When Fred Jzeidric made Main Pop Girls Stanposting, the Facebook community turned into a hive of pop, memes, and a dash of politics.
Before, if fans of a certain artist wanted to connect with one another, they would have to do so in person. But thanks to the internet, and in particular social media, fandoms have now gone online. Online fandoms are abundant across social media and you won’t have to look far to come across at least one stan account. And when it comes to stanning, few fandoms match that when it comes to pop music. Female pop stars like Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are known to have fandoms so fierce they can give K-pop fandoms a run for their money. Social media is filled with pages, groups, and accounts that are dedicated to talking about their faves.
Fred Jzeidric was one such fan, or should we say stan, who follows and loves pop girls with a passion. This passion led him to create the Main Pop Girls page followed by the Main Pop Girls Stanposting group. You may not be part of the group, but you probably have come across one of it’s many viral posts on social media. NYLON Manila recently chatted with Fred, the college student from Tarlac who started it all, on how Main Pop Girls Stanposting came to be and his thoughts on how it became the cultural force that it is.
BEGINNINGS OF A POP STAN
Fred’s love for pop music took it’s root during his childhood days in elementary school. “When Myx: Daily Top Ten was still a thing when we were in elementary school, I developed an interest in female pop artists. I remember rooting for Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and the Pussycat Dolls to reach the number one spot every day. Since then, I’ve started exploring and watching YouTube videos about legendary female musicians such as Madonna, Cher, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston.”
“I grew up listening to one of the best eras in pop music, which included Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift,” Fred shares with NYLON Manila. He credits Taylor Swift in particular for being his first musical icon. “Her lyrics are profound, and her music has a strong connection with me. I’ve been captivated by her journey since her debut and have gained so much knowledge from her, not only through her music but also as a person. Taylor always stands up for women’s rights and rallies for positive change in the industry, whether it’s against her ex-boyfriends, other male musicians, or misogynistic label reps.”
Though the Princess of Pop herself Britney Spears holds a special place in his heart. “Britney Spears was a game-changer who dared to try things that no one else would. She revolutionized pop music and changed people’s perceptions of what it meant to be an entertainer.”
MAIN POP GIRLS STANPOSTING’S DEBUT
Fred eventually took his stanning to social media and joined Stan Twitter. It was at this time that he also created the Main Pop Girls in Facebook. “I’d talk about how a particular female artist is superior to others—who had more Grammy awards, number one hits, or other notable accomplishments.” But like with the toxicity we sometimes see when it comes to talking about female pop stars on the internet, Fred, for a time, found himself using his accounts to drag other artists. That was until he changed his ways. “I eventually realized that comparing female artists was toxic and not ideal. I realized that there is enough room in pop music for women to express their individuality and artistry to the rest of the world. I’m grateful I’ve outgrown of this phase, and I now celebrate all the music they serve for us.”
For a while, it was just Fred, the Main Pop Girls FB page, and its followers. Over time, they built a niche community for themselves in the corner of Facebook. But soon, the clamor for a more interactive group led to the creation of Main Pop Girls Stanposting. “My page’s followers requested it, so I decided to create [Main Pop Girls Stanposting]. We began as a small meme group parodying popular culture with Filipino content.”
In case you haven’t heard of the group, Main Pop Girls Stanposting is a public Facebook group where members are free to discuss all things related to the pop girls. Often, the members are stans of certain artists who are ready to spread the gospel of their fave or just people who just love pop music in general. According to Fred, he would describe a Main Pop Girl as “a female artist who has achieved legendary status in the music industry or has made notable achievements throughout her career. The Main Pop Girls are widely regarded as the rulers of pop music in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Rihanna are among them.” As for Stanposting, it’s a mix of the word stan for obvious reasons and posting “because it is catchy and trendy in Facebook groups.”
POP MEETS POLITICS
One thing the group is also known for is combining pop culture with that of Filipino culture to create memes and other content that have on occasion gone viral on Facebook. But aside from the fun, parodies, and memes, the group also has space to discuss more social issues. “I also projected it to be a social group for female artist fandoms where we could discuss and support not only their music but also their personal struggles. We speak out against the mistreatment of our favorite artists daily. Britney Spears’ conservatorship, Kesha’s case against Dr. Luke, and Taylor Swift’s master’s controversy are among the issues covered.”
And true to that female pop stars and pop culture isn’t the only thing you can find in Main Pop Girls Stanposting. During and even after the 2022 elections, the group was a hive for political discourse. Scrolling through the group, you would be hard pressed to not find a post discussing politics. It got to the point where Fred had to ban members from talking about it, which has since been lifted. But while some might think that politics in a group called Main Pop Girls Stanposting might seem off, pop and politics actually go well together.
