A Follow Up To A Fandom Rant

Today I was excitedly telling a friend about my latest obsession, the song + video for “Call Me Maybe”. 

I’m late to that party, but seeing as the video has all my favourite teen stars in it, I assumed most others at my school wouldn’t know/care about it. But then my friend said, “Oh! Jess* was playing that in bio!”. I’m not particularly fond of Jess, and so the first thing to come out of my mouth was “NO! Now I can’t like it!” which was definitely a mature response on my part.

It got me thinking about what I’d written this morning, and the idea of “owning” a fandom. Sometimes we like things, and we like them so much that we don’t want to share them with anyone, let alone those we don’t like. To quote The Fault In Our Stars, “and then there are (things)…which you can’t tell people about…(things) so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” As much as I love the things I obsess about to become popular enough for them to come to Australia, I’m a bit of a “hipster” in that I also like them to stay ~underground~ and something that just I, and a small percentage of cool others, like. 
Like The Hunger Games. Back in 2010 it was just me and an awesome following on tumblr obsessed, now it’s every man and his dog. In a weird way, it feels less special, less awesome, now. Because when it’s only a few people liking it, you can connect on a different level, you can experience a different side to the fandom with others who are just as passionate about it as you are. When it’s a small fandom, there are no superficial fans. But then everyone likes it and while it’s good because it’s everywhere, inadvertently there will also be people that you don’t really want to like it talking about it. People who you clash with usually, and then they’re loving things that you love, and you just want to scream “NO!” from the rooftops, because it’s a part of you, and they shouldn’t be allowed to share it. 

Which takes me back to what I was saying this morning. I think I came across a bit bitter and harsh towards the die-hard Directioners, and reflections today have left me realising their reaction to the Directionators is akin to my reaction this afternoon to Jess liking Call Me Maybe, except on a massive scale. They’re just some tweens who really, really love 1D on a level that they feel that others shouldn’t be allowed to connect with, and it frustrates them when they do. I remember back in ’09, Toong and I knew about Bieber before anyone else, and even though I didn’t like him, it annoyed me when he became popular. Because teen stars were my thing, and suddenly, out of nowhere, they were everyone’s thing. In a way, I’m a bit like it with 1D as well, because Boy Bands have always been my addiction, my obsession that others have laughed at me for, and now Boy Bands are the next big thing and I’m left glaring at everyone jumping on the bandwagon. When you love something a lot, and then people come along who say they do but really don’t, well, then you can’t help but get defensive.

It’s too easy to become passionately attached to a fandom, to feel that it’s a part of you, and that it shouldn’t be for everyone. Just like Hazel and An Imperial Affliction, you don’t want the world to know about it, because they just won’t appreciate it on the level you do. But such is life, and part of being a fangirl involves being mature enough to accept that sometimes things you like will become popular, and you should be happy that others are experience their awesomeness, instead of bitter that it’s not just yours anymore. 

frangipani princess xoxo
* not her real name

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