What Being in a Fandom Really Means

Sometimes being a part of a fandom can really help you feel like you fit in. Fandoms bring people who have one similar interest together; for me, it was hard to feel like I fit into one specific “fandom”. I have multiple interests that all vary; for example, I like makeup, I’m interested in fashion and watching pranks. Many channels on YouTube are directed towards specific interests, like just makeup or just fashion. One day while watching YouTube, I found a channel called Niki and Gabi and everything changed for me.

For people who don’t know Niki and Gabi DeMar, they are the “opposite twins”. They look alike, but their vibes, their personalities and styles are completely different. When I started watching their videos I was instantly hooked. They started as a channel that made parody and beauty videos that eventually began to do collective hauls and challenges. After binging their videos for a long time, I saw a video where they explained their solo “vlog channels”. At this point, I ventured deeper into the “opposite twins”.

I decided to check out their videos separately. I ventured over to Gabi’s personal channel; everything is pink and pretty, but watching her videos made me feel out of place. I couldn’t relate to the things she was into. Unlike me, Gabi is into high-end brands like channel and Tiffany; her channel focuses on shopping and crazy things happening to her like her credit card getting stolen, getting lice on vacation and so many more wacky adventures. Her fandom is called the “fancy babies” and it’s something I couldn’t blend in with. After watching a few videos, I ventured over to Niki’s channel. This is where I began my road down to finding myself. I was able to connect to her on all kinds of levels.

Niki’s channel focuses on her anxiety, fashion, hair, love for makeup, even some pranks and challenges and finally, her addiction to coffee. Due to the abundance of topics that she discusses on her channel, I was able to find at least one thing to relate to. I found her pranks and challenge videos funny, and her fashion videos interesting and inspiring, but what made me continue to watch her and become a “Blue Babe” was her openness with her anxiety and eating disorder. 

I’ve had anxiety since middle school from being bullied and it has only gotten worse over time. I knew I had anxiety, but I would never tell anyone, or seek the help I really needed. I’ve figured out ways to handle it and work around the issues, but after finding Niki’s channel I was able to accept my anxiety. I still don’t go around broadcasting my anxiety to everyone, but I know that I can watch her channel and it makes me feel better. To me, this is what fandoms are about: finding yourself. Many people are apart of fandoms to find other people that they can relate too, but that’s not why I am apart of the “Blue Babes.” I am apart of the fandom since it allowed me to become myself. I used to be referred to as “liquid” to many people since I would form into whoever was around. I didn’t have my own personality or interests until my senior year of high school.  

Finding the DeMar channel paved the road for me finding myself. I couldn’t be more grateful for finding their channel and their own personal channels. I was able to embrace my passions like fashion and music, even my passion for piercings, which I couldn’t embrace because I was embarrassed about it. I believe that fandoms help people come into who they are, and I also believe that my fandom saved me from a dark time. I’m finally able to laugh, cry and love myself all at once.