We all have things that we’re a fan of. It could be a singer, actor, film, a type of music or even a certain type of food (but we here at DTSFT love all types of chow). We see them or hear them, or hear of them, check them out for ourselves and we realise that we actually really dig what they do. And just like that, we become fans.
But these days it seems that people are taking the whole ‘being a fan’ thing just a teeny bit too far i.e. they give themselves ridiculous names, such as ‘Beliebers’ (for screaming, crying fans of Justin Bieber), ‘Heartbeats’ (if you’re into Jessie J) and ‘Barbies’ (for those who like Nicki Minaj). I mean, it’s good to have interests, and it’s okay if you have about twenty copies of ‘My World’ or if you go around wearing a pink wig, but I just find the whole group labelling thing a bit…annoying. Can’t we just be a fan of something or someone without having to give ourselves a name for it?
I can understand why fans of a certain film or a TV programme name themselves: they’re not just a fan of one person or thing, they love the world that it’s set in and the background of its characters, all the different gadgets and gizmos and costumes and weaponry (if there is any). I myself am a hardcore fan of The Lord of the Rings. I absolutely love those films and J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, and I love how he created Middle Earth and fleshed it out that it almost seems like it actually did exist centuries ago. So fine, I guess I am a ‘Ringer’. But when it’s just one person, one single person, I just find it a bit weird, and, dare I say it, it almost borders on idol worship.
I started noticing this craze when the era of ‘Beliebers’ began, but I’ve been informed by one of our readers that it in fact started a lot earlier with ‘Thatters’, fans of Take That. I have no idea who thought it up or where it came from, but that snowball has just got bigger and bigger and I don’t think it’s ever going to stop rolling downhill. And they have all become so obsessed with this dude that it’s become quite frightening. Check out some of the tweets I found (which I really did have a good laugh at while finding them) and you’ll see what I mean (by the way, I’ve copied it exactly as it was written, so there may be some crappy grammar/poor spelling/both):
“You should stop talking shits about Justin, because there’s 27 million beliebers who’ll make you pay to the things you’ve said.”
“It doesn’t matter how much you hate Bieber, he is and will always be the greatest Pop star to ever walk this planet. Stay mad.”
““I love her.” The three words Beliebers dream about having Justin say to their father.”
“27 million girls died from losing their all ovaries. Blame JUSTIN BIEBER.”
It’s the same thing with Lady Gaga’s ‘Monsters’. I think it was the Mother Monster herself who came up with the name, but I’m surprised that none of her fans have found it a little ‘up-oneself’ and even insulting that she called them ‘Monsters’. And does she not even find it weird that she calls them ‘her monsters’? It’s like me saying ‘I love all of my Hannites! Now go buy my album!” *shudders* I don’t think that some of these fans realise, or worse, mind that they get called such silly and even offensive names.
Another example is the weird and wonderful realm of ‘ the Cumberbitches’. I absolutely love Benedict Cumberbatch and think he is fine as hell, but there is no way that I am his ‘Cumberbitch’, nor would I ever call myself a ‘Cumberbitch’. And I don’t need to remind y’all that I would do anything for – or to – Tom Hiddleston, but I’m not feeling the term ‘Hiddlestoner’. And whoever came up with ‘Redmayniacs’ (for fans of Eddie Redmayne) – really???
What’s worrying is that we have no idea how far this is going to go. Words such as ‘Beliebers’ or ‘Cumberbitches’ could end up in the newest edition of the dictionary. They could be turned into verbs (‘Beliebing’ or ‘Cumberbitching’). They could be translated into other languages (‘Beliebers’ is already known as ‘Beliebessen’ in German*). They could even create a whole new language and teach it in schools. Do you speak Belieber? Fluent in Cumberbitch? Not yet.
The answer to this is to cut it short before it grows out of control. Drop the silly group names, don’t fuel the fire, and don’t sign up for anyone’s squad, or army, or navy, or herd, or gaggle, or whatever. And if someone creates a group name which they spend hours on Twitter trying to get trending worldwide, don’t play up to it. Leave them with their foolishness, they’ll soon learn. Just be passionate about the person and the work that they do and be inspired by it. Just be yourselves. Just be fans. WOW that was corny.
Until next time,