But the ‘Little Girls’ Understand: Thank you #BTS ARMY

By Jae-Ha Kim
jaehakim.com
June 4, 2017

Many of my friends say that they would not be able to deal so well with angry readers, like (they think) I do.

Every week, my column goes up on various newspaper sites and if there is an underscore in the celeb’s username (e.g. Famous_Person), the link will show up wrong in certain publications. Every. Single. Time. FWIW, my syndicate gets it correct. But it’s a quirk that these publications can’t seem to fix.

Every time the error runs, I will get angry, irate and often vile emails/tweets from readers (usually men) who are incensed that I am so stupid that I would make that kind of mistake. They tell me I should go back to where I came from and that I need to learn how to speak English. They never mention that I should learn how to code, because they don’t think about that. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t do it. They see my name. They see my face. And I make a great target for them.

On May 24th, I tweeted out a benign comment saying that I interviewed BTS and that the article would be out (on May 30th). Then I went back to watching the Cubs game with my family. By the time I went to bed, I had reached my limit of text messages. I had received over 3,000 tweets and messages from BTS fans, who were eager to read the article.

On the morning of May 30th, I hadn’t linked the Chicago Tribune article yet, because it had shown up with incorrect links. I wanted to wait for the online folks to fix them.

Some fans inquired as to where they could find the article. I asked them for their patience while the links were fixed. I waited for the angry emails. And guess what? I never received one. Not. One. No one felt the need to unleash their vitriol.

Instead, they sent me some of the nicest emails/tweets/messages that I have ever received. Some even referred to this old ajumma as cool. And once the article did go up, they shared it on their various social media platforms.

My friends will tell me that I’m so strong, because they don’t think they could handle being criticized in public or having people tell them they’re a moron.

Some will even use that as an opportunity to be rude to me, because I’m “thick skinned” and, unlike them, can handle criticism.

I had one person who I had profiled berate me for a mistake I hadn’t made. When I pointed out that I have zero control of the production of each individual newspaper — something that should be obvious without needing to be stated — he still refused to apologize.

That’s how it goes.

I’d like you all to look at the photo below. It’s my column on the talented, beautiful and very interesting actress, Shay Mitchell. I’m not sure if you can read the small newsprint, but suffice it to say that it is the exact same column. On the left is what my article looks like online on the the Los Angeles Times‘s website. On the right is how it ran in the print version of the Chicago Tribune. The headlines are different. The layout is different. The photos are different.

The other day, I had a publicist go into panic mode, because we planned on using a photo that she hadn’t approved. The photo we did have had come to us courtesy of a major television network and shows her client in character. It’s a lovely photo, but this particular publicist didn’t want it to run.

I like everyone to be happy, even when the request, to me, is unreasonable. I explained to her that though the newspaper syndicate that I write for will pass along her preferred photo, the publications are under zero obligation to run it. (See my example above⤴ … And, by the way, Shay and her publicist loved the article and didn’t complain about either photo.)

She was not happy. You know what? I get it. Her job is to present her client in the most favorable light. And perhaps her client is pressuring her to use the preferred photo.

So, there are days like that when no one’s happy.

But, last week —  dammit — that was awesome. I had an army of young women in countries across the world sharing my work, telling me how much they appreciate me and how they think I’m pretty darned awesome.

A long time ago, the Knack released an album called “But the Little Girls Understand.” All the a-holes who make fun of girls for the music that they like and the boys whom they admire, well … It just goes to show that it’s they who don’t understand.

tl;dr: I rule! At least I did, for a few days. Thank you, BTSarmy for being so enthusiastic and lovely; and for making the past few days so memorable!

© 2017 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved

Comments (47)

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  45. Abigail T says:

    Jae Ha Kim ssi ~ People will find ways to let out their negative energy on you, and it won’t even be your fault. As an ARMY, I get it all the time, from people who don’t understand why I like BTS and from even other kpop fans. Some will judge you off of one small thing, making assumptions. But we can’t let that stop us from being happy. This is the only life we have. The voice that matters the most is the one inside of you that’s been with you since you were born. This self is what you should hold dear, and not just change for anyone. I really respect people who are bold to stay by their beliefs and love who and what they want to. You can’t go wrong with love! Sorry for my ranting, I just, this article made me feel thoughtful. Thanks for believing in my galaxy and not just that I and other ARMYS are crazy fangirls. Keep capturing people’s stories with your journalism! Thank you <3

  46. ❤ Jimin 🇧🇷❤ says:

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