Words by Matthew Spence:
The following article is presented by “Captain No Shit”
We’re all fans, and that’s okay. We all enjoy creativity and a form of culture. On our left, we have our music nerds to the right we have film buffs, walking by us are the tech connoisseurs, and following them are the motherfuckers who worship Kylie Jenner, Charli D’Amelio, creators on TikTok, and influencer motherfuckers. There’s a 16-year-old who admires Lana Del Rey, someone who sees themselves in Ye West (which is terrifying low-key), and another who takes Zendaya quotes as messages from God herself. Someones’ creative outlets can do wonders for the consumer: motivate, inspire, provide a form of escapism, and relatability factor. An abundance of reasons would cause one person to gain some attachment. Yet, when someone leaps over that line to “standom”, depending on the person, all boundaries cease to exist.
Bordering worship and severe idolization draws wonders on the line between fan and personal connection. An emphasis on this is the stan account. Here’s the quick 411 (we need to bring this back), “Stan” is used to describe a maniacally obsessed fan who would do anything to get their attention, popularized by the Eminem of the same name or at least that’s how the Merriam Webster defines or the youth bible Urban Dictionary explains it (Thanks LaserRaptorz for definition). Now, there isn’t inherently wrong with Stan accounts. They may provide more info and content that the average fan may not be aware of while providing updates, especially if their celebs are very cagey and sheltered from social media. Think Frank Ocean, Donald Glover, or the all-holy Michael Cera, you know people of that nature. Shit, Frank Ocean is so ghost that people treat new updates on him with more tenderness than handling a newborn baby. It’s in the same vein as being in a fan club.
Billie Eilish’s stan accounts are so fucking bonkers to me that I can’t hold my professionalism when I type this out. With captions such as: “Bae life is boring without u come back now please”, “My Perfect Girl, She’s so Precious”, “She’s my lifelong happiness”, and “Our baby Billie so Pretty”.
Zendaya: “That’s my woman and she deserves it” regarding her Emmy win.
Kendall Jenner: “The Power she holds”
(Side note: I’ve seen a Kurt Cobain stan account that romanticized his suicide. Yes, you read that correctly. I just wanted to point this out in some form here)
Now reading those captions out loud may give Kathy Bates “Misery” vibes, correct? Understandable as you once you add a personal attachment so thick that the Kingdom Keyblade couldn’t slice it in half, that’s where it gets odd and cringe. Nothing wrong with fandom and giving flowers to those you admire, if they played a major role in your life, that’s also fine. However, as glee saturates your view, you’d have to move around the waterfall and snap back into reality. Try to stan with safety. At the end of the day, we know their on-camera presence, and……. that’s it. What we see on stage, in interviews, and in some random clips from their Instagram stories where they’re gonna get yogurt, is just that. They could be possibly different once the cameras are off, may be a complete 180 versus what/who we might meet. They may be the charming person we saw in the 73 Questions with Vogue or they could be self-centered assholes who make kids cry for fun.
Now, sure that’s an exaggeration, but the point stands… or stans……….yes I’m proud of that. Digression aside and shitty jokes aside, idolization needs to be tamed. They don’t know us nor do we know them. How many of these accounts are run by people over the age of 18? who knows; how many are run by people under age? a few I’d assume. No matter the age, gender, or scene/celeb fandom, it should be kept in the back of our minds that these celebs are no more different than us (minus the fortune and fame of course). So obsessing and treating them as their close loved ones isn’t an ideally healthy thing. It’s like being so caught up in a fantasy you forget your reality. The reality is we are loyal fans and they are celebs who may not like us if we met them (not to portray every single celebrity as sadist assholes but I’m trying to make a point), it’s a sad truth.
A balance is needed for everything, including standom. It gets bizarre and disturbing when we hear stories of stans threatening, harming, and harassing others. I woke up scratching my head when Selena Gomez stans were harassing and sending death threats to Hailey Bieber to where Selena herself had to step in and tell them to basically: chill the fuck out, it’s not that serious.
Taylor Swift stans (the Swifites were at large) threatening John Mayer in 2021.
Fan out and stan out, but the vision should never get blurred. There’s a reason why the expression “Never meet your role models” exists, because many cases to prove it to be exact. Like that episode of Family Guy where Stewie found out his favorite TV show was fake. From a distance, they feel above imperfections and our emotional attachment may blind us, but they’re not God. With close examination, you’ll realize that, and in a different light, we realize we’ve been stanning an asshole. No matter how old we get, we still carry that naive child-like optimism and that’s okay, but use that power wisely. Try knitting or making cassettes or ride a bike.