Fangirl problems

Bayley EnrightLet’s take a minute and think about things not school related. I certainly don’t want to spend my time not writing a paper to instead write about writing papers, and I’m sure you’d all appreciate a chance to read something not about final projects and tests. So let’s look to something happily distant from the CSU world this week — let’s look at Iron Man 3.

Yup, it’s here, and with it the official start of the summer movie fest.

But I don’t want to talk about Iron Man, at least not specifically. I want to talk about something that Iron Man has helped create, along with his Avengers buddies, of course, but also with help from all of pop culture. And especially from BBC (yes you BBC, we all know you’re responsible). I’m talking about the new social demographic which has risen out of all these movies and TV shows, one that is amassing new members with each new Doctor Who episode but which, for some reason, has yet to truly be noticed in its own right.

I’m talking about the fangirl. For some reason, the term “fangirl” has become attached to drooling Twilight fans, while ardent followers of Star Wars are reserved as “fanboys.” And yet, the concept of “fandoms” has evolved so much from the days of Han and Leia, in so many ways — one major new element being the fangirl phenomenon.

Too many people hear “fangirl” and see the overly attached girlfriend meme except times ten and over fictional characters. And fine, this may be partially true in some cases. But let’s not generalize here. The fangirl community is growing, to the point where, in some classes, they’re in the majority. So don’t you think it’s about time the fangirl gets recognition? This means you need to understand us. Fangirls aren’t just fanboys with boobs. Though similar in a lot of ways to the fanboys, here are three things that set the fangirl community apart as its own:

  1. Fangirls have greater interest in the actors and people involved with the show/film. Along the same vein as being more emotionally involved, fangirls’ devotion extends past the single movie to the actors and actresses involved. For them, it’s more about the people than, say, the special effects or props or spaceship blueprints that I know my brothers spent hours poring over.
  2. Fangirls like to connect with one another. I’m not saying fanboys prefer basement isolation, but I have noticed that it tends to be fangirls who swarm the social media sites to share GIFs and screencaps. And also their feelings. Lots of feelings.
  3. Fangirls are more emotionally attached. Again, not to say anything about fanboys, but fangirls form attachments and friendships with characters in a way fanboys tend not to. Fangirls get caught up in the world of the show or the movie to the point where a character’s death may make them cry more than when their own great-grandmother died. Note: I’m not at all speaking from experience.
Bayley Enright is a senior English major. Her columns appear every other Friday in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.