Monthly Archives: May 2014

An open letter to the Tennessee Kid Nation

I have been a loud, proud (and often boisterous) fan of Justin Timberlake’s since I was 7. From the moment I saw him strut across the stage to ‘Giddy Up’ on the Disney Channel Concert for *NSYNC. The game was over from that point on (fellow fans, pun intended).

What was most exciting for me was that I shared this love for *NSYNC with my best friend. She and I were polar opposites therefore she favored JC and I favored Justin (my ranking order is as follows: Justin, JC, Joey, Lance and Chris…sorry Chris!). This worked well for our friendship because we never had to fight over the same guy.   I’d spend years battling it out with the best of the BSB fandome as to who was the better boy band—I don’t care if they’ve reunited 85 times, *NSYNC reunited for 45 seconds and the world went ballistic, better comeback..better band (even if only for a few seconds). However, I never did have any friends who loved Justin Timberlake.

I believe a lot of this stemmed from the fact that I am not a competitive person. I just don’t get wrapped up in that nonsense. Therefore, I wasn’t interested in finding another fan friend because I wasn’t interested in the pissing contest of “who loves JT more”. When forced into that competitive corner, a real ugly side of Miss Enlund rears its head. I simply don’t handle intense situations such as sports or UNO Attack! In fact, I spent more time defending Justin Timberlake’s brilliance than basking in it with another person. Plot twist: I was totally fine basking in the brilliance alone on my Timberlake island.

And then the inevitable happened.

One day during my favorite class circa….2007…, I heard a girl in the grade below me talking about Justin Timberlake. Said girl was going on and on and on about how she had gotten tickets to the FSLS concert. Envy began bubbling because I hadn’t gotten tickets and the entire tour was sold out. But alas, I rose above it and began discussing the wonder that is JT and wished her joy during the show.

“Ahh…I’m a huge JT fan, cant wait for it”—girl

“Me too!”—me

“No, but like, I’m a REALLY big fan. Been to all of his concerts. I just love him to pieces”—girl

“Yeah same, I just had bad luck getting tickets this year”—me

“I’m a bigger fan…”—girl

“I’ve been a fan since I was 7..have fun!”—me

“Well I’ve been a fan since I was 6, so I’ve loved him longer”

And then my head exploded. Even though she had “loved him from a younger age” she failed to recognize that while she was 6 and I was 7 the YEAR WAS 1998 and therefore we had both liked him since 1998. Petty… I know. Hense why I never cared to have JT friends.

The Mrs. JT nickname carried on through college.

Last summer, z100 announced that it was having a contest to determine who JTs Biggest Fan was. All you had to do was explain in 140 characters and then get people to vote. I’m bad at limiting myself to a few characters, but I knew I could get the man power behind me. The contest lasted about 2 1/2weeks. I was so touched by how many people pulled through for me. I had something over 5000 votes. The support was unreal and I was floored.

I basically teetered between 1st and 2nd with this one girl. Remember when I said I had an ugly competitive side? Well, I found her on any and all social media and stalked the bejesus out of her. When she’d knock me out, I’d get really aggressive and amp up the voting posse. I created a JTfan blog to try and campaign because I don’t believe in limiting myself. I monitored what she was posting and I envied the fact that…SHE HAD ALREADY MET JT! GIVE ME A CHANCE z100!!!!!

That was the most exhausting and intense two weeks of my life. Right at the tail end of it, that girl and I got knocked down and it got so intense that I sat down and said to myself…”if its meant to be, it will be”.

Then …. That girl (Andrea, btw) direct messaged me on Twitter. *raised eyebrow*. She and I started discussing what the possible outcome of the contest would be and how z100 would go about announcing it. She admitted to stalking me right back…and the other girls that were in the top tier with us. We mutually discussed the person we assumed won the contest before the poll was closed, Mauri. Andrea informed me that she had begun to connect with most of the people in the contest to kind of keep an eye on the announcement.

I wasn’t about that. No way was I getting involved with JT fans now..especially via social media. No pissing contest on my twitter feed, kthanksbyeeee.

Mauri was named JTs Biggest Fan and I felt a flutter of envy. I did the big girl move and followed her on some social mediums and decided that she was an alright person. Same decision followed with Andrea. Since the release of the second half of 20/20 my hesitation with connecting with JT fans has diminished and my friendship with Andrea and Mauri is something that I hold so dear to my heart. More importantly, I started following other Timberlakers. Such a great decision. JT is effing wonderful, I think I’m pretty great, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he has some of THE MOST awesome fans out there I can’t wait to meet my girls, #JTsisterwives, in December to see our man SLAY us at Barclays Center. Thank ya’ll so much for the support, friendship, and laughs! LOVE my fellow fangirls/guys.

 

Here is an open letter to the #TNKidNation #JTfam #TNKids #timberlakers all over the world :

 

Thank you #TNKidNation,

Our fandom is so much more than a screaming-to-tears, cyber-supporting “stalking”, retweeting fanatical group of people. We love JT and each other hard, support, share, and UNDERSTAND what it actually means to be slayed in the special way that only Mr. Timberlake knows how.

Outside of us, people have a hard time understanding why we get butterflies when JT crinkles his nose and does that grin. Following Justin throughout his career has brought us pride, fun, creativity, love, and pure ecstasy.

Thank ya’ll for being there to just understand and to share in the giddiness of this perfect #yearofJT. Following along on your reactions, how he has inspired ya’ll to create cool shit, and how much he just means to all of us has been so comforting. Its great to not have to justify or explain why I love Justin so much. Ya’ll just get it because you get equally as tongue-tied in trying to explain. Often there aren’t words to describe what following Justin is like…just beaming smiles and ridiculous uncontrollable body flails.

It’s because of the fandom that I don’t feel weird…at all.. for supporting every single thing Justin has his hands, including but not limited to: all of his brands, all of his band members, dancers, managers of various operations, his mother…and the rest of his family. Why only support just Justin, right? He clearly surrounds himself with amazing artists and people. Might as well!

What’s even cooler about the #TNKidNation is that so many of us have met up with one another. We’ve become real friends. Conversations don’t always revolve around Justin Timberlake or any of his other projects/brands. We’ve begun to lean on one another and support one another as individuals. That’s just beautiful and I hope it’s something that Justin realizes. His fandom his global—he’s connecting fans in the states with those in Germany. He’s fostering this connection for transplanted fans, in new areas, to find people close to them.

I am a proud Justin Timberlake Fan and even prouder member of the Tennessee Kid Nation/Family. So much love to all of you out there! Keep doin what you’re doing.

Erika

PS—a VERY special shout out to all of the MOMS who have supported our crazy asses and been on every line with us and shared in each and every panic attack that Justin has been responsible for.

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