The characteristics in that video that show what I’m talking about includes the following: “Can’t believe that others would camp out for a signing even if the person has in the past,” “Claims that they don’t do that hotel thing anymore, ” and “Claims not to be hardcore anymore because she had to grow up and move on.” First off, am I the only one to have heard these? I can’t be, can I? Second, am I the first one to point out the hypocrisy in these statements? Seriously. It was okay to camp out in the past but not now? Why? What would have changed? The only thing I can figure is that now the person thinks it is no longer cool to do that and that, somehow, she is cooler than a fan who would. The same thing could be true for going to the hotel or being a “hardcore” fan. I get that not everyone wants to camp out, go to the band’s hotel to wait for them, or even be as into Duran as others. That’s fine. What doesn’t seem fine, to me, are those who make statements which imply that others who do aren’t cool. Obviously, a Duranie could say, “I would prefer not to go to the band’s hotel. It makes me uncomfortable (or whatever the reason).” Why make someone feel badly for wanting to, which is what I bet happens when someone says that they “don’t do that anymore”? I have been in situations when people I have been with have known where the band is, but wouldn’t tell. What is worse is that they implied that it wouldn’t be cool of me to even WANT to ask, never mind actually asking and then going.
So why do people do this? Why do they want to seem like non-fans even though they still like the music and the videos, etc.? Is it because they are jerks? Maybe some are, but I don’t think it is as simple as that. I think it has everything to do with social status and stigma. While we would all like to think that there is no such thing as social status within our fandom (and all fandoms), there is. Many of us fight it but we know it exists. For some reason, to be “cool”, to be “non-fan” like within the fandom is considered by some to be a characteristic of those with higher social status, at least on some subconscious level. Why is that? This is where stigma comes in. Society, generally, looks down on fans, especially fans like Duranies. Fans are thought to be obsessed, illogical people who are stuck in a state of childhood. Could this attempt to appear non-fan like be to escape the stigma of being a fan, again on some subconscious level? Is it better for people to say, “Yes, I’m a fan but I’m not like that kind of fan?” I don’t know. It is my theory, anyway.
No matter the cause for what I call “Anti-Fan Fan” behavior, I want to fight it. I want to be free to express my fandom within my fandom and I want others to do the same. Now, that said, I’m not saying that people have the right to break into Simon LeBon’s house and wait for him. To me, that isn’t fandom, that’s creepy and illegal. Within the bonds of respect and the law, I think that people should be able to say that I like to wear Duran t-shirts or that I would love to see them at their hotel. I refuse to give let society’s negative idea about fandom win. I won’t hide who I am. Thus, for now on, I will avoid people who make me feel badly about myself because I’m a proud Duranie and I will create as much space as I can for others to be themselves as well.