It wouldn’t be the weekend without another One Direction story going viral, but this one highlights some of the more disturbing aspects of modern fandom: Fans thinking that they have the right to comment on (and even change) stars’ love lives. See, a subset of the Directioners have decided that Louis Tomlinson should dump his current model girlfriend Eleanor Calder and get back together with his high-school girlfriend Hannah Walker. They’ve sent photos “in memory” of Louis and Hannah’s relationship to poor Eleanor, and they even got “Louannah” trending on Twitter over the weekend.
It’s really messed up, and what the fans probably don’t even grasp is that rather than endearing them to Louis, this weird level of possessiveness and invasion alienates them from their idol. The Daily Mail is one of the outlets that first broke the story; they spoke with a representative for One Direction, who said,
“It’s upsetting for Louis and Eleanor when Twitter campaigns like this start. I know some of the fans will think it’s a bit of fun, but it’s unnecessary when they are both very happy together.”
Louis also took to Twitter mid-last week and announced,
Truth of the matter is its actually not funny in the slightest. I’m reading through some horrible tweets very pissed off!
It’s clear he was doing his best to keep Eleanor calm; he tweeted messages like Love YOU! xxxx and thanked the fans who have been supportive. The Daily Mail also interviewed poor Hannah, who is a teacher’s assistant and has no interest in fame or getting back together with Louis. She’s also upset by the fans’ campaign but realizes how awful it must be for Eleanor and wanted to clear the air:
“I felt terrible so I sent a text to Liam [Payne]’s girlfriend Danielle saying to tell Eleanor that I’m sorry if I’ve offended her. I didn’t want to look like an evil ex-girlfriend.”
Now, some fans on Tumblr are claiming that the quote is fake, so take it with a grain of salt.
Real Person Fiction (RPF) has been around for decades, ranging from ’90s boy bands to the cast of The Lord of the Rings. When I was active in the House fandom circa 2006, you had to be vetted to join the LiveJournal communities ‘shipping Hugh Laurie/Jennifer Morrison, because the fans knew how hot-button the topic was. Honestly, it was kind of taboo to admit to making up fan fiction about how these real people should get together. I only read a handful because it soon became uncomfortable to see the disparaging things that people made up about Hugh and Jennifer’s respective spouses in order to justify this real-life ‘ship.
Fortunately, a lot of Directioners on Twitter do recognize that this campaign is cruel. I just hope that the Louannah fans are the exception, not the rule.
Photos: Metro.co.uk, Fanpop