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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

Seriously, why do we hate fangirls so much? 

Whether it’s being a fangirl of a band, a celebrity, a book, a tv show or literally anything, it seems like they never catch a break. Often finding themselves as the butt of every joke, it feels like fangirls are almost always portrayed in a pretty horrible light. 

A quick Google search will reveal that a fangirl is a “female fan, especially one who is obsessive about comics, film, music or science fiction.” 

Of course, the keyword here is being obsessive.

So, you get the gist so far, fangirl = crazy and obsessive, right?

Being a long-time, self-proclaimed fangirl of many different things, the term: “You’re such a fangirl,” was exclusively reserved to make fun of me and more so my interests. However, I’ve never felt that I was obsessive or crazy. I just felt that I really loved, and was really passionate about whatever interested me at the time.

I looked at some of the men in my life and saw them yelling in excitement at a tv screen whenever there was a soccer match on with their favourite teams playing and had a realisation. Isn’t that the same as me being super excited for Taylor Swift’s performance of All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) or being so stoked that my favourite K-pop group Stray Kids is releasing a new album? 

The honest truth is that it is the very same thing, it’s just people enjoying their interests. However, fangirls seem to be the only ones ever facing any online and real-life shaming for it. Misogyny runs deep in our society and in the way we think and live. 

Yes, it does really go as far as shaming women for having interests in literally anything. I’m not the only fangirl to think that it’s pretty unfair that women are not afforded the same space to enjoy the things they do without being ridiculed for it. 

So, no you’re not crazy about talking about your favourite musician or favourite book series for hours, you’re allowed to take up space and enjoy the things that you enjoy. A lesson I wish I had learnt earlier on in life, because being a teenager and having everyone ridicule the interests you hold so closely to your heart, is definitely not fun.

Being a fan of something or someone isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s actually proven to be really good for your psychological well-being. It can be a way to inspire us and bring some fantasy and fun into our everyday lives. It’s a great way to navigate our identities and I can safely say I’ve made some of my closest friends through “fangirling” together. Fan culture can be extremely fulfilling and a great hobby to have to maintain a healthy mindset.

You would also be surprised to hear just how many books, tv shows and movies were born from the minds of fellow self-proclaimed fangirls. Being a fangirl isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t deserve all the hate that it gets. Fun fact: the super famous bestselling #Booktok fave, The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood, started out as Reylo (The ship name for Rey and Kylo Ren from the Star Wars sequel trilogy) fanfiction! 

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, no matter how old you are or how silly it might seem, you’re allowed to be self-indulgent and enjoy the content you enjoy in whatever way you wish to. There’s no age limit on being a fangirl, you can be in your twenties and still be just as excited about your favourite things. You’re not any less mature or anything like that.

Go forth and fangirl to your heart’s content because there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!

Nuhaa Isaacs is a Cape Town born and raised student at the University of Cape Town. She is currently studying toward a BA triple majoring in English Literary Studies, Media and Writing as well as Gender Studies. She has been a staff writer for Her Campus UCT since 2021, and a current member of the Social Media Sub-committee at Her Campus UCT. Sappy romantic fantasy novels and incredibly specific Spotify playlists are everything to her (as well as her three cats: Zuri, Shelley and Peanut). You can find her on Instagram (@nuhaa_i) or Tiktok (@nuhaaorwhatever) probably posting silly little outfit videos. Get in touch via email for any formal inquiries: nuhaa.isaacs@gmail.com.