Let no one say the fandom life is easy.
Because it’s a battlefield, okay? A battlefield of passion and emotion and occasionally blood — because paper cuts are a real issue and also being so distracted thinking about your fandom that you accidentally walk to Egypt and get eaten by a camel. I, for one, think fangirls deserve respect and admiration for all we go through. Especially potential-death-by-camel. And if you’re making fun of someone for being passionate and enthusiastic about art then you, sir, need to sit down.
Fangirls keep books and movies and shows ALIVE. They are very important. They should be honoured and perhaps gifted golden laurels biannually.
And before we go on to discuss just how hard the fandom life is, I want to point out that “fangirl” is a gender-neutral term. Don’t come at me with your “fanboy” things. No, no. Fangirls are absolutely anyone who is passionate about something. It doesn’t even have to be fictional! I am deep into the cake fandom. You know I am.
Today I’m linking up with Top Ten Tuesday for their prompt “Fandom Freebie” and I’m doing 10 Fangirl Problems because the struggle is real, peoples, and it’s okay that we have many fangirl life crises. We can go forward, though. We are strong and brave inside and there is cake to aid us.
1. WHEN YOU’RE NOT PART OF A MASSIVE FANDOM AND FEEL LIKE AN AWKWARD PIECE OF SOUFFLÉ.
Maybe you hate That Massive Popular Fandom. Or maybe you just don’t care about it??? Don’t see the hype??? But either way IT’S LIKE BEING SO ALONE AND OSTRACISED. Ostriches probably have more luck with life than you when everyone is raving and flailing about a spectacular book series and you’re sitting there smiling awkwardly and wanting to burn something down.
Also it gets downright annoying when you see it everywhere and you just do. not. care. It rapidly goes from:
Stage #1: I don’t care.
Stage #2: I really would rather not have that fandom slapped in my face every time I enter the internet thanks.
Stage #3: I know all the freaking spoilers and I still don’t care.
Stage #4: I’m going to murder a baby soufflé if I see another fandom reference again.
Stage #5: THERE !! WILL !! BE !! BLOOD !! TONIGHT !! GET IT AWAY FROM ME.
Please spare me for goodness sakes.
2. WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR ALL THE FANDOMS YOU’D LIKE TO BE INVOLVED IN.
The problem is there is SO MUCH EPIC ART OUT THERE. And I want to eat it all. Oh Marvel has a new TV show out? Lovely. Oh there’s 93028 books on my TBR? Nice. Oh I want to reread Harry Potter? Gotcha. Oh I need to like actually work/school/socialise with the trees/clean/buy groceries/maybe make a relationship with a living human??? Why do you ask so much of me.
I have 1000+ books on my TBR. I have like 20 shows I want to watch. I watch about 1 movie per year because I DON’T HAVE TIME.
Excuse me while the wait of the fandom world crushes me.
3. WHEN YOU ARE AS ARTISTIC AS A GNAT.
There are basically three types of fans: (1) the fan that makes epic fanart, designs things, writes, (2) analyses, remembers every detail ever, is like a true encyclopedia of weirdness, knows the blood type of the characters basically, and (3) the blob who can do nothing but consume.
I am #3.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO MAKE SUCH AMAZING FANART OR DO AMAZING DOODLES IN THEIR BOOKS OR MAKE EPIC GIFS OR HAVE COOL FANDOM SHOES.
I mean. I drew a stick figure once. I’m getting there. And I take photos of books, so.
4. WHEN YOU’RE IN A FANDOM THAT ISN’T EVEN A FANDOM BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT IT.
Underrated things are really great because they give you such a delicious surprise of discovery! Move over Indiana Jones, I am the PINNACLE OF EXPLORATION HERE.
No one else knows about this epic thing except you. And you can attack your friends with the book or threaten their lives with a vaguely austere spork until they join in. But yet. It’s still lonely???? Obscure fandoms are actual torture because they’re so good and NO ONE APPRECIATES IT. I’m suffering. Do I seem like I’m suffering? The suffering is real.
5. SO. MUCH. WAITING.
See the trouble with being a rabid fan of something is you have to wait for the creators to make it. Another year till the next season. Another year till the next book. Maybe two years. Maybe nine. Maybe you just give up waiting and start 387 other fandoms and then LOOK AT THE EMOTIONAL MESS YOU’RE IN.
Cause Of Fangirl Death: involved in so many fandoms it caused spontaneous combustion.
Also I hate waiting.
6. WHEN NO ONE UNDERSTANDS YOUR FANDOM REFERENCES.
After a while, everything is a reference, okay?? And when no one is around to admire your wit, it’s just depressing.
