In response to a comment I made at her Tumblr, hardheaded me said,
I’m not sure being a rabid frothing fangirl is something to be proud of… or a sign of anything but a surplus of free time. XD
Y’know, I drank that Koolaid for a long time too, because my mom had always maligned me for fixating on people I didn’t know (for all that her obsession with Englebert Humperdinck was nothing but fangirling at its most rabidly hysterical). I now can see that I was simply following the behavior she modeled, so I was quite rightly confused when she unceasingly belittled me for doing the exact same thing that she had. It’s clear to me now how she used this as yet another way to try to diminish me & make me feel bad about myself, as well as trying to build herself up by putting me down. I’m not sure if she ever figured out how that really never works; at least in my experience, it’s when you lift others up that your own self-esteem rises as well.
Thus for most of my life, I’ve hidden a large part of myself away, apart from the few friends who understood & were the same way. I thought that there was somehow something wrong & shameful, not to mention *gasp!* immature about having a passionate attachment to an actor, tv show, film or musician. In the past few years, however—and especially since I’ve been here at Tumblr—I’ve realized that’s anything but the case, because it’s through fangirling that we connect with others on a uniquely powerful & intimate level, creating friendships across all time zones that we never would have had otherwise. It’s through fangirling that we derive insight into ourselves as well as the world around us. It’s through fangirling that we can achieve a sense of identity & community that we may have always lacked.
I absolutely loved what Marya (oldfilmsflicker) said in response to the assertion that watching movies is “a waste of time”—it’s anything BUT that! It’s through films that we learn about others’ experiences & other cultures, pushing past the limits of creativity and imagination while discovering ideas that can change our lives…y’know, kinda like fangirling?
Especially for those of us who have physical disabilities or The Big Sad, it’s absolutely essential that we get taken out of ourselves now & then; whether blasting Beyoncé on your iPod, seeing The Avengers
four five times *waves to Deb* or kvetching about the last episode of Buffy, the important thing is that we’re engaging in activities that may make us feel better, or at the very least help to remove us from reality for a little while. When your reality is incredibly painful, you have to escape it now & then, just to stay alive. You’re feeding your soul, & without these things, it will starve to death, taking you right along with it.
There will always be people who don’t get it and attempt to ridicule us as a result, but at this point I can only smile tolerantly at them, because they’re the ones who are missing out. Imagine having a life devoid of passionate interest, being wholly focused on the material world…*shudder* I used to think that’s what it meant to be a grown-up, and I’m so glad I was wrong there.
I just heard my dad on the phone, commenting that he loves to read but knows some folks don’t like to, & I immediately thought, “Unless they’re dyslexic or otherwise impaired, these people are known as ‘ignorant fuckheads’.” The people who can’t understand how we can read a book over & over or feel a passionate attachment to a person long dead are of that same ilk—they’re cultural ignoramuses. They’ll never know the joy of Cumberbitchery or a Loki-induced squeegasm. Pity them.