We stan stan culture

Sireen Abayazid, Staff Writer

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Noah Centineo, Tom Holland, Shawn Mendes. These are just a few of the celebrities who have gained a loyal following after their rise to fame, and recently these fans have begun referring to themselves as “stans.” For many, to stan someone or something just means to like it a lot, but Urban Dictionary reduces stans to over obsessive and invasive fans.

Overly obsessed fans can have very negative impacts on the celebrities they “stan”. Invasive fans even go as far as attacking celebrities on social media when something they do doesn’t please them. In fact, the word “stan” originally came from a song that Eminem released in 2000 about a crazed fan, who he named Stan, who killed himself because his idol wouldn’t respond to his letters.

Because of its negative connotation, stan culture has always been heavily frowned upon by those who don’t understand it. Parents tell their kids to get their heads out of the clouds and focus on the real world, and some are even ridiculed by their peers for having fan accounts.

One fandom that is the most looked down upon is the BTS “ARMY.” BTS is a South Korean boy band comprised of seven members and has gained a loyal fan base since the release of their album, Love Yourself: Tear, the second installment in their Love Yourself trilogy. However, not all of their fans are good, and the younger fans have a reputation for going to far.

On September 24 Kim Nam-joon, the leader of BTS, spoke at the United Nations’ #Youth2030 conference about BTS’ Love Yourself campaign, and how positively the message of their albums impacted their fans and BTS themselves. After an entire speech about how he has learned to love himself with the help of his music, Lilly Singh made a joke about the maturity of BTS fans at the beginning of her speech it didn’t go over well.

Stan culture has been reduced to 12-year-old girls crying over celebrity relationships, but that truly isn’t the case. While some fans, like the ones who attacked Singh, certainly are childish, what people fail to realize is that fan accounts and interacting with others about someone or something that you all care about can help someone on a personal level.

Twitter user Aubree Sabo (@reaiitystone) tweeted in February of this year about how being a fan of Marvel helped her cope with her mother’s death. She had been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD and being able to relate to other characters in the movies with explicit mental disorders saved her life.

Stanning a certain character, show, or celebrity can truly bring out the best in people, and ultimately, stan culture isn’t a bad thing, even though it is a little uncommon. Don’t be afraid to go on Twitter or Instagram and find people who enjoy things that you’re interested in. You don’t have to make a Noah Centineo stan account, but get a firsthand experience before you make your decision, and keep an open mind when you come across someone who chooses to take part.

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