What Impact Does K-pop Have on Listeners?


Natalia Deciga Nunez, Staff

In 2020 BTS broke the record for the most viewed music video in 24 hours with their song ‘Dynamite’. Today we’ll see how the record-breaking K-pop artists impact their numerous fans.

Whether it’s rap, ballads, or country, music has an effect on every one of us; the same goes for K-pop. It’s music that makes listeners feel happy, sad, or energized. Music can make us focus, perceive the world differently, and feel better about ourselves, this includes K-pop.

What is K-pop? To put it simply, it’s Korean pop music that originated from South Korea. Artists and groups are formed under specific companies and are known for dancing while performing. You might know Psy, BTS, or Blackpink. K-pop is a cultural phenomenon that broke into the international music markets when Psy released “Gangnam Style” in 2012.

A k-pop decorated room
Natalia Deciga Nunez

Listening to K-pop can help people love themselves and feel confident. BTS is known for their Love Yourself campaign, through their lyrics they help millions of listeners across the world boost their confidence and accept who they are.

“Through K-pop I’ve learned that what makes me different isn’t bad” said Araceli, a K-pop listener from the Littleton District

Not only do listeners learn how to accept themselves, but they also learn what’s important to them. They discover their morals, they grow in many ways, and can make their dreams come true. Many K-pop fans across multiple media platforms tell their stories of graduating from college, getting the grades they want, and prospering in their hobbies from listening to K-pop.

“It makes me want to achieve my goals and inspires me to get everything done” said Araceli.

Listening to K-pop can relieve stress and help with depression and other illnesses. This goes for other music genres as well. The relationships artists and groups build with their listeners can save their lives or brighten their day.

“Even though the artists aren’t directly with listeners, the music videos, interactions, and vibes can make people feel better” she said.

A shelf of k-pop merchandise.
Natalia Deciga Nunez

We’ve heard about the good but what about the negative impacts K-pop can have on the listeners? K-pop idols are held to a different standard compared to many other artists. Fans view them as perfect and never want to see them make a mistake. Constantly seeing your role model being viewed as ‘perfect’ can make fans reflect negatively on themselves.

“Some listeners want to be exactly like their idols, ‘oh, I wish I looked like them, I wish I was that skinny, I wish I had this feature’, they start to feel bad about themselves” said Araceli.

In America where xenophobia is one of the biggest issues amongst many others, K-pop fans often feel outcasted or shamed for enjoying something that’s perceived as different.

“I’m going to admit it, I do feel embarrassed. Because there’s so many people that are negative, negative Nancy’s, bullies we could say. They continuously say racist things about it and try to put you down for liking something you enjoy.”

“There’s always that one person” she added.