For all of those who think that real person fan fiction is strange, especially youtubers, please let me break down some things for you. Now, this is coming from a grown woman and a struggling writer, I don’t participate in RPF fandoms, although I did as a kid.
Let me break a few things down for you:
1. Fan fiction writers and shippers are not shipping you. They are never shipping you. To say that is to believe that you, as a human experience, can be fully understood through media. Who you are to the outside world is a caricature of who you actually are, and that is what is being shipped.
2. Any time you put something out on the internet you are posting it up for public scrutiny. Shippers do not ship about things they dislike. They ship things they like. I would think this is obvious. It is a positive, not a negative for a struggling vlogger, etc. At least they aren’t spreading hate on your webpages.
3. They know it’s not real. Yeah, if you’re worried that they are slashing you and your best friend (putting you in a same sex relationship with your bffl), they don’t actually believe that you are sleeping with your best friend. The few people that go to those extremes are usually seen as tin hatters and shunned by the fan fiction/shipping community.
4. You are a flash in the pan for most shippers. They will obsess over you for a little while and then completely forget about you. Very few people will consistently ship you actively for more than a month or two. People move on pretty fast in these types of fandoms.
5. If it really upsets you, pay attention to your demographics. Make videos that appeal to a mature audience. You will get less tin hatters this way, since most of them are kids that don’t really know better anyway.
6. In truth, this isn’t about you. Michael Aranda said in a video a while back that youtube is in the personality business, and that is true for all types of media. When someone finds your youtube page or blog, they are searching for a type of personality. You may fulfill the fantasy voidthey are looking for. Yes, your caricature has become a fantasy.
7. No one is trying to defame or slander you. No one is trying to hurt you. Some people hide that they think you and your friend are cute together, others post it as comments because they just think you’re cute and it’s fun.
8. As a struggling writer and wanna be vlogger, I would be honored if someone shipped me. At least then you know what you are doing is moving people. I would die for that type of attention. A lot of people would.
photo credit: Asten