About the author : Project manager by day, crazy cat lady by night. Emily's first love is J.R.R. Tolkien. She's also into Walking Dead, video games, Doctor Who, and anime. When she isn't knee-deep in her latest fandom, she's usually sleeping.

Fandom is Broken: Why Fangirlism Exists

Fandom, Internet No Comment

Back in May, Devin Faraci published a fascinating essay entitled Fandom is Broken. He highlights how fans have grown increasingly self-entitled and demand that creators do what they, the fans, want with stories. While I don’t agree with every point he makes, this problem is exactly the reason why Amelia and I started this blog.

The Problem

Fandom has become increasingly negative and belligerent. Not only do fans demand that stories follow their whims, but they make their demands in the worst ways possible. The essay references the hate-filled reaction to a revelation about Captain America (if you don’t want it spoiled, be careful when you read the essay), the outcry against an all-female Ghostbusters, and Twitter demanding a girlfriend for Elsa in Frozen 2 as examples of fans’ entitlement.

While I don’t agree with everything Faraci says, I do agree that there’s a major problem in fandom. What it really boils down to is negativity and dissatisfaction. A celebrity is always saying something atrocious, one set of fans is upsetting another set of fans, some sub-culture or other (no matter how marginal) is being offended or misrepresented or underrepresented, etc. In short, nothing is ever good enough.

The Answer?

Hey, guess what! Welcome to life. You’ll never be satisfied.

Does that mean I believe we should accept mediocrity in our entertainment (and in our lives)? Certainly not. But there are better ways to approach mediocrity–and greatness.

That’s our goal with fangirlism. We want to react to entertainment the way a foodie enjoys a meal, not the way someone with the flu sees lukewarm pork. We plan to do this in two ways:

  1. Appreciation. There are a lot of great TV shows, movies, books, video games, anime, and other forms of media out there. Instead of always focusing on the bad ones, let’s praise the good ones. The same thing goes for those forms of media that are a mixed bag (which is everything). We don’t want to dwell only on the negative and point out failure. Let’s celebrate the good stuff!
  2. Analysis. If something is bad, why is it bad? What can we learn from it? Is our initial reaction reasonable? Let’s stop spewing bile and instead engage with media like adults.

These are lofty goals, perhaps, but we do it out of love. We are, after all, fangirls.

Image Credit: Anthony Delanoix

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