Some might say “any age” is too old to be fanning out over a celebrity on social media. But this young woman, at 21, feels like she’s reached her Stan peak and plans on bowing out of the game...MAYBE.
This BuzzFeed post by Katie Notopoulos tells the story of Louisana native Myleeza Mingo, who became a Kim Kardashian devotee at 14 and runs the Twitter account @MyleezaKardash. The Stan (aka Super Fan) life seemed destined for Mingo once she discovered Keeping Up With the Kardashians and, as Katie Notopoulos writes, “didn’t see the show as a sign of the impending fall of Western civilization, or 22-minute chiaroscuro of the vapid nature of celebrity. She saw three stylish sisters, whose humor and charisma made the show incredibly watchable.”
Alas, being a super fan is a time-consuming career that comes without money, benefits or stock options. Things have changed for Mingo:
Right now, Mingo is facing a new chapter in her life — she just graduated college — and so she’s considering retiring from the stan lifestyle. But can a true stan ever give it up?
“I’ve been doing this since I was 14 years old,” says Mingo. “It’s something I love to do; it’s really become my hobby, so it’s like giving up something you’ve been doing for almost 10 years and you realize it’s time to hang it up. It’s just a sad sad day. I grew up so fast — I’m about to be 22 in August and I have to be an adult.”
Mingo admits it’s tough to break away, even more so because the person she Stans for actually knows her name. Kim has done the unthinkable and interacted with Mingo offline—she also bought her a goddamn Apple Watch as a college graduation gift because it’s the least Kim could do after getting years of free promotion and marketing in exchange for the fandom.
Kim once replied to her on Twitter, and she actually recognized Mingo when she showed up to a perfume-signing event. The two struck up a friendship; Kim invited her to a Kanye concert and even visited her on her birthday.
And Mingo’s retirement announcement on Twitter got a retweet from Kim, who wrote “I’m going to cry.”
Mingo majored in public relations and business, and she knows that the sizable audience she’s built on social media (26,000 Twitter followers and 21,000 on Instagram) is seen as an asset in those industries. If she goes through with her “retirement,” she plans to keep those accounts active, but just switch over to less stan activity and have each of them function as more of a personal account.
Mingo isn’t entirely sure she’s ready to end all Stanning activity—she’s “not 100% dead on it.” But she realizes it might be time.
“I’m 22, I’m getting ready to start my career, I just graduated college, and I just really think that it’s time, even though I’m reluctant to give it up,” she says. “I’ve had my fair share of years on Twitter cursing people out, all things a real stan does. But it’s time to hang up my stan shoes.”