By Kelly Chian ’16
When someone mentions liking One Direction or Doctor Who, people start rolling their eyes. Oxford Dictionary defines a fangirl as “an obsessive female fan (usually of movies, comic books, or science fiction).” These fans spend hours watching and listening to shows, songs, books and everything related. More extreme than normal fans, fangirls have nearly an unconditional love for their topic of choice.
These fans sometimes cross boundaries and make people uncomfortable. They pour hours of their time into creating fanfiction or fan art to describe their love and ideal situations. On Tumblr, they create blogs completely dedicated to their infatuation. When discovering two people they think should be in a relationship or friendship, they start creating their perfect OTPs (one true pairings). These fans are criticized for buying all the merchandise and going over the top with their purchases. In various comment sections in different social media outlets, fights occur between fangirls on usually petty and irrelevant topics.
It is acceptable for sports fans to buy all the sporting material and even go to games with their bodies painted with their team’s colors. Sports fans have actual riots, but they are still taken seriously. When a fan buys all the merchandise and forms a mob, he or she is considered obsessed. The Super Bowl or World Series is equivalent to someone else’s concert from their favorite band. Both leave people jumping out of their seat screaming, however, that screaming fangirl is the only one viewed as extreme.
No matter what field fangirls choose, they will be criticized for their choice. If they fangirl over the popular music they are shamed for not listening to real music and only following the current trends. However, people that listen to more alternative music are considered posers and not actually interested in music. If they read science fiction, they aren’t actually nerds. If a celebrity is attractive, the fangirl only likes them for their looks.
In the 1960s, people did not harshly judge the girls who would pee their pants watching The Rolling Stones and form into mobs for the Beatles craze. Now that fangirls use Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and other methods to make sure their voice is heard, more criticism is allowed.
Don’t hate on the fangirls. They are passionate about their interests and nobody should take that right away. You never know, maybe you are one and don’t realize it. Being a fan of sports, politics or other topics isn’t much different than being a fangirl.