K-pop in itself is a guilty pleasure to most, a part of ourselves that we choose to not reveal to even our closest friends, family members, and loved ones. Even within the realm of Hallyu, there are guilty pleasures that we choose to not reveal to our closest K-pop affiliates and networks. Well, now is the time to let it all out. This is now a judgement-free space where you can feel safe to release all that inner tension and share with the world that thing you do late at night with the lights off. What guilty pleasures do you hesitate to share with others?
Leslie: I guess my guilty pleasure would be writing fan fiction. I even use a pseudonym. I don’t share it with a lot of people because few people get the appeal of fan fiction, especially if they’re not in the fandom. I remember when I first got into K-pop, I thought it was weird that people actually wrote fan fiction about real life celebrities. I’d written fan fiction in the past but only with fictional characters, but now I write tons of it and actually get requests to write more.
The main reasons I guess I don’t share this “guilty pleasure” even with some people in the K-pop fandom is because within the fandom there is an extreme zeal for shipping. I personally don’t ship much so I of course don’t write ships, which is always what people want when I say I write fan fiction. Plus, since I write elsewhere professionally, I have to be mindful about what is tied to my name.
Gaya: Oh my lord, fan fic! It was never something I embraced when I was in the Harry Potter fandom, but I’ve somehow found myself reading select Exo AU fics (wow, I even know terms like AU). I was at the library the other day and heard a high school girl telling her friends about the Teen Top and Exo fics she reads. Meanwhile, one part of me was cringing in secondhand embarrassment, another part admonishing the aforementioned part and silently cheering the girl on for being “out and proud” of her fangirling, and yet another part was debating whether to butt in and recommend some good LiveJournal communities.
Ultimately, I remained silent but I really wish I hadn’t!
Amy: I think liking a good majority of SM‘s music is a huge guilty pleasure. Right?
Miyoko: Four words: Sexy. Free. &. Single.
Kelsey: “Ayy Girl” might secretly be one of my favorite K-pop songs.
Lindsay: My guilty pleasure is definitely girl group singles. Give me the most sickeningly cute song with the most inane lyrics and most simple dance, and I will love it. I hate that I love it, because I know they aren’t “quality,” but I love them anyway. Some of my favorites are TINY-G‘s “Miss You,” Girl’s Day‘s “Twinkle Twinkle,” and Hello Venus‘ “Venus. ”
Nicholas: I would agree with Amy that most of the SM material is so bad it is good. My personal favourite would be EXO’s “Two Moons.” I love the live version for how it allows me to play out my inner rapper fantasies.
While “Sexy, Free, & Single” might not have been much of an album, I love the song “Rockstar.” How many songs let you enjoy a really cheap electronic hook, and let you egoistically proclaim you are a rock star in the cheesiest manner possible?
And lastly, I love that viral hot mess known as “Bar Bar Bar”..Though at Seoulbeats we preach refined musical tastes and quality concepts, I am not above the occasional lowbrow entertainment.
Patricia: “Bar Bar Bar” is my jam. Do people even call things their “jam” anymore? Whatever, I don’t care. It’s my jam and I love it.
Going back to what Leslie said about fanfiction, this is probably the secret confession to top all secret confessions, but I wrote fan fiction for a while. I still dabble in it occasionally. Even after bashing the entire institution of fan fictiondom in multiple Seoulbeats articles, I am a fanfic writer.
Yes, my fics are posted somewhere on the internet. No, I will not tell you where it is. Yes, most of it is shamefully embarrassing. Yes, I am a huge flaming hypocrite. Yes, I kind of hate myself for it. Go ahead, judge me.
After dabbling in the K-pop fanfic community and writing some fic of my own, though, I still don’t really understand the amount of fan fervor that feeds into this thing. It’s fun and all, but it completely baffles me why, for instance, so many BNFs in K-pop are able to gather such a huge following and are loved and respected by other fans solely because they write fic. Maybe I should quit blogging and just write K-pop fan fiction full time.
Anyway, not to devolve this conversation into a dialogue about fan fiction, but there you go. Now the world knows my deepest, darkest secret.
