Fandom is a great thing. It builds a community around you. I can inspire you. It appeals to a huge tribal instinct deep inside us.
However, does your fandom constitute an obligation on your part?
At base level of course it does.
Let’s say you go to a friend’s house and watch a football game. You meet a person who is decked out, head to toe, 100% in team attire. Then they ask you how many points a team gets for a touchdown…
Is that person a fan? I think we’d all agree no.
So, let’s say you go to comic book convention and see someone decked out in a $5,000 Batman costume. Jokingly, you say “Uh oh… Joker better look out!” They reply,
“Joker, who’s that?”
You would shred that person’s fan card immediately!
So, yes at a base level your Fandom requires you to be knowledge about what you are a fan of. There is an obligation. So let’s take it a step further…
Let’s take our Batman fan. Let’s say you grill them and ask them every question there is to ask about Batman. They nail them all! Congrats fanboy!
So then you ask, “Why do you love Batman so much!?”
“Well, Batman is the epitome of human perfection. He’s honed his body and mind to perfection and has an iron will.”
Looking at your new friend you notice he’s really overweight.
Does this make him any less of a fan?
Is it intellectually honest to admire Batman and be Fat?
Shouldn’t our heroes compel us to be better? Shouldn’t we try to emulate our heroes?
If we don’t emulate their better traits are we really fans?
We can’t be rich like Batman, but we can be disciplined like Batman. We can train our mind and body like he does. And if he admire these characteristics in him aren’t compelled to do so? If we don’t doesn’t that diminish our fandom?
I think so.
But instead we have this…
There are so many overweight comic book fans that this company advertises 4X and 5X shirts are now available. They must have gotten that many requests for larger size that they felt the need to advertise the larger sizes.
Being overweight and a comic book fan goes hand in hand so much that it’s a stereotype.
There is something disingenuous about it.
What about other Heroes?
Captain America volunteered to put what little he had on the line to fight evil.
If you don’t volunteer your time to make the world better are you a real Captain America fan?
Wonder Woman left her comfortable life to change the world.
If you don’t try to make a difference are you a real Wonder Woman fan?
If your heroes don’t move you and they don’t change you then you maybe not be much of a fan.
At the end of the day these heroes are real but you are; if you are a fan there is an obligation to be more like your hero.