THE POWER OF TEENGIRL FANDOM

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Young females have a way of propelling their heartthrob idols to the forefront of mainstream media – from Beatlemania in the swinging Sixties, to the modern day hysteria of obsessive One Directioners.

Nowadays, teen fandom – combined with the internet – has made becoming an overnight celebrity even more accessible to the everyday man. Only this week another viral star was born, as the Twittersphere exploded with #AlexFromTarget – a strapping, young cashier from American supermarket, Target.

In the space of 24-hours, the Texan shopworker went from being a complete unknown to a global internet sensation, featuring on news platforms and Twitter feeds all over the world. The photo showing him packing groceries quickly became a meme-ready phenomenon for no apparent reason, other than millions of fangirls announcing their new-found love.

Once again, this proves that the internet is an incredibly random platform that is beloved by teenage girls who pine after loveable boys. Of course, there has been speculation regarding the authenticity of this post, with many suggesting it was merely a stunt. However, the American retailer has outright denied creating or distributing the content.

We all know that social media has played a huge role in thrusting many a celebrity into the spotlight. One Direction have openly admitted that they owe much of their success to Twitter,  as it has allowed their loyal army of fans to gain almost direct access to the band and their everyday movements (slightly stalker-ish, but who am I to judge?).

So, there’s no denying that the internet is a celebrity making machine; from Canadian bad boy Bieber to Korean pop-star, Psy – the list is endless and a very much manufactured affair. However, in the case of #AlexFromTarget, it’s the organic and random nature that impresses me and makes it stand head and shoulders above the other celebrity internet glitterati. I wonder how long it will be until we spot brands trying to mimic and cash-in on the #from trend? Roll-up #PhilfromPhones4U!