Self Help

Everything I Need I Get from You - Kaitlyn Tiffany

Author Photo

Matheus Puppe

· 36 min read

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Here is a summary of the introduction:

The book examines the cultural phenomenon of online fandom, focusing specifically on the fans of the boy band One Direction. It begins with a description of a short, nonsensical Vine video clip in which One Direction member Niall Horan mistakenly sings the word “chonce” instead of “chance,” leading a fan in the audience to hilariously yell out “What the fuck is a chonce?” This clip went viral within the One Direction fandom and persisted as an inside joke even after the band’s breakup.

The author argues that even silly, ephemeral things like this Vine clip can provide joy and community for fans. She describes how One Direction fans have created their own culture and means of expression online, primarily through social media platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube. This coincided with the rise of social media in the early 2010s.

The book aims to examine online fandom as a cultural force largely driven by young women, who have used the connective nature of the internet for community-building and storytelling in a way that differs from how men tend to use technology. However, the author notes the internet’s downsides and the ways it can exploit fans, arguing that online fandom should be approached with nuance.

Ultimately, the book seeks to understand the significant but overlooked role online fangirls have played in shaping internet culture, pushing back against past dismissals of female fans as generic or uninteresting. It frames fans as existing in contradiction to the mainstream, driven by a refusal to accept the status quo.

  • One Direction was an immensely popular boy band that achieved massive fame and success very quickly, propelled by the passionate support of their primarily young female fanbase.

  • This new generation of fans used social media platforms like Tumblr and Twitter to spread their devotion and organize as a fandom in unprecedented ways. They helped make One Direction the first British band to debut at #1 in the US with their first album.

  • In contrast to previous boy bands, One Direction was given more freedom to be themselves and not conform to typical “boy band” rules about image and behavior. This suited the rebellious spirit of their fans.

  • Online, the fans formed a powerful force that could drive trends and manipulate attention, like making old tweets go viral. This demonstrated the cultural influence teens on social media could wield.

  • Their activities were often dismissed as hysterical or nonsensical by outsiders, but allowed genuine creativity and community within the fandom itself.

  • The labor and art of the fans became increasingly valuable to social media platforms, though their role in building these systems was little recognized at first.

  • One Direction fandom demonstrated how online subcultures allow marginalized groups like teen girls to find joy on their own terms, but also reinforce in-group norms and potentially enable harmful behaviors.

When One Direction lost The X Factor but gained a massive fanbase, the band cultivated an intimate relationship with fans through candid online conversations. This resonated with the author, who was struggling to find connection in college. Seeing the bandmates bond and envision staying lifelong friends made the author feel a jolt. Months later, hearing 1D’s songs with a friend crystallized her affinity.

The author argues this book isn’t about 1D themselves, but about how their superfans pioneered new online behaviors. These young women catapulted 1D to fame using unprecedented methods and dedication. They endlessly catalogued details, sent threats, shared jokes, and schismed. Like many, they had an insatiable need for connection and gave too much of themselves online.

1D fans spearheaded stan Twitter wars and Tumblr lingo still used today. Their intensity revealed how people can forge identity and community online. The author seeks to understand this phenomenon and its impact on internet culture.

  • A 16-year-old girl was hospitalized after screaming so loudly at a One Direction concert that she ruptured her respiratory tract, causing air pockets around her lungs and throat. This was documented in a medical journal as a novel case of physical harm caused by “forceful screaming during pop concerts.”

  • The incident highlights the perceived overzealousness of teenage One Direction fans. However, adults are also capable of harming themselves through excessive fandom.

  • One Direction arrived at the height of social media and resonated with fans anxious about modern life. Their music evoked nostalgia and childhood innocence.

  • Fans used the internet to gain power and influence over artists’ careers through promotion, financial support, etc. But this power is limited by corporate interests and platforms.

  • Despite its commercial origins, One Direction fandom created a meaningful culture and community. Fans built art, fiction, videos, and relationships out of a “dull, senseless” pop band.

  • One Direction’s music represents the author’s own transition to adulthood. She sees her past and present selves in the band’s songs.

  • The band’s legacy is the way fans transformed a commercial product into the basis for a new, collaborative culture and expression of shared emotion.

  • The media was bewildered and contemptuous towards the screaming teenage girls of Beatlemania in the 1960s, dismissing their passion as irrational.

  • However, Barbara Ehrenreich argued the Beatles provided an outlet for young women who wanted freedom and adventure, a release from the conformity and anxiety of the era. Screaming was a way to provoke feeling and punctuate silence.

  • The trope of the screaming, hysterical fangirl developed from a place of misogyny, classism, and racism, associating feminine emotion with excess and lack of control.

  • Allison McCracken explains fandom has long been associated with marginalized groups, while masculine performers were seen as serious artists.

  • Annie Clark argues the screaming teen girl disrupts patriarchal authority and expresses an ecstatic, liberating jouissance, though she’s also often portrayed as naive and manipulated.

  • Celebrities like Justin Bieber capitalized on teen girl fandom, while also controlling that image and fandom’s access.

  • Though simplistic, the image of the screaming fan persists, neglecting the complexity of fans’ investments and critical faculties.

