Is korean pop culture a bad influence on Singapore teenage fans?

[The crux of the video is from 3 min 15 s to 4 min 03 s]

Zhong Zhu Xuan — Sasaeng fan

Idols are a huge source of inspiration for fans. The way they give their best in whatever they do, no matter how tired they are, really pushes fans to do the same, which is why many fall for them. All fans want to get noticed and remembered by their idols, but some do it through unusual means, and they are commonly known as sasaeng fans, derived from the term ‘sasaenghwal’, which means ‘private life’ in Korean. From the name, you can somewhat infer that these fans encroach on the personal life of idols.

Sasaeng fans try to find out more about their idols, like their schedules and personal life, and do things that are not within the capacity of normal fans, such as stalking the idols everywhere they go, even to the extent of forgoing their education. In their opinion, by knowing more about their idols, they are closer to the celebrities than the others. Even if the idols find them a nuisance, they still believe it is a good thing, as long as the idols recognize and remember them. There have been cases where a sasaeng fan slaps the idol just so that she can leave a lasting impression of herself. Many of them camp outside or even intrude into the places where the idols stay. From this perspective, it seems that the Korean pop culture has a negative impact on fans, considering the extreme actions of fans like throwing used sanitary pads into their hotels. However, if we were to put ourselves in the shoes of the sasaeng fans, the influence is good.

The motivation behind the actions of sasaengs is the thought that “My idols actually recognize me!” The idols rarely come to Singapore, and when they do, it is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to get closer to them. If you know that someone you love is finally coming to Singapore, but only for a short while and might not return in the short run, would you not grasp this opportunity to get closer to that person? This is the notion that sasaengs carry. In a distorted way, the idols actually positively influence us to do what we really want, so that we will not regret it later for missing the chance to do so.
(380 words)

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