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It is quite common to know at least one person who is a fan of someone
or something. For example, a lot of teenage girls are a fan of One Direction or
Justin 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 now
more than one million followers on Instagram (Brady, 2014). Consumption of
celebrity is highly individualized. The fans have their own list of
personalities and traits in which they continue to keep an interest (Turner,
2004). Moreover, celebrity worship serves different reasons within our own
meaning-making. Fans can appreciate musicians and actors because they help them
to get in touch with their emotions. For example, music can make someone happy
or sad and make them laugh or cry. These celebrities are appreciated for the
thing they do for the fans and that is the reason many fans ‘follow’ the
celebrities, and are a fan (Denton, 2017). The word ‘fan’ is derived from
“fanatic” and the Latin word Fanaticus, which means: “of or belonging to the
temple, a temple servant, a devotee”, and thus can be seen as a religious
belief and worship (Long & Wall, 2014). But, there is a difference in the
degree of consumption of celebrity, how big of a fan someone is. There are
different levels of media literacy, different modes of engagement and different
consumption practices (Turner, 2004). A fan can just be curious about the
celebrity, but there are also cases where fans are seen as stalkers and are
dangerous for both the celebrity and the fans themselves. It is possible that
fans create unhealthy obsessions with celebrities, which can lead to
depression, anxiety, and psychosis. For example, the stalker of Selena Gomez,
named Thomas Brodnicki claimed that he had 50 conversations with God about
killing Gomez. He himself filed a restraining order, to prevent him from trying
to contact Selena Gomez. It was the only way to stay away from her. Another
example is the stalker of Lana Del Rey, named Zachary Self. Construction
workers found Self lying in the garage of Del Rey’s home. Eventually, he spent
84 days in jail (Tan, 2013).                         

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