his favorite group's songs, even if it's full of aegyo. But what they all have in common is how they appreciate the distinct genre of music that K-pop provides.
One of them is 21-year-old Ernest Silastre who grew up listening to American hip hop, but is now a full-time K-pop fanboy! He started becoming a fan back in 2017 when he first heard the song "TT" by TWICE. Since then, his playlist was dominated by K-pop songs ranging from cutesy groups like TWICE to hip hop groups like Seventeen and BTS. However, Ernest does admit that it was hard to fully accept his inner fanboy at first. Nevertheless, it's absolutely as fun as everyone expects! Read the list below as Ernest shares to us his very own experience as a K-pop fanboy and how you can embrace your fanboy feels just like him!
1. Let it be your dose of happiness during the bad days.
There are times when you need a break, when you just want to unplug and take a moment from your busy day. Thanks to K-pop, Ernest has something he could run to whenever he needs a dose of happiness! He shares, "The first group I fell in love with is Day6 because they were there during my hardest time in college which was also my thesis days. Their music kept me calm during the times when I was so depressed," he adds, "but right now, my favorite group is TWICE because just like what Day 6 did to me two years ago, TWICE is always there to keep me happy on bad days. I think I’ve also felt more connected to the members now."
2. Don't mind those who judge you for your interests.
This has always been one of the things that makes it hard being a K-pop fan in general: when people would judge you for liking something that they don't understand. "I never hated K-pop at one point, but I disliked it before because of peer pressure from high school friends saying that it's a "gay" thing to like." Ernest says that it's true that K-pop fanboys usually receive more criticisms than the fangirls. But he doesn't really mind when people judge him. "From my family to my friends who aren't fans of K-pop, I just laugh it off and ignore them because, at the end of the day, I love being a K-pop fanboy and wouldn't trade it for anything." Well, once you're hooked, you will forever be hooked!
3. Don't hesistate to connect with other fans.
Ernest says, "Through K-pop, as an introvert, I became more sociable because I met other people like me that I could talk to about my favorite groups. And for the people who stan a different group, they will always try to listen to my faves because of the camaraderie in the community." He feels that spazzing with other fans like him always seems surreal especially in concerts where he would meet a lot of them. He tells, "The first concert that I've attended is Seventeen’s concert back in 2017, and the experience was amazing! I thought that when I went in, I would just enjoy the music like I normally do. But when they started performing, I screamed my lungs out along with the other fans! I was definitely hyped at the concert, and I’d definitely go to another one!"
4. Don't hold back when you're having the fanboy feels.
Through K-pop, Ernest felt a mix of emotions that he never felt before. "I think being in the fandom taught me to be more sensitive because I care too much about the idols. Sometimes, I spend way too much on merchandise and albums just to show my support to my favorite group! I also get affected with fanwars because I just want us to always get along." But don't worry, because it's just a natural part of being a true blue stan. He adds, "All in all, I think I absolutely became a better person because of it." The K-pop life definitely ticks your vulnerability in a good way!
5. Keep expanding your musical horizon.
Prior to discovering K-pop, one of the things that Ernest learned as a K-pop fanboy is that K-pop doesn't only pertain to bubblegum cute genres like SNSD and TWICE's style. It also covers a lot of swag type of songs like BLACKPINK and BIGBANG's style. "From pop to hiphop to EDM and even some metal, K-pop is definitely a breath of fresh air to me. There is always something different to listen to, there is always a new group on the horizon and more songs will be produced." He adds, "As much as I'm not a fan of waiting, I actually enjoy anticipating the comebacks of my favorite groups!"
At the end of the day, the only way you can fully embrace your inner fanboy is when you finally start to not care about other people's opinion and just enjoy being one. Being a K-pop fanboy is something that others wouldn't understand if they're not one, and that's totally okay. It doesn't mean you should hide or stop yourself from liking something, or worse, hating on it just because some people do. Here's to succumbing to the stan life!
ALSO READ: Daily Diaries: What It's Like To Be A K-Pop Fan Girl's Real Life Boyfriend