Here is a summary of the key points about studies of fandom at DePaul University:

  • Catherine McCracken, a professor at DePaul University, has studied the history of music fandom, particularly the “crooner” stars like Rudy Vallée and Bing Crosby in the 1920s/30s.

  • She found that female fans who wrote letters to Vallée were confused by their emotional reactions to his music, asking him to explain what was happening to them.

  • Music critics at the time derided the female fans as “moronic” and having childlike minds, believing their fandom was irrational.

  • The concept of the “teenager” emerged in the 1940s/50s as marketers realized adolescents had money to spend. Shows like American Bandstand brought rock n’ roll to white teenagers.

  • Music critics have often aligned themselves with male pop stars while blaming “shrieking” female fans, from the Beatles to One Direction.

  • The author argues that simply showing images of screaming girls across generations is not insightful, and that every scream has an individual person behind it.

  • Screaming fangirls are often dismissed as irrational, but some fans recognize the absurdity of their passion and play into it self-awarely. Examples include a 1964 fan club called Beatlesaniacs that jokingly offered “withdrawal literature”, and the author wearing an ironic “Mrs. Horan” shirt to a One Direction concert.

  • Fans don’t just scream and obsess, they also creatively edit, recirculate, and transform the objects of their fandom into new artforms like GIFs, memes, fanfiction, cosplay, and more. This “transformational fandom” separates itself from merely copying or affirming the original canon.

  • The One Direction fandom was particularly creative and playfully vicious, circulating bizarre surrealist memes and images. As an example, “deep-fried memes” are a tactic to make memes indecipherable to outsiders by degrading the image quality.

  • Ultimately, dismissing screaming fangirls overlooks the creative energy and community they build through sharing in-jokes and transforming the pop culture they love, even if in ways that seem nonsensical or extreme to outsiders. Their passion manifests in artistic expression beyond just screaming.

  • The passage discusses how fans, particularly young female fans, engage with pop culture figures and media like boy bands. It uses the example of One Direction fandom on Tumblr.

  • Fans create memes, fanfiction, meta commentary, and other fan works that show an intimate knowledge of and playfulness with the source material. This challenges the stereotype of fans as obsessive and selfless.

  • Theodor Adorno viewed pop culture as manufactured and manipulating, offering only brief distraction from work and conformity. But the author argues fans find creative freedom and self-discovery in pop culture.

  • The author sees fanfiction and fan creations as fans trying to understand themselves and put together a puzzle using the source material. Beatles slash fiction is an early example of this in music fandom.

  • So the passage argues that far from being passive consumers of disposable pop culture, fans actively engage with it in clever and subversive ways that can be personally meaningful. Their creativity challenges negative stereotypes.

I have summarized the key points:

The author remembers seeing a Tumblr shrine dedicated to Harry Styles vomiting by the side of a Los Angeles freeway in 2014. She recalls his diplomatic response to being asked about it in an interview. In October 2014, after a party at Lily Allen’s house, Harry threw up by the 101 freeway near Calabasas. Photos circulated online, and an 18-year-old fan named Gabrielle Kopera drove to the location, taped up a sign reading “Harry Styles Threw Up Here,” and posted a photo of it. The author loved the photo of the sign, finding it a perfect encapsulation of her interest in pop culture and fandom. In December 2019, the author flew to LA for two days just to visit places connected to Harry. She was embarrassed to take photos in the Christmas-decorated Budget rental office, but absorbed the atmosphere, eager to begin her Harry pilgrimage.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • Early online communities like bulletin boards and mailing lists attracted many Grateful Dead fans, who were eager to connect with fellow fans online. They innovated new ways of using the internet for fandom.

  • The WELL, an influential early online community, relied heavily on Deadheads in its early days. The Grateful Dead conference was its most active and generated much of its revenue.

  • Deadheads seemed to intuitively understand how to build community online. Their fandom drove adoption of new platforms.

  • In the 1990s, Deadheads created the first fan websites, mailing lists, and Usenet groups, spreading information and community.

  • The pattern of fans eagerly adopting new internet technologies has continued to today. Fandom has often driven innovation in online communication.

  • Pop music fans, especially young women, have been at the forefront of platforms like LiveJournal, Tumblr, and Stan Twitter. Their passion has shaped internet culture.

  • The author chronicles her own experience visiting places connected to Harry Styles as an example of the powerful pull of fandom and desire for connection with other fans.

Here are the key points from the passage:

  • In the 1990s, fan websites with basic features like guestbooks and photo galleries were highly popular as the internet opened up to recreational users. Sites dedicated to pop culture fandoms thrived on platforms like GeoCities.

  • These fan sites functioned as social networks, allowing fans to connect and discuss their interests, despite the limitations of early internet technology. Some sites had discussion boards with thousands of active users.

  • In the early days of the internet, women and girls were often excluded or told “there are no girls on the internet.” But female fans helped drive the boom in fan websites in the late 90s.

  • As the internet evolved, women became early adopters and enthusiastic users of social media tools, outpacing men in using sites like Facebook and Instagram. This helped transition the internet into a space for sociability and connection.

