Growing up, I was never an athletic person. I dabbled in the world of the arts: dance and acting. Eventually, I became immersed in the world of books, TV shows and movies. Suffice to say, I became a fangirl. Or as others would so nicely put it, ‘a nerd’. But being a fangirl has landed me with some pretty unique opportunities that I may never have come across.
I never looked at being a fangirl as a negative thing. I was passionate about fictional things. A lot of people are. I rave about books, TV shows and movies just like a sports fanatic raves over games and athletes. However, it seems like fangirls are often shamed for being fangirls.
You hear the phrases “grow up” or “you know these characters aren’t real right?” or “do you really need a mug with Captain Hook (Once Upon a Time) on it?” or “people you fangirl on the Internet with aren’t real friends.” So let’s break down these common fangirl shame phrases
Grow up: Yes, I am a 20-year-old college student. And yes, I still fangirl. I don’t think anyone is ever too old to fangirl. They tell us to grow up, but it’s something we’re passionate about. Just as an athlete is passionate about a sport. Just like a actor is passionate about acting. Or a singer passionate about music. We all have things that bring us joy. So why should we ever be told to grow up? In fact, I ran a Twitter poll that stated 76% of people, out of about 75, have been told this before.
You know these characters aren’t real right?: Of course we know fictional characters aren’t real. However, we like to immerse ourselves in a fictional world to escape our realities every once in a while. We follow a character’s journey because it interests us. We aren’t crazy because we look up to a fictional character. A lot of people looked up to Katniss Everdeen, and I don’t see what’s wrong with that. A positive role model is a positive role model whether they be fictional or otherwise.
Do you really need a mug with Captain Hook (Once Upon a Time) on it?: No, I probably don’t need Captain Hook’s face on my coffee mug, but I still want it. And I sure don’t need more than one, but I have them. To be fair, they were gifts. Fandom merchandise is sold for a reason. It’s okay to sport your Captain America t-shirt or your The Flash key chain. Or whatever you fangirl over, don’t be ashamed to match your fandom with your every day life!
People you fangirl on the Internet with aren’t real friends: This statement couldn’t be more wrong! I have met some awesome people from the Internet all because we share a common interest. Sometimes your friends don’t want to hear about the last episode of your favorite show you watched or what happened in the last chapter you read. But your friends on the Internet sure do! No, you may not personally know them, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t your friends either. I know I talk to some Internet friends every day to fangirl of course!
All in all, don’t let people tell you you’re too old to fangirl or that it’s embarrassing when you do. I don’t normally make it too known, but if I do, who cares? If it makes you happy, then fangirl to your heart’s content. Don’t let anyone ever belittle you for geeking out over a book or TV show or movie. Let your fangirl flag fly!