Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fangirling: A Definition

So I started this off last post saying that a fangirl ought to be pitied.
You non-fangirls are going, “No, you should pity us.  We have to put up with them.”
Let me explain by first defining a fangirl.  Then we’ll work up, through this post and consequent others, to why the fangirl ought to, indeed, be pitied more than any other creature.

A fan is, by definition, “an enthusiastic devotee, follower, or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity” (
Given this definition, I will create my own of a fangirl:  “an (often overly) enthusiastic female devotee, follower, admirer, or worshiper of a celebrity, idea or object, frequently given to extremes.  Usually come in packs.”

Don’t have an image yet?  Let me help you out. 
We’ll use an example probably well known to you…

The fan wears a band T-shirt (if he has one) and goes to a show thirty minutes to an hour away, if it’s convenient and he has cash to spare.
The fangirl listens to the band non-stop the whole six-hour drive to the show.  She arrives there at least two hours early, often standing in extreme temperatures outside until the doors open, screaming loudly with her fellow fangirls and professing just as loudly that her love is keeping her warm (or cold, depending).  She flashes her ticket (she can’t remember how much it cost, she must have bought it seven months ago) and she rushes in to the theater, toting her home-made sign with hearts and sparkles.  The fangirl does one of two things:
Standing room only:  She sprints to the front of the stage and stands as close as she can to the center mike, often on top of other fans.  She bounces in place in anticipation and feels her feet slowly go numb as she counts minutes before the band will bless her with their presence.
Event seating: She hops several rows of chairs to get to the front row before the teenage guys standing behind her in line can get to her chairs first.  She reaches the chairs and pulls off as many sweaters as she can to coat seats with to save for her fellow fangirls (Don’t worry, she brought at least 10 cardigans).  She stands guard, vehemently scaring away any second-class fan that might wander too close.  She makes at least one 2-year-old cry.

The fan claps when the band comes out.  He sings along when he knows the words and listens when he doesn’t. He laughs at the singer’s jokes when they’re particularly funny, and smiles when they aren’t.
The fangirl squeals like a stuck pig when the band comes out.  She bounces up and down with more vehemence than when she scared away the little old ladies who came to ask her where she got her fifth cardigan.  She sings along as loud as she can, hoping someone in the band will hear her above she voices.  She doesn’t not know the words.  She even knows the ‘hey hey hey’s the back-up singers croon.  If they grin at her when she sings along to those and no one else does, at least three people are carried out with ear damage, and someone is called for an emergency defibrillator.  She’s fine, of course.  How can she not be fine?  She’s the one calling things to make the singer’s jokes funnier, and giggles the loudest when he says anything in any way other than seriously.  She just knows the adorable main singer is looking at her when he croons about how perfect they are together.  If it wasn’t her, who would it be?  Was anyone else even there? 

The fan claps when the band leaves and grins afterward, “Yeah, that was a great show.  They were great.”  If the band is on his way out, he’ll tell them, “Thanks a lot.  You guys rock.”  He accepts their ‘No, thank you for coming” and goes home content.
The fangirl chants “one more song” the loudest of all.    She screams the loudest when the band comes back out.  She yells when the band throws out drum sticks, picks, notes.  Depending on how aggressive the fangirl tends to be, she may leap a few rows of other fans or tackle a different fangirl in whose hands her specific treasure landed.  It was meant for me, she reasons.  He just missed.  He’s a singer, not a baseball player. If she caught a piece of memorabilia, she takes it triumphantly back to her clan of fangirls to be petted, poked and examined.  If she failed in her attempts, she wants to cry and asks another fangirl if she’ll be a good friend and help tackle a successful enemy or not.  She hangs out in the lobby until the band appears, when she squeals and gets a picture with each individual member.  She’ll wait for hours afterwards to talk to the main singer, bugging the other members or assorted staff personnel to see if they had seen him or knew where he could be found.  She’ll wait until she gets kicked out, and then she’ll wait at the door.  When he finally comes out and asks for a minute in his tour bus, she’ll stand in the extreme temperatures again until he comes back out, when she tries not to gush about how amazing he is but does let him know how many years she’s been a fan and how long it took her to get there.  She’ll get his autograph, and a picture, and get him to say something that she’ll remember until she dies.   She floats away and starts squealing like the world is ending.  She gets lost in the city, finds her way back again, and somehow finds her car.  Driving home, she squeals and kyaaas and giggles with her friends the whole six-hour drive back home.  She is not tired.

The fan, when asked about the show the next day, says, “Yeah, they rocked!”
Those who know the fangirl know better than to ask her about the show.  Without asking her, she’s already giggling every other second to herself and silently repeating everything that the main singer said while on stage.  Even without asking her, they hear all about it.  And then she asks why they haven’t asked.  When they do, she simply tells the whole thing over again and acts out everything.  She shows you that her jacket still smells like him where she leaned against him for a minute.  She shows you his autograph.  She shows you where the toe of her shoe touched the toe of his shoe.  She continues to float on air for at least three days afterward.

In short:
Fan: a rational human being who has an affinity for something
Fangirl:  NOT THAT.

1 comment:

  1. I relate. thanks for putting my feelings about my favorite bands into words. ;)