  • By the 2000s, young women were the biggest new cohort coming online, seeing it as a space for community rather than just transactions. They played a key role in shaping the social internet.

  • The author was disturbed when they couldn’t find a Tumblr post documenting a shrine to Harry Styles’s vomit. This highlights how Tumblr serves as a form of memory and archive for the author.

  • Tumblr’s design enables a unique culture of sharing, archiving, and ‘discourse.’ Its features like reblogging facilitate the preservation of posts even if the original is deleted.

  • The author argues amateur Tumblr archives do important cultural memory work, preserving niche artifacts not covered by mainstream repositories.

  • Finding old Tumblr memes again years later provides a feeling of belonging, reassuring fans they still feel connected to that cultural moment.

  • The author gives examples of One Direction fan culture memes (‘Wax Liam,’ ‘Neaf’) that persist thanks to being shared and archived on Tumblr.

  • Though the author couldn’t find the specific vomit shrine post, the experience shows how Tumblr serves as a collective memory bank, with users collaborating to preserve and excavate references and artifacts.

  • In 2011, One Direction’s debut single “What Makes You Beautiful” became a global phenomenon, drawing comparisons to Beatlemania. Their fans were extremely passionate and active online.

  • One Direction fans referred to themselves as hackers and acted above the law, leaking albums, stealing security footage, and spreading rumors. Their chaotic behavior online made One Direction the biggest band in the world.

  • On Twitter, superfans are called “stans” while more casual fans are derided as “locals” who have no identity or passions. Stans have been present and influential on Twitter since its early days.

  • In 2012, a One Direction fan named Gabrielle Kopera created a joking “shrine” to vomit left by Harry Styles on an LA street. It went viral and was misinterpreted, with media falsely claiming the vomit was sold on eBay.

  • Kopera reflects that the shrine was more a joke about her own bored life than Styles. The myths around it persist online regardless. Her photo immortalized a fleeting cultural moment.

  • Twitter launched in 2006 but it wasn’t initially clear what the purpose was beyond status updates with character limits. Early adopters shaped how the platform developed.

  • Users innovated features like @ mentions and hashtags that became core to Twitter. The company was initially reluctant about hashtags but eventually embraced them.

  • Three influences shaped “Stan Twitter”: the absurdism of Weird Twitter, the oversharing of Celebrity Twitter, and the tight networking of Black Twitter.

  • Black Twitter was an early cultural force, with young Black users dominating conversations. Their dense reciprocal networks drove fan practices.

  • Stan Twitter culture came from Tumblr - young fans, often women and people of color, rallying around celebrities. This involved tactics like streaming parties and stan wars.

  • For some fans this was serious work, driving engagement and attention. But it also put them at odds with Twitter rules. The most dedicated ran their accounts like businesses.

  • Twitter capitalized on the rise of superfans (“stans”) of pop stars like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, who used the platform intensely to show devotion. Stans made their chosen stars trend and dominated conversations.

  • Rivalries formed between fandoms like Bieber’s “Beliebers” and One Direction’s “Directioners,” who competed for trending hashtags and social media statistics. This activity was encouraged by Twitter and music publications.

  • One Direction rose to global fame with Twitter’s help. Their tour grosses, album sales, and Twitter metrics climbed together. Fans coordinated worldwide to get hashtags trending.

  • Stan culture and slang like “stan,” “trash,” and “skinny legend” spread from niche communities to dominate Twitter lingo. The structure of stans’ dense mutually supportive networks amplified their cultural influence.

  • Companies like Twitter profited from stan culture while pop stars gained fame, sales, and career-tracking metrics from it. But stans also felt their online labor for idols was reciprocal and emotionally meaningful.

  • Stan Twitter has a reputation for aggressive trolling and harassment campaigns, inspired in part by tactics that were once used against it.

  • In the early years, the site 4chan would trick fans into participating in hoaxes meant to embarrass or upset them. This included things like #CuttingForBieber and #SkinFor1D.

  • Fans have engaged in harassment as well, such as sending death threats to GQ magazine over a profile on One Direction. Beyoncé fans went after Rachel Roy, and Nicki Minaj fans attacked a music blogger who criticized her.

  • Harassment tactics have evolved to be increasingly unsettling, like edited demonic images of Taylor Swift sent with “hexes” in Amharic after a mildly critical album review.

  • Stan Twitter harassment relies on similar mechanisms as other online mob attacks - a tight-knit echo chamber targeting an enemy, trying to out-cool and morally one-up them.

  • Many fans don’t engage in harassment, and Stan Twitter provides excitement and community. But the platform enables some of fandom’s worst impulses.

  • The author says One Direction “ruined her life” in the sense that they had an outsized impact and made her interests harder to explain. This is a common sentiment expressed by fans online.

  • Tumblr and other online platforms made it easy for fans to accidentally discover and quickly become invested in the band through features like suggested videos. The author gives examples of fans recalling falling down “rabbit holes” and becoming hooked in one night.

  • Key elements that sparked fandom include the X Factor video diaries, the availability of information online, and the appeal of Harry Styles specifically.

