Sasaeng fan: the term itself means “private life fan” and thus is used to describe so called fans that go to extreme lengths to invade the lives of kpop stars.
With the recent news of Taemin and Kai being chased, sasaeng incidences have once again been brought to light although we all know it happens on a daily basis to many idols. So much so that they can’t perform the most mundane tasks without some level caution such as going to the bathroom alone. With the infamous sasaengs of DBSK (and more recently EXO) only a few extreme cases have drawn attention from the media. To list them all could take hours and even days, many go unreported, but you can find various accounts online.
Why do they do it? Interviews have shown that they say they want to stand out, even if it means physical harm (Yoochun was slapped around the face by a fan and told it was the only way he’d remember her). Other reasons include a sense of ownership, even if it means urinating on their house and marking their territory. But most of their reasoning is beyond that of “normal” fans.
Sasaengs are often under-age, hence why often no real punishment ensues, and often people’s reactions are “well that’s what they signed up for”. When idols do retaliate it is often seen negatively and are the ones criticized for it. They sometimes try indirect forms via twitter or even pleading with fans to stop following them around but losing their temper could mean losing their career.
These situations occur daily to almost all kpop idols once a certain level of popularity is reached. It’s easy to point the finger and label a fandom for having particularly obsessive fans but it doesn’t matter what fandom or what nationality they are, sasaengs are not fans and they are not representative of a group or fandom.
What you should do:
I’ve always found it somewhat hypocritical when international fans criticize Korean/Chinese fans for their actions when they do exactly the same when their idols visit their own country. So if they ever do come to your country/if you ever go to theirs:
- Stick to official events.
- Hotels are for resting not photographing them in underwear.
- You know what stalking is right. Don’t do it.
- Basically, if you wouldn’t like a stranger to do it to you then don’t do it to them.
- Don’t make them feel uncomfortable and RESPECT THEIR PRIVACY.
That’s it, congrats on not being a sasaeng.