Thursday, 7 June 2012

ARTICLE: The Problem With 'Stans'...





In the years since Eminem's infamous hit Stan was released, the term the rap juggernaut coined has since become synonymous with the qualities mentioned in the track itself: obsession, irrationality and implied illiteracy. The internet has since become overrun with denizens who proudly proclaim their 'stan' allegiance; most often given to the most popular female artists of today - Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Rihanna, though Nicki Minaj is now gaining stans as quickly as she does fast-food hits.


Do not be under the assumption that only the most popular artists have stans. Indeed, even alleged 'has-beens' the likes of Ashanti, Ameriie (the extra 'i' seeming to stand for her admittedly ill-deserved 'irrelevancy') and Christina Milian. One even encounters those who stan for models and video vixens. 


Essentially, questionable though their reasons for 'stanning' for a particular artist or celebrity might be, 'stans' will do their best to justify those reasons and uphold the perceived achievements of those they 'stan' for.


However, with that often crazed allegiance comes some serious issues; several of which this article intends to discuss as well as the 'stanbases' that best exemplify each.






One of the problems many stans have is their inability to accept facts. Indeed, it is a well known fact that, even when presented with undeniable proof (be it statistics, articles or the view of the general public on a particular issue), a stan will adamantly hold on to their misinformed opinion. This is often best seen with the much-maligned Christina stans, or the Fighters, as they call themselves. Many maintain that the pop star has sold in excess of 80 million albums worldwide, when, in reality, the number is a lot closer to 50 million. Yes, the number is still commendable, but it is far from the claims of Ms Aguilera's stans. 


Yet, despite the credibility of the media outlets that have affirmed such numbers as being factual, the Fighters appear to lack to the ability to accept that. They will argue vehemently that those numbers are wrong; despite the fact that they have no proof to the contrary.


But it would be unfair to imply that only the Fighters are guilty of this. Just a short while ago, The Unassigned came across an Aaliyah stan who insisted that the tragically deceased star had sold over sixty million records. This was despite the fact that he or she had no proof of these numbers and, when provided with evidence to the contrary, showed symptoms of BHAWS ('Banging Head Against the Wall' Syndrome - where a stan demonstrates an adamant refusal to accept facts or statistics that are seen to 'denigrate' their favourite artist/celebrity's achievements)


The Navy is also an example of this. Many are found claiming that Little Miss Sunshine has sold over 160 million records, despite the fact that that is both unrealistic and irrational. For with her current album sales floating under the 30 million mark, unless Rihanna has sold at least 130 million singles, it is impossible for her to have met this number. In fact, Rihanna's sales are a reported 85-90 million. Respectable, yes, but definitely not anywhere near the ridiculously high number the Navy at large is promoting.


However, a refusal to accept facts is not the only issue all stans have in common. One of the worst attributes stans possess is the inability to argue logically. Indeed, one only has to venture over to Twitter or the comment section on Youtube to witness this. Often, when presented with the aforementioned undeniable facts, stans will jump to another point or refer to another perceived achievement of the artist in question, without addressing the issue at hand. Or, they display an inability to follow a logical strain of thought, choosing instead to fall into the abusive and insulting methods of the stupid and foolish. 


Another problem that stans commonly possess is the fact that they do not seem to remember that almost everything that their favourite is currently doing, has been done before by previous generations. They forget that artists the likes of Michael and Janet Jackson, Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Prince and Tina Turner, have all garnered similar or greater achievements than those of today. In fact, it is arguable that barely any of today's acts will see the career heights that the aforementioned. Yet, their stans will argue vehemently to the contary, professing that not one artist has done what their favourite has or will do. 


And, while it is true that 'nothing on this earth is original', it is clear that certain things were indeed invented by previous generations of artists and reused by today's. Video treatments, photo shoots, song structures; all these things and more were launched into the mainstream by the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson. It is arguable that without the current pop culture that those two iconic artists created, many of today's acts would not exist for, much of what this generation's biggest stars are famous for is either influenced by or taken directly from the aforementioned. But this is something that stans of certain artists have yet to learn or appreciate.


