Students, faculty share their fandom obsessions
(Article by Aubrey Dick and Claire Austin, 21st Century Journalism Students - Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015)
Sophomore Darin Martin is obsessed with the band “One Direction.” He has been to their concerts, has several T-shirts, hangs posters on his walls, and even reads fanfiction about the members of the band.
Fanfiction is mainly fictional stories made up by fans. These types of stories usually have the main character(s) as the people they obsess over.
For Martin, it is the singers in One Direction.
“I’ve read fanfiction like, once or twice a week. It’s a serious business going on with me. It’s so bad, I just read so much. It’s really sad actually, in a way,” Martin commented.
People who are as obsessed as Martin with a celebrity, show, or book would be considered part of a fandom.
What is a fandom? Lucas Anderson and Halie Bouton, freshmen, share their own definitions.
“A fandom is a subculture generally associated with T.V., comics, and movies,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he is part of the Marvel Comics fandom and explained why.
“They take these characters and combine them into a deep universe with their own plots and subplots and stories, which is rather interesting,” Anderson said.
Bouton also shared her definition of a fandom.
“A group of people that are really crazy about a group or a book,” Bouton described.
Bouton is in many TV fandoms, including “Teen Wolf,” “Switched at Birth,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Vampire Diaries,” etc. Bouton said these popular shows have a lot of drama and there is a lot going on, so it’s hard to keep up with the storylines.
Fandoms have taken the world by storm in the last few decades. Many people don’t exactly know what a fandom is, even though the word has been in the dictionary since 1903. By definition, a fandom is “the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture.” Some of the most popular fandoms today are “Harry Potter,” “Star Trek,” “Doctor Who,” “Star Wars,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Lord of the Rings.” (vulture.com)
There are many other fandoms, ranging from bands, people, books, or movies, but all have one trait in common: shipping.
Christina Weber, high school English teacher, shared her thoughts.
“Shipping is when you have two characters that you want to be together above all else, so I ship them on a boat, where only the two of them can be together and no one else can intervene,” Weber explained.
Weber said she ships celebrities Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt because she said she felt they should have stayed together.
The first widely accepted ship was between Captain Kirk and Spock from "Star Trek." Fans of the TV show “The X-Files,” first used the term “relationshipper” with the main characters Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. “Relationshipper” was eventually shortened down to just “ship."
OTP is a type of ship that many people get into verbal fights over. OTP stands for “one true pairing” and typically means one’s favorite ship. Leah Gustafson, freshman, shared her thoughts on OTPs.
“Basically, like, they may not be together, or they could be together, but it’s like two people that you really want together to date, like it’s perfect for each other,” she said.
Gustafson said her OTP consists of the famous Youtubers Tyler Oakley and Troye Sivan because they always hang out when one visits the other’s country, and they make sure to do a collaboration Youtube. Sivan is from Australia, while Oakley lives in the United States.
Since fandoms have first burst onto the Internet, they show no signs of slowing down. Though many believe fans are wasting time by obsessing over unrealistic scenarios, Martin disagreed.
“Fandoms are awesome. We have lives, but they’re awesome,” Martin expressed.