Fans vs. Stans By Larry L. Miller

    A phrase that has become popular over the last few years is “I stan.” This can be used when referring to fandom of a certain artist or simply for hyping up your friend’s latest Instagram post. Focusing on the former, I find it interesting that people are embracing a term that’s rooted in psychotic behavior. 

The term “stan” derives from an Eminem song of the same name describing a dangerously obsessed fan who killed himself and his pregnant wife because Em hadn’t responded to his letters. It’s not something one would think people would want to be affiliated with — but words and meanings evolve and change all the time. 

UrbanDictionary.com defines stan as “a very very overzealous and obsessed fan of a celebrity/band/cast of a TV show or movie.” 

I tend to think of stans as people who will worship anything an artist does. There’s a certain group of people who worship a certain singer, and in their eyes, she can do no wrong. She can shit on stage and they would view it as the most magical thing ever. (This is only an observation. Please don’t come sting me!) Just recently, fans of one of the biggest stars among  women in Hip Hop protested at the CDC over her debunked vaccination tweet. A rapper lost a few fans when he put the “Make America Great Again” red hat on, but they came back for his album listening tours. And some of yall still won’t let go of that man accused of sexual exploitation against kids. This level fandom — sorry, standom — seems to be rooted in some form of insanity, don’t you think?

Side note: I’ve noticed when a celeb does something that stans disagree with, the stans don’t speak out about it or try to cancel them, they just get silent. But that’s another topic for another day.

So anyway, we should briefly look at the word fan. It derives from the word fanatic, which Webster’s Dictionary defines as this: a person who is extremely enthusiastic about and devoted to some interest or activity. Remember, I said words change and evolve? Given the context of the word fanatic, are stans really a newly-embraced concept at all? Have we been psycho over entertainers all along?

Hit me on Twitter and Instagram at @dareallastdon and let’s discuss.

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