The intention here is to let people like whatever they want, to whatever degree they want to like it.
No law says we have to know about everything that we like. You can still love a Nirvana song and declare yourself a super fan. Why? Because you enjoy their music. Your knowledge of a particular band, movie character, book, or celebrity does not affect your likes and dislikes. Like many with strong opinions on normalizing things you don't know much about, one person has shared their take on fandoms and the notion of gatekeeping who exactly can join one. As reported by Intheknow, a TikTok user (@fin.doodlez) revealed their thoughts on liking things “you don’t know s*** about.” The intention here is to let people like whatever they want, to whatever degree they want to like it.
"Like, if I found someone who had somehow never heard of Star Wars, like, didn’t know anything," they say, "and I sat them down and I showed them any of the movies, and they were like, ‘Oh, that was cool. Like, I think I’m a Star Wars fan now.' That’s a Star Wars fan. That is a person who enjoys Star Wars because it’s about enjoying the thing, not knowing anything." Fin says they’re fans of the band Foo Fighters, having only listened to one album. "I love the Foo Fighters; why is that? My dad bought me a greatest hits CD at a garage sale he went to because he thought I would like it. And he was right," they say. "It got me through my summer job. Do I know who’s in the band? Do I know any of the songs that are outside of that specific CD? No, but I don’t need any of that to know that s*** slaps."
The viral post amassed 890K views and received severe backlash because they used the word “fan,” which is short for fanatic, but according to the comments, you cannot call yourself a fanatic without knowing much about your interests. In a follow-up video, Fin addresses some of the comments, saying, “I’m pretty sure the reason that a lot of people associate just the word ‘fan’ with liking something is the fault of, like, the super fans.” “Very universal experience to be like, ‘I like this thing,’ and then somebody quizzes you on it, and when you don’t know the answers to the quiz, the person says you’re being a ‘fake fan.'” Fin rejects the assertions that it would be detrimental to a fandom if you claimed to be a fan of something you didn't know anything about.
“And then there were people saying that calling yourself a fan when you don’t know a whole lot about that is, like, harmful to the fandom. And that’s just simply not true,” they explained. “The thing that hurts fandoms is when new people aren’t coming in and enjoying your thing…So it’s just the same people talking about the same things over and over again with no new content coming in.” Fin argues that while some people choose not to further educate themselves, there are others who want to but “don’t have the energy to consume new content all the time.”
“My point still stands. So long as you’re not being a d*** to people, if you call yourself a fan it doesn’t hurt anything. Like, you aren’t taking anything away from anybody else,” Fin adds. Fellow TikTok users in the comments had a divided response, but many, who share the same perspective, praised Fin. "If people can say they love Crumbl cookies or Starbucks, you can say you're a fan of something you kind of like a lot. It shouldn't be that serious," commented @collarbonehigh. "If they want to get that specific, then fanatic is specific to a religious or political cause so music fans can't exist," added @_itsjustbeth.