It is quite common to know at least one person who is a fan of someoneor something. For example, a lot of teenage girls are a fan of One Direction orJustin Bieber and call themselves “Directioners” or “Beliebers” (Richards, 2012).Moreover, someone can also be a fan of an animal, such as Nala the cat, who as nowmore than one million followers on Instagram (Brady, 2014). Consumption ofcelebrity is highly individualized. The fans have their own list ofpersonalities and traits in which they continue to keep an interest (Turner,2004).
Moreover, celebrity worship serves different reasons within our ownmeaning-making. Fans can appreciate musicians and actors because they help themto get in touch with their emotions. For example, music can make someone happyor sad and make them laugh or cry. These celebrities are appreciated for thething they do for the fans and that is the reason many fans ‘follow’ thecelebrities, and are a fan (Denton, 2017). The word ‘fan’ is derived from”fanatic” and the Latin word Fanaticus, which means: “of or belonging to thetemple, a temple servant, a devotee”, and thus can be seen as a religiousbelief and worship (Long & Wall, 2014). But, there is a difference in thedegree of consumption of celebrity, how big of a fan someone is. There aredifferent levels of media literacy, different modes of engagement and differentconsumption practices (Turner, 2004).
A fan can just be curious about thecelebrity, but there are also cases where fans are seen as stalkers and aredangerous for both the celebrity and the fans themselves. It is possible thatfans create unhealthy obsessions with celebrities, which can lead todepression, anxiety, and psychosis. For example, the stalker of Selena Gomez,named Thomas Brodnicki claimed that he had 50 conversations with God aboutkilling Gomez. He himself filed a restraining order, to prevent him from tryingto contact Selena Gomez. It was the only way to stay away from her. Anotherexample is the stalker of Lana Del Rey, named Zachary Self. Constructionworkers found Self lying in the garage of Del Rey’s home.
Eventually, he spent84 days in jail (Tan, 2013).