The Art Of Fangirling

You obsess over your favorite band and smother your walls with their posters (signed by all of the members, of course). There are several books that you can read over and over again and still cry hysterically every time that one character dies. You never miss an episode of your favorite TV show and you like to play matchmaker for the fictional beings you think of as real people. If any of these statements apply to you, then congratulations. You’re a fangirl.

A “fangirl” is essentially like any other fan of the recreational activity of their choice — except not. Fangirls will not simply close a J.R.R. Tolkien novel once they’ve finished reading it, remark “That was a good book” and move on with their lives. Nor will they ever deem homework an acceptable excuse to not watch tonight’s episode of “Doctor Who.” Fangirls will, instead, spend a good amount of their free time analyzing every single detail of what they’ve just witnessed or read, take a moment to curl up in a ball of emotion and cry, and then proceed to write a post about it on their Tumblr fan blogs.

Some may call fangirling an obsession (yes, it’s a verb too — and it doesn’t just apply to females) or even an outlet waiting for desperate people to fill with an outpouring of feelings that no one else cares about. While that may be true in some cases, fangirling isn’t a personality disorder; it’s a way of life. Just because we like things a little (okay, a lot) more than other people do, doesn’t mean we lack social skills; in fact, we have a lot to say. Fangirls need love too — but we’d rather get it from our celebrity crushes.

Fangirl Vocabulary

The fangirl dictionary is quite expansive. It covers a numerous amount of topics, expressions and emotions, but one thing all its words and phrases have in common is that they can (and should) be used in the all caps format, implying extremity and intensity. Insert hashtags when deemed necessary (which is always), and with this list you’ll be ready to blog like a fangirl.

Canon: something that has been planned in a movie, series or book by its writers, whether it be a death or relationship (this applies more to fiction than real life).

Ship: a pairing of two band members, characters, aliens, mythical creatures and others of the like, and comes from the word “relationship.” The pairing doesn’t necessarily have to be canon but you wish it was.

OTP: the fangirl’s ultimate ship and the one he or she has sold their soul for; the one true pairing. This is the ship with which you’ll gladly sink.

Fan Fiction: when fangirls are frustrated with everything that is canon and take it upon themselves to rewrite the stories with different plot lines (be warned that most of them are ridiculous, pornographic and poorly written).

Fandom: the community of fans that revolve around a specific subculture.

The Feels: when you get emotional from watching, reading or just thinking about something in your fandom.

I can’t even: when you have the feels but they’re so strong that you can’t even finish your own sentence.

I hate you: I love you. Words usually spoken to the perfect character or boy band member.

Life Ruiner: A character/band member/actor who is so beautiful that they ruin everything else in the world for you.

Welcome to the Fandom

Fangirls reign from all sorts of fandoms that stretch across the Internet. From the endless “Sherlock” fanfics on Livejournal, to the stalker-like One Direction twitters, to the expansive multi-fandom communities on Tumblr — there is no end in sight. Fandoms bring together hoards of fangirls and boys to share emotions, theories and facts about whatever their interests may be. A fandom could be about something as complicated as a series of books and movies such as “Lord of the Rings”/“The Hobbit,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter,” or, if you’re really delusional, “Twilight.” Of course, there are always TV series fandoms; shout outs to “Supernatural,” “Doctor Who,” “Sherlock,” “Teen Wolf” and “Adventure Time” for having a pretty prominent presence.

Fandoms are your one-stop shop for memes, fanart, unusual facts about the actors and a place to express your feelings with tons of people online obsessing over the same damn episode. These gif-making, feels-feeling, caps lock-loving, fic-writing machines are so much more than a fandom, they are the home of the fangirl.

Setting Sail

Every fangirl has her ships, whether it is the standard Ron/Hermoine OTP, the tragic 10th Doctor/Rose feelings or a crazy pairing of two real life people e.g. Larry Stylinson; it’s an integral part of being a fangirl. Ships that are canon are created by the writers, but fangirls take it to another level, screenshotting their ships, coming up with ship names and sharing their fantasies with fanfic. However, not every ship in a fandom is canon. Often, fangirls take it upon themselves to ship two people or characters that are not in a relationship in the original content. For example, in the “Teen Wolf” fandom, many fangirls have an intense love for Sterek (Stiles/Derek), two single characters who are not in a relationship and supposedly straight. However, this does not stop fangirls from creating fanart and endless chapters of smut and thousands of letters to the makers of the show in support of their ship. As crazy as this sounds, fangirls actually got the creator of “Teen Wolf” to consider making this ship canon in the upcoming season. For some, that’s taking fangirling a little far, but it just goes to show that once you’re on a ship, you set sail and pray that it never sink because you will go down with that ship.

Being a fangirl isn’t really the loneliest thing in the world. Through various blog sites and fan clubs, communities have formed, friendships within them have been made and the feels have all been shared. And when it comes down to it, we’re all fangirls when it comes to something, whether it be a sports team, a celebrity or even a newscaster. Being a fangirl is tough, but someone’s got to do it.