Within the past year, I feel like I’ve discovered a new emotion. If I were to describe it to a doctor, I would have say it started around the rookie wave of early 2012, when I had ventured on my quest into rookiedom and that insofar, it has been a conflicted and volatile emotion, one that fills up my fangirl veins with both rigid frustration and gushing infatuation. If I had to oversimplify it, I would call it love-rage.
This love-rage came about when I began my foray into rookie waters. As a past new years resolution, I had sworn to correct my instantaneous rookie-hating ways, and after a long year of diligent application, I can now attest to being a hardcore rookie lover through and through.
During this process of independent study, I became acquainted with dazzling new, young, and competing idols, and will even admit to playing favorites as the year bore on. Allow me to explain by brief anecdote.
It’s no secret that B.A.P. was at the top of my list for best new artist in 2012. Not that I didn’t like newcomers like VIXX and NU’EST, it’s just that my heart fell for the blonde warriors with the giant maknae and that was that. Now this natural acceptance in both my head and my heart made it easy to pick up B.A.P. biases and insert them into my diversifying bias list. What is a little more of secret, however, were my sentiments regarding EXO.
Some members of the Seoulbeats team can remember verbatim my reaction upon seeing EXO for the first time, but let me tell you myself. Sure, words like “jailbait” and “look like” and “they all” were thrown around somewhere in my response, but for the most part I kept rather hush hush about my EXO politics and opinions because at the crux of the matter I was truly torn. For the first time in my life, SME had produced a boy group I did not like, and I didn’t know who to blame, SME or EXO.
In light of that conflict, and mostly because my interest in them officially died after about the 20th teaser, I left EXO alone and moved on with my life. Thus, the EXO boys were never calculated in my bias list. Forever in my head did they “jailbait,” “look like,” “they all.”
Then one day my innocent self was prancing on the internet, and I stumbled across Kris. And that’s right about where I felt out my first pang of love-rage. What ensued I will not say much about, but I will say my reactions were a mix of vulgar profanity and seething want that both made me hate myself and relish the moment. I mean have you seen his perfect bitchface? Popular love-rage can be found on Tumblr blogs everywhere, and they often convey a sarcastic bitterness about the perfection of the idols at hand. Granted you remain light-hearted and open-minded about what’s being said here, you can’t help but somewhat agree. This is love-rage.
Now the reason I was raging was because I had never accepted Kris to be a part of my bias list. I didn’t want him there. I had no reason to look up EXO and therefore I had no reason to be involved with Kris. Yet here he was, distracting me from paying attention to my real biases, strutting his beautiful long legs and working that airport fashion like this was freaking Mercedes Benz Fashion Week–like, who does he think he is?
It felt wrong to like Kris after labeling EXO as ‘jailbait’ and even worse because the world has so far acknowledged my indifference towards EXO. How was I going to explain this sudden infatuation with Kris? Why was his beauty so unsettling, it literally was unraveling my life!? No matter how I tried to dismiss these new affections, I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for his stony charisma, his terrible dance skills, his lame jokes, and his primitive drawings. He became absolutely endearing practically overnight and I just couldn’t get him out my head.
Kris, in my case, is what the internet has christened a ‘bias list ruiner.’ Fans of faint hearts beware.
Unlike your typical K-pop bias, who you grow to appreciate and love over time usually after getting to know a group as a whole unit first, BLRs flood your faculties with a novelty concerning only themselves. They also have a tendency to intrude your carefully crafted bias list and rip the perfected order into shreds and insert themselves at the centerfold of your attention.
Their presence can be suffocating but simultaneously delightful, and as a result of their lightning-quick approach you are inevitably thrown into utter confusion as to where they came from and how they got on your computer screen and why you are suddenly sweating and are subject to little choice but to pay them heed lest your ignorance make you intensely sexually frustrated and dissatisfied with your current bias list and drown in a self-loathing state of denial. This often causes bursts of love-rage, frequently expressed in a fitful poetry that marries the emotions of detest and desire.
I’ve also found that love-rage is a phenomena that can occur outside warring fandoms and the rookie world where all the meat is brand spanking new. Actually, it was just the other day I was writhing on the floor about falling for Infinite’s Dongwoo.
Here I had spent all my life loathing Infinite and everything Infinite related,and then Dongwoo comes up in the Infinite H “Special Girl” MV looking absolutely adorable and suddenly I was crying tears of fangirl blood cursing my ignorance and my impenetrable hate for all things Infinite that was somehow being superceded by Dongwoo’s perfect jowls. Dongwoo how dare you try to claim a spot on my bias list by consulting my hormones first rather than my rationale. God damn those freaking Grecian jowls.
In a certain respect, I think love-rage for your bias list ruiners is a bit like indulging forbidden love. You don’t want to abandon your stable, deserving bias list for that bad boy (or girl) bias list ruiner who’s only just flirting, but the idea of something that complicated and thrilling only sucks you in farther than you could’ve wanted. And then at the point, what else are you to do but love-rage? It only makes sense to love-rage. You didn’t want to do this to yourself or you bias list or your sanity but at the same time it is just so fun. This person shows up on your internet page and is all like love me, hey love me, hey watch me do this, woah did you see the way my eyebrows moved did you see that, can you see how big my feet are look me straight in the eyes and love me BUT you are all like, wait who are you, god you’re stunning, but wait you’re not on my approved bias list, my mind is like a club and that list is like the bouncer how did you get in here wtf why are you so tone wait are you even on the list who–love-rage.
Of course, the intention behind the love-rage reaction, as far as I’ve understood this discovery, is not to be vicious, as it may appear, so please put down the pitch forks and put out your fire, this is not hating on your oppars and unnies. In fact, for all intents and purposes, love-rage is expressed because it’s supposed to be humorous, something fans can both collectively lament and rejoice about. It’s a good thing, believe it or not, to express love-rage as I find it helps others identify and build community, as odd as that may sound about a bunch of love-raging bias list ruined fans. If you’re wondering what a bias list-ruined fan might resemble, bring your attention here.
Now, I’m fairly certain love-rage is induced by many more situations in K-pop, but none perhaps stronger than with the bias list ruiner, or so far at least in my own experience. Now that I’m done thoroughly embarrassing myself, I guess now would be a good time to open the floor to ask you, my dear Seoulmates, if have you ever or are you currently love-raging over bias list ruiners? Any similar stories and/or love-rage reactions? Do you think love-rage is real or am I just making this all up to royally screw with your lives?
I don’t know, figure it out you freaking adorable little freaks.
Forever in Love-Rage,
(Photos from exo-body-porn and strawberry-taffy, which by the way are really entertaining blogs)