You have probably encountered a “stan” account more than once while browsing Instagram or Twitter. You know, those accounts with a celebrity for a profile picture with captions that read: “YaaaAAaas queen I’m QUAKING! My edges have literally been snatched!!”
That’s because “standoms” are fast growing subcultures and can be found on almost any website.
They are groups of self-proclaimed mega fans – typically adolescents – who shower their favorite celebrity with support. In fact, the support of “Koreaboos” (a standom of self-proclaimed Korean culture lovers) helped rake in hundreds of millions of dollars for the K-pop industry last year.
Socialite Kylie Jenner’s $900 million dollar net worth can be similarly attributed to fan love. Kylie Cosmetics, the star’s makeup line, raked in an astounding $450 million in sales within months of its launch after her standom bought out her products.
But there’s a darker side to these fun-loving standoms that the internet prefers to keep quiet.
Earlier this summer, rapper Mac Miller was arrested and charged with driving under the influence back in July of this summer, briefly setting social media ablaze.
A mega fan of Miller by the Twitter handle @FlintElijah suggested it was all Ariana Grande’s fault. In a tweet that garnered over 35,000 retweets and 100,000 likes, he wrote:
“Mac Miller totalling [sic] his G wagon and getting a DUI after Ariana Grande dumped him for another dude after he poured his heart out on a 10 song album to her called the divine feminine is just the most heartbreaking thing happening in Hollywood”
Grande promptly responded, stating she was exhausted by Miller’s drug addiction and was not obligated to be a “babysitter or a mother and [that] no woman should feel that they need to be.”
It did very little to slow the blame she would later receive from his stans after he was found dead in his Studio City home from an apparent overdose this month.
Condolences quickly transformed into hate for not only Grande but her new fiancée Pete Davidson.
Some damned her to hell, others considered her a “demon” while most told the singer her lack of support ultimately killed Miller.
Things got so intense that, Grande disabled all her comments and Davidson cleared his Instagram profile. As brutal as their attacks were, it was to be expected.
“Standom” is the plural version of the word “stan”, which the Cambridge Dictionary describes as “someone who greatly admires a singer or other famous person, to the extent that it is unusual.”
It was coined by rapper Eminem in his song called “Stan” (surprise, surprise) about a fictional fan of named – you guessed it! – Stan.
Stan becomes obsessed with Eminem and feels entitled to a response from the rapper. He is eventually driven to suicide, killing both himself and his pregnant girlfriend by driving off a bridge.
As with their namesake, stans are notoriously possessive. Their attachment to their idols makes them intolerant of slander or any gesture of disrespect aimed at them.
This sometimes pushes them to attack even the most unlikely of “threats”, such as competitors at award shows.
American musician Beck was sent death threats and racial slurs by Beyoncé’s Beyhive after she lost Album of the Year to him at the 2015 Grammys. The Hive proclaimed he had “stolen” the award from their 20-time Grammy award winning Queen.
Like Beck, Grande was believed to have caused distress to Miller and because of that, she had to be dealt with.
Email Kia Marie Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org