“Never underestimate a girl’s love for her favorite band. Never think even for a minute, that she won’t defend them to her death. Because it’s not just the music that makes that band her favorite. It’s the guys, the gals. It’s the fans. People whom of which she has interacted with thanks to the band. That band might of saved her life, or just made her smile everyday. That band has never broke her heart and has yet to leave her. No wonder she finds such joy in her music.”
-Alexander William Gaskarth
There is one thought that encourages me and scares me at the same time:
I WILL ALWAYS BE A FANGIRL.
Even when I was younger I already exhibited fangirl tendencies, and it’s not just limited to my favourite boy groups (Backstreet Boys, N’ Sync, Westlife, A1, 98°, Boyzone anyone?).
I have fangirled on TV shows like HOUSE and CSI,and Broadway Musicals like WICKED and Legally Blonde.
When I become a fan of an author I try to read as much as I can about them and also finish reading their complete works – authors like Jane Austen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Banana Yoshimoto and Haruki Murakami.
The past year was about me embracing my fangirl side. There were a lot of times in the past when I had to restrain myself from exhibiting too much adoration for an author, a TV show or a musical group. Especially when it comes to Hallyu Wave related groups or shows or celebrities. There’s always the stigma and stereotype that comes along with being a K-pop fangirl: hyena-like screaming, peppering their conversations with random Korean words, listening to songs they don’t understand, and the list goes on…but most especially that a fangirl has NO LIFE.
I am not writing a defense on behalf of fangirls, but what I realized was that being a fangirl actually opened up a lot of opportunities for me this year. I was able to meet one of my literary idols, F. Sionil Jose because I volunteered for Singapore Writers Festival. I made a lot of friends not only from Singapore but also from different parts of the world because of the fandoms I am in. More recently, I was able to have the “press pass” experience for the Singapore promotions of a K-pop group (Block B) that I support. During their showcase at St. James, I was climbing ledges, bar stools and walls just to get that perfect shot. And by having that press pass, I was able to meet face to face with one of the Korean producers I admire – I don’t really dream big but this was a super awesome experience for me.
Being a fangirl has in some ways pushed me to be more creative – I have the chance to practice photography and even image editing, I am inspired to write more and create more stuff seeing how productive other people are. Through the inspiring stories that these people have I draw strength in pursuing my own dreams.
Because it’s not just a book, not just a song, not just a film, not just a performance – no matter what media they use the message uplifts me, encourages me and challenges me to be a more creative person.