#TBT: 5 Ways You Used to Fangirl When You Were Younger

I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, I was a really dedicated fangirl. My favorite bands were the Jonas Brothers and One Direction. Both bands have broken up since my fangirl days, but their influence still lingers in the music industry through their solo acts. Nick and Joe Jonas both have their own separate careers (Joe is a member of DNCE), and all members of One Direction have released at least one song since they took a break. Here’s five things you used to do if you were a hardcore fangirl in the past decade.

1. You begged your parents to buy you teen magazines

Before the days of social media and smartphones, you had to read all your celebrity gossip in magazines (I know, shocking). I remember begging my parents to buy me Tiger Beat and J-14 magazines every time we went to CVS or Publix. I mostly wanted them for the Jonas Brothers posters to include in my shrine, but I loved reading celebrity news too. Who is Joe Jonas dating now? What happened between Nick Jonas and Miley Cyrus? What’s Kevin’s favorite color? Teen magazines informed us fangirls of all the important stuff we wanted to know. They’re also what inspired me to become a journalism major. My goal in the future is to write for an entertainment news publication and provide celebrity news for the next generation of fangirls and future journalists.

Teen magazines not only provided you with important celebrity updates but they also had fun quizzes you could take. Who’s your celebrity boyfriend? What Disney Channel original movie describes your life? They were basically the precursor to Buzzfeed quizzes. The quizzes in teen magazines were a great way to pass time.

2. You had your own fan page dedicated to your fave band

When social media started gaining momentum, I remember creating a fan page for One Direction on Instagram. I was so invested in my fanpage that I posted multiple pictures every day, interacted with fellow Directioners, and spent most of my time on the page. It was fun, but it also became quite stressful. I remember there being a few instances with fellow fans attacking one another. I didn’t take part in the cyberbullying, but it was definitely stressful seeing fellow fans attack each other for the most ridiculous reasons.

Another stressful event was when fans made up relationships within One Direction. Larry Stylinson, Ziam, Nouis, whatever the relationship name was, it was a bit much. A lot of fans were hardcore shippers of Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles. It got to the point where people actually thought they were a couple. It frustrated Harry and Louis because of the lengths certain fans took it to. It’s nice to ship their friendship, but when some fans take it as far as making explicit fan fiction of them together on Wattpad and legitimately thinking they’re together, that’s wrong. This could also be seen as making fun of those part of the LGBTQ community. Harry and Louis had to deny the allegations multiple times, and it seemed to cause stress.There was even an article from E! News posted in July this year where Louis “shut down” Larry Stylinson rumors “once and for all.” It’s been a year since the band’s split, and Larry Stylinson is still a topic of discussion.

Fan pages were all fun and games until rumors started to fly and online fights broke out among fans.

3. You bought their album when it was released in stores

Before the days of online streaming, you supported your favorite band by buying their CD when it was released. I remember all the trips to Target I begged my mom to take me on because the Jonas Brothers released their new album. I could’ve gone to any store to pick up the CD, but Target was just a magical place with exclusive songs on the deluxe versions of the CDs they sold.

When the Jonas Brothers released their album “A Little Bit Longer,” I had to go Target because they recorded a Target exclusive track. They made a cover of “Hello Goodbye” by The Beatles, and I was also a Beatles fan, so I had to buy the deluxe CD. I know, I could’ve bought the album on iTunes too, but I didn’t use iTunes. It was a lot more fun to pop my new CD into my stereo system and jam out in my living room. Those were the good ol’ days.

Now, if you want to support your favorite artist, you can stream their song instantly on Spotify or Apple Music, or you can buy their song on iTunes. It was more personal when you used to buy a physical copy of the artist’s CD, but the new generation of streaming music makes it a lot easier for musicians to gain a larger fan base.

4. You freaked out when you went to their concert

You released all your built-up fangirl energy at your favorite band’s concert, if you were lucky to buy tickets. My first concert was the Jonas Brothers LiVe Tour in August 2013, one of their last performances as a band before they announced their breakup in October 2013. The concert tour was to promote their album “LiVe,” which was never released because of their breakup. They ended up releasing a few live tracks from the LiVe tour exclusively to their Team Jonas fan club members on their website, but it wasn’t the same as a legitimate album release.

Attending their last tour as a band for my first concert was bittersweet. The Jonas Brothers will always be one of my favorite bands, and it was such a great experience seeing them live in concert. They sang “Gotta Find You” from Camp Rock, “See No More” from Joe Jonas’ solo debut before DNCE and “Who I Am” from Nick Jonas & The Administration on top of their songs.

I will forever have the Jonas Brothers’ concert in my memories. I attended the Cruzan Amphitheater performance in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was an outdoor concert, and when the Jonas Brothers were about to come out, I remember standing on top of the chairs screaming with joy because I was about to witness the talent from my favorite band in-person. It was such an adrenaline rush. I know everyone around me could feel it too. I belted my favorite songs with my sister and danced the night away. By the end of the night, I was so exhausted from fangirling, but it was so worth it.

If you went to your favorite band’s concert, it was definitely the highlight of your fangirling career because it made everything feel so real. Seeing your favorite band live made everything worthwhile.

5. You supported them through everything, even breakups

You’d like to think that your favorite band will be together forever, but that’s not always the case. People grow up, people change, some musicians change their style and some grow tired of the famous life. For the Jonas Brothers, they were getting older and disagreeing on the production style of their music. They were affiliated with Disney for most of their career, and they wanted to write more “adult” content and not be held back by restrictions from Hollywood Records.

They also couldn’t agree on the music.

Joe Jonas wrote for Vulture Magazine in 2013 after their breakup about the day they decided to breakup the band. The meeting was supposed to be about how to release their new music, but it quickly turned into a shouting match. Nick suggested closing that chapter of their lives, and they eventually did. They canceled the remainder of their tour and decided their relationship as a family was more important than the band. The rest is history.

I know I was initially very sad about the Jonas Brothers’ breakup, but once Nick released his self-titled solo album featuring the hit single “Jealous,” I knew it was for the best. I continued to support their solo journeys, and I still do.

Nick Jonas recently released his new single “Find You,” Joe is succeeding in his band DNCE and Kevin is married and has two kids, Alena and Valentina. I support their career choices, and I’m no longer sad about their breakup. I continue to listen to their old music as a band and support their new music because that’s what fans do. Fans are there through thick and thin. They appreciate the musical changes and growth that their favorite artist or band goes through. The Jonas Brothers grew up, and so did I. They couldn’t make the same “pop/teen” music forever.

Whether you just liked certain bands when you were younger or you were a dedicated fangirl like I was, it’s fun to reflect on your past self. You may or may not still do some of the things I’ve talked about, but either way, your love for your favorite band continues on. Cheers to fangirls from the past, present and future generations!