Fandom v. The World

Aka Fandom & Society. As I said on the main vignettes page, we’re defining fandom as the combo of fan + content + community. This'll be a short one, by the by. I don’t even have much to say by means of an intro, so we’ll just move on to—

External Stigma

Society hates people who like things. “Nerds,” specifically (though that term is as subjective as “fan” is), whose whole shtick is to like a thing with great enthusiasm. Well... hmm, okay. The portrayal of The Nerd stereotype has… gotten better, I guess, in mainstream media. “Nerd culture” is being normalized, portrayed as cool, and that’s all well and good… But there are still issues re: the kind of fandoms a person is in. Star Wars? Avengers? Sports? Mainstream. Acceptable. Cartoons? Anime? K-Pop? That's where you get the “Are you a child?” “Do you want to be Japanese/Korean?” “Why do you watch those Chinese boys dance?” questions. The infantilization, the racism… it jumps out. Then you get into the realm of misogyny and… Sigh. Y’know, just check out the interviews, specifically the interviewees’ responses to “Do you tell people outside of the fan community that you're in that fan community? Why or why not?” as well as my K-Pop Self-Doc (especially that TED Talk). It’s unfortunate, how the interests of a person can pigeonhole them in the eye of society. I did mention in my Anime Self-Doc, though, that more nerd fandom aspects are gaining traction in media. I had a positive view in the self-doc, but let's spin it around. It's lovely to feel "seen" in shows like King of the Nerds... but at what commodified, dramatized price?

Is it fandom?

I had an enlightening discussion with Arya on the topic of religion. Hot-button topic, I know, but… think about the base conditions for being a fan of something. (Here’s some assistance, if you need.) With a broad view of the word fan, and the understanding that you can indeed be a fan of anything. Is a religious group a fandom? The two share similar characteristics, as Arya brought up. I’m sure people have made the connection before, and it’s certainly something interesting to think about. Philosophical, even. But then you can get kind of bummed out when you realize that politics follow the same structure, too. American politics, at least. ... And with that! I am swerving away from this topic! Thank you and have a good day/night!

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