In particular, the Monsters are most guilty of this. Many insist that Lady Gaga is completely original, despite masses of evidence to the contrary. In response to Madonna's latest insult, they have taken to ignoring, for one, the many musical similarities between Born This Way and Madonna's Express Yourself. This is in addition to the many various shoots, videos and costumes Madonna made famous that Gaga has since used as the inspiration behind some of her greatest offerings. 


Rampant and dangerous delusion is another problem stans have. Claims such as 'Beyoncé is better than Michael Jackson' (a member of the Hive), 'Katy Perry sings better than Mariah Carey' (A Katy Kat) and 'Aaliyah sold more records than Brandy', are all statements that The Unassigned has seen made within the last week alone. The issue does not lie in the actual statements themselves, for we have grown accustomed to the largely irrational and delusional nature of most stans. It lies in the manner in which these statements are presented: as fact. 


In regard to the last statement, one only has to refer to the RIAA to see that that is far from the truth: that Brandy has sold in excess of 50 million records, far more than Aaliyah. And, indeed, only a fool would claim that Beyoncé is a better artist than the legendary Michael Jackson. Anyone can see that the latter is superior in terms of musicality and a better dancer. However, this statement is more likely to be accepted as an opinion (a baseless one that implies that its maker does not possess any commendable knowledge of music or artistry, but an opinion nonetheless) than the other two.


The second, discussing pop-star-of-the-moment Katy Perry, is a prime example of where stanning goes wrong, however. It is our belief that the argument that 'everyone is entitled to their opinion' has been allowed to go too far. Not everyone should be entitled to an opinion, and not everyone should be entitled to every possible opinion. Indeed, some thoughts are so inherently stupid that they must be viewed as just that. There is no room for 'opinion' when it centres around something that can be proven objectively. FOr example, if nothing else, it is a fact that Mariah has a wider range and better control of her voice, while Ms Perry can barely carry a tune live. Therefore, this is an example of where delusion due to the inherent bias of stan allegiance has come into play. 


Another main stanbase that is subject to such delusion is pop starlet Justin Bieber. The cheesily-named Beliebers are prone to calling him the new 'King of Pop', despite the fact that he has yet to break a single significant record, or even score a number one hit in the States. 


However, this delusion does not only show itself when artists are being compared to one another. It also pops up whenever an artist does something that is, very clearly, unwise or unspeakably foolish. The Monsters were guilty of this in September 2010, when Lady Gaga sported a dress made out of meat to the MTV Video Music Awards. Many celebrated it, arguing that it was artistic and daring. They seemed unable to realise the ugly truth: that it was an act stemming from a desire to seek attention and, rather than be a symbol of Mother Monster's 'greatness, if anything, it detracted from her artistry.


Team Breezy is another good example of a stanbase that excuses their fave's arguably stupid behaviour time and time again. Indeed, over the last year, it has become apparent that Chris could kill someone in cold blood and many of his most ardent stans would find a way to excuse it. One only has to take the events of Chris' last stint on Good Morning America as a instance of this. Rather than reprimanding Mr Brown for his reprehensibly immature behaviour, many chose to defend it; citing Robin Roberts' perfectly reasonable questions as having sparked his (foolish and disproportionate) outburst. 


They seemed unable to understand that Robin's questioning was both fair and largely inoffensive and that, if anything, Chris was in the wrong. Indeed, many seem to forget that, if it were not for the events of early 2009 (of Brown's own making), Chris would not have even been subject to it. 


But perhaps the worst problem that affects many stans is obsession. Indeed, it appears to accompany the unwavering loyalty that comes as a consequence of aligning oneself with a particular artist or celebrity. There seems to be a shared belief that, without a stan's vehement support, the artist in question will flounder and break down. This support, however, often goes too far and, ironically, can sometimes lead to the very thing stans seek to prevent.


The Beyhive is perhaps the best example of this. One of the most notorious and hated stanbases on the internet, they frequently 'drag', insult and denigrate other artists and celebrities; all in the name of the 'Queen B'. Just last week, they made the news yet again for abusively discussing the teenage daughter of the since much-maligned Dream Hampton. Indeed, they went so far that Beyoncé herself had to step in, posting the newly-created 'Golden Rule' on her website. 


