Defending Our Fandom

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Did you see Channel 4’s Crazy About One Direction documentary? I did. Along with the entire fandom. And you know what? We are humiliated.

Allow me to explain. The documentary made out that we are crazy, demented and messed-up-in-the-head kind of people. Which we’re not. Well, not all of us. That is actually a minority. There is so much that annoyed the Directioner fandom that I don’t even know where to start, so I am going to break it down into points. Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Stalking the boys.

Okay, yes, it’s true. A lot of the fandom knows where the boys are 90% of the time. But it’s not down to chasing One Direction down. Think about it. The boys travel the world. There are seven billion people in the world. There’s always going to be someone who knows where they are. The whole world can be connected as one via Twitter. If a parent is working with One Direction and has a Directioner for a daughter (or son) then, of course, they will tell them. Said Directioner would be so ecstatic about their parent’s involvement with their idols, they will tell someone else about it and somewhere along the line, it would be Tweeted. Therefore, there is a quick way of finding out where the boys are. And that’s only one way. Think about it. Not to mention the boys tend to go to places where they can be seen. It’s not as if they are hidden secrets, they’re human.

2. ‘Shippers’.

Okay, so the whole shipping thing is a rather unusual one to explain. ‘Shipping’ is a term used to describe fan fictions that take previously created characters and put them as a pair. It usually refers to romantic relationships, but it can refer to platonic ones as well. (Just think of ‘shipping’ as short for ‘relationSHIP’.) It generally uses the initials of the characters shipped or a combination of the names, though this is not a rule. Not everyone takes it seriously, in fact, it’s the minority. People think that the boys would be cute together or people think they suit their girlfriends. It’s just an opinion. One that does occasionally get taken too far by some fans, but not all. It’s like an opinion in any kind of fandom, really. What house are you if you’re a Potterhead? Who do you ship if you’re a Directioner? (though not everyone does actually ship…I don’t, just saying.)

3. Hate to the girlfriends.

The hate doesn’t actually come from the true fans. True fans are people who respect and care for the boys and those who mean something to them. We try and stick up for them. True, not every single person likes their girlfriends but that does not mean they send hate. We are not like that and anyone who does send hate to them is clearly not a true fan who cares about the boys – as said by the boys themselves – their families and the entire fandom.

4. What the family think. The family of the boys actually watched the documentary along with us and here is what they had to say:

“Stop apologising. 1D have the greatest fans in the world #polite #respectful #devotednotcrazy” – @Iamkeithtom (Louis’ granddad)
“This programme wouldn’t change my opinion at all! I know that to my brother you are all the best fans in the world and he always says it xx” @RuthPayne0990 (Liam’s sister)
“Just to be clear, we know most of the 1D family are completely normal and thank you for supporting the boys” -@robintwist (Harry’s stepdad)
“I need a G&T!! (don’t worry we know you’re not all like that!) #Crazy” – @MrsAnneTwist (Harry’s mother)
“It’s sad that all these DM’s [Direct Messages] are @onedirection fans apologising. I know you’re not like that!!!” – @Matty_Selley (Harry’s cousin)

5. The boys.

They know who we really are. They have admitted to spending a lot of time ‘creeping’ on Twitter and even stalking their own fans. They know what we’re really like and have been questioned about us so many times. They always stick up for us and there is so much evidence of that. You just need to Google/YouTube it.
They are five real boys who have had such an impact on so many people and have spread such a positive message to their fans and even helped in the process of teenage depression and saving many lives. As crazy as that sounds, you will never understand it fully unless you have experienced it.

There is so much that could be said in defence of this fandom. Yes, there are people who are crazy, but don’t you remember The Beatles’ fandom? Michael Jackson’s? Elvis Presley’s? Even Laurel and Hardy?! The whole fandom craze is nothing new and just because technology plays a part of it now, doesn’t make it any different. Not all of us are like those girls in that documentary.

So, what is the fandom really like? After speaking with fellow Directioners, this is the summary which we have come up with:

“We just support the boys, we love them for who they are and what they do. Some people are a bit crazy but not all of us are.” – @groaniall_

“We’re not all obsessed like the people in the documentary!! We’re really just dedicated and not all of us follow them everywhere!!” – @Nia_Elin_97

“We’re normal people. We’re not afraid to love five boys who will probably never know about us. They make us smile.” – @Stellachrysafi

“We love our boys & we’d do EVERYTHING to make them happy! We can sometimes be a little mean but we want to protect them! We support them in every way and we know they love us even though they don’t know us personally! :)” – @itsvasiahere

“The fandom is great. Yeah, we defend the boys but that’s because we love them and support them we just want to see the boys happy since I joined this fandom I have met some great people they are really kind and friendly, always there, if we ever need someone to talk to we support the boys because they are great singers and deserve every award and such they have great voices I wouldn’t want to be in any other fandom this fandom is the best” – @mammybear21

“I think the fandom is a group of people who love and care for the boys and would do anything to support them even if it means never getting recognition for it. They’re always so kind to us and I think all we really want is just to show them how much their kindness means to us.” – @Chloe_xoxo

“We are dedicated to the boys and we love them we don’t stalk them 24/7, we help them win awards and break records.” – @belkvictoria

“I think that those people [in the documentary] weren’t true fans and that the real ones sit on twitter and don’t actually stalk or chase after them.” – @yummy_nourry

“I’m here [in this fandom] because One Direction make me happy. I don’t care if I don’t meet them or if I don’t get noticed. They’ve helped me through so much and all I want to do is simply thank them for everything they have done.” – @Harrystylinbum

We vote for them like crazy for awards, we try and break records, we help them support charities. We’re not all bad people. It’s just a shame that not everyone sees us for who we really are. But the boys and their family do, so to be honest, that’s all that will ever really count to us.

Thank you to everyone who shared their opinion in this article.

Image: Various fans of Twitter

Related Article: Review: One Direction Live

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