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Fan v. Fandom

I read an article today on ilovelibraries about fandom and libraries called Ticket to Fandom. It made me realize that fandom is not something just discussed in dark internet alleys or at huge in-your-face meetings like Comic con. The celebration of fandom is becoming a normal thing for everyone and I love it but, I’m still struggling with the concept.

As a huge fan of K-pop I’m well aware of fandom, both the good and the bad. It wasn’t until I joined tumblr that I realized that K-pop wasn’t the only genre of fandom. Although, I do think the fan names given to the groups by their companies help the unification and solidarity of a fandom but, I digress.

Now, some of you might be asking ‘what exactly is a fandom?’ well don’t worry it is pretty simple. A fandom is a collection of people who are fans of the same thing. For example, if you really like Star Trek you would be in the Star Trek fandom. If you like The Pretty Little Liars you are in that fandom. Pretty simple. Really, the only qualification is that you be a fan in some way.

“If it is so simple, what are you struggling with?”
Great question. I’m struggling with older prejudices. When I first became a part of Cassiopeia (fan club for TVXQ) back in 2009 *holding back tears because I’m still not over the split* I knew anything and EVERYTHING I possibly could about the 5 guys in the band. I knew their heights, I knew their laughs, and really so much more. To me, since I couldn’t pay to be in the actual fan club this was how I proved my loyalty.
On tumblr and other media you can even see fans now figuring out who is who in the bands they like only from their hands. Fandom can get intense.

Therefore when I think about fandom I think about intense love of something. A group of fans who take their love of a show, a band, a book, etc to the next level. So, I could say I’m a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean but, I’m not in the fandom. I like it but, it doesn’t have my love like The Fast and The Furious movies which even then, I’m hesitant to say I’m in the fandom of.  I’m definitely in the Tortall World books (by Tamora Pierce) fandom. That’s the love I think elevates a casual fan into a fandom.

I’m still trying to learn the rules. I’m trying to figure things out. So, when I saw the link above about libraries featuring fandom, I was excited yet, like I said, still hesitant because I feel the casual fan sometimes doesn’t get it.

Then again, maybe that is why it is called a fandom… a kingdom of fans* from those who have given up their soul to it all the way down to the innocent fans who are just strolling around. In the end, fandoms are a place to belong– a place to cry, laugh, invent conspiracy theories, and not feel shame about it.

If you read this far WOW! Thank you 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on fandom even if it is to disagree with me completely! And share your fandoms! What do you love 🙂


*I’m not suggesting there are better fans that others or that there is a hierarchy, merely a level of how involved or invested one is.


9 thoughts on “Fan v. Fandom

    1. hahaha SuperWhoLock three of the biggest fandoms. I love Sherlock and can’t wait for the next season (probably have a few years left to wait lol). I gave up on Supernatural though and Dr. Who looks waaay too daunting for me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Being a Sherlock fan is an oh so sweet exercise in delayed gratification. I only started on Supernatural recently, and one of the things I love is the way the cast and writers seem to play up to the fandom. I’ve been a Dr Who fan since before fandoms were a thing. And the new stuff (ie from this century) is just so good 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love fandoms but, as you mentioned, they can get super crazy sometimes – especially when it comes to ships! It’s insane how some people get over fictional characters and worlds. I hate when fans attack each other or are otherwise unpleasant to others who “don’t belong”. A fandom should be a place of refuge and mutual understanding, not a war zone.
    Still, I am a proud member of many fandoms (you would have to check my Tumblr or Pinterest to fully grasp the gravity of the situation) and will continue to be so despite the downsides 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. YOU WERE A CASSIE!!! I WAS A CASSIE!!! MULTIPLE EXCLAMATIONS NECESSARY!!! I became a fan of TVXQ/DBSK around 2006 and they were my first true fandom, so when they split 3 years later…. Let’s just say I’m still not quite over it (I still have my lightsticks and albums and photobooks, I can’t let them go!!).

    I think within a fandom there’s really a sense of community, but it can’t be helped that there are certain fans that fellow fans think are “better” or “funnier” or “a bigger fan,” and it can’t be helped. I’ve been active in one other fandom after TVXQ (it was EXO) and the phenomenon of “Big Name Fans” really blew up then. Sometimes fandom and fans are wonderful, sometimes it isn’t, especially if it comes to the members leaving/other things that could potentially disrupt the fantasy of their “fave group”/OT5/OT9/OT12.

    Anyway, lovely post!! That allowed me to reminisce the times I was active in fandom, haha.


    1. Another Cassie!! I wish I had more time to enjoy them as a group! Oh gosh and you went from TVXQ to EXO… I’m so sorry… your fandoms have had some hard times. I went to Block B (lawsuit against company) to BAP (lawsuit against company) but, at least they stayed together.
      I try to stay in the fandoms but, at 24 I just don’t think I have the time and energy… especially not with the fanwars over the stupidest things *rolls eyes*.

      I think that’s a reason I wrote this post because I can feel myself once a hardcore fan, heck I even wrote fanfic and I feel the need to write again but, I’m becoming this casual fan who barely listens to the music or watches the videos. It’s a weird feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After the first member to leave EXO left I was like, I am never going to be in a fandom again after this, I can feel it. And so far it’s held true (that and the newer boygroups don’t really interest me anymore).
        What I’m glad for though is that I got pretty good friends out of it. Some of the people I met while I was a TVXQ/EXO fan I’m still friends with today.
        It definitely is a weird feeling, slowly weaning off k-pop but I think in the long run it’s more… freeing? Idk but I definitely look back on my fandom days fondly. There was a time that my friend and I slept outside a ticketing booth to wait for tickets to a concert, and we were thankfully not the only ones! It brings people together, sleeping out in the open, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been to one K-pop concert and it is one of my best memories. I’d love to go to another but, it probably won’t be the same.

        I’m also trying not to join any new K-pop fandoms because the bands and fans are so young… SO YOUNG!! I feel like a grandma haha


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