The Hive will often attack without justifiable cause or provocation, 'throwing shade' at particular artists or celebrities as a result of a miscommunication. They seem unable to wait for proof of the reported insult or slight, choosing instead to 'shoot first and ask questions later'. This has led to many of the internet's denizens using the Hive's behaviour as an excuse for their own hatred of Beyoncé (irrational though that might be).


The Hive is also home to Carly Muzyczuk who, just a few months ago, featured in The Sun as Britain's biggest Beyoncé fan. Proudly showing off her poster-plastered walls and assortment of B-memorabilia, and boasting about panic attacks and stating that her life revolves around the singer, the teenager seemed unable to realise that her 'stanning' had reached dangerous levels. 


Another 'stanbase' that is a prime example of the dangerous obsession that plagues many others, is that of the Barbz. Having taken the alleged rapper Nicki Minaj to their collective bosom, the Barbz (and Kens) go out of their way to defend her. This is despite the fact that she has frequently displayed a lack of regard for those that put her in the enviable position she currently enjoys. One such instance is Nicki's sudden (and unsurprisingly temporary) departure from Twitter. After 'calling out' her biggest fansite, Nicki Daily, for their alleged crimes, she cited them as the reason for the deletion of her account. Subsequently, many Barbz took to their accounts begging their Queen to make her return. One poor, lost soul recorded her conseqeuent breakdown on camera and posted it on Youtube, making a fool of herself in the process.


After reading this you may have come to the assumption that we have nothing but contempt for stans. That is not true. Rather, we have nothing but contempt for the delusional, irrational and obsessive souls that prioritise nothing but stanning. Those poor souls who centre their lives around people that they may have only met once or twice, do not think about them individually on a daily (or even yearly) basis and do not pay their bills or keep food on their table. 


When a stan insists that, in order to be viewed as such, people must prioritise purchasing everything their favourite chooses to release, regardless of one's current financial situation (as we witnessed just a few weeks ago), it has gone too far. If we do not venture out to buy Britney's latest re-release of the re-release because we chose to pay our electricity bill, she will not starve. Nor will she even have to go without buying yet another $10 million mansion. There are plenty of other people who are currently better financially situated to keep her in Louboutins. 


We will always choose to prioritise ourselves and our needs because we are the only ones who will do so. If there is no food on our table, Lady Gaga or Rihanna will not knock on our door with a van full of Sainsbury's bags. Nicki will not screech to a standstill in her Ferrari at the bus stop because our car just got totalled. If we get arrested for fighting someone in the street because they slighted Michael Jackson, he will not rise from the grave to post our bail.


It is all well and good to take up for your favourite artist or celebrity. 'Dragging' a member of an opposing stanbase is often entertaining and harmless. Buying concert tickets, memorabilia, albums and singles is fine. After all, it is no one's business what you do with your money. It is also no one's business what you choose to do with your time. Just make sure that you're spending it in a way that best benefits you and your needs. Make sure that you're not going out of your own way to financially (or otherwise) support a particular artist or celebrity, just so you can call yourself a stan. 


The Unassigned.

34 comments:

  1. *Applauds* P E R F E C T. You hit it right on, flawless job!!!

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  2. Pretty good article. A bit biased in a few statements, but overall the point is delivered.

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    1. We're guessing the parts that you view as biased are the Hive/Monster parts? The irony is that we've been B stans since '99 and Gaga stans since September 2008...

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  3. Amazing article.

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  4. Good article to say the least, i like good music and Lady Gaga to me is good music, now it will never even cross my mind to believe she is perfect, original or has invent anything, same thing for Michael Jackson, they are my favorite "Pop act" but Im fully aware they are/were not perfect. Now "Stans" to me as a psychology the problem most of those people have are two: 1)Lack of healthy or existent real relationship with their family; 2) Some soft of believe they have an actual connection with their favourite artist, what make them want to protect that "connection" because to them that's the only "real" thing they have in this world.

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  5. terrible, amateur article

    and christina stans are very much aware of her sales and are known for being accurate, intelligent chart queens. NO ONE claims her sales to be 80 million albums, that's a straight up lie.

    as stans of xtina say, you can "stay pressed".

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    1. Actually I've had several of your fellow 'Fighters' argue with me on the issue. They ALL stated that she sold upwards of 80 million. You would not believe the delusional masses that have flocked to my mentions in the three and a half years I've been on twitter.

