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Fangirl: How Being In a Fandom Helped Me Feel Comfortable With My Femininity

I’ve been a fangirl for as long as I can remember. From Twilight to K-Pop, my life has always revolved around media that I loved and obsessed over a little too much. As I start university in the fall and embark on this new chapter in my life, now more than ever, I am passionate to express my gratitude towards the fandoms that gave me a space to explore and feel confident with my femininity.

This period of adolescence is one that I feel often gets overlooked, but I think it can be one of the most defining times in our lives. Our minds are growing and getting curious about the world. Our opinions, voices, and emotions should be taken seriously. But unfortunately, a good majority of society has made teenage girls ashamed of their interests and personalities. There seems to be a lot of misogyny and harmful double standards surrounding fangirls, or more specifically, teenage girls. Being a fan sadly made me realise from an early age the effects these misogynistic ideas have on our society. We are the ones that get labeled “crazy” and “psychotic” for being excited about our interests when male sports fans are just as passionate about their teams and behave in manners that would never in a million years be acceptable for women to do. In a world where female voices are constantly dismissed and undervalued, I truly felt that being a part of a fandom gave me confidence and reassurance that my teenage emotions weren’t “too much” for the world and that my opinion was just as valid as anyone else’s. Having that kind of reassurance did wonders for me as a preteen knowing that I had a safe space to express myself where I wouldn’t be judged by adults for liking media that was deemed “too girly”.

Girlhood. What is girlhood? Girlhood can look like a variety of different things to different people, and that’s the beauty of it. Girlhood should not have a defining aspect or an ideal “look” and I think that is one of the reasons why I felt so drawn to partaking in fandom as a young girl. Most of the time, fandoms are made up of diverse groups of people with different backgrounds.

Speaking from personal experience, being a part of the K-Pop fandom helped me connect with girls my age to whom I could relate, or even if we had our differences, it was so cool to be able to learn from people with different experiences than me. There’s so much already being said about friendships, especially female friendships, that I don’t think I’ll contribute anything new to the table — but I truly believe that the most important things in life are learned through female friendships. There’s so much love being shared through female friendships and I only have fandom to thank for the bonds I’ve made. I’ve been a fan of the group BTS for a few years now, and I’ve made some of the best friends through this community. We’ve cried together, screamed with joy at concerts, and have simply experienced life side-by-side. Meeting so many people through this fandom has been one of the highlights of my life!

Having been a fangirl for the majority of my life has been such a rewarding experience for me. Fandom gave me an outlet to cry, laugh, scream, and show emotions that society often deems too “hysterical” for women. It gives me a safe space to express interest in stereotypically feminine activities that allow me to meet new people and bond with friends.

Attending concerts and social events gives me a much-needed break from the stresses of life and I’m so thankful to be a part of it. Next time you feel ashamed of fangirling, take a step back, and instead reflect on the positive aspects that come with having a community you can share experiences with and a space to be unapologetically you!

Words by Dania Perez

(@daniaanahiii on IG)

Edited by Lucy Eaton

(@llucyeaton on IG)


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