I don’t think there was a defining moment for when I became a fangirl. Specifically someone who is a fangirl for books, movies, and TV shows.
It’s also difficult to surmise this because I sometimes mute or turn down the volume to this side of me in the real world. Part of the reason why is because it’s almost taboo to love something so wholeheartedly especially when it comes to anything fictional. But I’m really proud of the way fandoms have grown over the past years. I think it’s definitely more accepted now. I’m sure my fellow fangirls/boys (raise your hands in the air proudly) have joined an obsessive fandom at least once in their life. Whether it be One Direction, Justin Bieber. And I think nothing really compares to that sense of anticipation and suspense, that sense of bonding and community that only being part of a fandom can give you.
I like to attribute the start of my fangirling journey to when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out and I just had to go to Barnes and Nobles at midnight to get it. My parents thought I was craaaazy and they said let’s just come back tomorrow (ugh lol) so I came back right when Barnes and Nobles opened and proceeded to read the last book for the next 24 hours, no breaks. I think the first couple I ever really remember shipping was
at the start of my high school career, Chuck and Sarah from the show Chuck. Rewatching clips of them never gets old. And then of course, my fangirling moved on to The Hunger Games and then the movie. I remember getting so excited over the very first promotional stills from The Hunger Games and the 10 second teaser with Katniss running through the woods with fire in the background..
But this 10 second teaser was honestly the shit on Tumblr and the internet back when we first found out it was going to be a movie. But it was awesome because the fangirls/boys on Tumblr understood what it was like to feel excited over a simple teaser like this. What it feels like to have your one of your favorite books finally make it to the big screen. But we were not only united because of that, we were also united over our frustration with people calling Catching Fire, “The Hunger Games 2” or people who were more into the “Team Peeta” and “Team Gale” than the actual story. I bonded with people over press photos and press releases and actor interviews. There is nothing too small to bond over with fangirls. And then of course, it was a plethora of things, some of which include Sherlock, Merlin, City of Bones, Percy Jackson. It might sound crazy if you’re reading this as a nonfangirl/fanboy of fictional worlds. How can someone be so deeply involved and in love with fictional characters and a fictional world that actually do not exist? How can a TV show like Sherlock inspire countless variations of Johnlock fanfiction, photosets, gifs, memes, crossovers, cosplays, fanmeets and hours upon hours of posts analyzing a single look between John and Sherlock? I’m not as obsessed now with Sherlock now but when I was, the simple truth was that I loved these characters. Who wouldn’t want to solve mysteries with the enigmatic Sherlock played by Benedict Cumberbatch? Who wouldn’t want a partner-in-crime like John? And most of all, who, who, wouldn’t want a friendship like theirs? It’s a friendship that doesn’t really exist in real life but yet we, at least I loved it because the Sherlock with a heart of stone and sociopathic tendencies has a soft spot for John. Because the truth is sometimes we wish for the things that only fictional characters can give us. How could I not love the close bromance of Merlin and Arthur? How could I obsess over that underwater kiss between Percy and Annabeth? It’s kind of like your ideals are manifested into and shoved into a character. It’s a weird analogy but these characters are simultaneously your bffs, your lovers, and your precious children all in one..
Being a fangirl has not only let me become closer to many people in fandoms but it forced me to reevaluate the media I consume and really forced me to look at how women, LGBTQ+, and people of color are represented in books, movies, and TV. Because fangirls are never willing to settle for one narrative. Hint: Look at the fanfiction. And as devoted as fangirls are to these characters, they are always willing to look towards change and always willing to give a voice to the people who have not been represented in media. I remember when The Legend of Korra came out and people were shipping Korra and Asami left and right (I’m personally a Mako/Asami shipper shhhh) but I really think it had a hand in something that happened at the end of the series finale..
What I also love about fandom is that it’s a world of possibility and creativity. That any story is possible. I remember looking at gifs of alternate wizarding schools and thinking to myself, wow that is really cool and it should be canon.
I mean I won’t be the first to tell you that fandoms can be toxic because they can be. But I’m here to celebrate fandom culture. And the best thing about fandom culture, hands down, is the way they understand me as a fangirl. They understand why you feel the urge to watch a kissing scene again 10,000 times a day or how exciting is to reblog pictures of episode promos, and the great excitement of going to conventions and cosplay events. Basically they know what it’s like to revel in something that you love and that to love something wholeheartedly is rarely a bad thing.
I’m sorry if this post was a tad overdramatic and rambly. I kinda made this post on a whim and I think I have a tendency to sensationalize. But let me know if you are a fangirl/boy, what you are currently obsessed with and your experiences with fandom!