My K-Pop Story

My name is Mariah and I’m a 20-year-old living in Dallas, TX.

I started getting into k-pop right as I was graduating high school in 2015 with my best friend Emma. I even have an anniversary that commemorates when I officially fell for the fangirl life (it’s August 13th, by the way).

Before, I’d been a superfan of Justin Bieber. But nothing could compare to what I’ve ended up doing for kpop groups.

I’ve ALWAYS been into Asia and other cultures since elementary school. Starting in the 7th grade, I took Japanese language classes until sophomore year of high school. I saw SNSD’s Gee music video drop and take YouTube by storm back in 2009, although that didn’t get me into K-pop whatsoever. I was much more into J-Drama, but to clarify, not anime.

In 2015, Emma showed me a video of Key of SHINee’s “airport fashion” and his forays on the Korean Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or whatever. From there, I saw GOT7’s Just Right music video and watched it every day for a few weeks.

The day it all went downhill was the day Emma mistook Vernon of Seventeen for Ashton Irwin of 5 Seconds of Summer.

nah, idk how she managed either

At this point in time, my love for k-pop was casual and stuck only to Vine. I likes GOT7 a lot; there’s great footage of me asking questions about the Just Right video and point at JB like a newborn seeing her daddy (get it?).

It got really serious when I discovered BTS and they dropped the Prologue video for I Need U.

Really, really, really serious.

That’s when I discovered a few things about myself:

I am a hard stan.

I am a go hard or go home kind of stan.

I will spend money on damn near anything if it means it’ll make me happy.

I was unhappy with my life before k-pop.

I knew I was depressed, but it’s didn’t pistol whip me in the face with obviousness until myself and everyone around me noticed how different I was. I didn’t have any direction in life and I didn’t have any hobbies, and the things I thought I loved didn’t give me enjoyment anymore, and they hadn’t for most of my miserable high school career.

Finding k-pop genuinely changed my life. It sounds stupid, but I fully attribute my life turning around to the batshit insane world that is being a fangirl.

I know what I want to do in my future (or I’m at least comfortable with having no plan), I have more friends on and offline, I’ve learned things about budgeting for what I want, I’ve learned how to travel to new cities and fend for myself, and I’ve done a thousand things I never thought I’d have the talent and courage to do.

Things took off fast from there. By the following February, I was at my first K-pop concert in Dallas for EXO.

March-May, I was funding my own trip to KCON NY. That weekend was hands down the most satisfying experiences of my life, k-pop or not.

*heavy breathing* he’s so real
*heavy breathing* they’re so real

That summer I also entered KPOP WORLD FESTIVAL in Dallas with a few other fantastic girls. We won first place and some of us gave up our SHINee Fanmeet tickets to go to KCON LA instead. Again, another life changing experience.

Now in 2017 with a thousand other things happening in between,

I’m here to share my story and take people with me to continue it.

This means so much more than just a k-pop blog. I want people to hear about me as a person. Ultimately, I want people to hear about the black experience in this new world. I want to make friends, travel, and just get some thoughts out.

I’ve blogged before, but never like this. This is a new ballgame.

And hopefully, with the support of other fans like myself, we can change the game for the better.

See you soon Hollas,

MJ