This is a confession about k-pop from an outsider. First of all, I would like to say that I was once a dedicated k-pop fan in my younger days. I enjoyed k-pop from an early age back in 2005 when I was in third grade all the way up till 2007 when I became a sixth grader and I have to say, I’ve had my fair share of k-pop. At first, I loved k-pop. I was dazzled by it, especially since back then, the korean wave was starting. I was an ELF. I went to concerts, bought merch, celebrated members’ birthdays, etc. I loved it. I was your naive k-pop fan I guess. Very dedicated. Very much in love with older men, like 15 years older LOL, and believed I would one day go to Korea, debut, and fall in love/marry them. But as I grew up, I began seeing the reality of it. I felt like k-pop changed during my eigth grade year. K-pop began getting competitive between idol groups, fandoms became viscious, the genre of k-pop lost its originality (all in my opinion btw) and I just really wasn’t into it anymore. I realized that the Super Junior I loved so much was just an act, a farce basically. Not that I don’t like them now or respect them, I still do a lot, I’m just saying I snapped out of my craziness. So i left k-pop. And i never came back really. I kept up with a few news headlines and some songs here and there, but I never went back to craziness dedication. Because I haven’t kept up with K-pop for so long, I have not been aware of new groups, news, etc. Hence, when I heard EXO two months ago with their already oldish hit “Growl”, I was really surprised. I liked Growl a lot and checked out their other songs, which I all really liked. EXO was the group that kinda persuaded me to once again check out k-pop. I figured out soon that EXO was already a really popular and overrated group, and although they are, I have to say I really do like them and their music. I know EXO is so old news, even though they are still considered rookies, but you know when you discover something new and you’re obessed with it for a couple of days? Well that’s how it was like for me. I instantly fell for their good looks and singing/dance skills I watched EXO on a ton of variety shows, old and new, and here’s my thought on them: they’re really funny, they’re cute, good-looking, young, and great singers/dancers. At this point, doing all my research on EXO, I know a couple of things. 1.) They have crazy saseng fans. 2.) They have a pretty crazy fandom. & 3.) They are human. what do I mean by this? Well I mean, it was obvious from the get-go that their lines on variety shows and radio shows were scripted. That their behavior was abnormally friendly, the kind you get from the bond of brothers or sisters. Maybe it was just me, who had already seen the harsh “realities” of k-pop, that spotted this easier than those obssessed crazed EXOtics. I was once an obssessed ELF, and now I can clearly say that k-pop is not all smiles and fun. Let’s get this straight. I like EXO. I do. Me, someone who pretty much lost interest in k-pop for more than 4 years, like EXO, the obssessed, widely disliked group of overrated company SM who has produced many stars. I like them on variety shows and whatnots, their personas on stage and in front of the camera, and their music. With that being said, EXO on tv is not like EXO in real life. You don’t even need to know EXO in real life to see this. It’s obvious. Not just with EXO, but with every single idol group, Super Junior, TVXQ, SNSD, Shinee, Big Bang, etc. I’m just using EXO as an example since they seem to be the craze. To all you crazy fans who feel “hurt” or “sad” discovering news of EXO (or any of you fav idol groups as being their “true” selves, aka fake): Don’t. There’s no need to. What k-pop is, just like the majority of artists, is someone building a persona of themselves for themselves. EXO may seem close on camera but off camera, they’re proably not and you know what? That’s okay. It would be better if they were but who can blame them? Each one auditioned indivually. They made it indiviually and suffered indiviually. The most I say EXO really truly knows about each other is minimal and substantial enough for camera. Of couse they communicate and talk but are they going to always be hanging out together? No. Is Baekhyun and Chanyeol seriously bffs? Of course not. Chanyeol’s “happy virus” and Baekhyun’s (examples) happy personality on TV is probably not even close to their real ones. I mean, let’s talk about Chanyeol real quick. From the moment I discovered EXO as a new person, I didn’t even know who he was. He was one who didn’t stand out to me. He fell in the back. His name was hard to remember, he didn’t stand out in skills (rapping as compered to Kris or Tao), in looks (as compered to leader Suho or cutie Luhan), or dance (as compered to Kai and Lay), and yet I could see instantly from shows that he was very attention-hungry. He always talked when he was not addressed in conversations, interrupted many of the other members’ convos when asked a question, put is own 2-cents in when not needed, etc, etc, etc. I feel like this is real Chanyeol. Now i’m not trying to bash on him or anything but seriously, when seeing all this and then seeing his little innocent “happy-virus” act, it was blatantly obvious. Desperate fans misinterpt this as Chanyeol just being frienly or talkative but seriously, did he need to talk all the time. Sometimes he talked more than Suho, and Suho’s the leader who speaks on behalf of all of them. I do keep in mind that Chanyeol is very passionate about his career and in order to pursue more oppurtunities/distinguish himsef from this pack of 12 men, he has to really be attention-hungry. At times, EXO seems to be really awkward, and when they realize this they instantly change the mood so that it doesn’t look like they are. They’re obviously doing this because they don’t want to lose fans. Since they’re a fairly newish rookie group, they want to look like they’re “perfect” and composed, but they’re really not. Again, not just EXO but everyone. Super Junior has already proved this through Hangeng’s departure and Henry debuting as a solo idol. TVXQ already split with the whole JYJ things. Big Bang is so not close anymore, since they pretty much all pursue solo careers and only come together when necessary. By looking at Shinee, you can see the passion is not there anymore, so is there little “bond” they too once created for fans. Knowing all this, do I still like EXO? Yes, yes I do. I’m a fan who can distinguish reality from fantasy. Because in k-pop, everyone is fake. No one is ever 100% real. If they were, why would cameras need to be on all the time? Of course, all i’m saying is based on logical fan speculation. But what I am saying sounds more realistic than “Chanyeol’s my husband!” and “Omg, HuHan are so cute, I ship them” etc. I wouldn’t really know unless I was in front of EXO, having a legit 1-on-1 convo with them, which obviously won’t happen since I’m just a fan, but I just wnat fans to know, since rumors spread about EXO recently, that YES, people are FAKE, so what. Don’t feel lied to or cheated, it was your own (and also mines since I was young)’s fault for being something so transparent. I still love and support EXO knowing this information. If you were a fan, you would too. But if you’re crazy and whatnot, then you’ll probably hate this post. The members I think are real-ish while being scripted are Kris & Lay, and hence are my favorites but then again, I’ll never know really know.