      And as for 'terrible', all I can say is that at least I understand the importance of capital letters.

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    2. I had several 'Fighters' in my mentions about 3 days ago, some claiming that she had sold in excess of 80 million albums world wide. I know this to be untrue as with four albums in 13 years, Ms Aguilera is yet to break the 20 million sales for any single one of her albums (her best selling album was her 1999 debut Album "Christina Aguilera" with approx. 17 million) and her least selling "Bionic" released in 2010 has not even been certified Platinum yet. And yet, for someone who claims this article is "terrible and amateur" your grammar and your choice of words is quite poor.

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  6. Do not delete the comments .. democracy

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    1. I'm deleting because they're far too long and resemble spam in nature. Don't like it, keep it moving. Or write a piece on Christina's record sales.

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    2. Also 'who read your palm and told you lies'? This isn't a democracy.

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    3. Ok .. then do not talk about sales

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    4. First, seeing as this is my site, I'll do whatever I please. Second, I do not take the claims of record companies (in regard to sales) into account as they prone to inflation. The RIAA lacks bias and is therefore the only truly reliable source when it comes to record sales.

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    5. Don't talk about sales? If anything, you shouldn't talk about SINGLES. Singles don't mean that much, if you get the right tune and beat you can get a #1 single. Like JLo and "On The Floor". That single went to #1, got millions of views on youtube and yet its album 'Love?' flopped. Much like Rihanna and her 11 #1s. Commendable, yes, but she is yet to sell over 8M for a single album, and she hasn't ever had a #1 album in the USA. Album sales truly show how well an artist is doing. If your ALBUM goes #1, you know you have something going. If your SINGLE goes #1, it doesn't mean that much (cc: Ke$sha and JLo).

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  7. Christina has sold 80 Million albums worldwide? Pleeeeeeease!! Nobody would say that, especially not her fans!! She hasn't even reached 50 million album sales. But she has sold over 80 million SINGLES for sure. And WTF with that "fighters" sh*t?? Christina's fans don't have a name. And most Christina's fans are around 20-30, so most of them are beyond these stupid teenager stan-wars.

    You should grow up or get a job, because I frankly don't understand how someone has the time to write that much about such an irrelevant topic.

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    1. "You should grow up or get a job, because I frankly don't understand how someone has the time to write that much about such an irrelevant topic." Aren't you contradicting yourself by not only reading but commenting on said "irrelevant topic"?

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  8. To address an issue in the comments: while it is true that a lot of the fans/stans of these artists are adults and some well within their years, others in the same age category and certainly the youth do take to twitter and other social networking sites and express their heated opinions. Furthermore, if quite a number of these people happen to contact you daily, do they not count? Yes they do. And while they may not necessarily represent the masses of the stanbase, they do bring some defining characteristics to the table, as they call themselves their fav's biggest supporters. I myself have experiences logical stans (very very very few), with the majority being delusional, illiterate, and every other unbelievable thing. But like I said, this does not represent the whole, but, it represents a significant part of these people's 86374823 twitter followers, itunes singles downloaders, album buyers, etc.

    Moving on. Because I personally know whom you (the Unassigned) stan for, I commend the lack of bias, and that you are able to not the imperfections and the claims against both the artists and the stanbases in which you are associated. However, for argument's and diversity's sake, maybe you'd think of addressing the traits of Britney's stanbase. I'm a part of it, but I don't even know what we would be called, though I see "Brit Bxtches" floating around, but I think it sounds, ridiculous >.>

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    1. In regard to the Soldiers (as we in Brit's stanbase now apparently call ourselves), I wanted to discuss them. However, as I addressed each issue , I realised that other stanbases best exemplified each outlined problem. And the article was supposed to be more about the problems all stanbases have generally speaking (which of course means that there are exceptions, you being one of them), rather than those with particular stanbases.

      Thanks for the read and comment, B. :)

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    2. Understood. Us usual, a thorough explanation.
      Ah, I much prefer that name.
      And you're welcome

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  9. Honestly, I stopped reading this article when you said Christina fans call themselves 'Fighters.' Er, no. Christina fans don't call themselves anything.

