Christopher Maurice Brown, also known as “CB”, has been my longest obsession. This is where my fandom starts…
A framed poster, concert ticket’s, tours, albums, t-shirts and one of his dancer’s sunglasses are just a few of the materialistic possessions that link me to my biggest idol. Wikipedia (2013) identifies Christopher Maurice “Chris” Brown (born May 5, 1989) as an American recording artist, dancer, and actor.
These materialistic items are cross-promotional materials for global circulation mainly to increase profits. However, it is one of the only ways we can physically show devotion and support for a role model. My heart melts to his music and I get so excited when a new song is released, however this cannot be measured by Chris Brown himself, instead we show our appreciation and fondness through purchases or YouTube “watches”.
Chris Brown “F.A.M.E Tour” 26th April 2011
Pearson, R (2010) states that “the digital revolution has had a profound impact upon fandom, empowering and disempowering, blurring the lines between producers and consumers and creating symbiotic relationship” p84. Where do we draw the line between a fan and becoming obsessive? Fandom is a hard thing to measure and a devotion to something that is incredibly “well liked” by an individual is increasingly hard to calculate, especially with new forms of digital technology that gives us access and connects us globally in different ways.
Personally, I believe the only difference between fandom in our generation and fandom in the past is our technological advancements. We have greater access, more connections and are more educated in media areas. For example, Chris Brown has the following media sources which would not have been available and accessible in precedential times.
Michala Johnston’s blog post “Friends Forever” offers a broader perception of this change on the difference between fandom in the past and fandom in the present. She elaborates that “although the last episode well over 9 years ago, my connection to ‘Friends’ has grown stronger rather than weaker over time. This could be now that I am older I feel a stronger sense of connection to the characters as I am able to relate to them more”. Evidently, proving that the difference is not only due to technological advancements, but also our own emotional and physical developments. http://michalaj.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/friends-forever-3/
In the early eras of fandom, fans were able to access information about their role models through forms of mass media, including magazines. It has been difficult for these traditional forms of media to align business interests with fan activity. Although many fan magazines in 1911 were closely associated with the movie industry and saw the exploitation of Hollywood.
Cosmopolitan Magazine is one of Australia’s most popular forms of traditional media amongst youth. Through the use of articles, fan mail, celebrity links and sexual facts, the magazine is able to encouraging fans using real life celebrities and scenarios. Much like Jenkins (2006) the pop-cosmopolitan magazine is able to generate:
- Relationship to types of reception
- Role in encouraging activism
- Function as an interpretive community
- Status as an alternative social community
- Traditions of cultural production
What kind of fan are you? Have you helped the fandom industry financially in terms of purchasing material possessions? How do you think fandom has changed over the years? Do you use traditional forms of media to access information or do you use new technological advancements? Does it really matter how we show support for our idols?? NO! As long as we are showing some form of appreciation!
Art8amby, Word press, Rihanna for Cosmopolitan US July 2011, JPEG, accessed 08/09/2013, https://art8amby.wordpress.com/2011/05/29/rihanna-for-cosmopolitan-us-july-2011/
Bowles, K 2013, Fandom, lecture, BCM240, University of Wollongong, delivered 02/09/2013
Chris Brown World 2013, News, Music, Media, Tour, Community, Shop, accessed 08/09/2013, http://www.chrisbrownworld.com/us/home
Cosmopolitan 2013, Online Cosmopolitan Magazine, accessed 08/09/2013, http://www.cosmopolitan.com.au/
Facebook 2013, Chris Brown Facebook Page, accessed 08/09/2013, https://www.facebook.com/chrisbrown
Johnston, M 2013, ‘Friends Forever’, University of Wollongong, weblog post, WordPress, 8 September, accessed 26/09/2013, http://michalaj.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/friends-forever-3/
Pearson, R 2010, ‘Fandom in the Digital Era’, Popular Communication: The Journal of Media and Culture, vol. 8, no.1, pp84-95
Twitter 2013, Chris Brown Tweets, accessed 08/09/2013, https://twitter.com/chrisbrown
Wikipedia 2013, Chris Brown, accessed 08/09/2013, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Brown
Youtube 2013, ChrisBrownVEVO, accessed 08/09/2013, http://www.youtube.com/user/ChrisBrownVEVO?feature=c4-overview