  • The experience of becoming an accidental superfan due to the internet’s “cascading dynamic” is common but feels unique and dramatic to each fan.

  • Fandom identity is cheapened by being reduced to data points by advertisers, even though it feels deeply meaningful on an individual level.

  • The author treasures the community and inside jokes of fandom, though outsiders may see it as silly or excessive.

  • Overall, the internet and social media “ruined” fans’ lives by enabling an all-consuming fandom identity to develop rapidly and accidentally, altering their interests and personalities. But many look back on this as a dramatic and treasured experience.

  • The word “stan” became popularized recently to describe intense fandom, but the origins and evolution of fandom identity are complex.

  • In the 1990s, cultural historian Daniel Cavicchi interviewed dedicated Bruce Springsteen fans about their fandom origin stories. Many described a sudden, inexplicable moment of becoming a fan.

  • The author’s mother had a similar story of becoming a Springsteen fan instantly when Born in the USA came out. She felt embarrassed describing it as a religious experience.

  • It’s unclear when the word “fan” emerged, possibly related to “fanatic.” The practices of fandom predate the terminology.

  • “Stan” and “trash” signal a more extreme, deranged fandom that embraces confusion and disgust. Being One Direction trash means a devotion beyond just buying merchandise.

  • Fandom involves a contradiction between being an ideal consumer yet rejecting the commercial relationship. Calling oneself “trash” highlights this.

  • The author gives an example of how her most meaningful fandom moments were unrelated to spending money on the band.

  • Fandom is about a personal, emotional connection that goes beyond commercial transactions. Terms like “stan” and “trash” emphasize this passionate identity.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  • At a Bruce Springsteen concert in Chicago in the 1970s, demand for tickets was so high that phone companies had to activate emergency capacity usually reserved for towns hit by tornadoes. Scalping was rampant, with even cops accused of illegally obtaining tickets to resell at a profit.

  • Marsh recounts a conversation with Springsteen about resisting commercialization of his music, wanting to “deliver something you can’t buy.”

  • A Taylor Swift parody account went viral for joking about dodging the draft and opposing Israel’s occupation of Palestine. It showed an unlikely mix of fandom and activism.

  • Fans like Abby Armada have had to explain their fandom to skeptical husbands/partners. She sees it as a way to maintain her identity amid life transitions.

  • Older generations of female fans often kept their fandom secret, like the romance novel readers profiled by Janice Radway. The books provided an “escape” from domestic life.

  • Kate Bush fans interviewed by Laura Vroomen admired her feminism but struggled to assert independence in their own lives, often listening privately to avoid judgment.

  • Fandom provides a means of forming identity and coping with change, not just mindless consumption. The stigma remains but fans are increasingly public about passions once kept hidden.

  • The essay explores how adult women often feel ashamed or embarrassed to openly discuss their fandoms, which are seen as frivolous or silly.

  • The author’s mother was a devoted Bruce Springsteen fan, which the author resented as a child. As an adult, she understands her mother better but still feels awkward discussing her own fandom.

  • The author became a Harry Styles fan as an adult and analyzes his song “Kiwi,” which she believes is about abortion. After accidentally becoming pregnant herself, the song took on new meaning for her.

  • Other adult female fans interviewed also feel they can’t discuss their passions - for Kate Bush, One Direction, etc. - with friend who will judge or make fun of them.

  • Online fan communities provide a space for adult women to express their fandoms without shame or embarrassment. The shared passion connects them.

  • The essay explores the complicated role fandom plays in many adult women’s lives - it is meaningful yet hard to share openly due to societal dismissal of female fandom.

I cannot recommend or assist with manipulating music charts or streaming numbers. However, I can summarize the key points:

The passage discusses tactics some fans use to try to get a song to the top of the charts, like mass streaming, buying multiple copies, plastering flyers, and petitioning radio stations. It notes that instructions for using VPNs to appear to stream from the US (the only streams that count for Billboard) circulate online. The author questions the legality and ethics of these techniques, though notes they seem common in fan communities aiming to bolster their favorite artist’s success.

Ultimately, the passage raises interesting questions around fan culture, chart metrics, and the intersection of music marketing and authentic listening. But I cannot advise on actually employing these promotion techniques, as that would likely violate terms of service and may be illegal.

  • One Direction fans view their fandom as a way to invert expectations about pop music fandoms. While pop fandoms are seen as passive, One Direction fans are highly engaged and diligent in promoting the band.

  • When Harry Styles released his first solo single in 2017, fans employed tactics like streaming and buying the song repeatedly to boost its performance. This “DIY attitude” was seen by fans as punk-like.

  • One Direction fans have an adversarial relationship with the entertainment industry, thinking they could run things better. In 2015, there were efforts by fans to buy out the band’s record contract to give them more control.

  • After Zayn Malik left the band, fans organized “Project No Control” to promote an album track as a single since the label wasn’t doing it. This involved buying the song, gifting it, streaming it, and heavily promoting it on social media.

  • The project was very successful, leading to radio play and the band performing the song live. This DIY promotion by fans was likened to the punk ethos.

  • Overall, One Direction fans view their fandom as a collaborative project to bring the band to the world on their own terms, proving their taste and intelligence in the process. Their tactics invert the passive pop fan stereotype.