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    1. Actually, a Christina stan told me that they do, in fact, call themselves the 'fighters. I even had to ask earlier because I had no idea. LOL. I've also seen the term used by several Christina stans on sites such as ATRL. :)

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    2. Pretty much. I've never heard of the 'Fighters'.

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    3. We, Christina Aguilera's fans, are not the 'Fighters', thank you very much.

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    4. All I've ever seen if you lot call yourselves fighters. Just saying.

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  10. I am part of the Hive but, I do not part take in the ridiculous amount of 'Dragging' they do, (especially the one's hiding behind the pictures of Bey). Everything you said about the Hive is true though, most of the Hive would deny its truth. Wonderful Blog!

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  11. I'm glad you included Monsters and the Hive in this article. If anything, this just proves how unbiased and objective you are when writing these articles.
    However, I do feel the need to release my inner stan and defend Lady Gaga in this situation:

    "... Lady Gaga sported a dress made out of meat to the MTV Video Music Awards. Many celebrated it, arguing that it was artistic and daring. They seemed unable to realise the ugly truth: that it was an act stemming from a desire to seek attention and, rather than be a symbol of Mother Monster's 'greatness', if anything, it detracted from her artistry."

    I DEFINITELY do agree that this may have been an attempt at seeking attention, however, the dress also had artistic qualities to it, and a message. At this point in time, Lady Gaga was trying to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and so, this dress was supposed to represent how it doesn't matter if we are gay or straight, when we die, we are all the same: dead meat. This message was further promoted by the fact that she invited several dishonorably discharged (due to their sexuality) soldiers with her to the 2010 VMA's. I disagree that it detracted from her artistry, however, I do agree that the dress was made to generate discussion and attention, but that was not its only purpose.

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  12. Ermm...Christina stans don't even have a nickname. WTF is a 'Fighter'?!

    I think the closest we've ever had to one was 'AgHags'... =\

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    1. Then why do all Xtina fans on twitter call themselves 'Fighters' o_O

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  13. Christina Aguilera stans don't have any useless, corny nicknames and they do NOT give a flying fok about sales, hit songs, awards or any statistics of any kind.

    We are here for Xtina's VOICE and her epic discography + performances. You know... THE ACTUAL MUSIC ITSELF.

    Christina Aguilera doesn't need any kind of validation or outside approval.
    Her work and incredible, unmatched talent speak for themselves. She's a supreme vocalist, a prodigy with an outstanding, raw, and natural talent.

    Unlike all the other pop stars, Christina doesn't need to force-feed herself down anyone's throat.

    People like Celine Dion and Stevie Nicks and so many others talk about how great they think Aguilera is even during periods when Aguilera is supposedly "irrelevant".

    Christina is here to stay and the envious haters will have to get used to it. One way or another, Christina will always be singing and making music and making jealous haters angry.

    The Earth continues to turn.

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    1. As expected, you and your fellow Bionics, Fighters or whatever it is that you're calling yourselves this week, have missed the point. This was an article about stans, not artists. STANS.

      That means that the issues addressed were those relating to STANS. This was not about Christina's sales or alleged 'legendary status'. As usual, those who cannot grasp simple concepts have failed to understand what the article was about (something I discussed in the ninth paragraph).

      In essence, you have proved my point.

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  14. @ The Unassigned.

    I didn't read this article. I quickly came in here to post my comment to defend Christina Aguilera.

    I might read this stan article later.

    The bottom line is that Christina is epic.

    People can complain about the stans or laugh with them and whatnot, in some attempt to make Aguilera look bad or whatever.. it changes nothing to the fact that Christina Aguilera remains a bad@ss vocalist.

    Stans wars are useless. Christina stays an excellent artist. Christina doesn't even need stans or hits on Billbboard. She will always make music, regardless. That's it. This is my epic point.

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    1. You have are a prime example of what I discussed in the above post. I'm going to leave it to you to outline just how irrelevant your comment is in relation to the above.

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    2. Christina has a big voice that does not equal epic, taking four year breaks every era, is not epic, cheating on her husband is not epic, makign over wrought too long albums IS NOT EPIC,

      but hey, if you like headaches with your music, so be it!

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