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24 July 2017updated 25 Jul 2017 1:24pm

What happened when Kendall Jenner superfans turned against their idol

Two years. 147,000 followers. One Pepsi advert. And 14 reasons why. 

By Amelia Tait

“We were getting tired of waiting for her to apologise.”

On 2 July, an online fan club dedicated to the model and TV personality Kendall Jenner made an announcement. Kendall Updates (@knjdaily on Twitter and @knj.daily on Instagram) was a two-year-old Kendall Jenner fan account, devoted to recording the minutiae of the celebrity’s daily life. Here are four photos of Kendall leaving a club. Did you see she appeared on Carly Walters’ Instagram story? Check out this video of her favourite baby powder.

But this update wasn’t like the rest.

“Why we decided to unstan: a thread” was a Twitter thread of 14 reasons why Kendall Jenner’s biggest fans didn’t want to be her fans any more. Five women from across the world ran the account, devoting hours of their lives and often staying up all night in order to be the best Kendall “stan” account. Stans (a reference to an Eminem song, as well as a portmanteau of “stalker” and “fan”) are people who are extremely devoted to certain celebrities; the word is also a verb, so that fans can “stan” a star. By 2 July, Kendall Updates had accumulated 147,000 stan followers across Instagram and Twitter.

“It wasn’t just like we woke up and we were like ‘let’s unstan’,” says Louisa*, the original founder of Kendall Updates. “We were expecting her to apologise but she never did”.

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The unstanning Twitter thread went on to accumulate more than 15,000 retweets and 31,000 likes. The reasons why ranged from a Vine in which Jenner appeared to fetishise black men, the fact she once wore a confederate flag T-shirt, and various instances of cultural appropriation. Then, of course, there was that Pepsi advert.

“She just acted like nothing never happened with the Pepsi thing,” says Louisa, “that was when we were really disappointed.” After the advert debuted on 5 April, Louisa sent Jenner a message through Twitter’s direct messaging service. For around a year, the model had sent messages back and forth with the account, after following them in February 2016 and thanking them for their work.

“We tried to understand her and we sent her a DM and we didn’t say we wanted her to apologise, but we told her that we knew that it was wrong,” explains Louisa. Jenner never replied. “I think she thought people would forget about it because her family is used to scandals and everything and they just stay mute and nothing happens.” Before unstanning on 2 July, Louisa sent Jenner another DM, lying that she would update the account less because she was busy with work and not because she had come to dislike the star. Jenner allegedly replied wishing Louisa well.

Kendall Updates started in 2015, when Louisa and four internet friends decided to create an account about their idol. The group encompasses 21-year-old Louisa, a 23-year-old from Costa Rica, a 21-year-old from Chile, another 21-year-old from the United States, and a 16-year-old from Italy. “When we started we wanted to be like the best,” explains Louisa – whose name has been changed as she fears backlash from Jenner fans. “We were always posting everything… everything she was doing daily. It took a lot of time.”

Now, Kendall Updates is dormant. “Yes, we still get a lot of hate because of [the thread],” Louisa laughs nervously. “They’re all saying that we wanted attention which is not true because we already had Kendall’s attention for years.

“I noticed she has a lot of fans that are all up her ass – I’m sorry – they’re all up her ass because they want her to notice them and that’s just stupid. I mean if you’re a real fan you want your fave to prosper and to be someone that it’s worth stanning for and she was just not that person anymore.”

When we discuss online fandoms, much of the rhetoric falls back on a cliché of rabid stans who would do anything for their idol, regardless of their misdemeanours. Louisa – and the other women behind Kendall Updates – proved to many that fandom has its limits. The last straw that prompted the unstanning was when Jenner and her sister Kylie released “disrespectful” T-shirts featuring their faces imposed over those of Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur.

Louisa hopes that other stans will be able to follow her example when their favourite stars make poor decisions. “I think people on stan Twitter see their faves as a god or something, because even when they’re doing something wrong they want to defend them and that’s just not right,” she says. “Celebrities are people and you shouldn’t act like they can do no wrong…you need to call them out because if you agree with what they’re doing then you’re just as bad.”

After the unstanning thread, Jenner herself unfollowed Kendall Updates and blocked the account, going on to like a subtweet that Louisa believes was about her and her friends. “If ur talking shit I’m just gonna block you, I don’t need negativity in my life sorrryyyyy❤ and a LOVELY BIG HEART AND KISS TO THE REAL ONES,” read the tweet from Lauren Jauregui, a singer, after Kendall Updates posted their thread.

Jenner now frequently likes tweets from other accounts that stan her. At the time of writing, her last two liked tweets are a video of herself from a fan account with 10,000 followers, and a gif of herself from an account with more than 96,000. Despite Louisa’s actions, there will be no shortage of Kendall stans on Twitter.

“We didn’t want to keep the account if we were posting about someone that just does not represent us and that was it,” says Louisa. “We were just tired of staying mute. I felt like I was stanning Kendall for absolutely nothing because she was doing nothing that represents me, nothing.”

Though Louisa is unsure if Jenner will change or apologise for her behaviour, she hopes the account’s actions will send a message.

“I think we need to speak out because people are where they are because they have supporters…so if they see that the public do not agree with what they’re doing maybe they will change.

“If they don’t change,” she says firmly, “then they’re just shitty.” 

* Names have been changed

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