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12th Mar 2024

Have Reneé Rapp fans crossed the line with their concert signs?

Anna Martin

reneé rapp

Reneé Rapp has been having a real moment

The singer has been selling out shows here there and everywhere and with this, comes a lot of concert signs.

You know the ones, think Kourtney Kardashian holding up one that said, “Travis, I’m pregnant,” when she announced she was expecting.

But instead of the usual, “I love you” and song requests, fans of Reneé were holding up signs with crude messages written across them.

It got to the point where Reneé herself had to ask concert-goers to relax things on her Instagram.

Over on her reported Instagram spam account, Reneé addressed those signs, saying: “Sometimes signs are funny and other times they make me feel like a piece of meat!”

Reneé Rapp
Credit: Getty

She continued in the comments: “AND also I get that the intention is to be funny, I really do understand it, I just feel a little weird about it recently.”

While the singer has been expressing her discomfort and many fans have been supporting her, it does raise the question of why people believe it’s okay in the first place.

It could be down to something called parasocial relationships, a type of one-sided relationship typically with an everyday individual, celebrity or fictional character whom they have never met.

The term was first coined in 1956 by sociologists Donald Horton and Richard Wohl who describe it as a sense of false intimacy made possible by radio, television and cinema.

Speaking to Forbes, clinic psychologist Melissa Gentry explained: “In this digital age, we are increasingly connected to media personalities, celebrities and social media influencers through screens.

“While these relationships can bring a sense of connection and admiration, they also have potential risks and impact on individuals’ emotional well-being.”

This could be a reason why Reneé’s fans feel comfortable enough to put crude messages on their signs. They have this feeling of closeness to the singer, like they know her on a personal level.

Reneé Rapp
Credit: Getty

What they may see as banter with a ‘friend’ or someone they understand on a deeper level, isn’t received the same way by the singer which is completely understandable.

After all, while fans know a lot about a celebrity, they are still a stranger on both sides of the perceived relationship.

Now, not every parasocial relationship is unhealthy as they often can satisfy a need for companionship and social connection but when the lines get blurry, that’s when red flags should be raised.

At its most severe, a parasocial relationship can also exist where an individual is unable to distinguish between a one-sided interaction and a genuine one.

This is known as erotomania, an uncommon mental health condition defined by an individual’s false belief that someone, usually a person of high status such as a celebrity or politician, is in love with them.

Reneé Rapp
Credit: Getty

The best way to avoid this is to try and keep yourself grounded in the present and with the people you actually see in person on a regular basis.

While there are some benefits to engaging in a parasocial relationship, Dr Gentry emphasises the importance of finding balance.

Connecting with others in real life and taking time for self-reflection can result in what she calls a “more fulfilling and emotionally balanced life”.