Oppa: not necessarily your brother, but could sadly be your brother from another mother.
Just in case you failed to guess, this is fangirling 101.
When I first joined Hallyu, Oppa was probably the first word I learned thanks to Ji Sung’s brilliant act in “Kill me, heal me”. At first, and like everybody else I guess, when I first learned what Oppa meant my reaction was as follows:
- Oh, it’s cute to call your brother Oppa !
- But if he isn’t your real brother, why are you still calling him Oppa?
- Oh you can also call your guy bestfriend Oppa, I guess that’s cool since he’s basically like a brother to you.
- WHAT DO YOU MEAN EVEN BOYFRIENDS ARE CALLED OPPA ?!!
That “kinda fauxcest” notion right there triggered every single international fangirl … For a while. Later on, you simply find yourself immersed in the whole culture, and your main concern switches from having to call your crush/boyfriend Oppa to finding an ACTUAL oppa.
When it comes to fangirling, having an Oppa is the easiest task. You basically choose a fave and claim him as your own. Of course, there are many degrees of Oppa claiming: there is the Oppa that everyone likes, the Oppa that steals the hearts of the youngsters, the Oppa that makes Noonas wish they were younger, and then there is THE Oppa.
The Oppa, the bias, the fave, the DO NOT TOUCH if you want to stay alive. Of course, you and I both know that all of the above does not matter because to your Oppa, you do not exist (I bruise easily so please don’t throw anything harder than Tteokbokki).
I know how this feels, because as a fangirl I’ve been there TWICE, and while I gave up on my first try, I vowed for my second to last as long as I did. Since I started with BIGBANG, Taeyang was my first bias (Ji Sung was a close second but he’s 40, married and has a child and I have a dignity to maintain, so he remains my first and ultimate fave among actors but I cannot allow myself to call him Oppa). I was so charmed by Taeyang’s beauty, music and persona, I was also surprised at myself because I usually prefer rappers, and knowing that he originally signed up to be a rapper comforted me for a while as I kept telling myself “I chose well” and I stand by my words: I chose a pure-hearted angel to stan and I take pride in it.
Now, everything was well … that is until I found out that Youngbae had a girlfriend. I don’t know what I was thinking back then because I wasn’t technically free either and even if I was I would be the last person on earth to be involved with him because of obvious reasons (a girl has got to save face, I may be a fangirl but I am not going to slander myself by openly admitting why I won’t be a fit candidate). Anyways, these news made me feel sad, hurt, and betrayed which was kind of ironic because my fangirling was hurting somebody else in the process yet I wasn’t considerate of that significant other. That’s when I decided to retreat as a crazed fangirl and just be a fan, for my own sake and that of those around me.
Little did I know, that it would take me two months to fall head over heels all over again and way harder than I did the first time for completely different reasons. Although I enjoyed Kpop very much, I was specifically captivated by the Rap genre, so I focused on discovering as many rappers as possible and enjoying their music without being caught in the fangirl trap again. Tablo was, is, and will always be the Godfather of Rap for me because he fits all of my standards. I also cannot call him Oppa because he shares the same profile as Ji Sung, and again I have pride. While doing my “homework”, I came across a lot of idol rappers like Zico and Mino and I was really into their style but it was just that, a pure admiration. It wasn’t until I came across Rap Monster that I realized that I was once again caught in the trap; and this time there was no way out for me. I saw my own principles fall apart one after one, and it scared me so much to the point where I started questioning myself.
Also, I seriously have no idea how Sasaengs’ brains function because the mere fact of writing about my fangirling experience made me cringe because feeling this and actually pinning it down are two different matters. Either way, whether we like it or not, we all went through the basic fangirl stages which can be short-listed as below:
- I like you, Oppa.
- I wish I can meet you, Oppa.
- I wish I can be your ideal type, Oppa.
- I love you, Oppa.
- Marry me, Oppa.
- Notice me, Oppa.
- I’m unstanning you, Oppa.
- Take my love back, Oppa ?
- Be my bestfriend, Oppa !
I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed, but I went through all of the previous stages and I am currently at the “bestfriend” phase. Not that I’m actually expecting it to happen (I’m still praying though … Just kidding, or maybe not) but after everything I have learned, read or witnessed, I feel that I finally found someone that can truly understand me. After all, it’s in one’s human nature to crave attention, emotion, or delicacy. That intellectual tact is what I’ve been lacking my whole life, and it’s a bittersweet feeling to have found such comfort in something/someone that will never be within your reach.
Overall, and not just because I have a crazy fangirl side, I believe that there is no harm in loving your fave a little bit too much, as long as you respect their person, privacy and safety. Regardless of who your faves are, cheer for them for the right reasons, don’t bash them for their life choices, don’t hate against their beliefs, and never let your sasaeng awaken. Simply keep in mind that they’re idols that please you and you’re a fan that supports them.
Now, has anyone seen my Oppa ?!