Thursday, November 14, 2013

Idol Thoughts

Here’s an example of what I dislike about being an idol fan.  Every idol group has at least one member who becomes The Popular Girl, and gets the most attention.  The Popular Girl most likely got popular because she is a good singer and / or dancer, and may or may not be the most attractive member of the group.  The fans of this girl can usually fall into one of two categories: nice people who not only like The Popular Girl, but all the other members of the group, and probably other idols as well; and the fans who can’t see past The Popular Girl’s face, and only focus on her all the time.  The ones who focus on The Popular Girl are usually the type who will post not-so-nice comments on forums, message boards, YouTube, Facebook and possibly fan blogs, bad-mouthing other idols, including the other members of the same group that Popular Girl belongs to.  This seems counterproductive to me, as it would be better to write nice things about the idols we love, and do our best to promote them as much as possible, rather than to waste time writing negative comments about someone or something we don’t like.  Writing negative comments probably stems from some sort of emotional problems that the writer has, and I can tell you this from personal experience.  

The type of negative comments I am referring to are sometimes along these lines: “Popular Girl is so cute and talented that all other idols look and sound bad by comparison.  She definitely has more talent than all the other idols in The Group that she is a member of, and she is the real reason why people buy The Group’s CDs and merchandise.  Popular Girl sells the most merchandise, gets to sing the most on all the singles, and gets more close-ups than all the other girls in The Group in their videos.  Popular Girl is simply the greatest idol ever!”  If you agree with the person who says something like this, then you will have no trouble getting along with this person.  If your opinion is completely different than this, however, watch out!  You will have a difficult time convincing the person who wrote those comments that s/he might be wrong, since each person will have different opinions. The person obsessed with Popular Girl might tell you something like, “You are just jealous that you are not popular like Popular Girl.”  Arguing with someone like this will ultimately be pointless, as most of the time the person who likes Popular Girl is stubborn and single-minded.

The group that Popular Girl belongs to doesn't even have to be one of the most popular idol groups, either. No matter how popular an idol group is, there is always a Popular Girl, and there will always be some fans obsessed with her to an unhealthy degree.  (This unhealthy degree I am referring to also includes those individuals on Facebook who have created fake accounts posing as their favorite idol or other celebrity.) This is sad since all the girls in an idol group obviously got into the group because they have talent. Unfortunately, there are many girls in an idol group that get unjustly overlooked that also have a lot of singing, dancing and acting talent.  Fans need to open up their minds and look and listen to these other idols, and give them the respect they deserve. Fans also need to look at idol groups other than the few groups that they are currently interested in. There are an astounding number of idol groups in Japan, and only the most popular ones who are on major record labels seem to get any press whatsoever.  Being obsessed with one girl or one group, and not showing any interest in other girls and groups, is not healthy for the idol fan community.  

Also not healthy for the idol fan community is all the bad-mouthing.  Not just so-called “fans” bad-mouthing idols they don't like, but fans bad-mouthing each other.  A lot of “fans” might bad-mouth a certain idol or group simply because they don't like a certain fan who supports this idol or group. Are we supposed to hate each other simply because our tastes in music are a bit different?  That seems like a real dumb reason to hate someone.  Not everyone is going to like idol music when they hear it. Some people might be opposed to listening to idol songs due to the language being different from their native language.  So with certain people opposed to idol music before they even hear it, that means idol fans like us represent a small portion of the world’s music fans.  We shouldn’t hate those people who enjoy the same type of music that we do.  Your favorite group or song may be different from mine, but I shouldn’t hate you just because we have different opinions.

Another annoying thing “fans” like to do is rub in the fact that popular groups are bigger than the less known idol groups.  They let everyone know that their favorite popular idol group sells the most CDs and merchandise, has the number one song on the charts this week and is more popular than all the less known and indie groups put together.  They’ll throw charts and graphs in your face showing you sales statistics that “prove” their favorite group is better.  Of course, not all idol groups get a lot of promotion from their record companies for many different reasons.  Some idol groups are very indie and don’t have their singles sold in chain stores and Internet stores like the more popular ones on major labels do.  Some “fans”, unfortunately, are sadistically cheerful about the fact that many less known groups are never going to make it big in the idol music business.  This makes me very embarrassed to be an idol fan.          

I hope that I have given those of you reading this something to ponder.  I will certainly have to ponder my future actions when I come across music I don’t immediately like, or people who have very negative opinions of my favorite music and idols.

Note: This is the first of a series of articles that I wrote over a year ago.  Many of the topics mentioned here are mentioned again and / or expanded upon in the other articles.  I wrote each one months apart and did not check to see what I had written previously.  I feel that all the topics and comments I made in these articles are relevant and need to be shared with all Japanese idol fans, so please excuse me when I repeat myself.