I used to not know how someone can be an ironic stan of a group in K-Pop, or any other genre, actually. Generally I: am a fan of a group (i.e. B1A4 and 4Minute), like a group (i.e. Infinite and Miss A), think they suck (i.e. EXO and APink), or have no feelings towards them at all (i.e. Teen Top and Rainbow). It’s hard for me to pretend to like something, which seems to me to be what ironic stanning is. Or the general idea that you only enjoy them in an ironic sense, because you know they actually aren’t that great so liking them is generally out of pity, the amusement of insulting them, or something of the like.
But after finding two groups the night of March 27, I now understand what ironic stanning exactly is. A group is just so bad you can’t help but feel bad for them. You can’t help but want to watch that trainwreck.
Firstly let’s talk about Fiestar AKA Fiesta, which I call them now. They debuted in 2012, and I didn’t hear anything about them until I saw someone on unpopular kpop opinions or whatever talk about how their newest song is “so beneath them” – I checked it out and was actually slightly impressed by it. I didn’t give them much thought again until an article I saw stated that one of the members was leaving. Also irrelevant to me as someone who doesn’t really care, but last night I was prompted by another group that we will talk about in a moment to rewatch “I Don’t Know,” the live version. That’s the song I actually think is a pretty good song. It’s really cutesy and even though the lyrics are absurd in the fact that no girl over the age of 14 regardless of country of origin could be that daft, I liked the song and concept. But at the end in the live performance…Oh lord. I noticed how they ripped off one of B1A4’s iconic dances. Even though the exact movements aren’t the same, there are obviously similarities between a couple of parts of the “I Don’t Know” choreography, and the last part of the “What’s Happening” dance when the boys start their “every time I think about you…” part. Maybe it’s the sharpness of the movements. Maybe it’s the fact that a bunch of background dancers are surrounding the group. Maybe it’s the fact that only the arms and heads are being used for this dance. Something just seems a bit too close for my comfort. Let’s also talk about how in the below performance their background looks like something WM drew up for B1A4 during the What’s Happening era, but rejected for being too pink – though that never stopped WM before (see: Ignition era).
I have to say though, these girls actually sing live, and don’t sound horrible, so that’s impressive. Which is sad, since singers should be able to sound good live unless they’re in the performer category.
So then I go ahead and look up their “Vista” video, since that seems to be their most popular song, and is also their debut song. I love dance version videos so I chose that one, and I couldn’t help but notice something very familiar about the set. The set was a direct rip off, or should I say pretty much the SAME EXACT SET of B1A4’s “OK” video from back in 2011 – also their debut song. Not to mention the “FIESTAR” logo in back of the girls dancing is pretty much a direct rip off of the one B1A4 used in “OK” too. Upon watching the full version of the MV, Junsu of JYJ fame also does Jinyoung’s Iconic shooter finger thingy from the “Beautiful Target” video. Not to mention the video is also partially set in a science lab.
In short: Fiestar were obviously created to promote the B1A4 Propaganda Agenda, further proving that the boys really are the top trendsetters in K-Pop.
The song itself isn’t that great, so I’m not sure why so many fans feel like it’s their best song. I can understand why fans feel as though “I Don’t Know” doesn’t do the group justice if they really enjoyed “Vista,” but I just didn’t. However, since Fiestar AKA Fiesta are trying so hard to copy my oppars (I vomited a little while writing that, mostly because only two members are actually older than me), I will stan them ironically. I want to follow their career simply to see what B1A4 item they will use for their own profits next.
Next we have TINT. The group that somehow prompted me to revisit Fiesta thanks to a YouTube suggestion. They just released a song called “Wolf is Stupid” – which isn’t even a proper translation of the Korean title. Obviously the use of “Wolf” is to gain the attention of EXOrcists (EXO Fans), who are going to whine about how they “should have gotten permission to use the word!!!!111one11!!”
So I go ahead and watch the video, since I could tell the concept was Little Red Riding Hood, which I actually think is pretty darn cute. The song itself is strange, but the lyrics are obviously relatable to any girl who has dated an idiot, and I’m pretty sure all of us girls have at some point. They lyric about ‘starving (yourself) to be thin’ was disturbing to me, though. I feel in a way that’s promoting eating disorders, and saying that you have to be thin for a guy to like you, which is false. I’m not sure how that hasn’t gotten banned, or hasn’t at least had some controversy over it, but I’m sure it’ll come if enough international fans watch the video with English subtitles. That’s the best thing about Loen (excuse me, 1thek, aka: the stupidest name ever) by the way – even though I don’t think the subtitles are perfect on any of these videos, at least us international fans who have limited knowledge of Korean can get a gist of the song meaning.
Even though it was very cutesy, I kind of liked it. The song wasn’t trying hard to be anything it wasn’t, and I liked the dance, even though it wasn’t super complicated. It’s catchy- though I don’t think I’ll end up listening to it too often, I’ll be ironically stanning TINT from now on simply because of how upset the group has made EXOrcists over using the word “Wolf” in their song title.
The funniest thing to me about ironic stanning both of these groups is that in my eyes, they both do cute better than APink who as of now are the only popular Cute Girl Group left aside from Orange Caramel – who as I have implied, don’t count for me since their cute is so over exaggerated, you can tell it’s a joke. Maybe HelLOVEnus counts here too, but since they haven’t done anything in a year, who knows what they’ll end up having a comeback with. Girls Day have gone to the sexy side, SNSD have grown up and aren’t looking back, Secret have a constant identity crisis, and I wouldn’t call my girls BESTie ‘cute’ since they never have been on the same level of aegyo as any of these other groups . Crayon Pop isn’t known for being cute either, and I wouldn’t classify them as cute, or as juvenile as most K-Pop fans try to. Basically, you should find groups to ironically stan because you won’t actually care what happens to them, and you can laugh at the messes created by each group without actually worrying about them since they aren’t your true faves. Ironic stanning is actually the best.