Yes, i know the title is a clickbait.
i’ve come across different people who use this word to describe some keyaki fans; enough to make me react and ask myself “where does that come from?”. I don’t think we can answer by a “yes” or a “no”, simply because every fans have their way to express their enthusiasm toward their favourite group; however what can be done is to highlight patterns that explain why it spreads so much.
There’s few steps of where this keyakizaka elitism thing comes from :
- the group itself, with their rebellious concept : they want to be artist and not only idols which can be interpreted as indirectly belittling other groups.
- some fans behaviors; because they identifies themselves to the group, they often fall into the “look i’m into keyakizaka, i’m different&cool” narrative and it’s snooty and irritating. They do that more because they are clumsy rather than wanting to feel superior than others.
- Trolls are legions on the internet, and imitate this behavior to make fun of them, like “I’m DiFfErEnT&CoOl lOL” stuff, or just being ironic.
- The worst, some people take them seriously, RT and share those behaviors adding how delusional and stupid they are. On epic proportion.
Then, all you see is people being outraged by comments of an elitist minority and a troll majority, and because this is much more visible than the latter, we end up putting everyone on the same level of elitism snobs. There’s no need to be dramatic, as there’s few points to clear and avoid misunderstanding.
Elitism is not proper to Keyakizaka : Actually this story is a rewind of what happened with Nogizaka and 48group. Some 48 fans despised nogizaka fans because they support clean and elegant idols, implying that 48group weren’t. Or because most of nogizaka fans didn’t want to mix up and were “Nogizaka only”. Hell, we can even say the same with underground idols fans who thinks 48group is mainstream. How snobbish is that? (it’s not in most case)
Do not mix pride and elitism : People have pride. Wota most of all, bringing their oshi towel, going to only their oshi handshake, having only her oshi lighstick color. It can have a negative impact only if you use your oshi or group to compare and belittle. It comes both ways : you have to consider others feeling when speaking your mind, and on the other hand they need to understand you support different group because, well, we are all different. I agree seeing people enthusiasm can be irritating, but it is not elitism (it’s not “my group is better than yours” argument). Perhaps clumsiness, as said above.
To verify Elitism, talk to them : Because step 3 and 4 flood social networks, it’s starting to get into people’s mind that it’s actually true, even though it comes from rumors and hearsays. Don’t let your opinion be influenced by hearsay, just talk to some fans to make your own take on that matter. If you end up with some die hard fan that is narrow minded, well too bad. But most of the time, it’s just folks who likes to talk about their favourite group, like any other fandom.
To sum things up, i would say we need to be more responsible of what we say. Not hiding what we have in mind (SNS purpose is to talk to each other about various stuff) but more like, be more careful on how we say it. It can backfire at you because some people will not hesitate to twist your point to make it look like you are an elitist snob. On the contrary, being nice and polite can lead to friendly debates. We have to find balance with fun (the meme kingdom is popular after all) and serious (being considerate of other feelings.)
You can do it!