We are in a world where everything is tilting towards the edge of destruction; a point where all forms of ‘negative’ gradually take the center-stage, and suddenly announces its landslide annoying actions. We are in that place of ‘Man against man’ or in this write-up, fans against fans of female celebrities.
Female celebrities have always been the perfect picture of their shrieking fans, despite their obvious flaws, and have in their own way of ‘making it’ caused these fans to overreact when someone doesn’t quite agree with what they see and love about their favorite female celebrity. It is on this and many more basis upon which anti-fanism or celebrity comparisons erupt from or is built upon.
A few weeks back, on Instagram, I came across a post where Nollywood actress Omotola Jolade-Ekeinde lashed out on why there shouldn’t be a reason to compare female celebrities and push them out there for fans or non-fans to choose. She made it known and clear that this might or is a form of sparking up uncalled for hatred (not her exact words). Her raised alarm can also be likened to when we come across article headlines like ‘Who is the most beautiful with their makeover’, ‘Who is the curviest female Nollywood celebrity; Omotola or Mercy Johnson?’, ‘Who is this or who is that?’, ‘Who is the most talented and sexiest female in the music industry?’, ‘10 female celebs who killed it with their banging hairstyle.’, ‘Top female celebrities whose skin color is brighter than hologen lamps… ask Bobrisky!‘. With these kinds of questions, there is bound to be a show of ‘Fan war’. We are in a small space where everyone is shoving their views and opinions in our faces, and we a no longer unconsciously buying the idea, but we are wide-eyed and consciously swallowing the large red pills.
Fans constantly, on a daily basis try to shove down their favorite celebrities quality and attributes down the throats of non-fans, and this is escalated by the help of the mother of world-wide information…[Dramatic music plays in the background]… the almighty Social Media! I mean what happened to the days of “This is my opinion, just allow me to cruise in it?” Take for example, the constant barraging of insults and bickering from fans during the just concluded Big Brother Naija show. Imagine what the female housemates went through and how anti-fanism came full-fledged to play in that circus of obscene tongue lashing on all social media platforms. There was a time when I got a shrapnel of the fight that almost cut short an almost six months old friendship. Smh.
As a thespian and poet, I see daily that one cannot claim that they have ‘fully arrived’ without an audience judging you based on your professional abilities or performances onstage or offstage. I remember being enlightened in a course in the University- Sociology of Drama, that says we cannot force our beliefs, likes or dislikes on someone just because that is what we are used to, and a norm for us. We were made to strongly learn to accommodate each other since we are all from diverse backgrounds, ethnicity, tribes and social class, but it seems to me the public/fans hardly draw their minds to ascertain these kinds of sensitive comparisons. For example, I cannot compare myself with my two best friends (B and O), because I have concluded that we simply complement each other’s creativity, skill, talent, looks and attitudes, etc. For a minute, just imagine what then will happen when we eventually become world class, and one of the most sort after talented individuals in the Nollywood, Literary or Beauty world, just imagine the uncomfortable positions fans will put themselves in and end up breeding anti-fans… Hmmmm, comparisons will become the other of the day.
In a society like ours, or maybe around the world, results have shown that both male and female celebrities are likely subjected to the brashness of the anti-fanism plague, however it is prevalent that female celebrities get one hundred percent of the most lash out from those who don’t like them. Most times, these fans or anti-fans quickly hinge their facts on the looks or attitude of their best or least favorite celebrities (E.g. Gifty and T-Boss of the BBN show), not minding the flaws of that individual.
Sometimes I ask this rhetorical question “How did we get into this mess?” Fan culture is synonymous to ‘vox populi’, a position where the voice of the people becomes stronger and eventually cause a general good or possible bad. Until every individual who has a favorite celebrity out there begin to appreciate and not fight others with their rough edges, there will be constant chaos banging on the walls of the world-wide web without remorse.
My advice is, we should all learn to appreciate others and tame our wild tongues or QWERTY itchy fingers, so as to avoid undue social media fights or wars because of unavoidable celebrity comparisons.
Edwina Amakievi Aleme (Neofloetry)
Photo credit: Stargist Online Mag.