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Welcome ONCE!
Feb 20, 2022
Okay, I'll be the first one to write here. I never paid attention to Kpop before due to my perception of it as just "manufactured music designed to be addictive for listeners". I first listened to Kpop when SNSD's 'I Got A Boy', 2NE1's 'Fire', EXO's 'Growl', Super Junior's 'Sorry, Sorry', and BIGBANG's 'Fantastic Baby' were still the ones that were popular—I primarily watched their MVs on a music channel here in our place. I enjoyed 'em but I didn't see the authenticity of the artists in the song. They were very catchy and melodic but I didn't know what message they were trying to convey to the world, it didn't help that their music videos were extravagant for the time either. I grew out of listening to Kpop in general and forgot about the whole thing. Sure, as years went by, K-pop grew with PSY's 'Gangnam Style' topping the charts but the whole "K Wave" that followed it further cemented my thoughts about this type of music. I soon regarded Kpop as fleeting songs/trends, thus, never taking it seriously. I also hated idol culture/celebrity worship too and the way Kpop fandoms presented themselves online didn't help in changing my perspective. Although I never outright hated it, I soon became the friend who wasn't afraid to show his disinterest in Kpop whenever it was brought up in conversations since I found it annoying. It was on 2021, where I befriended a certain girl who was a ONCE, was when I started to listen to TWICE. She enthusiastically advertised their music and wanted me to become part of their fandom. She slowly sent me some TWICE MVs for me to form an opinion on them. I clearly remember that one of the songs she told me to listen to was 'What Is Love?' and I didn't expect much of it since I've already heard a chunk of it through TikTok vids but when I checked out the lyrics of the song, I'd be lying if it didn't strike a chord with me. The sunny, cheerful and innocent singing masked thoughtful and wistful lyrics that wondered what love truly meant. I watched the MV too and I was absolutely blown away by the movie references. The movies they chose each presented different types of love and it perfectly mirrored what adolescents of today's age go through: desperately looking at iconic pieces of media for inspiration and in this instance, the subject was love. I didn't know what to say. The whole idea of the song made me sad (in a good way) and it was pure simplistic genius. After that, I fell into the rabbit hole and landed right into Twiceland :) TWICE helped me open my eyes and realize that I shouldn't just look at the surface level of songs. They made me realize the brilliance of the music of the other half of the world. They expanded my perspective of Kpop as a whole and taught me that I shouldn't brush off things passively and immediately form a judgment based on half-assed observations. In a time where the more loud or hyped a song sounds, I found comfort in the laid back, mellow and uplifting songs of TWICE. They allowed me to remember a simple fact that I've forgotten—music is another form of expression that can make you feel good or cheer you up no matter what occasion, something that I remember feeling when I used to listen to Jason Mraz or any 2000's music. Seeing the gradual evolution of TWICE's discography also felt very fulfilling for me. It shows that they're proof that the Kpop industry isn't just "manufactured music" at all. I would also like to add that even with my problem with idol culture and the things it creates ( ie. celebrity worship & parasocial relationships) there's one extra impactful thing they've taught me. My journey into TWICE has led me to respect them as more than just artists or performers but as human beings. Due to how women are often portrayed, I subconsciously find it okay to easily sexualize women in media. Now don't get me wrong, I'm no hormone-induced hornball but I sorta got desensitized with the way women are sexualized in media. As I got to know TWICE and their hardships, I found myself being attached to them to the point where I treat the girls as my 9 big sisters. I came to the realization that if anybody tried to treat TWICE as objects, I would be deeply disgusted and offended. With that in mind, I now fully understand the gravity of sexualizing celebrities and without TWICE to make me realize that, maybe I still would have been doing so subconsciously through subtle acts such as watching movies or music videos just to see some boobs/ass. I hope this all makes sense, lol. It took me a long time to write my thoughts but I did my best


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