When can a fan call it quits?

By Lorraine Lu Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-20 16:13:01

Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT

If the singer/actor that you love becomes a drug addict, or if all his social media posts and interviews are all about advertising, would you stop being his fan? What about if you find out he has been secretly married for years, or if the paparazzi says he is involved with a woman you think is not good enough for him?

Recently, a rumor has been going around that an actor I like is dating a female celebrity, and fans of both camps are not happy about the relationship.

I was devastated too. I have to admit that, like many fans, I tend to imagine that this person is all mine, and if I can't have him, others shouldn't either. Nobody is good enough for him.

All of the sudden, social media is filled with people claiming that they have stopped being his fan, while others promise to stay loyal no matter what.

That made me think, "So, was I a 'girlfriend fan' all this time?" Girlfriend fans feed on the fantasy of dating their idol and don't like their idols dating anybody.

The entertainment business and the agencies of these celebrities clearly know about it, as they cover up real relationships, marriages and sometimes romantic scandals.

Fans tend to think they are enthusiastic in a positive way. But the truth is, there's nothing rational in fandom. Once fans are involved, there will always be millions of discussions and disputes, political manipulations between different fan communities, even insults, harassment, and threats.

I would understand it if people stopped supporting their idols when their new movies or music are no longer as awesome. But should one stop being a fan because their idol gets married or gets involved in a relationship?

I feel it depends on what type of celebrity he or she is and whether they make a living off selling their personal charm as a young, attractive person. On this point, there is not much difference between fans in the West and fans in Asia. For example, Justin Bieber's fans are notorious for tweeting about his rumored girlfriends, often questioning whether she is the right one for him.

Still, if all it takes for you to give up on your idol is a relationship scandal, perhaps you were not a real fan.

While in Chinese, the word "fensi" means both fan and follower, being a real fan is very different. I remember being obsessed with everything the idol group I loved did. I bought all their albums, knew all their favorite food, their blood types and watched all their works. A few years ago, the group broke up, and I stopped following them.

Being a fan is not a logical choice, but a rather emotional, irrational one. Be it that you are hooked on his sweet smile, his weird sense of humor or something about his voice, it's all the same.

Once you call yourself a fan and you are serious about it, those things help you survive any stagger in the quality of his work or any scandal that might surface.

This article was published on the Global Times Metropolitan section Two Cents page, a space for reader submissions, including opinion, humor and satire. The ideas expressed are those of the author alone, and do not represent the position of the Global Times.

Posted in: Twocents-Opinion

blog comments powered by Disqus