The Fandom is Born
Since the creation of the Internet, it has become incredibly easy to communicate with people from all around the world that one would have never known existed otherwise. People with common interests of all kinds flocked to online forums to gush about their interests, and thus, the fandom was born, and would give way to incredible groups of people with surprising strength.
Stranger (Not-So-Much) Danger
Since the birth of the fandom, forums, blogs, and websites have been created dedicating themselves entirely to one TV show, Book, Movie, Artist, etc., and providing a place for people to share their thoughts on these subjects. But thoughts are not all these people share. If I have learned anything from being a part of a fandom, it is that the people you meet are some of the best and most sincere, and will most likely become incredible friends.
The Lovatic fandom has given me friends from all over the world that I met simply because we share the same love for an incredibly talented girl named Demi Lovato.
What the heck is a “Lovatic” anyway?
A Lovatic is much more than just a Demi Lovato fan. A Lovatic is someone who has been there through everything from her insane hair evolution (which one is your fave?) to every challenge she has faced. For Demi, there have been quite a few challenges, and in 2011, the Lovatic fandom was put to the ultimate test.
When it was announced that Demi had into rehab for “emotional and physical issues,” fans were shocked and upset, but we stood by her, admiring her strength to seek help. To show our support Lovatics began writing Demi’s signature heart on our wrists, which she would later tattoo on her wrist along with the words “stay strong.” This experience opened a lot of fan’s eyes, including mine, to their own issues, and the entire fandom grew closer as a result. Fans began to band together to show their support and love for Demi via twitter. Countless trending topics have been made with the help of fans from all over the world, and Demi has used twitter to reciprocate her love for her fans, trying to make her relationship with them that much closer.
Love is Louder
By early 2012, Demi was out of treatment, and healthier and happier than ever, but more than that, she was more inspiring than ever. Her song “Believe in Me,” released on her first album in 2008, took on an even more influential meaning to fans across the world, and the release of her song “Skyscraper” had fans more empowered than ever before. She became vocal about her struggles, including bulimia, bipolar disorder, depression, and self harm, becoming an even brighter beacon of hope for those also struggling in silence. At the end of 2012, the Stay Strong Documentary premiered on MTV, putting all of Demi’s issues out in the open. She revealed the bumpy road to recovery, and how, although it was one of the hardest things she has ever experienced, recovery is beautiful and so worth it. Also included the documentary are clips of fans being interviewed about Demi’s recovery, many saying that she inspired them to seek help for their issues as well.
Demi has been incredibly outspoken about her struggles, which has gained her more respect than ever for her strength and courage, but mostly for her true love she has shown for her fans. Not only has she shown her thanks on twitter, but onstage while she performs every night as well. Anyone who has been to or seen videos from her 2014 Neon Lights Tour, will know that she takes time out of every show to let her fans know that she will always be there for them, just as they are there for her.I have witnessed many of these speeches, which have been coined by the fandom as “warrior speeches,” as that is the song she sings along with them, and have been moved to tears by nearly all of them.
Each speech is slightly different every night, but March 8th 2014 is definitely a night I will never forget. After her original speech that night, she decided to keep talking, saying she had forgotten to mention this before. In her second speech, she talked about how it does not matter that
she does not know every one of her fans, because she and her music will always be there for us as we are there for her. I am sure anyone a the show that night will agree that after that speech they have never felt closer to Demi, but also have never felt closer as a fan base before.
Forever By Your Side
This concert was a perfect example of Lovatics coming together and showing that we are truly a family. During Demi’s warrior speech, almost every person in the audience held up a sign that said “forever by your side,” (Demi talking about it can be found at around 3:45 here). The fact that a few thousand people found out through twitter, friends, instagram, every social media outlet possible to print out these signs and hold them up during this one song is a huge testament to not only the dedication of this fan base, but the power of social media as well.
“We’re Unbroken, Remember?”
My experiences in the Lovatic fandom have been nothing but positive, even through some of my darkest hours, and I can honestly say that without the friends I haven made through this fandom, I do not know where I would be. After Demi got out of treatment she released a new album titled “Unbroken,” which then became the new motto for my best friend Ally and I. Ally is a 19-year-old-girl that I met in 2009, except she lives in Ohio and we did not meet in person until October of 2012. Nonetheless, because Demi brought us together, she has been there for me every step of the way since our friendship began and vice versa. Whenever one of us was feeling less-than-ideal, the other would say, “we’re unbroken, remember?,” which then led to the discovery (also thanks to Demi) of The Giving Keys. The purpose of these keys is to give them to a person who you believe needs the word engraved on it. So, we ordered each other “Unbroken” keys with the letters “BFF” on the back to represent our friendship, so we could be reminded of the strength we both give each other everyday. The ten-hour separation between us does not change anything about our friendship, and Ally comes to visit me in New York whenever she can, mostly whenever Demi is in the area for a concert as well. I could not be anymore thankful for the incredible people this fandom has brought into my life.
Fandoms Bring Hope
There are so many different fandoms out there, and although they are all vastly different, they do share one thing, and that is hope. People join fandoms to feel free to express themselves in any way they want around those who feel the same way they do. But what fandoms also do is provide support for those who need it most. They create a safe place for people to be themselves without judgment or ridicule, and provides a place for people to temporarily escape from whatever hardships they are going through. Being in the Lovatic fandom is something I would not trade for anything in the world. I have met incredible people, who have inspired me to be the best version of myself everyday, and I have never felt stronger or more love from any other group of people.
It is incredibly difficult to explain a fandom to those not familiar with it, but it is clear that Lovatics are much more than just fans both to Demi and to each other. The fact that one talented person can bring so much hope to such a large group of people is truly incredible. And what is even more incredible is the fact that this fandom has brought thousands of people from all over the world together simply because they share the same love for one girl from Texas. The power of human beings is so often underestimated and this fandom shows me everyday that as long as people continue to love and stay strong, hope will never be extinguished.