Media Phenomenon: “Fandom” Explained


Allaysia Varnado – Special to the Southern News 

With the rise of new celebrities or entertainers comes large fan bases who dedicate their time to supporting their favorite musical artist, sports star, etc.. Dictionary.com defines a fandom as, “fans collectively, as of a motion picture star or a professional game or sport.”

Fandoms include: the boy band One Direction, rapper Nicki Minaj, musical artist August Alsina, Comic Cons, and the “Fifty Shades of Grey” fandom. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a novel by E.L. James was very popular when it debuted at bookstores back in 2011. Since then, their fan base has grown tremendously selling over 100 million copies.

With the anticipation of the “Fifty Shade of Grey” novel coming to theaters Feb. 13, their fan base is definitely grown even more.

At some point in our lives, we find ourselves a part of a kind of fandom. There are many fandoms to be a part of without realizing it.

Being a part of a fandom doesn’t always mean the fan is dedicating every waking moment to their fan/idol. It could simply mean purchasing the music the artists put out which means supporting their work. It could also mean going to concerts frequently, or going to games or conventions. There are many things that can be done to support a favorite artist, player, show, etc. Many college students love music, music helps us to get through tough times, sometimes it’s used to study for exams.

Some music examples include artists such as:

  •   Taylor Swift who refers to her fans as “Swifties.
  •   Chris Brown who refers to his fans as “Team Breezy.”
  •   Rihanna who refers to her fans as “The Navy.”
  •   Ed Sheeran who refers to his fans as “Sheeranators/Sheerios.”
  •   One Direction whom refer to their fans as “Directioners.”
  •   Justin Bieber who refers to his fans as “Beliebers.”
  •   Lucy Hale who refers to her fans as “Halers.”
  •   Miley Cyrus who refers to her fans as “Smilers.”
  •   Katy Perry who refers to her fans as “Katy Cats.”
  •   Beyonce who refers to her fans as “The Bey Hive.”

Walking through Southern campus, it wasn’t hard to find someone who loves music. Junior biology major, Jaime Burns can identify as a fellow Swifty.

“I really like Taylor Swift’s music,” Said Burns.“I love ‘Teardrops on my Guitar’ which is one of Swift’s earlier songs.”

Everyone knows the Harry Potter novels and of course the movies. Lauren

Besthoff, a freshman  elementary and special education major loved Harry Potter.

She said, “I just love the magic, I just think she’s [J.K. Rowling] is an amazing writer. The attention to detail is so nice. It opened my eyes, it presents serious dark issues. I think it helped me grow as a person.”

Also walking around the Southern campus was a “Scrubs” fan. For those of you who don’t know what “Scrubs” is, it is TV series that, “aired from Oct. 2, 2001 to March 17, 2010” that, “follows the lives of employees at the fictional Sacred Heart teaching hospital.”

Benson Cham, a freshman biology major said, “I really like the characters and the comedy in it [Scrubs].” He also boasts that he has seen every single season.

Sometimes when people think of a fandom, they immediately think to the people who are obsessed, who spend more time at their computers blogging about every move a famous person makes rather than have a life. This is not always the case. Being a part of a fandom can foster friendships. Being able to bond with other people, especially on a college campus is the way to make friends now a days.

 

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