WATCH: How not to behave as a fan
There is a fine line between fan and fanatic – and the line is easily blurred by the rush of emotion fans feel when they get to meet their celebrity idol in person.
This much was true at the Penshoppe fancon with Sandara Park and Nam Joo-Hyuk at the Mall of Asia arena last July 29, where some fans were called out for grabbing and touching a visibly uncomfortable Joo-Hyuk during a photo op.
Overzealous fans have been known to ruin many a moment not only for celebrities, but for the rest of their fandoms. In March for instance, Elton John – who was nice enough to let his fans surround him during the performance – walked out of a concert after one fan put his hands on the musician’s piano while he was playing.
Jennifer Lawrence even admitted to being rude on purpose, to defend herself from fans that feel too close.
No one wants to be that fan that pushes a celebrity to seek a restraining order, or makes a celebrity want to go in hiding.
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in a situation where you can meet your celebrity idol, keep the following things in mind:
Don’t invade their personal space
Spending money for tickets to a meet-and-greet or a fancon doesn’t entitle a fan to touch their idols without their consent. A cordial handshake may be okay, but anything more than that requires the star’s permission. Don’t hug them, and don’t touch them, especially in ways that may make them feel uncomfortable.
If you’re having trouble drawing the line, just put yourself in the celebrity’s shoes and imagine if someone you barely know touches you without your consent. The word for that is harassment – and despite Senate President Tito Sotto saying otherwise, it’s something that should not be taken lightly.
Don’t take their photo without their permission
With the exception of fancons, photocalls, and other public events where they expect to be photographed, don’t go all paparazzi on your favorite stars.
No matter how sneaky you are, they most likely know you are taking a photo of them, and this may backfire on you. Cole Sprouse, for instance, keeps an Instagram account @camera_duels, where he posts photos of people sneaking photos of him.
Of course, seeing your idol by chance in public may feel like a once-in-a-lifetime thing that you want to commemorate in a photo. If you don’t think you’ll be interrupting them in anything (for instance, they might be with their children, eating a meal, or in the middle of a workout), approach them calmly and ask nicely if they’re willing to take a photo. Most importantly, if they decline, respectfully accept their decision.
Don’t chase them down or follow them around
No one ever feels safe if they feel like someone is following them around – and while celebrities may be more accustomed to this than normal people, you don’t want to be the fan who subjects them to that anxiety.
Whether it’s at a celebrity event or out in public, respect the boundaries they set, and let them go when it’s time for them to go.
Ultimately, perhaps the best way to show one’s love for their idol is to respect their personal space and give them their privacy – in other words, treat them like the human beings they actually are. After all, celebrities may be public figures, but they aren’t public property. – Rappler.com