Introduction

 

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fangirl, n. 

1. (derogatory) a female fan, obsessed with something (or someone) to a frightening or sickening degree. Often considered ditzy, annoying and shallow. 

2. (playful, good-natured) less extreme, a female fan who can laugh at their own passion for their particular interest (or even obsession).

-Urban Dictionary

When you hear the word ‘fan girl‘, what comes into your mind? How would you describe a ‘fan girl‘. For most people with ‘a life’, a fan girl is someone who lives her life idolising and obsessing about her idols/interest. For someone who is a fan girl (aka me), I see ourselves as people who idolise a certain interest in a way that could lead to obsession. For our parents, they see fan girls as someone who  waste time obsessing and try their best to annihilate that part of their kids. For random people on the internet, fan girls are just GIRLS who write weird or traumatic fan fiction about two people.

These definitions created the stereotype of the everyday fan girl, that society thinks that we are just people who just ‘obsess’ on a celebrity or a book or movie that we have nothing else better to do in our lives. The Urban Dictionary quote I placed at the top, that was the third result as the first two results are basically saying that we are just people who obsess on these things and we have no control over it.

What if… as an everyday fan girl, tell you that there is more to being a fan girl than just just being addicted to something or someone? What if I tell you that there is an actual BENEFIT for being a fan girl, that our skills can be applied to real life applications? What if, this blog, could change your perspective on what a fan girl is, what we are like and how we are different to the stereotypes we are given or told as.

According to Henry Jenkins (2013), we are now living in a “participatory culture”, where everything we post contributes to the subject it’s about. This blog will talk about our experiences in past and current groups that we’re involved.  I plan along with my fellow writers that we can educate those who are fooled or mistaken on our label as ‘fan girl’ as shine a light on a topic that not many people care about.

It’s time to educate you… the reader… on what a fan girl really is.

Let’s start with the basics, what is a fan girl?

My general definition of fan girl:

A fan girl is someone with a strong interest on a celebrity, movie, book, video game and etc. 

-Cutiejea (2016)

That’s it… it’s that simple.

You may be asking what’s the difference between my definition and the ones already available online. And let me tell you, this definition doesn’t sexualise the ‘fan girl’. People online sometimes think ‘fan girl’ = girl but we are now living in a generation with different genders and sexualities that we can no longer just isolate fan girl and fan boy as a ‘girl and boy’ term. Next is the adjective used, ‘strong interest’. Strong interest DOES NOT EQUAL to ‘obsessed’ or ‘addicted’. According to dictionary.com, the word interest simply means the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something. That means, that if we have a ‘Strong interest’, it means that we just have a huge curiosity or a huge engagement on said person or item.

According to Plante, Roberts, Reysen and Gerbasi (2014), Fandoms have become part of everyday life as said examples in their article are the Superbowl and the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books and films. This is a culture that’s growing in a rapid pace, especially with the evolution of the internet and our new understandings of social media and a networked culture since we are able to easily connect to our favourite celebrities and game developers through sites like Twitter.

If people enjoying as something simple as sports and the main demographic for the Superbowl or a AFL game are mostly grown male adults, does that mean that they are counted to the definitions given in the internet about fan girls? It doesn’t. The definition given online needs to be corrected and in order to convince you, this is where this blog comes in.

The contents of this blog will be based on some of the following topics:

  • Our experiences in multiple fan groups
  • Why we joined each group and what decided us to leave
  • How we apply our fandoms or the skills obtained by fan girling to everyday life
  • The challenges we face as a fan girl in everyday society

And many others.

I do hope you take the time to indulge yourself as we try to educate you to an all new definition on what a fan girl really is and what we actually do.

PS: This is all based on our long term experiences so please don’t kill us if you say otherwise. We are not saying ‘We are right’ but rather saying ‘at least listen to our P.O.V’

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Source:

  • Jenkins, H., Ford, S., & Green, J (2013). Spreadable Media: Creating value and meaning in a networked culture. New York, NY: New York University Press.
  • Plante, C, Roberts, S, Reysen S, Gerbasi K (2014) “oNE OF us”: Engagement With Fandoms and Global Citizenship Identification, Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 2014, Vol.3(1), pp.49-64 
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