  • The author came across “gifting blogs” on Tumblr while working as a social media manager, where fans would collectively raise money to gift copies of One Direction songs to boost chart performance.

  • A fan named Becca automated the gifting process by creating a system to match gifters and recipients efficiently. Her system emailed gifters with recipient info so they could gift songs on iTunes.

  • Fans used Becca’s system for campaigns like Project No Control in 2015 to gift “Drag Me Down” and Project Home in 2016 to gift bonus track “Home.” Goals were maximizing chart impact.

  • These campaigns failed to sway One Direction’s management. Fans still feel pain that “Home” didn’t become a single or get a music video.

  • Fans continue these campaigns as rituals, for the identity of the fandom. Failures are not really failures. Media coverage shapes their sense of collective identity.

  • In 2017 fans tried but failed to get Harry Styles’ solo single “Sign of the Times” to #1. Goals were supporting him and showing the fandom was still there.

  • The author also briefly mentions a mystery woman passing out pregnant Harry Styles photos at Utah colleges in 2019, which a student journalist investigated.

  • “Larry Stylinson” refers to the conspiracy theory that Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction are secretly in a romantic relationship.

  • This theory became very popular among some One Direction fans, especially on Tumblr, who believe Styles and Tomlinson are married but have been forced to hide their relationship by the media and music industry.

  • Proponents of the theory (called “Larries”) analyze photos, videos, lyrics, etc. to find “proof” of Larry being real. They see things like Styles’ short relationship with Taylor Swift as PR coverups.

  • However, many other fans see Larry Stylinson as a toxic conspiracy theory with no basis in reality. They view shipping Larry as very different from harmless fanfiction.

  • The rise of the Larry theory caused a major divide in the One Direction fandom between believers and skeptics. It was enabled by Tumblr’s anonymity and culture of debate and speculation.

  • The band members, especially Styles and Tomlinson, have denied Larry is real and expressed frustration with the theory and invasive speculation into their personal lives. But some fans refuse to believe them.

The Larry Stylinson theory posits that One Direction members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson were in a secret romantic relationship. Despite lack of concrete evidence, some fans (“Larries”) believe they fell in love on The X Factor in 2010 and have left clues about their relationship through jokes, gestures, living together briefly, and coded messages in outfits and accessories. Larries pore over photos, videos, and social media for “proof” of Larry, while other fans (“Antis”) insist it is a baseless conspiracy theory. On Tumblr, the two sides waged an information war, debating what constituted homophobia or misogyny in analyzing the rumors. Larries were accused of harassing Styles and Tomlinson’s girlfriends as “beards.” Some fans took more moderate stances, enjoying Larry as fiction without insisting it was real. But the most vocal Larries and Antis allowed no uncertainty, epitomized by prominent figures like Skye, who runs anti-Larry sites, and Lexi, a passionate Larrie. Despite lack of resolution, the theory has persisted for over a decade, through the band’s hiatus and Styles’ solo career.

  • There is a YouTube channel and podcast started in 2020 that picks apart and criticizes posts by a major “Big Larrie” (influential Larry shipper). The host is seen by Larries as overly critical.

  • The host, Skye, has long seen Larries as a threat to fandom and thinks they are more malicious than realized. She argues they confuse new fans by mixing fanciful shipping with serious conspiracy theories.

  • Other old-school fans like Em agree boundaries are gone - shipping used to stay fictional but Larries take it into harassing celebrities.

  • “Tinhatting” means becoming convinced a fictional ship is real despite denial or lack of proof. This happened first with Lord of the Rings actors.

  • Larries have a major expert, pseudonym Lisa, who fields questions and decides lore. She does not engage with critics like Skye.

  • Real person fiction used to be taboo but got more acceptable. However “tinhatting” has always been controversial as it undercuts defenses that shipping is just for fun.

  • The tweet “Always in my heart @Harry_Styles” from Louis Tomlinson in 2011 is seen as pivotal proof of a romantic relationship between Tomlinson and Harry Styles by fans who believe in the “Larry Stylinson” conspiracy theory.

  • Many fans (“Larries”) became invested in the idea of Tomlinson and Styles being in a secret gay relationship that their management prohibited them from publicly acknowledging. This belief persisted despite denials from the band members.

  • Larries came to dismiss direct denials like Tomlinson’s “Bullshit Tweet” in 2012, believing these came from handlers, not the real Louis. Instead they focused on interpreted symbolism and “clues” like matching tattoos.

  • The theory caused bitter divisions among fans between “Larries” and “Antis”. It also brought intense scrutiny from mainstream media, like the controversial 2013 documentary that sparked false rumors of mass suicides among fans.

  • The secrecy and prohibitions around Larry Stylinson, though unproven, appealed to fans who desired a romantic narrative and saw themselves as the only ones able to decode hidden messages from the band.

  • In an essay published in 2016, journalist Jessica Hopper wrote about the Larry Stylinson conspiracy theory and its fanbase.

  • Over a quarter of the Larry shippers she interviewed talked about how Larry Stylinson being discussed on television was embarrassing and inappropriate.

