November 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
What images sprout in your head when you hear the word “fangirl?” A teenager who stalks One Direction on Twitter? Maybe a college student stitching together her ComicCon costume? Regardless of the stereotypes, fangirls are here, and they are growing into fanwomen. So before you write them off for their intense behavior or semi-creepy fanfiction, you might want to take a step back and learn a thing or two from them. I’m convinced that the fangirls will conquer the world, and here’s why.
They never outgrew their imaginations. What do you do during a boring lecture of a three-hour staff meeting from hell? A fangirl is writing stories (aka headcanon) in her brain, imagining her fictional pairings meeting and being adorable in various situations. The fangirl’s capacity to self-entertain is extraordinary, and our brains and careers are sure to benefit from our intense imaginations.
While others are mindlessly flipping out their phones to play Candy Crush, they’re crafting scenes and dialogue and wrinkling our brains. And since research has shown that people who read fiction are better equipped at interpersonal skills and empathy, they are also breaking all the bookworm stereotypes.
They’re diggers. Think finding a download of a 1990s Lifetime movie where your favorite actress had three lines is useless? Think again. The fangirl’s ability to dig for the tiniest bit of info about an actor or a movie makes them excellent researchers and detectives. They can sift through the sands of the Internet faster than almost anyone, assembling large quantities of information which they distribute to other fangirls. As a journalist, my fangirling Google skills have come in handy on more than one occasion.
They know who they are. Maybe some fangirls seem awkward or haven’t quite figure out their passion in life, but most of them know who they are and they’re not apologizing. A fangirl isn’t afraid to say a TV show changed her life, and she doesn’t care what you think about her fanfiction writing. She’s brave enough to be silly in cosplay and humble enough to laugh at her own hysteria over an movie release. When you study confident and badass fictional characters like it’s your job, you learn a thing or too about how to use story to make your own dreams a reality.
Their passion is unmatched. Fangirls will joke that they don’t know how to passively enjoy something. How do people enjoy a television show and not search for spoilers or take a million screen shots? While this intensity can cause some anxiety if approached in an unhealthy way, when a fangirl learns how to plug into her fictional passions and fuel her own life goals, you better watch out. If she can give 110% to analyzing a season finale, then she’s equally capable of giving 110% to her career goals and relationships.
Being a fangirl was never an easy job. There are days when we’d like to hang up our emotions and not get so crazy over people who don’t even exist. But unlike many adults, we never outgrew our imaginations, and that’s something worth holding onto. So if your sister or your friend or your girlfriend is a fangirl, just be patient. Because one day not so far away, she will find her passion and reach out and grab it, and her story will be something worthy of fangirling.