I found a black rock on the beach recently and I raised it to the sky and said, “NICE A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC REFERENCE. GOOD JOB, NATURE.” Nature didn’t even care. Nature didn’t even acknowledge me. It’s so rude.
The neighbours still have their Christmas lights up which, obviously, is a Stranger Things reference.
My family needs to catch up and appreciate my reference puns and why I shout “IT’S SUNSET ORANGE, PEETA” whenever I mention my favourite colour.
7. WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE A “TRUE FAN” COMPARED TO THE SUPER FANS.
This is the dumbest problem to have but it IS a problem. I suffer from it!! I know there is no “level of fanship” out there and as long as you adore something, it’s fine no matter the degree of your enthusiasm. Just adore! Have fun!
But yet. If you arrive late to a fandom, it’s sometimes hard not to feel like a small fluffy hatchling. Or when you realise someone’s read your favourite book 93 times and you’ve read it like…once. Or someone baked Supernatural cupcakes with demon trap icing and you’re here saying the show is your #1 favourite but yet you can’t remember what episode you’re up to watching so you’ve kind of paused for a while. *
LIKE, HECK, I LIKE HARRY POTTER BUT I HAVEN’T GOT THE FAINTEST WHAT NUMBER PRIVET DRIVE HE’S ON. AM I EVEN A FAN??????
* Okay fine THIS IS ME. THIS IS SO ME. Help me, what episode am I on??? They took that hiatus in Season 12 and now I’m doomed. BUT I SWEAR THIS IS MY FAVOURITE SHOW.
8. WHEN PEOPLE DON’T RESPECT THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF FANS.
Because not all fans will fangirl the same way!! AND THIS IS FINE. There is not one way to enjoy something. For instance, if I get very excited about a book release, I actually SHUT DOWN about it. I might stop talking about it, won’t read it, won’t mention it…all because I’m that excited. So, you know, let me be the ostrich I am in inside.
And here, for example, are other types of ways to be a fan:
- super excitable and shouting in all caps all the time
- quietly and seriously enjoying it
- telling everyone about it
- keeping your enthusiasm to yourself
- sharing favourite quotes with your dog
- participating at irregular intervals
- fiercely adoring it
- thinking of headcannons
- accepting it just as is
- eating it
You’re not less of a fan because of the way you choose to fangirl! You are only less if you are smol in stature. And then you’re a Hobbit so…basically the nerdom never ends.
9. WHEN YOU CAN’T EVEN AFFORD THE FANDOM LIFE, TO BE HONEST.
Am I a fan of Alice in Wonderland? Yes. Would I love epic Alice In Wonderland shoes like they sell online? Of course. Can I afford it? I DON’T KNOW DO I NEED TWO KIDNEYS OR COULD I PUT ONE ON THE BLACK MARKET??????? *
Fandom merchandise is awesome but also so expensive. And to be honest I’d rather buy a book then own a fandom mug. Even though I love fandom mugs.
Can someone just accidentally give me a giant fortune? Thanks.
* Fun story, but once I wrote a post and titled it something about selling my sister’s kidney for books…I get so many spam comments with offers to buy my kidneys. Recently I got offered $300,000 for my kidney. And like, well. Dude. I’m tempted. So many books.
10. WHEN THE FANDOM DISAPPOINTS YOU.
This is like THE WORST BETRAYAL OF THEM ALL. But when something you absolutely truly love to death and back again goes and rUINS ITSELF???? I can’t even. There are no words. Sometimes a show takes a dumb direction. Or you see something problematic in a book you hadn’t noticed before. Or the book just FLOPS worse than a pizza being lifted from the oven and then flung into outer space. Like just break my heart and stab me with a spork why don’t you.
YOU’RE DEAD TO ME, FANDOM, AND MY HEART GOES WITH THEE.
No no, it’s not overdramatic. Don’t be ridiculous.
Obviously a show/book disappointing you doesn’t make it wrong. Someone’s going to love it still! And it’s not yours. It’s the creators’ papery child. But the pain is still real. And I’m not apologising for my face melting into a frown. It just happened.
Though we have our struggles, the fandom life is obviously still 500% worth it.
The important thing to remember is that it’s okay to marry your bookshelf or be a lowkey fan or be an intense fan or SPEAK SOLEY IN ALL CAPS or write analyses on your favourite characters. The important thing is to be a fan. Support art. Support fantasy and magic and adventure. Support all the chocolate industries that help you cope with the fandom pain.
Just have fun!
And by “fun” I generally mean “suffering”! Because what’s a fandom if it doesn’t hurt you! All these exclamation points just prove I am partially dead inside BECAUSE OF FANDOMS. I LOVE THEM BUT SERIOUSLY. #PAIN