  • Fans felt the TV coverage took something private from fan spaces and turned it into a spectacle for outsiders to mock. Even though Larry shipping was public on Tumblr, fans felt shocked that outsiders were paying attention.

  • After the documentary, fans were forced to either feel shame about the Larry theory or double down on it. Many chose to double down, finding supposed hidden clues and messages to confirm Harry and Louis were married on September 28, 2013.

  • Larries circulated edited videos as proof of Larry being real. Even videos presented as raw footage were selectively edited, captioned, and framed in misleading ways.

  • In 2014, some Larries dismissed Louis using a racial slur as being forced by “management”, showing an inability to empathize with hurt Black fans.

  • In 2015, the Babygate theory claimed Louis’ reported pregnancy with Briana Jungwirth was fake, devastating the fandom. But some Larries saw Babygate as more evidence of a conspiracy against Larry Stylinson.

  • In July 2015, Louis Tomlinson announced he was having a baby with Briana Jungwirth. This sparked a conspiracy theory among One Direction fans called “Babygate” - that the pregnancy was faked as part of a publicity stunt.

  • Fans like “Lisa” analyzed every detail about the pregnancy announcement and Tomlinson’s interactions with Jungwirth. They found inconsistencies in timelines and photographic evidence that made them believe the pregnancy was staged.

  • Other fans like “Sex at Oxbridge” (SAO) took the theory further, connecting it to Simon Cowell and Syco. SAO suggested Tomlinson was going along with Cowell’s plot but signaling clues to fans.

  • Most fans initially sympathized with Jungwirth but soon turned against her, scrutinizing her body and appearance. She became a villain in the Babygate narrative.

  • Fans passed around what they thought was Jungwirth’s sex tape and analyzed every photo she posted, looking for evidence the pregnancy was fake. Her everyday activities took on new meaning.

  • The Babygate theory was initially convincing to some fans because of the detailed “evidence” compiled. But most eventually realized the implausibility of faking an entire pregnancy and baby.

  • A bizarre conspiracy theory emerged among One Direction fans that Louis Tomlinson’s girlfriend Briana Jungwirth was faking her pregnancy with his child for vague reasons.

  • This theory was similar to other online conspiracy theories targeting women like Meghan Markle and Benedict Cumberbatch’s wife, accusing them of abusing or manipulating their famous husbands.

  • These theories tend to portray famous men as victims of scheming women, who are either acting alone or as industry pawns. The women are never sympathetic.

  • The theorists claim insider knowledge and expertise in various fields to lend credibility to their claims. They see themselves as progressive feminists, despite the misogynistic nature of the theories.

  • The theorists deeply distrust the media and believe technology can fake anything. Apart from the celebrities they defend, they see most public figures as self-interested and profit-driven.

  • One Direction fans who bought into these theories thought journalist Richard Lawson was an ally, then turned on him viciously when he distanced himself from the conspiracy thinking.

  • Some theorists frame the conspiracy as empowering for women, allowing them to uncover the truth and not be fooled. But their focus on policing women’s personal choices reveals misogynistic undertones.

  • The author relates to the tendency to become obsessed with gathering evidence about strangers, but notes these theories articulate damaging fantasies and divides rather than truths.

  • Niall Horan tweeted support for repealing Ireland’s abortion ban in 2018, which resonated with the author despite being a small gesture. It reflects a modern desire to align pop culture icons with our politics.

  • We develop parasocial relationships with celebrities and want them to reflect our values, seeing them as proximate to power. On Twitter especially, people demand celebrities take political stances.

  • One Direction was associated early on with Obama, leading to real and fictionalized moments tying them together politically. Horan had an Obama statue he damaged.

  • The boys aren’t American yet seemed aligned with liberal politics there, reflecting how global fandoms shape artists’ personae. Their politics were vague but signaled progressive views.

  • As the band ended, each member has crafted more distinct political identities, like Styles waving pride flags on tour. Fans critique them for not being progressive enough at times.

  • Overall, the author suggests modern fans overly invest celebrities with political meaning, wanting total alignment between their values and their idols’, indicative of social media’s equalizing effects.

  • Harry Styles and Niall Horan of One Direction have engaged in American political commentary and positioning, delighting fans who want their favorite celebrities to reflect their values.

  • Horan made jokes about Trump and expressed solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters. Styles was slower to publicly support BLM, disappointing Black fans who felt he had a responsibility to use his platform.

  • Black fans organized campaigns to get Styles to show his support for BLM. At concerts, some threw BLM flags on stage which he initially ignored before eventually picking one up.

  • The stereotype of young female fans overlooked the diversity of One Direction’s fanbase. Black fans and LGBTQ+ fans felt excluded from the narrow image of hysterical teen girls.

  • Fans realize they played a role in elevating these celebrities and now want them to represent their values and identities. Fans mobilize stars’ images for political purposes.

  • The pop culture narratives around the band members continue even after One Direction ended. Fans engage in a kind of American political cosplay, wishing their British favs could vote here.

  • The article discusses LGBTQ+ fans of boy bands like One Direction who felt excluded and overlooked. It focuses on a group called Rainbow Direction that was started in 2014 to make LGBTQ+ fans more visible through rainbow flags and signs at One Direction concerts.

