A Declassified Guide To Stan Culture

A Declassified Guide To Stan Culture

What stan culture is, and how they make the mania over famous people ridiculous
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Remember "Stan"? The 2000 single by Eminem, that was about an obsessed fan who went from trying to look like Slim Shady to acting out a deadly scenario from one of his earlier songs? Yeah, I'm talking about that, because it's been becoming a huge aspect of fandom lately. And truth be told, it's a mixed blessing for all levels of society. Not to mention, that definition has been modified since that song came out, from just meaning a stalker-level fan to just being a plain old fan.

In the past, fans of celebrities, music, sports and the like couldn't access their objects of desire with just one click, but thanks to the breakthrough of social media, it's both easy and an instant gratification for us to connect with whom we admire. From a more logical standpoint, when celebrities et al give out information or just post something, fans get up in arms about it in no time at all over the Internet, allowing for the culture to expand faster than in earlier times of the Information Age. Also, we can share our opinions about that stuff in no time at all, even though it's very likely we'll drag someone who doesn't have a similar view as we do. Furthermore, the stans were mostly outliers in the past, but as you can clearly see, they're at the forefront partially due to social media.

In fact, anyone reading this article right now is probably part of a fan culture, whether they're in the BeyHive, Potterheads, or just supporters of the New England Patriots, and while they're for the most part happy to be there, quite a few of them might be stanning over their idol. If you ask me, all the stans and fans aren't all that different from one another. Oh, does that sound crazy? Not really! But anyway, the stans and fans aren't always cheerleaders, they're the engine that can keep careers going, and also be the ones deciding who will flop.

However, stan culture is also notorious for extreme actions, generally committed by a minority within the fanbase, such as harassing and threatening others, treating certain celebrities as if they're demigods, sports riots (particularly soccer hooliganism), and basically just doing anything and everything for attention.

If you don't know by now, there are actually eight kinds of stans, as follows:

1. The Hardcore Stan, who's religiously devoted to their favorite. Ever wonder why plenty of famous people's bodyguards are armed? Take a wild guess!

2. The Hardcore Hater, who is a troll by all other names.

3. Undercover Agents, who always defend their favorite, are the first ones to get the latest details in their favorite's life, and make very good attack dogs towards the opposition.

4. Bandwagon Stans, who are only there just because it's cool, regardless of popularity

5. The Seasonal Stans, who are just hipsters by all other names.

6. Underground Railroaders, who are completely loyal to their favorite not known by the mainstream.

7. Dead Bird Stans, who absolutely adore their favorite, but don't shy away from spreading negativity about that same favorite!

8. Know-it-All Stans, who are so delusional that they talk as if they know their favorite personally, even to the point of blurting out things about their favorite, before they're even proven factual.

I understand that it's the norm for us to obsess about our favorite actors, artists, athletes and such, but as much as I like watching stan wars as a guilty pleasure of mine, things can get out of hand fast. Take my advice: steer clear of the deranged stans, and show your admiration for your favorites on your own terms.

Cover Image Credit: Rapid Retail UK

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parent's house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your 7th-grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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I'm The Girl Who Finally Realized That Letting Someone Love You Takes Practice

The art of vulnerability.

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Love is such an abstract concept, it is a lot more than the happily ever afters.

Love is one of those things that cannot be explained (if it was easily understood and commonly defined, then I am guessing a lot of therapists would not have a job!) Every single person you meet is an experience and every relationship you have is different, containing a kaleidoscope of emotion, circumstance, and absolute random chance.

I have come to realize that love is not quantifiable.

Like how you cannot love someone "more" or "harder." Love is bigger than us, almost like a religious idea, like how you cannot see God, but you can see God through other people. Love works the exact same way. Love is not tangible, but it is visible through words and actions.

I can radiate love and sprinkle it on everything I do and every person I meet.

However, I do not accept love easily. This is not just a mere self-perception of my reactions to love, it is a reflection of the effect of unconditional love. I like to test the waters, making sure it is absolute. Like trying to see if unconditional love really means an unjudging, steadfast, and concrete love. Looking back, I have realized that I have self-sabotaged a handful of the most valuable relationships in my life. The lack of relationships do not affect me today, but in the moment, they were extremely important.

The most impactful example is during the two final years in high school.

I have always been extremely close to my parents, but throughout those years, I rebelled in every way possible. (I would like to think that when I am a parent, my kids will never get away with anything because I have already done everything before, but I have a feeling that is not going to be true...) I was kind of the daughter from your worst nightmares, the kind of girl that people make movies about. I would like to blame my prefrontal cortex for not developing quick enough, but deep down, I knew what I was doing.

Thankfully with bountiful forgiveness and unwavering patience, I have remade myself and my selfless parents are undoubtedly by my side, being my favorite and loudest cheerleaders. My other examples pertain to (ex)best friends and (ex)boyfriends. I seek comfort by always having one foot out the door.

I say that being "more vulnerable" is my New Year's resolution, just like everyone else who makes resolutions with hopes to magically wake up a changed person.

However, it is going to take work. Like a sports practice or daily homework, every day and every week, I need to learn to push myself out of my comfort zone and gradually create my interpretation of vulnerability to sprinkle into my world in art form. So here I am, putting pencil to paper (more like fingers to keys, but you get the point) and going to work.

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