I don't know about you, but I've never really liked the term fangirl. And in this post, I'm going to tell you why.
I suppose that the reason I don't like the word 'fangirl' is because the stereotype that comes along with it. The official definition for fangirl is:
- a female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, movies, music, or science fiction.
- (of a female fan) behave in an obsessive or overexcited way:"I'm still fangirling over this casting"
|fangirls||(third person present)|
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Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I don't like fangirls, because then I would be the most two faced liar ever. I am a fangirl, but I guess my point is I'm also sooo much more!!
I feel like when people hear someone talking about fangirling, their first response is a negative one... I feel like the general idea of fangirls is that we are just crazy, teenage girls, who are obsessed with Tv shows, comics, movies, books what ever, because we have no other interests, or because of that one 'really hot guy' or some other vain silly reason. I know I've gotten that a lot.
And you know what? Maybe for some girls, that's true. That is why they are a 'fangirl' and that's okay, but I feel like there is so much more to those girls people call fangirls.
Of course, we all have crazy silly moments that are purely ridiculous. Moments where we just let ourselves be crazy and excited and emotional because we just love those stories, those characters, those ships soooo darn much. Those moments are fun. Those moments are good. Those moments are us. Those moments are me, and I can't try not to have them. (because when I do try to hold it in, I end up sounding like a dying seal, or a suffocating dragon with asthma.)
But I think the real reason we love those movies, or shows, or books so much is not because we don't have a life, or have nothing better to do with our time then become obsessed, but because we really, truly, and deeply have connected to those stories, and stories in general. We understand, and know the value of stories, and their real and wonderful power to impact people.
Because stories are so powerful! Whether it be through written works, or film, or drama, they impact us, even if we don't realise it. Because when we watch a wonderful movie, or read a wonderful book, we learn things. Maybe we remember a quote, and it ends up inspiring us later on. Maybe we meet a character who we can relate to. Maybe we feel inspired when we see acts of valor or bravery or honor. Maybe we are allowed an escape from this heavy and sad reality. Maybe our standards for our friends and the people around us are lifted, for the better.
So in those moments when we are curled up on our beds, clutching a book to our chest and crying because a character died, or sitting on our couch screeching like a demented raven because our OTP FINALLY kissed, it's not necessarily because we don't have a life, but because ours is being enriched, slowly. Because maybe that character dying will help us to hold on to our friends, or that couple kissing will remind us that true love really is possible.
Maybe that time Gandalf told Bilbo not to kill Gollum, (because true courage is not about being able to kill someone, but having the courage Not to,) opened our eyes. Or maybe that time Aslan whispered 'Courage dear heart' gave us courage when we couldn't take it anymore. Maybe hearing Cinderella singing 'A dream is a wish your heart makes' reminded you to keep dreaming bigger and to keep embracing those dreams.
Quite frankly, sometimes our label of 'fangirl' has given us stereotype to hide behind. It justifies all those times we go a bit to crazy, or become a bit to obsessive. Those times where we start missing the little lessons in the stories, or stop viewing movies or shows or books as a way to learn. Those times when deep down we know that we have missed the point of why we love stories, and why the Lord gave us that love. Those times when you feel ashamed for loving those stories for so much, because you have been loving them for the wrong reason.
And why do I think this? Because I've experienced it. Because it's a problem I struggle with constantly. Because I know that there is a fine line between society's idea of a fangirl, and the real one. And because I constantly find myself on the wrong side; the side where you let your 'fandoms' get in the way of the Lord, and your family, and the other important things in life.
And I don't want to be that kind of fangirl.
So that's why I don't like the word fangirl. Because not only has it helped us to stray from the important things in stories, and in life, but it also helps society only see the crazy side of us. The side of us that should only be temporary.
So I propose an idea. What say you to finding a new name for ourselves? To finding a name that embodies who fangirls really are, and should be: Girls who deeply love and appreciate stories because of the impact they have made on us. (And who may or may not occasionally at random times very excitedly rant about said stories.)
What say you?? What say you to spreading this idea/challenge, and coming up with a new name?