The Heartbreak of the One-sided Affair

Stan culture stemming from a desire to be less alone via media


From Emma Chamberlain to Harry Styles, there is no denying that almost all celebrities have a fan base of some sort. Being a fan of a celebrity is not an uncommon occurrence and isn’t necessarily harmful. Within stanning a celebrity there are so many pros, such as having a good role model to look up to but, the real issue lies when it crosses the line into an unhealthy  obsession.
In today’s culture, celebrities are sought after more frequently than ever. This is in part due to the rise in influencers and the culture that it has cultivated. It has even led up to the phenomenon of people feeling as if they know the celebrity personally. For some extreme cases it even goes as far as having a type of parasocial relationship called Celebrity Worship Syndrome. This occurs when the love for a public figure shifts into obsessive behavior or even into a fascination or preoccupation. Now, even though this is on the more extreme end, it isn’t uncommon to find yourself becoming drawn to a  celebrity.
A big part of it is feeling less alone. According to BCC, studies show that feeling alone or lonely can lead to higher rates of mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. A lot of times in celebrities, individuals find a sense of comfort in them. As if they are a friend or someone they know personally. With the rise of influencers, their fans have access to a more intimate form of connection rather than the typical celebrity.
As much as we as a society forget this, celebrities are people. When celebrities ultimately make choices in their life, their fanbase feel as though they should be entitled to be a part of it. Take Harry Styles for example, with one of the most overwhelming fanbases at the moment filled with millions and millions of listeners and fans. But, when the news about his relationship with Olivia Wilde broke out, the internet was and still to this day is, flooded with hate towards her and their relationship. These fans who many never even met either of them, not to mention them together feel as though Harry’s personal life is something they are not only entitled to being a part of it but also allowed to criticize it.
Coming from someone who too has several celebrities and figures that I absolutely adore, I don’t think that we should stop adoring our celebrities. Being a part of that fanbase means being a part of a collective community. For some, it allows for the collective of feeling less alone and having a sense of comfort. So as long as we keep the boundaries of releasing that these are very real people who have reserved the right to their own privacy.