“It is no surprise to me that our group page became one of the most political groups on Facebook during the 2022 elections. Main Pop Girls have always been political. I’m talking about Katy Perry promoting activism and then releasing Chained To The Rhythm; Taylor Swift challenging societal sexist double standards with the song The Man and empowering youth with her song Only The Young, Lady Gaga standing up for LGBT with Born This Way. Beyoncé speaking out against racism, police brutality, and empowering women of color with her song Formation.”
While the group’s endorsed candidate did not win, Fred does not regret the role the group played in the elections. “I’m proud to say that my group once fought for what we believe is right, and that I was once a part of a big and historic social movement.” And of course, when it comes to voicing support for just causes, that includes support for the LGBTQIA+ community. “Lady Gaga did not write Born This Way for no reason. It is important to support, uplift, and fight for the LGBTQIA+ community every day! I believe that Inclusivity, diversity, and allyship are so important in every aspect of society.”
FROM COMMUNITY TO ONLINE CITY
Fred never imagined that Main Pop Girls Stanposting turning into the cultural magnet that it would become. But the page is a proverbial main stay in Pinoy internet pop culture discourse. Many Main Pop Girls Stanposting group pages have been set up and taken down by Facebook for a variety of reasons. But just like how pop stars are primmed for their next reinvention, more pages pop up. The current Main Pop Girls Stanposting page was established in January 2022 and has ballooned from small community to city sixed well over 740,000 members. It’s influence extends further a search of Main Pop Girls on Facebook reveals multiple copycat pages as well as other pages dedicated to talking about male pop stars.
“I was genuinely surprised when it even reached 10,000 members,” he expressed. “I had no idea we could reach so many people in this way. Facebook has taken down multiple Main Pop Girls Stanposting group pages. But I believe my members and I have a strong bond, and they always come back for some reason. They continue to support me and believe in my leadership. We are now at 720,000 and counting, and I know it will continue to grow.”
THE DARK SIDE TO POP FANDOM
As the sole admin of Main Pop Girls Stanposting, Fred’s responsibilities include changing the description, tags, and settings of the groups, including the privacy setting. With a group whose size is as big as that of Pasig City, things can get out of hand. This is why he has two moderators, Prince and Shanie, to help him clean up the content in the group. But despite, or maybe because of this, there has been some tension between Fred and the group’s many members. Some accuse him of deleting their posts, censorship, and even blocking them from the page entirely. “I’ve never been able to dictate members’ statements or most of their actions. I can only monitor the community page and do everything I can to reduce the harmful posts and comments.”
Social media will always have its trolls and with a page that big, it will be inevitable that Fred will encounter them. Tring to remove them though hasn’t always been an easy process. “There are instances where people expect me to be in full control. But there are some things over which I have no power. The only way I can get rid of the trolls from the group is to use Facebook Group features like admin Assist, Report Tab, and Keywords.”
Fred admits that dealing with the stress of running such a large group has not been easy on him, especially when he gets hate comments on social media. “When things become more chaotic, I tend to panic. I admit that I am not the best at dealing with hateful remarks and harsh criticism. I wish people to understand that my world does not revolve around the group. I’m also a human being, and I have a life outside of social media, as well as other responsibilities.”
He also wants it to make it known that his decision for the group are always grounded in what’s best for it. “I have always chosen what is best for the majority and will continue to do so. Whenever there are topics and issues in the group that I disapprove of, I raise awareness and make announcements, hoping that my members will listen to me.” He adds, “I’ve always managed Facebook groups by trial and error, and I think I’ve finally cracked the code. It is to listen to my members.”
When the going does get tough, Fred likes to look to his pop queens for support. “When I’m having a panic attack over managing the group, I tell myself that if Britney Spears made it through 2007, I can make it through anything. Then I listen to powerful dance hits like Shake It Off, Fireworks, Diamonds, Starships, Rain On Me, or whatever song I want to dance to.”
A TOOL FOR GOOD
But despite all the personal struggles and hardships Fred may face when it comes to running the group, he still finds joy in it. It hits deeper knowing that the group has been used for good, instead of just talking about the pop girls. “Although everyone enjoys memes, I personally appreciate the fact that our group can help those in need. I never imagined that we could raise money for families who are at their lowest point. Several people have recently approached me to thank me for promoting their posts to a wider audience. It’s been a very beautiful experience for me, and I hope that my platform can help more people.”
At the end of the day, come what may, he hopes to see Main Pop Girls Stanposting be used as a community and forum to uplift all the female musicians and a safe space for people to share what they love.
“I’d like to see Main Pop Girls Stanposting expand and support more female musicians from the next generation of pop stars, such as Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish. I’ll always want it to be a social space where any fan in the world may find comfort and entertainment. Although I am aware that Main Pop Girls Stanposting will come to an end at some point, whether Facebook will disable it or whether I will archive it, I want the group to be recognized as a catalyst for change. I want it to be remembered as part of every fan’s childhood and make them feel nostalgic as if they are listening to a Britney Spears song.”
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