Sunday, February 9, 2014

Be a fan. Stop beating yourself up over it. No more dissing fangirls and fanboys.

I've been ruminating on this topic since I went to Chicago TARDIS and one of the topics was called "Moffat Fangirls". There's still a real stigma against showing enthusiasm for anything unless it fits with social norms. For guys, that's sports and for ladies, that's cooking and fashion.

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiam"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you want to know who was the first fanboy?

Hello, Pope Sixtus! (Thanks Titian for the great portrait, courtesy of Wikipedia). In 1471, Pope Sixtus donated some sculptures to the Musei Capitolini in Rome with the intention of showing off their awesomeness (Okay, awesomeness might not have been a word then, but the concept is the same).

So when did we go from the Pope to this?

Clearly meant as satirical, and yet, that's the vision people have of the fan. Crazed, screaming, nuts, and other such nonsense.

Clue yourself in: fans of anything are great! It doesn't matter if your thing is a geek thing, a Japanese thing, a zombie thing, a music thing, or a movie thing. It just matters that you feel and interact with other people that feel the same way. As long as you don't retreat into that world as a substitute for your own world (which can be unhealthy), being a fan of something is fun, easy, can be as low or as high of a cost as you want, and can bring a little sunshine to your life.

I recently watched the video of the inimitable Tavi Gevinson, and what she says makes a lot of sense. Be a fan. Enjoy it. Figure out why it means so much to you. And have fun.

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