Recently several bloggers have been discussing idol fandom, and the possible need to cover it up, starting with an insightful post at New School Kaidan, and continuing with a post over at Happy Disco. It’s really an interesting subject, and one that most of us overseas idol fans probably deal with on a consistent basis, myself included. So, I thought I’d weigh in and talk a bit about how it is for me.
I think those of us that are foreign already have it tough, as far as being idol fans goes. Where I am, in New England in America, idols are essentially unheard of. And of course if anyone knows you like ANYTHING asian in origin – be it language, music, dramas, manga, or what have you – they assume you’re one of “those” people – a weeaboo anime fan. Listening to Rainie Yang? You must loooove Annie-May! I say, “She’s a Taiwanese singer, and she’s singing in Mandarin, it’s not even Japanese. This has nothing to do with anime. ” They respond, “Same thing!”.
I’m not trying to be degrading to anime fans, to a point I am one as well, as I do like quite a bit of older anime and it was a catalyst to getting me to love Jpop. But the _stereotypes_ of the anime fan are not positive and are not an accurate depiction of myself, thus hiding the love of idols would naturally be a good idea just to avoid being judged.
… Except, I’m not always good at that….
When I love something, I LOVE it. I want to siiiing my love from the rooftops!! When I have something I love, I’m proud of it, I want to show it off, I want other people to see how awesome this thing I like is, and have them like it too. But I also realize that will probably not happen.
These two options, expressing my love, and hiding my love, battle inside me and what comes out is an obsession that’s mostly veiled. I have a ton of idol stuff – you should see my office at work, I have custom made Momoiro Clover stuff everywhere between my coffee cup, my mouse pads, my calendar and more (thank you Vistaprint). But it’s in my office – nobody really sees it most of the time. If someone sees my stuff, or hears me listening to my music, and asks a question or makes a comment, I might then talk about it. If they express an actual like or interest in it, that’s when my love comes exploding out like a Jack-In-The-Box – the second I feel like it’s “OK”.
If people don’t think it’s OK, or react negatively – “Why do you have a bunch of Japanese teenagers all over the place?” is common – I tune it down a bit, but stay true to myself. I tell them I love the music, which is what got me started on idols, and it’s incredibly fun! I focus on the fun of it, mostly, to decrease the “creepy” angle. I have a feeling a lot of the male wota might have a more difficult time with that than I do though. By virtue of being a married female, it’s less assumed that I love idols for pervy reasons. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, to a point, but you know (we all perv a little, right?)
I’m proud of what I love. I want to show it off and talk about it. I have a wonderful husband, but he has no interest in idols whatsoever, so aside from having to hear what I listen to, there’s not much sharing going on there. Outside of my close family, the stereotypes and negative reactions from the general public keep me from really expressing my love in my daily life for the most part, which is a big part of why I blog in the first place. I know the people reading here like this stuff too, maybe even as much as I do (or GTFO? lol) , and I want to share how I feel. It’s a shame it can only really be online for the most part.