Being a fangirl or fanboy is no laughing matter.
It takes courage, dedication and a special brand of contemplative obsession that cannot be faked or reproduced. It takes proper motivation – a true love of the trade.
Now, what does fangirling actually entail?
Let me tell you, it takes a lot of work. It’s tough and emotionally draining.
As a self-proclaimed and longtime fangirl, I have had my fair share of obsession and #FANFEELS. I have cried in the pages of books, rewatched movies on loop for days straight, listened to the same song for weeks at a time, read my weight in fanfiction, stalked the internet for pictures of my baes and queens and spent more than I would like to admit on merchandise. I mean slap a lightning bolt and an HP on anything and I buy it. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. I’m a total sucker.
Probably my earliest fan memory is being four years old and watching The Fox and the Hound, one of the most heartbreaking movies Disney has ever made (the bastards!). I remember spending many afternoons watching the movie on my parents bed, sobbing hysterically, then rewinding the VCR (shout out to VCRs for making my childhood that much more socially deprived), rewatching and crying all over again. I couldn’t stop. I was stuck in a masochist cycle of rewatch-cry-repeat, too overcome by friendship feels and cute forest animals to stop.
Side Note: Not much has changed to be honest. Writing this now, I realize this one anecdote explains the entire essence of my life.
Many could say that being a fangirl is a waste of time and energy. That spending all that time fantasizing over fictional things, celebrities or just plain things you enjoy doing is not healthy or productive. And while excessive obsession is not good, I think a healthy amount of fangirling is necessary in everybody’s lives.
So here’s a post on the valuable qualities of fangirls and fanboys everywhere.
1. Fans are resourceful AF
No concert tickets? NO PROBLEM. Hit that Twitter, scroll down that Tumblr, call your local radio stations and scour the internet until you find someone somewhere who has an extra ticket.
Not enough money to fly yourself to the Game of Thrones premiere? NOT AN ISSUE. Just host your own premiere party, invite your friends, make some dragon cupcakes and dress up as your favorite version of Dany T.
There is a mystery to be solved concerning your favorite member of your favorite boy band? NOT TO WORRY. Make a list of suspects, break out your case file and call the NYPD, Oprah or your best friend’s dentist – someone somewhere will have the answer.
There is no fandom problem or mission that can’t be solved by pure fan will and ingenuity. A fan’s loyalty overcomes the negativity of the world and strives to conquer it all.
2. Fans are super creative
Creativity is a must for any one who attemps proper fangirling. Everything from Steven Universe fanart, Draco/Harry fanfiction, Time Lord Rock music and WOW cosplays to even actual world-changing projects and fundraisers can all result from a fan’s love of fandom.
Finished watching your favorite anime, but can’t seem to get enough of that Mako/Haru shipping? (They’re meant to be! I know it!) Don’t worry. Your shipper heart is safe. Break out your pen, grab your nearest notebook and let those words flow.
Just spend an evening scrolling through Tumblr tags or visit your nearest Con to see just how much art and creativity can originate from the passion of fans. Be warned though, it can get pretty crazy up in there.
3. Fans make excellent research specialists
Fans know how to find everything and anything about their favorite books, TV series, idols and movie stars. Down to analyzing every picture to the reflection on a tiny spoon (you’d be surprised how many times this has happened before), fans will put their research skills to the test and not surrender until they’ve gathered every piece of information available.
Fans are not daunted by breaking news and gossip. They’ll cross reference 20 different articles, look for official statements and not rest until they have evidence to back up their points of view. They know their sources! And isn’t that the basis of effective argumentation? #FANGIRLLIFESKILLS
4. Fans are extremely detail-oriented
On that same note, fans take pride in being precise when it comes to their fandom.
A dedicated fangirl of any Kpop boy group, for example, (*cough cough* me + SHINee = TRUE ❤ *cough*) will make sure to remember every detail – from heights, birthdays and hobbies to blood types, favorite Avengers and favorite brands of Japanese candy. This may seem extreme, but being a fan is #SERIOUSBUSINESS.
Also you never know when that information will become relevant. Knowing every piece of trivia related to your favorite TV series down to the color pattern on a scarf or the paradoxes of inter-dimensional travel could make or break trivia night at your local bar. An unprepared fangirl or fanboy could be the downfall and disgrace of an entire team. *shameeee… shameee… shameeeee…*
5. Fans are team players
Half the fun of being a fan is getting to share that fan love with other nerds like you. Magical fandom adventures include, but are not limited to: dressing in matching Halloween costumes, attending premiere nights, stalking kpop groups, going to book release parties, hosting sleepover marathons, and even planning epic themed birthday scavenger hunts. Getting to share those magical fan feels with others is an important part of every fangirl’s life.
Sharing fan love can also lead to actual real world projects like the Harry Potter Alliance, a nonprofit organization that was started by a group of fangirls and fanboys looking to combine their love of Harry Potter and their passion for service. #GETTINGREAL #FANGIRLSQUADGOALS
Some shout outs:
- To all my non-fangirl friends who have humored me throughout countless Harry Potter marathons and many fangasms (especially Masiel, you flawless thunderbird, you! <3).
- To my nerdy friends for always being true and totally awesome.
- To my family for being subjected to it on the daily. This is your life.
- To the majestic dolphin Pauli for planning the most amazing Steven Universe birthday excursion of all time and sharing in the cat whisker appreciation life. ^-^
6. Fans are experts
Fangirls are nothing if not experts. Like scholars of Russian literature, biological anthropology or Armenian history, they are the authority when it comes to their specific fandom. I cannot tell you how many times my friends have reached out to me when they were suffering through a Harry Potter related conundrum:
Mafe, what is a grindylow?
Mafe, what ingredients do you need to brew Felix Felicis?
Mafe, can you give me an in-depth description of the identity politics behind the four Hogwarts houses?
Can I??? I got you, friend. Fear not! *cue a 5 hour long rant*
In a way, fans can be proud voices of knowledge, using their above mentioned research and perfectionist skills to the benefit of everyone around them. You’re welcome, friends! *-*
7. Fans are passionate AF
Fans are intense and will go down with their ship to the end of the universe and back. Fangirling means being really enthusiastic about something not in an ironic, cynical way, but in an amazeballs, flying-off-the walls way. It means spazzing out or crying all over your face from emotions about fictional things, people you will never meet and even over your favorite snack.
I see you, french fries. *cries*
It means being a little ridiculous, but also having tons of fun and not caring what other people think. What’s so wrong with that, haters?
So to all the bizarre snowflakes out there who have never experienced fangirl feels, I don’t understand you but I feel for you. Hopefully now you can understand what fangirling is all about and be more mindful of your nerdy-ass friends.
And to all my fangirls and fanboys out there, keep on keeping on and fangirl responsibly. Liking something that makes you happy doesn’t mean you are weird, crazy or abnormal. Well, maybe a little…
But then again, who isn’t a little abnormal?
We are all weird AF and it’s time we embrace it.