Inspired by this article of questionable quality:http://en.rocketnews24.com/2013/11/06/elitism-divides-otaku-culture-as-the-popularity-of-japanese-pop-idols-expands/
I mean, it's a one-sided article that doesn't even attempt to bring up different points of view so take it all with a grain of salt, but it does lead to the topic of elitism.
The article is also not really about Hello! Project, but since I'm a mod of this section I'm posting it here - feel free to borrow it or go a little off-topic here talking about other groups.Some questions to think about:
What is a "good" fan? What is a "bad" fan?
Who has the right to decide what a fan should be like?
Do the expectations affect how you behave as a fan?
Do you ever find yourself thinking elitist thoughts, about how another fan is doing something "wrong"?
I could talk about each of these topics, but I'll start with the last one about elitist thinking...
I am definitely GUILTY, proven to me by the above article actually. Except the things that wota there said about new fans are things that I've thought about foreign fans.
New fans are no issue to me at all, and I love that the H!P fanbase in general is growing to include more different types of people.
Anyway, these are the descriptions that I (in an elitist manner) felt actually described foreign fans well (note that I'm grossly exaggerating and not saying every foreign fan is like this):
"Is the fandom about me or the idol? Old fans will favor the idol and say that their own needs are secondary, while new fans just direct attention to themselves by saying that they like idols."
If you watch a live stream of an idol event with live chat going on, there will be a disturbing amount of foreign comments such as "hi i am fan from brazil!" "i love riho!" whereas the Japanese fans focus on commenting on the idol and actions in the video. They aren't bringing attention to themselves, but are discussing the stream. There's a big difference between "I love Riho" and "Riho is cute". Because in the first sentence, it's about your feeling, whereas in the latter, it's all about Riho. It's not like Japanese fans never say statements like that, but there's a time and place for everything. Generally in public, it's not important that YOU love this or that member. It's important that the MEMBER is awesome and worth celebrating. I'm not sure I'm explaining this well, but I feel like the foreign attitude is often (not always) coloured by the desire to be recognized as a fan of someone, and wanting to think you are uniquely important as a fan, instead of putting the importance on the idol herself and considering yourself just one of many nameless admirers from afar.
I'm guilty of this too dawgs, especially in earlier days, and I don't think there's really anything wrong with putting focus on yourself because you are the number one of your life. I just think it's possibly influenced by this western way of bringing up everyone thinking they are a special snowflake, which can lead to a false sense of entitlement. Like "I am Mary and I'm the biggest Zukki fan in the world!" like, get real gurl and take ur place at the end of the long, long line. (I'm sorry if someone named Mary who is a big fan of Zukki's reads this; I don't know any Marys who are also Zukki fans)
“Newcomers want the idol’s affection. At handshake events, they’ll ask, ‘Do you remember my name?’ And if the idol says yes, they really believe that they were recognized.”
I believe we've all read at least one or two fan accounts from foreign fans who have gone to an event and then complained about how some idol didn't give them enough attention or give them special treatment because they are omg a foreign fan or something. This is what the above quote reminded me of, lol. Just don't go into an idol event with the expectation that you're going to get special treatment for being foreign and don't for god's sake be angry if an idol treats you just the same as everyone else regardless of you being different. They don't owe you that shit. There are some idols at handshake events who look surprised and extra happy for meeting a foreigner, but there are also girls who give the same smile to everyone, and that is fine. And there are idols who remain professional and won't look at you if you yell out their names. That doesn't make them bitches.
IDK if thinking this makes me elitist, but I just can't stand fans who feel entitled to more than what they get.
“Those people don’t really like idols. They like to like idols by going wild in a group and making themselves known with crazy dances and loud calls.”
I mean, there's a vast difference between a J-wota who appears to a concert wearing his favourite member's T-shirt and maybe quietly chats with pals, and a group of loud foreign fans where one of them might be wearing a pink tutu or something equally attentionwhorish. I can definitely see how J-wota here would seem the ones who are there for the idol, and foreign fans there to make a scene for themselves. I'm definitely judgmental about this lol.
And I'd be interested in knowing the ratio of foreign fans with dance videos on Youtube VS. Japanese fans with dance videos on Youtube
I mean everyone knows Cuca-chan, but to me it feels like there are 50 foreigners to one Cuca. And hey, be proud and post stuff on youtube if you want to, but it's clear then that you're not posting to advertise the idol, but yourself. Just recognizing the action as what it is.
“I can’t handle it when people slander my favorite idol group with comments like ‘Momo Kuro is god! But Nogizaka is trash!’”
I do feel that foreign fans generally are much more likely to throw around random rude comments and unnecessary comparisons than J-wota. I might be wrong because my Japanese is far from fluent, but going to an idol event, I just can't imagine anyone Japanese starting to diss other groups when you could be talking about H!P. Because the event IS about H!P, not other groups. Nor could I imagine someone starting to loudly declare how Daishi sucks or something. It's just not something you do, it's not classy. But with foreign fans... It sometimes feels like there can be no conversation (not here, but on The Internet) without someone trying to throw someone under the bus, and it's completely unnecessary. And again it's all about the fan's subjective opinion of who sucks, not about Morning Musume or S/mileage or whatever. Like seriously, nobody cares who you hate.
SO BASICALLY I AM AN ELITIST FUCK, BUT NOT TOWARDS NEWBIE FANS (I LOVE NEWBIE FANS!!!) BUT TOWARDS ENTITLED, SELF-IMPORTANT, NARCISSISTIC FOREIGN FANS (which I have also been, and sometimes still am)....
So come on, somebody else also admit to the flaws in your fan thinking.