Fandom in Popular Culture
Everyone is a fan of something. Whether it’s a sports team, celebrity, or television show there is at least one thing that a person enjoys to partake in, talk about, etc. Yet when does becoming too much of a fan – or a fanatic – become a problem? This question raises concern because recently many different fan bases or fandoms of certain movies, books, etc. have been criticized over the last decades due to their extreme dedication and obsession. Some people think that these fan bases and their lifestyles are unhealthy, that these fanatics choose to avoid reality and instead dedicate their life to something that does not return anything rewarding or productive to society. Trekkies attending conventions and spending money on elaborate costumes, Harry Potter fans dressing up like the characters to attend a movie premiere, internet bloggers spending time writing fan fiction online for hours – are all these forms of fandom unhealthy? In my personal opinion, I do not believe so. When it comes down to it, each fandom has a similar ground base that it builds off of, it also promotes a sense of identity and camaraderie, it’s a form of enjoyment that encourages happiness and optimism but also is an institution that is exploited by the media.
Each fandom seems completely different from each other. I know many Harry Potter fans who despise anyone who likes Twilight, thinking that their fan base is so much superior and vice versa. In reality though, each fandom has the same concept to build off of that creates such a huge fan base. This concept is escapism or rather that fandom is distraction from real life and its hardships (Reilly). An example would include myself in that I would much rather choose to read Harry Potter than instead, for instance, write this paper. The same goes for my roommate who chose to watch the Walking Dead instead of doing her homework. In those moments we temporarily escaped our problems and challenges...
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