The Problem with Stan Culture

If you’ve ever been on the internet before, you’ve probably come across a “stan.” A stan is described as an overzealous or obsessive fan of a particular celebrity. Very popular influencers such as BTS and Dream have stans and many more celebrities have them as well. The problem with stan culture is that many view it as toxic or unhealthy.  Fans of a celebrity can be ruthless on the internet to those who express any dislike of their idols. 

The term “stan” was created by popular rapper Eminem in his hit song of the same name. In the song, Eminem talks about a crazed fan who sent him numerous letters and then went insane because Eminem was slow to reply. But crazed fans have been around for a lot longer. One of the most well-known examples of a fan going crazy and doing something dangerous is the tragic murder of Beatles member John Lennon. On December 8th, 1980, Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon, afterwards, he waited for the police to arrive and immediately admitted to his crimes. He did this because of a 1966 remark that John made about the Beatles and how they were more famous than Jesus. Even if this is not the first time that a fan has done something truly horrible like this, it is certainly one of, if not the most notorious example. 

Fast forward to the present, stans have now taken to the internet, and if someone were to make any negative comment or criticism about their idols, then they would retaliate with unreasonable force. For example, at the 2022 Grammy awards, Doja Cat and SZA won the best pop duo/ group performance for their hit song “Kiss Me More.” However the chart-topping song “Butter” from BTS was also nominated for the same award, when fans of BTS found out that their favorite group did not win the Grammy, they flocked to Twitter and left a large number of comments about how BTS got snubbed and they were the rightful winner of the award. 

It is perfectly reasonable to express displeasure with the results of an awards show, but the problem with stans is their toxicity online. After the horrific events of the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand, which left over 50 people dead, K-Pop stans posted hurtful messages saying that if those who perished were fans of their favorite musical artists, they would still be alive. These actions are incredibly disrespectful and hurtful, this shows the clear issue with stan culture, the toxicity and the hate is a problem that needs to be addressed. 


Will Perino