I remember when I first heard someone use the phrase stan and honestly I thought it was a mistake, like instead of saying ‘I stan’ they meant ‘I stand with’. It took an embarrassingly long time for me to actually realise that stanning was a thing, and ‘to stan’ was an actual phrase. I can’t even use age as an excuse as I’m no where near old enough to be behind on things like this, especially as I am exposed to social media and fan culture.
In case you don’t know, here’s googles definition:
So basically it refers to a crazy fan which is fairly normal in todays society – not that fan culture is anything new, but we’re more exposed to it nowadays. So to stan is to be an obsessive fan – why should we stop using the phrase? Well that comes with the origins of it.. from an Eminem song referring to a crazy fan.
Stan is character who sends Eminem a lot of fan mail, obsesses with him and ultimately ends up killing himself due to a lack of response. What’s even more grim is the method of killing himself, which he did by driving into a river with his pregnant girlfriend tied up in the boot of his car. Stan represents everything wrong and toxic within fan culture and is arguably an over exageration of how it can get (although after seeing all the abuse NCT and BTS got during their world tours this is somewhat believable).
Now I’m not sure if the rise of them term came with everyone acknowledging its routes but it’s kind of fucked up to be using it in our everyday terms when you look at how it started – I can honestly say I have been an obsessive fan, but never to that extent, and I couldn’t even joke about being one on that level because it’s dangerous and toxic.
Maybe I’m taking it all too literally, but maybe it’s also time to use this phrase less frequently.