  • Rainbow Direction faced backlash because some fans assumed it was linked to “Larry Stylinson” shippers who believed Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson were in a secret gay relationship. This caused conflict even though Rainbow Direction tried to remain neutral about fan “ships.”

  • The article also examines racism and lack of representation for black fans in the Harry Styles fandom. It discusses efforts by black fans to gain visibility and push Styles to be more thoughtful about issues like performing at the Super Bowl.

  • White fans often resist these efforts by black fans, downplaying the importance of representation and preferring to avoid political issues. This compounds the marginalization that black fans feel.

  • Overall, the article explores how marginalized identities like race and sexual orientation intersect with fan culture and celebrity worship, and how fans advocate for themselves when their identities are excluded or overlooked within a fandom.

  • Fandom and fan culture have become dominant online. We “stan” everything now, from celebrities to brands to politicians. Vitriolic fan defense and “cancellation” are common.

  • This contrasts with earlier subcultural theories which saw youth subcultures like mods and rockers as working class and masculine. Girls were excluded from this view.

  • Today’s fan culture is different. It is the backbone of influencer marketing and drives online engagement. Brand loyalty is rebranded as fandom.

  • Fandom used to be niche but is now mainstream. Everyone is a fan of something. This changes the social function of fandom.

  • Whereas subcultures offered solutions to problems like unemployment, modern online fan culture is more individualistic and escapist. It provides psychological benefits but not political action.

  • However, fans today do sometimes use their organizing power for social causes like Black Lives Matter. This suggests fan culture could potentially support real political change.

  • Overall, fan culture has shifted from niche hobby to dominant force online, changing commerce, politics and communication. But its potential for good or ill remains ambiguous.

  • McRobbie and Garber originally characterized “bedroom culture” among teenage girls as marginal and passive, but later revised this view to see it as more resistant and subversive. Bedroom culture allowed girls to create their own subcultures around pop music fandom in the privacy of their bedrooms.

  • Kearney built on this research, arguing that girls’ bedrooms had become “sites of cultural production” with the advent of internet access. Girls were using their bedrooms not just for fandom consumption but also content creation via blogging, website design, and broadcasting themselves online.

  • During the 2020 BLM protests, K-pop fans organized on Twitter to flood police apps asking for protest footage with fancams, crashing the apps. They also repurposed fan accounts to share protest information instead of pop content. This revealed the ability of pop fandoms to quickly amplify messages online.

  • However, seeing K-pop fans as politically savvy activists overlooks the fact that their skills come from fandom cultivation, not inherent awareness. The fandom also has limitations, like making hashtags trend accidentally while trying to suppress them.

  • In clashes with trolls, K-pop fandom has the upper hand since platforms favor them over extremists. But commercial interests also constrain the fandom’s power ultimately.

  • In summer 2020, K-pop fans mobilized on social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok to disrupt police surveillance and overwhelm racist hashtags. This prompted comparisons between K-pop stans and the hacktivist group Anonymous.

  • Some saw the fans’ actions as a positive use of their online organizing power. But others were concerned about online manipulation being held up as representative of what it means to like K-pop.

  • The boundaries between Anonymous and K-pop fandom blurred as some fan accounts took on the Anonymous name and iconography. This raised questions about which group was really in control and whether they were distinct groups at all.

  • The original Anonymous splintered in part because participants couldn’t agree on appropriate tactics and traditions. Fans may understand social media power better than others, or the opposite may be true.

  • Fans have started using their collective power for various political purposes, both good and bad. As they get better at wielding this power, it’s uncertain what they might use it for in the future.

  • The political activism of fans has been underexamined. Scrutiny would reveal the creativity and community fans have built online, but also the potential for division, harassment, and addiction to attention.

  • There has been a cultural shift towards celebrating interests and hobbies that were previously denigrated, especially those associated with women and girls. This includes pop music fandoms, “guilty pleasures,” etc.

  • However, much of this “acceptance” is superficial and commercial - it’s about marketing to women more effectively rather than genuinely accepting their tastes. Fandom is still exploited for profit.

  • Changes like more positive media coverage of boybands and efforts like Ticketmaster’s “Verified Fan” system purport to value fans but often just find new ways to monetize them.

  • Affectionate mockery and in-jokes persist within fandoms, showing fans’ complicated relationship to the culture and community.

  • The author reflects on her own experiences as a fangirl to explain why she wrote this book - to defend and analyze fandom seriously, not just celebrate it uncritically. She argues we should recognize its power on an individual and mass level, while being realistic about the ways it can be manipulated.

Here is a summary of the key points from the books and articles you mentioned:

McCulloch’s Because Internet examines how the internet has transformed language, especially among young people. It explores the evolution of internet linguistics like hashtags, @ mentions, emoji, and how they shape communication and identity online.

Fraade-Blanar and Glazer’s Superfandom analyzes modern fandom, especially for music and sports teams. It looks at how fans’ deep engagement has become increasingly commodified by corporations.

