Doja Cat says fans feel like they have ‘ownership’ of her: ‘Subconsciously, I’m not real to them’

Doja Cat has spoken about her complex relationship with her fans after refusing to say that she “loved” them.

Last month, the singer and rapper took aim at fans who use the nickname “Kittenz” to describe their fan community. “If you call yourself a ‘Kitten’ or f***ing ‘Kittenz’ that means you need to get off your phone and get a job and help your parents with the house,” she wrote on the social media app Threads.

When her fans told Doja – real name Amala Zandile Dlamini – that she had previously referred to them by the fan name, the “Say So” singer continued to call it “creepy as f***”.

In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, which was conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike and her most recent fan controversy, Doja explained that she feels fans are over-invested in her life without really knowing her.

Asked why her fans often reacted so strongly when she shaved her head or her eyebrows, Doja said: “My theory is that if someone has never met me in real life, then, subconsciously, I’m not real to them.

“So when people become engaged with someone they don’t even know on the internet, they kind of take ownership over that person. They think that person belongs to them in some sense.”

She continued: “When that person changes drastically, there is a shock response that is almost uncontrollable…  I’ve accepted that that’s what happens… I have all the freedom in the world.”

However, Doja wasn’t entirely disparaging of her fans, saying: “Some of the most moving moments for me have been when my fans have stood up for me or for other people. That’s fighting for something real.”


Also as part of July’s online controversy, Doja upset fans by refusing to say that she loved them.

“I don’t though cuz I don’t even know y’all [sic],” she wrote.

She also hit back at a fan who asked what they should change the fan name to instead, responding: “Just delete the account and rethink everything. It’s never too late.”

As a result, a number of major Doja Cat fan accounts deleted their Twitter pages.