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Music (And Fangirls) Make the World Go Around

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

In the famous words of online persona Britney Broski, may I present to you the question that I seem to ponder all too often… “Why can’t I like something the normal amount?”.

With Taylor Swift’s newest and most vulnerable album, The Tortured Poet’s Department, just releasing (along with the millions of Tiktok videos analyzing each line of the 31 songs on this double album drop) combined with Coachella 2024 and the insane amount of tours being announced for the summer, it’s been a big couple of weeks for fangirls everywhere. As time begins to wind down in my final stretch of my senior year of college, I personally will, in fact, be basing my summer plans based off of when my favorite artists will be in what city. Some of my best friends have become my best friends because of our shared obsessions of artists that mean the world to us. It is true dedication and love for a silly little piece of music and adoration of those who make it and show it off to the world that shapes our perspectives of life and of ourselves, builds communities, and dictates how we choose to put love out into the world.

Being a fangirl has, unfortunately, excessively been looked down upon for mere decades now. Even dating back to the 60’s when The Beatles rose to fame, adoring fangirls have always been stereotyped by society as being “crazy”, “over-the-top” and “hysterical” with the mental connotation of a screaming, crying teenage girl. While these types of reactions may be elicited when excitement arises, it’s also important to recognize the love, adoration, and passion that comes behind these condescending stereotypes – a pure kind of feeling that subsides for most as we grow up and stray away from interests we might have had as children growing up.

It is this passion that is the catalyst driving the success of the artists, authors, and actors that an individual might be fixated on. True dedication is selling out arenas, buying tickets to the premieres, calling in sick for work to go to the pop-ups, streaming the music the second it comes out. It is exactly this that keeps these industries alive which goes to show how essential fangirls are to the world of entertainment. Fangirls are a powerful group of people; A force to be reckoned with. Harry Styles himself said it best in his interview with Rolling Stone in 2017…

“How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans — they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.”

Harry Styles, Teen Vogue

There is, unfortunately, a double standard that exists when it comes to being a fan. Boys and men alike aren’t looked at in the same way by society when they are big fans or have hobbies that they’re passionate about. They’re able to put on their favorite player’s jersey, yell at the TV for hours every weekend, spend thousands on tickets to games, or even on the other hand spend thousands of dollars on Legos, have walls full of some kind of collectors item, and know everything there is to know about Star Wars – society deems this as nothing but men having fun and expressing interest. But when women go to their favorite artist’s concert, wear their merch, and look up to their idol, they’re deemed as obsessive, emotional, and following trends.

No matter what the interest is and who you are, having support and love for someone or something just for the sake of it being fun or bringing you happiness should be celebrated. We need to change the narrative as a society, as young girls buying a fun outfit for their first concert and making big signs in hopes that the artist will see it should not grow up thinking this kind of behavior is an overreaction, but rather a passion that can spark endless amounts of positivity in all different facets of life.

One of the best things I have gotten out of being a fangirl since my childhood has been the community of people that I have found within it, along with some of my my best friends. Supporting the same people brings you very close with those who are also well versed in the same subject, no matter who that person or group is. Whenever I find out that someone I know is also a big fan of someone I idolize, it opens up the relationship to a whole new level – something that you might not get with other people you love in your life.

Waiting in lines for doors to open up at concerts, you will find the most loving, friendly people with the most interesting stories. The very paramount of making friends is finding a common interest – morals, values, humor, etc. When this common interest is the one thing in life that you know everything about and love the most in the world, it’s safe to say that that friendship will last and hold a big significance. I would not be the person I am today without the friends that support my love for my idols and relish in this love with me. The sense of community and belonging within it is not something you find often, but is something that you need to hold onto when it does come about.

Being in a room with tens, hundreds, or thousands of other people who have the same love for your idol that you do is an exhilarating experience, and you can truly feel it in the atmosphere of even the smallest venues. It’s somewhere that no matter who you are or what you believe in, you feel loved and like you belong. Being in a fandom provides this sense of escapism from what can be an unforgiving reality. With all the busyness and stress that life has to offer, it’s nice to have something to turn to that you know will always be there. It’s a very healthy coping mechanism to turn to things that give you happiness, creativity, and hope when you’re feeling down – being in a fandom provides for exactly that. No matter what you’re going through in your life, your idol or interest will always be there for you. The entertainment we choose to consume will ultimately affect our perspectives and outlooks on life and on ourselves.

Why do you relate to one character over another in your favorite TV show? Why is that singular member of a five person boyband your favorite over the others? By reflecting on the things you like and why you choose to like them, this can give you a greater insight on yourself, and also give you insight on others based on their chosen interests. Being in a fandom, there are extremely creative people out there who are making fan art, writing fan fictions, and putting their critical thinking skills to use by analyzing meaningful lyrics, all while also looking up to someone who is a creative. Surrounding yourself with these kinds of people will inevitably be inspiring and spark your own imagination by pulling you into different facets of life you may not have completely be interested in before.

Whether or not you know it, every individual has at least ONE thing that they can talk about for hours and never get tired. Instead of hiding the things that we have a special place in our heart for, we should be defined by the things that we pour our love into, and love these things unapologetically simply because it makes us happy – and that’s all that it’s meant to do. Hiding your interests from others because of condescending stereotypes means you’re not being authentically you. The nuances of your personality and interests are what make everyone different, and it’s often these differences between us and others in our life that make us love them. Instead of shaming people for the love they have for someone or something, it should be celebrated and talked about. In the wise words of Taylor Swift herself, “I don’t think you should ever have to apologize for your excitement. Just because somethings cliche doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. The worst kind of person is someone who makes someone feel bad, dumb or stupid for being excited about something.” So indulge in your special interests as much as possible and unapologetically – it’s what makes you YOU. The more wholehearted love that we as a society put out into the world, the better.

Bella Puljiz

Cal State Chico '24

Bella is currently a fourth-year student at California State University, Chico, who is thrilled to be a part of their emerging Her Campus chapter! She is pursuing a psychology major along with a double minor in child development in family relations, hoping to continue her education post-grad in a masters program in School Psychology. Along with being a member of Her Campus, Bella also is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, part of the honors program at Chico State, works at The Well on campus, and has interned in multiple elementary schools. Through experiences and knowledge she has acquired during her time in these extracurriculars, she has gained a huge passion for mental health advocacy and awareness, even driving her to become the Wellness Specialist of Alpha Delta Pi. In her free time, Bella enjoys going to concerts, cooking, trying new restaurants, being outside, and traveling whenever she gets the chance to! While navigating all her options post-grad, she believes in the importance of self-care and finding creative outlets, and is excited to be writing for Her Campus to do so around such like-minded, empowering women!