I was asked by a friend to explain my opinion of what a fan is. So here it goes. A true fan appreciates the art not just the appearance of the one creating it. Looks do not always last but talent can last a lifetime. I mean look at Bob Dylan or BB King. They really don't have the looks but they have the talent. To be a real fan you have to understand the amount of hard work, pain, anguish, frustration, happiness, and determination that goes into what the artist is producing. So people who get pissed because they have to wait for a movie or cd to come out are fans but not a true fan. Actors, musicians, artists, producers, directors, and authors are all artists and they all deserve our respect and admiration for what they do to insure we are entertained. To simple not like an artist because of one mistake is not being realistic; they are human too and should be allowed to make mistakes. Take the Chris Brown and Rihanna incident, I am not a fan of the event but I am not going to shun their music because of it. They put time, effort, emotion, and long hours into getting were they are and personally I think we are lucky nothing worse happened. Working that hard on something or on building a career without any real break at such a young age can be strenuous and dangerous. There have been many celebrities that have had moments of stress boiling to the top and some have worked through it but others like River Phoenix self-destructed. So if you are a true fan It should not matter to you if someone cuts their hair or colours it or gets a new tatoo or peircing; what should matter is the fact that they are still here able to make things that entertain us. To be a fan of someone's looks is okay but you are not seeing the whole picture. With musicians for the most part, the only way to really see a glimpse of who they really are you have to love their music and feel their music. If you don't you will never really be a true fan. These artists have a lot to deal with not only their work, but paparazzi, appearances, photoshoots, interviews, family drama, as well as trying to find one moment of peace to themselves. Many people think that you have to like their looks to be a fan. I mean look at alot of the David Beckham fans most are women and most don't know anything about soccer. But if you simply like someone for looks, then how are you to ever appreciate them as a whole. And to go back to the example, to appreciate and to admire him you have to have an understanding of soccer which is one of the most important things in his life. Now there is a big difference between being a fan and a fanatic. Fans appreciate the work as well as the person themselves but fanatics obsess about these individuals through sending excessive gifts, writing hundreds of letter, photographing them every chance they get, sitting outside their homes or their families homes, and even having the delusion of some sort of relationship with these individuals. Oh but wait we have a word for that in the English language it is called Stalking. So if you are a fanatic or stalker then you will never truly appreciate the individual you are obsessing about. But one thing to always remember is that before you can be a fan of someone else; you truly need to be a fan of yourself first. Many artists will tell you that they are not fans of themselves however they may not be fans of themselves as a person but when they truly make a piece of art worth something they are a fan of that. And the funny thing is you can tell when an artist is happy with their work. The work flows. But if an artist is not happy with their work then the work is choppy and disconnected. Just like everything in life when we are happy with something that we have accomplished then we want to celebrate and rejoice but when we are unhappy we want withdrawl and can become depressed. It actually hurts an artist when the public doesn't like something they have made. They put long hours, pain, emotion, seclusion, sweat, tears and so much more into everything they do. And when we as a public don't accept that then it does actually have a effect on celebrities. I mean think about many of them work sick, with broken bones, while going through familiy dramas, personal troubles, amongst other things just so that we are entertained. So before you say you are a fan of something step back and look to see if you truly are a fan or if you simply like looking at them.