Real Life Ships

January 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

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OTP Fangirl writes,

On the topic of shipping real life celebs, my question is at what point is it wrong or creepy to remain nostalgic and hopeful about a real life celeb couple that has broken up?

When a couple has been visibly together for a long time, naturally people build these lovely romantic narratives around them and how they are an “OTP”. But of course, many of these couples break up and inevitably I will see fans continue to post photos and even comment on the celebs’ social media that they should be back with their ex. Sometimes this happens years later and even after both celebs have visibly and happily moved on.

Why do you think people have such a hard time letting go of celeb couples who have broken up?

To many a fangirl, a celebrity isn’t a person with skin. They’re a toy or a wish or a distraction. Not a creature with flaws and desires. Not getting over a celebrity breakup is the equivalent of refusing to put two dolls or action figures away. Why should they be done with each other when you’re still having a grand old time?

Fangirls have a buttload of opinions about whether celebrity ships and the fic, headcanon, and daydreams that accompany constitute appropriate fan behavior. But I’m not here to police the Internet. Rather than ask, “Is this okay?” I’d encourage people to ask, “What does this do for me?”

Fangirls love to police the Internet. I wrote an entire chapter in my book on this behavior. What’s more challenging is to look at our own behaviors and ask, “Is this opening doors for me or closing them?” If a celebrity breakup makes you incredibly anxious and reactive, then that’s a flashing sign that you need to work on that anxiety. Fangirl obsessions aren’t the problem. They’re just breadcrumbs indicating that bigger, scarier stuff is swirling around our hearts and minds. 

Friend, from your email it sounds like you don’t personally struggle with this, but that it concerns you when you see it. If that’s the case, let me let you off the hook. It’s not your job to point out to Internet people how unhealthy their behaviors might be. Keep the focus on you. What are your breadcrumbs, and where do they lead?

 

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