The perks and pitfalls of being a celebrity superfan

The perks and pitfalls of being a celebrity superfan

Johnny Cyrus rang in his 21st birthday in Might by touring from his Milwaukee house to San Francisco for Kylie Jenner’s pop-up store — the place the star greeted him with a $2,000 Louis Vuitton backpack.

‘I’d take into account it now extra like a friendship’
“Isn’t it cool?” Cyrus informed The Put up, utilizing the identical unaffected tone the Kardashian-Jenner clan employs when displaying off designer items on Snapchat.

He’s a licensed superfan: an elite group of followers who show devotion to their idols by way of obsessive social-media posts and attendance at celebs’ public appearances. And lots of of them, like Cyrus, are rewarded for his or her loyalty.

However Cyrus, who has 9 Jenner-themed tattoos (together with a letter Okay with a crown), not calls himself a superfan. “I’d take into account it now extra like a friendship,” he mentioned.

Whereas Jenner boasts some 111 million Instagram followers, she herself solely follows 136 individuals — Cyrus is one in every of them, and the 2 direct-message one another nearly each day. “Just lately, I informed her that I missed her blond hair and she or he was like, ‘Don’t fear, it’s coming again quickly,’ ” Cyrus mentioned. “The following day, she had blond hair.”

His love of the reality-star-turned-cosmetics-mogul started in 2015 when Jenner launched her app, on which she would give paying customers a peek into her life.

From there, Cyrus attended one in every of Jenner’s meet-and-greet occasions in Chicago. However he may solely see her, not meet her, as a result of he hadn’t bought the best degree of entry. Lesson realized, he purchased a round-trip flight to Orlando, Fla., for a VIP occasion which price $250. (He pays for his journeys together with his wage as a licensed nursing assistant).

One thing clicked once they met, and Jenner started replying to Cyrus’ tweets about her. She even launched him to her household when he attended the “Conserving Up With The Kardashians” 10th-anniversary taping in 2017 in Los Angeles.

Myleeza Mingo (left) with Kim Kardashian on the Create and Domesticate magnificence summit in Los Angeles.However that’s not as excessive because the time Jenner’s sister Kim Kardashian invited her personal superfan Myleeza Mingo to look on the present in August 2015. The sequence’ government producer Farnaz Farjam mentioned that Kardashian considers the 24-year-old girl from New Orleans her “alter ego” after recognizing her on Twitter, the place Mingo usually posts in regards to the star.

Her obsession started in 2008, when Kardashian got here to Mingo’s hometown to find out about Hurricane Katrina’s devastation. “She placed on show how Louisiana . . . wanted assist,” Mingo mentioned.

Kardashian started replying to Mingo’s posts, and the 2 met in 2013 at a fan occasion. Together with her deal with @MyleezaKardash, Mingo now has greater than 35,000 followers on Twitter. (Jenner has boosted Cyrus from 5,000 Instagram followers to 147,000.)

Over time, Kardashian has gifted Mingo tickets to Kanye West concert events, Yeezy sneakers, an Apple Watch and a gentle provide of the star’s KKW Magnificence cosmetics.

Taylor Swift superfan Stephanie Nastri has additionally acquired numerous swag from her idol. Again in 2014, the now 34-year-old nanny from East Haven, Conn., posted a narrative on Instagram about discovering solace within the pop star’s music.

“I [talked] about how . . . [it] acquired me by some actually exhausting occasions, one in every of which was my wrestle to conceive my son,” she mentioned of her little one Leyton, now 2 years previous. “[Swift] commented on it.”

In October of that yr, Swift invited Nastri together with 88 others to Rhode Island to be one of many first to listen to her “1989” album. A month later, the singer confirmed up on the superfan’s house with a ride-on toy Mercedes, a piano flooring mat and a remote-control automobile for Leyton; and for Nastri, a diamond necklace which Swift had worn in a Weight loss plan Coke industrial.

However not all celebrity-fan interplay is optimistic. Over the previous few years, Swift has needed to take care of a number of stalkers. In April, a person broke into her downtown Manhattan house — for the second time — and was discovered sleeping within the singer’s mattress. Additionally in April, a second man was reportedly arrested at Swift’s Beverly Hills, Calif., mansion on suspicion of stalking. (Swift was not house on the time of any of those incidents.)

Taylor Swift performs with Stephanie Nastri’s son Leyton in a toy automobile she gave him.The identical month, a 3rd man was sentenced to 10 years of probation and GPS monitoring after violating a protecting order; he reportedly adopted Swift to a 2016 Texas live performance and e-mailed threatening messages to her household. And in 2013, a person was arrested for trespassing after swimming as much as Swift’s Rhode Island house.

”It’s actually disheartening to see individuals disrespect her boundaries in such a method,” mentioned Nastri. She clarifies that “a superfan . . . is a fan that actually loves an artist and is grateful for his or her work, however together with it . . . they respect and defend boundaries. A stalker is somebody who’s consumed by the artist — and infrequently with out rhyme or motive. They have no idea or respect boundaries. So far as strains that followers/superfans don’t cross . . . guidelines would come with the seemingly apparent ‘don’t present up uninvited on the artist’s home,’ and ‘don’t observe them round in the event you see them in public.’ ”

One movie star publicist informed The Put up that stars’ safety groups sometimes vet superfans earlier than they’re allowed private time.

“It is probably not a proper background verify — possibly somebody simply will get on the cellphone with them first or checks them out on-line,” the publicist mentioned. Meet-and-greet occasions are inclined to have loads of safety and, she added, are sometimes stored “contained” in an easy-to-patrol house.

It’s not all the time simple carrying the torch for a celeb. Mingo, who’s black, usually stands up for Kardashian in opposition to critics who take the star to process for sporting her hair in boxer braids and cornrows.

“Lots of people from the black neighborhood are like . . . ‘She steals from black tradition,’ ” mentioned Mingo, who works in publicity. “I’m extra like, ‘Look, y’all, possibly she is incorrect about this case, however she’s not making an attempt to harm individuals.’ ”

In the meantime, some superfans complain that their entry to A-listers is exploited by different followers.

Trevor McMullan with Girl GagaTrevor McMullanTrevor McMullan, a 25-year-old vogue stylist from New Jersey, made a particular reference to Girl Gaga in 2011.

“[Gaga] would discover that I . . . simply [wanted] to speak to her,” mentioned McMullan. “When [most fans are] assembly a celeb . . . it’s about getting one thing signed or an image, and it makes her really feel like a model.”

His tactic landed him amongst an inside circle invited to unique occasions. However that additionally acquired him observed by different followers who, he says, used him to get nearer to the pop star.

A Gaga insider confirmed that, a pair years in the past, “Twitter performed a serious function [in driving competition]. That entire fanbase was all the time on [Twitter] and the superfans would get into fights. Plenty of bullying.”

McMullan was notably turned off by one who gained recognition on Twitter by posting about Gaga’s whereabouts, and “turned well-liked on the again of her. It makes me upset that somebody that I genuinely simply wish to discuss to is getting used that method.”

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