Fandom is a beautiful thing. Certain music draws them, building an undeniable bond with the artist that translates into unwavering support. Fans attend their shows, purchase their music, see their movies and buy the magazines when they grace the covers. And fans naturally click on the links bearing their names, often following their lives online.
It’s easy to become comfortable with the artist, feeling in some ways like you know them–as if they were old friends rather than strangers whom you’ve never actually met. But this dance is a necessary one. Quite simply, fans are the difference between an artist becoming a megastar and still having a day job.
Stans are an entirely different experience all together. And in some ways they are, in fact, the anti-fans. There’s a fine line between feeling comfortable with someone and taking undue liberties with him or her. That’s what happened with dream.
In addition to hurting an innocent child and robbing the public of valuable direct interaction of a priceless addition to our generation, the stans created an uncomfortable position for the very women whom they claim they love. Can you imagine how it feels to learn that a child you personally care about, has been senselessly hurt, all because she was seen in a photo with you? And the people responsible, proudly call themselves members of your own ‘hive’?
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Carter a few times. Each time she was lovely. Her vibe was very warm, her smile genuine. It’s hard not to like her. Even a casual fan can be won over in her presence. There is absolutely nothing about Beyonce that would lead you to believe that she would condone slander of an innocent child.
Most Beyonce fans behave respectfully, generously representing her brand and serving as ambassadors. Somehow, these rules seem to no apply to the stans.There is a selfishness that replaces the ambassadorial role. Stans take the idea of an artist, often removing the core values the artist represents, and makes the entire movement about them.
Let’s look at this from another angle: Stans are robbing their subjects of the opportunity to experience true artistry.
Healthy feedback and constructive criticism is just as nutritional for an artist as praise, if not more. And stans are doing Beyonce a disservice when they try to bully anyone who gives it. Beyonce Knowles-Carter is many things. Weak or fragile is not one of them. She prides herself not only on her poise by also her unmatched work ethic. And as an artist, she respects that all art is subjective. Including hers.
The dream hampton situation should be a stan wake-up call. While you love Beyonce, you still don’t really know Beyonce as you think they do. Clearly. The very people that say that they love her hurt someone she cares about.
The responsibility isn’t to simply focus on what you’re doing for Beyonce but to regularly take a step back and evaluate what you’re doing to Beyonce. –Jas Fly (@JasFly)
By all means, continue to support Beyonce in all that she does. But do so in the manner in which Beyonce would support someone that she cared about. If you are going to use her name, use it to represent her to the fullest. Make her proud to have you in her hive.