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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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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