( * Screenshot from someone else's "Kpop memes" card that inspired me to come out with my thoughts) This is going to be long, ranty, and a bit all over the place, but I felt the need to bare my soul a little and hopefully find individuals with like minds. Vingle seems to be the most awesome and accepting social media platform I've found so far, so I feel safe in asking your thoughts and comments. Something that's been coming up a lot lately... Koreaboos and Weeaboos. I get that it's weird and unfair to fetishize an ethnic group but it's also unfair to group fans and "kpoppers" or "otakus" into a single term as harsh as "fetishist" So I'm going to try to lay out some things that apply to me personally, things involving my love for Asia, and try to make them relatable so we feel less guilty for liking what we like, even though there's no reason to feel guilty... 1. Where it all started: Latenight Godzilla and Cheesy Kungfu movies with my dad, and Toonami on Saturday mornings with my sister. e.g. Yugioh and Digimon and Escaflowne... I was tired of Bugs bunny and his same ol antics, and American cartoons that go so overboard that literally make me uncomfortable. Such as Roccos Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy, and Courage the Cowardly Dog just to name a few. I was already a fan of Asimov, Tolkien, Lewis, and Action Adventure Genres in shows, movies, and books. In these Animes I saw the essense of all that I love... Faith in the unseen. Strength and courage and decency in a Human Soul. Growth and development and self sufficiency in a character. Accountability for ones actions. Cause and effect, Life and death, course and recourse. All in a looped animation dubbed over with underpaid English voice actors and commercials every 6 minutes... I was 16 when I fell in love with Anime. After that, I tried finding every possible avenue to put as much of these stories into my brain. Manga from the library and later on when streaming online video became a big hit, Free Subbed Anime sites. I read books like a maniac (Michael Crichton, Jim Butcher, Hemmingway, Bronte, etc.) and when I needed more stories of survival, Strength, and morality in an immoral world... I found Ghost in the Shell, Trigun, and Studio Ghibli. Shortly after that, Prince of Tennis and Naruto and Bleach. All inspiring stories that teach you that not all that sparkles is gold, hard work won't kill you, everyone has their demons, some things are worth fighting for, friends can be found in the most unlikely places, and sometimes the things you fear are the very things you need. Unfortunately I accidentally found the gross side of this anime world too... Echi, Hentai, and Overuse of big breasts in tiny uniforms that jiggle way too much. (No judging if you like that...I mean whatever... go for it I guess... just don't show me lol) So I stayed away from that. (proof that in every culture there are creeps, perverts, and weirdos) Then there were the Final Fantasy and other RPG Games: Eidos and Square Enix, and the amazing soundtracks in the anime and games that brought me to love Jpop and Jrock. (still do!) I already loved the beautiful sounds of the Japanese Sozu, traditional strings, and Chinese mandolin and flute. When I heard a lot of these sounds in the music, and some of the old rhythms in modern music, I fell in love yet again but with their music. I started looking into Japanese and Chinese art, mythology, calligraphy, language, culture, film, cousine, and fashion. Though some of it was appealing and fascinating, I found other aspects to be quite odd. Especially the fashion and Host Bars in Japan. 2. From Jpop and Jrock I found Kpop and Cpop. Kdrama, Kmovies, and Chinese Movies and dramas. I had a lot of silly crushes as a teen and young 20 something on some anime characters. When I found Kpop I thought, "Dear god they exist in real life." And I felt like a kid in a candy shop. And I found that the majority of them had the features (regardless if they were born with them or not is irrelevant) that I had found attractive. The strong jaw, the piercing eyes, the height, the build, the lips, the smile, the hands, the way they wear their clothes, the hairstyles, the voice... And I found out that Plastic surgery and makeup was responsible for a lot of their looks. And then I found out that a lot weren't even touched by a knife. And THEN I found out that the majority of the beautiful features I've always looked for were found in a lot of Asian countries. I love my eye candy. The beauty and art that is man. Below are quite a few examples of the features I mean:
They're not all Asian, but a lot of them are, because the features I find attractive occur more often with them. And I feel I hit the freaking Jackpot after the Korean Wave hit me.
I love Asia and its people. All over, not Just Korea. But I find beauty everywhere I look too. My music tastes are just as diverse. But I need creative and awesome music that not only sounds great, but allows me to get lost in it without feeling I'm being subtly poisoned by irreverence, disrespect, misogyny, greed, and violence. (which is what I hear a lot of in American mainstream music. not all. But quite a bit.) I want to feel the inspiration, the universal yearning to be a better version of oneself, to love deeper, to think outside of myself, to work harder, to live life more fully, to laugh more, to allow myself to cry, to speak my mind, to let go of apathy, and to feel anger but with empathy, to not be afraid to revisit innocence. Even if it is contrived for the sake of record sales... it's still art. A lot of JROCK, KPOP, Folk, and Indie music does that for me. BTS, EXO, AkMu, Nell, Standing Egg, Trax, DB5K, BAP, Cdrama and Kdrama OSTs, Anime Theme songs, Larc En Ciel, Gackt, Iron & Wine, Black Keys, Florence and the Machine, Tupac, Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Radio Head, Ben Harper, David Bowie, John Legend, Frank Sinatra, Alannis Morissette, Utada Hikaru, Jay Chou, ... just to give a few examples of artists that do that for me. What about the fashion and languages? I like a lot of the Korean fashion. Especially the effort put into keeping things modest, but not grumpy. I don't care too much for some Japanese fashion, but I love the creativity. Personally, I like combining ideas from Project Runway, K Fashion, some anime, and Europop ^^ Languages? English is my first language. I'm pretty good at Spanish. I learned a little German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and French. Why? Because I can. and a lazy brain is a shrinking brain. But Japanese, Korean, Russian, Cantonese, Arabic, Hebrew, and Swahili are my favorite languages to listen to. They're Beautiful. All languages are fascinating to me though, and I'm working hard to learn Korean as fluently as I know Spanish. Again. why? Because I adore the music, television, food, and the culture and its unfair to require everything I want to learn or see or hear to be translated for me. I plan on learning Japanese and Chinese fluently one day too. How successful I'll be is yet to be seen... lol So, to conclude this freaking massive rant of mine (congratulations for making it this far btw) Am I a "Whatever- a - boo" ? Am I a fetishist? Am I generalizing? Do I want to be Asian? No. But I'll tell you this: I wish some parts of Asian culture influenced mine more. We could use a higher awareness of responsibility, honor, kindness, and respect. But we're only a 250 year old country founded by men and women from a nation that was roughly 700 years old when they left... Some Asian countries have 4-6 Thousand years of history, culture, and warfare they've grown from. So as a Culture of its own, we the USA have a lot of growing up to do. No I don't want to change who I am, but I want to improve by learning from those who inspire me. Maybe live there for a while to get some perspective. I find a ton of inspiration from Asia: Spirituality, Karma, Respect, Honor,... These things are rampant in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, and Indian Cultures and the teachings of their wise men and religious figures. (Granted, a lot of it was enforced or carried out in gruesome, cruel, and sometimes inhumane ways back in the old days. So they definitely went through some major growing pains, nationally speaking.) Maybe I have an old soul? Maybe I think deeper and more spiritually than some. Maybe I'm just like everyone else and need to feel accepted. I don't know. All I know is I'm a girl who knows what she likes, and no one should be judged for that.
Does any of that make sense?