Fan culture has always been around. Beatlemania in the 60s, Hendrix fans in the 70s, and my personal favorite, Directioners in the 2010s (please never ask me about the fan behavior I engaged in around this time, I will deny everything). The news has always been a tool for fandoms, but now that the internet is available stans don’t need the mainstream media anymore. This has led to an environment surrounding many fandoms that one journalist described as a toxic culture “equipped only to attack”.
It was with all this in mind that I stumbled across the greatest fan account I have ever seen, @myh.onestface on instagram.
The experience of discovering this account felt like finding a Rolex in the dumpster fire that is stan culture. The account was created to support the band Inhaler, an alternative/ indie group based in Ireland. However, rather than attack other people who do not support the band, the owner of the account engages in what can only be described as supportive, light teasing of the band members themselves. To understand please look at the images below:
Now obviously, this is hilarious. It’s also not the typical support you see from fandoms. When I asked the owner of the account what prompted her to start posting, she said that she “wanted to make friends” who also loved the band. As for the style of posting, she said that she “went with memes because no one else had done it” and because she “[likes] to make people laugh”. Her account is a staple in the Inhaler music community, and a very positive one at that. So, even though the toxic stans may be the ones dominating the articles online, that is not the only facet of fan culture. And when Inhaler hopefully perform in California, you can bet I will be making this meme into a 24x36 poster.