My Unapologetic Fangirl Years

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


There is a very large chance that I am still living in my fangirl era and an even higher chance that I will, to a degree, never grow out of it. This, truly, isn't all that surprising. I was born into a family of obsessive personalities (don't deny it, you guys, we obsess, it's a trait of ours much like our lack of punctuality). We like things to the highest degree possible, it's just part of what we do and the obsessive gene didn't skip over me. Neither did the perpetual lateness either, but we don't need to talk about that...

I think this all started with Barney, as all good things in life do. And then it transitioned into Cats (yes, the musical). My parents and grandfather had multiple VCR tapes with hours upon hours of Barney episodes and even a taped performance of Cats to keep me entertained while I was a small child with an adorable shaggy bob haircut. And then I started watching the Disney Channel and watching MTV and VH1, but the moment it was truly over was one fall day in 2006 when I saw those three brothers that still own my heart and soul to this day. 

Yep, we're talking about Joe, Nick, and Kevin. Jonas, to be exact. We're talking about the Jonas Brothers today, folks! Hear me roar!

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I don't remember how nor why or what I was watching, but I heard "Mandy" and little did tiny little ten-year-old Francesca know that she'd be lusting after two out of three of these men for the rest of her life. A lot of my phases growing up were things that I would eventually grow out of, yet I'm still here waiting for the Jonas Brothers to reunite because THEY'RE BROTHERS THEY CAN'T BREAK UP. 

I played sports growing up, but I never really had a "group" for long periods of times. I floated in and out of friend groups and other than a few solid friends, I didn't really have that much stability. Everything changes endlessly when you're a teenager in middle school and high school. I had a friend or two who stayed constant and then my family, but other than that everything moved swiftly around me and it was really impossible to get anything to remain permanent. Well, you know, besides my love and adoration for the Jonas Brothers. They slowly consumed me and I wanted to give them all of my money and attention because, well, have you ever been in a fandom of any kind?

The word "fandom" has a really negative connotation and is misconstrued one thousand different ways unless it's put in relation to sports. You don't call liking the Yankees being in a "fandom." You just say you're a fan of the Yankees. Yet when you say you're a fan of...boybands or comic books or a specific TV show, it's a fandom. That logic has never made sense to me and I feel like it's put a negative connotation on any large group of people who refer to a group of fans as such.


My fangirl experience started with the Jonas Brothers and eventually linked along into the natural progression of One Direction after the announcement of the breakup, but by then I was in college and wasn't really in my formative years anymore. I was going through a bulk of my Jonas obsessed through middle school and early high school before they went on their little hiatus to record the album that never actually ended up coming up but hey let's not discuss that right now!

I first found "my people" on Myspace and then on Tumblr after Myspace, well, died a slow and painful death. You could find teenage girls basically anywhere that liked the Jonas Brothers back in like 2007 and 2008, but the internet gave you so much more access and variety. I could talk to Jonas Brothers fans from the Midwest, from England, from Canada, literally anywhere I wanted to. If I felt isolated in my small city with the ever-shifting friend groups, I had thousands of people I could in theory talk to on the internet (not that I did at that time, I was still shy). 

Being part of a "fandom" gave me a sense of belonging. I never was part of a club or society, but I played sports. Even still, I never really got the same feeling from being on a part of a team than I did from being part of a larger group of people who all had one huge common interest. I still have friends from this ~ era ~ of my life that I wouldn't have met had I not decided to explore my fangirl years online because that's where it felt the most safe. 


I know, the internet as a safe space? Sounds fake, but listen. I used to be chastised for liking the things that I liked. Not even by students, by adults. I was a teenager. I wasn't a thirty-year-old adult but even if I was, who gives a shit? We like the things we like and if it's not hurting anyone else, then who is anyone to say anything? And yet, I always felt like I was vapid and silly and wasting my time and money on "people who didn't care about me" and constantly asked why I liked "those gay brothers?" I couldn't like these things in peace in my real life, not because of kids, but because of other adults who just didn't get it.

In retrospect, it was all pretty sexist and utter bullshit, but at the time it really upset me. I didn't really understand why I couldn't like something that made me happy and why people had to insert their own personal opinions into a thirteen-year-old girl's life. So, my fangirl years led me to the interwebs to find like-minded people who wouldn't make fun of me (I would like to clarify though that most of the ridicule I got was, indeed, from adults and not from other teens) because I liked a fucking boyband.

Maybe it led me to spend more time on the internet than in real life at times, but I've met countless friends through this period of my life. Hell, I'm living with a friend I made during this period of my life. Being a "fangirl" doesn't mean you're vapid or need to snap back into reality. I wouldn't have been interested, even to the smallest degree, in graphic design if I hadn't tried making Myspace layouts and graphics back in 2007 and I wouldn't' have half the friends or interests I have now if it wasn't for the phase I went through and am still going through. I got my first jobs because I wanted to buy CDs and tickets, I've seen cool cities I wouldn't have seen, and overall I've had a decade worth of fun because I let myself like the things that I like.

I'm not done being a fangirl by any means and I'm okay with it. Because all that means is that I have an interest in something beyond the normal degree that I would enjoy something. It has no bearing on my personality, my intelligence, my anything. Just call me Francesca the Fangirl, or rather, just Frangirl. It's much catchier.


Dress: Free People
Shoes: Tahari
Sunglasses: Quay

4 comments

  1. I definitely went way hard on this fangirl phase! Haha!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fangirling is totally a lifestyle but I love it!

      Delete
  2. Omj Nick was my fave! I still have a few of their CDs.

    http://thewhisperbox.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Jonas Brothers are timeless IMO. Nick was such a little cutie with his shaggy curls!

      Delete

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