What is a K-pop Stan? – The Unknown Truth Behind K-pop’s Fan Culture

Perhaps one of the most intriguing parts of the K-pop culture among outsiders is the concept of “stan,” and for obvious reasons.

There are misinterpretations regarding its fandom’s immense obsession.

These are due primarily because the term comes with some negative connotations.

And sometimes, these misinterpretations might lead to eventual disdain among the general public towards K-pop.

But worse than that, it may show the entire K-pop industry in a bad light.

Nevertheless, as K-pop fans, we should agree that there is a boundary between an Idol and a fan. And that we should, as a collective, respect our Idols’ privacy no matter what.

Having said all that, I want to talk to you about what a K-pop stan is and how it helped begin the revolution of social media and the online culture.

Discover the origins of “stan” and explore the wonders of “Stan Twitter,” as well as its impact on politics and social justice.

But first, What is a Stan?

A stan is “an extremely or excessively enthusiastic and devoted fan.”

Its origins? The song from Marshall Bruce Mathers III, also known as Eminem.

The third single from his multi-award-winning album, The Marshall Mathers LP, released in 2000, was appropriately titled “Stan.” 

The song’s title is a portmanteau of the words “stalker” and “fan,” which accurately describes the behavior of someone who is a stan. 

Thus, the song is about the story of a fan who was obsessed with Eminem.

When he felt that his idol and role model ignored him, he resorted to violence and did crazy things to himself and his pregnant girlfriend. 

Trigger Warning: Self-harm and Abuse

So, What is a Stan in K-pop?

K-pop fans enjoying a concert

A “K-pop stan” is simply an admirer of a K-pop artist and is genuinely supportive and invested in their idols’ success. It is a milder term than what a stan usually is outside K-pop.

However, there are times when you will encounter a crazy and obsessed K-pop fan as well.

But in the world of K-pop, they are called “sasaeng” fans instead of labeling them as stan.

This unpleasant breed of fans invades Idols’ private lives and harass them uncontrollably.

For example, these harassments include stalking, stealing properties or information, sending Idols inappropriate gifts, and bothering their family members.

According to estimates of celebrity managers by Korean agencies, celebrities may have “between 500 and 1,000 sasaeng fans and be actively followed by about 100 sasaeng fans each day.”

These types of “fans” give a negative meaning to what a K-pop stan is. They disgrace the entire K-pop industry and are a problem that immediately needs resolving.

What is the K-pop Stan Twitter?

K-pop Stan Twitter is a section of Twitter users that share posts and tweets about songs, artists, music videos, etc., particularly about K-pop.

It is an influential online community of like-minded individuals, usually composed of teenagers that share a passion for Korean artists.

These fans are infamous for trending hashtags and spamming fancams of their Idols all over the internet, thus boosting their exposure.

Hiding their faces behind Idol’s images and expressing their opinions bravely on the platform. Spreading not only the message of streaming but also of social justice.

In 2020, K-pop fans rallied against racists online by spamming the #WhiteLivesMatter hashtag with memes and fancams on Twitter and Instagram.

The fun did not stop there since K-pop stans on Twitter also flooded the Dallas police app with fancams.

The incident happened after the authorities asked people to send videos of “illegal activities” from the #BlackLivesMatter protest.

I wanted to point these things out because, as a member of K-pop Stan Twitter, I feel obligated to tell you that one shall not underestimate the power our community holds.

We might be annoying babies on the internet at times or a fancam spamming idiot on your timeline, yet we strive to contribute towards equality and human rights as well.

United, we stan!

How to be a Responsible K-pop Fan

As we have previously said in the beginning, there needs to be a clear boundary between fans and their Idols.

Whether you like it or not, K-pop Idols are still human beings, and you need to treat them as one.

You might consider yourself their biggest fan, but I hate to break it to you, buddy; it doesn’t matter one bit.

You can be the most informed and most updated K-pop stan there is, but if you don’t prioritize their well-being, or even worse, sexualize them, I will be the very first person to kick you where it hurts.

It’s a simple concept, respect. Respect our Idols’ wishes, their personal lives, their privacy, and accept the fact that they are just entertainers at the end of the day.

That’s all for me. See you in the next K-pop Loop!

Tell us who you’re stanning for in the comments below!

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