Our first sexual feelings can be terrifying. (To paraphrase Beyoncé: They are more powerful than our minds can even digest.) It’s one thing for your mom or your health teacher to give you a totally clinical birds-and-the-bees talk, and another thing entirely to actually experience sexual desire and know what to do with it. Attaching your affections to someone like Joey or Donnie or Harry or Zayn or Cody or Siva is a safe way to explore those impulses without having to face them on an IRL person-to-person level before we’re ready.* In that sense, boy-band fandom is, at its core, much more about us than it is about the boys. We are the subjects, and they are the objects in our fantasies, many of which involve our imagined relationships with them. […] From a fan’s-length distance, these safely unattainable fantasies can start to teach us about what kind of person we might like to date, and sometimes even how we’d like that person to treat us.

jawnita kills it in this piece about being a boyband fan. i’ve been wanting to write about south korean media portrayal of k-pop boyband fans, mostly teenage girls, as hysterical and mindless victims of consumerism. need to read up on oppa and samchon fans of girl groups tho, for better understanding of the specific gender dynamics.

footnote for above: “* I am writing this from a straight cis woman’s perspective; but I imagine that boys’ crushes on boy bands, and girl’s crushes on, like, Kristen Stewart, work in a similar way.”