“My oppa’s more flawless than yours!”

One of the challenges of being an international K-pop fan is dealing with the rampant racism, colorism, and cultural appropriation within the industry. This is not to say that Korean fans don’t deal with it, either, but due to cultural context, ifen interpret and engage the issues differently. But I am not here to discuss the cultural nuances of kfen vs ifen; I’m here to discuss the particular way that ifandom goes about social justice issues. Read: not well.

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MBLAQ has bad blood

MBLAQ - Mirror (거울) MV [English subs + Romanization + Hangul] HD-3You know I’ve been a big fan of MBLAQ for a long time. And by that I mean MBLAQ, not M3LAQ. I was bummed when the group split up in 2014, though I can’t say I was surprised, because the writing had been on the wall for a long time. MBLAQ peaked with “Y” and “Stay” and it was a gradual slide into irrelevance after that. It’s not something I can entirely blame the group for, either. In fact, I mostly blame their shoddy company. K-pop fans like to trot out MR-removed videos on youtube to boast about their faves’ talents (though it’s already been argued why MR-removed videos don’t really prove anything) but unless you’re either 12 or mentally 12, you can’t honestly believe that vocal talent and quality of songs are the sole factors in a group’s popularity. JTC dropped the ball big-time when it came to MBLAQ’s promotion and marketing, and those are huge factors in determining a group’s popularity.

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