I’ve reached a saturation point in boyband love. This isn’t a I’m-losing-interest thing. It’s more of a I’m-tired-and-I-just-can’t-keep-up thing. This may come as a surprise, but liking a boyband is a lot of hard work! First of all, there’s the need to figure out who’s who. I dunno about you, but I can’t sufficiently enjoy a boyband until after I’ve gotten to know all their names and approximate ages (the age thing is a must, especially knowing exactly how young the youngest one is). While this task may sound easy, it’s not because there are always a bajillion group members who always travel in packs while often wearing the same clothes. That makes it difficult to tell them apart (I have trouble with faces. Don’t make fun of me okay?!?!). Once you can finally semi-match names to faces, all of them proceed to change their hair styles, so it’s like, “Crap, I have to start all over again!!!”

Currently, I have the 15 Super Junior, 5 DBSK, 5 SHINee, 5 Big Bang, and 6 Shinhwa boys memorized face to name, to the point where even if they dress up as girls, I could still ID them. That’s 36 boys that I had to imprint into my brain. The vortex that was learning Super Junior took me like a week. Seriously, it’d be much easier if they just permanently wore nametags. DBSK naturally followed, and that wasn’t too bad considering they’re like everywhere. Big Bang was tough because I could remember all their names, but I couldn’t match it to their faces, especially since certain members love to wear wannabe badass shades and gangsta hats (what’s the gangsta word for hat?).

FT Island, I know them as the jailbait band with guitars. SS501has ex-We Got Married guy whose name is, I wanna say Joonghyun??? Wait, I just looked it up–Hyun Joong. Eh, that would have gotten me partial credit on a test.

I can’t even begin to consider the 50 bajillion other Korean boybands out there. Really, there’s no moar room in my brain!!!

Apart from the name-face conundrum, there’s also having to defend my choice in music. For a while, I stopped the whole boyband thing because I thought I was supposed to grow out of it. But life became a bit less colored, and I have finally seen the error of my ways. Some friends make fun of me for liking boybands, but hey, you don’t see me saying anything about your soft Christian rock to your face! So let’s make it a judge-free zone mkay???

I don’t care that much when people bash on boybands and equate their music to artistic leprosy. It can be pretty funny, but I find most of it to be pedantic and unoriginal. Just enjoy what you enjoy, and let me enjoy what I enjoy. Being a “real” music listener or whatever doesn’t give you superiority over the rest of us. My interests DO extend beyond boybands, and I DO sometimes listen to this so-called “real” music. Boybands are popular because they’re appealing, entertaining, and fun. I listen to music to be entertained and happy, not to uphold arbitrary standards of hipness set forth by those too insecure to give into the powers of a good hip thrust.

Oh yeah, the above paragraph just demonstrated the biggest hardship of being a boyband fan: irrationality on good days and batshit insanity every other day. I’ve always prided myself on being a sensible, non-delusional, and non-overreaction-ey fan, but now I realize that there’s no such thing as a sane fan. Fan stands for “fanatic” for a reason. We’re all crazy, and I seriously worry about my mental health sometimes. For example, yesterday, I checked the mail three times AFTER the mailman had already come and gone, to see if a certain *cough* Super Junior photobook had arrived yet. Yeah. Three. Times. After.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go suffer through some more lip-syncing and dancing on youtube. Life is sooooo hard when you’re a fangirl.

Many thanks to windowwatcher for her opinions. If you would like to write for our Op-Ed section (and become a “favorite” reader), please send your piece or questions to info@seoulbeats.com. All opinions welcome. No death threats please.