Yikes. I just realized that today’s Dear kfangurl question is one that I received almost 3 whole months ago!
Panda asks today’s question:
“Is it wrong to ship yourself with your fave actors/actresses?”
I’m sorry for taking this long to give an answer Panda. The end-of-year busyness got to me, and I didn’t realize I’d kept you waiting this long!
To try to make up for it, I’ll do my best to give you a thoughtful answer, ok? *offers hug*
DEFINITION OF SHIP
Ok, so first things first. What are we talking about, when we use the word “ship” in this context?
To help us out, I went to our handy-dandy glossary for a ready definition:
Ship: To “ship” a couple is to support / hope for the couple to actually get together. The term, “‘ship” comes from “relationship”.
It’s from the X-Files days when fans who supported the idea of Mulder and Scully getting together were called “relationshippers” which quickly got shortened to “shippers” which then spread across the internet and took on a life of its own. [Thanks to BetsyHp for the insight!]
Often, ships are inspired by various permutations of the 4 leads in a kdrama. Eg, to ship Yoo Seung Ho & Yoon Eun Hye in I Miss You.
Now that we’ve got the definition of “ship” out of the way, it’s time to talk about degrees of shipping.
DEGREES OF SHIPPING
Even though we don’t often discuss it, there are, if you think about it, degrees of shipping.
Whether you’re shipping a celebrity couple, like rooting for a We Got Married couple to make the leap from reel to real, or shipping yourself with Oppa, there are variances in behavior across the fandom at large.
Let’s talk about shipping oneself with Oppa, since that’s the point of today’s question.
For some people, shipping themselves with Oppa goes no further than indulging in some fangirl fantasies.
Y’know, in the privacy of your own bedroom, you gaze dreamily at Oppa’s photos, and imagine what it would be like to be his date to a movie premiere, or what it would be like to cook together with Oppa, or what it would be like to make out with Oppa.. you get the idea.
Yes, some fangirl fantasies might have ratings higher than PG (ahem), but at the end of the day, if you’re able to contain these fantasies such that they don’t hurt your Real Life relationships with others, I honestly don’t see the harm in them.
Not So Mild Shipping
For other people, shipping could translate into much more.. active behaviors.
For the more extreme cases, this could even translate into tracking Oppa down and stalking him.
Y’know, those scary sasaeng behaviors that sound too far-fetched to be true, but are, in fact, “acts of love” done by fans to their oppas. Take a look at this article and this one, too, for a couple of classic examples.
In an incident involving a used menstrual pad being sent to Taecyeon, the fan claimed not to be a sasaeng, but “merely obsessive.”
I’m gonna just come out and say it: I would definitely consider that kind of obsessive behavior sasaeng. Yikes.
Basically, if shipping yourself with Oppa translates into this type of behavior, then, you might need an intervention.
At the same time, consider how the celebs in each of the articles have reacted to such extreme behavior from their fans. Some have feared for their safety &/or the safety of their loved ones. Others have pleaded with fans to stop.
The bottom line here is, this kind of behavior might get you noticed, like the fan who slapped Yoochun, but it sure isn’t going to delight Oppa.
On a tangent, preparing gifts for Oppa and delivering said gifts to Oppa without resorting to stalking or frightening him – that’s ok.
Ok, so I know that not many of us would engage in such extreme behavior while shipping ourselves with Oppa (phew).
At the same time, there are more “moderate” behaviors that self-Oppa-shipping fans engage in that give me pause.
One common example, is “mine”-ing Oppa on every online forum/thread/blog that you visit, never mind if other fans on the site also love Oppa. Worse, when other fans “mine” Oppa too, rivalry and online catfights ensue.
I’d call that pretty uncool behavior. Coz, what gives one fan the right to “mine” Oppa over another fan? And, does that “mine”-ing behavior even make sense?
It’s all well and good when it’s done in tongue-in-cheek fun. Like how y’all indulge me and refer to the Woob as mine. It makes me smile, and gives us stuff to giggle about together.
[For the record, I have never claimed Woob as “mine,” well, except for that one banner on the blog where I thought it’d make a cute tagline, but you guys know I was just having fun with it, right? I’m actually all for good-natured fangirl sharing. Just so you know.]
Once it crosses over into aggressively asserting your claim to Oppa, though, I’d say we have a bit of a problem. None of us wants to be that fan that other fans roll their eyes over, and wish didn’t show up, right?
THE BOTTOM LINE
I’d say that the bottom line really is about the kind of behavior your shipping translates into.
Personally, I think a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, Does this behavior hurt other people? Would Oppa actually like this behavior? And perhaps most important of all, Does this behavior hurt me?
Coz when all is said and done, we don’t want our fangirl activities to prevent us from living happy, full lives.
Enjoying some fangirl fantasy about Oppa is perfectly fine. But don’t let that fantasy get twisted into your reality. Real Life has to go on, and you deserve a fantastic, fulfilling one.
It’s what Oppa would want for you too.
I hope that helps!
1. Dya have thoughts to share with Panda? Or your own story to share? Tell us about it in the comments!
2. Do you have a question of your own? Drop me a comment here or on the Dear kfangurl page, or send me an email!