As great as the K-Pop industry and fandom can be, there are always going to be downsides and annoyances to some people as well. Fans can be really supportive and encouraging towards each other, while also being awful to others in different fandoms; K-Pop companies can get greedy and cash-grabby; or things in the industry can just be inconsistent and confusing. Recently, fans took to Reddit to air some of their pet peeves within K-Pop, and these were 8 of the most commonly agreed upon peeves.
1. More than 3 versions of a K-Pop album.
It has become pretty much the norm now for artists to come out with at least three or four different versions of an album. While some fans are willing to pay the extra money for each version, things can get a little (or a lot) more expensive when there are even more versions, such as one for each member, or more! For example, EXO‘s EXODUS album had 20 versions; their Sing for You album had 18 versions; and Girls’ Generation‘s I Got A Boy album had 10 versions! Most young fans simply can’t afford the whole collection in this case.
2. The complexities and pressures of streaming culture.
Streaming culture has become huge these days, and while it can feel good to support your favorite artist and help them to achieve milestones and win awards, what’s not cool is to diss or bully fans who don’t have the time, interest, or ability to constantly stream their music. Streaming tactics and guidelines have also become increasingly difficult and arcane to try to avoid getting marked for spam!
3. Music producers using different monikers instead of just one.
Some producers have used and still use more than one name in their work history, which can make it really difficult to keep up with who is producing what. One example is former History member Yijeong — as a producer, he has gone by both the names El Capitan and J.Pearl as well!
4. Also, inconsistent K-Pop group names/spellings.
On different streaming apps, and even on YouTube videos over time, some K-Pop groups are listed by different versions of their names, making it difficult to keep things organized. For example, sometimes LOONA goes by LOONA; sometimes they’re LOOΠΔ; and sometimes they’re 이달의 소녀. There are other examples of this too, of course, such as SNSD/ 소녀시대/Girls’ Generation, and WJSN/ 우주소녀/Cosmic Girls.
5. Also, inconsistent album sizes within a single K-Pop artist’s discography.
This is more for fans who care about the aesthetics of their album display shelves, but many dislike how much some K-Pop groups, such as Girls’ Generation and TWICE, have extremely different album shapes and sizes and make it hard to make their displays look pretty and cohesive. There are certainly groups, such as MAMAMOO and LOONA, who have albums that keep similar dimensions, but they seem to be the minority!
6. Spamming fancams on Twitter.
This is a topic that is hugely debated, and won’t be discussed in depth here, but a lot of fans and especially non-fans are very tired and annoyed with K-Pop fancams being spammed on anything and everything on Twitter, even if it’s not K-Pop related. This can give K-Pop fans a bad name and is rarely beneficial; the only recent exception could be when fans have taken over some racist and white supremacist hashtags on the site.
7. Fans addressing idols like they’re their kids/infantilizing them.
Some fans, and idols for that matter, don’t appreciate how other fans, especially those younger than their favorite idols, treat the idols in a kid-like or infantilizing way. This often happens with maknaes, even if they’re grown adults, and it’s just odd behavior that a lot of idols don’t seem to actually particularly enjoy, and who could blame them?
8. Hardcore stan culture in general.
It’s absolutely fine to love and stan your favorite group, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else. When it becomes problematic is when it dissolves into fan wars, bullying, threats, and other damaging things online, to both other fans as well as the idols themselves. Hopefully this is something that most people can agree on!