Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Passionate or toxic: the fine line of fandoms

Passionate+or+toxic%3A+the+fine+line+of+fandoms
Sofia Meija

In our day-to-day lives, we need an outlet. 

For some, emotions may go into a sports team or athlete. Others may find themselves full-heartedly supporting a Hollywood star, a musical artist, or perhaps, a social media figure. Regardless of who you support, there is someone or something that tends to your emotional aid and is your constant backing. 

We all have those people we defend and support as if they affect our daily lives. A Cowboys win can make our week, a new Taylor Swift album might make our month or constantly refreshing our socials for a new vlog or social update can keep our days going. Fan bases of all types show their endless support for whatever keeps their emotions intact. 

But surely, there must be a line between all-fun-and-games passion and over-the-top toxicity, right? 

While there is nothing wrong with looking up to a well-known figure for inspiration or purely fanatical reasons, it is important to keep the relationship between you and the person who does not know you at that level before it becomes toxic. 

What is most important to keep in mind is that these “celebrities” are people, too. 

Anytime you let one of these figures dictate your emotions at school, work or home, you are letting another figure — who does not owe you anything — rule your emotions. Again, we can all fall into the category of doing this. Still, it is important to be aware of the line of fandom before it becomes obsessive, especially over someone you support, not vice versa. The most toxic thing one can do to themselves is to let a public figure sway their day. 

If you become too wrapped in another person and are so passionate about defending or propping someone up, it is almost as if you are worshiping them. What this leads to, more so in the modern day, is cyberbullying or belittling others online to boost your fandom. It is OK to cheer on and support whatever you like, but tearing others down in the process or shaming someone else for their support of their favorite figure is doing no one any good. Fans are supposed to be uplifting, not bullies. 

This also leads to what hill you are willing to die on. 

There are many figures in America who have done immoral things or other acts that paint them in a negative light. There are athletes, pop artists and movie stars who have massive fan bases, yet when exposed for inappropriate behavior, some of their followers stay silent and even come to their defense online. Is this not just as toxic?

There is nothing wrong with being a passionate fan of someone or something, but the most important thing to remember is your place. Being a fan means you can show support, but be aware of the line of it coming from a place of passion before it becomes overly obsessive to the point where it is toxic to you or others.

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About the Contributors
Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor
Luke (he/him) is an English major at UTSA and is set to graduate in the Spring of 2024. This is his fifth semester at The Paisano and his fourth as the Sports Editor. Along with covering UTSA sports and events, Luke also covers high school sports and local events for the San Antonio Express-News and covers the San Antonio Spurs for The Paisano. He has a huge passion for covering sports and giving his opinion on them. Outside of writing and talking about sports, Luke's hobbies include playing basketball, watching movies and all things outdoors.
Sofia Meija, Graphic Artist
Sofia (she/her) is a 3rd year Marketing major with a minor in Film Studies. She is passionate about creating creative SFX makeup, film and fashion. Her hobbies include painting, playing with her dogs, baking, cosplaying and arts & crafts. Outside of school, she works at Thirteen Floors as a makeup artist. She joined the Paisano in Spring 2023.

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