Presentation: Teenage Fan Hysteria

a condition of extreme excitement characterized by emotional disturbance, sensory and motor derangement and sometimes the simulation of organic disorders. — hysterie, n. — hysteric, hysterical, adj.


Teenage fan hysteria is a phenomenon that occurs when teenagers are in the presence of an idol or a desired object. There have been numerous consistent riggers of hysteria throughout history, including appearances of Elvis, the Beatles and other music stars. The term conjures a generalized image of shrieking fangirls and roaring, moblike teenage crowds. The term is very much associated with fads and brief episodes of fame. Notably, however, in the twenty years of Elvis’ career, his fans aged with him.

The term has been expanded in recent years to accommodate irrational behavior around collection and consumption of Japanese consumer goods and popular books releases. The term gained ground with the reports of hundreds of Japanese children lining up outside toy stores to receive their first (or fifth) Tamagotchi. During the Pokemon craze, however, this became a global phenomenon affecting numerous media, including trading cards, costumes and toys. Such patterns of excessive purchase of brand-like lines of consumers goods have since been extended to books such as the Harry Potter series and to an extent the Twilight series.

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