Welcome to Stanning 101

This week’s post is sponsored by the letter “S” for “Stanning.” What is stanning, you ask? Well since it is September I suppose it is as good a time as any to school you. Welcome students to “Stanning 101."

Here’s a quick equation for you:

STalker + fAN = STAN

The concept of Stanning can be used as both a noun and a verb. When you admit to Stanning you are simply saying that you are an extreme fan of so-and-so and you are currently in the act of doing something Stan-like, will do something Stan-like, or have done something Stan-like towards so-and-so.


Stan (noun) : I am a Stan.

Stan (verb): I Stan for Anderson Cooper.

Stan (future-tense verb): When I buy my Kanye concert tickets I will Stan so hard at United Center.

Stan (active present-tense verb): He is Stanning so hard for Lady Gaga.

Stan (past-tense verb): I Stanned for KC & Jo Jo back in the 90s.

Stalker fans have been around for years (Beatlemania, anyone?) If Stalker Fans, or Stans didn’t exist then magazines like Tiger Beat and Word Up! wouldn’t exist.

The term “Stan” grew in popularity after Eminem released his single “Stan” in 2002. For a crash course in “Extreme Stanning” please view the music video below:

There are regular fans and there are Stalker Fans, or Stans. A regular fan buys a magazine with their favorite celebrity on the cover. A Stan buys out the magazine stand, so they can wallpaper their bedroom with their favorite celebrity’s likeness. A regular fan buys an album. A Stan buys all the albums at the store just for “keepsakes” and then buys multiple albums on iTunes to actually listen to. A regular fan buys a tour t-shirt. A Stan buys a tour t-shirt, so they can ask a tattoo artist to use the image for a lower back tattoo.

There are different degrees or levels of “Stanning.”

Stanning by Numbers (on a scale of 1-3*): 

*Stans don’t have enough patience to go through a 10 step scale, so 3 it is.

1. Appreciation: I really like so-and-so and I dare someone speak ill against so-and-so in my presence.

2. Infatuation: Everything so-and-so does is perfection. So-and-so is my soulmate and  I have to let everyone know this.

3. Obsession: I want to be so-and-so. If I can’t be or have so-and-so then no one can (ie. Eminem’s “Stan” video).

You may be wondering, “Anuli, you seem like a high-functioning adult. What makes you qualified to teach a course on Stanning?”

First of all, I am a self-proclaimed “Pop Culture Enthusiast” (I dislike the word “expert") and  a proud alumna of Ball So Hard University (BSHU).

Secondly, I am a Stan. There I admitted it. I am a not a very extreme Stan (“1” on the Stanning Scale, maybe a “2” in my B2K days), but I do have a solid track record of Stanning.

Below for your viewing pleasure is my abridged personal history of Stanning:

Elementary School

I Stanned for the Spice Girls. When I was 7-years-old every picture pose needed a peace sign. How fly was my pink leather two-piece though? Yep, that’s a skort.

Let’s be honest — I still STAN for the Spice Girls.

Exhibit A)


Middle School

This was the height of my career in Stanning. It was bad, y’all. I STANNED SO HARD for B2K. I would classify myself as a Level 2 Stan during this period because I just knew that J.Boog was my soulmate. The inside of my bedroom closet was wallpapered with B2k posters. I didn’t like to have posters on my walls because they kind of creeped me out. My mom insists I once told her I would dodge a bullet for J. Boog. I honestly don’t remember saying that and if you ask me I will deny it.


I am currently a Level 1 Stan for the show Scandal. I prefer to go by the formal term “Gladiator."

I Stan so hard for Scandal that I wrote a post about it for TMG’s Engage Blog earlier this year.

I also do quite a bit of Stanning for Beyonce. Shoutout to the Beyhive.

Exhibit A) That time I dressed as Beyonce AND Blue Ivy for Halloween.

Exhibit B) That time the barista at Starbucks wrote “Beyonce” on my cup sleeve and I freaked out in sheer happiness. I kept the sleeve as a ”keepsake.”

Exhibit C) That time I celebrated Beyonce’s birthday with a photo collage.


Are you a Stan? If so, who or what do you Stan for?