A few months ago I was trying to explain the Sanrio and Hello Kitty franchises to my mom and she got it, saying to herself, “Oh, so she’s like a Kardashian.” She’s famous for it, famous to be. However, there is a major difference between the two: one is a fictional cat, while the other is a family of living people who don’t matter.
While it’s undoubtedly true that celebrities, even those showing their so-called “real selves,” engage in some level of acting, Hello Kitty is a toy and Kim Kardashian is not.
Unfortunately, so many people seem to forget this and treat those in the spotlight as less than human. Celebrities are thought to be at the top of the food chain, but the reality is that everyone behind a screen and pen tears them to pieces. Those with bad intentions will pursue certain people relentlessly, no matter how long it takes.
As bad as that is, it’s arguably worse that those who obsessively support celebrities are even worse.
Even the most adoring fans can easily step out of line. They objectify and ignore the feelings of celebrities even more than those who dislike the celebrities. The sudden infatuation of these fans is damaging and often gives the celebrity a bad look and a great deal of discomfort.
The sudden infatuation of these fans is damaging and often gives the celebrity a bad look and severe discomfort.”
One of the most common forms of celebrity use just as playthings for supporters is internet fan accounts and theories. Fan accounts per se are not inherently bad as they can provide celebrities with proper defense and attention. However, the speculations and theories are where things go wrong.
When fans theorize certain aspects of a celebrity’s life, from romantic partner to sexuality, the celebrity can be uncomfortable when the commonly accepted one is wrong. However, it can be even worse if the celebrity then feels pressured to reveal personal information they previously withheld due to peer pressure, or to correct the public about themselves.
Of course, this harms the mental health of celebrities and can even jeopardize their safety. When someone who is widely known refuses to talk about a certain aspect of themselves, it’s often because they’re concerned about receiving negative feedback that could escalate a dangerous situation.
While this is annoying, there are worse situations where theories are taken to extremes and celebrities are given a whole new life through fan fiction.
Granted, these can be very fun and entertaining. Even celebrities themselves occasionally respond, which helps improve their platform and get a good laugh. On the other hand, these fanfictions can quickly become very inappropriate and obnoxious. They can be sexual and very x-rated.
Worst of all, these fictional stories are mostly written and read by minors who don’t understand the seriousness of their actions. This puts the celebrity the stories are about in a dangerous and disgusting situation that they never intended to be in.
These fanfictions have become so commonplace that they are moving away from being taboo and unacceptable. So many netizens read and create these stories with the attitude that the celebrities are so out of touch that they can’t feel the impact of their actions. However, this tarnishes the image of the person.
Additionally, these stories often theorize that two celebrities, usually bandmates or co-stars, are in love regardless of their sexuality or current relationship status. This creates discomfort and rifts between friends and partners; No matter how ridiculous, it can ruin the public figure of friendships and relationships.
Even so, there are superfans who push multiple boundaries due to a long-standing obsession with a particular celebrity. These people either believe they are married to the celebrity, want to be a celebrity themselves, or in the case of Oli London, both. No doubt this is a form of mental illness, but it doesn’t overshadow the fact that taking on one’s identity is detrimental to all involved.
London, a resident of the UK, claimed that Jimin from the popular K-pop band BTS was married to them until they later split. In reality, they had never met Jimin and instead used a cardboard cutout of the idol as a proxy.
London didn’t end his fascination with Jimin there. He had surgery to look more like Jimin and Koreans overall, and called himself “transracial.” They also immersed themselves in Korean culture, but not in a way that positively expanded their worldview. Instead, they became obsessed with becoming a different nationality and shaping their lives to be in the same mold as Jimin’s. London, now brought to Jimin’s attention due to the widespread controversy surrounding the wannabe, is absolutely infatuated with Jimin. This is offensive not only to Jimin, but to the Korean people as a whole.
People who maliciously target celebrities are already enough to deal with, but when fanatics start turning on the celebrities too, few people actually stand by those who are in the spotlight. To show genuine love and support to a celebrity, the most important thing is to respect them for who they are.