The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

“Fangirls” unfairly critiqued

3 min read
Aside from the higher-pitched screams and the greater proclivity to break down in tears, how is a “fangirl” any different from, say, an ardent sports fan?


Aside from the higher-pitched screams and the greater proclivity to break down in tears, how is a “fangirl” any different from, say, an ardent sports fan?

I have seen far too many posts online putting girls down for being passionate or even overly passionate, about the things they love. If a girl likes One Direction, she’s a crowd-following loser who doesn’t listen to real music.

If she likes Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, she’s a poser.

This goes for what is commonly “male manias,” too. Girls apparently cannot be fans of comic books or science fiction without being branded as a “wannabe.”

fangirlGirls cannot join in on a conversation about sports without being told that they do not know what they’re talking about.

Don’t even try to talk about the newest Marvel movie; girls who watch superhero movies are obviously just doing it for the hot men.

Either that or they’re trying to get some boy’s attention because clearly girls cannot do or like something without it being for a boy’s benefit.

How is a girl obsessing over something any different than a grown man doing the same thing?

We criticize girls for buying magazines with their favorite celebrities, decorating their rooms with pictures of the men they idolize or wearing t-shirts depicting “girlie” bands, like Avril Lavigne or whatever band Nick Jonas is in now. But don’t grown men do the same thing? Sports fans wear team paraphernalia, decorate their rooms with their team’s colors and go insane when they’re up against their rivals, but since they’re not little girls, it is socially acceptable.

I would argue that “fangirls” are the better fans.

If a sports aficionado or a fan of a more respected band talks about their passion in public, it’s okay. If a young girl talks about “Teen Wolf” or the newest Justin Beiber album, she gets harassed. I remember being scared to show the boys on my school bus the music on my iPod when they asked to see it because, in addition to the socially acceptable music I owned, I also enjoyed the Hannah Montana album.

It took me weeks to live down the taunting, and even then, the kids still brought it up for years afterward.

It should not be necessary for girls to pretend that their love for something is purely ironic.

It takes guts to be passionate about something people would look down on you for. It takes courage to face mockery and continue to love whatever book, film or band is being frowned upon.

It is even more respectable to turn that passion into fanart, one’s own music or yes, high-pitched screaming and other displays of support.

For girls, or anyone for that matter, being a fan of something means building relationships. Friendships and relationships are built upon a mutual love for things.

In a time when most girls hate their bodies and their personalities, it is important for them to find someone who can help them through the low times.

If a friendship occurs because of the newest Taylor Swift song, then that is awesome.

It is time to stop punishing young girls for liking the things they do.

Everyone has different enthusiasms and different passions, and stop mocking them for it. And listen to the new One Direction song. It is pretty good.