Tumblr Fandoms?


Adam Jackson, A&E Editor

Insanity takes on its true form with a new breed of human: the ever-emotional, always-stalking fangirl.

Google defines a fangirl as “an obsessive female fan (usually of movies, comic books, or science fiction).”

But the truth of the religion of “fangirl-ism” is much darker than a simple obsession.

For example, “Supernatural” may seem fairly normal for an urban fantasy TV show, until you search “Supernatural” on Tumblr. Fangirls that follow “Supernatural” are constantly talking about how they want to curl up and die whenever a beloved character dies, which is apparently quite often.

But that’s not the craziest part of the “Supernatural” fandom. In fact, the craziest part of almost any fandom is nearly always the same: the dreaded ships.

“Shipping” is derived from “relationship” and means taking two characters and putting them in a romantic relationship together. Ships are usually non-canon, which means that it is not in the actual medium of obsession.

Going back to the “Supernatural” example, there is a wide following of the “Wincest” ship, which stands for “Winchester Incest.” True to its name, the shippers of “Wincest” ship Sam and Dean Winchester, who are the two main characters in the show. Plus, they’re brothers. Because that’s not creepy at all.

Another rather famous ship is “Sterek” from the “Teen Wolf” fandom. While this one is slightly less insane than “Wincest,” it does seem rather strange, given the fact that some fans have sent death threats to the producers demanding that they make “Sterek” canon.

There are other ways that fangirls show their “appreciation” for their fandom. For example, on Oct. 22, fans of the “Divergent” book series wore the colors of the book’s factions to celebrate the last book coming out.

Another example is the “Once Upon a Time” hashtag of the week. Every week the creators of the show sends out a hashtag to build up to the next episode. The hashtags go wild as people continually talk about what might happen. Over the summer, the hashtag “#SaveHenry” blew up social media sites as people prepared for the upcoming season.

Some fans take their love of shows and books to the extreme. There have been several reportings of fangirls planning on naming their eventual children after book characters. I tried imagining my child going to school with a name like “Draco Smith” and “Katniss Johnson,” and could not fully comprehend how that would work.

Of course, some fandoms are bigger than others. The “Harry Potter” fandom was one of the largest and most dominant fandoms on Tumblr around the time the final movies were coming out. But the power of the fandom died down as more time without the series went on.

The fandom recently sprung up again with the announcement of the spinoff series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” This re-growth of the fandom brought about a new catchphrase for the fangirls: “We are alive again.”

The problem with all of these shows, books, and movies is that most people have probably heard of them anyway. In fact, I’d be willing to bet a fair number of students at Cal High are actually part of some of these fandoms, even if they don’t go to such extremes described above.

And that’s the case with the majority of fandoms: Most of them are widely known, and have a large amount of fans. But the difference with fangirls is they allow the fandom to consume them. I have heard many people on Tumblr say that they wouldn’t know where they’d be without the fandom, and oftentimes they state that each character has become a part of their personality.

But there’s a few interesting fandoms that are unique in the fact that if people are not directly part of the fandom, they probably wouldn’t know about it at all.

One such fandom is the “Homestuck” fandom. “Homestuck” is a webcomic that follows the accidental destruction of the universe through a video game. It is a very complex comic, and most people have never heard of it. I first encountered the “Homestuck” fandom only just last year. The “Homestuck” fandom has grown to such a considerable amount that there is even a video game in production based on the webcomic.

Of course, fandoms aren’t a new feature in today’s pop culture. This is apparent when people look at the “Doctor Who” fandom, which has been around since 1963. So yes, folks, fandoms have been going on for quite some time.

The only other immediately-obvious, ongoing fandom is the “Star Wars” fandom. “Star Wars” came out in 1977, and immediately became a sensation due to its immersive world and–at the time–amazing special effects.

“Star Wars” still has a wide range of fans, even today. This has been considerably helped due to the fact that Disney is producing another movie for the franchise.

Speaking of Disney, there is also an amazing amount of fans dedicated to the magical world that Disney presents. Several of the movies that we watched as children are still relevant in today’s world, as we make our way through the joys of adolescence.

I mean, how many of the students at Cal can honestly say they don’t jump up and sing along when they hear the beginning of Simba’s rendition of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”?

Fangirls may be insane, but, to me, it’s a lovely kind of madness. Once someone becomes a fangirl, they view the whole world in an entirely different way. It’s a truly delightful feeling once you can honestly say that that book or movie has inspired you for life.