I feel like an imposter or a fraud.
Not quite. More like I feel like a fraud for calling myself a fangirl. A fake fangirl if you will.
Let me explain. When I wrote “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Being a Fangirl” it felt very important to me to reach out into the void and talk about this great label “fangirl” and how it applied to me, because I had gone so long without knowing and I didn’t want anyone else to feel that way if they didn’t have to. That hasn’t changed, that label is still an excellent one for me. In fact, if given the opportunity I will happily extol the virtues of it as an important part of your complete lifestyle. That article has received the most views and comments of any article on this blog and I love that people have responded so positively.
However, the truth is that sometimes I hate being a fangirl and I keep all my fangirly thoughts to myself out of fear of how others will treat me. Sometimes I wish I watched all shows once, had no immediate need to see them again and just moved on. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t need to watch the full filmography of an actor because I need to chase the acting trends that are apparent in their work. (ie: Norman Reedus so often having a cigarette in hand.) Occasionally I think, damn all these feels, why can’t I just watch a show for the CANON PLOT.
The truth is I can’t do any of those things, they aren’t part of my personality and I feel like a fraud to want these qualities and at the same time to receive happy, thankful comments on something I’ve written.
For example, I took half an hour to write this tweet:
I almost didn’t post it on my own twitter. Silly, huh? It’s just… using words like “feels*” and talking about fangirling over a TV show in front of people who know me still makes me nervous. I regularly hear people joke or mock about how stupid/foolish/immature people are that use “tumblr words” like feels, ships, and OTP.
“Those aren’t even real words,” they say, and sometimes I laugh just because they are silly words. That doesn’t make them fake, Bumfuzzle is a real word but it’s very silly.
I feel like a hypocrite and I hate it. I say how proud I am to be a fangirl, and then worry every time I mention spreadsheets or a random fact about an actor on Verity! or in casual conversations because I want to be taken seriously. Spreadsheets and data collection is difficult. Researching all that stuff is hard dammit. But, it’s one thing to say what I want into the tumblr-sphere, (seriously look at these tags) but on twitter and on facebook, there’s people there who I might see tomorrow face-to-face. They might (might) laugh at me.
So what’s a fangirl to do? Well, I’ve devised some basic things for me to remember when situations like this happen. Feel free to steal and personalize:
- Marathoning TV shows and building filmography spreadsheets has led to new friendships and opened the doors to new media.
- You joined improv because Kids in the Hall started in improv but you kept going because you love it.
- The English language evolves (TEDtalk), Shakespeare started using words that are now commonplace today. Your turn fic writer.
- Does this TV show/spreadsheet/music make you happy? If it’s something to look forward to after a bad day and helps you, then you shouldn’t be ashamed of talking about it. Take it and USE it to make yourself a better person and to change the world around you.
It’s not easy being a fangirl but it can be fun and hella rewarding.Think of it like playing a difficult video game, finding lost episodes of Doctor Who, or introducing your favourite show to a friend. Or, in the spirit of my recent House M.D. rewatch, dealing with a difficult friend.
A great fangirl-needs-answers resource is Fangirl Therapy, the author Kathleen is a licensed therapist and big time awesome fangirl. Have a look at her site, she takes questions and gives great real answers.
Now I’m off to read fanfiction and try to decide which is the best House M.D. ship**.