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Anti-fandom in the Xiaxue empire: A celebrity blogger and her haters

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The advent of the Internet and user-generated platforms has facilitated the rise of a new breed of celebrity. Bloggers, YouTubers and Instagram stars, armed with their laptops and smartphones, represent an important part of the contemporary media landscape. This article will investigate Singaporean social media influencer Wendy Cheng, known by her pseudonym, Xiaxue. Starting her Internet career as a blogger in 2003, Xiaxue has built a massive online presence over multiple platforms and is arguably one of the most commercially successful Internet celebrities in her country. Her thriving Internet career implies the presence of a large follower and fan base. However, we will look at the other side of the coin ‐ the anti-fans ‐ an often-neglected segment of users in the study of Internet celebrity. These anti-fans, individuals who strongly dislike Xiaxue, can be just as engaged and committed as fans, albeit in different ways. This article will analyse user comments on Xiaxue’s online video channel Xiaxue’s Guide to Life, and anti-fan platform Guru Gossip’s Abhorred Bloggers (Xiaxue) forum. Findings show that Xiaxue’s anti-fandom is driven by a moral economy related to her self-presentation, femininity and nature of her celebrity.
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Keywords: DIY celebrity; Instagrammer; Internet cultures; Xiaxue; anti-fandom; blogger; haters; microcelebrity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000419370482The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The multi – disciplinary nature of fan studies makes the development of a community of scholars sometimes difficult to achieve. The Journal of Fandom Studies seeks to offer scholars a dedicated publication that promotes current scholarship into the fields of fan and audience studies across a variety of media. It focuses on the critical exploration, within a wide range of disciplines and fan cultures, of issues surrounding production and consumption of popular media (including film, music, television, sports and gaming), The journal aims to address key issues in fans studies itself, while also fostering new areas of enquiry that take us beyond the bounds of current scholarship.
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