Stans Stan: Celebrities and the Power they hold over Fans

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The culture of stanning has become an increasingly popular phenomenon within the past couple of years. From obsessing over fictional characters to creating fan art, there are many ways in which people have chosen to stan. However, what is the significance behind these terms? Why do we choose to refer to ourselves as a stan and not another word? The answer might appear trivial at first glance, but when exploring the history of the word, it becomes much more complex. A stan is someone who is extremely obsessive over something or someone. For one to be considered a stan, they must show an undying loyalty and enthusiasm towards whomever or whatever they decide to call their “idol”.

The first documented use of the word dates back to the year 2000 when Eminem released the song “Stan”. The song follows a psychopathic fan ‘Stanley’ who writes to his idol Eminem asking for a signed shirt. The lyrics follow Stanley’s attempts to communicate with his idol and his eventual breakdown. This song, alongside with other artists using the word in their music, has contributed to the culture that we know as stanning.

Nowadays, stanning has evolved into a culture that encompasses more than just fanaticism. People are able to express themselves by stanning and finding creative ways to do so. By exploring this meaning, stanning has become something that inspires people to be unapologetically themselves. Often, people who stan fictional characters are referred to as “fandom” stans. This means that they are fans of a particular show, movie, or book. However, being a fan is not considered stanning. If we assume that being a fan means that you have a high level of interest and knowledge about something, then stanning is the next level of fandom. Being a fan means that you are a member of the fandom, while being a stan means that you are an active member of the fandom and display an obsession towards it. The culture has evolved to reflect this distinction.

When it comes to celebrities and the power they hold over fans, there is no group more passionate or devoted than the stans. A “stan” is a super fan who will go to great lengths to support their favorite celebrity, and they are often seen as the most devoted members of a celebrity’s fanbase.

While some may see stans as obsessive or even creepy, there is no denying the power they have. Stan culture has been responsible for some of the most impressive feats of fan devotion, including organising mass social media campaigns, raising millions for charitable causes, contributing to streams for their favourite artistes and even getting celebrities to take notice of their fans.

In Nigeria, certain celebrities have amassed an army of Stans who will go to the end of the earth for their fave. Artistes like Wizkid have Wizkid FC (Simply referred to as FC), Burna Boy is the leader of the Outsiders, Davido is the 001 of 30BG, Naira Marley is the Marlian President. Despite the daily war the respective communities engage in on social media, there is no denying that they are a force to be reckoned with. Globally, Celebrities like Beyonce, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift control a whole “Hive”, or “Army” or “Navy” of stans.

Although incredibly popular with musicians, it’s not limited to them alone. Reality TV stars also have an incredible following and a ‘monstrous’ stanbase. Over the years, Big Brother Nigeria has produced some of the biggest fan bases in Nigeria, maybe even Africa. Tacha boasts of an army who refer to themselves as the ‘Titans’ and who go to extreme lengths for their fave. Other previous housemates who can boast of a loyal stanbase include: Mercy Lambo (Mercenaries), Laycon (Icons), Cee C (Spartans), Erica Nlewedim (Elites). Lets just say the amount of love they get from their respective stanbases can fill an ocean.

While some people might see Stan culture as silly or even dangerous, there’s no denying that it’s powerful. Celebrities have a lot of influence over their fans, and that influence can be used for good or for bad.

No matter what your opinion is on Stan culture, there’s no denying that it’s here to stay. Being a stan means different things to different people. You might have your own reasons for stanning a certain person or fictional character. No matter what these reasons are, being a stan means to unapologetically be you. Stans are often criticized for their extreme devotion to their fandemes. Some people might see this as annoying or even unhealthy. However, stanning is a form of self-expression that helps people discover who they are and what they care about. No matter what you choose to stan, this culture allows you to express yourself in a way that resonates with you. This is what it means to be a stan—to unapologetically be yourself and celebrate others who do the same.

As we continue to navigate the world of stan culture, it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons. On one hand, we should celebrate the fact that we can now connect with our favorite celebrities like never before. But on the other hand, we need to be critical of the information they share and make sure we’re getting our news from reliable sources.

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