Mark: I have an irresistible urge to consume anything Waveya, the “professional” K-pop dance cover group led by two flaming hot girls. I too feel like a hypocrite for indulging in the sexual objectification of these women, especially after all that praise put out for Ga-in‘s “Bloom” last year, but I try to justify it by saying to myself that these women aren’t like K-pop idols: they willingly subject themselves to being sexually objectified for clicks and views; they aren’t under contract with any money-grubbing corporations. What’s that? They’re now affiliated with CJ E&M, one of Korea’s largest media groups? Please for give me for I have sinned.
Fannie: I don’t even know if we can make that ha-ha-robotronic-SM argument anymore. I mean, barring some questionable tracks like “Wolf,” they really stepped up their game and released some of the best albums of last year.
I regularly keep up with We Got Married even though everything about it is a beautifully orchestrated lie. It’s like my ritual way of winding down at the end of a long week.
Ambika: I’m not a super fan of the cute, but SNSD’s “Oh!” gets me every time. It’s that song that I didn’t expect to like when I first heard it but, lo and behold, I end up unexpectedly singing or humming it.
I also like really stupid references, like in Prime Minister and I where Exo’s Suho cameos and the Prime Minister’s daughter essentially fawns over him because he looks like Exo’s Suho. Please help me off the floor because I can’t stop laughing. I don’t even know why his part exists in this drama, but for that alone, I don’t even mind.
We Got Married is like variety crack because it’s so bad yet I can’t help but watch it regularly. It’s like this fluff drama that keeps repeating itself to no end, yet I can’t turn away.
I think my ultimate pleasure are idol friendships (at least what seem to be friendships), the ones that aren’t within the same company. Shinee‘s Jonghyun being carried by Big Bang‘s Seungri? Where and when? The very existence of this cross-company China Line? Uh, yes please. I feel like it’s something inevitable considering how often idols do shows together, but I can’t help but be delighted when I see it on screen or through some form of social media. I don’t think this quite qualifies as guilty, but here you go.
Laverne: Idol friendships are a good one! Especially when one member obviously doesn’t care. Specifically, I’m talking about the friendship between Leo and N from Vixx. I could watch them interact all day. In fact, I have. More than once.
My other guilty pleasure is the “bad” English in K-pop. At this point, I’ve totally just embraced it. The idols (and their companies) are trying so hard that I can’t help but enjoy it — I sing the lyrics loudly and proudly. Who doesn’t love to sing along to things like “Loverholic, robotronic” and “Can’t breathe, like freeze?”
Shweta: In the ultimate backfire, I think I now like both “I Got A Boy” and “Missing You,” after trying to figure out why I had been hating on them so much. I guess when you spend too much time thinking about a song, you end up liking it despite yourself.
Also, the love-hate is strong for A Pink‘s “No No No.”
Pat: My love-hate for “I Got a Boy” is so strong that it’s the third most played song on my iPhone. To my real life friends who may be reading this — when I was doing the fanchants when SNSD performed in DKFC, I lied when I said I did them just to avoid angry glares. I did them because I freaking love the song.
Another guilty pleasure of mine? I have a playlist filled with the most non-sensical Engrish ever and I think at least half of it is from Beast‘s discography. From “Choom Choom my heart like rocket” to “Roll like a buffalo” (yeah, I have the edited version to include that particular gem), the playlist has my back whenever I need a good laugh, or when I’m writing something for my fan fiction, or a post here for Seoulbeats. I fully admit to having that “Mama” weird Kai thing as my background music when I wrote my most recent B1A4 post.
Amy: “Beautifully orchestrated lie.”
In that vein, I guess I keep watching K-dramas because of the same reason — they’re so familiar now that it’s okay to me that they’re all basically about the same thing. It’s super comfortable to just slip into them because you know exactly what’s coming, what kind of characters you’re dealing with, and where the story will go.
(Images via TS Entertainment, SM Entertainment, DreamT Entertainment, Chrome Entertainment, YesStyle)