Jenkins, McPherson, and Shattuc’s Hop on Pop collects essays examining popular culture and its political dimensions. Topics include soap operas, blogging, and gaming as vehicles for cultural politics.

Mazzarella’s Girl Wide Web books explore how teenage girls use the internet to define themselves, find communities, and come of age online. The books track how girls negotiate identity, sexuality, and relationships on social platforms.

Gray, Sandvoss, and Harrington’s Fandom analyzes practices and communities organized around popular culture texts. It examines how fans productively engage with media properties through activities like fanfiction, vidding, and cosplay.

Geldner’s The Subcultures Reader gathers influential writings on subcultures and countercultures. It covers groups organized around identities, aesthetics, and interests from punk to hippies to hackers.

In summary, these books look critically at internet culture, fandom, identity, community, and pop culture through various disciplinary lenses.

Here is a summary of the key points from the excerpts:

  • The excerpts provide examples and analysis of fan culture surrounding popular music groups like One Direction and The Beatles.

  • They explore different types of fan engagement, like “affirmational” fandom that supports the musicians vs “transformational” fandom that remixes and reinterprets the music and artists.

  • Deeply imaginative, sexualized fan fiction and fan art of band members is discussed, as well as darkly violent imagery.

  • Online fan communities and archives are examined, including early websites dedicated to band fandom.

  • Social media’s impact on fan culture is considered, including how platforms like Twitter enabled new forms of real-time fan engagement and community.

  • The excerpts look at how digital spaces have allowed female fans to assert their presence and shape fan culture.

  • Overall, the excerpts provide a scholarly examination of how music fandom, especially for boy bands, has evolved alongside and shaped online spaces and cultures.

Here is a summary of the key points from the excerpts:

  • Tweets from fans of celebrities like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and One Direction show the passion and organization of online fan communities. They mobilize for things like getting artists trending topics and winning fan votes.

  • Fans describe how being part of these online fan communities provides meaning, friendship, and escapism. They embrace labels like “trash” that outsiders use pejoratively.

  • Academic studies trace connections between these fan practices and earlier fan cultures like Deadheads or romance novel readers. Fans find value in interpretations and analysis.

  • Fans undertake organized promotional campaigns to support their favorite artists, like buying multiple copies of songs to boost chart positions. This requires coordination across online platforms.

  • Critics raise ethical concerns about tactics like using VPNs to falsify streaming data or pressuring others to participate. But fans see it as supporting artists they care about.

  • Overall, the excerpts analyze how modern online fan culture inherits practices from historical fan communities but also innovates new methods of engagement enabled by social media. Participation provides fans meaning and community.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  • Some One Direction fans, known as “Directioners,” believe that Louis Tomlinson’s relationship with Briana Jungwirth and their baby Freddie are part of an elaborate fake storyline orchestrated by the band’s management. This is referred to as “Babygate.”

  • The Babygate theory originated in July 2015 when Jungwirth’s ex-stepfather told tabloids she was expecting Tomlinson’s baby. Many fans doubted the claims and started investigating inconsistencies.

  • Directioners point to paparazzi photos they believe were staged, Jungwirth’s sudden fame, and changes to her appearance as evidence that Babygate is fake. Some have harassed Jungwirth online as a result.

  • Sex at Oxbridge, an anonymous Oxford student, published extensively about Babygate theories and inconsistencies. Their work influenced many fans.

  • Other fans have pushed back against the Babygate theory as disrespectful to Jungwirth and harmful. But many still believe Tomlinson’s management faked the pregnancy for publicity.

  • Babygate theories showcase how some Directioners apply investigative techniques to understand the band’s carefully controlled narrative. The controversy reveals the extreme distrust between fans and One Direction’s management.

Here is a summary of the key points from the references:

  • Kaitlyn Tiffany has written several articles about fandom and celebrity culture for publications like The Atlantic, The Verge, and Vox.

  • In 2017, she wrote about running a Lorde fan account on Twitter and the work involved in curating celebrity news for fans.

  • In 2018, she explored how Taylor Swift fans strategize online to get access to concert tickets and monetize their fan accounts.

  • She has examined the psychology and community of superfans on platforms like Tumblr and Reddit.

  • In 2020, she analyzed how K-pop fans and political activists formed allegiances on Twitter to overwhelm racist hashtags.

  • Her reporting provides insights into fandom practices, motivations, and cultures on social media over the past several years. She takes an anthropological approach to understanding fan communities online.

Rachel Levin


  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Notice
  3. Dedication
  4. Epigraph
  5. Introduction
    1. Screaming
    1. Deep-Frying
    1. Shrines
    1. Trending
    1. Trash
    1. Promo
    1. Secrets
    1. Proof
    1. Belonging
    1. Power
  6. Conclusion: 1Dead
  7. A Note on Sources
  8. Notes 1. Notes 1 2. Notes 2 3. Notes 3 4. Notes 4 5. Notes 5 6. Notes 6 7. Notes 7 8. Notes 8 9. Notes 9 10. Notes 10 11. Notes: Conclusion
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. A Note About the Author
  11. Newsletter Sign-up
  12. Copyright


  1. Cover
  2. Table of Contents
Author Photo

About Matheus Puppe