Duke It Out: Fandom

[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like the Facebook overshare!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]

Once upon a time, I had a friend – no, seriously, it was a friend. Not me. At all. – who had a major crush on a certain member of ‘N Sync; like a, have all his posters, listen to nothing but his music, own the look-alike action figure set, crush. It was a little weird, but eventually she grew out of it and hey, we all go through our phases, right? Except, I wonder if it would have been different for her nowadays. Between the fact that California just had to pass a bill just to crack down on paparazzi and the crazy Biebs fans threatening to kill a girl who posted a YouTube video of herself tearing down the J-man’s posters, I’ve gotta wonder if we’ve taken this fandom thing too far.

On one side, I totally get being a mega-fan. I’m a true geek through and through and I keep up with all the rumors and gossip about my faves just as much as anybody. A part of being a celeb today and putting yourself into the public spotlight is knowing that you’re giving up the right to anonymously go to the grocery store in sweats and no makeup, so I don’t really buy it when famous people bitch about not having any privacy. They knew (or should have known) what they were getting into. And as a fan, if you want to dedicate your free time to making underwear with Robert Pattinson‘s face on it, or creating an archive of every photo ever taken of Ryan Reynolds (no, just me?) then more power to you.

Celeb worship has been around, basically since someone realized that some people are hotter/more athletic/more talented than the rest of us, and who’s to judge how much you should be into something?

Still, death threats, seriously? I mean, Biebs is a cute kid and all with freakishly catchy music that is now going to be playing in a loop in my brain all day, but death threats? Is there any good reason that I should know that Anna Paquin is bi or the measurement of Lady Gaga’s shoes? No, there isn’t. And yet, this stuff is out there like it’s any of our business. Shouldn’t we like, I don’t know, try to spend our time cultivating interesting things within ourselves rather than scoping out which celeb accidentally flashed the paparazzi today? Shouldn’t we at least be able to tolerate that other people don’t like the same stuff we do?

Give it to me straight, have we gone overboard on the fandom thing, or is it just another side effect of the internet age? Is this all just some kind of phase we’re collectively going through, or does everybody just need to step away from the gossip mags and chill? Duke It Out!

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